What is the best way to handle a shopping cart checkout :

  • redirect to paypal and let paypal handle all the work? (user will be send to another page is this an issue ? )
  • work in steps (like Apple does :

enter image description here - work with just one page (example :

enter image description here - Other?

What do you need to ask first? (when a person has to register first)

  • General info for registration
  • Billing information
  • Shipping information
  • Payment information
  • Other... ?

Should you clearly indicate that the user is first registering before buying or would you do this all in the same step so the user get registered and will be checked out at the same time?

Is required registering a disadvantage?

Will I lose customers by this?

1 Answer 1


Your question is vague and has several questions rolled into one. I'll answer them one by one but I would strongly recommend doing some reading on best practices of E-commerce checkout design.

  • Passing it on to Paypal and let Paypal do all the work : This would be a bad idea since not all your potential users might use Paypal. You must provide multiple ways of payment for your users and just providing one can prove to be a major deterrant and drop off point for your users. To quote this article on Best practices for E-commerce design

A 2009 survey of 2000 online British adults found that 50% of those who regularly shop online said that if their preferred payment method is not available, they will cancel the purchase.

I also recommend reading this article Increase Conversions with Alternate Payment Methods

  • Work in steps : This has its advantages and disadvantages. If your steps are linear and well laid out and ensure a seamless experience, you can hope and work against a low drop off rate. However if you have a large number of steps or steps within steps , you could potentially frustrate users with the number of steps they need to perform to do a simple checkout and lose customers. To quote the article Fundamental Guidelines Of E-Commerce Checkout Design

Having steps within steps confuses and intimidates customers as it breaks with their mental model of a linear checkout. One of the worst usability violations that we discovered in our testing was non-linear checkout processes. Websites with a non-linear checkout process left several of our test subjects confused and intimidated. At the time of testing, both Walmart and Zappos had a non-linear checkout process. The typical way to “accidentally” end up with a non-linear checkout process is to create steps within steps. This happens, for example, when the customer has to set a “Preferred shipping address” (Walmart’s violation) or “Create an account” (Zappos’ violation) on a separate page, and is then redirected to a previous checkout step upon completion. Below, you can see Walmart’s checkout flow in thumbnails (click image for larger view). Notice that it’s non-linear because the “Preferred shipping address” sub-step directs the user to a previous step: Blockquote

enter image description here

I recommend reading this article The State Of E-Commerce Checkout Design 2012 for additional inputs on best practices on how to design a checkout process

  • With regards to single page checkout, I strongly recommend reading these articles for more reference on the pros and cons

Single vs multipage checkout

One Page Checkouts – the Holy Grail of Checkout Usability?

With regards to your last few questions about the order of extracting information from users,you really should do some self research on UX best practices for E-commerce checkout design. There is no right answer and you have to see what works best for you and what industry best practices show the best conversion rates to ensure you get answers to your questions.

Some links for you to read

12 Tips For Designing an Excellent Checkout Process

Stopping Shopping Cart Abandonment


  • What i ment by paypal was something like this : i46.tinypic.com/2jey788.jpg But thanks for your answer and those interesting links !
    – tdhulster
    Commented Jan 12, 2013 at 16:06
  • woo hoo I got a shout out!
    – colmcq
    Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 16:57

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