checkout abandonment

Guest checkout test: which of these 25 US retailers force users to register?

One of the biggest barriers for customers about to use a checkout is forcing them to register their details first.

Presenting them with page after page of forms in which they need to fill out the most unnecessary of personal details is a quick way to send your customers to the exit, leaving many abandoned baskets and lowering your conversion.

Earlier today I looked at 30 UK retailers and which ones force their customers to register, now it’s time to turn our attention to the USA.

How to attract registrations without creating a barrier to checkout

Registration has benefits for both customers and retailers, but it can be perceived as a barrier by customers. 

It needn’t be a barrier though, and well designed checkouts can reduce customer abandonment while still encouraging people to register. 

The key is to present web forms and order the process in such a way that it doesn’t mean more effort for consumers. You can still have plenty of customers creating accounts. 

Here are some examples…

Why is checkout abandonment still linked to nasty delivery surprises?

A new month, a new checkout abandonment survey hits the inbox. Here’s the number one cause of checkout abandonment: unacceptable delivery costs. What is this madness?

The study, by eDigitalResearch and IMRG, found that 77% of online shoppers have abandoned their basket in the past year, with 53% citing unacceptably high delivery costs as the main reason for bailing out.

Already, alarm bells are ringing. Many years ago we published some best practice research on conversion rate optimisation, and one of our key recommendations was to avoid sending people into the checkout area too early. Before they enter, they should have all of the key facts. That means delivery information, among other things.

Yet this latest checkout abandonment study found that 26% of shoppers placed an item in their basket just ‘to check delivery costs’. 

Nine case studies and infographics on cart abandonment and email retargeting

Basket abandonment is an inevitability in ecommerce as it’s all to easy for shoppers to lose interest, decide to buy from a competitor, balk at delivery charges, or back out because they were only browsing.

We’ve previously highlighted stats which show that the most common causes are high shipping costs and forced registration, both of which are fairly simple to remedy.

And these new case studies reveal more reasons behind why customers abandon shopping carts, as well as demonstrating the success that can be achieved with retargeting emails…

Seven user shortcuts that will help reduce checkout abandonment

Checkout abandonment is inevitable on ecommerce sites as the plain truth is that some people simply aren’t ready to make a purchase.

However there are certain steps that sites can implement to limit the number of customers that dropout during the checkout phase.

The basic aim is to make it as simple as possible for your customers to hand over their cash, which means limiting the amount of form filling and offering shortcuts wherever possible.

UK shoppers abandoned over £1bn of online transactions in 2011

An estimated £1.02bn worth of online shopping transactions were abandoned in 2011 by UK consumers, according to Experian.

One in five of these abandoned transactions were not taken elsewhere as individuals cancelled their shopping attempt altogether, resulting in £214m worth of net lost revenue for UK retailers.

The study found that 44% of UK shoppers have abandoned at least one online shopping transaction in the last year having become frustrated with the length and complexity of certain older forms of identity verification.

How to reduce checkout abandonment and increase customer registrations

In an ideal world most, if not all, retailers would like their new customers to register when they place their first order, thus opening up the potential of a building a more meaningful long-term relationship with the customer.

Unfortunately most new customers want to avoid registering and just checkout as quickly as possible, so how can retailers encourage more registrations without deterring customers? 

Which UK e-tailers are still making users register?

Making people register before they can make a purchase is a needless obstacle to put in front of customers, and has been shown in various surveys to be something that web shoppers dislike, and cite as a reason for checkout abandonment.

Plenty of retailers are still insisting on customer registration though, despite the potential for reducing abandonment rates and increasing profits by removing this step.

I’ve been having a look at some of the top e-commerce sites in the UK to see how many are still insisting on making shoppers register…