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It could be a simple system (think parking ticket machine - order, pay, get all on one interface) or a more complex one (think ATM machine - connect, multiple questions on one interface - e.g. AJAX).
On the worst side of things, making things all one one page could be more confusing. Intuition breaks down at some point when you break away from the market norms too much. How does your user know that they need to press the arrow next to the product to move it into the shopping cart box, and then press the 'pay button' to activate the credit card boxes...
what if your checkout has options, ship multiple packages to multiple addresses. what about shipping prices fro those options, not to mention extra promos like giftwrapping each item, or a set of items, etc, etc. What about existing customers, new customers,
having one page may work for some, but i think the most logical way to do it is great.
I have a 85 - 90% checkout to sale ratio and have 3 pages of checkout
anyway, my 2 cnts
Although I think it may have been due to confusion of buyers, everything is about their expectations, they expect a shortpage then maybe nother when buying on the web.
To suddenly be presented by a page that runs the length of the Amazon could scare them witless and away, a primary reason being that they are wondering if theres any more pages like this one to complete.