The Baymard Report Series: Why Shoppers Abandon Carts

The Baymard Institute has spent the past 7 years and over 28,000 hours conducting U/X research around e-commerce usability— with the goal of understanding what makes shoppers put items in their cart but then neglect to buy them. Cart abandonment, as it’s known, is a persistent problem for online retail: Baymard found that 69% of items that people add to their cart are never purchased, leading to about $260 million dollars in lost revenue. 

Baymard’s research report, Checkout Optimization and Reducing Abandonments (2017), commissioned by Amazon Pay, identifies six ways businesses can improve their checkout experiences to combat cart abandonment: 

  1. Form Field Optimization – The average online checkout contains twice as many forms as necessary – we’ll dive into specific ways retailers can streamline the process. 
  2. Pre-Filled Form Fields – Pre-filling basic information like email, name, and zip code goes a long way to increasing checkout efficiency. We’ll show you where it makes sense, and how to implement it.
  3. Security Concerns – Users need to trust retailers when they hand over their credit card information. We’ll discuss what you can do to ease those fears. 
  4. Privacy Concerns – Asking for information like age and gender may help with marketing, but it can also stoke privacy fears. Learn how, and when, to ask for that kind of information. 
  5. Forced Account Creation – Making a shopper create an account in order to check out is common practice, but it’s a significant driver of cart abandonment. 
  6. 3rd Party Payments – 3rd party payment providers are starting to gain more traction, especially with overseas transactions.

For simplicity’s sake, we’ve addressed these in four in-depth blog posts, covering Form Fields, Security, Forced Account Creation, and 3rd party payments. If you’re interested in the full report, you can download it here.