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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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Why stores running on WordPress are winning

August 22, 2016 - 20 Comments

According to the most recent report from BuiltWith, 39% of all eCommerce sites are powered by WooCommerce and WordPress — over 1.5 million active stores. Add in the usage of additional eCommerce platforms powered by WordPress and the CMS’s own 17.6 million live sites (over 26% of the entire internet!), and, well… that’s a lot of sites.

Developers and store builders don’t just choose to work with WordPress because it’s free (although it is) or because “everyone else is using it” (although they are). There are some pretty convincing reasons why WordPress has climbed to the top of the charts, and why WooCommerce has soared in popularity right along with it.

Stores backed by WordPress have multiple advantages over those on other platforms. And these advantages allow them to work faster, spend less money, and ultimately become more successful than their counterparts.

Let’s take a look at a few convincing reasons why shops running on WordPress have a competitive edge — and why you should join their ranks, if you’re not already among them. 🙂

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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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The most important features of an eCommerce site’s design

July 8, 2015 - 11 Comments

You have a plan to sell online. You’ve decided what you’re going to sell, you’ve decided to use WooCommerce, and now you need to design your store.

This stage can be difficult. Finding that perfect theme, or even selecting a designer who understands your goals, can eat up time you don’t have. And if you’ve never sold online before, you might feel as if you’re searching for something that just “looks nice,” without having a solid grasp on what’s really important.

To help you understand what’s crucial and what’s not, you should know what the most important features of a store’s design actually are. This will help you separate the designs that “look nice” from those that perform well.

Let’s take a look at the most important features of your WooCommerce store’s design so you can get started on that next crucial stage.

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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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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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How to Optimize the Mobile Checkout Experience On Your E-Commerce Site

November 4, 2014 - Leave a comment

Optimizing Mobile CheckoutPhablets aside, the average smartphone user will be viewing your site on a screen not much bigger than the standard business card. And when they enter their information, the pop-up keyboard will suddenly eat half of that space. If they turn the phone sideways, that will turn into 7 or 8 tenths.

Shopping in such a small area can certainly be a strange experience, but with some work on your end, you can minimize the inconvenience for your customers. Here are some tips for accomplishing just that:

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Are Your Email Campaigns Click-Worthy? Here’s How to Tell

July 10, 2014 - 1 Comment

Email Click ThroughSo, you probably already know by now that having an email list is an essential part of marketing your business online. And you likely know that what you put in those email blasts matters. People subscribe to your list and trust you’ll deliver to them quality. If you fail to meet this expectation, they’ll hit unsubscribe in a nanosecond.

But there’s a missing component here. Have you guessed? Your subject line!

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4 Reasons Why Your Online Store’s Products Aren’t Selling

July 2, 2014 - 2 Comments

Tell me if the following sounds familiar.

You’ve poured your heart and soul into setting up the perfect online store. You’ve worked hard on the design elements and made sure your products stand out. But no matter how many coupons you throw out there and how many “Buy it now!” promotions you run, you’re just not seeing the conversion rate you want. And despite your best efforts, your online store isn’t the runaway success you anticipated it to be.

Talk about frustrating!

But there’s no need to give up just yet. In fact, there might be a very clear reason why your products aren’t selling. The good news? There are equally very clear ways to fix these issues, improve your conversions and see the products you believe in finally succeed.

What follows are 4 reasons your products aren’t selling and how to fix them.

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How to Start and Maintain a Blog for Your E-Commerce Site

June 17, 2014 - 9 Comments

Carte di credito e tastieraUnless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that blogging is important across a wide expanse of industries.

For starters, a blog on your e-commerce site will consistently provide you with a platform on which to share news and information about your company. You can offer coupons, discounts, and make announcements about new products or events.

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8 Apps That Make Running Your Online Store Easier

June 16, 2014 - 3 Comments

Just because you run an online store and not a brick and mortar business doesn’t mean you’re not stuck with a to-do list a mile long or tasked with needing to be in a million places at once. Many business owners rely on their mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to get things done while on-the-go.

With the above in mind, below is a list of eight apps I think are helpful in managing day-to-day business activities. You’ll find them to be beneficial whether you’re a sole proprietor, partnership or small business.

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Prioritizing Your Email List for E-Commerce Success

June 11, 2014 - 1 Comment

Prioritize Your Email ListIf you already have an e-commerce business or you’re thinking about setting one up, it’s likely that you have at least a cursory familiarity with email lists. A well-built email list gives you access to your most loyal potential and current customers at any time. And so long as you respect that level of access, you’ll be rewarded with increased conversions.

There are several analogies for referring to the sales cycle but I like the “funnel” best. At the top is anyone person that makes it to your site. The middle is reserved for those who’ve interacted with your site or brand in a direct way. They’ve read your blog or input their email address in an opt-in form. At the very bottom of the funnel – the narrowest part – is those who decide to put their money on the line and buy your product or service.

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What Does a Good E-Commerce Drip Campaign Look Like?

April 24, 2014 - 2 Comments

How’s your drip?

I’m not talking about an IV drip or coffee drip here. I’m talking about email marketing campaigns. How’s it doing?

If your face just went pale or your eyebrows are furrowed in confusion, don’t sweat it. There’s never been a time like the present to develop a drip campaign for your online store.

If you’re not sure what a successful campaign looks like, not to worry. We’ve put together a few essentials to get you started, highlighted by a few examples of companies out there doing it right.

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In this weeks episode of WooCommerce…

August 23, 2012 - 89 Comments

This week we’ve a colossal drop of WooCommerce goodies including the sought after Xero integration, Account Funds, ShipStation integration, CertoDirect payment gateway, Purolator integration, Role based payment / shipping methods and the first WooSlider extension which allows you to easily create product slideshows.

To top it all off, we’ve also just released WooCommerce 1.6.4 which features a bunch of tweaks and fixes.

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The long awaited WooCommerce Subscriptions drop

June 21, 2012 - 65 Comments

Subscription Products

We know you’ve been waiting for this for a long while. Today we can happily report we have an extension allowing recurring billing using WooCommerce!

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The Un-Dutch WooCommerce Drop

June 14, 2012 - 36 Comments

Fellow WooCommerce developer & ninja, Coen, probably won’t be happy about today’s title, but heck, it’s impossible to have fun without stepping on the odd toes every now & again… Our title is obviously referring to the Dutch football team’s amazing ability to literally drop the ball (at the ongoing Euro Championship) and we’ll use their example as inspiration for our very own WooCommerce drop today. 🙂

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