Optimising the checkout: How to improve UX and reduce abandonment rates

IMRG recently partnered with Loqate to produce the webinar Optimising the online checkout, where we looked into the top reasons for cart abandonment, and Loqate's very own UX expert James Whittaker provided best practice advice on how to improve your online checkout.  

As recent research from IMRG found, out of desktop, tablet and smartphone, smartphone has the highest average checkout abandonment rate at 42.8%.  With smartphone usage growing continuously, it’s vital that retailers do everything they can to make sure their mobile checkout is as quick and simple as possible to keep shoppers’ attention.  

Checkout abandonment by device

With this in mind, here are six things James suggests doing to ensure your mobile shoppers have a great user experience... 

1) Provide a guest checkout 

Being faced with a registration step if you are a first-time buyer on a website (regardless of what device you’re using)) is really frustrating, but many retailers still insist on making this step mandatory. Remember, first impressions count – do you really want to be the cause of friction? 

Instead, offering a guest checkout allows the shopper to choose whether or not they want to register there and then, or whether they simply want to go through to make their payment on this occasion. Positioning registration further in the flow instead, e.g. after a successful purchase will give you better results.  

John Lewis and Reiss do a great job of clearly offering their shoppers the option to either sign in or check out as a guest, minimising the upfront frustration of signing up 

Secure checkout

Reiss offers the sign in form upfront but still allows shoppers to select guest checkout. 


John Lewis has a simple but friendly look and tone, offering shoppers the option to ‘create an account later’.  

2) Reduce your form fields 

Did you know that the average checkout has 14 form fields? Consider the address-entry stage of your checkout. If you are asking your shoppers to enter a part of their address into each field, that’s a lot of manual work for them, and can be a huge source of frustration.  

Using a type-ahead solution such as Loqate’s is a great way to reduce cognitive load as it reduces keystrokes by up to 78%.  

3) Minimise the number of steps  

Another annoyance in the online checkout is how long it takes to complete it – or at least not knowing how many more stages there are to complete. However, adding a progress indicator is a great way of breaking down the checkout into more manageable steps. By showing them what is expected of them and when, you’ll reduce friction and help shoppers feel on track to completion.  

If we look at the two contrasting examples below, we can see that Muji expect their customers to enter each address field, which will, inevitably, take them much more time than Bloom and Wild customers, who can enter their address into a single line field.  

Billing details(Muji)

Delivery details(Bloom and Wild)

4) Go mobile first 

More and more shoppers are now using mobile to visit online stores, but whether they make a purchase often depends on the brand’s mobile experience. This means prioritising mobile first is now a must for retailers.  

The most vital thing is to consider what works best for your customers. For some, this is single-line address capture, for others it’s multi-line. However, what’s important is that you create clear, readable form elements and text, and make sure your site is responsive and adaptable through testing and design.   

5) Implement new solutions 

Giving your shoppers the best possible experience is something that the majority of online retailers want, and there are innovative tools out there that will help you do this.  

For example, at Loqate, we have created single-tap address verification for mobile shoppers. This technology allows the user to enter their current location in the touch of a button. This is the quickest address entry on the market, optimising the mobile experience.  

6) Test, test and test some more 

Whether it’s A/B testing or multi-variant testing, the process of testing cannot be underestimated. Track everything so that you can see what works best, and take a deep dive into your data to get a great understanding of what your shoppers want.  

You can now watch Optimising the checkout in full on demand.