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How WordPress developers can hook bigger clients

July 28, 2015 in Blog, For developers. 12 Comments

It’s a great time to be a WordPress developer or agency. There are economic, technological, and social factors all converging to make this a truly unique time for those of us in this space.

It’s also very competitive and challenging. Growth is not easy. It requires skilful management of resources, enormous self-confidence and boatloads of energy. It also requires some personal development, especially when it comes to getting out of your comfort zone.

I talk to hundreds of WordPress consultants from all over the world on a regular basis and one of the conversations I find myself having over and over again is about dealing with larger organizations.

It can be uncomfortable. Tackling a larger client can feel intimidating and overwhelming. So much so that it’s easier to put them in the “too hard” basket. This is what most do, and this is why there are huge opportunities for those of us who are willing to step out of our comfort zone and dip our toe in the water.

The purpose of this article is to give you some structure and help you feel supported as you navigate the uncharted waters you will find yourself in when talking to larger businesses. Hopefully by the end of this article you will be inspired and have some actionable takeaways you can implement.

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How to train your clients to use WooCommerce

July 27, 2015 in Blog, For developers. 4 Comments

Handing over a freshly built WooCommerce-powered store to a client is exhilarating. You’re excited to have completed your task, and your client is excited to finally have the robust, flexible online store they desired.

The trickiest part of this handoff, however, comes in the training. Do no training at all, and your client won’t know how to operate their store. Do too much of it, and you’re likely to get an earful when the bill for your time arrives.

Training clients on WooCommerce doesn’t have to be a challenge. In fact, there are several ways to make this process easier for both parties, and cut down on the number of questions you receive after your client’s new store launches.

Let’s explore some of the best ways you can train your clients to use their new store — without investing too much of your time or racking up a big bill.

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How to set up Facebook dark posts

July 24, 2015 in Blog, Social media marketing. 3 Comments

Do you ever think it’s a good idea to leave your customers in the dark?

With much of what store owners post on social media, advertise online, or send out in emails, it’s a “one size fits all” approach. Products are marketed even if customers have already purchased them, which means these owners could effectively be wasting some of their hard-earned marketing dollars.

That’s why Facebook dark posts, also known as unpublished Page posts, have become so popular. Instead of showing content to all of your fans, no matter who they are — or what they might have already done — you can create and promote content to groups as big or as small as you please.

Today, we’re going to give you a brief tutorial on how to set up a dark post on Facebook for your own brand. Read along to find out more about these ads, and why keeping some fans in the dark can be so beneficial.

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How to choose names for your products

July 22, 2015 in Blog, Build your business, Physical goods. 4 Comments

You’ve finally done it: you’ve created a product. It’s perfect. It’ll change lives. It’ll sell like hotcakes and make you millions.

And you’ve got absolutely no idea what to call it.

Whether you’ve invented life-changing technology or are just planning to introduce a new item in your line of fashion accessories, naming a product can be tough. Get the name right, and you’ve got a good chance at going down in history (or at least making some money). Get it wrong, and you’ll be hard-pressed to attract any customers.

Today, we’re sharing some tips that will help you choose an effective, clear, and memorable name for your newest product. Read on to learn why product names are so important to your business before diving right into our ideas!

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8 shipping options to consider for your store

July 16, 2015 in Blog, Build your business, Physical goods. 22 Comments

Shipping is often the “make or break” point of a consumer’s online purchase. If it’s too costly, not offered via their preferred carrier, or perhaps even inconvenient in some way, a potential customer is more than happy to abandon their shopping cart so they can find what they want elsewhere.

There are plenty of ways to avoid losing your shoppers over a mere shipping setting, though. Plenty of add-ons and extensions are available that can help you expand your store’s shipping options, and they go far beyond simply adding another carrier or switching to flat fees. With the right extensions, you can charge more accurately, split up orders, and even skip the shipping process entirely.

To help you grow your store and make your customers happier, today we’re presenting eight somewhat more advanced shipping options to consider when you’re selling online… and the WooCommerce extensions that make them possible. From location-based fees to local pickup, these extensions will give you the power to expand your options exponentially and convert more of your shoppers into paying customers.

Read on to get some insight on shipping options you might have never considered before now!

