Introducing our side-by-side checkout

2 Nov

The day has arrived… The freewebstore team is proud to announce the launch of the FANTASTIC side-by-side checkout!

Our team has been working day and night, gathering feedback from our users and engaging with experts in the field. We believe we’ve developed a checkout that we’re sure will improve YOUR sales.



Our new streamlined side-by-side checkout


I’ll be discussing the reason as to why we’ve created it and talking about the fantastic benefits.

So, why have we created it?

Simply put, to improve YOUR conversion rates and reduce YOUR abandoned carts. Our shared values mean that if you’re happy, we’re happy. Increasing your sales and conversions will go a long way to achieving our shared goal.

Ok, what are the key benefits?

After many months of rigorous planning, development, and testing – we believe we’ve developed a checkout that is not only visually pleasing but will result in an increase in conversions.

Mobile First

Mobile shopping has increased year-on-year – over 62% of smartphone owners have made a purchase using their smartphone in the past 6 months (Justin Smith, 2016).


Mobile view of the new side-by-side checkout.

  • The new side-by-side checkout has been designed using the ‘mobile first’ technique – resulting in a solid and fully responsive checkout, the pinnacle of mobile perfection.
  • Shopper’s payment and shipping input fields have been optimized for use on a mobile – using touch not click.
  • Buttons are reachable by thumb. We’ve kept the number of fields to an absolute minimum too and have reduced the length to 16 pixels wide on so that the page fits beautifully on a mobile.
  • We’ve used HTML 5 set correct input tries, which means that whether a text, number or email is required, the correct keyboard appears on mobiles.
  • Autocomplete tags for inputs have been introduced, meaning that shoppers can use autocomplete if they have typed their address in previously – saving time.


The new side-by-side checkout is secured using 256-bit SSL encryption. This is clearly displayed with the aim of improving shopper confidence and reducing anxiety, with the aim of getting you that all important sale!  

Slick & streamlined design

The new checkout looks equally as good on the desktop as it does on mobiles!

27% of people abandoned their cart if the checkout was too long/complicated. The free flowing and smooth design will make sure even the laziest customer won’t have any complaints – increasing the chance of a sale!

  • Tab index on all HTML elements that the user can easily tab through the input fields
  • One colored button per section on the most important action means the user can easily identify what is next.
  • Customizable color and skins – to help fit in your with corporate colors and encourage creative freedom!
  • Displaying the costing at each stage of the checkout process – so to avoid the unwanted surprise at the end. 



Cost breakdown, to avoid the unwanted surprises!


  • Additional Instructions (optional feature). Store owners can enable this input field to allow customers to input additional instructions and comments.
  • The ‘Add Coupon’ section is collapsed to prevent coupon harvesting. Thus increasing your profit margin.
  • Registered companies based in the EU can now provide their VAT number at checkout to remove the VAT from their order. VAT numbers are validated in real time and are made available to the store owner for accounting purposes, once the transaction is completed. 

Works great with Stripe

The new checkout is the perfect chance to make the most of the payment merchant Stripe.

Stripe allows for card payments to be made directly on your storefront, without the need to be transferred to a third party site. Embedding the Stripe platform into the new checkout adds to the fast and smooth checkout experience that will leave your customers wanting to order more and more!



Stripe has been built into the checkout for even more convenience


Best of all – it’s completely FREE!

Yes, really! Our fantastic new side-by-side checkout is available to ALL of our freewebstore store owners at no additional cost!

How do I activate?

The freewebstore developers have done a fantastic job creating it – now they want you using it, we don’t want to upset them, do we?!

You can enable the fast, reliable and secure checkout in one click, by visiting your freewebstore control panel here.

Happy selling! 

22 Responses to “Introducing our side-by-side checkout”

  1. Sam November 2, 2016 at 4:59 pm #

    Where in the Control Panel do you go to activate this please?

    • Matthew November 2, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

      Hi, Sam.

      On the homepage of your control panel, you’ll see the box ‘introducing side-by-side checkout – activate now. You can simply click the link and it will be automatically transferred over 🙂

  2. Sam November 2, 2016 at 5:14 pm #

    Blind as a bat, thanks!

    • Matthew November 2, 2016 at 5:34 pm #

      Pleasure, I’m sure you’ll love the new checkout as much as we do!

  3. Mishael November 3, 2016 at 9:12 am #

    Looks Good!! ,thanks for the good work

    • Matthew November 3, 2016 at 9:43 am #

      Hi, Mishael!

      Glad you like it!

      I’ll pass on your kind words to our developers 🙂

  4. Shainda November 3, 2016 at 11:06 am #

    I am not able to see other payment options like the offline methods on my store after activating side-by-side checkout feature….Can you please help on that?

    • Matthew November 3, 2016 at 11:11 am #

      Hey, Shainda.

