How many times have we been ready to check out, entered our credit card information, and then clicked the “Continue” button? And then rather than being able to complete the transaction, we’re instead brought to the Order Review page—a page where the only action required of us is to review all the info with a fine-toothed comb before mustering up the courage to click “Order.”

If review is the only purpose of this page, then why is it there?

What exactly is an Order Review page?

Usually, the Order Review page is inserted between the Payment page and the Order Confirmation page. Now, just to be clear, I am not talking about the Order Confirmation page because that’s the page everyone needs to get to.  The Order Review (O.R. for short) displays all the information the user has entered during checkout, but it serves no function other than review of information entered.

The impact of improvement in the Checkout funnel

We’re always looking for ways to reduce user abandonment in the funnel.  Sometimes those changes are right under our noses—as in the case of the O.R. page.  Let’s examine how its removal might impact the bottom line.

First, consider the claim by Baymard Institute that an average of 68% of users abandon their carts.

In our experience, most of this occurs between the cart page and the first checkout page. But, as you go down the funnel, small reduction in abandonment can have exponential impact on both conversion and top line sales.

To illustrate the point, consider our spiffy infographic:

So, do major e-tailers still use O.R. pages?

Some do. In fact, the following are just a few examples of the top 99 retailers using order review during checkout. For a comprehensive list of Order Reviews, see Baymard Institute's website.

APPLE

WALMART

 CRATE&BARREL

p250-crate-barrel-checkout-step-6-order-review-original-17a6a85c68a8d7d011ec0266ffb01805
p250-crate-barrel-checkout-step-6-order-review-original-17a6a85c68a8d7d011ec0266ffb01805

Large retailers with no Order Review page

Below are a few noteworthy examples of companies who’ve removed the O.R. page, challenges they’ve faced in removing the page, and our recommended solutions.

The Home Depot

The Home Depot allows the order to be placed directly from the payment page.  No review required.  However, HomeDepot.com’s checkout does have a clear display along the right rail showing the cost of purchases while also listing addresses and carted items.

One little problem, but otherwise a darn fine experience. #13 RANKING by Baymard.
One little problem, but otherwise a darn fine experience. #13 RANKING by Baymard.

Lowe's

While we’re discussing leading home improvement stores, let’s look at Home Depot’s biggest competitor. Similar to Home Depot, the Lowe’s site wins by dropping the O.R. page.  Unfortunately, their payment/place order page needs some improvement.

Areas needing improvement are:

  • Billing address which is crammed on the page and doesn’t disappear when “same as shipping” box is selected
  • Main call to action (CTA) is located too far down the page
  • No breadcrumb exists for the page
RANKED #10 by Baymard. That makes no sense to me.
RANKED #10 by Baymard. That makes no sense to me.

Amazon

At first glance, it may appear that Amazon includes an O.R. page for its final page of checkout.  Of course, their final page is almost always the first page you see because those clever Amazon boys require account registration.  But, when we look more closely, we see that there is an action to be performed on this page: The user must choose their Shipping Method.

What initially appears as an Order Review page is actually a Shipping Method/Review page. Plus, Amazon does a good job of executing the CTA and breadcrumb.

RANKED #74 by Baymard. More proof that their rankings are to be taken with a massive grain of salt.
RANKED #74 by Baymard. More proof that their rankings are to be taken with a massive grain of salt.

Results from our clients

One of our clients at Launch had been experiencing a 10% drop-off on their O.R. page. When they removed it, they recouped that entire chunk of abandonment.

Another of our other clients is currently considering removing their O.R. page. Based on current analytics, they anticipate saving $4 million annually after its removal.  Recently, they tried 2 versions of checkout during lab testing. The users who never saw the O.R. page didn’t miss it, and those who did see it had mixed opinions about its inclusion.

How to do it right

Don’t just rip out the O.R. page because you read a blog post about it.  Try an A/B split test if you can.  If you can’t do an A/B split test, then try doing without the page for a few weeks, and see what happens.

Also, while you’re reconsidering order checkout, it’s a good idea to follow these guidelines:

  1. Use a CLEAR label for that final breadcrumb. “Place Order” or “Pay & Place Order” should work well.
  2. Use a CLEAR call to action for the now final “pay/place” page.  Again, “Place Your Order” will work great. Putting it near the top and bottom of the page is a super good idea.
  3. Go ahead and show a running order summary along the left or right rail. Make sure to include the order total, taxes and shipping. Also be sure to show a line-item listing of the products in cart and the user’s addresses.

Doing the above will minimize the risk of customer confusion, returns and complaints, and should boost your online sales.

In summary, give it a shot, and let us know by commenting here on how it worked for you.

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