The virtual equivalent of window shopping, known as ‘bagging’, could be costing online retailers tens of millions, new research shows.
Bagging means browsing a website and filling up your shopping cart with goods, often worth thousands of pounds, then simply abandoning your bulging cart.
The phrase was coined by US shopping analyst Jenna Ward, who conducted the research in the UK on behalf of British voucher site My Favourite Voucher Codes.
Ward discovered that 70% of women aged between 18 and 40 had ‘bagged’ at least once in the past year with 10% bagging at least once a week.
Only 10% of the men within the same age group had tried the trend – primarily because they are less interested in shopping.
The men surveyed also said they have less willpower to avoid completing the purchase and end up buying everything they put in their online basket.
Commenting on bagging, My Favourite Voucher Codes founder Julian House said: “This is where high street retailers have the upper hand. Once shoppers have something physically in their hands, it’s harder, both emotionally and practically, to leave it behind. Our research found impulse purchases are more rife in the real world too. Bagging is therapeutic – it allows everyone to feel like a millionaire, as long as they don’t end up pressing the buy button”.
The rise in bagging over the past four years has led to the development of retail software which reminds people, via email, of their abandoned shopping cart. Jenna Ward discovered during the research this is unlikely to encourage baggers to return to complete a purchase.
“Bagging is the retail equivalent of Pinterest. For a lot of people, the pleasure comes from researching and browsing different products. They can play at having a new winter wardrobe or completely redesigning a bedroom,” she said.
“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.”
The research found that children as young as 10 enjoyed bagging and, at this age, both boys and girls participated. Parents don’t object as they believe it helps children understand how much things cost and how to work to a budget, the study suggests.
Only 20% of people in their 50s and 60s have ever bagged. The research discovered that this was because they tend to have more available income and only shop online for what they really want.
Likewise, especially within their 60s and 70s, people prefer to see what they’re buying and going shopping is part of their routine.
The research was undertaken across 2000 people throughout November and December 2014. The split was equally amongst men and women and included families as well as all age ranges up to 75.