Improving WooCommerce Checkout: Tips and Tricks

WooCommerce is a popular e-commerce platform that powers approximately one-third of online stores. Its increasing ubiquity is impressive, considering that the platform is not even a decade old. However, despite its popularity, WooCommerce merchants are not immune to the problems faced by merchants on other e-commerce platforms, especially when it comes to online checkout.

Frictional checkout is a prevalent issue that leaves shoppers unhappy and merchants penniless. Excessive checkout fields, pages, multi-step flows, lengthy page-load times, and account creation screens are some of the elements that create the perfect storm, resulting in cart abandonment. The primary cause of cart abandonment is frictional checkout, and with each passing second that a checkout process consumes, a customer is less likely to make a purchase.

Fortunately, there are solutions to this universal issue. Autofill goes some way toward alleviating cart abandonment, but it works best when you have as few checkout pages and fields as possible. Checkout Field Editor by ThemeHigh or modifications to the PHP code using developer mode can help you play around with the number and nature of your checkout fields.

Plugins like WooCommerce Cart Abandonment Recovery by CartFlows Inc and OptinMonster can help you win back customers by automatically sending out emails to those who left them behind in the checkout page. However, for those who take one look at a checkout screen and never even bother to enter their email, this solution misses the mark entirely.

A popular route taken by many merchants is to spend hundreds of dollars on a highly beautified, elaborate multi-step checkout flow with cross-selling and up-selling capabilities. Although this approach can bear fruit, it essentially means that a merchant is doubling down on a fundamentally misguided approach to checkout by introducing further complexity and unfamiliarity into the equation.

Encouraging or outright forcing customers to create an account is the worst solution imaginable. It should surprise no one that customers don’t bite. That initial checkout barrier is all they need to decide never to visit your store again. However, if you find yourself in a position with a lot of repeat customers, then it might just be worth considering.

The single best thing a merchant can do to eliminate frictional checkout is to offer one-click checkout to online shoppers. For WooCommerce, your best bet for one-click checkout is the PeachPay plugin. The first time a customer clicks the button generated by the PeachPay plugin, it generates a streamlined form that is already easier to fill out than 90% of checkout flows out there. However, the real magic takes place the next time the customer clicks the button, as all their information will be available for 1-click checkout, no matter what site they clicked the button on initially.

In conclusion, frictional checkout is a prevalent issue that leaves shoppers unhappy and merchants penniless. Fortunately, there are solutions to this universal issue, and merchants can use the suite of plugins recommended above to optimize their standard checkout for a smooth experience. With these tools, merchants can streamline their checkout and improve the process for their customers.

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