Trim Unnecessary Form Fields - Spiralyze

Trim Unnecessary Form Fields

Usability High Priority 85% Adoption 5 Seconds Saved

Don’t ask users for information you don’t need – and that they might feel strange giving you. It lengthens the checkout and takes customers off auto-pilot.
Conversion Opportunity 0.2%

Imagine buying a pack of a gum at the local food mart, then having the cashier ask for your age. You would stop and think, “Wait, what? Why?” Sure, you can answer that question easily enough, but now you’re puzzled, and you start losing trust in the cashier. At the very least, it’s slowed down what should be a fast and frictionless gum purchase.

This is the effect of unnecessary fields in a checkout. Asking for something like a birthdate from someone buying a t-shirt is going to confuse and/or annoy them, and slow down the checkout.

Fields like middle initials, secondary phone numbers, or company names are unnecessary in most cases. Even when they might seem useful to a miniscule minority of users, extra fields take up space on the page, making it feel longer.

Don't ask more of a user than is necessary.

Usage

The worst offenders in this issue implement forms in their field that both slow down and perplex the user. For example, H&M includes a date of birth field and a company field on their form. First off, why would H&M need a customer’s date of birth? Do they have a policy about not selling trendy fashions to anyone over 40? Similarly, very few companies are purchasing expensive scarves from H&M. This is confusing – confusion begets mistrust begets checkout abandonments – and it takes up space on the page.

Other sites include fields like middle initials or titles like Mr., Mrs., or Sir. While some users might like using these bits in their name – a certain Mr. Donald J. Trump comes to mind – they only take up space and time, and have no positive impact of conversions.

Some fields are fitting depending on the product being sold. For example, a company field in the shipping address makes sense for Office Depot – it makes less sense for Victoria’s Secret (who’s checkout actually has one).

Etsy has a slim checkout, with no unnecessary fields.

H&M has multiple unnecessary and confusing fields, like date of birth.

Adoption

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Trim Unnecessary Form Fields has an 85% adoption rate among our benchmark group.

Best Practices

No Middle Names or Titles

Some users might like placing that “Mr.” in front of your name, but removing that field and speeding up the checkout won’t discourage them. e

No Backup Phones or Emails

Users provide their phone number in the case of issues with the order – for this, one phone number is enough. Most users are already wary of giving our phone numbers for fear of telemarketing calls.

No Confusing, Pointless Fields

In the year 2016, there is no reason a fax number field should be taking up space in your checkout. If you sell clothes, you don’t need a company name field or a date of birth field.

Examples

Good

Etsy Example

Etsy implements only the essential fields.

Okay

Ikea Example

Ikea includes a fax field that is really not important in the year 2016.

Bad

H&M Example

H&M implements a confusing (for a clothier) date of birth field and company name field.

Victoria's Secret Example

Victoria's Secret includes a company name field.