Optionizr: Increase WooCommerce Sales by Allowing Customers Option to Freeze Prices
Optionizr is a web service which allows you to offer visitors the “option” to purchase a product at a set price, whether that product increases in price in future or now. You are able to offer the customer an option for free or charge them for fixing the price for a period of time. This sort of thing is commonly seen within the travel or leisure industries where you can pick an option for a holiday or flight at a price and then take some time to evaluate whether to make the purchase or not.
Some of the biggest airlines such as British Airways make use of this tactic to increase sales where they may be some price fluctuations or more research required before dedicating to the purchase.
Optionizr have decided to make this functionality available to all websites and have also developed a WooCommerce plugin which allows you to create options on any products for free, or charge the user for placing their option – they are then emailed to remind them to complete the purchase once the period of time you set is complete.
- Enhance customer loyalty by offering a unique service.
- Earn extra profits easily – the option price comes in addition to the product, increasing your revenue per item
- Enhance your conversion rate and avoid returns
- Free – Optionizr only takes a flat fee on options sold
- Easy to Integrate – Integrate the system on your website in less than 1 minute
- Fully Customizable – Customize and configure your options: product, length, price
Setting up The Plugin and Options
The first thing to do to get started with Optionizr is head over to their website and signup for a free account, choose the “Create Professional Account” option and fill in your details.
After signing up, you will need to visit the “Professionals” > “Plugins” link and select the WooCommerce button.
You will then need to fill in your business details and payment details so Optionizr can send you payments for any sales generated using their system. You can then download the WooCommerce addon plugin which should be added and activated on your site as usual.
To start using Optionizr with your existing products, click on a product and in the product data area you will see a new tab added named “Options”.
Here you can enter the following information :
- Options Quantity – How many products can be placed as an “option” by customers
- Expiration Date
- Maximum Option Length – How long a customer can hold the product before it is released back for sale, enter the amount in days
- Price / Day / Week – You can enter an amount here to charge for the option or set it to free
There is an “Optionizr” menu link which contains a list of all the options created on your products, you can also see any sales and reporting data located here.
On The Front End
When you add an Option to a product, the customer will see a branded “Option” button next to the add to cart button.
If they click this button, a popup will open which displays your product alongside an info box telling them they can freeze the product price, the cost for doing so if you are charging for this and the days which can be changed.
Once they click “Continue” they can enter their email and name and then submit payment via Credit Card or PayPal.
Once the option has been purchased, the user will receive an email with details of the purchase and a button to complete the payment for the actual product on your website’s payment page with the item in their cart. You will also receive an email of the option being placed and the customer will receive another email reminding them when their option is about to expire.
Pricing for using Optionizr is completely free if you decide to let people place options on products for free. If you wish to charge people for this, the fees are as follows :
Here you can see what your charges will be for different option price points:
This is quite an interesting service that I would not have really thought about, had I not recently purchased flights and a holiday where I noticed the prices were fluctuating depending on where and when we searched for them. Apparently this is quite a common thing to happen within the travel industry:
This results in the peaks and troughs in the prices. In the space of just four days, a ticket from London to Barcelona with the Irish airline went from £57.99 to £35.34 to £28.14 and then back up to £41.74.
At Easyjet it is all about “buckets”. On each flight, groups of tickets are sold in a series of “buckets”, with the buckets sold closer to the flight having higher prices
Source: BBC News
So it can be in a customer’s interest to purchase a ticket as soon as possible to secure a better deal, people will often have to leave the purchase later though to ensure they can travel on the proposed date so having the option to secure the earlier price with an option to complete the purchase or cancel it could be quite an attractive enticement.
Alongside increasing sales by converting the site visitor into a potential customer by placing them in your system with reminder emails, it will also create another revenue stream for your site if you are charging them for placing an option, if they don’t convert to a buyer, you will receive a percentage of the option fee.
The plugin worked well under my testing but one thing I would like to see improved is that actual “Option” button placed, next to the add to cart button – its not immediately obvious what this button does until you hover over it where a tooltip explains. I would rather see a native button which matches the WooCommerce styled buttons with customizable text which could read “Save This Price” or something similar.
It will be interesting to see if Optionizr takes off and how ubiquitous it will become among websites that offer prices which fluctuate on a daily basis. I can see this plugin being of use to the hotel and leisure industries also as hotel rooms tend to fluctuate depending on occupancy rates.