Online retailers must do more to regain lost custom and capture a share of the £2.3 billion of annual revenue that is wasted as a result of abandoned shopping baskets.

This is according to research conducted by Verdict Consulting for Webloyalty, which suggests that there are a number of issues that e-commerce firms can look at to overcome the problem of consumers leaving transactions before they finish.

The report indicates that high abandonment rates indicate dissatisfaction with the website and its services, such as delivery concerns.

According to Verdict Consulting, it is more imperative than ever to look at lost sales as online retail is expected to account for 13.6 per cent of all British retail transactions by 2012, equivalent to more than £44 billion.

It goes on to state that low prices, high quality service and easy navigation are the key factors that can improve customer loyalty when it comes to e-commerce.

With a significant proportion of traffic to e-commerce sites coming from search engines, one tactic may be to examine conversion rates from pay per click (PPC) ads and see how these can be improved.

David Szetala of Search Engine Watch urges businesses to closely examine PPC traffic data to see how successful their ads are.

Particular metrics to pay attention to include impressions, which indicate the effectiveness of keywords, and the click-through rate, which is a signifier of how well the ad copy manages to persuade web users to take the next step, he says.

The conversion rate, meanwhile, shows how successful the site is in using a combination of keywords, ads and landing pages to get consumers to make a purchase.

Mr Szetala goes on to note that it is easy to embed the relevant code into a website to collect this data, with the likes of Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft offering clear guidelines on how to do so.

News brought to you by ClickThrough – experts in SEO, Pay Per Click Services, Multilingual Search Marketing and Website Conversion Enhancement services.

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