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How to Handle Common Holiday Shipping Issues

October 17, 2018 - 14 Comments

If you run an online store, shipping is the one area where everything you do becomes tangible to your customer. At no time is this more critical to a positive customer experience than the holidays, when the product your customer is touching is likely to be a gift from a friend or family member.

But there are obstacles. If you don’t prepare, you can ruin someone’s holiday with a late or damaged shipment. Holidays offer opportunities to build your brand, increase customer loyalty, and acquire new customers…but they also offer benefits that will improve your bottom line.

The best way to ensure your business’s success is to learn how to prepare for some of the most common holiday shipping issues. In this post, we’ll cover how you can get ready for everything from lost shipments to weather delays to the general rush caused by an increase in packages.

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Should Your Business Use Instagram for Marketing? Six Questions To Ask

July 27, 2018 - 7 Comments

Wondering if your business should be on Instagram? The short answer is that whatever you’re selling, you should consider it. Instagram now has over one billion monthly users — as of January, 2018, 7 percent of internet users in the United States accessed Instagram once every few days.

And if you’re in certain eCommerce categories or selling a visual product, you definitely should.

Here are six questions to ask if you’re weighing whether Instagram should be part of your marketing strategy.

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Google Shopping for WooCommerce: How to Set Up Your Product Feed

July 26, 2018 - 8 Comments

Google Shopping ads  — those graphic product ads you see at the top of a page of search results — are a visual, dynamic way to attract online shoppers to your store right from Google.

If you’re selling with WooCommerce, your products can show up there too! To run Shopping ads you’ll need a feed of your products to share with Google — and there are extensions, like WooCommerce Google Product Feed, specifically created to help you do that.

Google Shopping Ads Increase Visibility and Conversions

Shopping ads appear before Google text ads, and include basic product data like titles, images, prices, and reviews, as well as promotions:

A screenshot of Google Shopping ads in action

You control the product information displayed, which makes it easier for customers are  to find the exact items they’re looking for — and therefore more likely to make a purchase.

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Five Ways to Reignite Your WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Recovery Rate

July 25, 2018 - 5 Comments

You’re spending a lot of time and money to drive quality traffic to your website. Your product pages look great, and customers love your products. WooCommerce’s stability and performance provide a frictionless shopping experience as visitors navigate your website, adding products to their shopping cart.

And then more than 70% of those shoppers exit your website, leaving those products in their cart.

This is not a new phenomenon. eCommerce merchants have been battling abandoned carts since the first online store opened.

One of the best and most popular ways to encourage people to recover their abandoned shopping carts is with a well-crafted email re-marketing sequence. There’s a problem, though: most other merchants are using the same tried-and-tested re-marketing methods and tools to try and bring down their cart abandonment rates. And there hasn’t been much innovation in this space recently, creating two major stumbling blocks:

  • When your competition uses similar strategies and tactics, it’s much harder for you to stand out and clinch that sale.
  • Consumers have become conditioned to expect a post-abandonment email that includes a discount.

Can you stick to what you’re already doing? Sure. But by not tweaking and improving the way you are recover abandoned carts, you’re leaving money on the table — to giving it away to your competitors.

At Conversio, we’re focused on helping eCommerce merchants with email marketing and having worked with more than 20,000 customers, we’ve noticed a few emerging ideas that have helped them improve their abandoned cart recovery rate. Here are five of our favorites.

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How to Set Up a New WooCommerce Store

July 20, 2018 - 8 Comments

This week we’ve been looking at some of the thing business owners should consider when choosing an eCommerce platform. To close things out, let’s walk through how to set up a WooCommerce store — a two-part process.

If you are starting from scratch, head to WooCommerce.com/start to get a basic site in place. If you already have a self-hosted WordPress site or a WordPress.com site with a Business plan, head to the Plugins section of your dashboard to search for, add, and activate the WooCommerce plugin.

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An Introduction to eCommerce for WordPress – WooCommerce

July 16, 2018 - 7 Comments

New to WooCommerce? It’s a free plugin that transforms WordPress websites into customizable eCommerce stores. First released in 2011 by WooThemes, a WordPress theme development agency with roots in Norway, the United Kingdom, and South Africa, it was later acquired by Automattic, makers of WordPress.com and Jetpack. In the U.S. alone, WooCommerce powers a whopping 55% of all eCommerce sites and nearly 2.3 million online stores.

Over the next few days we’ll look at some key questions and topics, starting with an introduction to eCommerce for WordPress. Welcome to Woo!

An introduction to WordPress and WooCommerce
The WooCommerce plugin is available for free on WooCommerce.com and WordPress.org.

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WooCommerce Sales Tax for the US: How to Enable Automated Calculations and Filing

June 26, 2018 - 23 Comments

The US Supreme Court decided this week that each state can now require sales tax to be collected on internet sales. This ruling opens the door for states to do something that they haven’t been able to before: tax a lot of internet sales.

tl;dr: Enable free, automated, single nexus tax calculations with WooCommerce Tax, or for additional nexus and more complex tax scenarios, and auto-filing, try TaxJar.

While WooCommerce can’t advise you on which taxes your business needs — that’s a question for your accountant — you can configure settings in WooCommerce to either manually or automatically calculate taxes based on the requirements of the new rules.

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Six MailChimp Tools to Build Your Brand and Sell More Stuff

April 12, 2018 - 10 Comments

At this very moment, your store is loaded with data, and that data is fuel just waiting to grow your business.

