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How a subscription-based snack business became an overnight success

February 21, 2017 - 3 Comments

Quitting our day jobs to start our own business is something many people dream of doing. But few of us have the courage, much less the tenacity and staying power to pull it off.

Then there are the ones who refuse to let their dream die. Meet Monique Bernstein and Eli Zauner, the co-owners of Universal Yums. Launched in October 2014, this subscription snack company has gone through a few ups and downs, but has ultimately endured to become a smash hit with foodies — and, surprisingly, redditors!

Meet Monique and Eli, the brains behind the tastiest subscription box on the Internet.

Have a read to learn how one couple turned a small investment into a unique subscription, why they think the little details set them apart from other monthly food boxes, and their advice for starting your own dream business.

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Top extensions for physical goods stores

February 8, 2017 - 10 Comments

We’ve written in the past about how WooCommerce can be used for unique store setups — memberships, nonprofitssubscriptions and more. But a lot of you choose Woo because it’s a great platform for a simple store selling physical goods.

WooCommerce gives you a fantastic way to start selling and shipping your products fast, no matter what you sell or where you want to sell them. Sometimes, though, you might need a few more tools to take your store to the next level.

In this post, we’ve collected some of our favorite extensions for stores specializing in physical goods. Have a look and see if you find a new favorite!

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WooCommerce.com now requires a WordPress.com account

January 31, 2017 - Leave a comment

Some of you might have spotted a change to WooCommerce.com made last week, on Thursday to be precise. WooCommerce.com now requires a WordPress.com account to manage your purchases, tickets and subscriptions.

tl;dr: We believe this change brings many benefits, and are dedicated to improving the account management experience for developers.

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Insights and tips from our email marketing experiments

January 27, 2017 - 16 Comments

Email marketing has long been — and remains — a popular method for acquiring customers and boosting sales. And it’s no small wonder, with 91% of consumers in the United States checking their email every single day.

Finding the right strategies to use in your emails is a tricky thing. You need to think about what messages your customers will respond to, what calls to action they’ll click, and what will even make them open an email in the first place. You also need to review and improve upon your strategies so you keep making money.

Here at WooCommerce, email is a big part of what we do — it’s how we communicate with our customers, not to mention the community. Over the last few years, we’ve spent a lot of time experimenting with and learning from email. Now we’re ready to pass those learnings along to you.

Today we’re going to share some of the best things we’ve learned about email subject lines, graphics, and length so you can use our experiments to grow your own store and improve your customer communication.

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Helpful extensions for nonprofits using WooCommerce

January 23, 2017 - 9 Comments

Resources are limited for many nonprofit organizations. It’s crucial for these companies to do their best work while making the most of what they have.

Since WooCommerce is free to use, open source, and works with WordPress, it’s the platform of choice for many nonprofits. WooCommerce lets these businesses accept donations online, sell products to support their cause, or both.

Building a robust, fully functional nonprofit website with WooCommerce isn’t hard — but you have to know what you really need. Which extensions will increase your donations, spread the word about your cause, and get more people involved with your organization? You don’t want to spend money on something only to find out it won’t help.

In thise post, we’ve collected seven extensions that we think will help nonprofits using WooCommerce be more successful online. Keep reading to find out what they are and how you can start using them now.

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How to build your WooCommerce store to last

January 13, 2017 - 21 Comments

Once you’ve made the decision to build a store with WooCommerce, you don’t want anything to slow you down.

If your store isn’t built with longevity in mind, however, you could run into trouble as time goes on. You might see product pages load slowly, extensions stop functioning, or even encounter serious issues like data loss or security breaches.

These are all issues that will ultimately lead to one thing: a decline in — or complete loss of  — paying customers.

To keep your WooCommerce store profitable, you need to build it with long-term stability, safety, and performance in mind. Let’s take a look at how you can build a WooCommerce store that will last for months, years, and beyond.

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Ways to create ongoing relationships with your customers

January 11, 2017 - 12 Comments

Your store would be nowhere without your customers. They determine which products sell, how much money you make, and how successful you’ll ultimately become.

If you want your store to be more successful — and to make more money — you should start thinking about building relationships. Creating and nurturing long-lasting relationships can lead to higher sales, better shopper satisfaction, and the acquisition of even more loyal customers.

Let’s take a look at a few ways you can start building solid customer relationships. We’ll also explain the ways these connections will benefit you in the long term, even if you sell products shoppers will only buy once and hopefully never purchase again.

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Woo Year In Review 2016

December 27, 2016 - 26 Comments

Hello, Howdy, G’Day, etc,

I’m Todd Wilkens, the new Head of WooCommerce. It’s been an amazing year here at Woo and I want to take a moment to share some thoughts and facts about our team and this great community that you are a crucial part of. In fact, before anything else, let me say thank you:

To every user, customer, and Open Source community contributor out there: WooCommerce exists for and because of you. It’s because of you that the most-used eCommerce platform for WordPress and, therefore, the most widely used eCommerce platform in the world exists. Thank you!

The end of the year is near, and it’s a time for reflecting. Read on for thoughts on the year gone by, what worked and what didn’t, and what we’re excited about for 2017.

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What you can learn from Woo’s holiday sales

December 9, 2016 - 12 Comments

We run a couple of major holiday sales on WooCommerce.com each year, including Hallowoon, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. The challenge as each one comes around is: how do we keep running them bigger, better, and fresher?

This year we tried a few new things that increased conversions. We learned a lot from these experiences, and decided to write about them as we thought you might be able to learn from them as well.

Read on for some key questions to ask before running a sale, tips on creating a positive sale experience, and what there is to be learnt from Woo’s holiday sales.

