A case against one step checkouts

Magento 2 provides a versatile checkout process, mainly consisting of two steps – shipping and billing. For whatever reasons, a fair amount of merchants are trying to get away from it and use a one step checkout –  a checkout that combines both steps into one. The reasoning seems to be that presenting all information at once makes it easier to checkout.

However, I have seen a lot of merchants that invested in such a checkout, only to revert back to the original one after a while. I think there are more reasons that contribute to this.

Usability

  • combining more steps into one implies more fields on the same screen. A wizard-like approach is cleaner.
  • the customer still needs to fill in the same amount of fields.
  • unexpected changes in fields. One might fill in the card details, then change the shipping address to a region where you don’t take cards. Their payment info must be re-entered.

Implementation

  • A lot more ajax requests. While this can be mitigated by a proper implementation, but that’s not always the case.

Maintenance

  • You open up the way to a lot more ways one can checkout, making testing more difficult.
  • All one step checkout extensions are a bit heavy, Magento upgrades become harder.
  • Other checkout-related extensions might not work without even more changes.

Unknown

  • There must be a reason why Magento (and even Shopify), ship with a multi-step checkout. I am not that familiar with the research that led them on this path, but I assume it was not accidental.

On the other hand, I am curious on whether you have more information on when a one step checkout is a good solution for Magento.

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