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How to run a top-notch WooCommerce-powered food store

March 25, 2016 - 2 Comments

Are you using WooCommerce to sell meal kits, tasty treats, or locally grown produce? Whether your food store ships internationally or caters to a thriving local community, WooCommerce is the endlessly extendable platform that makes it all possible.

Owners of online food stores can sometimes feel like they’re at a bit of a disadvantage, though, because food is naturally sought out and purchased offline. Customers also tend to have the perception that online food orders will be pricier due to higher quality or shipping fees.

There’s no reason to struggle or fight for your sales, though. With some smart tweaks to your store, pricing, and product pages, you can convince more shoppers to place an order — and try your food.

Here are a few ways you can make your WooCommerce-powered food store top-notch, plus some examples from stores that have already cooked up a ton of business.

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First things to consider with WooCommerce & speed

March 23, 2016 - 8 Comments

Humans want things to happen fast. We expect short waits in line, fast food, entertainment on demand — all in all, instant gratification.

It’s this mindset that leads us to anticipate websites that load and deliver content quickly. If we don’t get what we want, we can always go somewhere else and find the same thing.

This means that your WooCommerce-powered store has to be fast to gain as many paying customers as possible. If your site is sluggish or its pages take a long time to load, visitors will abandon it for your competitors, and you’ll miss out on countless sales.

To help you achieve the necessary goal of having the fastest, most efficient online store possible, we’ve compiled these first steps to speeding up WooCommerce. From image compression to up-to-date extensions, these are a few ways you can streamline your store for optimal performance.

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How to improve your WooCommerce-powered electronics store

March 18, 2016 - 9 Comments

Consumer electronics stores — those selling items like smartphones, tablets, cameras, audio equipment, and so on — are flocking to WooCommerce. Thanks to the strong backbone of WordPress and the limitless potential provided by extensions, it’s no wonder store owners choose this platform.

If you already have an electronics store up and running, your next step might be up in the air. Should you invest in some form of marketing, or is it better to improve your product photos? And how good is your copywriting, anyway?

If this sounds familiar, you’re in luck. For this post, we’ve collected multiple tips to help consumer electronic store owners improve their stores, from adding downloadable documentation to potentially revising the design of your website.

Let’s take a look at how you can take your store to the next level with just a little more effort.

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The elements of a successful subscription business

March 17, 2016 - 6 Comments

According to a cross-channel marketing report conducted by Responsys and Econsultancy, 70% of companies find it’s more costly to acquire new customers than it is to bring back existing ones.

This is undoubtedly one of the reasons that subscription models have become so popular in the world of eCommerce. Subscriptions keep those hard-fought customers on the hook for automatic repeat purchases, plus they create a reliable source of recurring revenue.

However, starting a successful subscription-based business, or adding a subscription to your existing store, isn’t easy. It takes careful planning, knowledge of your customers’ needs, willingness to try new things… and then some.

If you’re considering trying the subscription model for yourself, here’s what you should know and do to bolster your chances at long-term success.

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10 types of sales to try (and the extensions that make them possible)

March 15, 2016 - 14 Comments

If you’re trying to get potential customers to pay attention to your store — or repeat customers to come back — your thoughts will naturally gravitate toward a sale. And why not? Promotions make you look generous while making shoppers more likely to buy.

Simple sales and 10% off coupon codes aren’t always what visitors to your store are expecting, however. Sometimes you need to think outside of the box and try creative strategies to get those sales to work.

Let’s give you a head start on finding the types of promotions that work best for you. Today we’ll look at different types of sales you can try in your online store, plus the WooCommerce extensions that make each one possible.

From product bundles to flash sales to members-only discounts, here are 10 ideas chosen just for you.

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What you should consider when switching payment gateways

March 10, 2016 - Leave a comment

When you started your store, the payment gateway you chose was likely a great fit for your needs… at the time. But as you’ve grown your business, you might have found yourself in the situation where that gateway no longer fits your needs.

The good news? You’re not stuck in your current situation. Nothing is permanent in eCommerce — your store’s design and components can be upgraded, improved, or switched out at any time.

