One-page vs. Multi-step Checkout: Which to Use When?
One-page vs. Multi-step Checkout: Which to Use When?
As we know, the attention span of online consumers is incredibly short. Even the slightest inconvenience can cause an eCommerce user to abandon the cart. This can be seen in the incredibly high abandoned cart rates across the whole eCommerce spectrum.
The checkout process is often a key area for customers to abandon their cart.
You may note that some eCommerce stores use a multi-step checkout process, whilst others have a single step.
Which is best? Which method will lower your cart abandonment rate and increase your profit margin?
In this blog, we explore the answers to these questions.
Multi-step vs. One-page Checkout
Customers remember a website with good user experience, simply because good UX is often lacking on many eCommerce stores. Building a fantastic UX is a great way to improve customer retention and build your business.
The design, steps, and features of an eCommerce checkout have an impact on user experience, customer satisfaction, conversion rate, and customer retention.
So, it pays to spend some time designing a great checkout process and testing what gives the best result for your customers.
Before we explore what might work best for your customers we need to consider the pros and cons of each process and weigh them with your requirements.
Multi-step Checkout Process
The multi-step check process breaks down the entire checkout process into 3-5 logical steps for details like shipping address, shipping options, and payment information, etc. and each of these steps has different screens. After initialising the checkout, customers forward through new screens for each step.
Benefits of Multi-page checkout process
Clean and Simple Layout
Since the checkout process is divided into steps and each screen contains only a particular kind of information, input fields can be displayed in a clean design with less clutter in each step. So, the customers won’t get overwhelmed. Although it requires additional clicks to forward through the steps, some people would find it less intimidating and easier to fill out.
Good User Experience
The multi-step checkout process divides the checkout process into different steps. So, each step has only a few fields to fill in which can be less intimidating for the customers. Apart from that, the progress indicator helps customers to see how far they have reached in the checkout process and how many more steps are there to complete the order.
Get funnel data in analytics
With the multi-step checkout process, you get the checkout funnel so you can analyze at what step, most of your customers tend to exit from the checkout process. If you have a one-page checkout process on your online store, you can’t get this data because there are no multiple checkout process steps for the analytics tool to track.
In the multi-step checkout process, the contact details of the customer are collected in the first step. So, even if the customer doesn’t complete the checkout, you will get the emails of potential customers if they have finished the first steps. These emails can be later used to send promotional emails.
Drawbacks of the multi-step process
After finishing each step in the multi-step process, customers need to click on the next button to go to the next step. It would make them feel that the checkout process consumes too much time which could be annoying for time-conscious customers.
Difficult to edit details
If a customer wants to edit the details in a previous step, they have to go back to the previous step again.
When should you use multi-step checkout process
- If you collect lots of information from the customers during the checkout process, the multi-step checkout process would be a better option.
In the single page checkout process, all elements and input fields for the entire checkout process are put onto one page.
Here you can see that cart contents, shipping options, shipping address, and payment information are crammed onto a single page.
Benefits of One-page Checkout
Several studies have shown that one-page checkout is better than multi-step checkout when it comes to the conversion rate. For example, In an A/B split testing conducted by Elasticpath, it was found that the single page checkout page outperformed the two-page checkout process by a whopping margin of 21.8% difference in conversion rate.
Customers get all the fields they need to fill in one page. So, they don’t need to click on the next step button to progress through the various checkout steps.
All Details in Single Page
Unlike in the multi-step process, customers can view and edit all the details they have entered without going back and forward through the steps.
One-page checkout process enables customers to complete the checkout process quickly. Customers can use the Tab key on the keyboard to shift the focus to the next input field and they don’t need to use the mouse much which increases the speed of filling form significantly.
Drawbacks of Single-page checkout
Putting all fields on one page reduces the number of steps but it may intimidate the customers especially when the form requires the customer to fill lots of information, such as billing and shipping address.
Reduce page loading speed
Consolidating all elements into one page increases the page loading time. The first step of the checkout process is the most common exit point in the eCommerce funnel. So, when there is a high latency in the page loading, customers are highly likely to abandon the checkout process.
Limit website analytics data collection
Since there are no multiple steps in the one-page checkout process, it becomes difficult to track funnel data and see at what point customers quit the purchase process.
In the multi-step checkout process, the website analytics tool can track the customers through each step of the checkout process and know exactly at what stage customers leave the checkout process. But in the single-page checkout, analytics can’t give you this information.
Although there are workarounds for this, they are more sophisticated and the data will be less reliable.
When Should You Use One-page Checkout
One-page checkout is particularly useful for digital products because there is usually less information required from the customer. For instance, you will not need a shipping address or shipping method.
If most of your sales are return customers and they have user accounts on your eCommerce website, the one-page checkout process is fine because customers don’t need to fill all the details each time because their details are already saved on the site. This can often be the case in B2B sales.
There is no one size fits all checkout process for eCommerce websites because every site is different and has a different mix of customers and products. The best checkout process for your site will vary based on many factors including but not limited to
- Percentage of repeat sales
- Sales funnel analytics requirements
- Type of products
- Amount of information required to be filled
Therefore the best solution is to conduct an A/B test of both checkout processes and find out whether the one-page or multi-step checkout process is the best option for your online store.