For Business

How to reduce checkout abandonment

Transparency, simplicity and speed can help improve conversions on your ecommerce site.

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For ecommerce businesses, taking active steps to reduce checkout abandonment can have an outsized impact on sales. The more friction you can eliminate from your checkout process, the higher the chances are that shoppers will complete a purchase on your ecommerce site.

So if you’re looking for ways to improve your checkout conversion rate, keep reading to learn more about checkout abandonment and best practices for minimizing it on your site.

What’s checkout abandonment?

Checkout abandonment occurs when a shopper on an ecommerce site adds one or more items to their cart and initiates the checkout process but fails to complete the transaction.

It’s an all-too-common problem for online merchants. Looking at 10-years of checkout testing, Baymard Institute found that brands can gain 35.26% increase in conversion rate by providing a better checkout design.

What’s the difference between checkout abandonment vs. cart abandonment?

Checkout abandonment is the act of leaving the checkout process at some point before completing a purchase, whereas cart abandonment is when shoppers add items to their cart but leave the website before initiating checkout. Cart abandonment happens earlier in the shopper journey, while checkout abandonment happens in the final stages of the purchasing process.

Shoppers who enter the checkout process are that much closer to making a purchase compared to shoppers who abandon their carts while browsing. If you’re losing too many of those higher-potential shoppers during checkout, there may be clear issues with your checkout process itself.

How much checkout abandonment is normal?

Average checkout abandonment rates vary by industry, but according to ecommerce checkout provider, Bold Commerce, top performing online brands are achieving 73% checkout complete rates on desktop and 65% on mobile – double the lowest performing sites with checkout completion rates of 33% and 23% on desktop and mobile, respectively.

Abandonment rates in the 60% to 80% range are a good signal that you need to revisit the checkout funnel on your site and find ways to reduce shopper friction.

While shoppers abandon online purchases for a variety of reasons such as price comparisons or unwillingness to sign up for another account, 48% of shoppers cite high extra costs as the number one reason for cart abandonment.

What are the three main reasons for checkout abandonment?

There are many reasons why shoppers might abandon the checkout flow, including restrictive return policies, but the leading causes of checkout abandonment stem from a few common points of friction in the checkout process.

1. Overly complex or lengthy checkout process
When checkout is too complicated or takes too long to complete, shoppers can get frustrated and give up.

According to a study commissioned by Amazon Pay, 37% of online shoppers said they abandoned checkout because they were asked to create an account, and 28% said the checkout process was too long or complicated.

Being forced to register for an account and create a password causes some shoppers who are unfamiliar with a brand or a website to hesitate. It also introduces friction by including form fields too early in the checkout flow.

Speed and ease are paramount to a seamless checkout experience. Think of each blank required form field as an obstacle that could deter shoppers from completing their journey on your site.

2. Unhappiness with shipping costs or delivery times
Unexpected shipping fees and long delivery times are a common source of friction for shoppers, and among the primary reasons they abandon their purchase.

According to data that the Baymard Institute aggregated from 48 separate ecommerce studies, 48% of participants say high additional costs associated with shipping, taxes, or fees are what keep them from placing an order. Another 22% say slow delivery led them to flee before purchasing.

3. Lack of trust in checkout security and payment optionsIf shoppers don’t trust the security of the site or the checkout process, they might be hesitant to enter their payment and personal information.

From Baymard’s aggregated data, 18% of respondents said they stopped checking out because they didn’t trust the site with their credit card information, while 9% said there weren’t enough payment methods offered.

Get more information about ways to optimize your site to build shopper trust in this new study.

Download the report

Three ways Buy with Prime can help

Many of the most persistent issues with checkout abandonment can be resolved with some relatively simple adjustments and are actually addressed by adding Buy with Prime to your ecommerce site. Buy with Prime offers a convenient and trusted checkout experience that removes major friction points, including a fast, seamless checkout process and transparent delivery estimates.

1. Simple, fast checkout
According to Linworks, a commerce platform that helps brands improve sales across channels, 76% of shoppers say convenience in the checkout flow is a top priority. With that in mind, it’s important to meet shoppers where they are, and then find ways to streamline your checkout process by making it as straightforward and user-friendly as possible, with minimal steps and distractions.

Buy with Prime allows customers to checkout in a few simple clicks, with no accounts to create, address information to fill out, or payment details to fumble for. These details are already safely stored in Prime members’ Amazon accounts and are automatically populated in the order during checkout. This convenience can help you reduce up to 65% of the buyer friction that leads to abandoned checkout.

When Prime members see the Buy with Prime badge, they know they’ll get this fast, familiar checkout experience on products that offer Buy with Prime.

2. Transparent, fast delivery
TotalRetail, a news outlet for retail industry executives, found that 77% of customers abandoned purchases because they didn’t like the delivery options provided. A best practice is to displaying delivery fees and estimated delivery times clearly before shoppers enter the checkout process. Shoppers don’t like surprises, so it’s important to set delivery expectations early and keep them consistent throughout the entire purchasing journey.

Buy with Prime purchases come with the Prime promise of free 1–2-day shipping. Customers receive an order confirmation email, transparent delivery estimates, and a shipping confirmation email with a link for tracking the order once it’s shipped.

3. Trusted checkout experience
Familiarity and convenience breed confidence, so including the Buy with Prime badge on product detail pages can help boost shopper confidence. Security and data protection are two other trust-building aspects that help increase shopper confidence when making purchases on ecommerce sites that they’re not familiar with. All eligible Buy with Prime purchases are covered by the Amazon Pay A-to-z Guarantee.

According to a Wunderman Thompson survey of more than 30,000 online shoppers, 70% of global consumers want a shopping experience benefits and services similar to those from Prime. Adding Buy with Prime to your site is an opportunity to do just that—while simultaneously curbing checkout abandonment with streamlined checkout, fast, free delivery, and high-tech security that shoppers trust.

Shopping carts with squeaky wheels get left in the virtual parking lot. Fortunately, Buy with Prime can help, offering a smooth path to checkout that can help increase conversions by an average of 25%*.

Learn how to add Buy with Prime to your site.

* This data point measures the average increase in shoppers who placed an order when Buy with Prime was an available purchase option versus when it was not, during the same time period.

Chris Redhead