But if you’re thinking about changing your payment gateway, there’s a lot more to consider than “how fast can I switch?” There are a few aspects you should carefully consider before making the leap to a new gateway, including the impact on your payment options, your finances, and your customers.

If you’re pondering whether or not a payment update is right for you, keep reading to find out what you should evaluate before making any big changes.

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Deciding when it’s right to require an account

March 9, 2016 - 1 Comment

In the world of eCommerce, the idea of forcing a potential customer to do anything fills us with dread. We use calls to action and marketing messages on the time, but the thought of demanding an action from a visitor… that’s just too much pressure, isn’t it?

This thought process is likely why so many online stores shy away from requiring an account at checkout. Why risk losing out on a sale? Why demand something that isn’t required if it might cause you to miss out on an opportunity to make money?

The thing is, sometimes you should be requiring your customers to create an account — perhaps even long before they get to the checkout page. While forcing registration might sound like a bad idea, it’s not always something you should actively avoid. In fact, getting those accounts created can benefit some sites.

Today, we’re here to help you decide when it’s right to require your visitors to sign up and log in — whether that’s right away, during checkout, or not at all. Read on to learn more.

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Ways to improve your fashion-focused WooCommerce store

March 4, 2016 - 3 Comments

Are you selling clothing or fashion accessories with WooCommerce? By now, you’ve probably tackled all the basics — adding photos of your products, writing descriptive copy, setting up a payment method or two, and so on.

With these tasks out of the way, it’s time for you to take your fashion-focused store to the next level. By placing top priority on stylish design, making use of compelling content, or trying out powerful extensions, you can improve the experiences of your shoppers and get more sales.

Let’s explore a few ways that store owners using WooCommerce to sell clothing or fashion products can reach new heights, starting with (appropriately) visual appeal.

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How your payment gateway impacts your customer experience

March 2, 2016 - 1 Comment

The experience that shoppers have in your store can vary from good to bad to somewhere in between. Provide a good experience and they’re more likely to make a purchase; provide a bad one and you’ll probably never see them again.

There’s no single thing that creates good user experience (commonly called UX). There are some common items that probably spring to mind: easy-to-use navigation, clean design, helpful site search, and so on… but ensuring quality UX doesn’t stop at the shopping cart.

Believe it or not, your choice of payment gateway, and how that gateway and its options are presented on your store, can have a big impact on the experience of your shoppers. Choose well and you’ll have more customers; choose poorly and… well, you can guess.

Let’s take a look at how your payment gateway can change the experiences your customers have on your store, and what you can do to lean more in the direction of “good” than “bad.”

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The importance of product reviews and how to get them

February 29, 2016 - 6 Comments

Amazon, Wal-mart, and Target aren’t just popular retailers — their websites also serve as resources. Thousands of people flock to these sites daily to research products by way of customer reviews. Many big stores like these are used as search sources when others don’t include enough information for shoppers to make an educated decision.

Product reviews are an essential part of an online store’s branding and marketing. They help build trust and loyalty, and typically describe what sets your products apart from others.

Today we’re going to learn how reviews help your store increase sales, and how you can convince customers to leave more of them. Read on to get started.

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How to find the ideal length of your product copy

February 26, 2016 - 4 Comments

There is a war raging in the world of eCommerce — and perhaps all of marketing. On one side, we find those who insist that short copy is best; on the other, passionate believers in the power of long-form copy.

This split in beliefs has created some conflicting advice for new store owners. You might be told that shorter is better, because customers have limited attention spans. But click through to the next article, and you’ll read that longer is better, that shoppers crave details, and short copy can’t possibly sell well.

And here’s where things get even more confusing: both sides are right.

There is no universal standard for the length of eCommerce product copywriting, and this is because every store has to find its own ideal length. For some stores and products, shorter may indeed be better. But for others, their shoppers really might crave those details that can only be found in longer copy blocks.

Let’s clear up any confusion, shall we? Today we’re going to help you find out what the best copy length for your store is. Keep reading to get started.

