Research Topic

Cart & Checkout Usability Research

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

At Baymard we’ve tracked the global average cart abandonment rate for 12 years, and it currently sits at 69.8%.

After e-commerce sites have invested vast resources in “first in mind” strategies, Pay Per Click campaigns, beautifully crafted homepage imagery, 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 12 years ago when we founded the institute and did our first round of large-scale checkout 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. All of this research is available as part of Baymard Premium.


The Current Checkout UX Performance

During all 12 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 checkout usability test sessions we’ve also benchmarked the checkout flows of 149 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.

Tip: read the full analysis of the above checkout UX benchmark dataset in our article The Current State of Checkout UX - 18 Common Pitfalls & Checkout Best Practices.

This is a sub-set of the full benchmark which includes 149 e-commerce sites.
View our full UX benchmark


525 Categorized Checkout Step Design Examples

FREE RESEARCH CONTENT

Explore checkout design patterns across 525+ checkout steps examples, all annotated and organized into 12 different checkout page types. This is a great way to get inspiration for your own checkout flow, and to get a feel for emerging trends in checkout design.

Cart
119 Examples

Cross-Sells
13 Examples

Account
117 Examples

Shipping Address
115 Examples

Address Validator
65 Examples

Billing Address
90 Examples

Payment
129 Examples

Order Review
103 Examples

Order Confirmation
120 Examples

Gifting
40 Examples

Store Pickup
23 Examples

Browse all design examples


60 Research Articles on Checkout Usability

FREE RESEARCH CONTENT

We’ve released a small subset of the Premium research finding on checkout usability and form field usability for free in these 60 articles:


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:

Country selector
A free auto-complete plugin for country selection.

Abandonment stats
A reference list of 41 cart abandonment statistics along with a reasons for checkout abandonments survey (lower on the page).

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):

Cart & Checkout Topics

Checkout Types

Cart & Checkout Topics

Checkout Types

3 guidelines, 25 pages

The UX benefits and inherent usability pitfalls of a multistep checkout flow, accordion checkouts, and one-step checkouts.

Cart & Checkout Topics

Shopping Cart & “Added to Cart” Behavior

Cart & Checkout Topics

Shopping Cart & “Added to Cart” Behavior

11 guidelines, 67 pages

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 Topics

Account Selection & Creation

Cart & Checkout Topics

Account Selection & Creation

9 guidelines, 49 pages

Checkout flows 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.

Cart & Checkout Topics

Customer & Address Information

Cart & Checkout Topics

Customer & Address Information

12 guidelines, 69 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 Topics

Gifting Flow & Features

Cart & Checkout Topics

Gifting Flow & Features

5 guidelines, 25 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 Topics

Shipping & Store Pickup

Cart & Checkout Topics

Shipping & Store Pickup

11 guidelines, 67 pages

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

Cart & Checkout Topics

Payment Flow & Methods (Incl. Third-Party)

Cart & Checkout Topics

Payment Flow & Methods (Incl. Third-Party)

8 guidelines, 39 pages

The payment methods interface, how to integrate and display an array of different third-party payment methods, the gift card redemption flow, and more.

Cart & Checkout Topics

Credit Card Form

Cart & Checkout Topics

Credit Card Form

10 guidelines, 50 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 Topics

Order Review

Cart & Checkout Topics

Order Review

5 guidelines, 40 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 Topics

Order Confirmation & E-Mail

Cart & Checkout Topics

Order Confirmation & E-Mail

4 guidelines, 25 pages

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

Cart & Checkout Topics

Form & Page Design

Cart & Checkout Topics

Form & Page Design

10 guidelines, 48 pages

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

Cart & Checkout Topics

User Interactions & Distractions

Cart & Checkout Topics

User Interactions & Distractions

10 guidelines, 37 pages

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

Cart & Checkout Topics

Cross-Sells

Cart & Checkout Topics

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 Topics

Validation Errors & Data Persistence

Cart & Checkout Topics

Validation Errors & Data Persistence

10 guidelines, 56 pages

Error recovery and address validation experiences, incl. how to improve users’ ability to locate, understand, and resolve errors, and more.

Cart & Checkout Topics

Field Labels & Microcopy

Cart & Checkout Topics

Field Labels & Microcopy

7 guidelines, 39 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 Topics

Field Design & Features

Cart & Checkout Topics

Field Design & Features

8 guidelines, 48 pages

The proper selection and assembly of form elements, inputs, and selections, incl. choosing the right type of interface, field masking and character restrictions, and more.

Cart & Checkout Topics

Default Values & Autocompletion

Cart & Checkout Topics

Default Values & Autocompletion

8 guidelines, 41 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.


Subscribe to Baymard Premium to access all of our Cart & Checkout Usability research

Get full access to all our Cart & Checkout UX research reports, benchmarks, and page designs previewed here, along with our complete 600+ guidelines for Homepage & Category Navigation, Search, Product Listing, Product Details Page, Accounts & Self-Service, and Mobile E-Commerce. Utilize our 88,000+ hours of UX research to improve your Cart & Checkout user experience and to document your UX decisions.

Learn more about Baymard Premium


Test Methodology

This research on Checkout UX is part of Baymard Institute’s full 88,000+ hours of large scale research catalog, which is based on:

  • Usability Testing: 22 rounds of qualitative usability testing with 3,600+ test subject/site sessions following the "Think Aloud" protocol (in-person 1:1 moderated lab usability testing).
  • Manual benchmarking: 35 rounds of benchmarking the world’s 149 top-grossing e-commerce sites across all 600+ UX guidelines (110,000+ implementation examples and 175,000+ UX performance scores).
  • In-lab eye-tracking testing.
  • Quantitative studies: 10 studies with a total of 16,425 participants.

Baymard’s research methodology is described in detail here.


UX Audit Service

GET YOUR CHECKOUT PROCESS REVIEWED

What are the 20 most important changes you can make to your checkout process?

We will put together a 40-page report of the 20 most important usability improvements you can make to your checkout process.

Get your checkout audited