Design an optimal checkout flow


Follow these PayPal Payments Standards best practices to design and implement a smooth checkout flow that can help you maximize sales, minimize checkout abandonment, and create customer loyalty.

Button placement

Good button placement gives your buyer a clear call to action to initiate a payment. It also reassures your buyer that you use a secure and reliable payment processor.

  • Placement Keep the PayPal payment button visible and close to the item to be purchased. Display the button below or to the right of the item.

  • Eliminate unnecessary content Do not add potentially confusing text or images around the payment button, including any unnecessary legal text or warning.

  • Use the View Cart button If you are integrating the Add to Cart button, display the View Cart button on every page so that buyers can easily view the contents of their shopping cart.

Checkout flow

When buyers click the PayPal payment button, they are directed to PayPal and prompted to either log in to their PayPal account or enter a credit card. If the buyer has a PayPal account, he or she can select their billing and shipping information. When the transaction is complete, the buyer is returned to your website.

Follow these guidelines to create a smooth checkout flow:

  1. Pass your store logo and business name to the PayPal checkout pages. This reassures buyers they are still in your checkout flow.

    To pass your logo and business name:

    1. Log in to your PayPal business account.

    2. Click Profile, and then Profile and settings.

    3. Under My Profile, click My selling tools.

    4. Under Selling online, go to Custom payment pages, and click Update.

    5. On the Customize your Payment page, click Add. The Edit Custom Page Style is displayed.

    6. Replace PayPal in the Page Style Name with a simple identifier for your new page that only you can see. For example, you might name the page NewStyle.

    7. In Logo Image URL, enter the URL to your logo located on a secure server. For example, HTTPS://my_secure_server/my_logo.png.

      Note: If your logo is not stored on a secure server, the buyer's web browser will display a message that the payment page contains nonsecure items. If necessary, use a secure image hosting service, such as SSLPic, that will host your image for free and supply you with an HTTPS:// URL to the image.

    8. Click Save.

    9. On the Customize your Payment page, click Make primary. The Make Custom Page Style Primary is displayed.

    10. Click Make Primary.

  2. Pass line item details to PayPal, including the breakdown of items and total purchase costs. This gives buyers confidence in their transactions because they can see their purchase details from start to finish. For detailed instructions, see the HTML Individual items variables.

  3. If your website collects customer information, pass the information to PayPal to pre-fill billing information. This saves buyers time and eliminates the need to re-enter the information. For detailed instructions, see Auto-fill PayPal checkout page variables.

  4. Customize the PayPal payment pages to match the style of your website. For detailed instructions, see Customizing PayPal checkout pages and the checkout experience.

  5. Return buyers to your website after payment. The Auto-Return URL returns buyers to your website immediately after they complete their payment.

    To provide a return URL:

    1. Log in to your PayPal business account.

    2. Click Profile, and then Profile and settings.

    3. Under My Profile, click My selling tools.

    4. Under Selling online, go to Website preference, and click Update.

    5. Under Return for Website Payments, set Auto Return to On.

    6. Enter the full URL, beginning with https://, of the page you want to return buyers to in Return URL.

      For more information, see Auto return the buyer to your website.


Choose a button that meets your business needs.

Additional information