Posting in the Magento forums has been disabled pending the implementation of a new and improved forum solution which should better serve the community.

For new questions please post at magento.stackexchange.com, the community-run support site for the Magento community. We will be providing updates on the new forum solution soon. For questions or concerns please email community@magento.com.

Magento Forum

Single page Checkout useability issues
 
loldrup
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  4
Joined:  2008-06-11
 

I just saw the screencast Single Page Checkout and I found some useability issues.

We all know that the more a user has to think, the greater the likelihood that he will bail out of the process. When checking out via the Single-page-checkout the first question the user is met with is this:

Do you wan’t to log in, or do you want to register, or do you want to check out as a guest?

The question uses the concepts “login”, “register” and “guest”. This is problematic for several reasons:
1.  It is not explained what is ment with each concept and hence each choise. If the user is not familiar with each concept, AND their specific meaning in a shopping scenario, the user is left to wonder.
2.  It is not intuitively clear which consequences each choise will have for the users purchase-process. The speaker voice on the screen cast actually feels compelled to explain the actual difference between the register- and the ‘checkout-as-guest’-proceses vocally, to inshure that we understand.
3.  It is not clear why supplying this information is at all relevant for the shopping process. In opposition to, say, supplying a delivery address, the relevance of supplying this information is not intuitive.

Veteran shoppers can be aware of the meaning of the concepts, their influence on the shopping process, and why the information could be relevant to themselves or the shop or the checkout-process, but this awareness will certainly not be innate in every potential customer that wisits our shops. By far.

If this question is so problematic, why is it then being asked?
It has some advantages to the shop, and it would, in some cases, give an advantage to the customer as well. I will not explain the advantages for the shop, as we all know that it is nice to have customers registered.
But what about the advantages for the customer? When will they gain from it?
If they know the concepts of registration, loggin in, having an account, and if they know that this means that their checkout-information from last purchase possibly can be recalled if one logs in, and if they once in the future will have to purchase from the excact same shop, and if their modern browser has failed to easily recall what was entered in the form fields last time, and if they can now remember their login info, THEN, it allows them to save a sleight amount of time, as they will have to enter less checkout-information. I’m a veteran e-shopper myself, and only recently have I had some advantage of being registered in a shop. To be honest, I think the shops loves the log in thing more than the customers. It’s a shops convenience thing. I don’t say we should skip the feature totally, but could we maybe tone it down a bit, and, best of all, avoid confronting the user with the issue as the first thing when they try to buy something? Besides, my suggestion (as described below), might have the effect of generating more registrations than the current design. This is my suggestion:

DROP the first tab and its technofastistic question. Forget that it ever existed (but can we live without? Yes). Second, adapt the login-stuff so that it makes direct sense to the customer. Instead of just asking them to login (without any further explanation), use it to offer to recall the checkout-info from last times visit, when the customer is about to tamper the keyboard, entering loads of checkout-info. Use it to add value instead of using it as a road blocker. For example, the login box could be placed to the right, next to the ‘billing information’-tab, and be joined by the text “if you have shopped here before, you can recall your billing information - just enter your email and your password below:”

The same idea goes for the concept of registering. Offer it as an extra optional service, at the exact moment where the customer could see an advantage in doing so. AND, make it clear why it would be benefitial to the customer at that exact point. AND, avoid using the word “register”. That word does not explain why it is benefitial to the customer. What will explain it then? This text: “do you want to save the information you just entered, in case you choose to go shopping here in the future? Then just enter a password of your own choise in the following box:”. This could be placed in the buttom of the Billing information tab. Remember to clearly mark that the password-field is optional.

With the register-option and the login-option neatly placed where they offer value, instead of potentially acting as non-understood roadblocks, The first tab can be removed without loosing any functionality. And, when the register-function has been turned into a value-adder instead of a roadblocking question, it might even encourage even more customers to register, as they can easily see the advantage. Will registering add more advantages, like order status tracking or such? Well, then explain this as well, at the right spot. For example, when the customer has finished buying the products, you could put the register-option there once again, with the explaining text that entering the password in the box below will allow the customer to easily track the order. I believe that emailing the customer handles that easier though.

Besides, it’s still not single page checkout. True, pages has been replaced with tabs, but conceptually pages are equal to tabs. What might make a difference is the speed-gain achieved in the AJAXification that came with the switch to tabs. On the other hand, I don’t think that it’s that problematic to have, like, 5 tabs, as long as they can be filled in without using a brain. And, it gives some logic structure.

