Online merchants lose nearly half of Christmas shoppers at the checkout

Online merchants are failing to offer shoppers their preferred online payment method leading to a loss of sales, new research reveals.

Irritated UK online shoppers are abandoning their online shopping basket and shopping elsewhere because online merchants are failing to offer them their preferred payment option.

An insight into UK consumers’ shopping behaviour ahead of this Christmas’ shopping rush was discovered by e-payment specialist, PPRO Group, following a survey of 1,000 UK adults.

The research reveals some telling online shopping frustrations with a third (31 per cent) of shoppers criticising online merchants for failing to offer their preferred payment option (41 per cent cited PayPal as their preferred payment method).

Close to half (47 per cent) say they abandon their online shopping baskets altogether and shop elsewhere as a result, plus a third (31 per cent) of shoppers say that the payment process was too complicated.

The research proves how the internet is revolutionising the way we shop as a massive 61 per cent of us will be buying gifts online at home while watching the TV and 13 per cent will shop while lying in bed at night.

Consumers also admitted to a more unusual place they like to shop, with one percent, equating to more than half a million of the UK’s population, saying they will do their Christmas online shopping while sat on the toilet.

However, shopping online may cause increased tension in the workplace this Christmas as 17 per cent admit they will be buying their Christmas gifts online while at work, eating into their employer’s time. More men seem to be more tempted into online shopping during working hours, while women prefer the comfort and peace of their own home.

The older generation is also warming to shopping online with close to half of over 55s (48 per cent) buying gifts online, presenting a huge opportunity for online merchants who witnessed the grey market spend £14.6 billion online last year.

The device we use to shop online was somewhat surprising in an age of mobile commerce which accounts for 36 per cent of online retail spending. Close to half of UK shoppers will switch on their laptop to purchase gifts, while only 14 per cent will use their smartphones and 13 per cent will browse for gifts on their tablets.

PPRO’s CEO, Simon Black, thinks that the research paints the picture of a savvy shopper who has high expectations of online shopping. They have the power of choice and the world of online merchants at their fingertips, and they know it. Plus, they won’t stick around if they can’t pay for their gifts quickly and easily, especially at Christmas when stress levels are high.

Black concludes, ‘If online merchants want to succeed in cross-border sales, they need to do their homework and realise it’s not enough just to offer credit card payments. Countries in Europe and other regions all have their own preferred ways of paying, whether it be iDEAL in the Netherlands, online bank transfers in Germany or SEPA direct debit in the EURO zone.

‘Only those merchants armed with their target audiences’ preferred local online payment methods will succeed during this busy festive period and beyond.’

Further reading on online merchants

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Freddie Halvorson

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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