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How to prepare your store for holiday traffic

October 21, 2016 - Leave a comment

Holiday Tips 2016

As we recently discussed, the holiday season is a major boon for your annual income, and if you’re handling your marketing right, you’ll be seeing lots of holiday traffic to your WooCommerce store this season.

All of the research on how site visitors behave suggests that you have fifteen seconds or less to capture their attention — or lose them. With so much income on the line during the holiday season, you literally cannot afford issues that will drive away your customers.

Today, we’re going to walk through a few ways to prepare your store for holiday traffic and guarantee that you’re ready to handle the hoards of customers coming your way.

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Why process is key to providing memorable holiday support

October 19, 2016 - Leave a comment


This post comes to you from Greg Ciotti at Help Scout. Help Scout makes customer support tools that will help you keep customers happy as your store grows. The floor is yours, Greg!

While the holidays bring about a lot of personal and professional joy, they’re also a time a year when customer support is firing on all cylinders.

As Walt Disney used to say, quality service is the end-goal, but “process” is the engine that makes it happen. If you don’t prepare for a hectic time like the holidays — and the curveballs that come with it — you won’t be delivering any holiday cheer, and you could end up losing sales and customers.

So let’s talk about the process that powers support. When prepping for one of the busiest times you’ll face, here are a few things that should be top of mind. We’ll also explain how creating processes can help you provide memorable — and high quality — support for your shoppers.

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How to get holiday shopper-friendly site navigation

October 17, 2016 - Leave a comment


The holiday season can have a profound impact on the behavior of your customers. Shoppers that might usually wait patiently for deliveries become annoyed with delays, and the stress over picking the perfect gift can cause otherwise polite people to send rude emails or cancel orders on a whim.

This change in behavior can also lead to a change in the way that customers navigate your store. If someone knows exactly what they want, they’ll probably turn to site search — but holiday shoppers may be more likely to use your menus, widgets, footer, and other navigational options to browse what’s available and learn more about your business.

If your store’s navigation isn’t useful for holiday shoppers, it can lead to them ditching you for a competitor. Shoppers just don’t have the time or the patience to struggle with confusing menus or missing pages this time of year… which means that your mistakes here could be costly.

Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to prepare your store for the upcoming holiday season, and how you can get navigational options that are better suited for these busy shoppers.

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Getting your WooCommerce settings right for the holiday rush

October 14, 2016 - 3 Comments


As you head into the holiday season, it’s common to think big picture — as in, what are the big things you’re going to do to drive traffic, increase sales, and keep your customers happy?

But let’s slow it down and think, for a second or two, about the little things. The little details that go into each aspect of your store, marketing, and support are important, too. And if you go into this busy time of year without thinking about said details, you could run into trouble.

Some of those details include your WooCommerce store’s settings. It’s worth checking on these settings, from your store emails to your low stock threshold to the text in your site-wide notice, before things get really busy. Wait too long and a simple mistake could end up costing you a sale… or worse.

To help you prepare, we’ve put together a list of some of the WooCommerce settings you should check before the holidays begin. Read on to find out what to do, when to do it, and why.

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WooCommerce extensions to try for holiday sales

October 12, 2016 - 7 Comments


Your customers expect a lot of things during the holiday season — giftable goods, fast shipping, maybe even the option to gift wrap their presents — but above all else, the one thing they’re going to be looking for are those sweet, sweet deals.

Bringing shoppers to your store isn’t as simple as making a coupon or slashing a price. It takes smart marketing to get the word out about what you’re offering, first of all. And in many cases, you might find that creating attractive deals for your specific audience takes a little more than “here’s a code for $5 off.”

To help you prepare your store for bonafide holiday success, we’ve compiled a selection of six WooCommerce extensions that will help you create, distribute, and promote successful holiday offers.

From multi-purpose coupon extensions to add-ons that turn your store into a marketing machine, these solutions will give you everything you need. Read on to find out what they are and how you can use them.

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How to make your WooCommerce store stand out during the holidays

October 10, 2016 - 7 Comments


According to the National Retail Foundation, the winter holiday months (defined as November and December) are the biggest time of year for stores of all shapes and sizes, and can account for 30% of your annual sales.

If you’ve been running your own WooCommerce store for a while, we don’t need to tell you this. You already know the holiday season is a big deal for your store. Making sure you take full advantage of the boost in sales — and standing out from the competition — is absolutely crucial.

