Multi vs single page eCommerce checkouts

There is no silver bullet. Only an emphasis on simplicity for the user.

Whether you sit on the multi-page or one-page checkout side of the fence, there is one thing that is never going to change.

And that is the simpler and more engaging the user journey is for someone looking to buy from your carefully crafted e-commerce site, the more likely it is they will spend.

Though how that is achieved is more subjective, the dark art of Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) should be finely-tuned by any business with an online presence.

And because there are plenty of supporters for both the one-page and multi-page checkout, we’ve rounded up five best practices we think need to be seriously considered for an engaging UX.

Mobile optimisation

There is a ton of research out there that highlights the ever-growing trend of people making purchases on their smartphones.

As part of an effective user journey, initiatives such as the open source Accelerated Mobile Page initiative, needs to be thought about very carefully, so all the good work you put into your e-commerce site is virtually transferrable.

The technology has come along way but Google data shows people abandon websites if it doesn’t load quickly enough. Businesses – ignore at their peril.

Easy to navigate

First impressions are everything for both multi page and single page e-commerce checkouts.

The less there is to click, the quicker they spend money on your product. Therefore creating a bespoke UI that is easy to navigate, from page to page or by filling in each form field. Time wasted is money lost.

Purchase reviews

Engaging and effective user journeys include a review of a customer is buying, with a certain level of detail. For both multi-page and one-page checkouts, there needs to be a consistent reminder at each appropriate stage.

Especially where multiple products are bought (such as the Sainsbury’s shopping list format – see picture below), embedding a review/reviews stops anyone having to skip back to check details – and ultimately wasting time. And if they’re wasting time, the chances of them abandoning your site go up drastically.

Avoid form overload

Tempting though it may be to get any customer to fill out all the necessary details, simplifying the form fields to the absolute necessary is one sure-fire way to make the UX be as smooth as possible.

It also speeds up the process from choosing a product to making a purchase.

Put a face to your name

Having a smooth process, easy to navigate, fully smartphone optimised checkout page, doesn’t mean your e-commerce site has to be faceless and dull. Connecting with customers, and connecting with the right customers, means making a mark and from a branding perspective this can be done in a multitude of ways. Injecting personality through images, tone, language and format of your site makes for a memorable experience, as well as an efficient and effective one.

Be our guest (checkout)

We’ve all been there. In a rush to checkout for that last minute train ticket or birthday gift. You’ve found what you’re looking for and you’ve added to basket. It’s all going so very well. And then you make a beeline for the checkout so you can get on with your day and life in general. And then there it is. The instruction to Register for an Account before you can give the business your precious money. Or worse. You’ve already done this before and can’t for the life of you remember your details to login and it won’t let you check out as a guest.

We’d advocate allowing users to checkout as swiftly as possible – creating the concept of a customer in your e-commerce platform when transaction complete and using communications to encourage them to complete registration with some tangible benefit to returning to the site to do so – for instance to view the progress of your order in your account for instance. Create an account to access offers & discounts.


To quote website-usability veteran Steve Krug – “Don’t Make Me Think”. Ultimately you should keep things as simple as possible, conduct user testing and then actually measure the performance of your website ongoing – with A/B or multi-variate testing and make iterative optimisations. It shouldn’t remain static once your e-commerce site launches.

Do you need help with optimising your eCommerce website?

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