/Jon, Denmark

 
Magento Community Magento Community
Magento Community
Magento Community
 
loldrup
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  4
Joined:  2008-06-11
 

One more thing: People usually has delivery address = billing address so this should be true by default. Also, the delivery address tab could be hidden until the customer choose to have a different delivery address. Also, when delivery address = billing address theres no reason to display them as two seperate entities in the info-box in the right part of the screen. They could be joined under the common headline “Billing and shipping address:”

 
Magento Community Magento Community
Magento Community
Magento Community
 
loldrup
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  4
Joined:  2008-06-11
 

One more thing: Are there drawbacks if the customer does “not register”? The shop still has all customer information… They can still send emails and newsletters if the customer chose that. Whats missing? Oh yea, the customer can’t log in to hes account and check eg. order status (if he bothers to try to log in). Then maybe he calls and ask for status. Thats not highly problematic. Still theres a way to supply the order status info VERY easily. Drop a mail in the users inbox when something _new_ happens. Product delayed? Drop a mail. Product packed and shipped? Drop a mail. The customer will know almost instantly, _without_ even having to bother to go to the shop website (what was that URL?), and try to login (what was that password?). Conclusion: One less good reason to have login functionality, or compell its usage.

 
Magento Community Magento Community
Magento Community
Magento Community
 
raphael
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  10
Joined:  2008-05-06
Los Angeles
 

Actually, I think there is a drawback to the AJAX-based tabbed approach to the checkout, and I have been exploring options for changing this for my latest client without significantly hacking the checkout code (and causing upgrade headaches).

If a customer has Javascript turned off or disabled, they cannot checkout. Worse, they don’t even receive a warning from Magento that they must activate Javascript in order to check out. This is a serious usability issue, and I think it’s an oversight to rely on Javascript to process checkout—it should be purely PHP.

Obviously, a customer must choose a shipping destination before her or she is presented with a list of shipping options, but a multi-tabbed process is still not a one-page checkout, no matter how much AJAX is used to shorten the process. Why not a two-tab process, where the customer selects the shipping address on the first tab, and then everything else on the second?

I believe there needs to be much more flexibility placed in the checkout process so that site designers can customize the checkout process to suit the specific needs of their clients.

 
Magento Community Magento Community
Magento Community
Magento Community
 
loldrup
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  4
Joined:  2008-06-11
 

I wrote:
“The same idea goes for the concept of registering. Offer it as an extra optional service, at the exact moment where the customer could see an advantage in doing so. AND, make it clear why it would be benefitial to the customer at that exact point. AND, avoid using the word “register”. That word does not explain why it is benefitial to the customer. What will explain it then? This text: “do you want to save the information you just entered, in case you choose to go shopping here in the future? Then just enter a password of your own choise in the following box:”. This could be placed in the buttom of the Billing information tab. Remember to clearly mark that the password-field is optional. “

Actually I think the registration-part could favorably be postponed till after the customer has paid for the goods. This will mean that the customer has one less thing to think about before the payment is done. Less thinking => higher conversion rate. At the same time the customer will still be offered to register (or better, be offered to have the shipping/payment address remembered till next time the customer wants to shop (_we_ call it registering, but the customer is more interested in the possible benefits, so we shall focus on communicating those)). No loss!

 
Magento Community Magento Community
Magento Community
Magento Community
 
Eagle1
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  10
Joined:  2007-12-06
Conway, New Hampshire, USA
 

I agree with raphael above that relying completely on Javascript to checkout is a MAJOR concern. I turned off my Javascript, logged into the Magento demo store, was able to add a product to my cart, but then when I tried to checkout I am presented with closed-up, unlinked tabs for the checkout process! I could proceed no further.

Use Javascript for progressive enhancement, but not for core functionality. It should still be possible to checkout without Javascript enabled.

I would love to migrate over to Magento since osCommerce seems to have died a slow painful death. I have been seriously thinking of moving to Magento, but just this problem alone is a deal-breaker for me. This must be addressed before I can even consider moving over to Magento.

 
Magento Community Magento Community
Magento Community
Magento Community
 
MindMagnet
Jr. Member
 
Avatar
Total Posts:  13
Joined:  2009-02-02
Cluj-Napoca
 

On the usability aspect, I recommend you take a look at PrimeCheckout http://www.magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/customer-experience/checkout/primecheckout-7432.html a new approach to checkout with focus on usability, with optimal user experience.

For example, Apple’s Online Store works in a very similar manner, an UX specialists consider it as an optimal approach.

 
Magento Community Magento Community
Magento Community
Magento Community
Magento Community
Magento Community
Back to top