A Forrester Research 2010 study revealed, "shoppers' frustration with the amount of shipping costs and a desire to comparison shop for a lower price," were among some of the reasons why they abandon online shopping carts. More recently, ecommerce guru Charles Nicholls and Shop.org studied individual online shopping behavior and analyzed why customers left their carts at checkout. As it turns out, shopping cart "abandonment" is not abandonment at all, but part of the buying process. Shoppers research and select during their first online session, and then make their purchases in a later session. As Nicholls explains, "Not all shopping cart abandonment is bad. In fact, shopping cart abandonment is an important part of the normal buying cycle for many customers, and for many types of purchases."
For example, shopping carts act like wish lists for some customers, especially for "serial abandoners." The new research shows that if ecommerce retailers remind these shoppers of the items they have left in their carts, about half will come back to complete the purchase, and when they buy they spend 55 percent more. For the other half that do not return, the research reveals a few common reasons for the abandonment. For instance, a higher cost of shipping is a factor. The lesson for online merchants is that abandoned carts are resources that indicate shopper interest. Many shoppers respond well to remarketing efforts, especially if that remarketing includes decreased prices or free shipping.
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