It provides invaluable information about your customers: what they enjoy buying from you, how often they make a purchase, and when they last made a purchase. Once you integrate your WooCommerce store with MailChimp, our powerful marketing tools – including automations and reporting – put that data to work to personalize your marketing and sell more stuff.

Here are 6 tools that’ll help you on your quest to build your brand:

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Start your new store quickly with PayPal Business in a Box

May 1, 2017 - Leave a comment

Small business owners have a lot to think about.

If you’re thinking of launching a business—or you’re looking to switch your website platform or merchant service—here’s one thing you’ll realize pretty quickly: you’re going to have to make decisions on aspects of business that you might have little experience with.

For example, most small business owners aren’t experts at eCommerce platforms or payments processing, but here’s a small sampling of the steps you need to consider just to get your products or services available online:

  • Launching a web store: Hiring a developer, selecting the right hosting service, designing your website, choosing a shopping cart, linking it to your website.
  • Setting up payments: Comparing merchant services, including services provided, costs, and fees.
  • Running your business: Choosing an accounting solution, figuring out how to link it with your shopping cart, learning how to use it.

Entrepreneurs wear a lot of hats. As one, you’re probably busy focusing on other aspects of your business—production, inventory forecasting, financing—the list goes on. There’s little time left for sifting through websites, watching tutorials, and comparing options for website hosting, payment processing, and managing the books. And this could be a barrier for many small businesses who are ready to get started and eager to bring in revenue.



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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 - 9 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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Tips for offline stores taking their products online

August 5, 2016 - 4 Comments

Starting a retail store is hard. You’ve got to have the right products, the right location, and the right staff to make it work. Miss the mark on any one of these aspects and you’re bound to struggle.

If you’ve already got a successful store, nobody can blame you for feeling like you can do anything. Or wanting, perhaps, to take over the world a little bit. Extending your reach only seems natural — once you know you can run one store, why not two?

The next natural step for you entrepreneurial brick and mortar shop owners is often a move to an online store. And while a smart move, it’s one that should be made with caution. Taking an offline store online can be hugely beneficial, but there are a few things you need to think about and plan before you set anything up.

If you’re thinking about adding an online store into the mix, whether you’ve been in the retail business for a few months or many long years, read over these tips and steps to take first.

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How to optimize all your eCommerce landing pages

August 3, 2016 - 14 Comments

When you hear the phrase “landing page,” you probably think of a dedicated page on a website. Or you might even think of your store’s homepage.

Most marketing blogs suggest that you use dedicated landing pages to show new visitors marketing messages, or offer a specific audience a deal or pitch crafted just for them. And sure, for some sites, this is an effective strategy — but it’s different in the world of eCommerce.

When you run an online store, landing pages aren’t limited to just a few select spots. The reality is that almost every page on your store can be a landing page, under the right circumstances.

With this in mind, your goal shouldn’t be to set up special pitches or deals limited to certain visitors. You should optimize all of your pages in the same way so that no matter where a shopper arrives, they’ll get the right message.

Let’s take a look at what your landing pages actually are, and how you can make them work harder for you.

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Crossing borders: trips, tricks & extensions for international stores

June 29, 2016 - 7 Comments

Most new WooCommerce stores start out selling and shipping to their immediate surroundings — the same state, country, or another familiar area. But there comes a time for many store owners when they start thinking about venturing out a little further.

Selling internationally can be immensely rewarding, but there’s a lot to consider before you start doing it. There’s the logistics of shipping, the tax implications, whether or not all of your products can even be made available internationally due to licensing or usage restrictions, and let’s not even get started on the cost of all this.

In short: it takes a lot of work to cross those borders and reach those customers.

But if there’s a clamor for your products in distant countries, you know full well that there’s money to be made and customers to be satisfied. So we’ve put together this list of tips, tricks, and some helpful WooCommerce extensions that will make the process of internationalization a little less challenging — whether you’re selling twenty products or twenty thousand.

Let’s dive in and look at what you should do before you flip the switch and start shipping overseas.

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What you should know about VAT and selling internationally

June 28, 2016 - 9 Comments

Today’s post comes to us from Jennifer Sokolowsky at Avalara. AvaTax for WooCommerce is a seamless integration for Avalara’s tax calculation services. Automatically calculate tax rates, submit documents to Avalara for transactions, and enable address validation at checkout for supported countries. Give it a try today to get tax right no matter where you’re selling.

International markets can offer big opportunities for store owners. Selling across borders can offer growth potential when local sales have plateaued, as well as a way to get an edge on competitors. It can also offer a way to diversify your business.

However, selling internationally can be more complicated than doing business domestically. One of the major considerations to keep in mind is how to deal with taxes — specifically VAT.

Here’s what you should know about the value added tax (or VAT), when and where it applies, and how you can make sure you get VAT right when you begin selling internationally.

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The Five Most Popular WooCommerce Product Types

June 21, 2016 - 9 Comments

With WooCommerce, you don’t have to limit yourself to physical goods — you can easily sell digital products, your time, access to events, and more.

Let’s have a look at the five most popular types of product people sell with WooCommerce, and why you should consider adding another type of item to your store, no matter what your specialty. We’ll also give you some amazing examples of stores already selling these products, both in a traditional way and in ways you might not expect.

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