CouriersPlease Study Unpacks Why Aussies Are Abandoning Shopping Carts

Is the payment cash or credit card? Shopping trolley and small boxes on laptop.
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

With online shopping cart abandonment resulting in a staggering annual loss of $18 billion in sales revenue for E-Commerce stores across Australia, it is not surprising that, in a recent survey of online shoppers, 88 per cent abandon goods in online shopping carts.

Interestingly, 63 per cent of respondents identified expensive shipping costs as the main cause of cart abandonment.

The figures have been revealed in a survey of an independent panel of 1005 Australian adults who shop online, commissioned by leading parcel delivery service CouriersPlease. 

The survey results found that only a small minority of online shoppers – 12 per cent – are decisive shoppers who do not abandon their shopping carts, and the proportion is higher among those over 50s. Cart abandonment is more common among 18-30-year-olds, with only 3 per cent of this age group proceeding to checkout without leaving items in their carts. Whereas in the 31-50-year-old category, 10 per cent do not abandon their carts, and 18 per cent of those over 50 do not leave items in their online shopping carts.

Shipping costs are a concern shared across all age groups, with 65 per cent of under-30s and 59 per cent of over-50s abandoning their shopping carts because of shipping costs and not proceeding through checkout. This close margin suggests that consumers of all ages are actively seeking ways to minimise additional expenses amid current cost of living challenges. A higher proportion of women (71 per cent) abandon shopping carts due to shipping costs than men (55 per cent).

Other online shopping expenses are also a concern for shoppers, with 26 per cent of respondents not proceeding to check out after discovering currency exchange fees and other fees associated with their purchases.

The survey results indicated that a significant proportion of consumers also use shopping carts as a form of ‘window shopping’, leaving their items in the cart while research better deals elsewhere or realising they didn’t need the product. For instance, 38 per cent of respondents – and 45 per cent of 18-30-year-olds – admitted to abandoning their carts after researching and discovering the same item at a cheaper price elsewhere. Twenty-nine (29) per cent of respondents abandoned their carts because they realised the product was unnecessary, while one in four (26 per cent) directly admitted that they use online shopping carts as wish lists. One in five (20 per cent) simply lost interest in their selected product.

Inconvenient delivery options are the reason why 16 per cent of shoppers don’t complete their online purchases. With hybrid working arrangements becoming a mainstay across corporate Australia, flexible and customer-friendly shipping choices are becoming more of a priority.

“We are heading into peak sales season – with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas running in succession – where cart abandonment rates might rise due to wider choices and limited time. Our research aims to inform retailers, who may decide to strengthen sales and marketing messages for individual products to reduce cart abandonment,” said CouriersPlease CEO Richard Thame.

“We are proud to partner with major online retailers who prioritise offering value, just as we aim to provide value in shipping. In today’s economy, affordability is key, and our strategic partnerships focus on aligning with retailers whose product offerings resonate with cost-conscious shoppers”.

“CouriersPlease is committed to improving the customer experience and making the delivery process simpler by allowing customers more flexibility in how and when they receive their parcels. We can now offer customers who shop with many of our retail partners the option to collect their parcels – even after hours – from over 3,000 conveniently located collection points. Receivers can also elect to reschedule their deliveries to a different date or redirect to a neighbour’s house in response to a notification that their parcel is on its way”.

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