Mobile Commerce

Is Single-Page Checkout All It's Cracked Up to Be? On Mobile Sites, No.

Single-page checkout often is MORE complicated and crammed, littered with accordions and expanders.

Myths of the Single-Page Checkout

Myth 1: Single-Page Checkout Is Simpler

  • Why should they be? Build a multi-page checkout that is just as simple as a single-page checkout. Remove any unnecessary fields. Don’t make the mistake of requiring more info just because you have more pages to fill; keep each step as simple as possible.
  • Single-page checkout often is MORE complicated and crammed, littered with accordions and expanders. A few simple, clean pages look much less intimidating.
  • Separating into multiple pages is particularly important for more complex checkouts that include ship-to-store, multi-ship options, promos, rewards codes, etc. Sometimes the single-page solution to this is cramming all these features onto a cart, but that’s just moving the issue up the funnel. You may be able to improve checkout funnel rates that way since this metric ignores sessions prior to checkout, but it will increase cart abandonment and hinder overall conversion rates.
Layer0 Recommendation: Instead of worrying about the number of pages - focus on reducing the number of fields and inputs.

Myth 2: Single-page Checkout Has Fewer Steps

  • If that’s true, you’re doing it wrong. The number of the steps should be the same on a single or multi-page. With multi-page, they are just separated by page instead of section.
  • Oftentimes, content is dependent on user inputs. For example, shipping rates may depend on the shipping address, which will require a full page reload. So there’s not much benefit to putting it on one page.
  • Baymard usability research shows that shoppers are not bothered by moving from page to page.
  • Real-time error detection, which is often added as part of a single-page checkout update, adds load-time to each field and may even trigger unexpected page-reload.
Layer0 Recommendation: Reduce the number of steps in your multi-page checkout and include only 1-2 steps per page.

Myth 3: Amazon Has a Single-Page Checkout So That Must Be Best

  • We hear that a lot but it’s not true. It may look like a one-page checkout for users with an Amazon account (i.e. EVERYone) because all info is stored and the user can go from cart directly to the review page. But for new users, Amazon has a multi-page checkout, with about 6-7 short-straightforward steps.
  • Regardless of what Amazon does, you are not Amazon. Amazon has an incredibly unique and loyal user-base. Amazon can do things you cannot. Looking through their checkout is great for test ideas, but never implement something just because Amazon does it that way. This applies to any well-known site you have your eye on.
Layer0 Recommendation: Remember that your website, your products, your users are unique. Base your optimizations on user-feedback, user-testing, site-specific data, and AB testing.  

Myth 4: A/B Testing Has Proved That Single-Page Checkout Is Better

  • We’ve all seen reports and posts about massive conversion rate lifts related to a switch to single-page checkout. But when you look closely, most of these single-page “wins” have a number of other optimizations included in the single-page version. The experience is better because the mobile checkout flow is simplified and optimized, not because everything was put onto one page.
  • Layer0 testing has shown positive results for multi-page checkouts, with up to 32% lift in conversion rate for an optimized multi-page checkout.
Layer0 Recommendation: When testing single vs multi-page, make sure this is the ONE variable. If there are other factors, you cannot attribute a conversion lift to the number of pages. Test this for your site specifically rather than relying on external tests.

Related Blog Posts:

The Great Debate: Single or Multi-Page eCommerce Checkout?

One Page Checkout Vs Multi-Page One

One Page Checkouts – the Holy Grail of Checkout Usability?

The Anatomy of The Perfect Mobile E-Commerce Checkout Page

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