Not to be confused with Newegg’s abysmal member checkout process (with its 10-year old interface, silly tabbed payment options and an encumbering amount of text inputs), the guest checkout process is something to be modeled. I almost wonder at the decision to keep the old member checkout process when the guest checkout is so clean and familiar to the general e-commerce audience. Perhaps Newegg customers have been so painfully willing to plow through the old system over the years that they can’t function with anything else. Regardless, allow me to point out a few things that I love about the Guest Checkout Process.
First of all, the look is clean and organized. It’s not too cluttered and the inputs are large and easy to see. The flow of required information is easy to follow.
Something more important than the look however, is the logical way in which the checkout steps are constructed. Rather than dividing the steps into Address, Delivery, Payment, Review like many checkout flows are, it’s divided more intuitively into Shipping, Billing, Review. This is a break from traditional thinking as it properly groups like information in the same steps. Everything needed from the customer regarding shipping happens on step 1. Everything needed from the customer for billing happens on step 2. Review to make sure it’s correct. Purchase. Easy-peasy.
The steps also play together nicely, reducing the amount of information you need to enter twice. For example, on step 1 you enter your shipping address. On step 2, your billing address is automatically entered to match the shipping address you entered in step 1. The address doesn’t even appear in input boxes because 9 times out of 10, an order is being shipped to the same place it’s being billed. However if you need to change this, all you have to do is check a box and all of the address fields become editable. Additionally, the cardholder name on step 2 is prefilled with your name from step 1. Convenient!
Let’s not forget the review order step. In addition to the clean layout and usability best-practices, they place the full order details in a large column to the left, with a smaller summary view of the order on the right with a “place order” button. This allows the customer to view all the nitty-gritty about the order such as reviewing their shipping and billing addresses, cart information, product summaries and return policies, and shipping options (that you can change if you want, but they pre-select the free option for you – duh!) . However, the summary view shows you everything you care about at the moment you make the purchase – How much cash am I spending? Neatly laid out before the customer is the product total, tax, shipping and grand total. Did I mention that the summary view scrolls vertically along with you so it’s always in sight? Also, right before making the purchase, the customer can enter a password and have their account created for next time. This is a nice way to sneak in that signup step without being obtrusive.
It’s refreshing to see a quality and conventional checkout process taken just a few steps further to make it an even more intuitive experience. Now if Newegg could only clean up their other checkout process to be so simple!