Checkout UX

69% of all e-commerce visitors abandon their shopping cart. Why?


A Research Study on ‘Cart & Checkout UX’

At Baymard we’ve tracked the global average cart abandonment rate for 9 years, and it currently sits at 69.2%.

After e-commerce sites have invested vast resources in “first in mind” strategies, Pay Per Click campaigns, beautifully crafted homepage imagery, perfect category taxonomies, faceted search logic, etc., it seems almost unbearable that 69% of users – after having added items to their cart – then choose to abandon their purchase.

Why is it that this many orders are abandoned? And what exactly can online retailers do to improve this sad state of affairs? That’s exactly what we wanted to find out.

At Baymard Institute, we started researching checkout usability more than 9 years ago when we founded the institute and did our first round of large-scale usability testing. Ever since, we’ve tested and re-tested checkout usability, running large-scale qualitative research studies testing the checkout flows of the world’s leading e-commerce sites, as well as conducting checkout UX audits for more than 100 leading e-commerce sites.

This page provides you an overview of the results from those years of testing checkout flows with real end-users.


The Current Checkout UX Performance

During all 9 years of usability testing we have consistently found the design and flow of the checkout to frequently be the sole cause for users abandoning their purchase during the checkout flow. Either because users become so infuriated that they leave in anger, or because they don’t know how to complete one or more fields, and thus have no other option but to leave.

To accompany the usability test sessions we’ve also benchmarked the checkout flows of 60 top grossing US and EU e-commerce sites across all 134 guidelines, each on a 7 point weighted scale. This has resulted in a benchmark database with 7,800 checkout elements manually reviewed and scored, across 440 different checkout steps.

When looking at the general state of checkout usability, the average performance is “mediocre”. The average site has 39 unique improvements to perform in their checkout flow, to gain the 35.26% increase in conversion rate our combined usability test sessions show that the average large-scale e-commerce site can potentially improve through better checkout UX. However, the nuances and diversities behind the overall mediocre performance are manyfold.

Explore the current checkout UX performance in our:

E-Commerce UX benchmark


525 Categorized Checkout Step Designs

(free research content)

Explore design patterns across 525 examples of checkout step designs and features, all annotated and organized into 11 different categories.

This is a great way to get inspiration for your own checkout flow, and to get a feel for emerging trends in checkout design.

Browse all 525 checkout step design examples



3 Checkout Resource Pages

(free research content)

Beyond the extensive set or articles, benchmark database, and Premium research we have on checkout UX, we’ve also gathered three resources that are related to checkout UX that you may want to explore:

  1. Country selector – a free auto-complete plugin for country selection
  2. Abandonment stats – a reference list of 37 cart abandonment statistics along with a reasons for checkout abandonments survey (lower on the page)
  3. Card number patterns – a reference table of numerous different credit card patterns, outlining the IIN-range and spacing-schema.

17 Research Reports on Checkout UX

(paid research content)

All 134 checkout research findings are available as part of Baymard Premium, and are divided into the following 17 topics (611 pages of research findings in total):

17 × Cart & Checkout Topics

Cart & Checkout

Checkout Types

Cart & Checkout

Checkout Types

3 Guidelines, 23 Pages

The upsides and potential pitfalls of multistep checkouts, accordion checkouts, and one-step checkouts.

Cart & Checkout

Shopping Cart & “Added to Cart” Behavior

Cart & Checkout

Shopping Cart & “Added to Cart” Behavior

10 Guidelines, 51 Pages

How to properly implement the shopping cart page, incl. cart design, quantity and save features, the page response when users add products to the cart on the product page (drop-down cart, etc.).

Cart & Checkout

Account Selection & Creation

Cart & Checkout

Account Selection & Creation

9 Guidelines, 39 Pages

Types of checkout flows available for signed in users, users creating an account, or checking out as a guest, incl. account-selection designs and communication,‘Delayed Account Creation’, social media accounts, password rules, etc.

Cart & Checkout

Customer & Address Information

Cart & Checkout

Customer & Address Information

12 Guidelines, 58 Pages

How to handle the form fields for all personal user data, incl. privacy concerns, shipping addresses, billing addresses, international addresses, phone fields, address auto-detection techniques, etc.

Cart & Checkout

Gifting Flow & Features

Cart & Checkout

Gifting Flow & Features

5 Guidelines, 20 Pages

How the checkout flow and fields need to change when users gift-mark items, where and how users should be able to gift-mark items, and how the actual gifting features needs to be presented to avoid issues.

