So what is the answer?
I remember back in my early days at ekmPowershop one of the most requested features was “One Page Checkout”. At the time it was going to be the saviour of ecommerce checkout, it’d take away the need for customers to navigate from page to page and wait for page loads.
It turns out though that one page checkout isn’t the answer. It actually causes more issues than it fixes. In our new checkout we’re pushing the multiple page checkout flow which is researched thoroughly and implemented very well.
The issues with one page checkout
In our research we found that customers faced with large amounts of fields are put off. In an alarming number of cases, it would put off the customer enough for them to leave the checkout and site entirely.
The primary selling point of one page checkout was that a customer could start and finish purchasing a product without having to wait for pages to load. In practice though this meant that every field needed to complete the checkout had to be output on one page.
A customer first visiting this flow wil become overwhelmed with the number of fields they’re required to fill out, making them question whether they want to invest the time to complete the page.
Another issue we found with one page checkout was that even though shop owners knew there was only one or two steps (depending on gateway) to complete a purchase, the customer didn’t. At first glance they could be lead to believe that this huge list of fields was the first of potentially many more steps.
What we found about our current multiple page checkout
Our current multiple page checkout is no saint either- we may have reduced the number of fields the customer saw per step but we didn’t make it very clear how many steps there were. Our research showed that this is actually just as bad as showing too many fields.
How we fixed this in the new checkout
In the new checkout flow we’ve addressed many usability issues from our current checkout. Now the new checkout is a multiple page flow that varies between 4 and 5 steps depending on your setup.
- Customer Login (Optional)
- Delivery & Billing Details
- Order Summary
- Order Complete
Over this relatively short flow we’ve made some huge usability improvements to make the whole checkout process as painless and friction-less for customers as possible.
As a customer fills in their information the new checkout will retain their data so when they navigate from page to page or back a page all previously entered information is kept.
Customers should be able to go back to previous steps both with on page buttons and the browser back button. Even some of the biggest ecommerce websites are failing to meet this customer expectation but in the new checkout we’ve solved this huge annoyance.
As mentioned previously our (soon to be) old multiple page checkout failed when it came to informing your customers how many steps and how much progress they had made.
In the new checkout it’s easy to see how many steps you’ve completed and how many steps to go until you’ve made a purchase.
The new checkout progress bar will also allow your customers to easily jump back to a previous step to make changes without losing any data. This is another interesting pitfall that a lot of ecommerce sites face.