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How to get fast-loading, fantastic-looking product images

February 24, 2016 - 8 Comments

As any store owner knows, photos are a crucial part of every product page. On their own, product photos can convince a shopper to take the next step in the buying process — offer beautifully shot, highly detailed photos of your products, and you’re that much closer to getting a click of that “add to cart” button.

Supplying your shoppers with all these photos can come at a price, however. With each large photo or media file you add to your product page, the load time increases. And your shoppers, no matter how interested they are, aren’t willing to wait around for more than a few seconds.

The challenge for store owners is this: finding a way to supply shoppers with the high-resolution photos they desire while keeping product pages loading quickly. It might sound like an insurmountable challenge, but there are actually quite a few ways to balance fast and fantastic, from image compression to WordPress plugins.

Your customers can indeed have their cake and eat it too. Let’s have a look at how you can speed up the load times of your product photos while preserving their quality.

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Product Vendors 2.0 makes managing vendors simpler

February 23, 2016 - 42 Comments

TL;DR: Product Vendors version 2.0 has arrived! You can upgrade via your WordPress dashboard or download it from your My Account dashboard. Remember to make a backup of your store before installing the update. Enjoy!

With the Product Vendors extension for WooCommerce, store owners can instantly transform any shop into a multi-vendor marketplace, complete with multiple vendors, products, and payout settings.

With today’s release of Product Vendors version 2.0, we’ve added new features that make running a marketplace site even simpler. From a new vendor sign-up form to built-in per-product shipping settings to improvements to commission and payout settings, this update is designed to save you time while giving your vendors even more options.

With Product Vendors 2.0, managing your vendors is a simpler, faster process.
With Product Vendors 2.0, managing your vendors is a simpler, faster process.

Keep reading to learn about all the exciting changes we’ve packed into 2.0 and how they can help you grow your store.

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How to create helpful resources for your product pages

February 18, 2016 - Leave a comment

Quite a few factors go into a shopper’s decision to buy one of your products. They’ll want to know if it meets their needs, they’ll check to see if it’s reasonably priced, they’ll take a look at reviews… you get the idea.

For some products, potential customers consider much more than needs, price, and social proof. They also look for things like ease of assembly, long-term usability, and creative potential.

How can you convey these factors to shoppers? Sure, you could add more details to your copywriting or bullet points. But sometimes the best way to show what your products are capable of is by adding helpful, explanatory resources that can be viewed or downloaded.

Today, we’re going to show you how to create product resources that will make your visitors more motivated to buy from you. Interested? Let’s get started.

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How to tap into your store’s hidden social proof

February 17, 2016 - 4 Comments

Social proof is an undeniably powerful thing. Tell a customer your product is great and they might shrug their shoulders. But show them feedback from fifty existing customers who say it’s great in their own words and, well, you’re golden.

Yet for many stores, the well of proof runs dry after just a few short dips of the proverbial bucket. What can you tap into if you only have a few reviews or testimonials? What if you don’t have a social media following to fall back on?

Here’s a little secret we’ll share with you: social proof is everywhere on your store, and in more places than you might think. It’s easy to go beyond the basics of reviews and Facebook likes to prove that your store is well worth a new shopper’s time… if you just know where to look.

Today, we’ll show you how to tap into some hidden social proof to convince more potential customers to buy your products. But first, let’s review why this is all worth doing in the first place.

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WooConf 2016 is coming: see what’s in store & get your ticket

February 16, 2016 - 2 Comments

Heard about WooConf? We’re excited to be hosting the second ever conference dedicated to all things WooCommerce this April in Austin, TX.

WooConf 2016
WooConf 2016 is on the horizon. Join us?

WooConf 2014 in San Francisco drew over 300 passionate store owners and developers together. On the back of its success and the feedback from those who joined us, we are creating a platform for our community to gather again for two full days of talks, networking, and workshops.

WooConf presents a unique opportunity for WooCommerce users to connect, this time in Austin at the exquisite Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater.

Read on to find out why WooConf is the place to be this April, and what this conference can offer you no matter what you’ve done (or are planning to do) with WooCommerce.

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