Online shoppers leaving purchases behind

Jun 23, 2009 By Dan Gallagher, MarketWatch

People shopping online are likely to bail out on planned purchases before making the final click to submit their orders, often because they are surprised by high shipping costs and other fees, according to a new survey out Tuesday.

The survey, commissioned by online-payment processor , found that 45 percent of Internet shoppers abandon their "carts" before making the final purchase. The most common reasons for this are high shipping costs and other fees that are not apparent earlier in the process.

"Imagine if at Wal-Mart, half the people dropped out of line at the checkout stand," said Eddie Davis, senior director for SMB merchant services at PayPal.

Many Web merchants do not disclose shipping prices and fees at the outset because, Davis believes, they figure that "having a low show rate will drive people to the shopping-cart page." But once there, some aren't completing their purchases as the full costs become clear.

This problem could be magnified by the slowing economy, as consumers are more likely to be scared away by expensive freight and other charges. Another factor is that online merchants could be battling each other over a market with slowing growth.

According to research firm comScore Inc, online-retail spending remained flat in the first quarter compared with the same period last year. In a report Monday, Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney -- citing his own research as well as comScore data _ said online-retail spending in the United States declined 1 percent to 2 percent in the first two months of the second quarter.

PayPal is trying to get merchants to use its own service that allows such fees to be disclosed earlier in the order process. The company is working to expand its revenue base away from the auction-based marketplace of its parent company Inc. Davis said that 53 percent of PayPal's revenues in the first quarter came from its non-eBay businesses.

___

(c) 2009, MarketWatch.com Inc.
Visit MarketWatch on the Web at www.marketwatch.com
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Explore further: Online piracy thrives in Internet cloud: study

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

EBay's PayPal envisions doubling in size by 2011

Mar 11, 2009

(AP) -- EBay Inc.'s name may conjure images of online auctions, but the company is hoping to turn attention to its second-largest business - PayPal - which it expects to blossom significantly in the next few years.

Most online shopping done by a few

Dec 02, 2005

Do you ever get the feeling that just a few people are doing most of the online shopping? Well this looks to be true, reports analyst firm Nielsen//NetRatings, which released a survey Friday showing that the heaviest online ...

Energy prices pushing shoppers online

Dec 14, 2005

More than one out of every three online households said rising energy prices would alter their holiday shopping this season, a survey found.

Recommended for you

Facebook dressed down over 'real names' policy

Sep 17, 2014

Facebook says it temporarily restored hundreds of deleted profiles of self-described drag queens and others, but declined to change a policy requiring account holders to use their real names rather than drag names such as ...

Yelp to pay US fine for child privacy violation

Sep 17, 2014

Online ratings operator Yelp agreed to pay $450,000 to settle US charges that it illegally collected data on children, in violation of privacy laws, officials said Wednesday.

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dan42day
5 / 5 (1) Jun 23, 2009
We are not "scared away", we want to know how much the damn thing is going to cost and the only way to find out is to go through the motions. I often do this even though I am quite sure I will not be completing the purchase.
NameIsNotNick
not rated yet Jun 24, 2009
I recently wanted to buy a Cakewalk software upgrade that cost $59 and the shipping charge for a CD was $35 (A premium service was the only option). Damn right I bailed!
Doug_Huffman
not rated yet Jun 24, 2009
It is common knowledge that E-bay !users hide profit in the invisible, and indivisible, 'shipping and handling' charges. There is a reason for the success of FedEx and UPS.