Brits are tightening their belts and resisting the urge to splurge, new research reveals – with £10bn worth of goods ditched from online shopping baskets over the past six months.
Research from payments provider Mollie shows that 85% of shoppers have neglected up to ten shopping baskets since Christmas, highlighting the cost of living squeeze.
The survey of 1,000 Brits – which asked participants about their shopping habits and experiences – reveals just how many people are feeling the pinch, with 55% of consumers abandoning purchases due to expensive shipping. A quarter of shoppers said they wanted to compare prices elsewhere first, before committing to a purchase.
Analysis from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG show sales decreased by 0.3% last month, compared with an increase of 51.1% in April 2021. This was below the three-month average growth of 0.1% and the 12-month average growth of 3.3%.
Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive at the BRC, said: “The rising cost of living has crushed consumer confidence and put the brakes on consumer spending. Sales growth has been slowing since January, though the real extent of this decline has been masked by rising inflation.
“Customers face a difficult year; with the Bank of England predicting inflation to reach more than 10%. Retailers are experiencing higher costs as a result of rising commodity prices, transport costs, labour shortages, delays at ports, and the war in Ukraine. Further headwinds are incoming, such as rising global food prices, which rose 13% between March and April. Retailers will continue to do all they can to mitigate the effects of these cost rises, but unfortunately they cannot absorb them all.”
Over the past six months, figures show that the average UK shopper has abandoned three online baskets, saving £68 per basket – giving a grand total of £10.3bn of goods that haven’t made it through the checkout process.
The top items that are abandoned are:
Food and drink (12%)
Health and beauty (12%)
Gifts for others (8%)
Josh Guthrie, UK country manager at Mollie, commented: “The research really highlights how prudent shoppers are becoming, with nearly one in three abandoning a basket because they’ve had a change of mind. Some people may put together ‘fantasy baskets’ – the online equivalent to window shopping – without any intention to go ahead with the purchase, while others may have every intention of paying, but have second thoughts when they get to the checkout because they simply cannot afford it.
“Businesses should ensure they are supporting their customers by providing them with a fully omnichannel experience and a variety of payment methods to suit them, i.e. including at least one buy now pay later option. This would help companies to secure sales which would have otherwise been lost, while making purchases more digestible for the consumer”.
One in five carts (21%) are dumped between 4pm and 8pm, and 17% between 8pm and 12am, with the majority of baskets containing up to ten items. For brands advertising online, this would indicate that spend in the first half of the day would be wiser.
However, with it comes to social commerce and paid social advertising, the survey data also shows that discovering a product on social media (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest) is most likely to result in a neglected shopping basket, as opposed to baskets that have been put together as a result of direct search, or Google search.