Abandoned online baskets could be avoided if UK retailers implemented a seamless customer journey, but new research concluded that a third do not offer 'guest checkout' functionality, instead forcing customers to sign up for an account.

Meanwhile customers have to navigate through an average of five pages to complete online orders and only 7% of retailers allow customers to make changes to products – such as size and colour – during the checkout process.

And nearly 40% of retailers do not reveal the total cost of items until just before the point of purchase, which can lead to ‘sticker shock’ and abandoned purchases.

The research from Bronto and Demandware, which analysed basket abandonment strategies of more than 100 UK retailers, highlights the need to improve the checkout experience to reduce shopping basket abandonment.

Georges Berzgal, managing director of Bronto Software Europe, said: "The shopping basket is a pivotal moment in online commerce – it’s the point at which sales are converted or aborted. Many retailers in the UK are losing customers at the last hurdle due to the length and complexity of the checkout process. The fact that no retailer offered a true one-step checkout is indicative of an industry which is yet to fully provide a transparent, easy and convenient purchasing experience."

Almost 60% of retailers do not send reminders to customers who have left their baskets, while only 22% of UK retailers send a reminder email to encourage shoppers back onto the website.

"We know that basket abandonment rates are on the rise and to tackle this retailers need to widen their focus and offer customers a personalised, transparent and straightforward checkout experience," added Berzgal. "Successfully re-engaging customers who have abandoned the order process is critical. Bronto customers who adopt a data-driven, targeted approach in the form of a basket reminder email series can recover as much as 25% of abandoned revenue and typically see a 50x return on investment. It should be a key component of a commerce marketer’s arsenal."

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