Reducing Checkout Friction

An incredibly large number of shoppers abandon during checkout.

On the first half of their visit (homepage, category page, product page and add to cart click) shoppers are building a mental case for buying an item.  During second half of visit (cart page, shipping and billing page) they’re building a case to not buy.  During this phase even the slightest inconvenience could derail the purchase process.

Typing out shipping/billing info is a pain.  Every typed letter adds friction.  This is why this address field was so great (screenshot below).  I just started typing the first 10 alphabets and an address match appeared on the dropdown menu—


This saved me an additional 22 types.  Seems like a small detail.  It isn’t.

The great news is that Google has a free API for address autocomplete functionality.  You can see video explanation here (I’ve set video start to point when example is demonstrated)—

See live interactive example here—

Alternatively, you can see live e-tailer version on billing page of

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Have a great day.

Rishi Rawat

16 thoughts on “Reducing Checkout Friction

  1. Well it should be tested but my guess is it could work… the only trouble is ‘creepy effect’ but I doubt it could escalate in abandoning cart because store is trying to guess your address. I would also check is it patented already if I am building anything serious… companies patent everything and then sue each other. Amazon patented storing credit card for repeated visits so people had to invent all kinds of things to go around that patent.

    • Zoran said: I would also check is it patented already if I am building anything serious…
      Rishi: That’s a good point. At this point it’s a free API from Google and I’m sure Google lawyers have done their homework to see if the concept has a patent holder. But you do bring up a very good point!

  2. This definitely made me think about my own shopping habits. There are times I have abandoned the online cart when it was cumbersome to add my address and additional information. This is a good idea.And free is even better.

  3. Other suppliers offer the same functionality but with address data from validated sources such as the local postal authority. Often it’s necessary to make sure the actual address is recognised by the post office or courier to avoid the cost of a failed (returned) delivery. Consider which solution suits you best. The benefits are not just for the user.

  4. Keep in mind that addresses from Google are not USPS verified. You could be causing a major headache and disappointing customers by using addresses that are not USPS approved.

  5. Great article – always hate having to type my address in full. Love ThinkGeek’s checkout – they are one of our customers and use Capture+ to verify customer’s addresses against USPS data. Would be great to get your feedback on Capture+

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