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Woo and SIDEKICK bring WooCommerce training to your website

July 15, 2015 in Blog, Product news, WooCommerce. 14 Comments

At WooThemes, we believe in empowering users with our software. Together with our users and developers, we want to build the best possible eCommerce plugin with the best possible UX and UI. However, it’s not always easy for someone new to eCommerce to learn to use our plugin.

We’re always aiming at making it easier to use WooCommerce, whether it’s through improving the onboarding process or creating helpful educational content. At the same time, we are aware that there is a lot to learn, especially if you are new to selling online.

That’s why we’ve now teamed up with SIDEKICK to make WooCommerce walkthroughs available right on your store. With SIDEKICK, you can be fully trained on using WooCommerce and its extensions without ever leaving your office.

Watch the video below for a quick overview, then keep reading to learn more about why we decided to partner with SIDEKICK, and how these new walkthroughs can help you sell online faster than ever before.

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How custom email receipts can improve your store

July 14, 2015 in Blog, Build your business, Customer loyalty, Email marketing. 2 Comments

Customers form an impression of your brand almost immediately. From the first few seconds they spend on your storefront, they can discern what kind of tone your copywriting has, the kinds of products you carry, and whether or not they are part of your target audience.

You’ve likely spent a very long time creating and refining your store’s branding and messaging until it’s pitch-perfect. So it almost seems a waste to throw it all away when you get to the email receipt:

Uh... so... is that it?

Uh… so… is that it?

If your order confirmation and shipment messages look like the one above, some customers might think you don’t care about their experience once you have their money.

Email receipts have enormous earning potential for your eCommerce website. With just a little customization, you can use them to increase your sales, create deeper connections with your customers, and offer timely or relevant links and information.

Keep reading to find out how customizing your receipts can improve your store’s performance.

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Content marketing ideas for your industry

July 13, 2015 in Blog, Content marketing. 1 Comment

Content marketing has become a crucial marketing method for hundreds, if not thousands, of brands across the world. Now that the attention of consumers is tougher than ever to capture, content is a fantastic way to cut through the clutter, solve problems, and provide necessary education.

Not every company has found success with content, however. Some have given it a shot, but haven’t seen any results. Then there are the businesses that haven’t even tried it, mostly because they aren’t at all certain what kinds of content they should produce, or what their customers want.

To succeed with content marketing, your business needs to take a unique approach that suits your industry and your audience. This might sound easier said than done, but if you ask the right questions — and take a look at a few helpful examples — you can easily identify what kinds of content your customers are craving, what needs you can meet, and how you can play a bigger role in their lives.

Today, we’re going to look at some examples of content marketing in a few popular industries, and show you how they can guide you down the path of creating your own laser-focused approach to content creation. Ready to go? Keep reading to first learn why a unique approach is necessary for this form of marketing.

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7 years of Woo

July 9, 2015 in Blog. 24 Comments

Seven years ago, the cost of a gallon of gas was $3.39, Apple released the first MacBook Air… and WooThemes was born.

Indeed, WooThemes is celebrating its 7th birthday! We were founded seven years ago this very week when our three distributed co-founders Mark Forrester, Magnus Jepson, and Adii Pienaar started a company together offering premium WordPress themes. And how far we’ve come since then!

Mark had this to say about the occasion:

7 years ago, from my bedroom office in London, I would have never predicted the journey the WordPress themes I was designing, with complete strangers as business partners, would take me on. To be sitting here today, back home in Cape Town thanks to our distributed freedoms, with a wonderfully creative and diverse international Woo family, and the fast growing ecommerce platform online is beyond imaginable. Although it feels like a lifetime of learnings, travels and emotions, we have so much still to prove, and the resources to dream even bigger, now part of the Automattic family.

To celebrate our birthday, we’ve put together an infographic with some special stats and informational tidbits you might find interesting. Keep on reading to get a look at what has transpired in seven years of Woo.

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The most important features of an eCommerce site’s design

July 8, 2015 in Blog, Start your store. 11 Comments

You have a plan to sell online. You’ve decided what you’re going to sell, you’ve chosen your platform, and now you just need to find a design.

This stage often proves difficult for new store owners. Finding a pre-made store design, or even selecting a designer who understands your goals, can eat up time you don’t have. And if you’ve never sold online before, you might feel as if you’re searching for something that just “looks nice,” without having a solid grasp on what’s really important.

We’d like to lend a hand with this process. To help you understand what’s crucial and what’s not, we’ve compiled this list of the most important features that a store’s design can have. This list will help you separate the designs that merely “look nice” from those that perform well — and will convert more visitors into paying customers.

