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Last-minute holiday sale ideas

November 25, 2015 in Blog, Holiday ideas. 2 Comments

The holidays are almost upon us. In the US, a great many sales have already launched, and this Black Friday and Cyber Monday are expected to boast the highest spends in history.

That’s all well and good, but if you’ve just happened to realize what day it is and have completely forgotten to set up any kind of sale… well, there’s nothing quite like that dreadful feeling. There’s FOMO, and then there’s that.



Never fear, however: it’s really never too late to set up a sale, discount, or deal in your store. If you have a few minutes and general knowledge of what you can afford, you too can get in on the holiday action — and even set up some marketing, to boot.

Let’s explore some last-minute holiday sale ideas you can use right now, next month, or even during a different holiday season.

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Developing as a developer at WordCamps

November 24, 2015 in Blog, Community, For developers. Leave a comment

At Woo, we take it for granted that developers know why they should attend their local WordCamp. For us, the benefits are clear and we find huge value in these events. However, this may not be as clear for everyone.

If you’ve never attended a WordCamp before and you don’t really know why you should, then we’re here to change your mind. Here is why showing up at a WordCamp is one of the single most important things you can do for your career, life, and community as a WordPress developer.

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Creating holiday promotions without deep discounts

November 20, 2015 in Blog, Holiday ideas. 5 Comments

It’s that time of year again. Holiday sales are starting, and the discounts are about to get crazy.

Here we go. (Image credit: jaimelondonboy)

Here we go. (Image credit: jaimelondonboy)

Not every online store can offer deep discounts, 50% off coupon codes, or buy-one-get-one-free deals, though. In fact, for small storefronts or the shops just beginning their journey, it’s hard enough finding the time and energy to run a promotion at all — much less figure out if they have the margin to discount their products.

The truth is, though, that you don’t have to offer an enormous discount to stand out during the holidays. You might not even have to offer a discount at all. The holiday promotion that is the best fit for your store and your customers could be as simple as free shipping, or as affordable as a few dollars off a purchase over a certain amount.

If you’ve been struggling to create a holiday deal that works for your bottom line and still sounds enticing, we have a few ideas for you. Read on to learn about some alternatives to deep discounts that work for everyone, customers included.

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Storefront turns one: how far it’s come, and where it’s going next

November 19, 2015 in Blog, Product news, Storefront. 2 Comments

Since we launched Storefront one year ago, our flagship WooCommerce theme has come a long way. It’s seen hundreds of thousands of downloads, plenty of extensions, and even some new clothes in the form of child themes.

Today happens to Storefront’s first birthday. As we like to say, mighty oaks from little acorns grow, and we’ve seen this theme grow from an unassuming — yet sturdy — little nut into a mighty fine oak with plenty of strong branches, leaves, and strong roots in the WordPress community.

Here’s to you, Storefront! Blow out that candle and make a wish.

Storefront’s come a long way in its first year.

Let’s take a deeper dive in and explore Storefront’s impressive growth just a bit more. We’ll also have a closer look at its child themes and extensions (including the newly released Mega Menus!), just in case you missed anything, plus a selection of some amazing shops using Storefront in their own unique ways.

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How to increase conversions on your bookings site

November 18, 2015 in Blog, Build your business. Leave a comment

If you sell products online, your long-term goal will be to sell more products. And if you sell bookings, naturally, your goal will be to sell more bookings.

But the advice that’s given to stores aiming to ship more physical goods won’t necessarily help you sell more spots in your hotel, book more appointments, or fill up more classes at your gym. To do that, you need to make your bookings website the very best it can be — a veritable conversion machine.

You can increase the number of bookings you receive by improving the experience of your users, decreasing distractions, and experimenting to find the factors that make them say “yes!” instead of “no.” You can also find success by creating reliable ways to bring people back time and time again, making them repeat customers instead of one-time-only visitors.

Let’s explore some ways that you can boost conversions on your online bookings site, from basic changes to A/B tests to follow-up email campaigns.

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How to sell subscriptions as holiday gifts

November 12, 2015 in Blog, Holiday ideas, Physical goods. 12 Comments

Recurring revenue is a bit of a pipe dream during the holidays. Many customers will come to you for one specific item, buy it, and vanish… never to be heard from again.

Standing out during this busy season is a challenge, too. Just about anyone can open a store, so you’re likely looking for something new and exciting, something that will set you apart… something that will make even the bored, jaded customers take notice.

