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Jan 18, 2010 | 1 minute read

A/B Test Case Study: Single Page vs. Multi-Step Checkout

written by Janis Lanka

This post is contributed by Janis Lanka (@janislanka, who manages front-end development for Elastic Path Software.

A little while back, I wrote on Elastic Path's Grep Community blog about our decision to change to a two-page checkout process. We piloted this checkout process on the Hockey Canada Store with the main goals being to reduce abandonment and to increase conversion. The results were extremely positive, but we weren't content to sit on our laurels. So when we started re-working the Official Vancouver 2010 Olympic Store, we challenged ourselves to take it to the next level -- and we cut the checkout process down to just single page.

Structurally, the new single-page checkout looks very much like the two-page checkout, with shipping information first, followed by billing and confirmation.

Control: Original, Multi-Step Process

(Click to enlarge, will open new page)


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Treatment: Single Page Checkout

The option to create an account after checkout is offered after the order is completed:

The Findings

With A/B split testing, 50% of traffic was redirected to the original checkout, while the other 50% was served the new single-page checkout. After only 300 transactions, the winner was clear and we stopped the experiment after 606 transactions. Google Website Optimizer concluded that the single-page checkout outperformed the out-of-the-box checkout by a whopping 21.8%.

While this number is impressive, it should not be used as an indicator for how every single-page checkout will perform. Your results will vary, depending on your product, target market etc. There's no silver bullet checkout process that works best for all business models. Doing your own A/B split testing will give you a better idea of what kind of improvement you can expect.