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‘Bagging’: The trend hitting online retailers where it hurts

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20th Jan 2015
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While it may have once referred to a certain type of school playground prank or the act of unfairly insulting someone, ‘bagging’ is gaining momentum as the latest buzzterm in online retail.

Coined by a US shopping analyst, Jenna Ward, the phrase describes shoppers who browse ecommerce websites filling up shopping carts as they go, only to abandon them at the end of their session.

Perhaps better defined as a more aggressive version of shopping cart abandonment, the phenomena is one that Ward states is particularly popular with the younger generation, and “could be costing online retailers tens of millions” in lost revenue.

Her research, which surveyed 2,000 UK consumers and was conducted on behalf of My Favourite Voucher Codes, established that 70% of women aged 18 – 40 surveyed had ‘bagged’ at least once in the past year with 10% bagging at least once a week.

In contrast, only 10% of men within the same age group had confessed to being ‘baggers’ with a lower threshold for playing the long game online cited as being the chief reason. Somewhat disturbingly, the research also found that children as young as 10 enjoyed bagging and, at this age, both boys and girls participated. It states that, parents “don’t object as they believe it helps children understand how much things cost and how to work to a budget”.

“Bagging is the retail equivalent of Pinterest,” Ward adds. “For a lot of people, the pleasure comes from researching and browsing different products.

“Your online shopping cart is easier to monitor than your high street shopping. It’s so easy to grab stuff, only to realise the huge bill you’ve racked up when you reach the check out. Most people are too embarrassed to admit to overspending in public, so don’t say anything or put anything back. Online you can abandon thousands of pounds worth of goods with a click of a button.”

Recent statistics from the Baymard Institute estimate that around 67% of online shoppers abandon carts before purchase. Despite this, further research from Genesys also states that the vast majority of ecommerce providers do not have a follow-up process for cart abandonment, with a study of the UK’s top 75 retailers discovering that 85% let shopping cart abandonment go unchecked online.   

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By brthumwo
22nd Jan 2015 17:09

How can it be costing retailers millions ? A sale is not a sale until the cash in the bank, in the same way that my house is not worth what the agents say, or what the house next to me sold for, it's only worth what someone is willing to pay. Bagging sounds the same as window shopping - with the online shoppers never likely to convert to paying customers.

It is not a criminal act to 'bag' - but it is criminal not to follow up and find out why !!

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