Checkout Abandonment—What it is And How to Reduce it

Checkout Abandonment—What it is And How to Reduce it

What is checkout abandonment

Drawing customers to your online business site is your ultimate goal, so you need to design the ideal path for them to smoothly steer them through your product pages and to the payment page. One mistake on your side is enough to make customers leave the checkout, so you need to know how to reduce checkout abandonment and increase conversions.

This one mistake can cost you a lot and hurt your bottom line. A complex checkout is one of the major reasons for checkout abandonment – naturally, a too-complicated payment process discourages customers from completing the transaction.

The difference between checkout abandonment and cart abandonment

Checkout abandonment is when customers go through their journey, add items to their cart, and are ready to pay – but drop off the site after entering their payment information at the checkout, whether it’s a registered account or a guest checkout.

Cart abandonment is similar to checkout abandonment, but the main difference is the stage at which the customer says goodbye to the site. It’s any stage when the cart is abandoned after items have been added to it, but before checkout.

checkout abandonment vs cart abandonment

If you’re wondering how high your checkout abandonment rate is, divide the total number of completed transactions by the total number of initiated transactions. Subtract this value from one and multiply by 100 to get the percentage. Since checkout abandonment happens after a customer visits the cart, the rate at which it happens should be lower than the cart abandonment rate.

The most common reasons why customers abandon the checkout

The last steps in the checkout are crucial for finalizing sales, and there are several studies on the reasons for checkout abandonment. Below, you’ll find a list of the top reasons for checkout abandonment.

1. Complex checkout process

The more steps in the checkout process and the longer it takes, the bigger the customer frustration that leads to checkout abandonment. According to the Baymard Institute, the average checkout flow has 5.08 steps, so the goal should be a checkout flow of less than 5 steps.

What can help here is optimizing the customer journey by reducing the number of steps to checkout and cutting off any distractions, non-related links, social buttons, graphic elements, etc.

SecurionPay checkout

Keep customers on the same page during the entire checkout process. Don’t redirect them to an external service to pay, as it may severely hurt conversion. It’s also important to offer a “guest checkout” option, especially for one-time buyers that want to finish the process quickly.

2. Slow-loading pages

A study by Radware shows that a 2-second delay in load time during a transaction results even in an 87% cart abandonment rate, as it fails to build the user’s trust or confidence in the site. Customers are impatient, so avoiding load time delays is important – especially on mobile, as people want and expect quick shopping opportunities on the go. It’s wise to remove all the things that can harm the page’s loading speed.

What can also speed up the process is the “remember me” option in the checkout, so customers don’t have to type in their credit card number each time they want to buy something. Think about how convenient it would be for them to pay in just one click, without having to input their credit card information.

3. Checkout errors and downtimes

Checkout errors, especially when they appear frequently, are one of the major causes of checkout abandonment, as customers won’t bother proceeding. They lose trust in your service, and you can be sure those users will likely go somewhere else to buy similar products.

Test and monitor your website regularly. Check everything twice, and edit and proofread your payment pages to make sure they’re perfect and free from errors. Also, make sure your current payment provider is a reliable partner. If it reports frequent downtime, you lose revenue due to unplanned outages.

4. Checkout security concerns

Statistically, around 20% of customers will abandon their checkout if they feel unsure, or even unsafe, because of the page they’re on. If something doesn’t feel right when they’re on the payment page, they’re not going to enter their credit card details.

Customers must feel safe on your website, especially when they pay, so you need to reassure them that their sensitive data is well protected during checkout. It’s about the security tools and solutions you use, so your website should have a high-encryption security certification. Second, think about outsourcing your payment process to a trusted payment provider that has PCI Compliance in place. Make sure you use a payment platform that provides reliable fraud prevention tools.

You can add trust logos from leading trust organizations that people will recognize, as well as card brand logos. You might also need to review the design of your payment pages – poorly designed pages raise suspicions. When customers end up on a payment page that has a completely different design than your online store, it sets off an alarm in their head. You can also improve your site’s credibility by posting testimonials and reviews on your website.

5. Hard-to-understand error indicators

Communicate errors clearly and avoid messages such as “Some fields are incorrect”, as some users may misinterpret the payment form. Your customers need to easily understand how to fill in the checkout fields. What also can help is matching the credit card field sequence to the physical card sequence, so entering data will be more intuitive.

checkout error messages
An example of positive messages about invalid input. Source: checkout

6. Declined credit card

Declined transactions also prevent users from trying to buy again on a website. Make sure the payment form design and all the information are as clear as possible to reduce the number of mistakes a user can make when they’re entering the payment data.

Also, ensure that the payment provider you work with delivers a fraud system with dynamic rules that adjust quickly to certain industries and the current situation, so it won’t cause falsely rejected payments. You should have an option to proactively manage fraud rules to keep your finger on the pulse of the checkout process.

Credit card checkout UX at the forefront

One of the Baymard Institute’s checkout studies shows that 58% of the 60 top-grossing e-commerce sites have a “good” or “acceptable” checkout UX performance, and no sites have a state-of-the-art checkout. The stats could be better, but the results are increasingly promising compared to 2016, when only 37% of sites performed as well.

credit card form
Image source: Baymard Institute

The study also reveals that the average site has 32 preventable usability issues in their checkout flow, so there’s still a lot of room for improvement.

Stick to the rule that the more steps a transaction has, the lower your chances of converting an almost-buyer into a customer. Analyze your purchase funnels regularly to identify areas that may keep your customers away, and remember that not every customer abandon the checkout process for the same reason.

Checkout abandonment – wrapping up

You can reduce and overcome checkout abandonment by providing your customers with a streamlined payment process based on top-notch user experience. Choose a payment provider that offers best-in-class embedded payments with optimized checkout and payment APIs that allow you to design the entire payment process the way you want.

Even though it’s impossible to make 100% of customers complete a purchase, you now know what you can do to improve your checkout experience and avoid the worries that keep most merchants up at night. It’s important to reduce the number of steps it takes to make a payment. ​​This give customers less time to reconsider their purchase and a better user experience.

Looking for a payment provider with a user-friendly checkout and payment system that’s optimized to maximize conversions? Go ahead! Test the SecurionPay checkout or contact our sales team for more information.

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Sandra Wróbel-Konior

A well-established Content Marketing Specialist with a tech-savvy personality, experience in writing, and a passion for reading. Staying up to date with the latest technology and social media trends, in love with GIFs and craft chocolate.

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