We’ve put together a few ways you can make your WooCommerce store stand out online during the holiday season. Keep reading to find out what they are so you can get your slice of the holiday sales pie.

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How to make the most of email marketing during the holidays

October 7, 2016 - Leave a comment


Today’s guest post comes to us from Brandon at MailChimp. With MailChimp’s integration for WooCommerce, you can connect your store and create targeted email campaigns, send follow-up emails, and recommend products that your shoppers will love. Take it away, Brandon!

The holiday season is just around the corner, and if you sell stuff online, you’re probably already thinking about things like product inventory, special promotions, and shipping deadlines. But, no matter what services you offer, email is a valuable — and powerful — tool for promoting your business, communicating with your customers, and driving sales.

Today, we’ll share a few tips that’ll help you make the most of your email marketing this holiday season. Read on to find out what they are!

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How Ubuntu Baba sells baby carriers with love and WooCommerce

October 6, 2016 - Leave a comment

There’s a saying that a worried mother does better research than the FBI. When it comes to caring for, feeding and clothing tiny humans, the maternal force is strong.

Shannon of Ubuntu Baba recognised an opportunity from her frictional experience trying to find a suitable baby carrier online, and built a beautiful business to serve new mums with a happy solution.

Ubuntu Baba
Ubuntu Baba makes parents happy.

Read on for the story of another entrepreneurial mum who built a successful business — including prototyping, manufacturing, distribution, and setting up and customizing her own online store. Plus learn why she swears by love as a marketing tactic:

If you genuinely care about what you’re doing and how your product can change a life, sales will organically happen. The best marketing tactic is to have an awesome product and to really love what you’re doing.

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Four social media ideas for the holidays

October 4, 2016 - Leave a comment


Social media is a powerful resource for store owners. Channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest can help you attract more customers, increase your sales, and even have better communication.

During the busy holiday shopping season, it’s understandable if making Facebook posts or lining up tweets is the last thing on your mind. But forgetting about it completely isn’t the way to go: if it’s used well, social media can be a huge asset to stores running holiday sales or promotions.

We’ve put together four ideas for four different social media platforms — Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter — that you can use during the upcoming holiday shopping season. From boosted posts to Promoted Pins, these tips will help you draw in more shoppers and increase your sales during one of the most important times of year.

Ready to get social? Keep reading for your first tip.

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How to sell to shoppers celebrating international holidays

September 28, 2016 - 7 Comments

With the holiday shopping season on the horizon, you’re likely beginning to give some thought to how you attract, market, and sell your products to customers in the same region as your store.

But why stop there? If you can take payments from international shoppers and ship all around the world, there’s no reason you should limit yourself to sales and promotions for one country or a single holiday.

If you’ve been growing your store internationally, the holiday season is your chance to see the benefits of your hard work. With some research, knowledge of what global shoppers expect, and smart, well-timed promotions, you can reach customers celebrating holidays all around the world — and give your sales a nice boost.

Here’s how you can start selling to shoppers celebrating international holidays, plus a few ways that you can get the word out about your global sales.

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What to consider about payments when selling internationally

September 23, 2016 - 8 Comments

Today’s post comes to us from Sue Park, the head of Small Business Partner Marketing at PayPal. She’s here to share some tips for those of you thinking about expanding your business on a global scale. Take it away, Sue!

Global prosperity and mobile adoption are creating opportunities for small businesses to reach new customers abroad. It’s estimated that by 2025, the global consuming class will grow by 75% to a total of 4.2 billion people. These 4.2 billion consumers will spend an estimated $30 trillion annually.

Whether you’re just beginning to consider the potential of opening your shop for business to international buyers, or already testing a few target markets, the stakes are high: checkout is the place where the majority of international shoppers abandon their purchases.

There are several reasons, but one of the main ones is trust. Consumers should have confidence that their payment will be handled securely, and should have the comfort and convenience of paying in a familiar currency using their preferred method.

Here’s what you should think about and take action on before you start taking payments from international customers.

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The impact and opportunity of the sharing economy for eCommerce

September 20, 2016 - 5 Comments

Towards the end of last year I happened upon a massive traffic jam caused by cab drivers who’d climbed out of their vehicles to gridlock central London protesting Uber. Similar protests took place in France and mostly recently in Indonesia. Why the fuss?

Disruption by the sharing economy.

You can rue the day someone bumps you out of the market with their great idea, but you can’t stop them by simply shaking a fist.

A shift in societal values and advances in technology birthed this new way of doing business, and it’s shaking up established practices. The teenage tech wizards with their laptops and bright ideas are coming, and no one can afford to sit back and smile derisively.

