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Shipping sticker shock

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Monday June 9, 2008 )

A recent survey conducted for PayPal quizzed online shoppers in the U.S. who recently abandoned their shopping cart contents to find out why; and the big bogeyman – shipping costs.

Key findings from the survey:

– A whopping 43 percent of consumers felt that shipping charges were too high
– 36 percent said the total cost of their cart items was pricier than expected
– 27 percent wanted to carry out further comparison shopping
– 16 percent couldn’t easily contact support with pre-sales questions
– 14 percent of shoppers forgot how to log into their accounts.

Furthermore, over one in five shoppers abandoned their shopping carts as their preferred payment method was not offered on the merchant’s Web site.

If you’re experiencing high abandonment rates, perhaps shop around for cheaper shipping options. I had a 60kg parcel shipped 500 miles to me recently for only 30 bucks and while I fully expect to see freight generally costing more in the future due to the increasing cost of oil, merchants need to ensure that what they are tacking on for freight is in line with their competitors.

The support issue should be an easy one to address as very often the problem is contact forms being buried too deep. There should be a contact link highly visible on every page and better still, consider implementing live chat services.

If your staff aren’t able to attend to pre-sales inquiries quickly, but you’re concerned about the cost of adding new staff; just think about the number of sales you may be losing through not having adequate coverage.

Pick up some more tips on reducing shopping cart abandonment.


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