You’ve spent a lot of time, energy, and money on your eCommerce experience. You’ve developed the content. Designed, tested, and optimized the UI and UX. And you’ve even invested in technology to curate and personalize the shopping experience for different users. So once your customer adds items to their digital shopping cart, it’s all smooth sailing through conversion, right?


The checkout experience is increasingly becoming a make-or-break point for customers. Journey flows are clunky and not optimized for mobile devices. Checkout pages are ripe with features that are designed to help customers–but ultimately hurt them.

The end result? Your eager, ready-to-buy customers abandon ship…and are likely never to return again. In software engineering, these little quirks are called “antipatterns.”

The term “antipattern” was first used by computer programmer Andrew Koenig in the mid-90s and has become a common term to describe processes, structures, or patterns that are commonly used but are known to be ineffective or flawed. While these actions were initially implemented to be helpful, they are so ineffective that they end up causing poor results and negative consequences for both the developer and the user.

You’re likely reading this and thinking about all of the antipatterns you’ve experienced as an online shopper. But how many can be found in your checkout experience?

In this guide, we’ve partnered with our friends at Loqate to share some of the most prevalent, and honestly, some of the most sadistic ways, brands unintentionally scare off customers. Loqate works with some of the world’s biggest brands to help improve their user experience and data quality, so they had quite a few examples to share.

Breaking or preventing text autocomplete

“I love when I have to go back in and edit every form field because of Javascript validation,” said no one ever. Google Chrome and Safari users expect that autocompletion of repetitive data entry—like addresses and payment data—work flawlessly. But sadly, many checkouts break this built-in feature with aggressive validation.

When it comes to the online checkout experience, time is money. In fact, 22% of consumers admitted to abandoning their online carts because the checkout process was too long and/or complicated, according to Baymard Institute. That is a lot of dollars merchants are leaving on the table.

Shoppers use autocomplete and autocorrect to make typing faster and easier. If you’re preventing them from these increasingly critical features, you’re ultimately creating bad friction and making it harder for them to get the items they want. (And that means you’re making it harder for your business to make money!)

Requiring customers to complete each field

Merchants need comprehensive and accurate data to fulfill their ultimate brand promise: to get products to customers as quickly and efficiently as possible. But there is a fine line between detail-oriented and redundant.

We have seen many checkout experiences that require customers to type an input in every field. They can only go to the next page of the flow, review their cart, or complete their transaction once every blank space is accounted for. Sometimes, it’s tough to spot which field is missing an input, especially on mobile!

If you have these requirements in place, consider whether you’re risking customer experience in favor of meticulousness. And if you’re preventing people from accessing critical information to validate their purchases, such as seeing final costs, taxes, or savings from promotions.

Expiring checkout flows (and emptying carts) without a countdown hero timer

We’ve all fallen victim to it: the dreaded checkout expiration. We had the best of intentions to complete our purchase, but we left our wallet in the car, or maybe, quite simply, our attention got pulled elsewhere.

“I’ll just go back to my cart later,” we think. But when that time finally comes and we’re ready to claim our coveted goods…they’re gone. 

We may think that countdown hero timers are common knowledge and thus, widely embraced. After all, they are highly effective in driving urgency and getting consumers to complete their transactions. However, few eCommerce sites use this feature to their advantage, creating headaches for their customers.


A CAPTCHA test is designed to help merchants verify whether an online user is a human or a bot. It can be executed in various styles and experiences, from simple math problems to character-matching exercises and even fun little photo hunts and puzzles.

While the intentions are good (we all want to minimize bot traffic and stop fraudulent sales, right?), CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA tests can sometimes be buggy and wrongly fail authentic users. After all, they are automated tests, which means they are sometimes flawed. Or, in the case of some image-based CAPTCHA tests, the ask may seem a bit…complicated.


If your shoppers are being served CAPTCHA tests and keep failing them, then, well, you will definitely lose a few sales. (And you may even be the victim of a few choice words from your customers. See the below Reddit thread for proof!)


Forcing consumers to enter their address

Accurate address data is crucial to ensuring logistical efficiency and fulfillment performance. Let’s be real, though: when your customers add address information, they’re likely to make a few errors. Maybe they accidentally spell their street name wrong or don’t put their apartment number in the right field. Or quite simply, they use the incorrect ZIP code.

Not having the proper data capture technology to track and correct those inaccuracies could lead to a lot of issues down the line, both for you and your customers. When you have a system that captures data at the point of address entry, you make it easier for customers to enter their addresses accurately.

Forcing customers to re-enter their address

Say it with us: “argh.” More often than not, consumers are making a purchase for themselves, using their own personal payment information. That means the delivery address and the payment account address are the same. 

Why is it, then, that so many checkout flows don’t allow us to simply check a box to duplicate the information? Instead, we’re forced to retype (or copy and paste) information over and over. Data capture technology and autocomplete features can speed up the process for customers and make sure every input is correct.

One-click payments with bad addresses

The final hiccup customers can face with their addresses is having incorrect address information auto-filling for one-click payments. Real talk: you don’t want that dollar shaving subscription going to your ex’s apartment.

Theoretically, one-click checkout is designed to make the checkout process faster, easier, and more accurate. But when the wrong or outdated address information is added, and there’s no easy way to edit it, customers will be quick to close things out. 

Or worse yet, the burden to fix the error shifts to your CX team. This is bad friction—call that razor burn. Yowch!

Adding buggy (and just plain confusing) phone number and date entry fields

Phone number and birthdate data entry fields are arguably the most frustrating. Why? Because every site needs to have different parameters and requirements. 

For phone numbers, hyphens may or may not be required. And country codes? Forgetaboutit.

There also are a lot of nuances for birth date entry. Depending on the eCommerce site, customers may be required to enter the month, date, and year using a certain number of characters. Or, if there is a calendar interface, they may have a less-than-favorable experience trying to find their date of birth.

This is so prevalent, that there’s an entire Subreddit dedicated to designers creating spoofed malicious form field entries.


Not using appropriate mobile keyboards

Nearly half (44%) of eCommerce sales will take place on mobile devices by 2025. Smartphones are an innate extension of our bodies. We naturally reach for them when we want to chat, research, browse, and buy. 

While our hyper-connection to smartphones creates an obvious opportunity for merchants, it also can create big problems, especially if checkout experiences aren’t optimized for mobile. In fact, cart abandonment rates are a staggering 86% on smartphones – the highest abandonment rate of all devices.

One of the top checkout hiccups for mobile? Not using the right mobile keyboards.

Vague error alerts on the checkout page

We’ve established throughout this piece that the checkout process for most eCommerce sites is arduous, to say the least. Now imagine your customer spending several minutes filling out all of the information necessary to complete a purchase, clicking “submit order” and getting, in big bold letters: “There’s an error with the information you provided. Please try again.” 

In some cases, yes, the information is either incorrect or incomplete. But many consumers (like this poor Apple customer) say they have double and triple-checked their information, only to get the same errors.


The checkout experience is becoming increasingly central to the brand experience—and today’s empowered shoppers are incredibly unforgiving when brands make it difficult for them to complete their purchases.

If your eCommerce checkout flow is riddled with these 10 antipatterns (or others!), now is the time to make your first step toward redemption.

Loqate’s system captures data at the point of address entry, so retailers can gather customer location data quickly, easily, and accurately. Loqate has helped some of the most CX-forward brands, from Kohl’s to ASOS and Sephora, reduce checkout friction, improve overall UX, and optimize the buying journey for mobile users.

Click this link to learn more about Loqate.