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5 Different Ways to Take Payments with WooCommerce

May 20, 2016 - 6 Comments

With traditional eCommerce, the exchange of money and goods is simple: a customer pays, and the store owner ships. Easy, right?

But this doesn’t have to be the only way you accept payments for the products you sell online. Taking immediate payments might not work if you want to offer pre-orders. And taking only one payment won’t be suitable for customers who want to order something via subscription.

If you’re only accepting payments for your products the “traditional” way, you might want to consider expanding your options. Here are five ways to take payments with WooCommerce, and how to add them to your store.

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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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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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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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Tips for Selling Digital Products with WooCommerce

February 4, 2016 - 7 Comments

Not all eCommerce stores specialize in physical products. Some — perhaps yours? — are about the business of selling digital products, like audio files, books, PDFs, video tutorials, games, or even stock photography.

Stores with digital products might not look different from those with physical ones, but they aren’t exactly the same. In fact, they require careful handling, and attention paid to different aspects that may not even need considered otherwise.

If you have or are starting a store with digital or downloadable products, following a few specific guidelines can ensure that your customers are happy with their purchases. It can also help you create a shopping experience that converts more shoppers into paid customers, and even draws more searchers to your store.

Let’s take a look at some tips that can help you create a stronger digital store using WooCommerce.

Got an existing WooCommerce store selling digital products and looking to drive more sales? Try One Page Checkout.

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Best Practices for Nonprofits using WooCommerce

January 28, 2016 - Leave a comment

What are the best practices for nonprofits when it comes to websites, donations, and the online world? While donating time, money, or goods to a nonprofit organization has long been seen as a purely offline act, online giving is steadily on the rise. One survey found that among the top nonprofit organizations, Internet donations rose 13% between 2013 and 2014.

Although this might not seem like much, given how few of your overall contributions might come from online donors, there are things you can do to both increase the effectiveness of your website and your overall fundraising campaign.

Whether you’re already using WooCommerce to power your NPO’s website or are just beginning to get it up and running, there are a few best practices you can apply to turn it into a donation-collecting machine.

Here’s what we recommend for your nonprofit, from collecting funds to keeping in touch with donors.

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12 ways to show kindness to your customers with WooCommerce

September 21, 2015 - 14 Comments

Kindness is a wonderful and powerful thing. It’s also sometimes completely unexpected in online stores, where the shopping experience is so often reduced to “is it in stock?” and “how quickly can I get it?”

Your customers’ wants and needs are complex, however. In the long run, far more matters to them than finding the store with the fastest shipping. Loyalty isn’t just inspired by efficiency and price — it can be dramatically influenced by how well you treat the people who shop with you.

Today, we’ve compiled 12 unique ways you can show kindness to your customers with your WooCommerce store. From being more flexible to staying connected to doing small, simple things that will put a smile on your face, these are methods that will give you the power to fulfill the greatest unspoken need of your customers:

Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. — H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Read on to learn about all the ways you can show a little more kindness, and the WooCommerce extensions you can use to make this possible.

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Consider these 7 things when setting up shipments

July 30, 2015 - 13 Comments

You started your eCommerce business and it’s taken off. Products are selling and customers need to receive it all. How are you getting everything from point A to point B?

Shipping can get frustrating fast. But it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Having worked with thousands of store owners like yourself, we’ve seen the pitfalls both new and experienced businesses make when it comes to shipping.

We’ve collected the top seven things you need to give love and attention to when you’re getting started with shipping to save you time, money, energy, and stress. Read on to find out what they are!

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The most important features of an eCommerce platform

June 8, 2015 - 4 Comments

So you want to start an eCommerce business. You may be feeling a mixture of emotions at this point: excitement, apprehension, impatience… and confusion.

The first few decisions that new store owners make are crucial: what to name their new business, where to host their store, and so on. One such decision — and one of the most confusing — is which eCommerce platform should power their store.

With so many platforms to choose from, and countless features and functions available, the sheer number of choices is bound to get overwhelming. It’s also sometimes hard to tell whether or not the platform you’re looking at can offer you the functionality you want, or if it will properly scale or even be cost-effective as your store grows.

Today, we’re going to look at some of the most important features an eCommerce platform should have. This list will help you evaluate the platforms you’re considering along with common business goals, and help you decide whether or not it offers what you need to get started and grow your business.

Let’s get started by talking about how you can first find eCommerce platforms, and evaluate them using the criteria we’ll establish here.

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The Store Owner’s Practical Guide to Being Search Engine Friendly

May 29, 2015 - 6 Comments

There are hundreds of guides out there on the topic of search engine optimization. And they all promise one thing: with their help, you’ll rank better and sell more.

