David Mainayar on | 9 min read
Checkout undoubtedly represents one of (if not the) most important elements in your store. Every decision you make about your store leads up to this moment. This is why the WooCommerce plugin ecosystem is so fantastic. Even if the native WooCommerce checkout process is not very good, you can optimize it with a plugin.
In this tutorial, we’re going to discuss why checkout is key to your WooCommerce site, and offer some tips to help you optimize it. We’re also going to show you how to create a one-click checkout window using a popular and powerful WordPress plugin.
Much like how a dam is only as good as its core materials, your online store is only as good as your checkout experience. It’s a central aspect that you should build your entire site around. If you leave it unoptimized, it can develop leaks that culminate in a flood of cart abandonment.
It’s worth noting that an abandoned cart is, to some degree, inevitable, and the average rate is alarming. You’ll find that some industries see up to 80% of customer carts abandoned.
Because of this, it’s crucial and almost non-negotiable to optimize the checkout to boost your conversion rate. It’s your last practical chance to convince a customer to purchase – just because they are on the checkout page doesn’t mean the sale is final.
A checkout page is high-maintenance, in that customers have lots of good reasons to drop off and leave their carts behind:
The checkout process itself could be complicated. A good User Interface (UI) is necessary for almost every site, but for an e-commerce store, it’s a money-maker. Not only that, but if you ask the user to add details that are superfluous, or include repetitive steps, it will turn the customer into a missed sale.
If a customer can’t carry out all of the typical actions they need, they’ll get frustrated and leave. For example, they’ll need the ability to add specific products to the cart, remove products, and otherwise manage the list of products in their cart.
If the payment summary includes unexpected or hidden costs, a customer could bounce. Often, this would relate to taxes, shipping, and other extras rather than the base cost of the product.
Speaking of shipping, a customer could abandon the cart if they can’t find shipping in their area. Also, if the shipping or delivery time looks too long for the customer’s needs, they might head off elsewhere.
As well as a lack of shipping preferences, a customer might not like the payment gateways you use on-site. Because it relates directly to money, this is a big reason for an abandoned cart.
The connective link between most of these is a lack of communication, specifically between the customer and store. What’s more, you have to make sure you meet the expectations and needs of your customers, and provide a pleasant and friendly UI for the purchase process. If you can deliver these elements fast, you’ll have the foundations of a checkout that converts.
While the default WooCommerce checkout flow is functional and usable, it’s not optimal. It’s a good example of a process that includes multiple checkout pages, in that there are a number of different stages and sections to make sure you obtain the information you need.
However, this process needs optimization, for a few reasons. For starters, the flow of the default form needs work – the coupon link is at the top, which isn’t optimal.
The primary reason is that multiple checkout pages are a time-consuming way to make a purchase. Customers won’t want to spend this long on a checkout unless there’s a specific reason to do so. Even then, you’ll want to make sure there are no roadblocks to the purchase.
In some cases, there are dedicated WooCommerce extensions that can fill in the gaps for you. We’ll look at some third-party full-featured solutions later.
One almost necessary way to streamline the checkout process and reduce the cart abandonment rate is to use a one-page checkout window instead of multiple checkout pages. You’ll find that there are a few positives in using this type of checkout:
You will likely optimize every point of your sales funnel, and a single-page checkout window – ideally accessible on the product page itself – means you can streamline this point too.
This makes the checkout more convenient for customers, as everything they need to provide information for is in one place.
Given that there are fewer fields to fill out, you can implement a faster checkout on the whole.
In general, you’ll find that a streamlined and optimized checkout window will reduce cart abandonment, increase the sense of security, and see more customers complete their purchases. The ultimate result of this is greater income.
Next, we’re going to look at a few different WooCommerce checkout plugins that are all compatible with WordPress. Each one offers its own blend of features and functionality, but there’s one we recommend above the rest. Let’s start with this option.
Our first choice is what we consider the best WooCommerce checkout plugin on the market. PeachPay helps stores strip the checkout process down to its most fundamental and core elements.
This is achieved through a fully configurable checkout window from which you can offer Stripe, PayPal, and other payment methods. As the merchant or developer, you will have total control over the whole checkout experience, which means you can tailor it to your own requirements as needed.
There are a few standout features of PeachPay we should mention:
With the Stripe & PayPal integrations, you get protection from two of the world’s largest payment providers. In addition to fraud protection, you get a dashboard to help you manage payments, and much more.
Using the dedicated plugin, you’ll find you can integrate a PeachPay checkout window into WordPress with ease, and no HTML, CSS, PHP required. Note: you can use the one-page checkout shortcode for this plugin as needed to bring the PeachPay checkout button somewhere other than product, cart, and checkout pages.
With PeachPay, you can provide a time-saving way for users to pay for an online purchase, and reduce your cart abandonment rate in one fell swoop. What’s more, using a PeachPay checkout window will cut down the number of requests a page makes, improving performance.
Finally, PeachPay is free forever; our aim is to make sure it works for every single WooCommerce store that’s active and live.
On the surface, Direct Checkout for WooCommerce is a superb solution to streamline your WooCommerce checkout pages. It has a good development team behind it, lots of satisfied users, and plenty of functionality:
There are a few essential features lurking within this plugin:
You can remove checkout fields that you don’t want for your process without the need for CSS, PHP, or HTML.
You’re able to redirect the user to the checkout and reduce the number of steps they have to take to purchase.
It offers an intuitive interface and good usability from a reliable WordPress developer.
