Just 3-4 years ago, ordering a taxi in the UK would inevitably involve calls, cash machines and waiting for a cab that could be anywhere! And we’d only dreamed of having dinner from a favourite restaurant delivered straight to our own front door.

When stripped back to basics, true innovation identifies pain points and builds solutions that make life easier and better for people; Uber and Deliveroo are the modern masters.

Trillions of dollars are now being spent online by consumers around the world and convenience and simplicity are two of principal factors driving this trend. Online merchants have perfected the practice of attracting customers, guiding them through their site and bringing them to the check out.

To stumble at the final hurdle seems unthinkable, but low checkout conversion is a cruel reality that’s still haunting merchants today. According to the PYMNTS Checkout Conversion Index, 40.7% of retail sales are lost to cart abandonment. Here are some of the other key numbers to watch on the Index:

  • $2.05 Trillion – The total estimated dollar value of global eCommerce sales in 2016.
  • $399 Billion – The total estimated value of U.S. eCommerce sales in 2016.
  • $162 Billion – The total value of sales left on the table through carts abandoned at checkout.

PYMNTS also estimated that the average checkout time on the on the top 30 eCommerce sites is 146 seconds, about 30 percent faster than the wider average speed. Friction has been cut from every stage in the customer journey, but when it comes to the check out, it is still unacceptably high for many customers.

What’s the problem? Consumer experiences in innovation across sectors such as retail, hospitality and travel are colliding with less slick payments and security protocol! So, how should merchants respond?

Embarking upon their own payment solution could be one option. Merchants can build a checkout tailored specifically to their own customer base and needs – they are nimbler, understand the components and do not have any interest to protect inefficiency. Merchants also have piles of data at their disposal which, if exercised properly, can improve their situation significantly.

Be prepared for a laundry list of variables to manage and perfect, but by perfecting it, merchants can take a step closer to solving one of the last great convenience puzzles still facing us today.