The problem is, as a store owner, you only have so many hours in your day. You’ve got enough to worry about without throwing SEO into the mix. Guides that recommend investing your valuable time into copywriting, on-page optimization, link building, or content creation seem practical enough… but only if you can grow an extra set of arms.

Rather than invest all your time and effort into additional forms of optimization — some of which may not even be practical for your niche or current growth stage — it’s best to shift your mindset to simply being search engine friendly at all times. By establishing basic SEO groundwork up front you can drastically cut down on the amount of time you need to spend on future optimization.

By following this guide, you can be confident that your store is always optimized for search because it meets Google’s basic best practices. Let’s take a look at how you can get started with practical SEO.

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How to Successfully Sell with Social Proof

April 14, 2015 - 1 Comment

Social proof means that potential readers, customers, or followers will make a decision based on a larger group’s previous decisionsFast Company states that you can narrow down the topic to five different types of social proof:

  1. Wisdom from your friends
  2. Wisdom from large crowds
  3. User social proof
  4. Social proof from famous people
  5. Social proof from a credible expert

Through the careful use of these different types of social proof, you can reach more potential customers, sell more products online and improve your retention rates.

Let’s take a look at some ways you can use social proof to sell more, along with a few tips for finding the right type of social proof to use for your company.

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5 Ways to Gain Free Press Coverage for Your Online Store

April 9, 2015 - 2 Comments

Finding Free Press Coverage for Your Online Store

A little bit of press coverage can boost your sales within a few hours, but keep in mind that you can’t build a business based on press coverage alone. If you ever watch Shark Tank, you’ll sometimes see how Mark Cuban tears apart entrepreneurs who spend thousands of dollars on publicity and press coverage.

Why is this the case? It’s because a business that plans on striking it rich with press coverage is one that doesn’t have a clear plan on how to gain customers. Or perhaps the product isn’t that scalable. The list of potential problems continues.

Regardless, press coverage is still a nice thing for a business, but you can’t focus your entire marketing strategy around it. That’s why finding free, or low-priced, press coverage is the ideal route.

With that said, let’s have a look at how you can find free press coverage for your online store.

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Understanding Bounce Rate (And How to Keep it Down)

January 8, 2015 - 7 Comments

The bounce rate. You see this stat in Google Analytics, but what exactly does it mean? Well, it’s quite simple actually. It’s the percentage of people that come to your site and then navigate away from it after viewing only one page.

Every single time a visitor does this it increases your bounce rate, in turn affecting your search engine rankings a little bit. High bounce rates are bad, but you must understand that every industry has its own average benchmark for bounce rates, so sometimes comparing to other companies is not always the best thing.

Go Rocket Fuel explains that bounce rates have an even deeper meaning where they include all single interactions such as transactions and single events such as clicks. They explain that the average bounce rate usually sits somewhere in between 26 and 70 percent, but this is a rather large range, so what should you shoot for?

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The 6 Best Free Tools for Building eCommerce Landing Pages

January 7, 2015 - 8 Comments

It’s essential that your website has a strong landing page for each goal action that you want your visitors to take. However, that can quickly get expensive…

…if you go with the immediately available options, that is. With a little inventiveness and some research, you can find plenty of ways to build one for free.

Today, I’ve done some of that research for you. Here are some tools that you can use to design, build, and track a perfectly competent landing page with no money out of your pocket.

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How to Build a Brand Image That Pulls Customers to Your Online Store

January 2, 2015 - 3 Comments

I’m going to name a few design elements. Tell me what companies come to mind.

  • A red and white color scheme.
  • A smiley face.
  • Two black circles overlapping a larger black circle.
  • Product names beginning with the letter “i.”

I’m willing to bet that you can figure out at least two well-known brands from those elements alone.

It’s no coincidence that the biggest, most influential companies often have the most iconic brands. That’s the reason why branding is universally considered one of the most important parts of running a business, and why people who can create iconic brands are often the biggest influencers in the business world.

Your brand is comprised of a story and an image, so before we get into the “image” part, we really recommend this post we’ve previously done on how to write the story. Your brand image is directly tied to your brand story, in fact, you could say it’s a visual complement to it, and it’s very important that you have one worked out if you’re going to work on the other.

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How to Drive Customers to Engage with Your eCommerce Blog

December 31, 2014 - 1 Comment

customer-blog-engagementSometimes, it seems like there are more blogs out there than readers.

This has gotten to be even more of a problem with the rise of community content sites like Tumblr and Reddit that give blog readers one-stop shops for information on specialty topics that interest them.

Only a small percentage of blogs have a regular readership. The high rates of abandonment among new bloggers is part of the reason why, but a much larger part is that too many of them are taking Field of Dreams literally and assuming that simply writing quality content will magically draw viewers.

So, if building it doesn’t ensure they’ll come, what will?

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