Online retailers are failing to convert the majority of website visitors into customers, with three quarters of visitors (75 per cent) rarely or never persuaded to make an unplanned purchase, according to new research.
Over 2,000 consumers were questioned by YouGov as part of a survey commissioned by Transversal into online shopping habits, with only five per cent stating that they made unplanned purchases online.
The main barrier to purchasing online was, according to 31 per cent of respondents, due to a high cost of postage, followed by personal registration requirements from 24 per cent and negative reviews for 21 per cent.
Michael Aston, product manager for Transversal, said online retailers are "missing a trick" during Christmas by "overcomplicating" the efforts invested by customers when completing their checkout.
“While third party customer reviews and the cost of postage and packaging – which also ranked highly as impulse purchase deterrents – are to a certain extent beyond the control of retailers, customer registration forms are not.
"It’s important that retailers do more to guide customers through the checkout process by presenting them with the right information, in the right place at every step of the purchase process.
"By actively placing an obstacle between the customer and the checkout basket, retailers are significantly reducing their chances of translating site traffic into revenue," he added.
The majority (78 per cent) of consumers also revealed that they spent five or less hours browsing retail websites a week.