How to adapt the checkout process in WooCommerce shops, and how to add more payment methods to the shop. You will learn about that and more in this fourth installment of our tutorial series for the popular online shop plugin for WordPress.
The options explained in this installment can be found in your WordPress backend under -> WooCommerce -> Settings -> Checkout. These options will help you administer the checkout process, and allow you to adjust existing payment options or add new systems and interfaces.
Designing the checkout process
Your first option to select is Enable the use of coupons, and allows you to decide whether or not a relevant input field for a coupon code should be displayed on the cart or checkout page. This option should most definitely be disabled if your shop doesn’t offer coupons. Failing to do so could result in checkout cancellations if potential customers leave your shop on a (fruitless) search to try and find an online source for coupon codes.
A relevant sub-item Coupons will be displayed in the WooCommerce sub-menu (in the WordPress sidebar) for the generation and administration of coupons – but only if the coupon option is enabled:
Back to WooCommerce option „Checkout Process“ you may adjust:
- Selecting the option Enable guest checkout means that new customers will not have to create a customer account to complete the checkout process. They can shop anonymously as a guest. This option will increase the chance of a sale right there and then, but you will have less insight into your customers’ behavior and there will also be a chance of duplicate data records.
- The option Force secure checkout needs no explanation. When this option is enabled, then all checkout processes will be handled via a secure SSL connection (HTTPS). This will require an SSL certification from your hosting provider. This may – in most cases – incur some additional costs, but online shop customers have increasingly come to expect SSL as a matter of course when it comes to payments. The SSL option has the additional benefit of reducing your own entrepreneurial risk.
- With the SSL option enabled, an additional checkbox Un-force HTTPS when leaving the checkout will be displayed. This check box allows to change the safety behavior after a successfully completed checkout process, e.g. for speedy page reconstruction.
Defining pages for your cart, checkout, and T&C
As a next step, you can now decide in your checkout pages, which WordPress page should contain functionalities and content of the Cart page, the Checkout page, and the Terms & Conditions page:
It sounds a lot more complicated than it is: WooCommerce will automatically create the pages Cart and Checkout at the time of installation, which are then automatically assigned correctly. The entire checkout process will therefore function without you having to do anything at all. The relevant pages (which can be found via the menu item of the same name in the WordPress Admin sidebar) will only have to be modified or adapted if they are to contain additional content in addition to the standard process.
Important: The shortcodes contained in the pages installed by WooCommerce Your cart is currently empty.
Your cart is currently empty.
The T&C page will have to be created and filled with content manually (make sure to develop the content in collaboration with an experienced solicitor), and then assigned accordingly via the select box “Terms and Conditions”.
Adjusting the end points for the payment process
Endpoints are appended to your page URLs to handle specific actions during the checkout process. As a rule, or for standard shop functionalities, these will not have to be changed at all.
A sample endpoint, after clicking the final „Place Order“-button:
Endpoints help assess purchase behavior, purchase cancellations, etc. as part of a web analysis tool, and can also be used for customized adaptations of payment system interfaces. Endpoints can be used at the following points of the checkout process, which is reflected in the WooCommerce selection options:
- Payment: Endpoint for the page Checkout -> Payment
- Order Received: Endpoint for the page “Order Received”
- Add Payment Method: Endpoint for the page Checkout -> Add Payment Method
In the example show above, the preset value “order received” was appended. Should there be any other values to be included, these will have to be unique and one per online shop.
Overview and administration of payment gateways
All payment gateways are displayed with their relevant providers under the menu item Gateway Display, regardless of whether these were preinstalled or set up later by the user:
You can use drag & drop to decide the order in which the payment gateways should be displayed in the shop. (Once you have done that, don’t forget to click Save Changes at the very bottom, just like for any other change in the checkout options.)
- The first column Default will specify the preselected gateway to be offered to the customer if he makes no individual selection.
- The icon under Status signifies, whether the relevant gateway is enabled and will therefore be offered to the customer or not.
- Individual gateways can be enabled/disabled or administered via the button Settings.
The relevant subpages for the setup of the various gateways can also be reached via the sub-menu of the WooCommerce settings page (Please note: “credit card” is listed there as “Mijireh Checkout”, more on that later):
Setup of Direct Bank Transfer (BACS), Cash On Delivery, Credit Card and PayPal
WooCommerce comes with the following gateways and systems as standard:
BACS / Bank Transfer
This popular payment method is managed via the sub-page -> Checkout -> BACS. The user enters the Title (in this case e.g. “Direct Bank Transfer”) and the explanatory text content for Description and Instructions. Other information to be entered here includes one or more bank details (under Account Details), which are to be displayed for the customer. The instruction texts and bank details will be displayed for the customer only after successful completion of the checkout.
Orders involving direct bank transfer will have the status “on hold” in the relevant WooCommerce section, signifying the received but not yet paid order. (Read this tip for renaming the status.) The stock quantity will be relevantly reduced to reserve the ordered goods.
All you have to do here is to add the information to be displayed for the customer following a successful checkout process; the order status will be handled by WooCommerce automatically and in accordance with the payment method “Direct Bank Transfer”. Cheques have become quite rare as a payment method, may, however, play a role in foreign orders (beware of scams or Cheque fraud).
Cash on Delivery
Other than in the two previous variations, if you use our plugin WooCommerce German Market you can add a relevant fee, which is to be forwarded to the customer. The fee will then be displayed as an item in the order overview, and will be added to the costs. You can also specify under the menu item Enable for shipping methods whether “Cash on Delivery” should only be offered for specific shipping methods (e.g. only for inland orders). You will learn more about shipping classes and their options in one of the next installments of our tutorial series.
Woo Commerce has integrated the payment provider “Mijireh Checkout” to allow credit card payments (that is why the associated admin page has a different name). This provider is not very well known in the German speaking region. If you would like to allow your customers to pay by credit card in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, and without a detour via PayPal, then you should read the article by Uwe Ramminger for some alternatives (see the section “Payment Service Providers”).
The third part of our tutorial series explained in detail how to integrate PayPal in a WooCommerce online shop.
Integrating additional payment providers
SOFORT Banking is a new payment provider in the German speaking region, offering online shop customers a direct payment option, including a transaction confirmation for the shop operator. The purchase transaction can therefore be handled very quickly, just like in credit card or PayPal operations. We offer a paid plugin that allows you to integrate SOFORT Banking quickly and easily in your WooCommerce online shop.
Other plugins and payment gateways are currently in the works, and we will keep everyone informed of progress via the blog.
What systems or plugins do you use? Which provider(s) would you recommend for a WooCommerce online shop – and why? We would be happy to receive your feedback. We might introduce your suggested tools in future articles.
You can also use the comment function for any questions about the WooCommerce payment options or the setup of the checkout process.
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