Do Accordion Style Checkouts Work? How one company uncovered 26% more conversions by putting its checkout process to the test

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Accordion style checkouts, among other developing cart technologies, have become increasingly popular in e-commerce, especially from its use by top-grossing companies like Apple. But, does this style …

Accordion style checkouts, among other developing cart technologies, have become increasingly popular in e-commerce, especially from its use by top-grossing companies like Apple. But, does this style perform better? We will discuss this question along with many others related to shopping carts:


• What is the optimal length of a shopping cart process?

• How many steps is too many?

• What information requirements cause customers to abandon?

• How can marketers leverage new technologies to decrease shopping cart abandonment?

In this Web clinic, Jon Powell, Senior Manager, Research and Strategy, MECLABS, will uncover recent research revealing what one e-commerce company discovered about the true performance potential of popular checkout optimization principles and technologies.

More in: Business , Technology
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  • 1. #WebClinic Accordion-Style Checkouts Tested: How one company uncovered 26% more conversions by putting its checkout process to the test
  • 2. #WebClinic We’re sharing on Twitter! #WebClinic
  • 3. #WebClinic Today’s Team @jonpowell31 Jon Powell Senior Manager Research and Strategy MECLABS Market research practitioner with 6+ years of hands-on discovery gained through managing hundreds of A/B and multivariate tests for ecommerce, healthcare, financial, and education Research Partners.
  • 4. #WebClinic Checkout Optimization Studied Shopping cart or subscription When compared, shopping carts are rated as a top priority for optimization.
  • 5. #WebClinic Checkout Optimization Studied Shopping cart or subscription process Shopping cart optimization ALSO appears to be rated as most difficult, typically due to implementation costs or constraints. The conclusion often is to seek technology that can optimize the user experience. But does this really help?
  • 6. #WebClinic The Accordion-Style Checkout Once a user clicks continue, step 2 expands and step 1 contracts As the user progresses, they see only summary of what they completed and the next immediate step
  • 7. #WebClinic Today’s Focus To understand how accordion-style checkouts perform as an optimization tactic through a series of three major experiments.
  • 8. #WebClinic Experiment #1
  • 9. #WebClinic Experiment #1: Background Background: National news publication selling subscriptions Goal: To increase home delivery subscription rate Research Question: Which treatment will generate the highest home delivery subscription rate? Test Design: A/B variable cluster test Experiment ID: TP1666 Record Location: MECLABS Research Library Research Partner: [Protected]
  • 10. #WebClinic Experiment #1: Checkout A • In Checkout A, all necessary steps are presented in a stacked, linear style between multiple pages Page 1 Page 2 Page 3
  • 11. #WebClinic Experiment #1: Checkout B Page 1 • In Checkout B, all necessary steps are presented on a single page in an accordion style, expanding and contracting upon individual step completion • Credibility and satisfaction indicators are also added on Delivery and Billing steps to help mitigate anxiety
  • 12. #WebClinic Experiment #1: Side-by-Side Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 1 Version A Version B
  • 13. #WebClinic Experiment #1: Results Conv. Rate % Rel. Change Stat. Conf. Version A 3.81% -- Version B 2.70% -29.1% Relative Decrease in Conversion Rate Version B’s content decreased the rate of conversion by 29.1% 29% ! What You Need to Understand: By changing the presentation of required information input, the result was 29% less completed conversions compared to Version A. 99%
  • 14. #WebClinic Accordion Checkouts Tested To This Protocol ID: TP1737 From This No Difference With Statistical SignificanceX
  • 15. #WebClinic Accordion Checkouts Tested To This Protocol ID: TP1491 From This No Difference With Statistical SignificanceX
  • 16. #WebClinic Accordion Checkouts Tested To This Protocol ID: TP1599 From This No Difference With Statistical SignificanceX
  • 17. #WebClinic Accordion Carts Tested Why did the accordion-style checkout implementation fail to pay for itself?
  • 18. #WebClinic Experiment #2
