May 10, 2007, 12:00 AM

Retailers missing opportunities to boost sales through shopping carts

Many online retailers aren’t taking advantage of the sales and loyalty-building opportunities presented by shoppers’ increasing propensity to save items in shopping carts for later consideration, according to JupiterResearch.

Many online retailers aren’t taking advantage of the sales and loyalty-building opportunities presented by shoppers’ increasing propensity to save items in their shopping carts for later consideration, according to a new study from JupiterResearch.

45% of online retailers fail to present shipping policies in their shopping carts, undermining the critical role that information has on consumers’ purchasing behavior, JupiterResesearch says in “Online Retail Checkout: Building Sales Through Increased Accessibility.” And while 78% of online retailers accept coupons at checkout, only 13% take advantage of the opportunity to increase the average order value by messaging about the amounts needed to qualify for additional offers.

Jupiter also found that only 58% of online retailers list their return policy in the shopping card, even though 39% of online non-buyers don’t make online purchases because they think returns will be a hassle. In addition, only 53% of retailers list their return policy in the checkout pages after the shopping cart.

“Failure to provide this important information can be even more frustrating to customers when the checkout experience does not have the normal global navigation bar displayed, offering buyers no way to access the return policy if the retailer has not provided an additional link to it,” the report says.

Only 28% of online retailers offer live chat, text chat or click-to-call at the shopping cart and checkout stage, although offering these functions could alleviate the concerns of the 27% of online non-buyers who don’t make purchases because they can’t speak to a person, Jupiter says. Only 55% of retailers provide 800 numbers conspicuously and clearly at checkout.

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