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We switched to a one-page checkout about a month ago as it seemed that was the way to go. Less pages to go through; having everyone on one page. We designed it very well, easy visible steps down the whole page, required the same information as before...well the conversion rate has dropped 3% since the change.
Before we had the following pages after the cart:
1/ Login or New Customer page
2/ Billing/Shipping Address Page
3/ Billing information page which also had the "Order Now" button.
So from 3 pages to 1.
I talked to another business owner friend who recently did the same thing, as soon as they moved to a one-page checkout, the conversion rate for the entire checkout process dropped.
Anyone else have this same problem?
[edited by: lorax at 8:13 pm (utc) on July 12, 2009]
One of the reasons 1 page checkouts generally don't work is because the customer has not yet made his decision 100% to make or go through to the purchase.
In example: if the customer puts in the work of filling out the initial page info, that work has been done, and he/she feels that abandoning the process now will have wasted the effort put into it. Now the customer is more likely to finish the process. And they've committed to it a bit more.
There are also psychological reasons of having too much to fill out/or to see at once on a single page.
Another reason I can think of is most checkout processes are at least two/three pages and this is what the customer is accustomed to. When he/she sees something different, they will become skeptical.
Then depends how the checkout is structured. For example for a store that accepts one payment method via an external gateway (no cc) and one shipping method only, there is no point to waste time displaying individual pages nor allowing the customer to enter anything as there will be a single selection. So in that case you could simply display a confirmation page speeding up the checkout process.
In other cases with multiple carriers, cc details etc, you should still deploy at least a confirmation page (plus the payment/shipping which can be combined into one). Also it depends on the cart, how it handles existing customers vs new customers. For existing customers you could ease the selection of various details based on their previous cart processing. (with the aid of address books, pre-selected carrier or a cheapest shipping option selected, things like that).