The two plugins recommended in this post have since been discontinued, so all links to them have been removed.
The online shopping community is growing rapidly. It’s become very common for people to purchase whatever they need over the internet, removing the need to go out to the shops and giving you the flexibility to purchase items from anywhere in the world.
WordPress is a great platform for doing this and it’s integration with the WooCommerce plugin leads to some pretty awesome e-shops. However, there are times you might want to add more functionality to your checkout and payment system.
One of the functions you might want to include is the ability for your clients to pay a deposit on an item, rather than paying the full amount at checkout.
This is quite a common practice for your “normal” physical shops, especially when it comes to large ticket items, so adding this functionality to an online shop can certainly help in attracting more customers and increasing your sales.
A WordPress plugin that offers this service is Woo Deposits from Webatix, and these developers have taken it further and even added an extension to this plugin entitled Payment Recipes.
What these Plugins are all about
Let’s start with Woo Deposits. This is an add-on to WooCommerce that gives your customers the choice to place a deposit on an item they’re purchasing, rather than paying it all at once.
This deposit can be calculated on a flat rate or as a percentage, whichever suits you best, and it can be set site-wide. If you don’t want all items to have a deposit option you’re given the option to remove it at a product level.
There’s even an added option to incorporate an email system whereby a customer is sent a reminder email after a set amount of time that payments are due.
Payment Recipes is then a further extension to Woo Deposits and it allows your site to accept more than one follow up payment. So, let’s say a client buys an item worth $1000. They can pay $100 now, then $450 in two weeks time and another $450 two weeks later.
It gives your e-commerce site further flexibility that can prove instrumental in increasing your sales of high-value items. Certain customers might not afford to pay for a high-value item all at once, and this system gives them the chance to work around it over a certain period of time.
All in all, everything you might associate with a deposit process in a physical shop can be introduced straight into your e-shop easily and quickly.
For the video version of this review just click play below, otherwise you can keep reading on.
Setting them up
So let’s get to using the plugin itself. I’ve gone ahead and acquired both Woo Deposits and the Payment Recipes extension and will be working with both from this moment onwards.
Once you’ve purchased them you’ll be sent the license keys and download links via email. All you have to do from here is head to the Plugins section in your WordPress dashboard and upload the zip files as usual.
Where to find them
Once they’re activated you can head to the WooCommerce tab in the dashboard and open the Settings section. Here you’ll see a new tab called Woo Deposits as you can see below.
Both Woo Deposits and Payment Recipes will be activated and set up from this tab.
The first thing you must do is enter the email address and license keys you were given in their appropriate boxes. At first you’ll only have the Woo Deposits option, but once that is activated the rest of the settings will show up.
Once both are activated you can start setting up your deposits options.
Your general settings are where you start applying the rules for your WordPress site. Initially, you must decide whether you want the deposits option to be a must on every product or whether you want to give your customers the option between that and full payment.
You can then set the default payment type (deposit or full) and choose whether you want to disable follow up payments for customers through either email or their account section.
Deposit Calculation Settings
Next up are the settings for the deposits themselves. First, decide whether you want the deposit option to be set site-wide. If you choose ‘Yes’ your next job is to set the way the deposits are calculated and the amounts. It can be a flat amount or a percentage of the full price.
Either way, you can then set the minimum and maximum deposit values. You’re free to leave these empty if you don’t want to set limits but I’d suggest setting at least a minimum value in case you have cheaper items whose deposit amount could be very low.
You’re even given the option to exclude shipping from the deposits. Finally, the last feature gives you the option to calculate the deposit based on the cart total rather than product price. You can set as many of these limits as you’d like.
Now we get to the Payment Recipes extension. First of all make sure you’ve activated it with the appropriate email address and license key and then choose whether you want to give your customer a choice of different payment recipes or not.
Now, let’s set up the first payment recipe. After giving it a name and description it’s time to set your payment rules. All you have to do is choose between a flat amount or percentage and enter the amount you require.
You can now keep adding as many payments as you’d like, setting their due dates according to days gone by or by setting a particular date, their payment terms and even the number of days before sending out an email reminder.
