More details for the curious coder
I’m not sure if this next bit of information is helpful, but one thing that took me a bit to get my head round was the overall flow between Magento and PayPal. At first I had to figure out that you must use the Onepage Checkout in order for the review step to be skipped in the first place. It seemed like when I didn’t have to go through the review step PayPal immediately charged the customer, then they were redirected to my site. This is true from the customer’s perspective, but in reality, there’s a background API call and an internal forward that run before the customer arrives at the thank you, a.k.a. checkout success page. The full flow is summarized with a diagram.
Bear in mind this illustration presumes the customer has gone through the Onepage Checkout and you have the Skip Order Review Step enabled. The flow will be different in that your customer will have to go through a review step on the Magento site otherwise.
My thoughts about smoothing out the user experience
Two big things are impressed upon me having learned all of this
- If you want to use Skip Order Review Step then disable both of the shortcut button options
- Rearrange the Onepage Checkout flow to collect billing information after billing method selection
To elaborate on the second point, Magento’s default Onepage Checkout flow has you enter billing information as the second step. This is redundant if the customer chooses to pay via PayPal later in the checkout process and could be annoying enough that it creates drop-offs right when folks are about to make a purchase! The complete opposite of why you enabled PayPal Express in the first place – to get more sales! Here’s an article that demonstrates how to rearrange the checkout flow. It won’t show you exactly how to put billing address after billing method, but it will get you started down the right path.
Hopefully this article helps you dial in your Magento / PayPal Express integration, increases customer satisfaction and sales! Let me know what you think and if you have any questions or want further details about the article.
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