With a shorter shopping time requiring just about five clicks, top-selling apparel merchants are seemingly closer to perfecting the art of eCommerce sales.
Checkout Conversion

Apparel’s Apparently Fashionable Checkout Conversion

Apparel and accessory merchants are getting increasingly better at nailing online sales. The Q3 edition of the Checkout Conversion Index™ reveals the secret sauce of their success and takes a deep dive into the factors that continue to drive abandoned online shopping carts. While progress is being made, lost sales opportunities are still projected to total more than $159 billion.

Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour once famously said, “You either know fashion or you don’t.” Today, as it turns out, some of the most popular apparel and accessory merchants not only know fashion, they’re getting even better at selling it online.

With an average 50-second shopping time requiring just about five clicks, top-selling apparel and accessory merchants are seemingly closer to perfecting the art of eCommerce sales, according to latest edition of the Checkout Conversion Index™, a PYMNTS and BlueSnap collaboration.

The index dives into what is actually keeping online retailers from turning shoppers into paying customers and what merchants can do to convert those missed sales, which are set to cost merchants a solid $159 billion this year from website checkout friction.

Key takeaways from the Checkout Conversion Index™ for Q3 2016 include:

Merchants are getting smarter. Since the start of 2016, a significant number of companies have improved upon their checkout experience. Looking at the checkout conversion grades, a total of 16 merchants scored an “A,” marking a 300 percent improvement since Q1 and 60 percent improvement over Q2. Additionally, 13 sites that flunked in Q1 this year received a passing grade this quarter.

And they are getting faster. The average checkout time for merchants in Q3 stood at 161 seconds, which is 21 seconds faster than their score in Q2. Among the top 30 performers, the average online checkout time was 128 seconds, which underpins fewer clicks to complete the transaction. Customers shopping on top-performing merchants’ websites need to click about 17 times, compared to 22 on an average-performing merchant’s website.

Among industries doing notably well in regard to eCommerce platform checkout conversion, sporting goods climbed to number two overall, beating mass merchants, which dropped to third position this quarter.

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.

In order to so, we first look to existing research to see what consumers report as important in driving their shopping behavior online. Our team shops over 750 online retail sites that collectively drive more than 70 percent of all online retail spend and keeps track of whether or not particular websites did (or didn’t) contain some key design features. Analysts also apply perspective on just how easy or difficult it was to finish their shopping process and collect data on payment processing, finally using statistical techniques to analyze which factors cause the most friction and purchase abandonment.

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About The Index

The PYMNTS.com Checkout Conversion IndexTM (CCI), in collaboration with BlueSnap, measures the payments conversion problems that arise when consumers encounter friction in their digital shopper experience. The CCI is based on a team of “shoppers” shopping at over 750 U.S.-based eCommerce sites across 14 merchant categories that collectively drive more than 70 percent of all online retail spend. We identified more than 55 attributes and used them to score merchants on how easy (or hard) going from discovery to final payment was on their site.



Banks, corporates and even regulators now recognize the imperative to modernize — not just digitize —the infrastructures and workflows that move money and data between businesses domestically and cross-border.

Together with Visa, PYMNTS invites you to a month-long series of livestreamed programs on these issues as they reshape B2B payments. Masters of modernization share insights and answer questions during a mix of intimate fireside chats and vibrant virtual roundtables.

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