The solution for this issue is a simple but often overlooked setting within the PayPal configuration screens which determines whether or not to require the shopper's phone number when the order is sent back to the Shift4Shop order pages during checkout.
When configuring your settings in the PayPal Express interface, PayPal recommends NOT sending the phone number information. However, for your Shift4Shop store, it is highly recommended to have phone number information entered on the order. Therefore you must toggle this setting to send the shopper's contact number in order to have the orders complete on your store.
To understand the problem, you will first need to understand what happens during the PayPal express checkout process. The basic process is as follows:
Shopper arrives to your store and adds item(s) to their cart.
At either the View Cart page or the final checkout page they are given the option of paying via their own PayPal express account.
When they click on this button, the shopper is directed away from your site to the PayPal Express login screen where they log into their PayPal account which already contains their billing, shipping and contact information.
Once there, they can review the details of the order and click continue in order to return back to your store to complete the process.
However, a common issue with PayPal Express orders is that the order process never completes due to a phone number not being entered on the order.
As mentioned, the phone number is recommended and set as a requirement on your Shift4Shop Store, so having the order return from PayPal Express without this information essentially halts the process; leading to an increase in Not completed orders as well as shopper complaints about how they were unable to checkout with PayPal Express.
To correct this, you should configure your PayPal settings so that the shopper's phone number is also sent back to your store along with their order. To do this, use the following steps:
Log into your PayPal account by going to www.paypal.com.
Look towards the top right of the page and hover your mouse pointer over your screen name.
Select Account Settings.
Next, locate and click on the Website payments link found on the left side of the page.
Then click on the Update link found in "Website preferences."
Under "Contact Telephone Number," make sure you choose On (Required Field).
The interface will automatically save your selection.
After your changes are saved, your cart will allow PayPal Express to work fully on your store.
Wait! PayPal Tells Me to NOT Require the Phone Number!
Yes, PayPal "recommends" having this requirement turned off. However, it's important to understand why they make this recommendation.
Their documentation cites that asking for the phone number could have a "negative effect" on buyer conversion. However, in reality, they are referring to PayPal integration systems which actively ask the shopper to physically enter their phone number during the checkout process. The logic is that most end users are wary of adding their phone numbers to a transactional purchase during their checkout process and thus abandon the cart when they see they are being asked to manually enter it.
With Shift4Shop, however, the telephone information is being injected automatically into the appropriate fields without any prompting for the end-user to add the information themselves, thus eliminating the need for the user to manually type it in. This, in turn, helps to minimize some of the "negative effects" cited by PayPal in this case.