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I'm mocking up a page for purchasing our product, and I'm wondering is it better to do everything on one page or split the ordering and payment into two different pages? Anyone have empirical data on similar types of purchasing scenarios from A/B testing? Does it help conversions to have fewer pages?

The user is presented with multiple variations of the product and one of them is selected. Only one quantity and one variation of the product can be ordered, so the shopping cart metaphor doesn't really apply here. Also, it is an electronic product so there is no shipping information to collect.

Because there is so little involved in purchasing, it seems like a good idea to streamline the process. My idea is to show the order options as a radio group, and the order total on this page, which will be dynamically updated by the selection. Below the order total would be the Payment details: CC info, link to PayPal, and Billing Address. Thus the user could complete the purchase without going to another page.

Am I wrong to think a shorter purchasing flow would result in more orders?

What other elements should or should not be included? Breadcrumbs? Link bars?

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I don't know of any specific A/B testing, but I would caution you that the "order, then pay / shopping cart" 2-step paradigm is so universal that it might slow users down if they see them combined into one. Make sure you are actually adding some benefit by combining the pages. I can only see it working if you were logged in already, like "1-click" buying from Amazon, AND completing multiple transactions right after each other would not lead to an increased shipping/processing cost. –  Graham Aug 10 '11 at 20:00
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Appsumo does something similar. The two steps are shown on one page. See appsumo.com/html5-and-css3-for-the-real-world/buy (this link will expire soon). Like our product, it offers electronic products so there is no shipping information to collect. –  Nate Reed Aug 11 '11 at 1:23
    
Ahhh yup that page is nice and simple. I think I misunderstood your question a little. –  Graham Aug 11 '11 at 12:27
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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Users generally want to see a summary page or confirmation page before submitting payment. Even when they have only selected one item.

I still think it would be a good idea for you to do A/B testing yourself - at least for this purpose, I wouldn't rely on data from another site. There are too many variables involved with A/B testing and just because a design worked for someone else doesn't mean it will work for you.

That said, I personally like the example you cited.

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The payment page has to be behind https, but the order page not.

People are expecting the two to be on different pages.

Its very rare that ordering and purchasing is so simple that you can get it all on one page - so I doubt you'll find many studies.

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Definitely split the ordering and payment into two different pages, this is necessary to server-side validate the data. However, be sure to provide full payment information on the ordering page as well. This includes shipping!

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Thanks for the answer, but to accommodate server-side validation doesn't seem like a good reason since it's possible to validate all the info when the form is submitted. I forgot to mention in my original description that there is no shipping address. I edited the question to be more clear. –  Nate Reed Aug 11 '11 at 1:31
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