Checkout Conversion

Checkout Conversion Tracker: Checking In On Checkout – The Best Get Better And The Worst Get Worse

When it comes to checkout conversion, apparently, there’s no middle ground. The hot-off-the-presses Q4 2016 Checkout Conversion Index™ reveals that there’s no average for online retailers — merchants are either superstars or below-average performers. PYMNTS.com research reveals that the top merchants check out customers 25 percent faster than the typical vendor, and they’re getting faster. Find that, plus more insights and an interview with Andy Barker, senior director of strategy and growth at Magento Commerce, inside the Index.

If Santa is keeping a list of which eTailers have been on their best checkout conversion behavior recently, his job shouldn’t be too hard.

The brand new Q4 2016 Checkout Conversion Index™ reports that it’s easier than ever to distinguish between the best and worst merchants when it comes to checkout conversion. PYMNTS.com research reveals that most merchants are either superstars or below-average performers — and the gap between them is growing larger all the time. 

So, what do those on Santa’s nice list do right? According to the Index, the top 30 merchants get customers through the checkout process 25 percent faster than typical competitors, even as the average checkout time around the industry continues to decrease. 

Other key takeaways from the Q4 2016 Checkout Conversion Index™ include:

  • The top merchants all do certain things right — 100 percent of the top 30 eTailers offer product reviews and recommendations, free shipping and coupons.
  • The industry is getting smarter — two new merchants received an “A” grade in this edition, bringing the total number of top-grade earners to 20.
  • No single industry has yet reached a grade of either A or B. Most of them received Cs, while four make a D and two make an F.

The PYMNTS.com Q4 2016 Checkout Conversion Index™ also features an interview with Andy Barker, senior director of strategy and growth global payments at Magento Commerce. PYMNTS caught up with Barker to get his perspective on 2016’s hits and misses and what he’s seeing as merchants gear up for 2017.

Here’s a preview:

Another important factor that is increasingly influencing consumers’ buying decisions is the availability of free shipping. According to NRF, 48.2 percent of shoppers this holiday are going to shop at merchants that offer some form of shipping promotion. 

That’s a factor that merchants now need to integrate into their mobile-optimized platform more than ever.

“Amazon has really trained us. They have been pushing the fulfillment envelope with Amazon Prime. Everybody is pretty much expecting two-day shipping for free for everything,” Barker said.

Consumers do realize that they may be paying a couple dollars more for a product for free shipping, but they still prefer that over buying a lower price product and then paying a charge for shipping, he added.

And now, with the rollout of Amazon Prime Now, which delivers products in a day’s time at no extra cost to Prime members, it is training consumers to believe that they should get products as quickly as possible without having to pay for them, he said. “It’s almost becoming table stakes for free fulfillment.”

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About The Index

The PYMNTS Checkout Conversion Index™ provides a quarter-by-quarter look at what hurts conversion rates and creates friction in the shopping process — just how much money retailers are leaving on the table due to problems with friction and conversion and why customers are abandoning their online purchases.

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