Do you ever fill up your online shopping cart with goodies, only to then abandon the site without buying them? You’re not alone. While the people of the West Midlands are the most prolific gift-givers in the UK at 2015 (an average of 17 Xmas presents, given to more than eight family & friends), we’re also notorious in the industry for our very high levels of online ‘shopping cart abandonment’. Retail Times has a news item today on how Stoke-on-Trent’s Emma Bridgewater pottery has mitigated this problem via an e-commerce plug-in, and has thus boosted online sales by 10%.

On a quick scoot around the web, I see that some of the many reasons for abandoning an online shop are:

* Your site provides no “Wish List” option, so people use the cart for that.
* They need to consult someone else before pressing ‘purchase’.
* They’re shopping on a mobile on a work commute, but will make the purchase via a desktop PC when they get home or at the weekend.
* They’re walking round a real shop, and using your cart to tally up and compare prices.
* They find that your cart doesn’t take PayPal.
* They find that you want to add silly amounts for shipping.
* They find you want to use what looks like a business courier for delivery to a residential address (endless hassle with missed deliveries).
* Their ad-blocker / anti-virus / browser security settings interfere with loading the final payment process.
* Your cart won’t let them get the items delivered to a work address, since it’s different from the one that the payment method knows about.
* The log-in on your cart ‘times out’ before the buyer can complete their order.