New PayPal Survey Reveals Why Online Shoppers Abandon Purchases

Posted by at 12:27 pm on June 25, 2009

A PayPal survey revealed that nearly half (45 percent) of online shoppers have abandoned their carts multiple times in the past three weeks due to high shipping costs, security concerns and lack of convenience. The average cost of abandoned goods in U.S. shopping carts is $109.

High shipping costs was cited as the largest single reason for cart abandonment. While nothing could have prevented one-third of shoppers from abandoning purchases, the survey found that providing shipping costs upfront might have caused 40 percent to complete the purchase. To help merchants encourage shoppers to purchase, PayPal has announced a new Express Checkout feature -“ the PayPal Instant Update API. By integrating the new API, merchants can show order details earlier in the process including shipping options, insurance choices and tax totals.

“To get shoppers to buy, it’s critical merchants make the checkout experience easy and costs transparent,” said Eddie Davis, senior director of SMB merchant services, PayPal. “Our new PayPal Instant Update API will help merchants get customers the information they need upfront to drive sales.”

The survey also uncovered signs that the economy still has shoppers wary about clicking the “purchas”button. More than one-third of respondents abandoned checkout because they didn’t plan for all of the expenses; while more than 25 percent left the site to search for a coupon. However, one-third of shoppers later returned to the same site to buy. An additional 20 percent purchased the items at a brick and mortar store or competitor’s Web site.

Breakdown on Why Shoppers Abandon

At least a fifth of all U.S. survey respondents cited the following as very important reasons for cart abandonment:

  • High shipping charges: 46 percent
  • Wanted to comparison shop: 37 percent
  • Lack of money: 36 percent
  • Wanted to look for a coupon: 27 percent
  • Wanted to shop offline: 26 percent
  • Couldn’t find preferred pay option: 24 percent
  • Item was unavailable at checkout: 23 percent
  • Couldn’t find customer support: 22 percent
  • Concerned about security of credit card data: 21 percent

About the survey

The PayPal Checkout Abandonment Study was conducted by comScore among active shoppers who had recently abandoned a shopping cart. In the United States 553 people participated between May 12-15, 2009. All respondents were asked about their most recent abandoned session, regardless of the site involved.

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