There’s something you can add to your store that can potentially solve both of these problems — something that can both create recurring revenue and set you apart from other stores. And on top of that, they make a fantastic holiday gift.

Subscriptions can boost your store’s monthly revenue, attract new customers, and serve as an exciting, gift-worthy product for the holiday season. If you have at least one affordably-priced product category and a little spare time on your hands, you can create, market, and sell subscriptions as gifts, leading to profit for you and excitement for your shoppers.

Let’s have a look at how you can use a tool like WooCommerce Subscriptions to create a holiday gift that will keep on giving, month after month.

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The future of Canvas

November 11, 2015 in Blog, Product news. 32 Comments

tl;dr: Canvas isn’t going anywhere, and we’re dedicating a team to growing and optimizing it.

Since launching on the 9th of February 2010, Canvas, our all-purpose theme, has been a consistent performer and gathered a large base of loyal users. The styling control panel added by Canvas has proved popular amongst users who aren’t familiar with CSS, yet desire a customized look for their website. Businesses have since been built on the back of Canvas and WordPress, due to the ease of customization afforded by it.

With our 2015 theme retirements happening recently, we retired our collection of Canvas child themes. This action sparked questions from loyal Canvas users regarding the status of Canvas and our view on the product looking forward.

Let's talk about the future of Canvas.

Let’s talk about the future of Canvas.

We’re here today to explain why these child themes were retired, and to give you a look into the future of Canvas. Keep on reading to learn more about the path this theme will take in the future.

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Creating smart discounts for holiday shoppers

November 10, 2015 in Blog, Holiday ideas. Leave a comment

With the holiday season almost upon us, finding ways to appeal to shoppers is likely at the top of your to-do list. This probably means creating a discount or two, or sending out a coupon code to your email subscribers.

Holiday deals take work, though, and quite a bit of time to maintain. If your time or resources are limited, you might be dreading the process of setting up, monitoring, and discontinuing these offers.

The good news? There’s a way to make your customers happy and save yourself some time. This involves setting up and advertising “smart” holiday discounts that automatically apply to products or purchases based on specific criteria.

Today we’ll explore how you can use a solution like Dynamic Pricing to automatically offer discounts or special deals to customers during the holiday season — no maintenance required.

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Bookings 1.8 brings overnight bookings, buffer periods, and more

November 9, 2015 in Blog, Product news, WooCommerce. 23 Comments

TL;DR Version 1.8 of WooCommerce Bookings has arrived. You can upgrade via your WordPress dashboard or download it from your My Account page. But first, be sure to read and follow the upgrade instructions. Enjoy!

Bookings 1.8 comes packed with a ton of new features that help your business run smoothly. Here they are in a nutshell:

What's new in 1.8?

What’s new in 1.8?

With this release, you can now accept bookings that span multiple days. We’ve also added the ability to offer discounts when multiple people make a single booking together, and add buffer time between each of your bookings.

WooCommerce Bookings is now better than ever.

WooCommerce Bookings is now better than ever.

Here’s a closer look at some of the great new features in WooCommerce Bookings version 1.8.

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4 ways to identify and encourage rituals in your customer’s journey

November 6, 2015 in Blog, Customer loyalty. 4 Comments

Since the beginning of time, rituals have been a part of how we live and make sense of the world. They help us remember important happenings, we know where we are in the calendar by them, and like little compasses they guide us. There is comfort to be found in the familiar.

In older days, rituals were prompted by things like the seasons, local happenings, the rhythms of your neighborhood and your family. But the rituals that make up our modern lives are different: they’re quicker, global, automated and often influenced by the products, services or apps we choose.

Brands have been part of our lives for decades, but never to the extent that the internet and smartphones have allowed. It is now near impossible to escape brand messaging. Some moments with brands we begrudge, some we love, some we barely notice.

What does all this mean for your online store? There are a string of moments that make up a customer’s journey, and paying closer attention to these can do great things for your brand. And if you can create a ritual out of one or two? Bingo.

In this post we’ll look at four ways you can both identify existing rituals in your customer journey and create new ones, and why it’s all worth it. But first, a bit of background on how social media has changed brand-building, and a case study of a brand knocking the customization and ritualizing of their customer’s journey out of the park.

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How to prepare for post-holiday returns

November 5, 2015 in Blog, Holiday ideas, Physical goods. 1 Comment

Missed our webinar with ShipStation? No problem! We’ve created this blog post to catch you up on every last detail and prep you for the post-holiday return period.

Without further delay…

Once the holidays are over, you can breathe a long sigh of relief. Things can finally settle down and go back to normal, right?

