Stripe: “Businesses are creating roadblocks to buying online for British consumers”

Top UK websites are losing millions in revenue online due to errors at the digital till, research by Stripe has recently revealed.

Clunky checkout experiences are killing conversion as businesses commit simple errors that block checkout flow. Common errors, the survey found, include failing to block invalid expiry dates or validate credit cards in real time.

Defining twelve different categories of errors that cause friction at the digital till, the research revealed that:

  • 82 of the UK’s 100 most popular commerce sites have three or more significant errors in the checkout flow. On average these sites have 4.3 errors,
  • Less than half (47%) of UK checkouts confirmed the card brand in real-time (e.g. provide an icon for Visa, Mastercard or American Express to reassure customers they’re inputting the correct details),
  • Fewer than two in five checkouts (38%) validated the card number in real time, meaning they allowed customers to proceed having entered incorrect card numbers that are easily identifiable,
  • Only three in ten (30%) of web sites block the entry of expired cards, a simple way to prevent customers from entering incorrect details,
  • About one in five (21%) businesses do not have auto-fill correctly set up, meaning they’re preventing customers from breezing through checkouts with payment details already securely saved in their browser.

“In online retail, clunky checkout flows are conversion killers. Businesses are creating roadblocks to buying online for British consumers, who are already short on time and spending power,” Iain McDougall, UK Country Manager, Stripe, told PaymentEye. “Even in 2018, the simple act of paying for something on a website or app is often unnecessarily laborious.”

In 2017, almost three-quarters of mobile shopping carts are abandoned before completing a purchase, largely due to clunky checkout experiences. With the rise of mobile, businesses are increasingly focused on selling through apps and mobile sites, but according to Stripe research the performance on the smaller screen is mixed:

  • 96% of sites researched resized their checkout experience for mobile,
  • However, over one third (35%) of those tested failed to provide a numerical keypad for credit card entry, creating more friction for customers who are forced to peck in their numbers on smartphones,
  • Tweaks to the checkout flow can have a significant impact on conversion rates; in the case of the 150,000 Shopify businesses who switched on Apple Pay last year, they say mobile conversion rates double after offering it as an option to customers in app.

Amid rising inflation, a tough retail environment and a squeeze on consumer spending, there is no room for error when it comes to helping customers pay for things online.

“Stripe powers payments for hundreds of thousands of businesses around the world and 40% of Brits have bought something from a Stripe-powered business,” McDougall continued.

“We’ve drawn from that experience to build Stripe Elements, the best possible payment flow for the modern internet company with two-thirds less code than would be typically required.”

“When it comes to payments, businesses often want to balance maximum customizability with minimum integration effort. Elements are building blocks for a fast, clean purchase flow: like blocks, Elements can be combined and customized in any number of ways, but the hard work within each component is handled by Stripe.”

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