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Shopping cart abandonment higher in Australia, study finds

Australians tend to abandon online shopping carts more often than their counterparts in Europe and North America, according to a new report from SAP.

The SAP Consumer Propensity Study, which surveyed 20,000 consumers in 24 markets, including 1000 in Australia, found that 57 per cent of Australian respondents discard their carts sometimes or all the time, compared to 41 per cent of European respondents and 47 per cent of North American respondents.

Shopping cart abandonment varies by category, with 67 per cent of Australian respondents saying they do so sometimes or all the time when shopping for fashion items, and 65 per cent saying they do so when shopping for furniture.

High shipping costs, long delivery times and out-of-stock items are among the reasons Australian respondents abandon cart, though nearly half said they use shopping carts to compare prices with other brands and websites, suggesting that solving shopping cart abandonment is more complex than simply removing “friction” from the checkout process.

Indeed, the survey found that 53 per cent of Australian respondents said discounts and promotions succeed in nudging them to make a purchase, a double-edged sword for retailers.

Scott Treller, executive general manager of SAP customer experience ANZ, said that while discounting is not a “sustainable long-term strategy” to drive sales, customers are really craving personalisation. Retailers can tap into this by offering targeted recommendations, even if they’re full price, he said.

“If I were a fashion retailer, that kind of promotion of a very tailored offer is where I’d be looking,” he told Internet Retailing.

According to Treller, the key takeaway from the survey is the need for retailers to focus on getting the basics right, as a significant number of Aussie respondents say they are looking for simple online shopping features.

Demand for easy exchange and return services, comparison tools to check prices and specifications and a physical store where they can try and buy ranked higher than demand for chatbots or 24/7 customer service and virtual/augmented reality technologies.

Offering these services will require retailers to make use of customer data, Treller said.

“There’s real value in the data from your online shoppers…to create a far more compelling experience,” he said.

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