Got a WooCommerce store? It behooves you to offer a variety of payment methods. Just anecdotally, I’m sure both you and me have been annoyed and even abandoned purchases when a merchant, online or otherwise, doesn’t take the payment method we want to pay with. That’s just straight-up lost sales for the merchant. But you don’t have to entirely trust anecdotal evidence, there is data you can pour into, suggesting 7% of abandonment is from missing payment methods.
I’d suggest, at a minimum, you take credit cards and PayPal. There are a variety of payment gateways you can explore (and it’s worth doing so), including a number that take credit cards. The best bet there is WooCommerce Payments — supported in many big countries. It’s Stripe-backed, so it’s a lot like using the Stripe gateway anyway, except way better as it’s loaded with useful features like the fact that you manage all your payments directly in your WordPress dashboard, and Instant Deposits.
The PayPal plugin is free, so that’s kind of a no-brainer, and I’m just talking the basic integration that kicks people over to PayPal.com to pay. Some people like that, as it lets them use their PayPal account online where they may already carry a balance for online purchases and transfers.
The very next step? Apple Pay and Google Pay. Why? Like PayPal, some people strongly prefer it (including me) because of how quick and familiar it makes the checkout process. The Apple Pay and Google Pay functionality in WooCommerce goes so far as to even allow skipping the whole traditional cart and checkout process. That might allow you to make up even more than that 7% based on improved UX.
How does Apple Pay and Google Pay work on WooCommerce? Well if you’re already using WooCommerce Payments, like you should, you’re already almost there.
Enabling Apple Pay and Google Pay on WooCommerce
Apple Pay is supported via the Stripe plugin or the Square plugin, but I’d say it’s easiest with WooCommerce Payments. Under Settings > Payments, you’ll see a checkbox for “Enable express checkouts” — flip that on and you’ll be enabling both Apple Pay and Google Pay — and will have an opportunity to pick where you want them to appear.
There are a handful of prerequisites, like having an HTTPS site, but with eCommerce in general, that is not optional and you’ve probably already got it in place.
One thing I experienced when activating it is this warning:
I was able to download the domain association file from the Strip docs, give it to my WordPress Host (Flywheel), and they manually installed it for me and it worked fine.
With PayPal, you need a PayPal account for yourself to make it work. That’s not the case with Apple Pay and Google Pay where you don’t have an account and they don’t keep a balance — they just kick that money directly over to WooCommerce Payments and you have access to that money like you would any other WooCommerce Payments transaction.
Here’s an order that came in (I get email notifications for orders):
I can see the order in my dashboard like any other, and have the ability to refund it directly from there and other actions:
I barely even notice it. What payment gateway someone chooses is of little consequence to me once it’s all set up.
The user experience
Apple Pay works on Safari, both on iOS and macOS. If a user both is using one of those browsers and has Apple Pay set up, they’ll see the special buttons show up on your store:
Press that button, and the user sees this immediate checkout step:
The user can change credit cards (that they have set up in Apple Pay), changing shipping address, and then if they approve it, it’s instantly done.
It’s a pretty satisfying user experience, I must say.
Even moreso on a mobile phone, where it feels like things like Apple Pay and Google Pay were really designed to shine. Here’s Apple Pay:
Google Pay works on Android phones nicely, but also works in desktop Chrome.
I did learn one super weird little caveat with Google Pay and desktop Chrome though! Cards that are in your desktop Chrome autofill area in settings that literally say “Google Pay” next to them don’t actually work for the WooCommcere Google Pay buttons. Only credit cards that are kinda manually added in there without that little label work. Just a little thing to be aware of when testing:
This is a rather compelling reason to use WooCommerce for eCommerce. I feel like I got this feature for free. I basically checked a box in settings, and it makes a material positive impact on my business.