Why People Abandon Online Forms and What to Do About It

Man sitting in front of a computer appearing frustrated.
Online forms should minimize the “friction” between your user and the information or product they want.

All types of businesses and other organizations depend on online forms to collect and deliver information and strengthen relationships with clients. But most people don’t finish online forms after starting them.

It isn’t that filling out forms is too hard. People want their online activities to proceed with the least amount of “friction” as possible. They’re willing to make the trade-off of exchanging some of their personal information for something they perceive as valuable, but they evaluate these potential trade-offs in a split second, so you don’t have much time to convince users that your online forms are worth their time.

It’s important that you understand why people abandon online forms, how you can prevent this, and how well-designed online forms can strengthen your business.

Why People Abandon Online Forms

Some of the reasons people abandon online forms before submitting them include:

  • Concerns about data security
  • Forms that are too long
  • Experience of being bombarded with ads after completing previous online forms
  • Perception of some questions in online forms as being unnecessary
  • Difficulty in completing forms on mobile devices

Of the people who abandon online forms, only a small fraction ever return to complete the forms later. Most users give up on obtaining the information they want, choose another provider, or contact customer service for help instead.

Ways to Prevent Form Abandonment

One of the most important and effective ways to prevent people from abandoning your online forms is to be transparent about why the form exists and how you plan to keep data you collect secure. People want to know for certain that you won’t share their email address with third parties, and they want to know that you take data security seriously.

Another way to encourage completion of online forms is to eliminate all extraneous questions. With each question added to an online form, the chances of the user completing it drop. Making forms mobile-friendly by minimizing the typing users have to do and using drop-down menus and check boxes wherever possible, is another way to encourage form completion.

People frequently abandon online forms because they don’t have access to information they need for it. If they’re allowed to save their progress and return to the form to complete it later, they’re likelier to come back than if they have to completely abandon what they’ve done and start over.

Good Online Forms Strengthen Customer Relationships

When you use best practices in developing online forms and using the data you collect from them, you create opportunities to strengthen the relationship with your customer (or potential customer). To gain their trust you can demonstrate that you won’t bombard them with ads or up-selling pushes and that you will never share their information with third parties.

And when online forms allow customers to fill out future online forms without having to re-enter data, they’ll appreciate your efforts even more. Furthermore, by saving customer data and using it to auto-populate parts of new forms, you can reduce the number of errors contained in completed forms.

Your form software can make or break your efforts to provide online forms that people want to complete. PerfectApps has a user-friendly visual interface that allows you to drag and drop form elements into place, so your forms are visually appealing. You can customize with logos, text, and other graphics to reflect your branding, and use mobile-friendly form features like check boxes and drop-down menus with ease.

When you make it as easy and convenient as possible for people to complete your online forms, you reduce the rate of form abandonment. PerfectApps invites you to watch our demo video and see how easy it is to create pixel-perfect, fully customized online forms.