The Baymard Report Series: Too Many Fields, Too Little Time

Finding what you need online is usually fast and easy. And when the checkout and payment process proves just as simple, both consumers and retailers win. 

But when the checkout process is too difficult, according to a 2017 Baymard Institute report1, 69% of shoppers abandon their online carts before buying, leading to approximately $260 billion in lost sales. The Baymard report identifies two potential problems with online check out forms:

  1. Too many fields. The average online shopper has to fill out 15 form fields to check out and pay.
  2. Duplicative information. Shopper don't want to re-enter information they’ve already typed.

The more form fields users are shown, the more likely their checkout experience will suffer, and the more likely they’ll be to abandon without completing checkout.

Too many fields

Baymard’s research shows that the fewer fields shoppers have to fill out to purchase an item, the less likely they are to abandon carts at checkout. The average checkout contains 15 form fields; Baymard says that’s twice as many as necessary. 

Luckily, there are some relatively simple fixes to keep shoppers from “checking out” at checkout: defaulting to the billing address to correspond to the shipping address, for example, or collapsing secondary fields such as “Company Name”. Take a look at the mockup below for an example of a streamlined checkout: 


The same information again, and again

Online retailers can make it easier for shoppers by ensuring they don’t ask for the same information multiple times. According to Baymard, 26% of sites ask for the same information multiple times in the checkout flow, like having to re-type their zip code even though they’ve already typed it into a shipping calculator. Eliminating these types of duplicative forms reduces friction in the checkout process and helps reduce cart abandonment. 

Retailers simply need to pre-fill any fields that display previously typed information.

Again, the fix here isn’t complex: Pre-fill any fields that display previously typed information. That way, a shopper can quickly scan the information to make sure it’s correct, instead of having to re-type it from scratch. Testing has even shown that users appreciate a site that’s “smart” enough to pre-fill their info. 

Online shopping works best when it’s seamless. Thankfully there are actionable steps you can take today to create a better experience for shoppers and reduce the number of abandoned carts.

Decreasing the number of form fields is just one way online stores can speed shoppers through checkout. Want to learn more about creating seamless purchase experiences for customers?  Download the full report for helpful tips

1Checkout Optimization and Reducing Abandonments (2017), commissioned by Amazon Pay