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8 email features to add for a great customer experience

December 1, 2016 - 20 Comments

Question: how are your store’s emails improving the experience of your customers?

If it’s difficult for you to answer this question, that’s okay. We tend to think of the emails we send to customers as final steps in a sales process, or necessary interactions that keep new orders coming in. But these messages can — and should be — much more than that.

With the right features, every email you send to your customers can lead to a happier, stress-free experience. Order receipts can increase trust, shipping notifications can solve problems, and even marketing messages can add a sense of delight.

Let’s take a look at some of the features you should have in your store’s emails, and how they can make your customers feel great about buying from you.

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How a Berlin startup is bringing artisan food back to everyday life

November 29, 2016 - 3 Comments

We all have to eat. But that’s not a very inspiring starting point for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

One passionate team of foodies in Berlin have made it their mission to address the food ambivalence that our crazy, busy lives push us towards — and instead gently shift the German-grocery status quo of over-reliance on supermarkets and processed food back to having artisan food in everyday lives.

Gegessen Wird Immer
Gegessen Wird Immer is bringing artisan food back to everyday lives for German eaters.

Read on the for the story of how Gegessen Wird Immer grew to be a thriving, wholehearted online business that’s blazing a farm fresh trail across Germany to deliver fresh quality produce to homes and offices with WooCommerce.

GWI team
The Gegessen Wird Immer team, happy folks.

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How to best suggest additional products to your shoppers

November 23, 2016 - 20 Comments

Once a shopper has decided on a product and added it to their cart, their first thought is going to be “great, now I’m ready to check out!”

At this same stage, your first thought might be “wait, don’t go yet! You haven’t even seen all my stuff yet!”

Motivating customers to purchase additional products is a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. WooCommerce’s many solutions for suggesting, upselling, and bundling products together make it easy to show shoppers what else they should consider — and help you make more from every sale.

Let’s explore three of the best ways that you can add on to your customers’ purchases, from cross-sells to groups to bundles.

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The importance of accessibility for your online store

November 15, 2016 - 33 Comments

Everyone who shops online does so a little differently. We make decisions at our own pace, use different devices, and interact with stores in ways that feel most comfortable to us.

For some shoppers, the process of viewing or buying a product is vastly different than you might expect. Their internet connection may be slow due to living in a developing country, they may rely on a screen reader due to visual impairment, or they may navigate with a keyboard due to the inability to reliably use a mouse.

These differences create the need to design and maintain a store that is accessible for everyone. That’s the goal of accessibility for eCommerce: creating an online store that everyone can use, no matter their age, skill level, location, or presence of a disability.

Today we’re going to take a look why you should make your WooCommerce store more accessible, and some resources you can use to improve its design and functionality for all your shoppers.

Ready to learn? Let’s start with a closer look at what we mean when we talk about accessibility.

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3 WooCommerce stores with awesome product customizations

November 11, 2016 - 11 Comments

You want, we’re sure, every customer who purchases a product from your store to have an enjoyable shopping experience. You want to avoid broken links, slow pages, and abandoned carts.

The stakes get even higher for the shoppers who aren’t just browsing, but are creating the products they plan to purchase. Custom-created or personalized products can increase sales dramatically, but with their presence comes a need for product pages that go above and beyond the standard image gallery and add to cart button.

Whether you’re already selling products with optional personalization or are considering adding some custom creations for your store, we thought a little inspiration might prove useful. And, thanks to the WooCommerce Showcase, inspiration is never hard to find.

Here’s a look at three stores with some amazing customization options on their product pages, plus tips and extensions that will help you pull this off on your own store.

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A developer’s checklist to optimizing your store for the holidays

November 4, 2016 - 6 Comments

Holiday Tips 2016

The holiday season is the most important time of year for store owners. Retailers acquire between 29% and 59% more customers during the holiday months, which makes this season a make-or-break period for you or your client’s overall sales.

It’s essential to ensure that your site can handle the increase in traffic and new orders. As an on-demand WooExpert, we have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to poorly optimized sites during the holiday season… and we want to help you avoid the latter two.

There is no simple cure-all solution, but we’ve assembled a short list of proactive improvements you can make to your store right now now. The more people that hit your site, the more noticeable the effect of these optimizations will be.

Let’s get started.

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Post-purchase emails to send to holiday customers

November 3, 2016 - 6 Comments

mailer-thin

Today’s guest post comes to us from Danny Wong at Conversio (formerly Receiptful). Conversio is a marketing platform that allows you to supercharge customer interactions and maximize your customer lifetime value — give it a try this holiday season for amazing emails and more. Take it away, Danny!

If there’s any time of the year to pull out all the stops, it’s the always exciting holiday shopping season. Online purchases for holiday gifts are rising exponentially, as more consumers begin to recognize the futility of sitting in traffic, fighting for parking, and waiting in long checkout lines at physical stores.

In 2015, eCommerce holiday spending grew to $70 billion, and it seems a foregone conclusion that online sales will continue to account for an increasing percentage of all holiday consumer transactions.

comScore’s 2015 holiday spending estimates.
comScore’s 2015 holiday spending estimates.

As a store owner, your job is just getting started when the customer completes the checkout process. The post-purchase period is an opportune time to further engage your customers and work on building a strong relationship that will lead to repeat purchases.

Post-purchase email marketing is crucial to accomplishing this, and your strategy for creating these emails should be given as much attention as your pre-sale marketing tactics.

Let’s take a look at some post-purchase emails you should aim to send this holiday season, and why they’re such an important part of your holiday marketing strategy.

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