E‑commerce Retailers Can Win Shoppers With Short, Secure Contact Us Forms

BY Rachel Cagle
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Businesses rely on online forms, but customers often abandon forms instead of completing them. Over 80% of people surveyed by The Manifest say they abandoned at least one online form recently, with nearly a third (29%) citing security concerns and more than a quarter (27%) quitting forms that are too long.

People are also likely to abandon online forms that aren't mobile-​friendly. Only 3% of people would prefer to fill out online forms on a mobile device, compared to 84% who prefer a laptop or desktop computer and 13% who prefer a physical copy.

Regardless of why, the survey found that when someone abandons an online form, they are unlikely to return. Nearly 70% choose to abandon the process entirely, compared to 20% who follow up with the company later.

The survey suggests a major challenge for businesses that rely on online forms to sell products or gather leads. According to the latest AudienceSCAN report, 18.4% of U.S. adults have used a Contact Us form in the last six months.

"I think it's more than just losing the conversion," says Stu Collett, founding partner and principal design director at Super User Studio, a London-based digital product and service design consultancy. "It's [someone] losing connection with your brand."

Despite these findings, the survey suggests key opportunities for businesses to improve their online forms.

Overall, experts say businesses can improve their online forms by eliminating extraneous questions, improving security, and considering online forms an extension of their overall customer service effort.

Additionally, nearly 1 in 5 people (19%) will complete an online form if a company contacts them through email or a phone call. Despite this opportunity to win conversions, 11% receive no follow up contact after filling out an online form, suggesting a missed opportunity for businesses.

These businesses should be reaching out to Contact Us Form Users. Nearly 24% have posted reviews about local businesses according to AudienceSCAN.

When people return to a previously abandoned online form, it's typically because they need access to a resource they can't obtain any other way (30%). An additional 20% of people are willing to return in exchange for an incentive, such as entry into a contest.

Local retailers might also be able to connect with Contact Us Form Users through ads on a social network. About 49% of these shoppers have taken action as a result of these ads, reports AudienceSCAN.

As part of implementing best practices in online form design, businesses should also test changes to their online forms with their target audiences. Over time, testing can yield higher conversions by revealing audience preferences for online form design.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.