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TutorialsWooCommerce: Double your sales customizing your checkout service

Imagine owning a store in a very busy road: thousands of people walk by your showcase and hundreds of them enter your store, look at items and place them in your cart. Then, at the end of the day, you check your income and you have only sold a handful of products.

Puzzled, you ask the cashier and you realize that the cash desk didn’t work so most customers left without purchasing.

Wouldn’t that be absurd? What would you do in this case? You would probably fire your employee who ignored such an important thing.

Well, then you should resign yourself because this is exactly what happens every day in your online store.

All things considered, of all the customers who add a product to their cart, only 8% of them carries them through.

92 customers over 100 leave the products that interested them enough to add them to your cart, what could be causing this mass exodus?

While some focus on the undoubtedly bad side of this data, I’d rather see its potential.

If your current income is the result of only 8% of your potential customer base, if you manage to convince even just one of those 92 customers to complete their purchase, you would have a 12.5% increase in your sales! This percentage would rise to 20% if you could convince 2!

But what are the reasons that could undermine our purchase process?

The 3 main reasons behind customer dropout during checkout

There are three main reasons that might bring customers to drop out of their transaction during the checkout and can be resumed in three keywords:

  • Costs
  • Difficulties
  • Needless

Unexpected costs are shown only during checkout

Let’s take physical purchases as an example again: you are looking for a new vacuum cleaner. After a long search, you find the model you were looking for and its cost is exactly within your range of price: $99,99.

You are satisfied with your find, you walk to the till and you see the price: $120. What happened? Was there a mistake?

At this point, you are informed that the base price did not include taxes… wouldn’t you feel cheated? Maybe to the point of dropping your purchase and look elsewhere.

Bare in mind that this is even easier on the internet: “elsewhere” is just one click away from your store.

This is the reason why one of the most frequent causes behind shopping cart abandonment are unexpected costs, such as shipping fees.

This can be avoided thanks to a correct marketing strategy, combining offers and free shipping, but there is another main cause behind this dropout rate: checkout difficulties.

Technical difficulties during the checkout process

Let’s get back to our previous example: you pick up your vacuum cleaner and walk to the till to pay. The clerk cannot make your credit card work, there is an endless queue on the till and more than 30 seconds pass between each of his sentences… That would be ridiculous, right?

It’s a little less so on the internet, slow browsing, wrong processes, and unclear directions are common obstacles in a process that should go smoothly if you really want to boost your sales.

Needless: asking for useless information during checkout

What I noticed in many e-commerce stores is a distinct lack of checkout optimization. What I mean is: if I’m selling digital images, why would I ask my customers their shipping address? Why do I need their phone number, if the item requires no shipping? Why do I need a “Country” field if I’m only selling in one single country? And so on...

All of these elements might raise dangerous questions in the mind of potential customers, such as “Why am I being asked this information?” “How are they going to use them?” triggering a sense of annoyance and distrust.

There are many fields that are automatically created by WooCommerce and that we cannot edit, so how do we get to ask exactly what we need and nothing more?

We can do that using a plugin: YITH WooCommerce Checkout Manager

This plugin allows you to edit, remove and add fields to the checkout process and provide explanations regarding the information you are asking, thus fixing two of the three main problems at once: difficulties and useless requests:

One single step to fix two of the causes behind customers drop out. Now all you have left to do is to convince 2 of those 92 who got away to stay and you will have increased your income by 20%!