Vin65 Blog

DTC wine thoughts served up by Vin65

Corinna Wang
June 10, 2014 | Ecommerce, Marketing | Corinna Wang

5 Annoying Friction Points At Checkout

Ready for some Spring cleaning? Spend some time this month and actually buy wine from your website from beginning to end. You may just find some room for improvement.

Conversion rates don’t lie. Getting potential customers to your site takes a great deal of effort. If they leave without purchasing, it could be because they are bumping against an annoying friction point. Customers have become increasingly savvy and have little patience for awkward ecommerce sites. The best way to improve conversion rates is to identify and eliminate major friction points during the checkout process.

For someone looking to buy wine on your site, keep in mind that these are the 5 most annoying friction points:

1. Not mobile friendly

Mobile is not second class. Over 25% of your website visitors are coming to your site with their mobile device. Don’t make them suffer with pinch and zoom and tiny products. Give them a great experience with all of the information!

2. Birth date validation to enter site

This is a major friction point before consumers even browse your site. Website bounce rates are 20% higher when you add an age gate. Think of your user’s experience and reduce clicks when you can. If you must use an age gate, instead of a birth date selection (which adds at least 4 clicks), try a one-click button that confirms that the consumer is over the legal age. Monitor your bounce rate on Google Analytics and adjust accordingly.

3. Forcing people to create an account

Another password? Your customer hasn’t tasted your wine yet, so how can you ask them to commit? Instead of forcing account creation, focus on moving new customers up the permission ladder to repeat customer to club member. Develop a relationship with your first time buyers. Set up personalized action emails with a specific call to action. First time buyers have a high email open rate of 60% so it’s a great way to connect. Personalized, effective, awesome.

4. Hidden shipping costs or up-front state shipping restrictions

Customers want to know what their purchase will cost before they head to the checkout. How many times have you abandoned a cart once you realized that shipping costs to your address were too high? Wouldn’t you have rather known the cost up-front? Hiding the costs just results in delayed cart abandonment.  Allow customers to select their state or province and see the shipping cost, or better yet, include shipping costs right on your wine page. Shipping discounts outperform product discounts in A/B testing, even when product discounts are a better deal.

5. Too many form fields

Don’t force customers to give you every detail. Focus on what information you need from them in order to complete the sale and make those fields required. Then you can look at the details that would be nice to have. Request information wisely, because long forms are daunting for a potential customer. Form fatigue occurs when billing and shipping forms display side by side. Two forms? Ugh. You should display the billing form and default to the same address for shipping. If the user chooses a different ship-to address, then display the shipping form at that time. By reducing clutter upfront, you’re able to effectively guide the user through the mundane task of filling out forms and you can successfully complete the sale.


Have I missed anything? Let me know what frustrates you the most while buying wine online in the comments below.


Virendra Thakur's Gravatar
Virendra Thakur
@ Jun 10, 2014 at 12:05 PM
You forgot to mention commodity codes, which are required on a Amazon or while checking out.

Corinna's Gravatar
@ Jun 10, 2014 at 2:41 PM
@Virendra, thanks for the comment. Totally agree that required items like Amazon and Junglee ask for just add friction and confusion for the end user.

Mark's Gravatar
@ Jun 11, 2014 at 7:46 AM
Hi Corinna-I always find these articles interesting here at Vin65. It's nice that your product checkout abides by these rules, but it would be nice for club signups to follow the same protocol!

As a follow up, has there been any A/B testing about including shipping costs as part of clubs?

Corinna's Gravatar
@ Jun 11, 2014 at 8:08 AM
@Mark - I appreciate your comments. Shipping discounts outperform pricing discounts when the discount is similar or even slightly less favourable. We haven't conducted A/B tests for how shipping discounts are received by club members, but it's definitely a good idea. Stay tuned!

Ed's Gravatar
@ Jun 11, 2014 at 9:20 AM
I don't know this writer, but this is one of the best, most on-target piece of read on the internet. I love clear thinkers. We have so few of them. But what's with the enter text below?

Corinna's Gravatar
@ Jun 11, 2014 at 9:54 AM
@Ed - Thanks! Much appreciated. The enter text just proves you're human and not a spammy robot :)

Ed's Gravatar
@ Jun 11, 2014 at 12:19 PM
But, Corinna, I am a spammy robot.

Mark's Gravatar
@ Jun 12, 2014 at 11:12 AM

When you say that "Shipping discounts outperform pricing discounts when the discount is similar or even slightly less favourable" is that just common wisdom at this point, or do you have something specific to point toward?

Also, if it's Vin65 officially asking, I'm willing to chat about including shipping charges in our club pricing as a test-

Brent's Gravatar
@ Jun 12, 2014 at 1:48 PM
@Mark - I've done a few AB email tests and shipping incentives actually out perform product promos, even when the product promo is a better deal (but there is always a tipping point if it's totally skewed towards the product discount). GetElastic is a really well known ecommerce blog, and they have a good post here:

We like love AB testing with clients, especially if they let us share the results :) Send me an email brent @ and we'll talk about an AB test.

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