While there are a million reasons to love WooCommerce, it's checkout page leaves a lot of room for improvement. And with the average cart abandonment rate being 70%, you just can’t take any chances here.
IWD Agency has been building websites with WooCommerce for over a decade, so we’re definitely big fans of the platform. It’s just that we know our clients can do better than using the default WooCommerce page.
Here, we’ll discuss why we always customize our clients’ checkout pages, and, at the very end, you’ll know how easy it is to immediately improve your own WooCommerce site’s checkout page and conversion rate – in minutes and for free.
Alright, to begin with, I’ll briefly cover where I’ve found that WooCommerce’s checkout pages come up a little short.
First, while WooCommerce lets you choose between just one or multiple pages for your checkout process, what the platform won’t show customers is how much progress they’re making. In other words, customers won’t know how far along they are in the checkout process. Do they have one page left? Do they have four? They won’t know, which means they’ll be far more likely to abandon their cart – the absolute last thing you want from your checkout page.
Second, WooCommerce’s checkout page doesn’t prompt customers to input an email address as the first step. This is a MAJOR missed opportunity. One thing we’ve seen from our eCommerce clients is that building an email list is among the best ways to improve your Customer Lifetime Value and your annual revenue. Collecting them at checkout allows you to set up powerful retargeting campaigns and cart abandonment emails, so you recover more conversions from customers who were originally left at the beginning of the checkout process. Unfortunately, WooCommerce’s default version is no help here.
Another thing we’ve learned from over a decade of experience working with eCommerce companies is that every market is different. For example, when it comes to traffic, some businesses couldn’t survive without a successful blog. Others thrive with YouTube channels. The same applies to product pages. Some eCommerce companies need 100s of words, multiple images, and maybe even a video. For others, less is more.
All of this applies to your checkout experience, too, which is why I think this is another area where WooCommerce could do better: it doesn’t offer any options for customizing its checkout fields.
You can’t create the kinds of custom fields that may be necessary to optimize conversions for your unique market - things like configuring the positioning of the prompt for billing and shipping addresses, asking for a customer's birthday if you want to run a rewards program, and much more.
Seeing as how much of the effectiveness of a checkout page depends on that company’s unique market, this is a really big deal. Whenever we work with a client that has a high abandonment rate, the first thing we do is look at their checkout page and figure out how we can customize it so it’s a better fit for that company’s market. With WooCommerce, you just have to hope that your customers won’t mind the default format.
The fourth drawback to mention is that WooCommerce doesn’t support express payment methods. Again, this increases the likelihood of cart abandonments because you may end up requiring customers to take extra steps when they would prefer to take fewer. Just like with custom fields, this is an example of how WooCommerce forces you to take a standardized approach when customization could make all the difference. In this case, if express payments are the norm in your industry, your abandonment rate is going to suffer if you can’t offer the same.
Another problem with the layout of WooCommerce’s checkout page, is when a customer gets to it, the first thing they see is a field for coupon codes.
That’s the first thing they see!
Well, so what?
What's the problem?
The problem is that the field for coupon codes may act as a prompt. Many of your shoppers may see it and think, "I should go look for a coupon code before I finish the checkout."
So, they leave your site looking for one of these codes but may never come back. Your attempt at locking in a conversion may actually drive them away. Most eCommerce companies would never want to take this risk and yet, WooCommerce doesn't give you a choice.
In our experience, it’s the products the customer has in their cart. eCommerce giants like Amazon feel the same way. While scrolling down to view what’s in their cart – or clicking to the next step of the transaction – may not seem like it should be a dealbreaker, but do you really want to take that chance?
We definitely don’t with our clients, which is why we save the top of the checkout page for showing their customers what products are in their carts.
Finally, WooCommerce’s checkout page doesn’t validate addresses before assigning shipping information to a customer’s order. That means shipping mistakes are inevitable. Sure, those mistakes might not be your fault, but they'll still lead to canceled orders, having to re-ship products, less customer retention, and a drop in customer satisfaction.
Again, is it worth taking that chance?
Well, you have no choice if you stick with WooCommerce’s default checkout page.
Being able to customize your WooCommerce checkout page is so important.
I touched on this already, but the big reason is very simple: every market is different. You need a checkout page that fits your market just as perfectly as your product descriptions and blog posts do. You wouldn’t choose a one-size-fits-all approach for those other important assets, so why do it with the most important page on your entire WooCommerce website?
A better checkout page means more conversions, which means more revenue without more overhead. In short, you can do a million things with your eCommerce website, but if your checkout page doesn’t deliver, all of that other work won’t matter.
Fortunately, I have some really good news.
So, I mentioned that we’d show you a way to improve your WooCommerce checkout page in just a matter of minutes –for free?
Well, it’s not the way most companies try to customize this all-important page. So, no, I won’t try to convince you that you need to learn how to code in order to update your site’s checkout experience.
I’m also not going to tell you that it’s worth shelling out a small fortune to have a developer try this for you.
Instead, I recommend that you use Dominate's Checkout build for WooCommerce. It won’t cost you a penny and installs in just minutes.
However, those two aren’t the only reasons Dominate has become so popular amongst business owners with WooCommerce sites.
This user-friendly checkout extension will also give you a cloud-based page, so it’s always available and lightning-fast.
It's also responsive and gives you the choice between single- and multipage checkout experiences, so you can maximize your conversions by choosing the single page for desktop and multiple pages for customers using mobile devices with smaller screens.
Dominate also supports PayPal Smart buttons for popular payment methods like Apple Pay, Venmo, PayPal Credit, PayPal's Pay-in-4 Payment Plans, Google Pay, and more to keep checkout times to a minimum and boost conversions.
Have customers in different countries? Dominate connects to more than 120 payment gateways, so you’ll never have to turn down a customer no matter what part of the world they’re buying from.
With Dominate, you only need one extension to improve your checkout page in a number of important ways - all without slowing down your site. To get the same results, you'd need to add multiple extensions to your site. Some of these may come at price, but adding that many extensions could also cost you by slowing down your site to the point that customers go elsewhere.
If you have any questions about WooCommerce, checkout pages, or other ways to increase your conversion rate, feel free to contact us. And be sure to check out our post on other great WooCommerce One Page Checkout Plugins.