Across all devices, 86 per cent of browsers save items to shopping baskets – yet only half of those items are ever purchased, representing missed opportunities by businesses.
This is according to a study by Barclays bank, which believes that by focusing investment on improving online sales conversions, UK businesses could boost the annual value of online purchases by £3.74bn. This represents an increase of more than a third to £80.87bn by 2021.
The main reason for the conversion shortfall is price. During the “consideration phase”, almost half would first find out whether the item was being sold at a lower price on other sites. In addition, 38 per cent would look for discount codes or vouchers, and 35 per cent would wait for a sale.
Waiting for a better deal was the most popular reason for not committing to a purchase, with 43 per cent of respondents citing this as motivation.
Businesses can help motivate customers to commit by offering freebies – 56 per cent said free delivery would encourage them to buy, and 29 per cent said free returns would encourage them.
Other factors which could encourage people in the consideration phase to make a purchase include: loyalty schemes (27 per cent), positive reviews (27 per cent), tailored offers or discounts (24 per cent) and next day delivery (17 per cent).
Chris Boaz, head of marketing of PCA Predict, said: “Today’s findings are a stark warning to UK online retailers. They are missing out on billions of pounds, due to the very simple fact that they’re not meeting consumers’ expectations of a streamlined shopping experience.
“Investing in improving this experience especially on mobile, to enable purchasing to become easier, is a critical step in order to reclaim the £3bn worth of sales retailers are missing out on.”
Online shopping accounted for 16 per cent of all retail spending in July 2017, compared with 14.5 per cent in July 2016, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).