There are also options to use a WooCommerce one-page checkout shortcode and add a ‘Purchase Now’ button – essentials for both a checkout page and a product page. However, while the core plugin is free, it’s feature-limited.
Instead, you’ll find these checkout features in the premium version of the plugin. A one-site annual subscription is $30 per year, but it’s a cost you may not want to pay – especially when there are free versions such as PeachPay that offer more value.
CheckoutWC is an AJAX-based plugin that provides a number of custom templates to help you build an ideal WooCommerce checkout layout. It looks slick and includes a huge number of extras that most stores will need.
This means your checkout can look exactly like your vision, and even improve upon it. CheckoutWC does this through a number of features:
You can apply a number of different checkout templates to your checkout page, based on what you need from it, with plenty of design options too.
You’re able to deploy friction-free account setup and management to users.
There are lots of helpful time-savers, such as auto-completion for certain fields.
However, CheckoutWC is a full premium plugin, with no free version. As such, you’ll find that higher-tier plans include more functionality:
Various extra landing pages, such as a Thank You and Order Pay page.
WooCommerce one-page checkout options.
User matching, which can turn guest checkouts into customer accounts with ease.
Cart and checkout editing options, and an additional order review step.
Trust badges, to help ease your customer’s minds during checkout.
There is a lot in the box when it comes to CheckoutWC, but you’ll need to pay for the privilege. Pricing starts at $149 per year and rises to $549 per year. It’s the most expensive option from our selection, but does provide the functionality you need (at higher tiers) to create a unique one-page checkout for your site.
On the whole, there are lots more options than we can include here. However, regardless of which plugins you want to compare, you’ll want to know how to whittle them down.
It’s best to think of your needs based on how your customers use your shop page and get to the checkout. For example:
As a store owner, if you want to cater to mobile users – and the evidence is you should – you’ll want to make sure the checkout page is optimal for that device. Also, because of the nature of public internet connections, security in the form of Secure Sockets Layers (SSL) certificates to help encrypt data is essential.
Sites that sell worldwide will not only need a checkout that loads well across the globe, but also reads in multiple languages too. An automated way to do this for each language, in order to keep site performance high, is a bonus.
You’ll want to make sure that your page loads well regardless of how you set it up. For this reason, consider plugins that provide a checkout window, as this should cut down on the number of page loads and requests your browser will make.
Of course, if you sell specific or niche items (or your store itself has a unique setup), you’ll need an order form and checkout page to accommodate. A solution that lets you customize the process is going to be something you look for.
It goes without saying that there are a few standard and typical practices you’ll want to look for in a WooCommerce checkout plugin too:
Make sure the plugin receives regular updates and adheres to current laws and guidelines if necessary.
Take a look at the reviews of a plugin, especially lower-rated ones. This will tell you about some of the issues with a plugin that could help you make a better decision.
Check out the [developer’s social media accounts to see how they talk about the plugin, and also how they talk to the user base.
Once you have one or two plugins in mind, you’ll want to test them out in a local environment, away from your live site. This way, you can use the plugins and decide for yourself based on your own experience.
When you’re ready to begin with PeachPay – our choice for the most ideal WooCommerce checkout plugin – you’ll need to download it.
First, head to the dedicated app link and enter your WooCommerce store’s URL.
Note that this has to be a live URL because once you click the ‘Get’ button, you’ll head to your WordPress website. You’ll see something that is essentially a full-screen version of the plugin’s WordPress.org page.
To install and activate the plugin, click the blue ‘Install Now’ button, then the ‘Activate’ button when you see the prompt. This is the same process as almost every other WordPress plugin, so you should be at home here.
Note that you’ll also need to set up some payment methods as part of the first stage of setup. However, while they’re intuitive and quick to run through, these are third-party pages – as such, we’ll move onto the PeachPay setup proper.
Before you move onto creating a one-click checkout window, you can alter some settings to make the experience more akin to your own vision. You’ll do this through the ‘PeachPay’ link in the sidebar of your WordPress dashboard:
There are a few different sections and settings here, and we won’t go through them all. However, you’ll want to decide whether you use the ‘Test Mode’, which we’d recommend until you want to go live with your express checkout window. You’ll find this setting under the ‘General’ tab:
Clicking the ‘Enable Test Mode’ checkbox here lets you choose this option. The ‘Payment methods’ tab contains two options to display one or both of PayPal and Stripe gateways:
From here, save your changes. You can tour the settings some more, but in our next section, we’ll show you how to use PeachPay to create your one-click checkout window.
Unlike other similar plugins that walk you through a lengthy set up process, PeachPay is different. In fact, once you confirm your payment methods, there’s no more you need to do. To check out PeachPay in action, add an item to your cart, then click to see the checkout window:
To be fair, there are some benefits with multiple page checkouts – namely that you can include more information for the customer and introduce upsells. However, a checkout window is quicker to use, easier to maintain and provides a greater rate of conversions. As such, it will reduce cart abandonment and up your customer’s average spend.
If you want the ultimate WooCommerce checkout plugin, PeachPay is a market-leading solution. It gives the customer a better experience overall. It’s fast, efficient because you don’t have to enter credit card details for each consecutive purchase, and you can also take international orders without fuss. On top of that, you can include more information and introduce upsells the same way you would with a multiple page checkout. The best of both worlds!
The best news is that PeachPay is completely free to download and use. Check out our documentation for tips and tricks to get the most out of it.
Top 3 WooCommerce Plugins to Enable a Better Checkout Process