      Send a message to our support team via your Control Panel > Support > Customer Support and they will talk you through this 🙂

      • Shainda November 3, 2016 at 11:24 am #

        Ok thanks

    • Matthew November 3, 2016 at 4:14 pm #

      Hey, Shainda

      If you head over to your Control Panel > ECommerce > Checkouts > [Supported Checkouts] you will see a list of all the supported checkouts, for you to simply enable. Additionally, follow the same process and click on [Offline Payments] you’ll be able to choose your offline payment methods.

      I’ve seen that you currently have PayUmoney and Bank Transfer enabled in your control panel and these options are showing on the front end (I’ve just checked) 😀

  5. Simon November 3, 2016 at 3:53 pm #

    I am pleased you have done this as I have raised this as a suggestion on a number of occasions, however does it work with PayPal?

    • Matthew November 3, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

      Hi, Simon.

      Glad you’re pleased!

      Yep, PayPal is still available (along with all the previous payment methods).

      Have you considered using Stripe? The new checkout complements Stripes platform extremely well, your customers can pay directly on your site with a credit/debit card – allowing for a smooth and streamlined checkout for your customers 🙂

  6. DW November 3, 2016 at 4:48 pm #

    How do I disable/re-enable this option once I initially put it into effect? I’m not so sure I like the way the new one handles guest checkouts

    • Matthew November 3, 2016 at 4:52 pm #


      Thanks for your comment!

      Is there anything specific you don’t like about the guest checkout? Can you please send in a support ticket via Control Panel > Support > Customer Support and our technical team will investigate this for you!

      • DW November 3, 2016 at 4:57 pm #

        I just did that.

  7. Matthew November 3, 2016 at 5:00 pm #

    Great! Our support team will pick it up from there 🙂

  8. Andrew Preston November 3, 2016 at 6:17 pm #


    Hhhm. I activated this.

    And then posed as a customer ordering at Southern Dried Fish. From my laptop.

    Must say, from a customer point of view, I see little real advantage to the new format.

    1. There remains the unintuitive bit early in the checkout process, where one button says.. ‘CHECKOUT’, and directly underneath that is a Paypal logo which says ‘Checkout with Paypal’. A piece of clunkiness that is still there.

    2. Continuing on through the checkout, I’m not at all sure I like the stage at which you allow the customer to amend the Postal Option. Seems to me it should be earlier.

    3. Virtually all of what I read about Stripe tends to be about the supposed benefits to either or both of the merchant or the web designers. Very little about what customers think of it compared to Paypal. The little that I have found indicated that customers like Paypal, they like being directed off to the Paypal site to complete the transaction, and because they feel safer that way.

    You’ve implemented Stripe as the default payment option at the final stage of the checkout, and customers must make a deliberate decision not to use Stripe.

    Overall, what it looks like to me is that you’ve decided to push Stripe as a payment method. It all looks kind of clumsy.

    Do you receive payments from Stripe ?

    • Matthew November 3, 2016 at 7:38 pm #

      Hi, Andrew.

      Thanks for your message 🙂

      We’ve conducted thorough research and engaged with experts in the field when devising the new checkout. We identified the major reasons for abandoned carts (controllable) and have developed a solution for an improved checkout experience:

      Site wanted the user to create an account (35%). Improved guest checkout experience, set as default (although the store owner is in complete control of this)

      Too long/complicated checkout process (27%)new side-by-side clearly shows the stages that are required, without the need to fill out a long, tedious list

      Couldn’t see the total costs up front (24%)costs are clearly displayed at the side of the checkout so that the customer has complete control at each stage

      Didn’t trust the site with credit card information (18%)SSL certificate displaying site security is clearly displayed to reduce customer anxiety and provide the customer with peace of mind.

      Stripe is set as the default payment, as it complements our new checkout perfectly and adds convenience for customers – leading to more sales for you guys! Note: The store owner has complete control over this, you can easily disable this payment method.

      In what way is it ‘kind of clumsy’? Stripe is a global and respected payment merchant, the transaction fees are extremely low compared to major alternatives and you have the added convenience of checking out directly on the storefront, completely securely. This seems like a pretty good solution to me 🙂 (although, of course, everyone has their opinion)

  9. ukgiftbasketassociation November 4, 2016 at 7:24 am #

    Personally I love the new look from both a customer and business point of view. Only one problem though as only two postage options are showing (we have three) but I just sent a ticket over to the support group regarding this. Thanks so much for the great work.

    • Matthew November 4, 2016 at 8:58 am #


      Really glad you like it 🙂

      Ok, great – our support team will pick that up.

      Thanks for the kind words, I’ll pass them over to our developers

  10. Christian Domanegg December 6, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

    Hi guys. Is there any website I can test it before I go live with mine?

    • Matthew December 7, 2016 at 9:58 am #

      Hey, Christian.

      Thanks for your message.

      You can test the checkout, from a customer’s perspective, on one of our test stores. If you head over to Keeleys Store you’ll be able to have a play around

      Additionally, you can access the back-end features by hitting the ‘demo store’ on the freewebstore login page 🙂

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