Form Abandonment: Not Just An Ecommerce Problem

Form Abandonment: Not Just An Ecommerce Problem

“Cart abandonment” is a commonly discussed ecommerce problem that describes someone beginning the checkout process but exits the site before submitting the purchase form. According to the Baymard Institute, it happens in a whopping 68.53% of all potential ecommerce transactions. Clearly, if you run a B2C ecommerce website, you should be tracking cart abandonment and optimizing to prevent it.

But ecommerce websites aren’t the only websites using forms to generate sales. With the increasing reliance on content marketing (90% of companies now do it), lead activation forms have become critical components of the B2B customer acquisition process. They’re used to capture inbound sales opportunities and compile email lists for long-term nurturing pipelines.

B2B lead activation forms suffer from the same kind of abandonment problems plaguing the ecommerce industry. We know this because, thanks to RocketBolt’s built-in form listeners, we’ve been able to track the amount of form abandonment taking place on a collection of predominantly non-ecommerce, B2B, SaaS websites.

Our aggregated data set is registering around a 36% form abandonment rate. While not a 68.53% abandonment rate like in ecommerce, 36% shouldn’t be ignored. It represents a massive amount of inbound lead opportunities you could be missing as a result of poor form design.

To help improve your company’s form abandonment rates, we’ve compiled a list of six great ecommerce cart optimization strategies that can also be used to help prevent abandonment of your B2B lead activation forms.

1) Remove form bloat… intelligently

Common wisdom for ecommerce checkout processes is to minimize the number of fields. That’s true, to a point. Turns out users tolerate different form lengths depending on the type of form they’re submitting. For example, according to a recent Formstack report, users entering a contest tolerate up to 10 form fields on average while still getting a 28% submission rate.

The moral here is if users want what you’re offering bad enough, they’ll do a lot more to get it. The problem is that contests and products generate more incentive to complete forms than white papers. As a result, you need to minimize the bloat of your forms to correspond with the decreased incentive of white papers and other traditional B2B marketing giveaways.

2) Be dynamic

Forms don’t have to be one-size-fits-all. Instead, think of forms as discrete sections of information. As someone completes one section, reveal the next section based on the previous input. By doing this, your forms will appear smaller than they actually are, which will improve conversions.

3) Positivity is more productive

When collecting email addresses, B2B marketers like to assure users they’re not planning anything nefarious, so they add messages like: “Don’t worry, we won’t SPAM you.”

Tests show that referencing SPAM in your form fields – even if it’s to say you’re not going to SPAM – still makes people think twice before submitting.

Instead, be positive. Just like ecommerce sites use phrases like “100% Secure” instead of “Nobody will steal your credit card,” you should use phrases like “We guarantee 100% privacy.”

4) People don’t like giving phone numbers

Sure, your sales team is begging for phone numbers, but tell them to back off. Phone number fields will kill your conversion rates.

At the very least, make phone number fields optional.

5) Optimize for mobile

B2B customers are increasingly using their commuting time to do product research. That means, even if your product is meant for PCs, your content marketing has to work on mobile. Are your forms optimized for mobile browsers?

For starters, remember that smaller screens need bigger buttons and less form fields. If you really want to make your users happy, when you present a numbers-only form field, default to a numbers-only keyboard. These kinds of little touches can lead to big conversion rate improvements.

6) Capture data before forms submit

No matter how well you optimize, form abandonment is going to happen. So why wait for leads to press the submit button? Ask your developer to recode your website forms so they capture information prior to submission.

Or, you can completely skip the developer and use RocketBolt. RocketBolt automatically captures leads in real-time, regardless of whether a form is submitted, which helps you avoid the missed opportunities caused by form abandonment.

Tim Bachmann

As RocketBolt's Social Media Manager, Tim likes writing about social marketing and social selling. In his free time, he writes about zombies, which is sort of what social media turns people into.