5 Points About E-Commerce Checkout Completion Rates

January 21, 2022

While e-commerce was growing prior to the pandemic, its growth has accelerated since COVID-19. In China, e-commerce is expected to account for more than half of retail sales this year, while, in the US, e-commerce sales were expected to grow by about 18% year-over-year in 2021. So, how are e-commerce retailers doing? Here’s what a benchmark report from Bold Commerce has to say about checkout completion. 

1. Top Performers Are Hitting High Marks

The Bold Commerce analysis of 3 million checkout sessions and 1.5 million conversions during Q3 2021 found that top-performing e-commerce brands are doing an enviable job at converting shoppers. These top 25% of e-commerce sites had a 73.2% checkout completion rate on desktop and 65.3% on mobile. By comparison, low performers (the bottom 25% of sites) had checkout completion rates on desktop and mobile that were considerably lower, at 33% and 22.5%, respectively.

2. Desktop Outperforms Mobile

Although e-commerce retailers have found that digital ads on mobile drive greater ROI than desktop ads, when it comes to checking out, shoppers show a preference for desktop. During the period analyzed, the checkout completion rate was 52.5% for desktop, while mobile’s checkout completion rate stood at 42.4%. Although e-commerce brands have prioritized improving the customer experience online, the report points out there is room for improvement when it comes to checking out on mobile screens.

3. Checkout Often Starts on Mobile

That’s not to say that consumers aren’t shopping on their mobile devices. Per the report, mobile accounts for 70% of all shopper traffic, with 55.5% of all checkouts starting on these devices. Given the higher completion rates on desktop, though, only half (49.9%) of checkouts are completed on mobile. And with higher average order values on desktops, those larger devices account for the largest share (52.5%) of gross merchandise value (GMV). 

4. Best Practices Depend on the Device

Previous data from Bold Commerce confirms that a majority of retailers want to improve the online checkout experience. The number of pages during checkout is likely to factor into that experience, depending on which device shoppers are using. While, overall, there is a near equal split in checkout completions between single-page scroll (48.4%) and multi-page progressive checkout (47.5%), the checkout completion rate is higher with multi-page or progressive on mobile, while shoppers using desktop convert better with single-page scroll. 

5. Shipping Fees Impact Checkout Completion

Free shipping has always been an incentive to shop online. So, it should come as little surprise that shipping fees impact conversion. On both desktop and mobile, checkout completion rates decrease as the shipping fee share of the order value increases.

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About the Data: Findings are based on an analysis of data from 3 million checkout sessions, representing $136 million in revenue across more than 80 retailers during Q3 2021.

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