Considering CartFlows for WooCommerce funnel building? Read this first – a CartFlows review from a real user with real experience!
Upselling with WooCommerce isn’t just a good idea, it’s a GREAT idea. Improving Average Order Value (AOV) directly contributes to improving your Average Lifetime Customer Value (LCV) which ultimately provides you with the profit to grow.
That’s how powerful these tactics can be. Effective upselling on your online store could be the difference between growth and failure.
So if you’re looking around for an upsell, cross sell, order bump, cart bump, one click upsell or other plugin with the intent of boosting your Average Cart Value on WooCommerce – you’ve landed in the right place.
There’s tonnes of noise out there as always with the world of WordPress Plugins and WooCommerce extensions – plugins that provide pieces of the puzzle, but not the complete picture – and we all know the perils of having so many plugins your WooCommerce store is a constant “clash-fest”.
I’ll cut to the chase and provide a review of CartFlows and highlight where there are gaps in the CartFlows functionality (unbelievable right?!).
But I’m here to provide a complete solution, so I’ll also offer of a combination of a couple of well supported plugins that work with CartFlows too.
Here we go…
Read our side by side comparison of WooFunnels vs CartFlows and see which one comes out as the top checkout and funnel builder for WooCommerce stores.
CartFlows Review 2021
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Setting the Scene – Increasing AOV on your eCommerce Store
This review of functionality and my recommendations are based on you, the store owner having a set of typical store owner requirements – running a “typical” eCommerce store.
I mention this because in this review you’ll see how CartFlows is, much like WooCommerce, a leopard that can very much change it’s spots and can be used as a tool for a number of purposes, not JUST for an eCommerce retailer with a “typical eCommerce” store.
To help clarify what I mean by “typical” I’ll define “atypical”.
Non-Standard or Atypical eCom Store
A non-standard eCommerce store would be constructed of Silo-like funnels that cross sell and upsell products throughout said funnel, but doesn’t have a standard “browse and fill basket at leisure” user experience.
Instead it’s a Clickfunnells-like eCommerce store where a user gets onto a track (flow or funnel) and clicks to proceed along the track.
Standard or Typical eCom Store
So a typical eCommerce store would have the ability for the user to browse this product page, add a product to cart, continue browsing, maybe add something else to cart and eventually get to the point where they click “checkout” and proceed through to payment.
In this review, I’m catering to the needs of the TYPICAL eCommerce store.
Cartflows Review for WooCommerce Upsells, One Click Upsells, Order Bumps and more
CartFlows Plugin Developer: Great Credentials
Cartflows is developed by a committed bunch of professional developers who have more than a few successful WordPress ventures under their belt. This includes the Astra Theme for WordPress.
Having a solid team behind a plugin isn’t just a positive, for me (and my team) it’s an absolute essential. We will not entertain poorly supported plugins, themes, hosting or otherwise. When we buy into a WooCommerce plugin, we buy into the developer behind the plugin – not JUST the plugin. In my opinion, this is how you should approach your WooCommerce Plugin and Theme Selection process too.
CartFlows Admin User Experience: Feels like WordPress
We hate it when a developer tries really hard on the admin design in the back end of WordPress only to develop something that feels out of place in comparison with the rest of the WordPress Admin area.
Typically this can leave you feeling like you need to switch gears when working with that particular WordPress plugin.
CartFlows have nailed it in this case. It feels like WordPress yet there’s still a flavour of UI sophistication in there to suit the challenge – including drag and drop sections for steps in flows and data entre boxes on flow steps that are simple, but refined.
The admin user interface is great.
CartFlows Customer User Experience: Flexible enough
Who cares about the admins, it’s the customers that are paying the bills right? (of course, I’m joking… maybe)
The standard “blocks” generated by the CartFlows shortcodes do have some style controls available, but they are nothing fancy – and very functional.
This is by no means a bad thing!
Instead of focusing on trying to style input boxes in some complex and sophisticated way, the emphasis is on the rest of the page. The ability to customise the steps in your checkout flow with your installed page builder is a huge bonus and they even come with great looking built in templates for Beaver Builder, Elementor and Divi.
The customer will feel a drastic improvement over the standard WooCommerce Checkout page.
CartFlows Conditional Upsell and Offer Sophistication: Completely Lacking (Disappointingly!)
This is by far the biggest disappointment with CartFlows and is where the development path for CartFlows is possibly spread across too many eCommerce applications.
Unlike using Clickfunnels to sell physical products in an abstract eCommerce store funnel, CartFlows DOES allow you to work with the WooCommerce cart, setting up an “Order Bump” at Checkout, and/or a Pre-Checkout Upsell, and/or a Post-Checkout Upsell and/or Downsell.
The limiting factor here is that it allows you to setup ONE flow for your entire product range. What this means is that the product you could be offering to the customer could be the product they’ve already bought!
There’s NO CONDITIONAL LOGIC to adjust the offers at Checkout when you’re using the CartFlows “global checkout” option. This basically means you can setup a “flow” that will replace the standard WooCommerce Checkout process, but you have one set of offers you can make.
