Once online
shoppers have found items and have successfully added them to their
cart, their most common complaints: delays in receiving information
about total cost. In fact, one of the most common uses of shopping
carts is not purchase-oriented. On most retail sites, entering the
checkout process is the only way to receive accurate pricing
information, including tax, shipping and other charges. Online shoppers
routinely use the checkout process to evaluate pricing.

More often than not, online shoppers are forced to wait
until late in the checkout process to receive this information. Worse,
visitors are often forced to register or volunteer personal information
to receive price totals.

Many Web retailers are concerned about shopping cart
abandonment, and with good reason. High levels of abandonment means
losses in potential revenues. However, it is difficult to accurately
assess these losses without removing contributions to “abandonment”
that are unrelated to actual purchase intentions, in this case, using
the checkout process to obtain pricing information that is unavailable
to them otherwise.

For these reasons, Keynote recommends that Web sites provide
an estimate of the total cost of items (using the most common shipping
method elected) as early in the shopping process as possible. Online
shoppers are largely cost conscious and are not enthusiastic about
being forced to wait for accurate pricing information.