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New Research Finds that 82% of Shoppers Continue to Leave ecommerce Sites Empty-Handed

Businesses need to wake up to the appalling leakage that is taking place as visitors move through their web pages, states Mark Simpson, MD of Maxymiser

Key findings:

  • 82% of respondents have abandoned their shopping basket in the last year
  • 69% of respondents would not go back to a website if the purchasing process had been unsatisfactory
  • Marketers and Consumers alike are unable to identify what makes a good website and what makes a bad website
  • 63% of respondents now know the web address of their favourite websites, rather than having to use a Search Engine

New research by industry analyst, Redshift Research, in conjunction with online content optimisation expert, Maxymiser, has found that e-commerce websites are still failing to maximise online revenues. In a survey of 1,000 users of e-commerce websites in the Retail, Travel, Finance & Insurance and Hospitality markets, the research found that 82% of respondents have abandoned their shopping basket in the past year, whilst 69% of respondents would not go back to a website if the purchasing process had been unsatisfactory.

When asked why they had decided to abandon their shopping baskets, one in three respondents cited one of the following reasons: the website was too slow; a desire to find the products cheaper elsewhere; or simply because they had changed their mind. Significantly, 63% of respondents also said that they now know the web address of their favourite websites, rather than having to use a Search Engine, meaning that online businesses are likely to see diminishing returns from their Search Marketing spend this year.

The research shows that online shopping continues to grow in popularity across all vertical sectors. In the retail sector, 57% of respondents now regularly purchase products on entertainment websites (music, DVDs etc). 41% of respondents now regularly purchase products on electrical goods websites, 33% regularly purchase on clothing websites, and 19% of respondents regularly purchase on grocery websites. In the travel sector, 48% of respondents now regularly purchase holidays and weekend breaks via the Internet, whilst in the finance & insurance sector 53% of respondents regularly purchase products online. In the leisure and hospitality sector, 36% of respondents regularly do online shopping.

The research also found that 56% of respondents felt security was the most important factor when shopping online, whilst 31% believed cost to be the most important criteria. Other responses included ease of use (9%), stock availability (3%) and speed of processing (2%).

Commenting on the research findings, Mark Simpson, Managing Director of Maxymiser, says, “Any business that is running an e-commerce website needs to wake up to the appalling leakage that is taking place as visitors move through their web pages. As this research has clearly highlighted, the majority of e-commerce websites are losing customers who have actually spent time on the web site and have selected goods that they are willing to buy. If customers continue to abandon their shopping baskets at this rate then it will represent a significant lost revenue opportunity for online businesses.”

Simpson continues, “The research has demonstrated that consumers will abandon their shopping baskets for a variety of reasons. However, in our experience it is often the smallest and least obvious details that make the difference between conversion and abandonment, such as copy, images, calls to action and product offers presented online. The need for these subtle modifications is unlikely to come out of the traditional approach to web site redesign — which involves closed-door meetings of a company’s key strategists and web designers. It will only come to light following live testing with actual web site visitors. A truly personalised web experience will be one which offers customers web page layouts, sequences and content that have been dynamically put together based on that user’s demonstrated preferences.”

The research also reveals that online businesses may need to re-think their Search Marketing strategies this year, as 63% of respondents now go directly to the web address of their favourite websites rather than using a Search Engine to find what they are looking for. Simpson says, “Online businesses continue to focus heavily on customer acquisition marketing, but by redirecting the same level of investment into improving your conversion performance, organisations stand to see far greater returns. The average uplift in conversion following regular testing and small iterative improvements has shown itself to be in the region of 34-35%, which could have a huge impact on the bottom line.”

Another research study recently conducted by Maxymiser found that even online marketing professionals were unable to correctly identify winning web content by eye. Of 452 marketers that had a go at guessing the best performing web content from an A/B/C/D test, only 21 people were able to get it right. Simpson says, “Some preconceptions of what works well online must be guiding marketers’ decision-making processes as the results of this study are so far below even what random selection would produce. We don’t know what those preconceptions are but it would appear that they get in the way of selecting the best content and page layouts online. Ultimately it should be the visitors themselves who design your web site, based on the live choices they make on your pages.”

About Maxymiser

Maxymiser Onsite Marketing enables organisations to manage their conversion metrics and increase the effectiveness of any website’s content and design to deliver key metrics such as sales and click through rates. Maxymiser gives clear statistical proof of what content and designs work most successfully in converting site visitors and those which fail to do so, enabling marketers to refine content and design to deliver increasing ROI. Maxymiser’s solutions include Content MVT for multivariate testing, Content Delta for advanced visitor segmentation and Content BT for onsite behavioural targeting. Founded in 2006, Maxymiser is the leading European provider of Onsite Marketing solutions, serving over 60 clients and partnering with many industry leading organisations.