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Insights and tips from our email marketing experiments

January 27, 2017 - 16 Comments

Email marketing has long been — and remains — a popular method for acquiring customers and boosting sales. And it’s no small wonder, with 91% of consumers in the United States checking their email every single day.

Finding the right strategies to use in your emails is a tricky thing. You need to think about what messages your customers will respond to, what calls to action they’ll click, and what will even make them open an email in the first place. You also need to review and improve upon your strategies so you keep making money.

Here at WooCommerce, email is a big part of what we do — it’s how we communicate with our customers, not to mention the community. Over the last few years, we’ve spent a lot of time experimenting with and learning from email. Now we’re ready to pass those learnings along to you.

Today we’re going to share some of the best things we’ve learned about email subject lines, graphics, and length so you can use our experiments to grow your own store and improve your customer communication.

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How to build your WooCommerce store to last

January 13, 2017 - 21 Comments

Once you’ve made the decision to build a store with WooCommerce, you don’t want anything to slow you down.

If your store isn’t built with longevity in mind, however, you could run into trouble as time goes on. You might see product pages load slowly, extensions stop functioning, or even encounter serious issues like data loss or security breaches.

These are all issues that will ultimately lead to one thing: a decline in — or complete loss of  — paying customers.

To keep your WooCommerce store profitable, you need to build it with long-term stability, safety, and performance in mind. Let’s take a look at how you can build a WooCommerce store that will last for months, years, and beyond.

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Woo Year In Review 2016

December 27, 2016 - 26 Comments

Hello, Howdy, G’Day, etc,

I’m Todd Wilkens, the new Head of WooCommerce. It’s been an amazing year here at Woo and I want to take a moment to share some thoughts and facts about our team and this great community that you are a crucial part of. In fact, before anything else, let me say thank you:

To every user, customer, and Open Source community contributor out there: WooCommerce exists for and because of you. It’s because of you that the most-used eCommerce platform for WordPress and, therefore, the most widely used eCommerce platform in the world exists. Thank you!

The end of the year is near, and it’s a time for reflecting. Read on for thoughts on the year gone by, what worked and what didn’t, and what we’re excited about for 2017.

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What you can learn from Woo’s holiday sales

December 9, 2016 - 12 Comments

We run a couple of major holiday sales on WooCommerce.com each year, including Hallowoon, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. The challenge as each one comes around is: how do we keep running them bigger, better, and fresher?

This year we tried a few new things that increased conversions. We learned a lot from these experiences, and decided to write about them as we thought you might be able to learn from them as well.

Read on for some key questions to ask before running a sale, tips on creating a positive sale experience, and what there is to be learnt from Woo’s holiday sales.

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How to get holiday shopper-friendly site navigation

October 17, 2016 - 1 Comment

The holiday season can have a profound impact on the behavior of your customers. Shoppers that might usually wait patiently for deliveries become annoyed with delays, and the stress over picking the perfect gift can cause otherwise polite people to send rude emails or cancel orders on a whim.

This change in behavior can also lead to a change in the way that customers navigate your store. If someone knows exactly what they want, they’ll probably turn to site search — but holiday shoppers may be more likely to use your menus, widgets, footer, and other navigational options to browse what’s available and learn more about your business.

If your store’s navigation isn’t useful for holiday shoppers, it can lead to them ditching you for a competitor. Shoppers just don’t have the time or the patience to struggle with confusing menus or missing pages this time of year… which means that your mistakes here could be costly.

Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to prepare your store for the upcoming holiday season, and how you can get navigational options that are better suited for these busy shoppers.

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Getting your WooCommerce settings right for the holiday rush

October 14, 2016 - 5 Comments

As you head into the holiday season, it’s common to think big picture — as in, what are the big things you’re going to do to drive traffic, increase sales, and keep your customers happy?

But let’s slow it down and think, for a second or two, about the little things. The little details that go into each aspect of your store, marketing, and support are important, too. And if you go into this busy time of year without thinking about said details, you could run into trouble.

Some of those details include your WooCommerce store’s settings. It’s worth checking on these settings, from your store emails to your low stock threshold to the text in your site-wide notice, before things get really busy. Wait too long and a simple mistake could end up costing you a sale… or worse.

To help you prepare, we’ve put together a list of some of the WooCommerce settings you should check before the holidays begin. Read on to find out what to do, when to do it, and why.

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7 WooCommerce extensions for more loyal customers

September 9, 2016 - 6 Comments

After you build your store and open it up to customers, your focus will shift to from generating sales to generating loyalty — and with good reason. As we explained previously, if you can get a customer to come back for a second purchase, the chances of them sticking with your store will dramatically increase.

There are a ton of ways you can make shoppers loyal to one brand over another. Pricing is one angle you can take. An amazing customer support policy is another. But loyalty doesn’t have to rely on cheap prices or friendly emails.

Occasional treats, payment flexibility, and friendly, open communication can turn your newest customers into lifetime ones. And with a few specific WooCommerce extensions, you can add these loyalty-boosters to your store in a flash — no custom code or development needed.

Let’s take a look at seven extensions that you can start using today to boost the loyalty of your shoppers.

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The building block philosophy of Storefront

September 6, 2016 - 5 Comments

Today we released Storefront Powerpack, an extension that allows you to change the appearance of Storefront theme for WooCommerce — without touching a single line of code. Powerpack allows anyone to customize their store without dabbling in HTML or CSS, and the results of those customizations can be seen instantly.

Powerpack in action. Edit any element in Storefront and see the results instantly.
Powerpack in action. Edit any element in Storefront and see the results in a flash.

