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The checkout process debate of 2017: one-step or multi-step

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checkout process debate

If you look at the conversion driven field of eCommerce, you can find plenty of new trends. However, recently, there is a debate exploring the checkout process, the most outstanding one is between one step and multi-step. If you come and visit the forum, you will see the fact that some are preaching one step, others are staying multi-step. Regardless of any type of checkout process used, the common goal is still decreasing cart abandonment and increasing conversion. Some questions users usually raise are what’s the difference? Where do you fit in? And which direction should you take the leap? this article will help you, we do not give the absolute answer but we will analyze to help you make the decision.

1. The multi-step checkout process

In short, we can explain it by the steps in the checkout process are broken up over multiple pages, it will allow consumers to know which step they are on and how many steps are left. Or you can understand it as the type of checkout process that simplifies the overwhelming checkout experience and customers can focus on  just one step at a time

The Debate

The debate of two opposite opinions about this checkout method occurs between Alison and Will as follow:

  • Alison agreed that the multi-step checkout process is so easy and clear and makes him feel safe and secure about what he is doing. He usually buys big-items and he wants to know exactly where I am in the process, how many steps are left and feels comfortable after each time I complete a step. The multi-step checkout process will be safer because he can double check information imported and in some cases, there are many shipping options provided and he needs some time to read and choose the best one.
  • On the other hand, Will complains that why a website needs so many steps just for the checkout process? He obviously uses autofill to complete forms and waiting for the next page to load is so time-consuming for him. Especially, he usually uses a mobile phone for shopping online so he needs a quick and painless checkout process for the smaller screen.

Who it’s good for?

The objects such as Higher price points, desktop shoppers, consumers who are less tech-savvy, older demographics

2. One page checkout process

This is a fast and easy method to purchase. The idea when this method is created is getting the customer through the checkout quickly and painlessly, avoids the case when having to load multiple pages or customers are overwhelmed by many steps.

The debate:

Continuing with Alison and Will:

  • Will was totally satisfied with this model: One step, autofill!
  • On the contrary, Alison was quite confused. He felt a bit overwhelmed because everything was presented on just one page and he was not entirely sure about what to do first. He thought this model was quite OK with low-priced items; however, with higher ticket items, it felt a bit rushed. He did not feel safe with the one-page checkout process. Multi-steps might take more time but seems to be more secure.

Who it’s good for

The objects such as Lower price points, flash sales, tech-savvy customers, frequent repeat purchases, mobile shoppers.


It is hard to say which one is better because it will depend on your usage purpose. I want to give you an overview of the whole picture and from that, hope you can find the sound decision for your own.