Online ‘bagging’ trend costs UK retailers millions

The virtual equivalent of window shopping, known as ‘bagging’ could be costing online retailers tens of millions, according to research by My Favourite Voucher Codes.

The research found the trend is particularly popular with teens and ‘twenty somethings.’ Bagging means browsing a website and filling up your shopping cart with goods, often worth thousands of pounds, then simply abandoning the cart.

Julian House from My Favourite Voucher Codes 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 research established 70% of women aged 18 – 40 surveyed had ‘bagged’ at least once in the past year with 10% bagging at least once a week. Only 10% of men within the same age group had tried the trend – primarily because they are less interested in shopping. However, another reason men gave is that they have less willpower to avoid completing the purchase and end up buying everything they put in their online basket.

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 who coined the word said: “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. 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.”

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.

Only 20% of people in their fifties and sixties 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.

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