Stripe report tracks checkout changes, emergence of services like Klarna, Afterpay and more

Nearly 20% of respondents said they would abandon the e-commerce experience altogether if it took more than one minute to check out.
Written by Jonathan Greig, Contributor

Stripe has released a new study tracking changes to the digital checkout industry in the US, Canada and Europe. 

The company partnered with Edgar, Dunn & Company to study the top 100 e-commerce websites in the US and Canada, tracking each for pre-defined errors. E-commerce sites were tested for 26 different criteria related to checkout form design, mobile optimization, localization as well as buyer trust and security. The study also features insights from 200 consumers in North America.

Stripe researchers found that 96% of e-commerce businesses in North America had at least five errors involving their checkout system that made the process more difficult for customers. The errors range from not offering popular payment methods to poor card information formatting and error handling alongside issues like not allowing customers to save their payment method for future use.

More than 40% of respondents said they have doubled or more than doubled the amount of online shopping they do since 2020. But consumers are increasingly impatient when it comes to checking out from online stores. 

Nearly 20% of respondents said they would abandon the e-commerce experience altogether if it took more than one minute to check out. Another 17% said they abandoned an order in the last year specifically because the checkout process was long and complicated. 

About half of respondents said it takes them three minutes to check out in most e-commerce situations. 

Stripe said consumers increasingly demand checkout pages with clear error messages if mistakes are made and auto-completed address forms. 

The study notes that even small changes have an effect on the checkout process. Retry rates increase by 3.5% when error messages say something like "your card was declined. Try a different card" instead of simply "your card was declined."

In examining the checkout processes of some online businesses, 42% had at least three issues related to how payment information was formatted or how error messages were displayed. These kinds of mistakes include not having an alert for when an invalid or expired card number is entered.

More than half of the websites examined did not support address auto-complete, and 36% did not format card numbers in blocks of four digits. Nearly 80% did not allow customers to save their payment information for faster checkout next time. 

Half of all consumers said they shop from a mobile device, and even more said it was important for a website to support mobile viewing. Stripe noted that carts started through checkout portals on mobile devices are abandoned at twice the rate of those on desktops. 

When tracking which services consumers use, 37% of American consumers and 34% of Canadian consumers use Apple Pay or Google Pay through their mobile device. But nearly 80% of the checkouts examined by Strip did not support Apple Pay, and 88% of checkouts did not support Google Pay. 

Apple Pay is equally as popular in the US and Canada, with 16% of respondents from both countries reporting using the tool. For Google Pay, 21% of US users said they have it, while just 7% of Canadians do. 

40% of consumers said they use different methods to pay for goods online outside of the US. 

Among European businesses, 35% of businesses in the UK accept Klarna, and another 10% take Afterpay. In Germany, 35% only accept bank debit cards while 30% take giropay and 44% take Klarna. 

In Poland, 74% of businesses accept Blik and 48% take bank transfers. Nearly 100% of businesses in the Netherlands accept iDEAL. 

Afterpay is gaining popularity in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, while Klarna is seeing greater adoption across the European Union and the UK. 

The Stripe report includes other startling statistics, including 20% of websites that did not allow customers to check out as guests. 90% would not allow customers to create accounts through a social media profile. More than 21% did not provide customers with an order summary that could be adjusted. 

"Our analysis shows that basic checkout issues are widespread, even among the top companies in North America that likely have dedicated teams focused on conversion rates," Stripe researchers said in the report.  

"When optimizing your checkout flow, you could try to prevent issues on your own and divert development resources to focus solely on your checkout experience."

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