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How to Optimize Your WooCommerce Checkout Process for Conversions

How to Optimize Your WooCommerce Checkout Process for Conversions

When running an online store, there are a lot of factors to take into account to provide a smooth and frictionless UX and ensure conversions.

You need to think of technical optimization (website speed, mobile-friendliness, and responsiveness), design (compelling layout and functionality), and content (using high-quality product images, SEO optimized text, and showcasing product reviews).

In other words, it’s a lot of hard work.

However, all these efforts may be in vain if your WooCommerce checkout is not properly optimized.

It’s hard enough getting potential customers to visit your site, retaining their attention, and convincing them of the value and quality of your products.

However, the struggle doesn’t end when they click the “Add to Cart” button.

In fact, this is when the true challenge begins.

Why You Need to Optimize Your WooCommerce Checkout Process

Around 70% of all shopping carts are abandoned, according to Baymard Institute and Business Insider. That means for every 30 sales your shop makes, 70 more potential sales were never completed. As for why customers abandon carts, Baymard Institute has interesting data for you.

Let’s take a look to see what we can learn from it:

  • 61% of shoppers abandoned carts because of the extra costs, including too expensive shipping and unexpected taxes.
  • 35% discontinued with the checkout because the sites wanted them to create accounts to complete orders.
  • 27% left before completing the purchase because the checkout process was too long and/or complicated.
  • 18% didn’t follow through with the purchase because they didn’t trust the site with their billing information.
  • 8% gave up on buying because their preferred payment method was not accepted.

Why You Need to Optimize Your WooCommerce Checkout Process

All of these abandoned shopping carts can be avoided by adding (or removing) a few features to the checkout and the product page. There’s plenty of room for you to optimize your website for conversions and boost sales, you just need to go the extra mile.

Hint, hint: It’s all about simplifying the checkout process as much as possible and being as transparent as you can.

How to Make Your WooCommerce Checkout Better

Now, let’s delve into the specifics, and see how to make your WooCommerce checkout better.

We highlight 6 common issues that can compromise the purchasing process right at the end, and suggest WooCommerce checkout plugins that provide simple and efficient solutions:

1. Minimize the Number of Steps It Takes to Complete an Order

This one goes to the 27% of shoppers that abandon carts because they struggle to endure long or complicated checkout processes. There are a number of different ways you can solve this, and you can combine these methods to maximize the conversions you see.

One-Click Payments

If you’ve ever come across Amazon’s “Buy with 1-Click” button, you’re probably already familiar with this method. It skips the entire checkout process by quite literally allowing a customer to complete a purchase with a single click.

One-Click Payments

WooCommerce Buy Now is a simple plugin that adds the one-click checkout function to your WooCommerce store. The best part about it is that you can use it on your website and your email – with just a line of code, your customers will be directly checked out and payment will be made.

Pricing starts at $49/year for a single-site license.

One-Page Checkouts

This is a really great alternative to solving the complicated checkout process if you don’t feel comfortable offering single-click checkouts.

A one-page checkout process eliminates the guesswork for your customers when it comes to how many more steps they need to take to complete their orders. It also saves time from having to load multiple pages.

One-Page Checkouts

WooCommerce has its very own plugin for one-page checkouts – WooCommerce One Page Checkout. It allows you to create page templates and display product selection and checkout forms on the same page.

Pricing for this plugin starts at $79/year.

One-Page Checkouts

There is another one-page checkout plugin available at CodeCanyon. It’s called WooCommerce One Page Shopping, and allows customers to complete the checkout process on one page by displaying the checkout fields as soon as customers add items to their carts.

Pricing for this plugin starts at $19/year.

Quick and Simple Redirects

This method has to do with the way customers get to the checkout page.

Instead of having to click “Add to Cart” and then “View Cart,” customers using this method would be able to get to the checkout page in one click.

Quick and Simple Redirects

WooCommerce Direct Checkout is a simple WordPress plugin that allows you to change the text of the “Add to Cart” button and have it redirect to the checkout page.

This plugin is free.

Quick and Simple Redirects

The WooCommerce Quick Buy plugin’s functionality is meant to work alongside your “Add to Cart” button. It adds a “Quick Buy” button to every product that redirects the customer to the checkout page when they click it. Customers will still be able to use the “Add to Cart” button and continue shopping if they aren’t ready to checkout.

This plugin is free.

Minimal Redirects for Payments

This one may not be a huge issue in WooCommerce, but it’s still something you should look out for as you add more payment gateways to your WooCommerce site.

Redirecting customers to a separate website, such as PayPal, to pay for their order only contributes to the feeling that your checkout process is “too long and complicated.”

Simplify things by allowing customers to add their payment information to the checkout page on your site.