As we prepared to release this extension, we realized we’d never written very much about the thinking behind Storefront’s development, and why we’ve chosen to break functionality out into extensions instead of packaging it into the theme itself. “Why not just make Powerpack part of Storefront?” we thought you might ask.

Today, we’re setting aside a couple minutes to explain our “building block” philosophy behind Storefront, and how it’s influenced the development of extensions like Powerpack.

Care to learn more? Read on.

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10 WooCommerce stores selling awesome and unusual things

September 2, 2016 - 11 Comments

When we say you can sell anything with WooCommerce, we really do mean anything. Physical products, digital goods, monthly subscriptions, content available only to paying members, event ticketsbookings for hotels or even your time — it’s all possible.

We occasionally stumble across stores that have taken this sell-anything-anywhere philosophy to a new level. Sometimes they’re using one of our extensions in a clever or unexpected way. Sometimes what they’re selling is unusual, smart, or just makes us shout “wow!” at our screens.

To give you a little inspiration (or perhaps an idea for a holiday gift?), we’ve gathered up ten WooCommerce-powered stores selling awesome and unusual things. And believe me — it was hard to choose only ten!

Have a look at how these ten stores are taking WooCommerce to the next level, delighting their customers, and offering something you can’t find anywhere else.

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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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How Woo uses content as part of the sales process

August 16, 2016 - 8 Comments

There are a ton of ways your store to convince shoppers to make a purchase. Well-rounded product pages, quality copywriting, targeted social media advertising, emails — they’ll all get the job done.

But some of your potential customers might not be ready to make a commitment. They might be new to your products or services, or learning what separates your store from another. And that’s why educational content is an awesome addition, because it allows shoppers to learn about you in a natural way, and at their own pace.

At WooCommerce, we’ve ramped up the creation of content, its promotion, and its usage in our marketing over the last 15 months. It’s become a critical part of our sales process, and something that we can no longer imagine operating without.

Today I’ll be pulling back the curtain to give you a behind-the-scenes look at how we produce and use our content with sales in mind, all so you can take away some ideas and inspiration for the content on your store.

If you’re interested in seeing how a business like ours uses content marketing, keep reading!

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The importance of keeping your store updated

July 19, 2016 - 13 Comments

If the sight of the “updates available” notification in your WordPress dashboard fills you with a sense of dread, you’re not alone.

"Not again..."
“Not again…”

Updating your WordPress plugins and themes or WooCommerce and its extensions can sometimes be an easy process — just a few seconds of waiting and you’re set. But it can also involve backups, testing, additional updates, and even support requests. Basically, the hassles no one likes.

But avoiding or putting off these occasional hassles can put your site at risk, and even potentially affect your customers. So while you may not always like to go through the process of keeping your WooCommerce store 100% updated, there are many reasons to do it.

Let’s take a look at why it’s important to update your store in a timely manner, starting with some background on why we update WooCommerce and its extensions in the first place.

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Winning others over: announcing WooCommerce.com

July 3, 2016 - 51 Comments

Today marks an important milestone for our team: WooCommerce finally has its own home.

We’ve moved our site over from WooThemes.com to WooCommerce.com to provide focus for our team, clarity for our customers and to reflect what has become Woo’s core business.

Read on to learn some of the history behind WooCommerce and what motivated this change in our site.

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10 surprising things you can do with WooCommerce

June 22, 2016 - 6 Comments

Just starting out with WooCommerce? Or are you a seasoned pro?

Regardless of your level of experience with WooCommerce or eCommerce in general, its potential may surprise you. There are hidden features in the core plugin that may come in handy, powerful options enabled via extensions, and unrecognized productivity hacks you can try out to make your day easier.

The beauty of WooCommerce is that its potential for growth and expansion enables you — either as a store owner or developer — to build amazing things. And the more you know about the platform’s capabilities, the more you can create with it!

Our aim today is to give both you newbies and pros a look at 10 things you might not have known you could accomplish with WooCommerce. From on-page features to automation, here are a few tips and tricks you’ll love to be “in the know” about.

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WooCommerce 2.6 has shipping zones (and more!)

June 14, 2016 - 93 Comments

TL;DR: New features are available for WooCommerce – update via your WordPress Dashboard. To make the process as smooth as possible, view our documentation on how to updatemake a backup, update your extensions and finally update WooCommerce.

If you’re a developer looking for technical details, read the release post on the Develop WooCommerce blog here.

It’s been a few months since our last major update, and in that time, we’ve been working on a veritable smorgasbord of improvements to WooCommerce. For 2.6, we’ve:

  • Added shipping zones
  • Improved the cart experience
  • Created a new My Account area design
  • Added new options for filtering products
  • Made updates to the payment options available through the onboarding wizard
  • Thrown in some goodies for developers, including a new payment tokenization and the alignment of our API with the WordPress REST API

That’s a lot of stuff for you to explore in the release of Zipping Zebra, so let’s dig into the details.

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The first 5 things you should customize in WooCommerce

June 7, 2016 - 4 Comments

Starting a WooCommerce store? You’ve got a lot to consider, from what you plan on selling to how you’re going to market it.

Deciding what to start with first is tricky. As you’re setting up your store, you have a lot of decisions to make, and likely not a lot of time to make them in. You may wonder what you should set up or customize first to make the rest of the process as smooth as possible.

To help you properly prioritize, we’ve put together this short list of the first few things you should customize in WooCommerce. These items will get you started on the right foot and ensure you have the groundwork covered before you add products or set up marketing methods.

Let’s take a look at the first five things that should be customized on any new WooCommerce site, plus some helpful articles that will give you a deeper dive into getting these aspects right as you work on building your store.

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