From an eCommerce store owners perspective, this is more than frustrating. It completely undermines everything that’s really great about CartFlows as it almost overtly shouts to a “typical” WooCommerce store owner; “this plugin is not for you”
And that may be the case!
CartFlows may be a better replacement for Clickfunnels than it is a competitor to Iconic Sales Booster for WooCommerce.
My hope is that this glaringly HUGE gap in the CartFlows capability will be plugged as part of the development path in future and they’ll serve conventional WooCommerce store owners the way we deserve to be.
If they are competing with Clickfunnels, they’ve got a job on their hands! Russell Brunson is a machine.
CartFlows edit the WooCommerce Cart Page Step: Completely Lacking (What?! It’s CARTflows?)
This was a revelation. I was flabbergasted.
Interestingly, in this support discussion on the WordPress.org support page for the free version of the CartFlows plugin (this also applies to the paid Pro version) Adam from CartFlows (and WPCrafter) said this:
“CartFlows is a sales funnel building tool. The goal of a sales funnel is to eliminate all unnecessary steps because each additional step you make your buyers go though reduces the number of buyers that move forward.
By having a cart page before the checkout could be costing you 10% – 25% of your potential sales.
Ultimately CartFlows aims to make you more money by increasing the number of buyers that complete the checkout. CartFlows does this by providing a better experience for your buyers with less unnecessary steps. The traditional cart step is a conversion killer.”Adam @WPCrafter WordPress.org
I’m sold on this idea.
I hate the WooCommerce Cart page.
I don’t just want to edit the WooCommerce Cart Page – I want to throw it in the trash.
However, when using the CartFlows “Global Checkout” option, which allows you to upsell, cross sell and provide customers with the limited SINGLE set of offers for your entire store, that probably aren’t related in any way to what they’ve got in their cart or basket – CartFlows has actively built in the standard WooCommerce Cart page.
See their support page here with really helpful, but MINDBLOWING flow diagrams showing you how to implement the Global Checkout with CartFlows and replace the default WooCommerce Checkout Page and Thank You Page.
See the flow diagram from CartFlows here
This is an insanely obvious downfall and contradiction in the software.
The redeeming feature here is the fact that these developers are in this for the long haul, and they’ve got a reputation to uphold not just with this plugin, so I haven’t any doubt that if they continue to pursue WooCommerce store owners as their target market – this will be addressed.
That being said – if they decide that typical WooCommerce store owners AREN’T their market, you could be building a plugin into your tech stack that’s developing AWAY from you and not in ALIGNMENT with your goals.
I’ve reached out to the Developers at CartFlows for comment on both of the above gaps. I’ll report back when I get their comment on which direction they think they’ll develop in future.
CartFlows Overall Review: Looks promising, Lacking for standard eCommerce
I’m massively disappointed to say that CartFlows is limited in this way – and hope to report back in the near future that these gaps haven’t only been filled, but they have exceeded expectations in their implementation of new features.
However, for now, as a standalone plugin for the purpose of upselling on your WooCommerce store, it’s more than lacking – the conditional logic being such a glaringly obvious piece of functionality that other, much cheaper plugins have achieved with ease.
Does CartFlows do the trick for you?
Example of a Rules Engine that CartFlows doesn’t have
Take this plugin from the WooCommerce Extensions Marketplace for 1/10th of the price of CartFlows $29 instead of $299:
Unfortunately it is the most BORING implementation of an upsell I think I’ve ever seen in my life and completely lacks the sophistication of CartFlows on the front end with the customer experience.
But it DOES have the ability to specify offers and upsells based on cart contents!
How to Make Cartflows Work for Typical eCommerce in spite of the gaps
It might sound a lot like I’ve got a massive downer on the CartFlows plugin.
I assure you, I haven’t I’m a fan – which is why I’m disappointed as opposed to just ignoring it as an option altogether.
The solution is of course (maybe it’s not that obvious) to use CartFlows on product pages as a “quick checkout” or “buy now” button alongside the “Add To Cart” button.
This way Shoppers get the option of adding to cart and browsing the WooCommerce store as normal, BUT they also get the option of being taken directly from the product page to a Checkout page where you can upsell them with offers on increased order Quantities, Complimentary Products and more.
Maybe this IS a happy medium.
But it does still leave me a gap with the default checkout from WooCommerce not being the most upsell focused design on the planet.
So CartFlows would NEED to be paired with another plugin that would provide:
- Conditional Logic for upsells and cross sells during cart, checkout and post checkout (upsell them on products of YOUR choice based on what they have in their basket or cart)
- The ability to customize Cart Page (introducing conditional offers) or completely remove and avoid the WooCommerce cart page and go straight to checkout where customers can be hit with order bumps and upsells relevant to their current basket contents
Here are a few plugins you could pair CartFlows with to fix the completely lacking Global Checkout functionality:
This one is limited because the conditional logic is very simplistic and probably not a great fit for most typical WooCommerce stores.
If you’re looking for an alternative to CartFlows for replacing WooCommerce Default checkout and implementing checkout offers and funnels on your WooCommerce store, you should read our direct comparison of WooFunnels vs CartFlows