Online shopping trolleys are a basket case

UK e-tailers are losing millions because dodgy electronic shopping carts leave customers stranded at the checkout.

A survey from Web testing specialist SciVisum found that the shopping cart features on many UK e-commerce Web sites are dogged with errors and excessive delays, leaving customers unable to complete their purchases.

Three quarters of sites' shopping carts fell short of the benchmark figure of being online 99.9 per cent of the time, or offline for 43 minutes a month. One in five carts were out of action for more than 12 hours, with one DIY retailer down for a total of four days.

The average was more than nine hours of downtime a month, which could amount to£225 million of lost sales for UK retailers, according to SciVisum's estimates.