Every question you ask someone within a checkout form forces them to decide what you are asking, come up with an answer, and then enter their answer into the affordance (form input) you have provided. Removing a question removes all of these considerations. And surprise… it can have a real impact.

For questions that can’t be removed potential customers need to understand what’s required of them. A lack of clarity in form labels, input fields, or actions can cause people to misinterpret requirements, thereby leading to errors or failed submissions. Addressing these issues is a common way to boost form conversion.

For example, a major online travel site had an optional question labeled “Company” in the payment step of their checkout form. Many customers mis-interpreted this question as a request for their bank information, which they entered in subsequent fields causing credit card verification to fail. The site removed the “Company” field and saw an overnight increase of $12 million a year in profit.