10 Digital Marketing Principals for Woo-Commerce

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[Guest post by Kristina Petrick]

Finalized WordPress as your next website platform and want to take it to the next level? WooCommerce is a fastly growing group of passionate team members committed to creating the ultimate WordPress toolkit that can produce a website that hardly resembles a packaged template design with elevated digital marketing capabilities.

Founded in 2008, WooCommerce as provided over 1M downloads to date and proudly supports over 30% of all online stores. Providing a range of WordPress themes and plugins, they elevate websites to next-level experiences for site managers and audiences alike.

Learn these 10 following digital marketing principals to master the WooCommerce terrain and transform a flat website to an innovative digital experience.

  1. Selecting a Theme
  2. Going eCommerce
  3. Managing Products
  4. Customizations
  5. Updates and Testing
  6. Using Extensions
  7. Navigating Plugins
  8. Payment Gateways
  9. Checkout
  10. Reporting

Selecting a Theme

As the digital, visual representation of a brand or business – it’s important that a website clearly portrays the correct identity and aesthetics in the visuals (UI). And while what looks “good” is largely subjective, one should consider the fonts, layout and styling which best represents that identity. Bear in mind that many themes are beautiful with images already plugged in – and that your images will be replacing those beauties. Try to look past the imagery displayed, and when you finalize upload only best quality photos to the site.

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Image Source: woocommerce.com

Consider the user experience (UX). Walk through some sites which are currently using that theme and see if it has a natural flow for the target audience. And also, don’t forget to make sure you’ve selected the latest version before download. To ensure the theme is active, WooCommerce has incorporated a meta tag which should look something like this in the source:

woocommerce-version
Image Source: docs.woocommerce.com

Do not use the version if it is out of date, and test to ensure for responsive web design. Google ranks pages differently if they’re unresponsive, and neglecting this quick-check can prove extremely detrimental to the visibility of the site.

Going eCommerce

Gaining a lot of their steam through being the most customizable eCommerce platforms through WordPress, WooCommerce has now equaled the usage of the popular platform Shopify and is crawling up on mega-platform Magento.

ecommerce-statistics
Image Source: trends.builtwith.com

The process is pretty smooth and is a low-cost option for eCommerce at entry level. A few things to consider: Payment methods are limited in WooCommerce, and if you have inventory that needs to be automatically updated – this platform may not be right for you. While WooCommerce does let you have a greater amount of control of your website, has low fees and a lot of flexibility – you’ll also need to have a working experience in coding and now how to make minor adjustments on your own unless you’re ready to dish out a hefty support bill.

Managing Products

As mentioned above, WooCommerce won’t update your inventory on its own. So if you sell an item, you’ll need to make that adjustment in the backend of the system. While the process is less-than-daunting, make sure an experienced tech is available in case you run into any snags.

On the other hand, adding product descriptions, drop-down options and more are simple to manage in this platform.

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Image Source: pexels.com

Customizations

Digital marketing enthusiasts love the flexibility of WooCommerce’s visual fluidity. With a little bit of coding experience (or a couple hours of tutorials and cut-and-past code) you can modify fonts, colors, layout and just about every aspect of your site.

Updates and Testing

As new WooCommerce updates are released, the team rigorously tests WooCommerce and its extensions. But in case anything is overlooked, it’s always wise to keep up a backup of your store data which is secure and easy to restore should the unfortunate need arise.

WooCommerce recommends backing up with VaultPress on either a daily or even hourly basis depending on the value of information which is being updated frequently. It’s automatic, and hardly noticeable running behind the scenes.

woocommerce-backups
Image Source: woocommerce.com

You can also use VaultPress as a testing environment for any major changes before publishing them to the live site.

Using Extensions

Think of extensions as “options”. Extensions can add a variety of functionalities to your site from payment gateways to membership programs. WooCommerce extension “Product Add-Ons” adds product options like personalized engravings and product waitlists. “Dynamic Pricing” allows you to play with the most popular savings options with customized discounts like Buy 2 get 1 Free or Gold membership discounts.

These types of extensions can increase your customer engagement and sell-through rate by guiding shoppers through a personalized experience.

Navigating Plugins

A plugin is another form of extension, and usually refers to a third party software that interacts with another program. While the line between “extensions” and “plugins” is a bit murky, WooCommerce does separate them on their site, and considers itself a plugin. Rightfully so, as the extensions found in WooCommerce as a whole provide unique interactions as described by the definition.

Aside from WooCommerce itself, additional plugins available on site are Sensei for teaching coursework, WooSlider to manage slideshows within WordPress pages, and more – including plugins to manage overrides, projects, testimonials and team bios.

navigation
Image Source: aumcore.com

Payment Gateways

WooCommerce supports a variety of payment gateways, but keep in mind these third-party programs have their own set of rules, rates and fees that apply. In this step, it is crucial to review all requirements you may have from payment method, user flow, currency options and more before finalizing on a gateway. The principal here is to dig deep or risk a mistake that will dig deep into your pockets.

woocommerce-payment-gateways
Image Source: docs.woocommerce.com

Checkout

One of the great features of WooCommerce is the fully customizable checkout page with the Checkout Manager. You can manage each and every field making some required and some optional, add order summaries, receipts, query and text input, check boxes, date selection and more. Create conditional fields, replace text, allow customers to upload files, retain field information and set defaults to give shoppers the smoothest checkout experience and capitalize on the information provided.

Reporting

Last but not least in this series of WooCommerce principles, be sure to take advantage of the platform’s reporting allowing you to view sales volumes, top sellers and more. This information can be sorted by sales date, product, category or customer which can be a valuable asset when identifying your target audience and key buyers.

woocommerce-reporting
Image Source: docs.woocommerce.com

These are 10 essential principles provide a direct overview of the services and elements offered by WooCommerce that can be leveraged through a digital marketing strategy to increase customer engagement and reach higher sales volumes. Whether new to the world of eCommerce or just reviewing your options, carefully consider these points to determine if WooCommerce is the right platform for business’s success.

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