The decision as to whether your customers can check out in one step or multiple steps is a tough one. Over 60% of sites use multi-step checkout but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best kind. Usability studies have shown no significant difference in conversion rates between single and multi-stage checkouts.
They both have their strengths and weaknesses so finding the perfect checkout method for your store relies entirely on your needs, your customers, and the kind of products you sell.
Test, test, test
Test a One-Page Checkout especially if your average order value is low and you’re selling impulse purchases. For example, someone buying a novelty mug would not mind a one step checkout while someone buying a diamond ring would want to review their order very carefully so a multi-step checkout will be more suitable.
If you can, split test against a multi-step checkout, because it is not clear which option will yield higher results for your specific industry and store, as evidenced below.
One-page checkouts and digital wallets (Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal One Touch) have improved mobile conversion by up to 10% at launch. For Power Support, they say a 26% increase in orders within two weeks after installing Amazon Pay. (source)
For GetElastic, single-page checkout outperformed its old multi-page checkout by 21.8%. (source)
Benefits of multi-step checkout
This type of checkout can more easily help you identify conversion bottlenecks. You would be able to know at exactly which point of the checkout process a customer abandoned their order.
It is also typically less cluttered and overwhelming to look at as it minimizes the amount of information displayed and required at any point. While this is fine, you still need to limit the stages. A 10 step checkout process won’t win you any fans. Keep the stages between two and four.
Multi-step checkout is best suited for:
- Guest checkout
- Customer ordering multiple items
- Customer ordering high value items
- Customers ordering customized items
Benefits of a one step checkout
Speed and reduced complexity are the greatest benefits of this checkout type. These can be compromised by having a single form with too many fields so you can simplify that by using as few fields as possible or splitting the process into stages.
One step checkouts are best suited for:
- Impulse purchases
- Customers ordering a single item
- Return customers whose shipping and billing details you already have on file.