We recently made our new Performance Checkout available to all creators! Previously available only to those using Thinkific Payments, it is now the default checkout for every new creator. Existing creators who are still using our Two-Step Checkout also now have the option to opt-in to the Performance Checkout: this article covers the differences between the two checkouts, so you can make an informed choice about whether to make the switch.
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Who Is This Article For?
If you have a Thinkific account that was created before February 24, 2022 and are not using Thinkific Payments as your payment processor, you now have the option to switch from the Two-Step Checkout to the new Performance Checkout.
Depending on how your business operates, and what kind of customizations you may have in place on your current checkout, this change can feel like a big deal. We've written this article to clearly outline the differences between the two checkouts, so you can better understand any possible impacts to your business and student experience.
What is the Performance Checkout?
Originally released as the default checkout for Thinkific Payments, the Performance Checkout is the end result of a long process of testing and development aimed at streamlining and improving our built-in checkout. Making it available to all Thinkific creators is an important step towards providing the best possible tools for selling your courses.
The Performance Checkout is currently the default checkout for any new Thinkific creators, and it is also available to existing creators through an opt-in process.
Comparing the Checkouts
In order to decide whether or not to move to using the Performance Checkout, it's important to understand how it compares to the Two-Step Checkout you're currently using. This is particularly important if you have made changes to your existing checkout pages, or make use of any Apps that interact with the checkout.
What improvements does the Performance Checkout make compared to the Two-Step Checkout?
We wouldn't have made the Performance Checkout our default checkout if we didn't think it provided a better overall experience than the Two-Step Checkout: we want your business to succeed, and that means making it as easy as possible for you to sell your courses!
Here are a few of the areas where we think the Performance Checkout shines:
- At its core, the Performance Checkout delivers a more streamlined experience, focusing on collecting payment information first, and creating student accounts only once the payment has been processed.
- By using fewer fields and prioritizing only essential information, it reduces friction for potential students, making it less likely that they will abandon the checkout process.
- The checkout offers support for returning students, automatically recognizing their email and pre-populating their payment information.
- A responsive design means that the checkout is mobile-ready, working as smoothly on a phone as on a laptop; we've also focused on improving accessibility, with dynamic adjustments that make form input easier.
- Performance checkout is designed to work straight out of the box, with no need for additional customization.
While the Performance Checkout is in many ways an improvement over the Two-Step Checkout, it does also have some limitations, particularly if you have heavily customized your checkout or rely on checkout-specifics Apps or Integrations.
What features of the Two-Step Checkout are not currently supported by the Performance Checkout?
Though our team is hard at work on closing these gaps, there are specific features that are currently supported by the Two-Step Checkout that are not available to use with Performance Checkout.
Apps & Integrations
Performance Checkout does not currently support Apps or Integrations that interact directly with the checkout process, or which customize the checkout page. For example: Quaderno, CartStack, and Invoicebus are not currently supported by Performance Checkout.
If you currently rely on these apps, or any other apps or integrations which interact with or significantly customize your checkout, we advise against switching to Performance Checkout at this time.
Note that tracking apps such as Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, ActiveCampaign and Sumo will still work with Performance Checkout, and our team intends to continue expanding support for similar site-wide applications, to ensure that they can do their work without compromising the security of the checkout page.
Site Builder Page/Customization
The Two-Step Checkout exists as a Default Page in Site Builder, which allows for direct customization of the page. This is not currently true of Performance Checkout. If you have heavily customized your checkout page, you will not be able to apply the same changes to the Performance Checkout, should you decide to switch. (Basic theme elements like your logo, font and some brand colors are still automatically applied to the Performance Checkout.)
Custom Fields are supported in both checkouts. However, in the Performance Checkout, these fields are not populated until after the purchase is made: students are prompted to fill out their custom fields after their payment is processed.
Note that After-Purchase Flows and other pages surrounding the checkout process (such as custom Thank You pages) are available with both checkouts, and will not be disrupted by switching to Performance Checkout.
Site Footer Code
Any code added through customizing your Site Footer is applied to all pages on your site, including the two-step Checkout pages. The Performance Checkout does not run any Site Footer code, and any scripts injected via the site footer will not run on the checkout page. They will still continue to work on all other site pages.
Have a question about a specific feature or customization not covered here? Frustrated about something that is covered? We want to hear from you! Please send us a message, whether it's a question or a complaint: your feedback will help our team decide where to focus their efforts as we continue to improve the Performance Checkout.
While Thinkific will continue to support both versions of our checkout, we are putting our efforts into improving the Performance Checkout. This includes building support for apps and customization, but also general, ongoing optimization of every facet of the checkout process. Opting in to the Performance Checkout means that you can take advantage of these ongoing improvements, with no additional work on your part.
Opting-In to the Performance Checkout
If you've decided to try out the Performance Checkout, opting-in is a straightforward process. (And so is opting back out, if you end up changing your mind!)
How to Opt In
To switch over to the Performance Checkout, start by logging in to your Thinkific Admin Dashboard, then:
- Click on Settings, in the left navigation
- Scroll down to the Performance Checkout section (or click Performance Checkout in the menu navigation)
- Set the Activate Performance Checkout toggle to the On position
That's it! You should see a pop-up message confirming the change, and the status next to the Performance Checkout section will show it as Active.
It's also important to note that you can return to the Two-Step Checkout at any time by following the same instructions and turning the toggle back off. Just remember that these changes go live as soon as you flip the switch, and any students purchasing your course will use whichever checkout is currently active.
Frequently Asked Questions
It sounds like Thinkific is putting a lot of work into the Performance Checkout — does that mean you're going to discontinue support for the Two-Step Checkout? Will I be forced to change to the new checkout?
It's true that we have put a lot of effort into the Performance Checkout, and that is going to continue, but that does not mean we have stopped supporting the Two-Step Checkout. There are no immediate plans to deprecate the Two-Step Checkout, and we will continue to ensure that it is a secure and effective way to sell your courses.