Set up an online store and gain more customers than ever!
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The year 2020 will certainly be one we won’t forget in a hurry. Due to the global Coronavirus pandemic, many shops have been forced to close their physical brick and mortar premises. For most big brands this hasn’t been a total disaster because the eCommerce arm of their business has quickly picked up the slack.
What about small to medium sizes businesses (SME) though? Many do not have an online presence and have been left to deal with the fallout of the UK governments decision to close all non-essential retail until further notice.
It’s easy to move your physical store online with WooCommerce, a trusted WordPress plugin that already powers about 30% of all eCommerce sites!
CEB Creative specialises in the bespoke design and development of WooCommerce websites to get you selling online in no time.
It’s the year 2020. Why doesn’t every business have a website?
Having an eCommerce store might seem like an obvious thing to do, it’s the year 2020 after all. A lot of small business owners tell me they know they need it but worry about the investment an eCommerce store might require and the technical know-how to manage it.
It’s more important than ever to make sure my client’s brick and mortar shop has an online presence. While social media profiles and eBay pages are nice, neither of these are sustainable if their business plan is to grow and sell more and more products. This is why I strongly recommend my client’s invest in eCommerce even if they have successful brick and mortar shops. Enter WordPress and WooCommerce!
In this post, I’ll talk about:
- What makes WooCommerce the best eCommerce platform
- How I can help you to set up an online store using WooCommerce (and WordPress!)
- Expert tips to make your online shop stand out from the crowd
What makes WooCommerce the best eCommerce platform
Why do I recommend WooCommerce over other eCommerce platforms like Squarespace and Shopify? While they all offer a variety of features, benefits, and price points, WooCommerce is a trusted WordPress plugin that already powers about 30% of all eCommerce sites! It doesn’t matter if my client owns a small, handmade gift shop or a multi-chain lifestyle store, WooCommerce will be perfect for both.
Users choose WooCommerce because:
- It’s cost-effective (free!)
- It super-secure
- It’s extremely flexible
I mentioned at the beginning of my post that some small businesses steer clear of putting their shop online because of concerns about costs. WordPress and WooCommerce make eCommerce very cost-efficient! Just like any website, there is a cost associated with getting a WordPress site up and running with a great domain and hosting provider but both WordPress and WooCommerce are 100% free to use and build on. The average cost of a domain and hosting in the UK is about £15-20 per month, cheaper than most mobile phone contracts! This comes with the added bonus of making sales and making money. Given your brick and mortar shop is online, that cost should bring a satisfied smile to your face.
WooCommerce offers flexible and secure payments. Out of the box, it allows you to accept major credit cards, bank transfers (BACS), checks, and cash on delivery. If you need to go beyond the basics, there are 140 region-specific gateways to choose from and integrate with, including Stripe, PayPal, and Apple Pay. Lots of other gateway payment options are also supported.
It’s extremely flexible
Just like WordPress, WooCommerce is open-source! This means that you can do as much or as little as you want when it comes to building a site-specific for your business. It can be paired with my bespoke theme which includes Woo support. This will allow you to have the exact design to match your shops brand or aesthetic.
In addition to a fully bespoke theme, WooCommerce has more than 400 extensions, from payments and shipping to bookings and accounting. This means it’s easy to create the online shopping experience your customers want.
WooCommerce is owned by Automattic Inc. – an American global distributed company most notable for WordPress.com, as well as its contributions to WordPress. This is all starting to make sense, just like the WordPress community, the WooCommerce community is a place where people genuinely want to help and you can often get five start support FREE!
How I can help you to set up an online store using WooCommerce (and WordPress!)
It’s time to enable you to start selling online by building your new WooCommerce site. Here’s a preview of the steps we’ll follow to create your eCommerce store:
- First, you need to register your domain.
- Set up a business email so you can receive orders and provide a contact point for customers.
- Design and build your new website which includes a full Woo setup and adding products.
- Test the website to make sure everything is running smoothly.
- Launch your new site!
1. Register your domain
The first thing you need to do is to ensure customers can find your website. This is where picking the best domain really counts. Once you have picked a domain, I always recommend using 123-reg as your domain registrar. Once you’ve chosen that, I will get you set up on my fully managed WordPress hosting. There are plenty of dirt-cheap options available online for hosting, but I highly recommend going with a managed WordPress hosting to avoid server issues that might prevent customers from using your website. For £20/month, your site will be in safe hands with me, allowing you can focus on creating a beautiful virtual shopfront. I will take care of the technical stuff things and ensure super site speed, hacker-free security, and hassle-free support if you have any problems!
2. Set up a business email
Google G Suite can get you up and running with a professional business email for £4.14 per month per user.
It’s just like the regular Gmail that you may already be familiar with just enhanced for business, with admin controls and no ads. Swap @gmail.com with your own domain to create professional email addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
It comes with a bunch of extras including 30GB of Google Drive cloud storage.
3. Bespoke WooCommerce website design and build
Get in touch with a WooCoomerce developer like CEB Creative who can get you set up with a professional eCommerce website on the most popular and reliable CMS, WordPress! With around 18 million installations, WordPress is the most-used open source CMS worldwide.
4. Testing and optimising
Before any of my eCommerce websites go live to the general public, we’ll work together to fully test and optimise the checkout process. This is very important to ensure a smooth and simple user experience for those new online customers.
Additional advanced technical optimisation is also available to enhance website performance. Search engines and customers love fast sites that perform well on a range of devices.
Your new eCommerce site is now live and it’s time to start selling! In the current economic climate expanding your businesses online to make it more visible and accessible for your customers is crucial.
More tips to make your online shop stand out from the crowd
Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step towards making your products and services more accessible to your customers. While these next few things aren’t essential for their business to run online, they will help bring in more business.
- Use social and your online store together
- Make sure you have invested in showcasing your products or services with brilliant photography and great content
- Promote your products and services!
Use social and your online store together
Now that you have an eCommerce site displaying all of your amazing products, you should promote it across your social media channels! This is a great way to increase traffic to your website (and an easy way to attract more paying customers!).
Make sure your social media channels reflect your brand and invest in some social media graphics if required to get things looking sparkly. You can link your products to social channels such as Facebook and Instagram to widen your customer reach.
Brilliant photography and great content
One common problem freelance developers like me run into when creating an eCommerce store, is not having professional photos of your products. This really can make or break a customer’s digital shopping experience so it’s crucial you invest in high-quality imagery.
Another thing that is frequently overlooked is great content. If you have a brilliantly unique product then for goodness sake tell people about it! A couple of scrappy sentences simply doesn’t do it justice and is of zero use to customers and search engines.
Promote your products and services!
If you are just starting out with a new website then you might want to speed things up with some paid advertising (PPC). There are lots of channels you can use for this including Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram etc. Three rules to stick to when investing in any form of paid advertising.
- Identify your niche (choose appropriate keywords for your products and services)
- Identify your audience (target personas for the customers you are after)
- Monitor ROI (Return on Investment) by using tracking tools.
Facebook Pixel is a useful way of tracking the effectiveness of external promotions and ads for your website products. Other tools include things like Google Analytics and keyword trackers.
Ready to start selling online?
I specialise in WooCommerce which is one of the best eCommerce platforms available. Get in touch to discuss your store requirements and receive expert advice.