Ready to learn about eCommerce design? Let’s dive right in.

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How to choose the right payment gateway

July 6, 2015 in Blog, Start your store. 5 Comments

If you’re in the process of setting up an online store, at some point you’ll need to enable payments. Accepting payments from your customers isn’t necessarily as easy as flipping a switch and watching the money flow in… but it doesn’t have to be complicated, either.

With the right payment gateway, you can make it easy for customers to pay for your products. Choosing the right gateway takes a little time, but we’ve found a few ways to narrow down your options and make the process of choosing a little easier.

Let’s explore how you can find the best payment gateway so you can get back to focusing on what matters: launching your new store.

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Choosing the best way to scale your store’s traffic

July 3, 2015 in Blog, Build your business. 2 Comments

As a store owner, you’re likely focused — and rightfully so — on growing. Growing your product selections, growing your audience, growing your staff… you name it, you’re working on it. But have you given any thought to growing your traffic?

In our previous post on gaining more traffic, we explained exactly how more traffic to your online store can lead to more revenue. Today, we’re going to explain exactly how you can go about scaling your traffic from the early stage to a growth period, and why you should avoid taking a one-size-fits-all approach to growth. (Hint: it’s got a lot to do with your customers.)

Let’s take a look at how you can find the most suitable ways to boost your site traffic, starting with a quick recap of why this should be on your radar in the first place.

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Why child themes are so important

July 1, 2015 in Blog, WordPress tips & tricks. 3 Comments

We recently released our first premium Storefront child themes, Galleria and ProShop. These, coupled with the two child themes already available for free on wordpress.org (Boutique and Deli) takes our total up to four, a number we hope will grow rapidly in the coming months.

But you may have questions about this. What is a child theme and why should you use one? How do they change the look of a WordPress site? And how should you go about modifying a child theme to preserve all your changes even when there’s an update?

proshop-galleria

Two Storefront child themes.

We think we can help. Here’s a little more about how child themes work, why you should use them, and what you should keep in mind when modifying them.

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How to plan relevant holiday promotions for your store

June 30, 2015 in Blog, Holiday ideas. Leave a comment

In the United States, Independence Day is just a few short days away, and many retailers already have their 4th of July sales in full swing. Discounts are being offered and coupons have already been emailed. This is a great time for US-based businesses to drum up some new sales… but doesn’t seem to offer much opportunity for the businesses located elsewhere.

Now that 73% of holiday purchasing decisions are influenced by coupons or promotions, online retailers need to find a way to tie important dates to appealing and relevant offers in their store. This may be as simple as celebrating major holidays with a deal… or it may mean getting creative with a minor holiday that is tightly linked to your brand’s products or niche.

Let’s review, step-by-step, how your eCommerce brand can identify important holidays, create promotions around them, and ensure your offers reach your target audience in enough time to inspire action.

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The community takes action at the do_action charity hackathon

June 29, 2015 in Blog. 4 Comments

It’s no secret that I love the WordPress community. But when that community looks beyond itself and reaches out to less fortunate individuals, then I really get excited.

That’s exactly what happened on Saturday, 20 June down in Cape Town, South Africa. As an organiser for the WordPress Cape Town community, I put together the second annual do_action( ‘wordpress-charity-hackathon’ ). Based on the results, I think it’s safe to say that the day was a huge success.

In the space of a mere eight hours, our team of 50 volunteers put together eight brand new websites for eight deserving charities. It’s a feat that makes me incredibly proud to be a part of this great community in Cape Town.

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How much traffic does your store need to increase its revenue?

June 26, 2015 in Blog, Build your business. 2 Comments

It’s strange to make a statement like “the more traffic you have, the more sales you’ll make.” Seems to make eCommerce sound more simple than it actually is, right? But the fact of the matter is, it’s true.

The more traffic your store receives, the more revenue you’ll make. Even if your conversion rate is 1%, that 1% is still going to result in exponential increases in revenue between 100 and 100,000 visitors. So if you want to make more money from selling online, one of the first things you should improve is your site traffic.

Today, we’re going to show you exactly how increasing your traffic can also increase your revenue. We’ll also give you some formulas you can use to determine just what you stand to gain from higher site traffic, order values, or conversion rates.

Let’s get started by taking a look at just how closely your traffic and revenue are related.

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