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Skip Order Review with PayPal Express in Magento 1.9

May 5th, 2015

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.

Illustration of flow between Magento and PayPal Express with Skip Order Review enabled

Illustration of flow between Magento and PayPal Express with Skip Order Review enabled

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

  1. If you want to use Skip Order Review Step then disable both of the shortcut button options
  2. 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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4 Responses to Skip Order Review with PayPal Express in Magento 1.9

  1. Anonymous says:

    What a pain in the butt this issue is. I mean, it’s Magento. It’s Magento supposed to be the best? One of the developers should be forced to fix this issue. I can’t believe the template companies can just pass this bug off on magento. I knew something like this would happen once I switched to magento.

    • Nathan Nobbe says:

      It’s a bit annoying that’s for sure, but I don’t think it could be considered a bug. More like something that hasn’t been documented very well which is why I decided to post. I’ve gotten mixed opinions about whether it’s best for customer experience to to have the PayPal shortcut buttons or to send customers through one standard checkout flow. For now I’m going to keep the full checkout flow without the shortcut buttons and when I have more time, see if I can streamline the checkout flow and allow the shortcut buttons back in. If I get that far, maybe I’ll package it all up as an extension.

  2. I’ve come across similar issues like this. Since moving to Braintree with a 1StepCheckout the experience is now quite seamless but with an overhead of even more complexity. Sellxed make some great payment extensions with great extendible code, highly recommended. https://www.sellxed.com/

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