A gridlock in Indonesia in protest of Uber.
A gridlock in Indonesia in protest of Uber.

Interested in learning more about the shared economy and the implications for eCommerce?

The world has revealed its voracious appetite for the sharing-based economy, and here’s where this gets interesting for WooCommerce store owners: the means of despatch is most frequently eCommerce.

If you’ve got an online store, there is a way that the sharing economy will or could impact your business. Maybe you need to shape up so you don’t get disrupted, maybe there is a missed opportunity — either way, it’s worth your attention.

Read on as we take a deep dive into the evolution of the sharing economy with lessons from pioneers in the fashion industry, tips for capitalising on opportunity and mitigating risk for consumer goods, and how to apply these learnings to your own store.

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7 WooCommerce extensions for more loyal customers

September 9, 2016 - 6 Comments

After you build your store and open it up to customers, your focus will shift to from generating sales to generating loyalty — and with good reason. As we explained previously, if you can get a customer to come back for a second purchase, the chances of them sticking with your store will dramatically increase.

There are a ton of ways you can make shoppers loyal to one brand over another. Pricing is one angle you can take. An amazing customer support policy is another. But loyalty doesn’t have to rely on cheap prices or friendly emails.

Occasional treats, payment flexibility, and friendly, open communication can turn your newest customers into lifetime ones. And with a few specific WooCommerce extensions, you can add these loyalty-boosters to your store in a flash — no custom code or development needed.

Let’s take a look at seven extensions that you can start using today to boost the loyalty of your shoppers.

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The building block philosophy of Storefront

September 6, 2016 - 5 Comments

Today we released Storefront Powerpack, an extension that allows you to change the appearance of Storefront theme for WooCommerce — without touching a single line of code. Powerpack allows anyone to customize their store without dabbling in HTML or CSS, and the results of those customizations can be seen instantly.

Powerpack in action. Edit any element in Storefront and see the results instantly.
Powerpack in action. Edit any element in Storefront and see the results in a flash.

As we prepared to release this extension, we realized we’d never written very much about the thinking behind Storefront’s development, and why we’ve chosen to break functionality out into extensions instead of packaging it into the theme itself. “Why not just make Powerpack part of Storefront?” we thought you might ask.

Today, we’re setting aside a couple minutes to explain our “building block” philosophy behind Storefront, and how it’s influenced the development of extensions like Powerpack.

Care to learn more? Read on.

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10 WooCommerce stores selling awesome and unusual things

September 2, 2016 - 11 Comments

When we say you can sell anything with WooCommerce, we really do mean anything. Physical products, digital goods, monthly subscriptions, content available only to paying members, event ticketsbookings for hotels or even your time — it’s all possible.

We occasionally stumble across stores that have taken this sell-anything-anywhere philosophy to a new level. Sometimes they’re using one of our extensions in a clever or unexpected way. Sometimes what they’re selling is unusual, smart, or just makes us shout “wow!” at our screens.

To give you a little inspiration (or perhaps an idea for a holiday gift?), we’ve gathered up ten WooCommerce-powered stores selling awesome and unusual things. And believe me — it was hard to choose only ten!

Have a look at how these ten stores are taking WooCommerce to the next level, delighting their customers, and offering something you can’t find anywhere else.

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Smart pricing strategies that inspire customer loyalty

August 30, 2016 - 11 Comments

So you’ve put in time, effort, and hard work to bring new customers to your store. The next checkbox on your to-do list? Bringing those customers back again.

A study on eCommerce buying behavior by RJMetrics found that about 32% of first-time customers came back for a second purchase. That might not seem like much, but listen to this: the customers who did make those second purchases became more likely to return for a third, then a fourth, and so on, on an incremental scale:

The more repeat purchases a customer makes, the more likely they are to keep buying from you. (Chart source: RJMetrics)
The more repeat purchases a customer makes, the more likely they are to keep buying from you. (Chart source: RJMetrics)

Bring a customer back just once and you’re more likely to count them among your most loyal shoppers. But how do you even begin to establish that kind of “I’ll only shop with you” loyalty, anyway?

One of the best ways you can create longtime loyalty is with smart pricing strategies. We aren’t talking about offering coupons nonstop — we’re talking about rewarding shoppers for consistently choosing your store, or offering discounts they can’t find anywhere else.

Let’s explore a few strategies you can try to bring those first-time shoppers back again and again.

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