The final payment rule must also be filled in, once again with a payment term type, payment term and email reminder setting.
Right after this you can set out your email reminder with the email address you want it sent from, the subject line and the content. You’re even given a few shortcodes to use to personalize each email according to order number and so on.
The Tex Templates tab opens up a number of boxes, each one corresponding to the text that will show up in various places throughout your WooCommerce site. Once again you have a set of shortcodes available to help you personalize each message.
These templates include everything from the deposit required text on the product page to the pending payments note. You can see them all in the screenshot below.
Last up are the payment methods. All you have to do here is choose whether to enable or disable the various payment methods on offer. These are a direct bank transfer, cheque payment, cash on delivery and PayPal.
The choice is yours and depends solely on your preference and setup.
The Purchasing Process
Now what do all these settings translate to on the front-end? I’ve set up three products on my test site to show you how it all works and I have to say, I was pretty impressed by how easy it all felt.
So I added a bed, a sofa and a desk, each at a different price. The desk has a fixed price with no deposit option while the sofa and bed have an option to pay a 10% deposit. Purchasing the desk is the normal WooCommerce process as you can see in the two screenshots below.
However, once you go onto a product with a deposit option, say the bed, you’ll start to notice the differences. First up, on the product page you’ll see the note regarding the deposit as highlighted in the red box on the first screenshot below.
Once you add the product to the basket you’ll also see that deposit information there. In this case, as seen in the second screenshot below, it shows the customer that the product has a 10% deposit.
Once you hit Proceed to Checkout you’re given two sections. The Billing details which the customer enters as required, and Your Order. Under this second section you’re given the details for each product and a ‘Calculate Deposit’ button at the very bottom.
Once you hit this button a popup shows up that calculates your deposit for you and shows you two balances. The first is what is due today, in this case the €300 for the desk and the €90 (10% of €900) for the bed.
The second value is the remaining balance that is left to pay after the deposit has been paid. Once again, in this case it’s the other 90% of the bed which is equivalent to €810.
Finally, the last step is to Pay Deposit Now and confirm your order. Once you’ve done this you’re taken to the final page as seen below. You can see that the total payment for this order is in fact the amount including only the deposit, while in the Order Details section you’re shown the pending payment right now and the remaining balance to be paid at a later date.
Note: The €390 in this case is shown as pending since I chose the payment method to be ‘cheque’, which means the customer must go to the shop and pay by cheque himself.
The order is now complete, deposit and all included, and it took no extra effort whatsoever on the customer’s part.
At the moment of publishing this post the Woo Deposits plugin has 3 license options priced as follows:
- 1 site – $50
- 5 sites – $69
- 15 sites – $125
The Payment Recipes extension on the other hand has 3 license options with the following pricing:
- 1 site – $50
- 5 sites – $75
- 15 sites – $125
The developers want to make sure their plugin works exactly as you need it, so they’re offering a 60 day money-back-guarantee with no questions asked. This gives you the ability to play around with it as you wish until you’re happy, and if you’re not, just get a refund.
Documentation & Support
When it comes to documentation Webatix have supplied the usual FAQs as well as a number of articles and guides. These include everything that has to do with getting started with the plugins, basic guides, common problems and known conflicts. There’s also a few customization options for those developers out there.
Conclusions & Recommendations
In conclusion, I was quite impressed with both plugins’ ease-of-use and functionality.
Adding something like deposits and partial payments to your online shop can help grow your client-base and provide them with a higher level of comfort when purchasing your products. They’ll know they don’t have to fork out all the money at once and that you trust your customers to pay up.
In case your WordPress site uses any other language instead of English, both plugins are also WPML compatible so they can be used anywhere around the world. Anyone will appreciate such an addition to an e-commerce site.
So if you’re looking to add something like this to your WordPress site I’d recommend Woo Deposits as well as Payment Recipes. Don’t forget, Payment Recipes will not work without Woo Deposits but Woo Deposit will work without Payment Recipes.
Have you used these plugins before or any other similar ones? We’d love to know what you thought about them and your experiences with adding such functionality to your site. Feel free to get in touch in the comments below.