Improving the conversion rate of the Magento Default Checkout

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We are currently working with an e-commerce website based on the Magento shopping cart. We have been asked if we can increase the conversion rate of the actual checkout phase of the store.

Over the next few weeks we have a raft of A/B and multivariate testing to complete on the site and the client has agreed that we can publish the results of the A/B testing on our blog.

A brief outline of the proposed work includes:

Test the standard Magento checkout to the 1 page checkout extension

One step checkout

One step checkout

This extension has been around for a few years now and I’ve seen it implemented on many Magento sites. On the author’s website it does claim the extension will boost conversion rates (by 60%!) and taking the steps from a possible 6 steps to 1 would have an effect. On the other hand it has been claimed the one step checkout is too ‘busy’ and therefore causes too much ‘friction’ for the user and causes cart abandonment.

Adding trust logos (e.g. TRUSTe, Verisign, McAfee…)

Range of Trust Logos

You can add certain ‘trust’ logos to your checkout to show your users the checkout is secure (https) and that you use a secure payment provider (e.g. Sage Pay). Do these features help to give your users’ piece of mind their privacy is safe and secure or do these warnings cause confusion and ultimately cart abandonment? In addition where is the best place to position these trust symbols?

Reducing required input (Company name, telephone etc…)


A sure fire conversion winner is reducing the amount of fields on a form. Does this apply to the checkout area and what kind of improvement will we see from this test? Which fields can we strip out? Magento default checkout comes with fields such as ‘Company’, if this is not applicable to you then taking out unnecessary fields will increase conversion. What kind of increase in conversion will we see?

Postcode address generation

Magento Postcode Lookup

Again another test to reduce ‘friction’ on the checkout process. If users’ can add a house name/number and a postcode, we can auto generate the address making the checkout process faster for the user. This extension does not a great job at this but will this help to increase conversions or confuse international customers?

Reducing ‘noise’ by having checkout specific headers and footers

Ceckout specific headers and footers

The main categories for the site are included in the header and various sections in the footer of the site. Therefore there are a lot of distractions, when users enter the checkout areas we will change the headers and footers to reduce the amount of ‘noise’. This includes the header containing just the minimum amount of information or links.

Adding inline field validation

Inline Validation

When a user completes a field we can add inline validation to show if the field has been entered correctly or incorrectly. These prompts will identify any problems with the entries to the field before clicking the proceed or submit buttons. It would be reasonable to suggest that this would reduce user frustration – lets see!

Adding the PayPal payment method

Paypal Logo

Paypal Logo

According to the staff at PayPal, adding this as a payment method will substantially increase the conversion rate of the site or will it simply mean users’ use PayPal instead of another payment method? Considering Paypal is typically a lot more expensive for merchants to use than other payment gateways such as Sage Pay will the increase in conversion still make financial sense?

Keeping you updated

When we apply these changes we will update this blog post with links to the new updates and results of the CRO work.

About Darrell Freeman

A fan of all things conversion related! Been working in SEO since 2005 and over time become more interested in the conversion side of online marketing. Away from the screen, I'm a big sports fan, with a mild interest in Tranmere Rovers and a love of traveling!


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