How to reduce form abandonment?


When users engage with a form, it normally means they're very close to 'converting' on one of your website goals. For an ecommerce business, getting form journeys right is absolutely crucial to your online success. On average, a staggering 75% of users abandon forms on retail websites. Imagine how much additional revenue could be won by reducing that figure down by even just 10%. Investing in improving your form journeys – whether it's a contact form, checkout form, or any other kind – can often feel like a low priority task. However, the truth is actually the opposite: delivering a first-class form experience might provide the single greatest impact when it comes to improving your key conversion rates.  

Let's take a look at some of the most common reasons that users abandon forms and some best practices for reducing it.

Emphasize trust

For 29% of users, security concerns are the reason they would abandon a form; this is because sharing personal details can make users feel anxious. As forms often request personal information, like your address or even bank card details, it's crucial that the form design encourages a sense of safety and trust. This can be implemented by adding trust signals where appropriate to reassure the user. These signals can include:

  • An SSL certificate, which appears as a small lock symbol in your browser address bar, and lets the user know it’s a secure transaction.
  • Security statement such as, ‘this is a secure and encrypted payment’.
  • A trust badge from a reputable company such as McAfee.
  • A privacy policy statement such as, 'We do not share or disclosure any of your personal information without your consent'.

Include a progress bar

When a user starts filling out a form, especially one that might be complex or long, the task can feel arduous and not worth completing – this effect is called 'form fatigue'. It is therefore unsurprising that long forms and the frustration they cause make up 27% of the reason users would abandon one. Progress bars can help to combat this by reassuring users that they are in fact progressing and their inputs are being recorded, whilst showing them how much effort is still required. Additionally, progress bars will also appeal to a person’s innate drive to complete something in order to feel satisfied. An incomplete progress bar is likely to bug some users and encourage them to complete the journey.

Checkout header and footer

Poorly designed form can give a user too much visual information to process, leading in 'cognitive overload'. Unfortunately, the form fields themselves can only be simplified to a certain point, since if they are too simple, a user won’t be able to understand them. Another way to tackle this issue is through stripping back the surrounding information, such as the header and footer, to help reduce distraction and any additional cognitive demand. These areas often include logos, multiple navigational features and even promotional banners, therefore removing some of these elements can help to focus the users' attention on the task in hand, whilst reducing the likelihood of them leaving the form to access another page of the site.

Don’t ask for data you don’t need

When a user is buying a pair of trainers and are asked for their mobile number, this can seem like an irrelevant and invasive request of their personal information. Similar to the previous point on trust, this feeling of invasion can make a user feel uncomfortable and suspicious. In fact, 10% of users say they would abandon a form for this reason alone. When creating a form, there are two questions that need to be asked to avoid this happening: firstly, are we only asking for the information we actually need to complete the transaction? Secondly, does the user understand why we require this data? Adding a small explanation to why extra data is needed can help the user feel comfortable enough to part with it, for example, explaining their mobile number is required to send delivery updates.

Send abandoned basket reminder emails

If all of the above fail and the user still chooses to abandon the form, you can send them a prompt email reminding them they still need to complete the checkout process. This method only works for checkout-form abandonment, but can be a really useful tactic in reminding or even tempting users to complete their purchase.

If you’re interested in optimising the form journeys on your website get in touch today to see how we could help you.

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