One of the single best ways to create repeat customers for your eCommerce store on WooCommerce, or any eCommerce platform, is to give them an effective post-purchase experience. After all, retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one.
March 8, 2018 - 5 Comments
March 1, 2018 - 7 Comments
You generate more data the longer you run a store, but when you’re first opening shop and finding your feet, you have very little of it: no orders, no customers — just infinite potential. As your business grows and orders begin to come in, the amount of data you’re handling daily increases exponentially.
Those first five, ten, perhaps even one hundred orders are easy to handle — you could probably remember each and every customer and order off the top of your head! But analyzing your store’s data from memory doesn’t really scale.
I have a saying that applies not just to the eCommerce world but also any problem you run into while running a business:
The first step to making anything better is understanding it.
I want to talk about understanding your WooCommerce data through the art of segmenting. Once you have a handle on data segmentation, you’ll start to see your store and its customers in a completely different light. These revelations can be used for acting on your data, whether it’s figuring out which products need to be restocked or proactively finding orders that need your attention.
February 15, 2018 - 2 Comments
As an online seller, chances are you buy the products you sell from a wholesaler or other supplier. Or, if you’re a crafter or manufacturer, you most likely buy the component parts of your products somewhere.
The good news is that, in the U.S., you can buy products or component parts you intend to use for resale without paying sales tax. You can do this by presenting a resale certificate – also known as a “reseller’s permit” or, more broadly, an “exemption certificate” – to your vendor.
The slightly less good news is U.S. sales tax is governed at the state level, and that means rules and laws on using resale certificates vary from state to state. However, there are some general rules of thumb when it comes to using resale certificates, and we pulled together state-by-state guides to using resale certificates in the 45 U.S. states and Washington D.C. that have a sales tax.
February 13, 2018 - 1 Comment
You’re a WooCommerce store developer with a lot on your plate. The last thing you need are sales tax questions or omissions – an often-forgotten but vital aspect of a website throwing off your development timeline. That’s why we put together the last cheat sheet you’ll ever need for helping clients set up sales tax on their online store.
5 Sales Tax Questions to Ask Clients
There are five essential questions to ask clients before setting up sales tax collection in their WooCommerce store. We’ll go over each one and why you need to know the answer to best provide a full-service sales tax setup.
February 8, 2018 - 16 Comments
In a survey of 1,164 U.S. business owners by Mercury Analytics last year, 42 percent stated that they take credit cards online, while 76 percent reported that they accepted credit card sales in person. In the blend of online and brick-and-mortar sales, what is the state and stance of your business? Perhaps you’re thinking of making a leap from digital to physical (or the reverse) and are weighing your options.
February 6, 2018 - 1 Comment
“Automation” gets thrown around like a dirty word when used in relation to your business:
- “I don’t want to automate customer service, I hate not talking to a real person.”
- “I don’t want to automate emails, they’ll lose their personal feel.”
- “I won’t automate these fulfillment workflows, I want to be sure they’re accurate.”
Too often, we equate automation with call menus — “press 4 if you want me to repeat these options…” — which can be frustrating to work with as a customer. But automation doesn’t have to be synonymous with poor quality and impersonality. It is an investment: automating parts of your business is a way for you to purchase attention, so you can focus on other parts of your company.
As a business owner, maximizing your time spent on innovation or high-impact tasks helps you dedicate time to improvement and growth. Most merchants need to focus on a niche or USP to compete in eCommerce, and hone in on building a brand around what makes them unique. Automating lower priority tasks means you and the people who work for you can spend your time focusing on the things that will really help you compete.
February 2, 2018 - 6 Comments
Over in WooCommerce Customer Support, we get a pretty good overview of what people struggle with when getting started with WooCommerce based on recurring questions we receive.
We put our heads together and bundled these questions about WooCommerce into four topics: Design, shipping, payments, and troubleshooting.
January 11, 2018 - 6 Comments
Fans of Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, Kanye West, Coldplay, and Justin Bieber have already heard Output’s work, whether they know it or not.
So what is Output? Think innovative software and tools created for musicians, composers, producers, and sound designers across all genres. The user base is large, and their products are so pervasive that it’s hard to believe the company is only four years old.
It all started because composer and music producer Gregg Lehrman wanted a reverse-sound engine he could use in his own musical compositions.
We sat down with Gregg, founder and CEO of Output, to discover how he turned his passion project into a thriving company that is simultaneously punching well above its weight and revolutionizing the recording industry.
January 4, 2018 - 7 Comments
Everything starts with the story you’re telling.
One of the most overlooked aspects of pricing is the fact that it never happens in a vacuum. Pricing is always contextual. And to that end, the context for a WooCommerce project isn’t just the work that needs to be done. It’s about the customer, how they define success, the freelancer or agency doing the work, and their experience. Context drives the pricing discussion.
And context is driven by the story you’re telling.
Stories can take a lot of forms, but just imagine the following three opening lines:
- I’m so excited to finally work on an eCommerce project.
- If this project is anything like the last 40 I’ve worked on, we could be done in 8 weeks.
- We have a team of 30 people we bring onto every project. We’re excited to get started.
Each statement tells us something different. In one case, we’re aware that the person will be learning on the job. In another, we know about experience and even some sense of timeline (and maybe cost). And in the last statement we might feel extra confident or extra worried, depending on whether we think we need 30 people on the project – a small store might freak out, and an enterprise organization may feel thrilled.
Use the first meeting to anchor context
When we meet with a prospect, we get the chance to create a first impression or reinforce what they may have already heard about us. That first phone call or meeting allows us to make sure that we set the right context.
- We can reinforce our experience by telling stories of past projects.
- We can build trust by predicting common challenges and how we overcome them.
- We can shape our conversation by hearing what they think are success criteria.
And when it comes to pricing, there’s one other thing we can do. We can create some price anchors by articulating various projects of different complexities (features, sizes, etc.) and the prices associated with each.
As we do that, we’re helping them get grounded in the context of what it might cost to work with us, and it helps set some of their expectations.
The bottom line is that the better you get at listening, the better you’ll get at knowing which stories to tell, which projects to highlight, which risks to articulate and mitigate, and which price points to anchor to.
This is what separates folks that are great at pricing discussions and those who are just getting started. Thankfully, it’s something that you can practice and get good at.
December 20, 2017 - 11 Comments
Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on 25 May 2018 – is your shop ready?
What is GDPR and what does it have to do with you?
I attended WordCamp Manchester and WordCamp Stockholm in the last few months, and they had one thing in common: lots of questions about GDPR. I heard a number of discussions around what WooCommerce site owners needed to do, and if they were ready for GDPR.
To help our WooCommerce site owners get ready for the GDPR, we wanted to provide some information about the regulation, along with our GDPR plans at WooCommerce.
On 25th May 2018, the GDPR enacted by the EU will come into effect.
Stronger rules on data protection from May 2018 mean citizens have more control over their data.
There’s a great infographic breaking down the different components. The GDPR for WordPress site includes a summary of site owners’ obligations in regards to collecting data related to EU citizens, which we’ve listed below:
- Tell the user who you are, why you collect the data, for how long, and who receives it.
- Get a clear consent [when required] before collecting any data.
- Let users access their data, and take it with them.
- Let users delete their data.
- Let users know if data breaches occur.
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.
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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.
April 9, 2015 - 2 Comments
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.