Remember the days when WordPress was little more than a blogging site – a collection of random strangers’ thoughts and experiences? So much has changed over the past few decades, and now one of the primary reasons that people continue to choose WordPress as their website’s CMS is due to its powerful e-commerce capabilities. Thanks to the WooCommerce plug-in, any WordPress installation can be turned into a powerful, fully functioning online store, and with plenty of free WooCommerce extensions to choose from, the customization options for an online store are nearly endless.
Whether you’ve been running a WooCommerce store for some time now or are just starting out, the following 8 tips will help to make your online store a success.
Invest in Quality Product Images
When a customer walks into a physical store, they have the benefit of being able to experience the products in that store using all of their senses. They can pick up the item, feel it in their fingers, and even try it out for themselves. Online shopping takes away many of these opportunities, leaving little more than a product image and product description for customers to use to base their buying decisions. This is why high-quality product images are so vitally important for a successful online store. If your images are blurry, too small, or watermarked with the manufacturer’s logo, your potential customers will soon turn elsewhere.
Understand the Importance of Product Descriptions
Product descriptions are the only chance you have to spell out the details and benefits of your products to encourage your customers to purchase from you. It is important that your product descriptions are well written, descriptive, and contain all the information a customer might need to make their purchasing decisions. Always remember that when a customer is considering purchasing an item, they are hungry for information. Customers will devour as much information as is available – including customer reviews, examples of intended uses, and detailed product descriptions – to help them make their decision.
For SEO purposes, it’s equally important that product descriptions are unique, and not simply copied from your manufacturer’s website. Take the time and allow the extra expense to hire a copywriter in your website’s native language to create unique product descriptions to set your website apart from the competition.
Keep Stock Status Up To Date
There’s nothing more frustrating than getting excited about an online product only to find out during the checkout stage that it’s out of stock. Do your customers a favor and keep your stock status strictly up-to-date. Once your customers know that they can reliably trust your website to provide accurate information about stock status, they will be more willing to spend their valuable time comparing items and shopping at your store.
Whole Website and Navigation
Flatten your Site’s Navigation
When designing an e-commerce store, a careful balance must be struck between having enough categories and sub-categories to properly divide up your products, without going too far and creating too many levels of navigation. Not only do sub-categories allow you to group your products in an intuitive way, but they also provide a valuable SEO boost if used correctly (helping your website naturally rank for both “keyboards for gaming computers” and “pointing devices for gaming computers”, for example). However, too many sub-categories can create an unnecessary burden on the shopper who is keen to find the product they’re looking for without sorting through multiple subcategories.
Aim for a lower number of categories while still properly grouping your products, and use sorting features rather than additional sub-categories to further differentiate between your products.
Use Rich Snippets
Rich snippets are the pieces of extra information that appear next to a website’s name and link in Google search results. You may have noticed product prices and star reviews appearing next to products following a Google search. These are generated by using schema markup, and it’s not as complicated as you may think. Make your online store a success, learn how to master schema markup to create rich snippets and watch your sales take off.
Welcome (Most) Reviews
Customers are going to leave reviews for your products, whether you like it or not. It’s better to welcome reviews and make it easy for customers to leave reviews than to pretend that it’s not going to happen. Encourage customers to leave reviews on your website and through social media channels, and give your customers all the tools they need to review your products and your business.
If you are concerned about spam reviews or untruthful reviews left by competitors, you can instruct WooCommerce to only allow people who have registered for an account on your website and have purchased that product through their account to leave a review. The setting can easily be found in the WooCommerce dashboard by clicking Settings, Products, then checking the option for only “verified owners” to leave reviews. Keep in mind, however, that this does not prevent other people from leaving reviews on other channels, including social media.
Checking Out and Shipping
Make it Simple to Check Out
It’s surprising just how many websites make it needlessly difficult to checkout. From unwieldy payment processing to email verification steps and long signup forms, many shoppers abandon shopping carts simply because it becomes too difficult to check out. Firstly, ensure that you are asking customers to provide only the information that is absolutely necessary to complete their order. For example, if you sell digital products, there is no need to require a customer’s home address or telephone number to check out. Allow visitors to check out as a guest if they choose, without requiring every customer to create an account. Finally, ensure that you allow as many payment processing options as possible, including PayPal and Stripe, to suit the preferences of your customers.
Offer Free Shipping for Larger Orders
Have you ever been tempted to buy a product because of a free shipping promotion? If you have, you’re not alone. Most people feel resentful at paying shipping costs when shopping online and will often choose to spend a little more if it means they can unlock free shipping. The trick is to find the perfect order amount that unlocks free shipping to maximize your sales. A simple way to start is to determine your average order amount, and then offer free shipping for orders 30 percent higher than that amount. For example, if your past sales history shows an average order amount of $70, offer free shipping for orders $90 and higher.
In addition to its powerful features and high levels of security, perhaps the true beauty of WooCommerce is its ability to be customized to suit the needs of any online store. To take advantage of everything that WooCommerce has to offer, the team at Fuel Themes has created Peak Shops, a lightning-fast WordPress theme specially designed for e-commerce stores powered by the WooCommerce plug-in. If you’re looking for a way to make the online shopping experience easy, intuitive, and enjoyable for your customers, consider powering your e-commerce store with WooCommerce and Peak Shops. For more information, feel free to contact the friendly team at Fuel Themes today.