Introducing Express Checkout

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Express Checkout is PayPal's premier checkout solution that streamlines the checkout process for buyers and keeps them on a merchant's website after making a purchase.

To create an Express Checkout integration, refer to the Express Checkout integration guide.

For more detailed feature and integration information, navigate to the Express Checkout reference guide.

Express Checkout Integration Steps

You can implement Express Checkout in 4 steps:

  1. Place PayPal checkout buttons and PayPal payment mark images in your checkout flow.

  2. For each PayPal button that you place, modify your page to handle the button click. Use the PayPal Express Checkout API operations to set up the interaction with PayPal and redirect the browser to PayPal to initiate buyer approval for the payment.

  3. On your Order Confirmation page, use PayPal Express Checkout API operations to obtain the shipping address and accept the payment.

  4. Test your integration using the PayPal Sandbox before taking your pages live.

Because PayPal offers you the flexibility to control your checkout flow, you should first understand how your current checkout flow works, then, become familiar with the Express Checkout flow. Start by reviewing Express Checkout Flow. For additional background information to help you get started, see Express Checkout Building Blocks.

Configuring and Customizing the Express Checkout Experience

After you implement and test your basic Express Checkout integration, you should configure the additional features of Express Checkout to customize it to meet your needs. Carefully evaluate each feature because the more you streamline the checkout process and make Express Checkout seamless to buyers, the more likely your sales will increase. At a minimum, you should:

  • Set your logo on the PayPal site and provide order details in the transaction history.
  • Use the PayPal Review your information page as your Order Confirmation page to further streamline the user experience when you do not need the benefits associated with paying on your site. This strategy can lead to a better order completion rate, also known as a conversion rate.

Configure the look and feel of PayPal pages to match the look and feel of your site by specifying the:

  • Logo to display
  • Gradient fill color of the border around the cart review area
  • Language in which PayPal content is displayed

You should include:

  • Order details, including shipping and tax, during checkout.

    Important: Not displaying this information is a major cause of shopping cart abandonment during checkout.

  • Shipping information for non-digital goods, which can be your address information for the buyer or the address on file with PayPal; if you use the address on file with PayPal, you can specify whether it must be a confirmed address.

You can also activate additional features, including:

  • Associate a payment with an eBay auction item
  • Assign an invoice number to a payment

Additional PayPal API Operations

You can use PayPal API operations to include advanced processing and back-office processes with Express Checkout. You can:

  • Capture payments associated with authorizations and orders
  • Process recurring payments
  • Issue refunds, search transactions using various criteria, and provide other back-office operations

Express Checkout Additional Features

Express Checkout includes a suite of advanced features. Detailed information about these features can be found in the Express Checkout reference. These features include the following:

  • Express Checkout buttons and marks — Use PayPal hosted checkout buttons and marks. You can also participate in promotional campaigns and take advantage of the dynamic buttons feature.

  • In-Context Checkout — In-Context checkout allows buyers to checkout via a small secure PayPal checkout window that overlays the merchant's website, with the merchant site always visible in the background. For more information about the in-context checkout experience, see the in-context integration guide.

  • Express Checkout on mobile devices — The PayPal checkout experience is optimized for mobile devices; for more information on the mobile checkout experience, see Express Checkout on Mobile Devices.

  • Instant Update API — This API enables you to specify your callback server URL to which PayPal can send the buyer's shipping address. This allows you to provide the buyer with more detailed shipping, insurance and tax information. See Express Checkout Instant Update API for details.

  • Parallel Payments — This feature enables a buyer to pay multiple merchants in a single Express Checkout session. See Express Checkout Parallel Payments for more information.

  • Immediate Payment — This feature ensures a buyer pays for a purchase immediately after commiting to it. This feature can also be utilized by merchants who are selling items on Ebay and who also have Express Checkout on their website. See Express Checkout Immediate Payment for more information.

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