Getting more out of Woocommerce
this post originally appeared on my blog, at freshentials.eu/getting-woocommerce
I’ve (somewhat) recently set up a little ecommerce business and I’d like to think that I’ve learned a few valuable lessons along the way. Today, I’d like to share some of those lessons with you.
For the sake of brevity, we’ll have to assume that you’ve already picked out a business, a name, set up your hosting, and installed WordPress with WooCommerce. This post would end up much too long otherwise, as entire books have been written on this subject. There are also many online resources that can help. A personal favorite of mine is this multitude of subreddits. Check it out!
We’ll also assume that, since you’ve managed to set up WooCommerce, you’ve added products, installed a nice theme, changed the settings to what you want, et cetera, et cetera. Perhaps even more important, you should set up some security plugins and maybe something that will help with performance and SEO. You’re almost there — almost ready to launch! But before you do, I want to help you get that extra bit of oomph out of your ecommerce site.
Make sure your social media sites are ready to go
You’re probably eager to start selling, and you want to launch as soon as possible. You’ll probably tell all your friends, if you haven’t already, and ask them to post your link on Facebook, Twitter, or whatever other social media they use. But have you made sure your own social media sites are ready to go? You could really take advantage of that first wave of buzz they’ll generate, and it can be a great way to introduce yourself to potential new customers.
So make sure your Facebook page is up to date, with correct information, and make sure it looks great! Of course, this also goes for Twitter, Google Plus, and others. Having the right images (profile picture, cover photo, etc.) can make or break the appearance of your social media channels. There are quite a few resources available on this — just google “social media image sizes” — but I’ve found this blog in particular to be accurate and up to date.
Make sure your website is (and looks) legit
When I first started Freshentials, I figured the most important bit was to launch a website that has products on it. While this is true, it doesn’t mean that everything else is unimportant. I forgot some of these things, which may have cost me a sale or two. What really helped me, was getting someone to actually test my website and tell me what their thoughts were. A good way to get someone to do this for you is by getting a free user test from Peek Usertesting.
Especially if you’re selling things that people are going to be putting in their mouths, it’s nice to know who’s behind a business. And if you’re going to be taking people’s data, make sure they know you’re handling it responsibly. So here’s a quick (and probably non-exhaustive) checklist:
- Have a way for people to contact you on your website. Preferably not just a contact form, but also an email address and phone number.
- Have some information about your company. Post about who’s running it (even better if you have a picture) and maybe even put up an address (especially if you have an office).
- Have general terms and conditions on your website. These don’t need to be anything fancy, just an outline of what people can expect — especially if something goes awry. Feel free to take a look at ours and copy them for your own use.
- Tell people what you’ll do with their data. Customers will be trusting you to handle it responsibly. As a corollary: don’t ask for data you don’t need. For instance, Freshentials doesn’t ask for a phone number, because what would we do with it?
- Although you probably don’t really need it, you could install an SSL certificate. They can be gotten quite cheap nowadays, and there are no drawbacks to using SSL. Our host, NameCheap, offers quite affordable ones, plus detailed guides on how to install them.
Edit your email templates
When a customers places an order, they get an email. When that order is shipped, they get an email. They also get emails for orders being processed, and an invoice. In short: they’ll get quite a few emails from you. Take advantage of this by editing your email templates!
WooCommerce’s email templates are pretty good. You could create your own, but also just edit the default ones. To override and edit email templates, copy
to your theme folder:
A great way to get more out of your emails is to include links to social media, for instance in the email footer. You could add something like this to email-footer.php:
<tr > <td colspan=”2" valign=”middle” id=”social” style=”<?php echo $social; ?>”> Don’t forget to like us on <a href=”//www.facebook.com/freshentials" style=”color: #34f1b1;”>Facebook</a>, follow us on <a href=”//twitter.com/Freshentials” style=”color: #34f1b1;”>Twitter</a>, and share your purchase with your friends! You could even earn a <a href=”http://freshentials.eu/discounts/" style=”color: #34f1b1;”>free toothbrush</a>! </td> </tr>
Set up some coupons and go viral
People love a good deal. So don’t forget to offer some ways for people to get a discount! As an added bonus, you could use these to induce a bit of virality. For instance, everyone who refers a friend to Freshentials, gets a free toothbrush!
And don’t forget to tell all your family and friends to post about it on social media!