4 Biggest Customer Obstacles

The 4 most typical obstacles to a customer completing an online purchase

Did you know that only 49% of users even get to the checkout page or registration form? And did you know that of that 49%, only 16% actually complete it?

Imagine if you could increase these percentages only slightly, what a difference that would make to your bottom line? We’ve collated the 4 most common reasons why people don’t complete check out, and some of them may surprise you.

1. Busy layout and design

In industries such as retail, travel and gaming, website home pages are typically busy and cluttered, as there’s a lot for the user to choose to do next. Often, the number one priority for the user is obscured by eye catching offers and promotions. You want the user to engage and purchase, so make these the most prominent items on your site – if it’s creating an account, adding credit or checking out, make these the biggest, easiest to find items on the page for example.

2. Unexpected costs

This one is a bit of a no-brainer. Making it clear upfront what costs the customer is likely to encounter makes it less likely this will be the reason they drop off during purchase. If different items have add-ons or varied pricing structures, make that clear on the item page and don’t leave it until check out. Make it easy for the customer to calculate their budget.

3. Vouchers

27% of users abandon a purchase in search of a discount. While this may seem counter intuitive, prominent discount fields can make the user distracted and they’ll head off somewhere else in search of another discount that they may be missing out on.

4. Security

Forms often cause the most confusion on websites, and are a big factor in customer drop off. Ideally you should be testing these forms regularly, and thinking about how to optimise them. Expedia for example dropped one field name from one of their forms and added $12 million to their bottom line. Payment processes, as well as being compliant, should be user optimised. If your analytics shows you that people are having to reload the payment page multiple times, that’s a red flag. Maybe one of the mandatory fields is not clearly marked, or the instructions aren’t clear – easy things to fix that can make a big difference.


You can access a more in depth paper on Predicting and Shaping customer behaviour online here, that has practical advice on analysing and improving the customers’ online experience to drive revenue increases.


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