How to Set Up Magento One Page Checkout

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Why set up Magento one page checkout?

By the time they’re ready to pay your customers have already gone through a number of steps. There’s the initial channel that brought them to your site, then the process of navigating your products & options. Then perhaps they go back out to compare your products with a competitor, going through their products & options. Then they may come back in (perhaps by a different channel this time) and around your products again, this time with additional steps specifying products and adding them to a basket.

Hopefully you’ve already streamlined the product experience leading up to the checkout – for example, don’t send them to the basket every time they add a product – but what about the checkout itself? Well, you could have one page for each separate aspect of the purchase – user sign-in (with extra steps for new user registration!), shipping address, billing address, payment, etc. Alternatively it would be better if as many details as possible can be filled in on one page and you offer guest checkout (don’t worry about losing an opportunity to market for repeat business – they can usually opt to become a customer by using all the details already provided plus a password).

How to set up Magento one page checkout

So hopefully you’re now convinced, so what options do you have for setting up Magento one page checkout?

Backend Options

First off you can just go through the standard options to enable it – normally this would already be enabled by default. If for some reason it’s been turned off you can go to System -> Configuration. Scroll down to the Sales section on the left hand side and click Checkout. Simply set “Enable Onepage Checkout” to yes:

Magento One page checkout

You’ll also notice that whilst here you can set to allow for guest checkout. This is highly recommended for nearly every retailer as it helps to avoid new customer drop off during a registration process. It’s worth mentioning too, that in the next section “Shopping Cart” you can stop the customer being pushed to the basket page after each addition, as I mentioned earlier.

Developer Tweaks

It would hardly be worth a post if I just said “Turn the option on and it’s done”. So what else can we do? If you’re a developer you can dive into the internals of Magento and start customising the checkout experience right there.

Remember – don’t edit your core files as any updates may overwrite them. You need to be in the equivalent path of your theme (certain files may not exist, so if this happens to you copy the file in question over from the core).

Go to: app/design/frontend/…/…/templates/checkout/onepage.phtml.

Not satisfied with subtle tweaks to that file? Then dive right into this guide – however, even if you do know what you’re doing, backup and work in a staging environment first.

Handy extensions for Magento one page checkout

As with any common task there are a lot of Magento extensions available for one page checkout. Some free, some paid for. Here’s what we’ve used and recommend:

IWD Extensions One Page Checkout

With this extension installed you don’t just have a checkout process reduced from 6 steps to 1. You have Sage Pay, Braintree and PayPal integrations features. You have an easier route to customising your checkout language. If you’ve taken the step of translating your store, how many sales are you losing when the process jarringly goes back to English? It’s also fully responsive – adjusting the checkout layout to suit your customer’s display. This is absolutely essential these days!

Need more convincing? How about this: a certified Magento partner designed it and it’s free.

Amasty One Step Checkout

Alongside the streamlined process into one page and the use of GEO IP to attempt to pre fill some of the address fields; you have some other interesting features. You can change the checkout layout to one of three preset designs – allowing you to test which one works best with your customers. Move, rename and make fields optional – a truly flexible extension. Just remember, as they themselves say, ‘test-drive’ the changes to ensure your conversion rate improves.

Now this extension is unfortunately not free – so at $149 (approx £95) why should you get this extension instead? Well, currently it includes 4 free months of support. Not too bad!

What can you do next?

In the never-ending effort to improve your conversion rates what else could you be doing? Anything that removes barriers to purchasing, allays concerns and makes the process of actually paying once committed to buy smoother, easier and quicker all round:

  • Logical store layout/navigation
  • Responsive design throughout your website
  • Clear returns policy
  • Clear shipping costs
  • Quick page load times
  • Magento integration

I hope this post has helped and given you plenty of ideas for not only establishing a smooth one page checkout process in Magento, but also other ways to optimise and improve your conversion rate.

The post “How to set up Magento one page checkout” was written by Owen, online marketing manager at Elementary Digital, a Leeds and London based digital agency specialising in WordPress and Magento websites.

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