Build a 4x faster checkout on WooCommerce with the Bold Checkout Experience Suite

Website load speed is extremely critical for customer satisfaction during the shopping experience. Loading speed not only impacts customer experience, it can also put conversion — and revenue — at risk. 

Speed is arguably most important during the checkout process. After all, checkout is the “make or break” point when a user is faced with one of two paths forward: become a customer or abandon the purchase from a site and buy the product elsewhere.  

Nearly 70% of consumers say that page speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer, reports Unbounce. Your chances at conversion drop by 2% for every second of load time, according to brand sources like Walmart. 

Checkout performance on WooCommerce is lacking

For ecommerce websites built on WooCommerce, the checkout performance can present a real issue — especially when brands have a large number of visitors on the website. The open-source nature of WooCommerce provides superior flexibility for brands to create a tailored commerce solution for their needs. However, as the number of plugins required to create those tailored experiences grows so does the complexity.

For example, creating a checkout process using WooCommerce might require an individual plugin to create each of the following functionalities:

    • Creating a one-page checkout to increase conversions.
    • Offering a quick checkout from a product page or elsewhere on the site.
    • A checkout field editor to modify what’s captured in the checkout process. 
    • Additional payment options to allow customers to pay with PayPal, Stripe or even Buy Now, Pay Later providers.
    • Conditional checkout fields. 
    • Allowing for donations to charities within the checkout process.
    • Address validation to reduce shipping errors. 

An average WooCommerce website has at least 20 to 30 plugins, and there’s both a management and performance cost to navigating this kind of build. With the plugins developed by different vendors of various sizes, brands are faced with administrative, maintenance and security issues:

    • Administrative burden: Something as simple as logging into multiple, different administrative portals for management can become cumbersome when a developer has to do it 30 times for the checkout alone. 
    • Management and security issues: The patchwork nature of using multiple plugins can leave a site open to functionality issues when plugins update on different schedules, or worse, leave a brand and its customers vulnerable to attack if security is compromised. 
    • Lack of vendor support: The limited support from the plugin vendors can leave brands alone and scrambling when things go wrong.     

Lastly, there is checkout performance. With multiple plugins in a WooCommerce checkout, load speeds suffer and revenue is at risk. 

How do we know? We tested it.  

The Bold Checkout Experience Suite vs WooCommerce Checkout

To deeply understand the performance limitations of a checkout built on WooCommerce, we conducted a series of performance tests facilitated by a third-party content delivery network, Akamai. The goal of these tests was to measure the standard checkout loading time of a WooCommerce checkout against Bold’s Checkout Experience Suite based on the number of concurrent users on the test website.

The test was performed on a WooCommerce store run on a server with 16 cores and 16 GB of RAM with the following parameters: 

    • Number of users on the site started at 60
    • Users gradually increased over time 
    • Each user goes through the whole shopping process:
      • Browsing the website
      • Adding item to the cart
      • Checking out
    • 5% of all users get to checkout
    • 60% of users getting to the checkout complete the process
    • Overall site conversion rate is 3%

Checkout loading time was measured for each of the users and averaged across one minute intervals. It is important to note that the test measured full page load time, not the Time To First Byte (TTFB) like some other performance tests do. According to various performance tests, the average Fully Loaded speed for websites is 10.3 seconds on desktop and 27.3 seconds on mobile.

The Bold Checkout Experience Suite is 4x faster

After running the test several times for an hour we were able to build a comprehensive picture on the performance of WooCheckout in comparison to the Bold Checkout Experience Suite.

As seen below, WooCheckout began experiencing performance degradation at 90 users. The loading time gradually increased from 5 seconds to 45 seconds at 240 users.

Checkout load speed test: WooCommerce Results

With 47% of consumers expecting a site to load in no more than two seconds, 45 seconds is an eternity when consumers are more demanding and less loyal than ever.

How did the Bold Checkout Experience Suite perform? It loaded at least four times faster than WooCommerce as user load increased. 

Checkout test results: Bold Checkouts vs WooCommerce

This performance improvement has the potential to mitigate up to 30% of lost revenue from checkout abandonment. If the store earned $10 million annually, on average, they could save $240,000 in lost earnings, based on the estimation that 8% of transactions happen in peak load time.

When a WooCommerce site employs Bold’s enterprise-grade, headless SaaS plugin not only does checkout load speed dramatically improve — deterring up to 30% revenue loss — but brands can sell more because the checkout is highly scalable, customizable and includes other integrated, value-added features, like one-click checkout, subscriptions, upsell and more. 

How to boost checkout performance and increase conversions

Brands on WooCommerce are experiencing slower-than-ideal checkout performance and are leaving money on the table at checkout. 

There are ways to address the performance challenges:

    • More server power: But this means an increase in direct infrastructure costs and server over provisioning to handle peak demand.
    • Replace the commerce platform: While this will guarantee improvements, it will cost even more money than increasing server capacity. This also eliminates the open-source flexibility of the WooCommerce solution.

Another option is to replace the most critical part of the solution — the checkout. Using an enterprise-grade, SaaS application, brands can retain the open-source nature of the WooCommerce platform while addressing the performance challenges.

The Bold Checkout Experience Suite is the only enterprise-grade, headless SaaS checkout solution for WooCommerce that enables brands to sell more through one lean, efficient plug in. It can:

    • Streamline your WooCommerce stack with Bold’s pre-built integrations instead of adding them through a complicated array of additional plugins.
    • Manage peak order volume without having to add more servers, since Bold decouples the checkout experience from the WooCommerce servers.
    • Reduce database calls and maintenance grievances because Bold handles the entire transaction, beginning to end.

The Bold Checkout Experience Suite on WooCommerce includes checkout, subscriptions and price rules.

While WooCommerce invites brands to create highly customizable ecommerce stores, the poor performance of the checkout experience puts revenue at risk. The Bold Checkout Experience Suite optimizes user experience and company revenue by enhancing performance, simplifying management and helping to drive business growth.

Ready to learn more? Contact us to get access to the Bold Checkout for WooCommerce plugin. 

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Anatolii Iakimets

Written by Anatolii Iakimets

Anatolii Iakimets is an ecommerce expert and a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Bold Commerce.

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