Transforming the e-commerce checkout with the 3-Step Checkout Extension


6 min reading time

After a successful product selection within the online shop, the customer reaches the so-called checkout for his last step. This is where the customer decides to actually buy a product. However, in recent years, more and more customers are abandoning their carts at this point. In this article, you will read about the main reasons for this and how the new 3-Step Checkout Extension can help put an end to purchase abandonment by reading an exclusive interview with founder Florin Pörnbacher. 

3-Step Checkout
3-Step Checkout


The checkout 

Usability optimization – is a familiar term to some people. Normally, the checkout is the last point of focus for an online retailer when it comes to optimizing an online shop. Nevertheless, the checkout process is quite relevant, because without the checkout, a purchase would never be made. Therefore, this should definitely be brought more into focus. 

Above all, the customer should feel safe and secure through the checkout. It is where the consumer decides whether to complete the purchase or not. Little things, such as an unstructured overview, raise doubts and confuse the customer furthermore. Also, if the payment methods are not convenient, the customer loses interest and will most likely abandon the purchase. 

Increase abandonment rates in the checkout process

Various studies on the online shops topic in e-commerce, repeatedly point out that the checkout leads to the largest problems for online shopping. Over 69% of consumers abandon their order process in the checkout. But, with the 3-Step Checkout the high percentage of abandonment rates can be minimized, thus putting an end to purchase abandonment. 

3-Step Checkout Statistiken

Nonetheless, the list of reasons for such high abandonment rates can be extremely long. Creating a checkout optimization list for the online shop and analyzing specific issues that affect the checkout is a point to start.

Optimization opportunities

As listed in our checklist, specific optimizations need to be made to improve the checkout process. Starting with the checkout’s clear layout, to the payment methods or the product view. In summary, there are 6 basic tips that we can give you: 

  1. Offer a clear checkout process 
  2. Implement a simple checkout architecture with visual checkpoints
  3. Allow guest orders without registration
  4. Optimize checkout for mobile devices
  5. Limit to the most necessary data
  6. Ensure trust and transparency

Do you need help with Checkout Optimizations?

The 3-Step Checkout as a Solution – Interview

The checkout is often the website’s weakest point. In this interview, Managing Director Florin Pörnbacher explains how the 3-Step Checkout Extension can help minimize purchase cancellations and increase customer satisfaction on the long term.

Mr Pörnbacher, you are the Managing Director of the e-commerce agency Unified Arts in Rosenheim and developed the 3-Step Checkout. I’m sure you can explain what exactly is the 3-Step Checkout?

The 3SC is a Magento checkout extension that was particularly developed for the checkout of an online shop. Analyses conducted by the Baymard Institute and agencies in the e-commerce sector have shown that the biggest challenge for conversion optimization is the checkout. Over 69% of consumers abandon their order process in the checkout! However, we believe that a usability – optimized checkout, with comprehensive measures for mobile and desktop, can substantially minimize the number of abandoned purchases. 

3-Step Checkout Mobile Payment
3-Step Checkout Mobile View

Well, you say that many online shop operators still have problems with their customers dropping out in the checkout. How did you come up with the idea of the 3-Step Checkout?

Well, as you said, there are still some obstacles in the checkout process. The 3-Step Checkout is our answer to the poorly optimized checkout systems in the online environment. Through many years of experience in e-commerce, we have been able to determine that only a few retailers make optimizations in their checkout. Mainly, the mobile devices are neglected and the checkout is not optimized in a user-friendly way, but often only taken over from the desktop version. This is usually not because the retailers explicitly ignore the checkout, but because they do not have the know-how or understand the complexity of the system. Furthermore, the optimization of this area is also associated with high costs. That is why we have made it our task to develop a checkout that on one hand has modern technologies and on the other, also provides a level of usability that increases the user experience for customers. 

Why exactly did you choose a checkout extension and not another extension that might relate to the online shop?

The checkout is where the user completes the online purchase, and becomes an actual buyer. Hence, this area is critical for the purchase completion process. Also, though many companies are not aware of, the checkout is an essential part of the image. In other words, a non-optimized checkout process not only leads to the loss of orders, but can also lead to a significant image collapse.

However, since we are an e-commerce agency and specialize in the development of online shops and are far from being extension manufacturers, we were primarily looking for a solution to this problem. Unfortunately, there is very little available on the market, and we wanted to close this gap, hence the 3-Step Checkout was created. 

Are you interested in the 3-Step Checkout Extension?

How long did the planning and subsequent development of the Magento extension take? 

First, we started with intensive research. In this phase, we compared several usability guidelines and analyzed statistics on buying behavior, especially abandoned online purchases. With these results, we were able to concentrate on the concept and finally began with the development of the extension for Magento 1. After 8 months of development, the first 3SC version emerged, and we proceeded to develop a second application for Magento 2. However, we had to spend more time on developing this extension. Bringing the extension to Magento 2 standards, we had to build a higher flexibility in the back-end, and we also had to focus on improving the architecture. Due to Magento 2 system complexity, a lot of know-how was needed. But, in the end, we were able to complete this project as well, and moved to the final preparation and the subsequent live launch.

You mentioned that Magento 2 development was very difficult for you. Looking at what you said, which was the most challenging part?

Due to the high Magento standards and the complex architecture of the checkout as well as the component system used via JavaScript, we had to think of many solutions to make necessary adjustments. At the same time, it was important for us to be Magento compliant, to maintain standards and to keep the upgrading options and effort low. It was also difficult to make changes because the Magento 2 checkout is completely different from the rest of the system and is rendered using a Knockout.js. This means that the implementation is associated with a high level of technical know-how and complexity.

Which long-term goals do you have for the design of the 3-Step Checkout?

Above all, we would like to expand the 3-Step Checkout to other shop systems and are constantly working on implementing new usability standards. It is also essential for us to expand our customer service. Another major goal on our part is to use VueJS (PWA) to offer a headless version and thus achieve a better establishment in the market and, eventually, to strive for internationalization. 

You mentioned the internationalization and expansion of 3-Step Checkout into other shop systems. How do you foresee this happening and most importantly, how do you intend to achieve these goals?

We are already working at full speed to expand our radius beyond the DACH region. The initial focus is on the English-speaking market. The internationalization of 3-Step Checkout is therefore already in full swing. A first step for us was, the translation of our website and social media presence for international customers. Addressing customers is at the top of our agenda, and we are open to future projects and inquiries from all over the world. In addition, the development of a new Magento 2 checkout design and the extension to a Shopware 6 extension, which is based on a VUE JS framework and thus represents a basis for PWAs, is currently in progress. The launch is planned for the beginning of 2021. Stay tuned!

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