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Is this common address mistake costing you sales?

02 Nov 2015

The biggest killer of sales on your ecommerce store is a poorly constructed checkout process. Customers will often put up with a struggle to find your products and will even go to great lengths to get what they want to purchase in their carts, but their will almost instantly evaporates if they come to a checkout that they can't instantly understand.

And one of the biggest causes of confusion during the checkout process is a simple unassuming little field called 'address 2.'

What's the problem with address 2?

The problem with address 2 is not many customers understand what information is meant to go into this field - this results in customers spending excessive amounts of time trying to enter the data correctly and having to deal with needless validation errors.

Ultimately it comes down to the fact that customers don't know if you want them to enter part of an address into this field or should they use it for their business name, or are you asking them for a completely different address in case the courier can't reach them at the first one. The latter is usually observed on mobile checkouts because smaller screen sizes make it harder for customers to get the context from all the fields when they can only see a couple of fields at any given time.

Avoiding the problem

This problem can be avoided with a little bit of common sense labelling:

Under no circumstances should your ecommerce checkout use field labels such as 'address 1' and 'address 2'. If you have no choice about this because you are using a platform which enforces these labels, then get your developer to add some tool text underneath the fields which shows what kind of information you want your customers to enter into each field.

The best approach is to simply rename the top field to 'address', remove the label from the second field and place a note inside the field letting customers know that it doesn't require data to be entered into it. This approach provides your customers with the freedom to enter their address in the way that best suits their needs without an ambiguity. You can go one step further and also include tool text under the fields if you wish.