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One Page Ajax Checkout – 5 Reasons Why Not

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bin-140Should you use one page Ajax checkout? Here are 5 reasons not to.

1. I have found mostly complaints from website owners than anything good about one page checkouts as you can read from the selected forums below:

2. Gap.com is the only top 500 online retailer using a one page Ajax checkout but according to econsultancy.com posted in January 2009 Gap.com saw some decrease in conversion rates in their one page Ajax checkout. Gap.com is still using the one page Ajax checkout till now. NOTE: as we all know, TOP 500 retailers are very quick in implementing new things, especially if those things increase conversion rates. Apart from gap.com I can’t recall any other stores using one page checkout.

3. According to this post from getelastic.com, three step checkout process convert the best at 6.2% whereas one page checkout converts at only 2.5% as you can see in the table below.

chart-number-of-steps

4. I found one study talking about anthropologie.com website. It says that they have seen an increase in conversion by 24%, but anthropologie.com isn’t using one page checkout as shown in the picture below anymore, apart from outside USA transactions. For outside USA, they use this checkout module from third party fiftyone.com, also used on overstock.com only for overseas transactions.

anthropologie-case-study26-07-2009-22-56-15

anthropologie-26-07-2009-22-10-075. All these 5 stores, iBitStore.com, Myakka.com, BuyCosmetics.com, BagsDirect.com and PastTimes.com, used to have one page Ajax checkout according to this screen shot from a website, but as of writing no one page Ajax checkout there anymore.

single-page26-07-2009-22-21-202

Clearly, there is not much talk in favour of one page Ajax checkout. So how come some shopping cart vendors like magento, corecommerce or prostores offer one page Ajax checkouts? What is it about one page Ajax checkouts then?

Multi step checkout is more complex, requires knowledge and money (for testing) to get it right. And this is probably why one page Ajax checkout appears to make life simpler because one page Ajax checkouts are easier and cheaper to have, especially if you don’t have resources for website testing, because you deal only with one page.

We would like to hear from website owners who switched from multi page checkout to one page Ajax checkout and vice verse, so you all can learn and possibly avoid costly mistakes.

About the author

Jan Petrovic Jan Petrovic is the founder of proimpact7.com, 2012 Award Winning Conversion Optimization Agency. He is also a master certified conversion optimization & web analytics professional. Proimpact7.com provides conversion optimization services for small and large online business. Jan also works as a web analyst for large U.S. online & offline retailer. Jan studied conversion optimization with MarketingExperiments and Bryan Eisenberg, the most recognized of conversion optimization experts. He gained his master certification in analytics with another widely recognized expert in the analytics industry - Avinash Kaushik. After Jan finished his studies, he launched a website called dashboardinspector.com, which provides dedicated web marketing analyst service for small and large online businesses, allowing businesses to save up to 60% on in-house cost.

Questions or comments?

For queries regarding conversion optimization of your site, or for more information on this article please contact Jan Petrovic, founder of proimpact7.com and master certified in conversion optimization and web analytics.

jan@proimpact7.com



10 Responses to “One Page Ajax Checkout – 5 Reasons Why Not”

  1. Matt says:

    We are in the process of building a new checkout procedure. My major concern is actually the force sign up. How do you feel about doing that?

  2. JP says:

    I absolutely hate the Magento checkout, and wouldn’t even really call it a one-page checkout. Yes, it doesn’t completely refresh the page between each step, but you still have to click a “next” button of some kind that takes you to the next step. So it’s basically a 5-step checkout that’s mired down in javascript and badly designed forms. So it’s no wonder that the magento devs are complaining.

  3. swarovski says:

    Hi

    this is a very interesting post. We had a 3 step check out and increseat it to a 5 step check out. Till now we are not very convinced.for sustomer who jsut fly through the sho the express paypal checkout is ideal.

    if someone cares do go to http://www.modastrass.co.uk and see our checkout process- We will be happy to hear any recommendations dot optimize it for higher conversions.

    Kind regards

    helen

    • Jan Petrovic says:

      Hi Swarovski,

      I just had a quick look at your checkout and here are a few ideas you should focus at:
      1. once you get visitors to your checkout remove all the unnecessary navigation (left & right navigation elements, footer). This way you will be able to keep people in your checkout. Keep in the footer only important information (privacy, security, return policy, delivery)
      2. second step (personal details) – this looks very long and difficult, and some fields could be improved. Would make it neater looking.
      3. assurance policy during checkout – privacy & security reassurance, plus very important your return policy.
      4. during your checkout you call all your buttons ‘proceed to checkout’. More appropriate name while I am in the second, third etc. steps would be to use ‘continue’.

      If you want me to I can have a look at your analytics as well, if you add my email address jan@proimpact7.com to your Google Analytics.

  4. Gail O says:

    I just switched from 1 page (recommended by my shopping cart provider) to multiple page. The multiple page checkout when I tried it, has a more professional look to it. I will give it 30 days and then compare abandonment rates.

  5. Hmmm, I have always thought one page checkout was the way to go. I have been doing it for years, now I am tempted to test multi page checkout for a month or so.

  6. Traian says:

    Jan, http://www.cafepress.ca/ is currently using a one page checkout :)

  7. Jan Petrovic says:

    Hi Traian, they do, but not the Ajax one page checkout. At the time of writing I was looking at ajax one page checkouts, as one page checkout similar to cafepress.com wasn’t in use yet. I talked to Jeffrey Eisenberg recently about cafepress.com checkout, as he worked on it and it performed better than multiple step checkout. But if you noticed, they didn’t use Ajax one page checkout. If you were to use one page checkout, then test cafepress.com style checkout, and avoid using Ajax one page checkoout, which for some reason is so loved by Magento users.

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