Starting a new WooCommerce store can be as exhilarating as it is complex. There’s a lot to consider from what to sell, to how to sell it, and there are a lot of ways to do the latter that you may not have considered to help boost sales.

The average eCommerce store has a conversion rate of one to two percent, which means there’s a great opportunity to customize your way to higher conversion rates.

Here are the top 10 things you should start customizing first on your WooCommerce shop as well as the tips and extensions to help you make those adjustments for a higher conversion rate.

1. The basics

Right out of the gate, there are a few essential tasks to start off with:

  1. Name of the business, logo, and tagline (under WordPress General settings)
    WordPress general settings
  2. Theme (check out some of the themes we’ve reviewed)
  3. Brand colors (e.g., your theme may have settings, and you’ll want settings under WooCommerce > Settings > Emails to match)
    WooCommerce email settings
  4. Design (such as tweaks to your theme and its settings)

If you’re looking to get up and running quickly, WooCommerce has a starter theme called Storefront. It’s both simple and lightweight, but has a number of extensions for optimum customizability.

For details, check out the Storefront theme, child themes, and extensions, and read up on the most important features of your store’s design.

Navigation may seem like a standard part of a eCommerce website, but it’s important to be intentional with where you are placing your navigation, and how you are directing customers through their shopping experience.

According to Kissmetrics, “A website’s navigation has a bigger impact on success or failure than almost any other factor.”

WordPress manage themes

Manage your theme’s menus under Appearance > Menus

It’s essential to anticipate how your visitors will navigate your store. That way, you can make it as easy as possible for them to browse and make a purchase. Using your broadest categories in your navigation can help customers find items they want, and you can even use mega menus to include helpful images.

Here are some ideas for further customizing your store’s navigation:

  1. Make a contact form visible so customers don’t have to search for it when they have questions.
  2. Add additional menus to your theme if it doesn’t support many.
  3. Use the FacetWP plugin to help customers filter what they want and find products faster.
  4. Place breadcrumbs on product, category, cart, and checkout pages to clarify where customers are on your site.
  5. Don’t forget social media menus to let customers connect with your business outside the website. If your theme doesn’t have a social menu, consider putting these in your footer as a widget.

3. Product display

Customizing how your products are displayed is crucial to the success of an eCommerce website. According to Shopify, “Choosing an appropriate way to showcase your products is essential, as it can either drive users to continue to checkout, or click away from your store.”

Here are a few options for displaying products in a unique way:

  1. Cross sell and include related items on the same page. Fortunately, WooCommerce has cross-sells and related items built-in.
  2. Show variations in a chart or a graphic. For example, a sizing chart for clothing stores.
  3. Optimize product images so they load lickety-split, and upload images of several angles or options.

The Storefront theme can leverage the Storefront PowerPack extension, which covers all your product page layout and design customization needs without having to code.

Otherwise, customizations can be made to the archive-product.php file in a child theme for the PHP-savvy among us.

You can also add additional information to each item on your shop page such as a SKU or specific geographical availability, and alter and add product sorting options.

4. Category pages

It’s extremely important to make sure your category pages are both polished and customized as Yoast mentions, “Your shop category page is probably more important for your online shop than your product page, when it comes to SEO.”

WooCommerce creates category pages by default by compiling all the products in a particular category on one page. If you want to create a new category page for added control and functionality, you need to override the default template, and use shortcodes to modify the items displayed.

Here are a few ways to customize your category pages:

  1. Add a header or banner image.
  2. Create a captivating category description.
  3. If you have subcategories, keep page links visible for effortless navigation.
  4. Add a filter (such as using FacetWP) to help customers sift through a large quantity of products.

You can also display categories on a product page in a more prominent way, separate from the product loop. Check out the core documentation on managing categories, tags, and attributes, as well as this guide to structuring category listing pages for further tips.

5. Checkout page

Cart abandonment rates are at 69% on average, and one way to reduce that number is by making the checkout process easier.

