Giving your customers the option of paying up in installments is one of the oldest tricks in the book to get more conversions. But, as some of you might know, providing installment payment plans on WooCommerce isn’t a default feature of the plugin.
That leaves us with one of three options:
1) Develop a WordPress plugin for ‘WooCommerce installment payments’ from the ground up
2) Purchase a ‘Deposits’ plugin that also has the functionality to offer the installment payments option
3) Use WooCommerce Subscriptions to formulate a workaround
While installments are a great option to provide on any eCommerce store, we’ve seen a large number of clients building subscription-based online stores take this route. Another popular category is clients with Learning Management Systems.
If you have a similar use case, we recommend using the same approach.
How to use Subscriptions to Offer Installment Plans on WooCommerce
So, first things first, let’s discuss how to use WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin to enable the installment functionality for products in your WooCommerce store.
1. Install Subscriptions Extension
The first step would be to install the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension on your WooCommerce website. As the name suggests this plugin provides users with a functionality to sell products as subscriptions as opposed to selling them outright.
2. Set Product Type to Variable Subscription
The product that needs to be sold with an installment plan should be set as ‘Variable Subscription’.
3. Select Payment Mode
This where you’ll need some help from a WooCommerce expert. The WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin will need to be customized to allow customers to opt for paying in installments. Additionally, to enable this option for products another payment mode ‘Installment Mode’ will need to be made available. Once that’s done, all you’ll need to do is select the ‘Installment mode’ as the preferred mode of payment to apply the WooCommerce installment payment functionality.
4. Add Subscription Attributes
In the attributes tab on the product page of the dashboard, the user will have to define an attribute with various values. The attributes and its values are primarily the various installments plans the user can avail on your WooCommerce store. The image below is an example of the attribute with values.
5. Link Values
All the values defined in the attribute tab should now be linked to the variations that are added to each product. Now once all values are linked to variations the customer can add and subtract variations as per requirement. Take a sneak peek of how it will look below.
6. Settings for each Variation
The final step of the process would be to set values like subscription price, the number of months, etc and the variation should be enabled for use.
How Do the WooCommerce Installment Payments Actually Work?
- Let us assume certain courses are being sold under the installment payment plan. Now, when a customer lands on a course page he can choose any one of the payment methods that have been defined in the attributes tab of the dashboard. Let us assume the customer chooses the 3-month installment plan which requires the customer to pay an X amount per month for three months.
- The user will make the first payment and get access to the course. After the end of the first month, the customer will be required to pay the second installment of the course. In case the customer defaults on installment the customer’s access to the course will be suspended.
- At the end of the subscription period, the system will check the payment mode of the course. If the payment mode selected is Installation Mode then all further payments will be suspended and the product will be available to the user continually. This check is made by customizing the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin using hooks provided by the plugin.
Some might argue that this is a crude workaround.
Well, it is! But if you’re getting the WooCommerce installment payments plans functionality along with subscription functionality then, it’s the perfect cost-effective solution fulfilling the requirements with only a few added customizations.
If there are any questions or suggestions related to the post feel free to drop us a line in the comment section below.
Images by freepik