A one-page checkout or rather a multi-step checkout?

A one-page checkout or rather a multi-step checkout?

Last night, a large update took place. The promised one-page checkout as well as discount bundles were added to your online store. This will provide you with even more tools to increase conversion. In this blog post, you can read about the benefits of a one-page and multi-step checkout.

The benefits of a one-page checkout

The so-called ‘abandoned shopping carts’ are a frequently occurring problem among online stores. It implies that visitors of your online store do place products in their shopping carts, but subsequently do not complete their order. They leave your online store during the checkout process. According toresearch, this would involve an average percentage no less than 67,35%!

The most important reason that these visitors prematurely quit, is the number of steps they have to go through. Think, for example, of creating an account, selecting a shipping and payment method and entering address data. With each step, visitors will ask themselves ‘Is it worthwhile to continue?’

Often, a one-page checkout is considered the appropriate solution, because of the following reasons:

  1. Speed - With a one-step checkout, your customers do not have to wait until the next page appears. A fast and user-friendly checkout sees to it that customers do not get distracted or still decide not to buy from you.
  2. Interaction - The checkout process responds even more to customer choices, with fields being updated automatically, based on these choices (as address data are also automatically completed, based on the postal code).
  3. Navigation - Navigation becomes even more easy. Everything is displayed in one single area, thus giving your customers less reasons to click the ‘Back’ button.

Case study: multi-step checkout vs. one-page checkout

What is more effective, the multi-step checkout or the one-page checkout? On its website,GetElastic describes a case study of the Official Vancouver 2010 Olympic Store. GetElastic conducted an A/B test for this online store, to find out which checkout method would yield the best results.

In the test, 50% of traffic (i.e. the visitors) was directed to the original checkout, whereas the remaining 50% used the one-page checkout. After 300 transactions, the winner was abundantly clear and research stopped after 606 transactions. The single-page checkout performed better by 21,8%!

Is multi-step no good anymore?

Although a one-page checkout is often considered the ideal checkout scenario, still sufficient reasons remain to opt for a multi-step checkout. For example, when you need more information from your customers before processing the order in question. If you use services like Give.it, to enable your customers to send a product as a gift, it might be more convenient for them to use a multi-step checkout. The process then might feel more natural. The only way to say this with absolute certainty is by conducting an A/B test. You can read more on this topic below.

What works best for my online store?

The above-mentioned GetElastic article warns of the one-page checkout hype. Although the case study demonstrates that a one-page checkout worked well for this particular online store, it does however not imply that that is the case for every online store. The results depend on the product in question, market and target audience.

The best way to find out what works best for your online store, is to A/B test your checkout. This is done as follows:

When you have an M package, you may do this by circulating the available checkout scenarios (multi-step, one-page checkout, one-step). You choose a checkout scenario and will analyze your conversion ratio in Google Analytics for several weeks. Subsequently, you choose a different checkout scenario and again analyze your conversion ratio for several weeks.

When you have a larger package such as L or XL, starting today you can A/B test the available checkout scenarios. This implies that checkout scenarios will be shown to your customers at random. Through your back office, you can keep track which scenario performs best.

How this works is explained in detail in our blog post related to this update.