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 - 15 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 27, 2018 - 12 Comments
At Yoast, we optimize every aspect of websites’ performance. Our goal is to make the web a better place by making websites more usable, easier to navigate, faster, and more reliable.
In September 2017 we migrated our webshop from Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) to WooCommerce — it’s where we sell all the tools, products, and content available on yoast.com. In this post I’ll explain why we did it, what we built, and what the benefits will be for us and for our users in the future. WooCommerce has provided us the technical foundation to build on for years to come.
February 22, 2018 - 10 Comments
You’ve decided to take the leap. You or your client is going to start an online business.
You’ve chosen WooCommerce and WordPress to power your store. You’re planning to include a subscriptions component to sell more with less work.
You’ve made some great decisions already, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy!
WooCommerce Subscriptions now powers recurring payments for more than 15,000 stores. Over the last five years, as part of the team developing the software, I’ve learned a lot about subscriptions from a technical perspective and want to share these lessons.
Taking 10 minutes to read this article, then acting on its recommendations could give you a return of weeks and thousands of dollars in savings.
I’m going to focus on three important areas:
- Choosing a host
- Choosing a payment gateway and extension
- Being discerning with code you run on your site
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 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 7, 2018 - 18 Comments
It’s no secret that as a retailer, your mobile strategy has become more and more important to staying competitive. As much as 50% of eCommerce transactions come from mobile today. In the holiday season of 2017, mobile purchases (tablet + smartphone) set a new holiday record, generating 47% of visits and 33% of revenue.
Despite the quantity of mobile traffic, over 75% of sites take over 10 seconds to load on a 3G connection. A slow loading site results in content shifting around on the page as users are reading or interacting. Buttons are unresponsive resulting in seemingly broken pages and frustrated users. And worst of all, sometimes the page times out, leaving your customers in the no-man’s land of loading spinners.
It’s no wonder that 53% of mobile site visitors leave after 3 seconds. And this affects your bottom line – we’ve seen that just a one-second delay in load time can lead to a 7% decrease in conversions. As a customer, it’s easy to complain about a slow site, but as a retailer, creating a fast and functional mobile site often takes a lot of effort and requires constant updating.
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.
What’s new in WooCommerce 3.3: Revamped Orders screen, shop display improvements, and stock management improvements.
January 30, 2018 - 60 Comments
Since our last minor release in October, we’ve been working on a variety of improvements to WooCommerce:
- Redesigned Orders screen for easier order management.
- Simpler and more intuitive stock management.
- Image sizing and theme compatibility improvements.
- Shop customization features.
To ensure this update is stable, we’ve been doing plenty of testing and QA on our side with an extended beta period, increased unit and integration test coverage, compatibility testing with our extensions, working with customers to do managed updates, and running 3.3 on WooCommerce.com.
WooCommerce 3.3 is a minor release, meaning it should be fully backwards compatible with all WooCommerce releases since 3.0. However, it’s still considered best practice, and recommended, to backup before updating.
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 9, 2018 - 86 Comments
Stripe is a popular payment service provider for eCommerce stores worldwide, and we’re pleased to announce we’ve shipped a major release with a multitude of new features to enhance your experience of working with WooCommerce and Stripe.
- Payment acceptance using European and other non-U.S. payment gateways
- Fully PCI compliant credit card form on your checkout
- Improved support for Apple Pay and the Web Payment Requests API
- Simpler way to connect your WooCommerce store to Stripe
To ensure this update is stable, we’ve done a lot of testing on our side: Releasing beta versions, testing with our own library of extensions and themes, and testing with the most popular extensions used alongside WooCommerce Stripe. 👏
WooCommerce Stripe 4.0 includes lots of code improvements and should be fully backwards compatible with 3.1 and 3.0, but it’s still best to perform a backup before updating.
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 28, 2017 - 9 Comments
We’ve had quite a year at WooCommerce, including three major core releases, launching new extensions such as Facebook and Fulfillment by Amazon, kick-starting WooCommerce Services, upgrading WooCommerce.com account management, hosting WooConf in Seattle, re-igniting our Affiliate Network, and more!
Also this year, we shared more about the customers that typically find their way to WooCommerce.com. They are:
- Building sites for themselves
- Creating complex stores with multiple product types
- Residing all over the world, across industries.
Developers choose WooCommerce.com for its openness and the option to customize to their heart’s content, often with stable and well-supported extensions. We’re grateful to everyone who put their trust in our platform this year and continue to make the journey alongside us.
December 19, 2017 - Leave a comment
With predictions of online shopping phasing out retail outlets in the next decade, people are increasingly jumping on the online store’s bandwagon. Developing a WooCommerce project requires time and expertise that sometimes might not be available at your agency when you need it, forcing you to look for help elsewhere, like freelance developers.
If you have come to the stage where you need to call in a specialist, what are the things to consider? How do you make the new “additions” as smooth as possible? But also: what if your client has already some in-house developers available?
If things aren’t planned and executed very thoroughly, it could be a real mess with so many people involved.
December 12, 2017 - 10 Comments
It’s probably one of the most common questions you’ve been asked in your professional life: “How much would a new WooCommerce store cost us?”. Any of its variants count as well: “how much will you guys charge us to build that extension?”. If you’ve worked on a WooCommerce project, you get the gist.
As someone who’s making a living delivering code, and web solutions, you’re often faced with clients who think that coming up with a price is the easiest thing for you to do. Many have product-oriented minds so that they fail to see what’s behind a price for a new WooCommerce store or anything that relates to code. Because of this, many clients reach out to WooCommerce specialists with loose project briefs, or just without having put some additional thoughts into why they’re even embarking in that new project.
That’s why I sat down and dug deep into this key topic with WooExpert and Codeable expert Mitchell Callahan of SAU/CAL who walks us through nine key elements to both gather insights from the client’s mindset and allow the hired developers to chalk out a correct estimate of a project with not fully specified requirements.
November 28, 2017 - 1 Comment
Expanding product sales to a global customer base can be a great avenue to increase volume and revenue. But selling across borders brings a host of questions. One of the areas most impacted is shipping. Let’s dive right in!
Quick WooCommerce settings
In selecting locations, you can choose to sell to all countries or to specific countries. Similarly, you can choose to ship to only those countries you sell to or to specific countries.
WooCommerce 2.6 introduced shipping zones: a geographic region that allows you to customize shipping methods and options based on a customer’s location. Each zone can contain multiple shipping methods.
For example, you can offer free shipping for a domestic zone and flat rate shipping for an international zone. Learn how to set up zones at WooCommerce Shipping Zone.