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Number of steps in checkout process


What is the number of steps in checkout process of an online store?


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The number of steps in checkout process affects greatly the volume of sales in your online store. Statistics say that if there are more than 5 steps, one of three customer decide to abandon the cart. In our opinion, the optimal number of steps is 3, provided that the Virtual POS terminal works in insecure mode, without 3D secure protocol. If the Virtual POS is set for SEC protocol, the total number of steps in checkout process increases to 4. This does not mean that the customer will always leave the cart, but the chances of abandonment will be higher.

As we have previously said, the optimal number of steps in checkout process is 3. Always keeping in mind that this number can decrease with further purchases, once the online stores have stored the clients credit card information. In this cases the purchase process can be even summed up in one click. However, let's take an example of a regular online store and analyze the steps the client has to complete in order to make a purchase. 

First checkout step: Create a user account

The customer visits a web page and decides to add an item to the shopping cart. In majority of the cases in order to checkout he will be asked to create a user account and register via email. In order to avoid automatic robot processing, it is advised to verify client's e-mail. The verification can be also done through the mobile phone number but from our point of view, e-mail is a good way to identify your client and avoid future chargebacks.

E-mail confirmation

Second checkout step: Fill in the form

The system sends a link to the client asking him to confirm his e-mail. Once this step is completed, the client will have to fill in the form with all the information that your online store requires in order to proceed with the checkout: name, surname, phone number, Skype, shipping and billing addresses (ID number in some cases).

Credit card payment form

Third checkout step: Make the payment by card

In this third step the client will have to choose a method of payment. Most commonly used payment methods used by online stores are cash on delivery, wire transfers, checks, Bitcoin or Virtual POS terminals. In case your client chooses an option of paying with his credit card (through payment gateway), a window will pop up where he will be asked to enter the number of his credit card, expiration date and CVC code. Once the client enters this information and submits the purchase, he will receive an e-mail notification with confirmation of his purchase. 

Credit card payment

This optimal 3-step checkout process for credit card payments takes place when the customer makes a purchase for the first time on a particular web page. In those cases when your client has already purchased a product or service from your online store and your payment gateway has stored the banking information, it will be possible to reduce the number of steps by 2 or even leave it at 1 step only. Our recommendation is to use a payment gateway without 3D secure and leave it configured for 3 steps.

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