WooCommerce includes a few basic checkout options for required and hidden fields, which you can adjust under Appearance > Customize > WooCommerce, within the “Checkout” section.

WooCommerce Checkout options

Advanced checkout page customizations can be done with custom code. However, there are plugins that can help make changes as well, such as the Checkout Field Editor plugin. With this plugin, you can move, edit, add, or remove any checkout field, including the billing and shipping sections. If you don’t want to use a plugin, you can make customizations using hooks and filters.

You can also configure your checkout page with a bit of code to simplify the purchase process if you’re selling free products and don’t need to collect payment or shipping details.

There are also a number of extensions available to significantly customize the checkout page:

  • One Page CheckoutThis extension puts product selection, billing info, and order details on a single page to make checkout as simple as possible.
  • Quick CheckoutIt configures your checkout page to pop up in a lightbox.
  • Check-Out Add-OnsThis is a no-code way to add custom shipping instructions, options, or fees.

6. Payment process

Customizing the payment process with care is extremely necessary in today’s technological age according to Forbes: “Consumers expect frictionless checkout experiences combined with the same level of security across all devices as exists today with other more established payment forms.”

There are many payment extension options available, and you can further refine and personalize the payment process once you have decided what types of payment you’ll accept as well as which payment gateway you want to use.

Here’s how you can customize the payment process:

  1. Have an option for a payment plan for high-priced products by using a plugin like Deposits or Subscriptions.
  2. Display prices in visitors’ local currency using WooCommerce’s Currency Converter Widget.
  3. Create your own payment gateway and integrate it with a payment processor for additional control.

Be sure to calculate and communicate taxes that are dependent on the state where the business is located as well as the state where the delivery is going. Also, decide on any special payment settings that you need to have for international shipping, holiday shipping, specific items, and similar options.

You can further customize the payments processes on the admin end by creating a filtering system to separate orders by payment type, or if coupons were used, and other similar variations.

7. Shipping settings

WooCommerce has a good foundation for shipping, but the process can be customized to suit both your business and customers. By prioritizing shopper expectations, businesses can create a superior customer experience that not only converts, but also creates lifelong, loyal customers.

WooCommerce has a number of extensions for adding shipping methods, and shipping carriers to your online store. Once you have decide on the ones you want to use, you can fine-tune the features to fit your customers’ needs.

Here are some additional ways to customize the shipping experience for customers:

8. Site copy

Sales copy is one of the main aspects that most businesses overlook, but it should be a critical, and thoughtful aspect of any eCommerce site since each conversion is a direct result of a visitor engaging with the copy.

These resources can help you write effective, conversion-worthy copy:

To stay on top of the website’s effectiveness, you can also use a plugin for A/B testing to figure out exactly which elements of your store aren’t working to help the conversion rate. A/B testing can help companies identify valuable insights that can’t be discovered in other ways.

For details, check out the best WordPress A/B testing tools from Kinsta.

9. Product reviews or testimonials

According to a customer service survey by Zendesk, 88% of US shoppers decide what to purchase based partly on reviews. Reviews are enabled by default in WooCommerce, but you may have a theme that alters their appearance or hides them entirely.

You can change your Review Settings by going to WooCommerce > Settings, and clicking Enable Reviews on the Products Tab.

WooCommerce review settings

When you click Enable Product Reviews, more customization options appear.

Here are some ideas on how to further customize the reviewing experience:

Conclusion

Customizing your WooCommerce online store for optimal conversions doesn’t have to be daunting. These tips and extensions should help get you off to an excellent start.

Are there any other customizations or extensions you would be remiss not to mention? Which areas are you the most excited about developing? Share your experience in the comments below.


Your WooCommerce store can drive additional revenue by improving your email marketing. Try Jilt for free to increase sales with abandoned cart recovery emails, post-purchase follow-ups, and more!
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Posted by Alex Raby

A WordPress and web developer, when Alex Raby isn't coding all the things, she can be seen writing at WP Pros(e) or avidly reading to reach her lofty goal of finishing 75 books this year.

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