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2021 Refresh: Improve Your Store and Grow Your Business

Written by Luke Marr on January 15, 2021 Blog, News, Sell Online.

The new year is a natural time to look at ways to improve your business. If you’re ready to reach new heights in 2021, ensure your online store is in top shape! From performance to security, marketing, and efficiency — here are some of the best ways to improve your site this year. 

1. Improve customer relationships

A customer relationship management platform (CRM) is helpful in several ways. It tracks customers and their history so you can send personalized marketing emails and offer quick, accurate support. The automation features available with many CRMs can also improve your efficiency. And efficiency leads to more savings and greater profits. 

WooCommerce offers several CRM extensions, but one great option is Jetpack CRM. Built just for entrepreneurs using WordPress, it’s made to scale with your business. Just like WooCommerce, you can add extensions that advance its functionality to meet your needs. 

Jetpack CRM list of contacts

The free plan includes all the core functionality you need. And since it’s Jetpack, you’ll benefit from the best support Automattic has to offer.   

2. Generate recurring revenue 

Subscriptions can increase your average lifetime customer value and simplify the buying process. Plus, recurring revenue allows you to more easily predict cash flow and scale operations. You can even pass these savings on to your customers through new investments or improved products. 

How do you generate recurring revenue? You could deliver a monthly subscription box or periodically replenish items your customers purchase regularly. If you don’t offer traditional products, you could sell club memberships, ongoing courses, continuing professional services, or nearly anything else you can think of! 

The incredible flexibility and robust functionality of WooCommerce Subscriptions makes it our top choice. Choose from multiple billing schedules, allow subscribers to manage their own plans, send renewal notifications, view handy reports, and more. 

3. Secure your site 

You’ve invested a lot of work into your store — make sure it’s protected! After all, a security breach could cost you time, customers, and revenue. This WooCommerce security checklist outlines the essential elements you need to keep your store safe, but here’s a quick overview: 

  1. Choose a good host.
  2. Use high-quality plugins.
  3. Implement strong passwords.
  4. Prevent brute force attacks.
  5. Update WordPress, themes, and plugins.
  6. Enable backups.
  7. Add an SSL certificate.
  8. Re-evaluate user access levels.
  9. Perform security scans.
  10. Monitor site activity.
  11. Set up a firewall.
  12. Enable secure authentication

Jetpack takes care of the majority of these tasks in a single plugin. Not only does it deter hackers, it also scans for malware and fights comment spam. If your site is ever compromised, it offers one-click fixes for the majority of known threats.

One of the most important features for eCommerce is real-time backups. Instead of backing up your files and database once a day, week, or month, it saves a copy each time an action takes place — when a product is added, an order is placed, or a page is edited. This means that, even if your site goes down, you won’t lose any order data.

To make the most of all the available features, check out Jetpack’s full security suite. It’s the quickest way to harden your WooCommerce security efforts for the new year. 

4. Master analytics

Data gives you the power to identify trends and opportunities that can increase sales and reduce waste in 2021. 

First of all, make sure you have a Google Analytics account installed on your store (this extension helps). Even if you’re not ready to dive deep into the numbers right away, installing it now will give you, or a professional you hire, the tools to make big strides in the future. 

WooCommerce analytics dashboard

Next, get to know the new WooCommerce analytics dashboard, which gives you access to more information directly inside of WordPress. With a glance, you can assess your store’s health, identify trends, and note problem areas to fix. Read more about WooCommerce Analytics and the key metrics you need to grow in 2021. 

If you’ve mastered these standard store metrics and can interpret them, it’s time to become more familiar with Google Analytics. This article has some great information about getting started. 

When you’re ready for the most advanced Google Analytics features, we recommend the WooCommerce Google Analytics Pro extension. You can learn how to tap into its power with this detailed article on how to track your WooCommerce marketing activities.

Remember, data is the key to becoming a top-performing eCommerce store. Just a little work in this area can pay dividends! Set yourself up for success with the right analytics extensions. It’s free to get started

5. Supercharge email marketing

If you still don’t have an email marketing system or know that your current efforts could use a facelift, now’s the perfect time. Used by more than 300,000 sites, MailPoet is a great email marketing option within the WordPress dashboard. 

MailPoet’s commitment to store owner success, along with their proven ability to deliver great results, led WooCommerce to officially welcome them to the family in late 2020.  

With MailPoet, you can send abandoned cart emails, build new messages with pre-designed templates, automatically welcome new customers, and send follow-up emails to previous shoppers with offers and products specifically tailored to them. Since it integrates completely with WooCommerce, you can easily add newsletter registration forms, and your customer lists are always up-to-date. See the full list of WooCommerce email features

6. Increase average order values 

One of the most effective ways of growing revenue is to tap into your existing customer base. By upselling premium or extended versions of your products or suggesting additional products for people to add to their carts, you can increase your store’s average order value. Plus, you’ll deliver a more engaging and helpful experience to customers — it’s a win-win! 

product recommendations on a product page

The Product Recommendations extension is a great way to take the guesswork out of upsells and cross-sells. Its intelligent algorithm automatically identifies good product pairings and recommends them to customers at the perfect time. Or, create your own rules for a totally custom experience. 

Ready to become an expert or improve your existing efforts? Learn more about how to use upsells and cross-sells to increase your store’s revenue.

7. Streamline checkout and reduce cart abandonment 

Cart abandonment is a real issue. Studies vary, but as many as 70% of people don’t complete their purchase — and sometimes that number is even higher! Imagine reducing this by 10%. How would that improve your revenue? 

You can keep this number as low as possible by improving your store’s checkout process and investing in a few tools:

And when it comes to marketing, make sure you have a plan to follow up with customers who browse but don’t place an order. 

Read our full guide on improving your store’s checkout process. And from email marketing to follow-ups, see five tools to reduce cart abandonment

Make it your best year yet

As store owners, it’s important to occasionally pause and reflect on your progress as well as your future goals. Take a moment to consider areas you could improve during the coming year,  set realistic goals, and make them happen. Make sure you’re covered in the seven key areas we just discussed. Then, consider what other changes and improvements you can make this year. With WooCommerce, you have unlimited potential! 

Visit the extensions marketplace to customize your store

2 Responses

  1. UPGO
    January 15, 2021 at 10:44 am #

    Is there a wordpress c2c plugin? Also, can a different cargo charge be made for each product?