3 tips for optimizing your WooCommerce order process
On April 15, 2021 by Christian Waske
If you run an e-commerce store, you probably already know about funnels and conversion rates. You probably know how important it is to remove barriers between the top of your funnel (awareness) and the bottom (new paying customers).
In any marketing funnel, you're going to lose people along the way.
So as a business owner, you should be asking yourself, "How can I remove barriers so I can convert more lost customers into paying customers?"
- 1 Where can you achieve the greatest return on investment?
- 2 Why are checkout pages so bad?
- 3 1. keep design simple and functional
- 4 2. use best practices as a basis for conversion optimization
- 5 3. many small changes - big effect
Where can you get the greatest return on investment?
Basically, the basis for your optimizations should always be a very good template with WooCommerce support. Building on this, however, there are many levers how you can improve your online store more.
Honestly, there are many ways to improve your sales funnel, including your landing pages, product pages, and cart pages, all of which impact your conversion rate.
But what if I told you that more than 75% of all online shoppers end up abandoning their cart? By definition, that means it's the biggest influence on your store's revenue. And it's also the most neglected page in any WooCommerce store. The checkout page.
Why are checkout pages so bad?
No page in a store has more complex user interactions than the checkout page. You have numerous fields, conditional states, total recalculations, discount codes, shipping options, payment methods, etc.
The truth is that most checkout pages are designed by developers who know what it takes to successfully create an order, but are clearly unable to design an intuitive user experience.
Services like Shopify have taken advantage of this. Their design-first approach has made it easy for merchants to set up stores that aren't as customizable, but offer a much better experience for end customers.
Not convinced? Compare Shopify's default checkout page with WooCommerce's default checkout page:
Which form would you rather fill out?
Your online store doesn't have to look so cluttered. WooCommerce can work just as well as Shopify, but you should make some optimizations.
Below you will find the best tips for optimization.
1. keep design simple and functional
The checkout should not only be functional and performant, but also attractively designed. We like to follow the design guidelines of industry leaders like Shopify here, so we can trust that the design patterns we use have already been tested by millions of stores. This checkout has gone through dozens of A/B tests and conversion optimizations.
2. use best practices as a basis for conversion optimization.
Especially with smaller budgets, it's often better to rely on studies and best practices, since you can't perform elaborate A/B tests and optimizations yourself.
Studies show that multi-step checkouts perform better than one-page checkouts in most cases. This is especially true for stores that sell shipped products.
A multi-step checkout prompts customers to focus on a single context and knowledge area at a time. Instead of presenting them with 30 fields, we show them just a few in a given category and gently guide them through the process.
So we should do everything for the customer so that he doesn't have to do things himself. Everything he doesn't have to do himself increases the chance that he will become a paying customer.
We automate a few elements of the checkout page:
Auto complete city and state
Once someone has entered their country and zip code, it's easy to look up their city and state, so we do just that. That's at least two fields your customers won't have to think about!
Caching of the form fields
When a customer fills out the checkout form, we store the value of each field in the user's local browser memory. This means that when the customer refreshes the page, all the data and options they selected are magically preserved.
Gone are the days of crashed browser tabs and accidental updates that force customers to start from scratch.
Give existing users the possibility to login
When a user provides their email address, we should check in real time if they have an existing account. If yes, we show the password field.
If not, the password field remains hidden and the Create Account checkbox is automatically checked for the user. This means that your customers don't have to try to remember if they have an account or deal with the details of creating a new one.
Offer express checkouts
Whether you use an iPhone or Android phone, or Safari or Chrome on the desktop, the fastest way to order is with Apple Pay or Google's payment request buttons.
If you use the Stripe gateway, PayPal Express or Amazon Pay, your users can skip the queue and order faster.
3. many small changes - big effect
If you have the right product and target the right customers, reducing the bounce rate in your funnel will lead to more sales. It's simple math.
Every optimization in your ordering process will lead to more customers and thus to more sales. In addition, your customers will be happier when they order from you. And happy customers are returning customers and will recommend your store to other customers. A great checkout page has a big impact on how customers feel about their purchase, and if you make a good impression, you're setting yourself up for more success in the future.