Improving Woocommerce Checkout Conversion with a Custom Error Message

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Woocommerce is awesome.  My favorite e-commerce structure for myself and clients.  It does however, have some issues with conversion, particularly in the checkout process of and other payment gateways that accept credit cards.

Here’s the issue… when a potential customer goes to checkout in a Woocommerce store (with for example payment gateway plugin), and puts in their credit card data, the error that Woocommerce provides is less than satisfactory.  It says something along the lines of, “An error occurred, please try again or try an alternate form of payment.”  Pretty vague, and not very friendly to potential customers who are having trouble.

So, what to do?  Create a quick and easy function in php to add to your Child theme functions.php file (always use a child theme to keep your changes with your WordPress theme upgrade-safe!)

Here it is –

// alter the subscriptions error
function my_woocommerce_add_error(
$error ) {
if( ‘An error occurred, please try again or try an alternate form of payment.’ == $error ) {$error = ‘This is where you’re new error message will go, if you have any trouble – contact 555-555-5555.  Please verify your CVV/CVC code is correct, as well as your billing address matches the card account.’;
} return $error; }
add_filter( ‘woocommerce_add_error’,
‘my_woocommerce_add_error’ );


A couple things here… if the error message is different in your checkout, make sure to change it, or your new custom error message won’t work properly.  Also, as I added in the example above, a phone number to call, and a mention of the CVV/CVC 3 digit code, which is often the issue.

These steps should have you converting a little better when customers have credit card payment issues.  Give me a call at 415-237-3932 if you need help with your WordPress and/or Woocommerce website.

About the Author:

Justin Murray is CEO of KickinKnowledge, Web Developer, Designer, Marketing Jack of all Trades. Specializing in SEO Consulting and Ecommerce Consulting.

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