12TH JANUARY 2022
From our ecommerce experience and a recent Baymard Institute usability study, we’ve gathered some information and best practice to improve your checkout conversion rate.
Periodically we come across research and articles that relate the number of steps within the checkout with the Conversion Rate.
In fact, it is believed that the fewer steps the user takes during the checkout phase, the better (and higher) the conversion rate will be.
From our experience in the field, this correlation does not exist.
The key to minimizing checkout dropouts and improving CR is not the number of steps, but the simplicity and clarity between steps.
In fact, minimizing the cognitive effort that a user makes during the finalization of their purchase pays off in terms of purchase success.
Thanks to data analysis and usability tests carried out with real users, we have collected a list of elements that we believe are crucial in the checkout phase:
In addition to our insights, we would like to share a recent research carried out by the Baymard Institute*, which identified the following causes for abandoning the checkout:
Among these it emerged that the number of fields is one of the major causes of friction, and in detail:
Therefore, this research shows that compared to the number of steps, the number of fields within the checkout has a greater impact in discouraging the user from completing the purchase.
So, how to decrease abandonments and have a good CR simply by optimizing the checkout form?
Definitely by reducing the fields defined as mandatory by 20%-60% and keeping only those that are truly relevant!
To better investigate this topic, we’ve gathered 5 tips and examples that can help you reduce your churn rate and improve your conversion.
Users generally think of their name as a single entity, which therefore includes Name and Surname.
In user tests conducted by Baymard, 42% of users have incorrectly typed out their full name in the name field at least once; in contrast, only 4% of users hesitated briefly before typing their full name, and none experienced any typing or interacting problems observed in the case of multi-name fields.
Therefore, our first suggestion is to support user behavior and combine First and Last Name into a single “Full Name“ field.
Some fields such as Address Line 2, Company and Coupon Code are generally optional and are usually filled in by a small subgroup of users; however in most of the checkout forms, these fields are shown on the page, causing friction in the compilation. Baymard’s research confirms this trend:
In this case, our advice is to use the links or accordions; the fields will then be shown only when clicked.
As Baymard’s research clarifies, the checkout process is smoother and more focused when fields like these aren’t shown directly on the page, but are called up via links.
Users often stumble when trying to accurately type the Country, City, and Postal Code fields; and significantly slow down checkout progression when selecting their City from a drop-down menu, particularly when attempting to complete this task on a mobile device.
To greatly reduce the complexity of this set of fields, we suggest focusing on the ZIP code field to obtain information about both the City and the Country of origin of the user. The automatic detection in fact allows the removal of the other two fields which can therefore be safely ignored.
Setting “Billing address = Shipping address” by default is a good solution to this problem, reducing the visible fields to fill in by a third.
This way, the subgroup of users who need a separate billing address will simply have to clear the checkbox and fill in the billing fields.
Clearly, an exception to this are sites where the order logs show there is a very large amount of customers who actually use two different addresses: this is often the case at gifting and business-to-business sites.
Undoubtedly, account creation can benefit the company in terms of lead generation and the user in terms of faster checkout in the future, but at the same time it distracts from the main goal of the checkout process, which is to have users successfully place their order.
We therefore suggest postponing the creation of the account to the order confirmation phase. In fact, the user will have already entered the information necessary to create the profile during checkout, thus reducing the registration to a maximum of a couple of fields.
Se si opta per questa scelta, ci raccomandiamo di assicurarsi che gli utenti siano informati durante la fase di selezione dell’account che avranno la possibilità di creare un profilo alla fine del checkout.
Each checkout works differently, but one of the most popular methodologies for identifying its main barriers is the usability test.
Thanks to this activity it is possible to observe and understand how users interact with the site, highlighting blocks and braking elements encountered during navigation.
It is essential to focus on the right points during user tests, namely:
*Baymard Institute, Authored by Christian Holst — “Checkout Optimization: 5 Ways to Minimize Form Fields in Checkout”, 19.10.2021.
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