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Thursday, 25 June 2009 11:31

Shipping charges kill online shopping

Written by Nick Farell

Image

Unexpected costs drive away customers

A PayPal
survey has discovered that more than half of online shoppers have abandoned their online shopping due to higher than expected shipping charges.

The survey revealed that punters were walking away from huge shopping carts because the shipping costs were out of line with reality. Only three per cent of Canadians said they had no intention of purchasing the item online after filling up the cart and proceeding to the checkout. The rest all said that they were set to buy right until they saw the cost of shipping.

Part of the problem is that sites do not say how much it will cost to ship the goods, or other important fees such as cross-border duties and handling fees. The other side is that some merchants, particularly in the book selling market, depend on inflating the cost of shipping to make any profit on the sale. This is why you see books listed for 10 cents with a shipping cost of $3.50. The actual cost of postage is often $1.50.

To make matters worse some etailers charge per item rather than the cost of an over all package. It often costs the same to ship three boxes of diet pills as it does to send one, but the customer is charged as if they were three separate packages.

The survey also found that 78 per cent of Canadians surveyed who abandoned a cart knew the site or had bought from it before. 52 per cent said an ideal payment process would involve just one click, no matter where they were shopping.

More than 43 per cent said it took too long to fill out credit card information. Another 40 per cent abandoned their shopping carts because the payment option they wanted to use was not available.

Nick Farell

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