Cart & Checkout

Shipping & Store Pickup

Cart & Checkout

Shipping & Store Pickup

11 Guidelines, 50 Pages

Shipping and store pickup, incl. the shipping method UI, shipping desciptions, order cut-off times, ‘Free Shipping’ tiers, how omni-channel sites best integrate ‘Store Pickup’ and ‘Store Availability’, and more.

Cart & Checkout

Payment Flow & Methods (Incl. 3rd-Party)

Cart & Checkout

Payment Flow & Methods (Incl. 3rd-Party)

8 Guidelines, 34 Pages

The payment methods interface, how to integrate and display an array of different 3rd-party payment methods, the gift card redemption flow, charging in international currencies, and the form field for coupon codes.

Cart & Checkout

Credit Card Form

Cart & Checkout

Credit Card Form

10 Guidelines, 40 Pages

How to cause as few abandonments as possible, incl. the credit card field design, card validation logic and formatting, expiration date, security code, and cardholder name inputs, field sequence, card icons, and card type selection.

Cart & Checkout

Order Review

Cart & Checkout

Order Review

5 Guidelines, 27 Pages

How to properly design the final ‘Review’ step before a user completes an order, including ‘Place Order’ button placement, and necessary review data, along with the editing flow for those users who need to change data.

Cart & Checkout

Order Confirmation & E-Mail

Cart & Checkout

Order Confirmation & E-Mail

4 Guidelines, 21 Pages

The implementation of post-purchase confirmations, incl. the information and actions needed on the order confirmation page and order confirmation e-mail.

Cart & Checkout

Form & Page Design

Cart & Checkout

Form & Page Design

10 Guidelines, 42 Pages

How to design and position the cart link in the site-wide header and primary button thoughout the checkout, minimizing form intimidation, avoiding multicolumn layouts, using ‘Enclosed Checkout’ designs, etc.

Cart & Checkout

User Interactions & Distractions

Cart & Checkout

User Interactions & Distractions

10 Guidelines, 36 Pages

How to implement load indicators, when to provide feedback on user actions, where to avoid ‘Apply’ buttons, embedding content from 3rd parties, and much more on interactive components.

Cart & Checkout

Cross-Sells

Cart & Checkout

Cross-Sells

4 Guidelines, 19 Pages

How to thoughtfully incorporate cross-sells into a checkout flow, including the use of active vs. passive cross-selling, adapting cross-sells to user context, and pitfalls of specific placements and wording.

Cart & Checkout

Validation Errors & Data Persistence

Cart & Checkout

Validation Errors & Data Persistence

10 Guidelines, 43 Pages

Error recovery and address validation experiences, incl. how to improve users’ ability to locate errors, understand errors, and resolve errors; the ‘address validators’ that require both a special design and logic to perform well.

Cart & Checkout

Field Labels & Microcopy

Cart & Checkout

Field Labels & Microcopy

7 Guidelines, 30 Pages

How to mark optional and required fields, appropriate label positions, inline labels, optimizing microcopy and descriptions, and marking of optional and required fields.

Cart & Checkout

Field Design & Features

Cart & Checkout

Field Design & Features

8 Guidelines, 42 Pages

The proper selection and assembly of form elements, inputs, and selections, incl. choosing the right type of interface, field masking and character restrictions, drop-down and radio buttons pitfalls, and custom-designed input fields.

Cart & Checkout

Default Values & Autocompletion

Cart & Checkout

Default Values & Autocompletion

8 Guidelines, 36 Pages

Intelligent form features such as making inferred selections, prefilling form fields, browser auto-fills, and personalization of the checkout flow — smart form field features that improve checkout UX substantially.

Baymard Premium also gives you access to an additional 52 reports with 640+ research findings on topics such as Homepage & Category Navigation, Search, Product Listing, Product Details Page, Mobile E-Commerce, and Accounts & Self-Service - the complete set of findings from Baymard’s 32,000 hours of large-scale UX testing & research)


UX Audit Service

Get your checkout process reviewed

What are the 15 most important changes you can make to your checkout process?

We will put together a 40-page report of the 15 most important usability improvements you can make to your checkout process.

Get your checkout audited


Test Methodology

This research on Checkout UX is part of Baymard Institute’s full 32,000 hours of large scale research catalog, which is based on:

  1. Usability Testing: 7 rounds of qualitative usability testing with 1,000+ test subject/site sessions following the “Think Aloud” protocol (in-person 1:1 moderated lab usability testing).
  2. 10 rounds of manual benchmarking of the world’s 60 top-grossing e-commerce sites across all 640+ UX guidelines across (27,900+ implementation examples and 50,000+ UX performance scores).
  3. In-lab eye-tracking testing.
  4. 7 quantitative studies with a total of 9,221 participants.

Baymard’s research methodology is described in detail here.