Well… not exactly. According to the Wall Street Journal, the USPS handled 3.2 million post-Christmas returns a few years ago. And that’s just one carrier.

After the holidays end, your top priority needs to be satisfying the customers who have ill-fitting, unsuitable, or defective merchandise that they’d like to send back to you. This means making a plan to handle post-holiday returns — and handle them so well that these gift recipients turn into bonafide customers.

Let’s take a look at how you can handle these returns and exchanges smoothly. We’ll start with what you can do now, before the season starts, to get your website ready. Then we’ll look at how to properly handle returns and unhappy giftees.

Ready? Let’s get a move on.

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10 WooCommerce extensions for holiday success

October 30, 2015 in Blog, Build your business, Holiday ideas, WooCommerce. 1 Comment

We’ve been talking about the holidays quite a lot lately. We’ve stressed the importance of being prepared, how to find out what your customers want, and the actions you should take to have a stress-free season.

Having said all that, if you don’t already have the wheels in motion for some holiday sales or events on your WooCommerce store, it’s not too late! In fact, you’ve still got plenty of time to come up with some stellar holiday tactics, thanks in part to WooCommerce’s flexibility and hundreds of easy-to-add extensions.

To give you the push you need to start your planning — or just to help you along, if your plans are well underway — we’ve collected ten of our favorite extensions for holiday success. From shipping add-ons to kind gestures, these extensions will help you attract more shoppers, ship more packages, and have the best holiday ever.

Interested? Have a look at what we’ve picked out just for you.

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Why and how to pitch your clients packages for the holidays

October 28, 2015 in Blog, For developers, Holiday ideas. 1 Comment

The holidays are a busy time for everyone. If you’re a developer, you’re not exempt from this — your clients are likely more in need of your services than ever, leading to long hours that make it difficult to get away.

For some of your clients, the best way to handle their unique, holiday-only needs, or the increase in working hours this time of year brings, is to create custom packages. Custom holiday packages can help you better anticipate each client’s needs, drum up more business, and also make it easier for you to take a break.

Let’s have a look at why you might want to consider creating special plans just for the holiday season. We’ll also cover how you can convey the value of these plans to your clients, and what to do once the holidays have ended and everything is back to normal (or as normal as it gets).

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6 technical aspects to set up before selling online

October 26, 2015 in Blog, Start your store. 8 Comments

When you have an idea for an online store — especially if it feels like a killer, never-been-done-before, “I’ve got to do this right now” type of idea — there’s definitely some temptation to set things up as quickly as possible.

The reality of selling online, however, is that the best stores take time, effort, and plenty of technical preparation to set up. In fact, if you rush too much, you’re likely to miss one of the six most crucial technical aspects that go into any eCommerce website… and the results could either hurt you immediately… or catch up with you in a few months, right when you can least afford it.

Today, we’re going to cover the six most important technical factors eCommerce newbies should cover before they add even a single product to their new store. From site software to security to payment gateways, here they are — plus how you can decide which provider or software is the best fit for you and your own unique situation.

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How to ensure smooth holiday shipments

October 20, 2015 in Blog, Holiday ideas. 1 Comment

Store owners, take note: the National Retail Federation has forecasted total sales in the range of $105 billion USD during the 2015 holiday season.

Getting a piece of this enormous pie depends on a lot of things. You need to have a great selection of products, timely and convincing marketing, and a committed team.

You also need to think about how to keep that piece of the pie — that is, how to prevent your newly convinced customers from feeling frustrated with any part of the purchasing process and sending their products right back to where they came from.

Shipments are one of the most crucial parts of the holiday shopping season, and if handled well, they can help you secure repeat customers and prevent returns or other complaints. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can ensure smooth shipments during this busy time, and keep the piece of the pie you’re working so hard to earn.

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Four clever ways to personalize your products

October 14, 2015 in Blog, Physical goods. 5 Comments

Attracting new visitors to your store is a tough task. Motivating those visitors to buy — even tougher.

Store owners who feel as if they’ve tried every method under the sun to bring in new customers and increase purchases might wonder “what else can I do?” For you we have a new, clever suggestion: personalized products.

Shoppers who have the ability to personalize their products tend to be more engaged, purchase more often, and spend more per visit than those who can’t customize their goods in any way. If you feel stuck in a rut, personalization might be the perfect way to get your shop moving again.

Curious about personalization? Let’s cover some of the benefits in more detail, then look at four clever ways you can offer customized goods in your own store.

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