  • 19. #WebClinic Experiment #2: Background Background: National news publication selling subscriptions Goal: To increase home delivery subscription rate Research Question: Which treatment will generate the highest home delivery subscription rate? Test Design: A/B variable cluster test Experiment ID: TP1740 Record Location: MECLABS Research Library Research Partner: [Protected]
  • 20. #WebClinic Experiment #2: Checkout Page A • Checkout Page A retains all of the standard checkout presentation factors from the previous test
  • 21. #WebClinic Experiment #2: Checkout Page B • Checkout page B makes a different set of adjustments: • Copy and image tweaks to re-emphasize the value proposition previously stated • Savings are re-emphasized, lines around information are removed, and header fonts increased • Call-to-action re-aligned, re-colored, re- written emphasizing the next step of the process • Similar to experiment 1, credibility and satisfaction indicators are added
  • 22. #WebClinic Experiment #2: Side-by-Side Version A Version B
  • 23. #WebClinic Experiment #2: Results Conv. Rate % Rel. Change Stat. Conf. Version A 1.89% -- Version B (small changes) 2.34% 23.6% Relative Increase in Conversion Rate Version B’s content decreased the rate of conversion by 29.1% 24% ! What You Need to Understand: By making small changes in the way the page communicated, our analysts were able to produce a 26.3% relative increase in completed conversions. 99%
  • 24. #WebClinic Experiment #2: Results Why did small changes in the way the page communicated produce a significant yield?
  • 25. #WebClinic Experiment #2: Why Version B Won • The copy and image changes provide a reminder of value to weigh directly against the immediate cost they are processing. • Box removal and font changes allow the page to minimize mental stops in the mind that might stimulate over-thinking. • The call-to-action is written to propel micro-yes momentum to a page they believe will help them make a fully- informed, final decision.
  • 26. #WebClinic Like This… To This Protocol ID: TP1368 From This 12%Increase in Revenue
  • 27. #WebClinic And This… To This Protocol ID: TP1070 From This 11.6%Increase in Revenue
  • 28. #WebClinic Experiment #3
  • 29. #WebClinic Experiment #3: Background Background: National news publication selling subscriptions Goal: To increase home delivery subscription rate Research Question: Which treatment will generate the highest home delivery subscription rate? Test Design: A/B variable cluster test Experiment ID: TP1789 Record Location: MECLABS Research Library Research Partner: [Protected]
  • 30. #WebClinic Experiment #3: Checkout A • Checkout A retains all of the standard checkout presentation factors from the previous winning control process Page 1 Page 2
  • 31. #WebClinic Experiment #3: Checkout B • Checkout B simply splits each section of content from the winning control into its own page and adds a step- indicator graphic Page 2Page 1 Page 3 Page 4
  • 32. #WebClinic Experiment #3: Side-by-Side Version B Page 2Page 1 Page 3 Page 4 Version A Page 2Page 1
  • 33. #WebClinic Experiment #3: Results Conv. Rate % Rel. Change Stat. Conf. Version A (2 pages) 6.72% -- Version B (4 pages) 7.68% 14.3% with Statistical Significance Version B’s checkout did not perform statistically better compared to Version A No Difference ! What You Need to Understand: Splitting the cart into additional pages would not guarantee a return on the time and cost required for a full implementation. 54% X
  • 34. #WebClinic Accordion Checkouts Tested 1. The goal is not to impress the customer; the goal is to enable the customer. 2. A significant “improvement” in your checkout process doesn’t guarantee a significant improvement in the mind of the visitor. 3. An investment in cart technology should yield a new flexibility that enables the marketer to better appeal to a customer’s thought sequence. FKey Learnings
  • 35. #WebClinic Live Optimization Shopping Carts
  • 36. #WebClinic
  • 37. #WebClinic Live Optimization Primary Audience: Sunglass wearers Primary Objective: B2C product sales GO Gooden’s Optical http://bit.ly/15OwzqX
  • 38. #WebClinic Live Optimization Primary Audience: Safety enforcement departments Primary Objective: B2B sales Emedco http://bit.ly/188vqKE
  • 39. #WebClinic Live Optimization Primary Audience: Online consumer shoppers Primary Objective: B2C product sales FactoryOutletStore.com http://bit.ly/1ezPZke
  • 40. #WebClinic Live Optimization Primary Audience: Users interested in learning a new language Primary Objective: Product sales Rosetta Stone http://bit.ly/1fCs0yx
  • 41. #WebClinic Live Optimization Primary Audience: Golfers Primary Objective: B2C product sales Align-a-shot http://bit.ly/17SAnYa