Here, we're looking at some of the surprising results from Zuko's form completion benchmarking survey. For tips and advice on how to improve your form, check out our Big Guide to Form Optimization and Analytics.
We’ve calculated this metric before and this is our most up to date figure. It means that over a third of people that begin to enter personal information into a form give up before they get to the end. This represents such a waste - think how much effort it has taken to get a person right to the end of a buying journey for them to abandon the process part way through. Think of the budget used to get a person to know of your brand, visit your website, make a buying decision, only for them to leave your form before successfully completing it. Improving a form can plug this leak in your funnel.
Lots has been written about how it is important that customer journeys should be optimized for mobile users, and it looks like that has finally taken on board. Though mobile conversion rates are still lower, the gap is lower than we’ve seen in previous years.
You might think that abandoned sessions are the ones that have the most friction and behavioural metrics indicative of having difficulty in filling out the form. One of those metrics we calculate is field returns - the number of times a user goes back to a field to amend information they’ve previously entered. You therefore might think that abandoned sessions would have more field returns on average. The opposite is true though, with sessions that end in completion having more field returns. This is likely because completed sessions last longer, but also that users that are more determined to fix their mistakes, and therefore return more often.
Internet Explorer gets a huge amount of stick within design communities for not being as accommodating for certain web functionality but also having a stubbornly high rate of usage, which means that teams often have to spend a lot of time checking their beautifully designed pages will still work on IE. Despite this reputation, IE actually doesn’t have the lowest conversion rate of all browsers (though it is lower than most) - that honour belongs to Samsung Internet.
Contact forms often sit on pages with a lot of information on, and can be sat at the bottom of the page, out of site. Nevertheless, it’s quite a surprise to see that for customers who see a contact form, only 1 in 10 people actually complete and send the form. This is the lowest rate of any type of form that Zuko has tracked.
One exception to the improvement in mobile completion rates mentioned above are for onboarding forms. They have the biggest difference between mobile and desktop completion rates, suggesting that given the often complex nature of onboarding forms, mobile users struggle to complete them far more than desktop users.
People don’t seem to have much patience for comparison forms. Looking at all forms, users abandon after a minute and three quarters. For comparison forms however, their patience runs out much more quickly than that, and they give up after just 50 seconds. These forms are often separated across multiple steps and have lots of questions, so perhaps users want to quit before they get too deep and can’t turn back.
One of the most remarkable and counter intuitive findings from our benchmarking data is that the length of a form makes almost no difference to the rate at which people complete it. You can see below that the trend line is almost flat, which the dots scattered around. This goes against the common wisdom that “the shorter the form the better”. From our data, it seems that the number of inputs within are form are not an important factor in how well the form converts - it’s everything else.
People really want to complete insurance forms. Or, at least that’s what our data shows. Starting a long insurance form is obviously a considered decision, and they are often split into several forms over many different steps and URLs. What this means is that each step has a very high completion rate, with customers dropping out gradually over the course of a journey. From our experience, insurance forms are also some of the best designed given how important they are for insurance businesses. This means that often they avoid some of the common pitfalls of other types of form, and this is reflected in their completion rates.
People really want to get their details right! Surprisingly, registration forms have the highest number of field returns. This will no doubt be in part caution on behalf of users wanting to ensure they can log in when they return, but is also because registration forms often have password fields which have stringent requirements and restrictions on what can be picked. We often see multiple field returns to password fields for a large percentage of users filling out a registration form.
You can find the complete form benchmarking dataset here.
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