2. Focus on Design

When it comes to design, there are a number of factors that can make your WooCommerce checkout better:

  • Simplified Checkout. One-click checkouts and one-page checkouts are definitely the way to go if you want your website to have a user-friendly purchasing process.
    They not only contribute to a better UX but may simplify the design of your pages and make them more intuitive to use.
  • Clearly Defined Steps. If you must have a multi-page process, be smart about it. Consider labeling each step by using a plugin such as WooCommerce Multi-Step Checkout.
    This design trick ensures that the user will know what to expect, and makes it less likely that they become frustrated and leave.
  • Showcase Trustworthiness. Another design tip would be to add logos or badges that clearly signify that your site is secure and PCI compliant. This will make users less likely to doubt you, and more likely to trust you with their money.
  • Mobile-Friendliness. Optimizing your checkout process for mobile devices can significantly reduce shopping cart abandonment.
    When it comes to online shopping and impulse buying, people rely on their phones to facilitate their needs, so that they can make quick and seamless purchases.
    If it’s difficult to complete the checkout on mobile, it’s a safe bet that your customers will leave you in favor of a competitor.

3. Up Your Cross-Selling Game

Cross-selling is the practice of encouraging customers to buy additional products that are similar to the products they’re adding to their cart or have already purchased.

It is not to be confused with upselling, which is the practice of encouraging customers to upgrade to a premium version of a product or service.

Up Your Cross-Selling Game

WooCommerce Checkout Add-Ons is a WooCommerce extension that allows you to showcase and promote similar products on the checkout page. Pricing for this extension starts at $49/year.

4. Offer Guest Checkout

If you recall the statistics mentioned above, 35% of shoppers abandon carts because the website wants them to create an account to complete checkout.

You can eliminate a lot of that frustration by simply enabling the Guest Checkout option in WooCommerce.

This will allow your customers to make purchases quicker and with no strings attached.

However, keep in mind to offer them a one-click option to create an account with the provided checkout information, just in case.

While you are at it, make sure you obtain their consent to send them marketing information and exclusive offers.

This way, you can woo them into returning to make another purchase and, eventually, creating an account.

Furthermore, you should consider gamifying the shopping experience, and/or creating a compelling loyalty program.

These options, too, compel clients to create an account.

However, the choice needs to be theirs, so make sure you provide that guest checkout option.

5. Offer as Many Payment Options as Possible

The lack of diverse payment options didn’t account for a lot of the abandoned carts in the Baymard Institute study, but it is still a valid issue that can drive customers away.

Consumers nowadays not only value having options and prioritize their own comfort, but are faced with, practically, unlimited shopping choices. In other words, if you don’t offer the payment method they are used to, they are likely to look for another vendor that does.

This means that you should offer as many payment options as possible.

Consider creating a survey to research your audience’s preferred payment methods to ensure you don’t miss any favorites.

In the meantime, check out (pun intended, wink wink) WooCommerce’s payment gateway extensions as well as our awesome article on the topic:

10 of the Most Popular Payment Gateways for Your Mobile Checkout Process

6. Add a Shipping Calculator to the Product Page

Nobody likes paying for shipping. Nobody.

Especially when the additional cost comes as a surprise.

In fact, 61% of shoppers abandon carts during the checkout process, specifically after shipping costs were calculated.

You can reduce the number of abandoned carts by allowing customers to calculate shipping costs on product pages with a plugin like WooCommerce Shipping Calculator on Product Page.

Also, make sure that you provide easy access to your Shipping and Delivery information from your homepage, footer, and all product pages.

This information needs to be clear, exhaustive, and concise, so that customers can make an informed choice, instead of feeling frustrated and disappointed mid-purchase.

Bonus Top: How to Rescue an Abandoned Shopping Cart

Keep in mind that while all of these strategies can greatly help you increase conversion rates and avoid cart abandonment, there still might be some customers that will leave simply because they were not ready to buy at that particular moment.

In fact, this reason accounts for 58.6% of cart abandonment rates in the US alone.

In situations like these, the best thing you can do is send email reminders to your customers with incentives such as discounts and coupons to return and complete their checkout.

Email Tips for Abandoned Shopping Carts

To simplify this process, consider using the Abandoned Cart Pro plugin to assist you in recovering lost sales, and use the tips above to optimize your checkout pages with the help of our Checkout Optimization Checklist.

Bottom Line

Attracting customers to your eCommerce website and convincing them to convert is difficult. It takes time, dedication, patience, and a lot of marketing and sales skills.

It’s a shame to waste all this effort just because your WooCommerce checkout process is clumsy and counterintuitive.

Simply put, your customers need to be able to make a purchase in a heartbeat, without having to put in any extra thinking or work.

Each obsolete setback is another chance for them to leave and take their business to a competitor, so do your best to optimize your checkout and provide a seamless UX.