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The Google News Initiative works with publishers and journalists to fight misinformation, share resources, and build a diverse and innovative news ecosystem.
Lesson 1 of 6
Refine your checkout flow
Grow Reader Revenue
Launch your subscription
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Estimate reader revenue (7:44)
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Refine your checkout flow

checkout bag

Recover revenue from potential subscribers

checkout bag

What is basket abandonment?

spt-shopping-cart

Basket abandonment or checkout abandonment is when a potential subscriber or donor starts to purchase a subscription or donate, but doesn’t complete the transaction.

Abandonment rate averages 70% across all industries (2023). In other words, for every 10 people who select a subscription, 7 will leave without purchasing.

Why do people abandon a subscription or donation?

Long checkout processes, site speed, unexpected costs and lack of security are just a few reasons why people abandon a subscription or donation, after starting to checkout.

If you’re on your phone, you’re more likely to abandon checkout at the first sign of friction.

💡 Best practices to prevent basket abandonment

  • Make subscribers feel secure
  • Use fewer steps
  • Show their progress
spt-shopping-cart

How do I track abandonment rate?

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To calculate your news organisation’s basket abandonment rate, use the following formula:

Basket abandonment = incomplete transactions ÷ baskets created

For example, if 100 people began the process of purchasing a subscription or making a donation and 40 people completed their purchase, then 60 people 'abandoned' their basket.

0.6 = 60 incomplete purchases ÷ 100 baskets created

Your basket abandonment rate is 0.60, or 60%.

💡 Best practice: Use an overlay when someone returns to the page, or when they are about to leave the page

shopping-bag-2

Make subscribers feel secure

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17% of people abandon baskets because of lack of trust, like credit card theft or other security concerns.

💡Best practices to be transparent with data

  • Ask for their email first, so that you can follow up
  • Add a guarantee like 'We will never share your data'
  • Ask for essential fields only:
    • Email address
    • Password
    • Credit card information
    • Billing address
  • Ask for first name, surname and physical address only for print subscriptions
  • Avoid asking for phone number or gender
  • Add 'Cancel anytime' below the final purchase button
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Use fewer steps

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A 2019 study found that half of surveyed shoppers were less likely to complete their online purchase if the checkout process took more than 30 seconds.

💡Best practices for a faster checkout flow

  • Limit checkout to a maximum of three steps, like Account, Billing and Review.
  • Enable social login. This allows your audience to sign in or register with one click using an existing social media account.
  • Enable auto-fill
  • Enable the number keyboard on mobile for easier selection
  • Enable third-party payment options like PayPal or Amazon Pay
  • Display checkout as one page
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Show their progress

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21% of people abandon baskets because of complicated or lengthy checkout experiences.

A clear and simple checkout page reduces confusion, keeps potential subscribers and donors informed throughout the journey, and allows for purchases to be completed with ease.

💡Best practices to simplify your checkout

  • Display an anchored progress bar
  • List steps, such as '1 of 3'
  • Anchor an itemised order summary to the page
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