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  • Maëlle Chetal Gaillard

[Study] One in two buyers abandons an order if it takes too long to pay

Recent research from Stripe, the financial infrastructure platform for businesses, reveals that the majority of the most visited e-commerce sites in France make payment errors, leading to customer frustration and lost of revenue for businesses.

Payment is a key part of the online shopping process. Stripe's recent survey reveals the most common errors experienced by consumers. "An error-ridden checkout process is like driving with the handbrake on, it's avoidable and it slows down your business," comments John Collison co-founder and president of Stripe. Correcting payment errors is easy and generates more revenue instantly."

Payment complexity is holding consumers back

Online shoppers want a quick and easy payment process. The study notes that 51% of French shoppers abandon a purchase if the checkout takes longer than three minutes. Only 52% of e-commerce sites allow French customers to register their payment method in one click for future payments.

The survey reveals that the vast majority (85%) of e-commerce sites in France make errors that complicate the payment process. For example, almost a quarter of French sites (23%) allow an attempt to pay with an expired card. 74% of sites do not display security logos on their payment page and 82% do not follow up with customers who have abandoned their shopping carts.

82% of shoppers surveyed add a product to their basket as a result of a cross-selling or up-selling strategy

Most (86%) e-commerce sites do not offer up-selling, while almost half (41%) do not offer cross-selling. As a reminder, the vast majority of consumers surveyed (82%) say they are likely to add a product to their shopping cart as a result of a cross-selling or up-selling strategy.

Multiple payment methods are key to purchase

While most websites offer multiple payment options, they are often the wrong ones. For 97% of French consumers, it is important that an online site offers them the most common payment methods, while 82% frequently abandon their shopping cart if their preferred payment method is not available. In France, 20% of e-commerce sites do not offer customers the option of paying by credit card, the most popular payment method in the country.

20% of e-commerce sites in France do not offer payment by credit card

In addition to card payments, the French prefer bank transfers (16%), direct debit (11%) and Apple Pay (8%). PayPal is offered by 83% of merchant sites. The "buy now, pay later" configuration is also proving increasingly popular: 51% of French people say they are more likely to finalise a purchase if a BPNL offer is available, whereas 90% of French e-commerce sites do not yet offer them.

Online shopping via smartphone

48% of French consumers prefer their mobile phones to their computers to locate and purchase products online. However, 6% of websites are not yet adapted to a mobile interface. 17% of French websites have at least one mobile optimisation error, such as not supporting Apple Pay and Google Pay in 97% of cases, but also not displaying a numeric keypad for entering payment card information on mobile for 13% of sites. Nearly three-quarters of French consumers (72%) say they use social networks to make online purchases. Facebook, YouTube and Instagram rank as the most used platforms for shopping with over 43% of customers using them.

Omnichannel strategies and subscriptions

In France, 72% of e-commerce sites report adopting an omnichannel strategy, offering customers the option of reserving a product online and paying for it in the shop (click and collect), or paying online and collecting the product in the shop (pay and collect). This is the highest share among the European countries analysed. Online subscriptions are opportunities for businesses to build customer loyalty and thus secure a regular income.

80% of consumers are discouraged from subscribing online

Indeed, 76% of French people say they subscribe (and therefore pay) for an online service, 60% of them to consume media or entertainment online. Errors in the payment process are nevertheless present: 21% of the subscription sites analysed in the Stripe study have three major errors in their transactional process. 4 out of 5 French customers (80%) have experienced a negative event that has dissuaded them from purchasing a subscription service. 23% of respondents are deterred from subscribing when they cannot manage the subscription online themselves (e.g. when they have to speak to an agent to cancel/change their subscription). Over a quarter of respondents (28%) regret not being informed when the price of their subscription service changes. In addition, only 43% of subscription websites offer a free trial and 20% offer a long-term no-commitment offer, which are opportunities to attract new customers. Finally, 31% of subscription websites require manual address entry, which can create additional burdens and lengthen the payment time.


Stripe partnered with Edgar, Dunn & Company to analyse the top 100 French e-commerce sites, using online sales data provided by Statista. Where the number of websites was insufficient, the initial sample was expanded to include the websites with the highest online traffic according to Similarweb. For each site, a set of errors was evaluated by placing a product in the shopping cart to simulate an online purchase. In some cases, a VPN was used to complete the payment process as a foreign customer. Stripe analysed the payment tunnels based on 26 criteria relating to the design of the payment form, optimisation for mobile devices, localisation and the level of security and buyer confidence.

The analysis was also conducted on the top 217 global B2C subscription service sites, based on traffic data provided by Crunchbase. 100 consumers based in France were surveyed to learn more about shopping trends and behaviours, payment preferences and other factors that affect the payment experience.

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