Cart abandonment has been and continues to be a big issue. But how big of an issue exactly? Well, Baymard.com recently conducted a fascinating study where they analysed and distilled cart abandonment stats from 31 research sources (including highly reputable sources like IBM and Forrester). What they found is that, currently, the typical cart abandonment rate sits at around 68.53%.
What that effectively means is that approximately only 1 in 4 people that place items in their online cart actually go all the way through to actually buying, the other three quarters don’t. As can be expected, with more money than ever being spent online there have been vigorous efforts from many companies to find a way of combatting and reducing cart abandonment.
There has been much experimentation from companies big and small and as a result a number of techniques and strategies have emerged as being effective in reducing cart abandonment. Chiefly among these is restructuring the actual presentation of the checkout pages. For the longest time most online retailers have employed the multi stage checkout process which usually consists of stages across 2-4 pages, depending on the retailer.
But more recently a number of retailers have found that employing a single page checkout instead, one that is easy to understand, follow and only asks for the most critical information needed to make the sale has been yielding really positive results with regards to reducing cart abandonment and thus generating more sales.
The Vancouver Olympic store initially had a typical four stage checkout process but were disappointed with their cart abandonment rate under this setup. They switched to a one-page checkout and found that overall cart completion rate increased by an impressive 257.26% and the sites overall conversion rate increase by a total of 0.54%.
It’s also worth noting that their checkout process didn’t require new customers to set up an account before purchasing and displayed shipping details prior to the checkout process.
It is important to note that the improvements in the reduction of cart abandonment that are yielded by implementing a one-page checkout will vary depending on the company, industry and country. The only way to really know how effective it will be for your specific business is to run a small and controlled test and then closely observe the results.
Despite the many benefits of a single page checkout – primarily increased speed and potentially reduced cart abandonment rate, there are some reasons why a company may choose to stay with a multi stage checkout. The main reasons would be if the collection of more customer data is more important to the online seller than a decrease in cart abandonment/increase in sales or if for some rare reason the multi stage checkout process results in lower cart abandonment for the seller than a single page checkout.