One of the biggest things you have to keep in mind is that you are selling to impatient people.

When people come to your order form they are ready to buy. People are ready to buy – don’t make it difficult for them.

I see so many e-commerce order forms that ask for so much data…

This is what one of our recent Par Program clients had before we tweaked their page: 

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • City
  • State
  • Zipcode
  • Phone number
  • How did you hear about us?

And that is before we even get to the cc processing page:

  • Credit Card Type
  • Credit card number
  • Expiration Date
  • CVV code

From my affiliate landers (Name, Email, Phone) submits it seems on average that the conversion goes down 7-10% for each field you add. But a lot of advertisers have a large value in these fields so you will get paid more on a 3 field submit then just a zipcode submit. Usually $1 per field.

On an order page this somewhat skewed… People expect to fill out a certain amount of data but extra fields bring down the conversion.

Ok so lets talk about how we fix it:

On the personal information you must get:

  • First Name – you have to have this.
  • Last Name – you have to have this.

Now lets look at what we can skip:

  • Phone number
  • How did you hear about us?

The City, State, and Zipcode fields should be pre-populated by using a Geo Location Library. These fields would be editable for the user if its incorrect but for the most part using a free javascript or server side library you can be pretty accurate.

The Phone Number should NOT be a required field unless you are actually going to do something with it. Why do you need it? Do you have a call floor standing by to make sales? Do you have a call floor standing by to verify the sale was made? Do you have a call floor who will call these people in the future to make future sales?

If no then why the hell are you collecting it? Just to have it? Get rid of that field!

How did you hear about us? This is one of the dumbest fields a company can have on their order form. I know.. I know… “But how will I know what advertising methods are effective?” From your Google Analytics DUMMY. .

If you are doing offline advertising have them use coupon code RADIO or TV… etc.. If this is something you HAVE to get then send out a survey after the sale is made. Tell them you will give them a special offer for filling out a survey that will take them less than 2 mins (this is also a great way to get feedback asking 2-3 other questions about their buying experience).

As far as the financial data goes:

Here is a function I use to auto get the credit card type… No longer does the type have to be entered by the user. Most payment gateways (NMI, Limelight, etc) will automatically do this for you.

Remember consumers are BUSY and IMPATIENT

If you have fields that are required make sure to highlight them in the order form and make it VERY CLEAR in a JS alert box that they are a required field. Don’t make users guess as to what they missed.

Remember consumers are BUSY and IMPATIENT

Yes I said that twice cause I want to beat it into your head. A recent study showed that 45% of people who make online purchases do so at work. They don’t have much time… 15% make purchases from a mobile device… Make sure you are prepared for that and your order form is mobile friendly.

Fix your order form with the above changes and you will see a minimum of 10% increase in sales.

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

11 thoughts on “Easy things to improve your cart abandonment rate”
  1. Another good feature on a checkout is the thing where you enter your house number – and your postcode/zip code — and it auto fills your address.

    But it seems impossible to add this for free 🙁

  2. Hey, Jeremy!

    I actually had no idea that more field = less conversions. That will be very helpful if I ever decide to break into ecom. Yes, consumers are definitely impatient. I know from personal experience!

    I cannot count the number of times that I have abandoned a shopping cart altogether because there were just too many darn fields to fill out. Thanks for this very useful information!

  3. “Do you have a call floor standing by to make sales? ”

    Often times order processing will need to contact customers to verify information.

    When the CC billing address does not match with mailing address = RED FLAG

    1 Day Air = Potentially ‘Red Flag’

    Reaching out to a prospective customer is normal business practice when there are red flags pointing to potential fraud situation.

    Phone number is a needed field for any eComm site IMO.

    1. Yes if you are going to use it for something.

      You don’t think fraudsters can type in any phone number?

  4. Definitely the more you can eliminate keystrokes and mouse clicks, the higher your conversions will be.

    One huge thing for me when wearing the consumer hat is the ability to see the final price before typing any CC info.
    When they require CC before shipping is calculated etc…

    DRIVES ME NUTS!

  5. Great post..! Makes sense .
    I guess people can’t grasp that online isn’t much different than offline. Speed pass, pay at pump etc..

    By the way Happy 2500th…

  6. Great article. Spot on. The fewer the fields required the faster and more effective you’ll get people through the hoop. We also built a great tool that helps re-market via email to these people that still drop out, even if your cart is highly optimized. Check it out – AbandonAid. I find that you can read all these articles, make heaps of tweaks, fine tune and fine tune but you’re still going to loose people. That’s why we decided to built this tool.

  7. hi jeremy,

    nice post about abandoned cart.

    and i think one page checkout will also be a good element to make shoppers to buy easier and increase sale and decrease abandonment rate.

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