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A lack of transparency and the request for upfront details when purchasing on line is the biggest cause of drop offs according to our recent ecommerce poll.

The research polled over 1,200 online users, asking why they would abandon an order when shopping online. The results were:

  • Having to register before buying – 29%
  • Hidden charges at the checkout – 41%
  • Lengthy checkout process – 10%
  • Not clear delivery details – 11%
  • Phone number not provided on website – 8%

Is that really that surprising? Taking the traditional experience of shopping, consumers do not expect a list of additional charges at the checkout and would, I expect get very upset at the prospect. Nor, would the shopper in the traditional retail environment expect to register their details before paying for the goods in their basket.

As one respondent commented ‘If the checkout process is too much of a hassle, or becomes too involved, I am apt to go somewhere else”.

As with all online experiences, the web is meant to make things easier and quicker not more time consuming and taxing in transactions.

Retailers need to focus on the consumer needs online just like they do in the traditional environment and by implementing basic usability guidelines the poll results would be radically different.


  • Gal Katzav says

    Agreed. I can’t stand having to register and think it should always be optional at checkout.

    I also think that checkout stages should be clearly marked so you know how much you’ve got to go.

    1 June 2010 at 12:13 pm

  • mathew llewellyn says

    Not surprising no.. but it’s amazing to still see websites with poor user consideration. This is certainly not only contained in the world of web. How often do we find products and services that seem designed to annoy and frustrate the users as opposed to helping them.
    Man makes tool.
    Tool annoys man.
    Man stops using tool.

    1 June 2010 at 1:07 pm

  • nellatnci.wordpress.com says

    interesting research, reminds me of Jared Spool’s How Changing a Button Increased a Site’s Annual Revenues by $300 Million


    2 June 2010 at 2:26 pm

  • Ruth Gower-Smith says

    Its amazing how many retailers forget the basic rule of looking at things from the customers prospective. I am sure that with a little bit of research using existing customers who match the characteristics of their target market, some of these fundamental issues would be avoided.
    p.s. It would be useful to have a spell check for comments sections such as this one. May be more people would be inclined to respond!

    1 September 2010 at 5:08 pm

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