Ever felt this way?

You think you escape the queues and wasted time of high street shopping, only to find that online shopping can be just as tedious.

Say I wish to buy online some product that can be emailed to me. Like software. Or concert tickets. Or an ebook.

What I want the (Magento) store to allow me to do:

1) I click-select my product from the home/landing page
2) I am taken to the payment form (better: it's already on the page)
3) I fill out my email address
4) I enter card or PayPal details and press "Pay"
5) I receive goods instantly by email
6) I feel happy

What a lot of Magento sites still do most of the time is this:

a) I find myself having to succumb to the outdated paradigm of a shopping cart that I have to put stuff into and drag through the online store from page to page.

b) When I finally arrive at one of the many so-called one-page/one-step checkout extensions, I am unnecessarily prompted for billing address, phone number etc. ... Dear online store manager: you don’t need that information from me! [And you cannot call it one-step when I have to fill out that much!]

c) I am made to register with the store — why?

d) I spend time waiting for spinning AJAX throbbers to finish calculations for shipping costs and what have you — when there aren’t any!

Only some of the above steps are necessary some of the time.

If you want to stand out as a merchant, the common one-size-fits-all approach isn't cutting it anymore.

We need to better tailor a store's checkout process to the products that are being sold and the minimum information required from the shopper.

How would you improve the old-fashioned Magento shopping UX for emailed/FTP'ed products and make online businesses convert better?


So in summary, it seems that the requirements for a modern generation shopping UX are:

1a) Don’t use a shopping cart model when your site (or a section of your site) has only a handful of products with no or few attributes. These can be more conveniently selected in a simple side bar. Yep, a multi-select box for your products, as opposed to an ordeal through a labyrinth. Take that shopping cart out the back and shoot it.
1b) Then a few text fields to type credit card and email below it. Nothing else!

2a) Don’t ask customers for an address or phone number when just an email will do. Customers hate filling out long forms. They will also wonder what you’re doing with their information.
2b) Allow an option of entering a billing address if the customer wants a full invoice.

So: no cart and no big checkout page with unnecessary fields on it.

Just a simple minimalist block/sidebar, where the shopper can tick the product(s) they want, together with a mini-payment section, all on 1 simple form that takes up only a quarter or so of the screen.

An added benefit of this approach is that time-wasting AJAX callbacks with spinning wheels to calculate shipment or what may aren't required. A single submit to the server followed by a confirmation page will do the job nicely.

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