Sales & Marketing

Abandoned shopping carts are costing online retailers millions

2 min read

30 January 2015

International customers are abandoning online British shopping carts because payment options are restricted. The lost opportunity is costing UK plc millions of pounds.

Despite a high proportion of UK businesses having a good awareness of overseas payment culture, they are not necessarily offering the options on their websites. The result? Possibly millions of pounds of lost international sales.

Three-quarters of businesses cite in-country regulations and high charges as the main barriers to offering additional payment options to international shoppers, according to research commissioned by The PPRO Group.

What makes this surprising is that nearly one in ten retailers (8 per cent) admit that between 31 and 51 per cent of all transactions come from international customers. 

With familiar overseas payment options including iDEAL, SEPA Direct Debit and SOFORTbanking starting to find a home on UK-based sites, adoption levels are still relatively low with 23 per cent, 42 per cent and 46 per cent adoption rates, respectively.

“Despite international payment options beginning to resonate with UK retailers, red tape and additional charges are putting pay to many retailers offering the payment preferences of international customers, as well as UK-specific payment preferences like credit and debit card,” says Tobias Schreyer, co-founder of The PPRO Group.

“The research also reveals that over one third of respondents (38 per cent) simply don’t see the need to offer additional options, meaning they could be missing out on a vital revenue stream.”

Up to ten per cent of international customers abandon their basket at the point of payment, according to almost half of those surveyed (43 per cent), with the payment page cited as the reason in 42 per cent of the cases. 

However, when it comes to online shopping priorities, retailers put more emphasis on security than the loss of revenue caused by shopping cart abandonment with 85 per cent considering customer security to be a high priority, compared to abandonment of shopping carts which tops the list for just over half (54 per cent) of the respondents.

“It is clear from our research that the understanding of payment cultures among overseas shoppers is growing, but barriers still exist to convert these potentially lucrative browsers into buyers. By addressing these issues, future revenues can be enhanced as well as retailers reach and brand awareness across the globe.”