WooCommerce Optimisation and Checkout UX

Here at Zonkey HQ we like to dabble in all things web. We design sites, we build sites, some big ones and some small ones, but we also get involved in digital marketing, UX optimisation and SEO. Obviously getting more traffic to a website is a great thing to be able to do for a client, but quite often people fixate on how many visitors they get, rather than what those visitors do when they get to you.

Recently, we’ve begun working again with a client that we’ve had a relationship with for a number of years. We built an early version of their site, then continued to host and maintain their site when it was upgraded by another agency, and recently they returned back to us for help with fixing some problems with their checkout. The site is built with WordPress and uses WooCommerce but the basket and checkout process had been tweaked away from the standard WooCommerce user flow.

“But hang on, the standard WooCommerce UX is pretty bad, right?” I hear you all shout! Well yes, some would argue it’s a bit oversimplified and doesn’t give the best conversion figures, but ultimately it’s used by a large chunk of the internet so it’s familiar to a lot of people. It might be basic, but basic often works.

We added some analytics ecommerce tracking and we sat and watched what was happening. We reviewed the checkout page structure and flow and decided that actually going back to a more standard, simplified approach may well be best.

After relaunching the basket and checkout pages, with some fancy plugins switched off and some slight tweaks to layout and order, we then waiting to see what happened. Ok, we’re not talking about this client getting thousands of orders a week, but there was enough traffic coming through that we started to notice a different almost immediately. The first full day after going live, we saw a 65% increase in revenue compared to the same day a week previously. There had been no change in marketing, no social media campaigns or noticeable change in traffic. Ah, must be a fluke we thought. Let’s wait for some more data. So we reviewed again after 3 days, then 7 days, then 10 days, and the figures kept improving. Latest data, after 10 days with the new checkout, shows an 87% increase in revenue and more importantly a 42% increase in the conversion rate. We’re pretty proud of that.

The moral of the story? We’re not claiming to be the greatest conversion optimisation UX specialists around, but sometimes “simple” just works. Overcomplicating a checkout process and sacrificing UX for a flashy design can put off your customers enough that they’ll just go elsewhere.