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I have noticed a lot of sites replace the default OnePage checkout with 3rd party modules.

Two replacements I am familiar with is OneStep, and CheckItOut.

My personal opinion, from experience, is that the 3rd party checkouts are not worth the extra hassle they bring, mainly in extending their functionality.

Why are some so keen in replacing OnePage? What is so wrong with it?

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  • Having read the FAQ, I admin this question is not appropriate. Will be removed when allowed.
    – ProxiBlue
    Jan 23, 2013 at 13:30
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    This is a valid question (or close to it) for this forum, and is in fact a good example of differences between this site and StackOverflow. Very curious to know what others have to say as this community finds its personality.
    – benmarks
    Jan 23, 2013 at 14:58
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    I agree to benmarks Jan 25, 2013 at 17:12
  • Seems like a valid question to me. Jan 25, 2013 at 17:54
  • I'm still not sure this is a valid question. If it is, then the FAQ is misleading. If it is not, it should be closed.
    – kojiro
    Feb 13, 2013 at 12:45

6 Answers 6

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I've implemented a multi page checkout on Magento previously and to be honest it proved to be more hassle than it was worth. I suppose it depends a lot on how much functionality the alternative checkout needs to modify (and if it uses any of the existing onepage checkout code). Personally I'd always be in favour of keeping the checkout as vanilla as possible as it keeps upgrades and maintaining modifications to a minimum. Checkout is arguably the most important part of the site so you need to make sure it is as robust as possible and for me sticking with the default onepage checkout is the preferred way of doing that.

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    I've agreed with this stance on more than one occasion. With creative use of CSS, there is often no real need to build a separate "One Step" checkout process.
    – pspahn
    Jan 24, 2013 at 1:41
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It became kind of standard to implement OneStepCheckout over default Magento's One Page checkout.

I don't think OneStepCheckout is better. In some tests I did, default One Page checkout outperforms OneStep in terms of conversion rate, in some cases it's the other way around.

There has been several extensive usability researches in 2012 on these checkouts and it seems that number of steps itself is not a problematic part. You can read more about these studies here.

The only major problem of Magento's one page checkout is that users perceive it as separate pages, thus sometimes hitting the back button to go to the previous step, which takes them to the cart instead of the previous step. You can see this behavior if you're tracking the funnel through Analytics, a lot of users seem to return to cart from different steps of the one page checkout. If this issue is fixed (enable back button functionality during one page checkout) I'm sure you'll outperform any OnePageCheckout extension out there.

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  • Really good observations. The back button issue is a real problem, also witnessed by myself during uat testing. location.hash may very well be a way to solve this issue. We have done split testing on one of our client sites, and OPC converted higher than OneStep. I am hoping those results will one day be published on our corporate website.
    – ProxiBlue
    Feb 1, 2013 at 1:04
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First of all I really hope this question is not intended to promote neither 2 extensions you mentioned, nor cheaper alternatives. If so it has to be shut down.

The fact that "everyone" is replacing OPC is a bit exaggerated.

The reason one may do it is the fact that simplified layout of the checkout page may possibly increase the conversion rate. However, this fact is questionable and might not be worthy spending $500+ (there are cheaper OSC extensions available but only 2 extensions you mentioned in your question are reliable).

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    Hi, the question is not to promote them. It is a valid question. As a developer I have found that replacing the default Onepage brings with it issues related to clients wanting numerous enhancements, and then having to deal with the custom code. One 3rd party extention (not going to name which) has had more issues than what it is worth. Yes maybe 'everyone' is an exaggeration, thus I restate : Why would someone want to replace a perfectly working core based checkout? I am in fact promoting core OneStep, not the other way around :)
    – ProxiBlue
    Jan 23, 2013 at 13:02
  • In this case I guess you have more then enough answers in this thread. Sorry for closing it.
    – user487772
    Jan 23, 2013 at 13:04
  • it's kinda funny that you hope this question is not intended to promote neither 2 extensions and end up your answer saying that only those are reliable :-)
    – OSdave
    Jan 31, 2013 at 8:19
  • hehe. yes, this is a paradox. do you think it is worthy removing this?
    – user487772
    Jan 31, 2013 at 8:56
  • "Only two that are stable" is merely one developer's experience. I've yet to use a single one that I've liked. I think most of us understand that "difficult to modify" modules have been an issue for all of us at some point, I wouldn't go so far as to say the post is being promotional. It's just an anecdotal statement about a user's experience with the ecosystem.
    – pspahn
    Jan 31, 2013 at 9:14
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Why are some so keen in replacing OnePage?

The answer is easy. It is an attempt to reduce checkout funnel exit and increase conversion.

But how you've come to the conclusion that the checkout process itself is the issue, and not your shipping methods/pricing, required fields etc. is the important matter.

Selecting a checkout isn't your decision - your customer decides, well, they don't know that - but indirectly they do.

If you were to measure your checkout goal funnel and review losses - you could start to build a picture of where and what was causing problems.

There isn't anything wrong with the standard Magento One Page Checkout (the "Accordian") - it functions as it should. But its appropriateness to each store is what is under question.

  • Does your target market have limited patience?
  • Does the checkout need to appear to be "simpler" or "shorter" to keep people interested?
  • Are you perhaps trying to cater for those familiar with Ebay or Amazon to mimic a similar appearance?
  • Are you trying to reduce confusion/increase usability throughout the process?

Etcetera

My personal opinion, from experience, is that the 3rd party checkouts are not worth the extra hassle they bring, mainly in extending their functionality.

Perhaps you have either probably picked them for the wrong reason - or not sufficiently A|B tested the checkout process with alternative methods to come to a proper solution. In a given situation, for a given store, an alternative variation of the OPC could have dramatic increases on conversion.

But you don't need to install a 3rd party extension to alter the appearance of the checkout process. Simple CSS edits can make a substantial difference to the flow and appearance of the checkout without compromising upgrade-ability.

What might be appropriate for your products and customers, certainly isn't applicable to anyone else

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There is nothing wrong with OnePageCheckout, however my personal experience when using a Magento shop is that I prefer checking out using OneStepCheckout because of its simplicity and it shows you exactly every step you have to take in one view.

For populair shops I'd say it's a big plus to have this and the OneStepCheckout is more configurable than the OnePageCheckout. It all comes down to personal experiences and opinions.

There is essentially nothing wrong with just sticking to the one page checkout.

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  • I agree with Rick here. We use OneStep and I really prefer it over the built in checkout. I have found that working with OneStep directly has been my best bet for getting success with the product. Obviously they know their product best and how to modify it and tweak it. If you want full control you might be better off with the built in. Jan 30, 2013 at 23:04
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@toni-anicic provides some of the best insight here. Users' perception is a significant key to how well the checkout converts. Are OneStep checkout modules the final solution? Hardly. Do the (often significant) additional development/maintenance costs warrant it? Your bottom dollar, not mine... you decide. Are there better solutions out there, many of which may not have been developed yet? Most definitely.

"Best" checkout process is largely a function of either the depth of your pockets, or your willingness to improve the process by other means. A pre-built solution might be "best" for a small, local site selling cookies with a small budget. A fully customized and thoroughly tested, unique and attractive solution will likely perform better, at a significantly increased cost.

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