Adapting: How WordPress & eCommerce can 'Woo' you
Feeling the effects of our drastically changing economy as a business owner? COVID-19 is not only affecting how we interact with our customers, but how we engage and sell to them virtually. Is your business adapting to the growing, evolving and vital online market?
At Cheeky Monkey Media, we understand the importance of reaching your customers. Technology is a wonderful thing that provides us with a multitude of ways we can reach them without face to face interactions. We want to support and share with you our knowledge about the technology that can do just that. (While most of this information is written in such a way to support businesses that are NOT already online, this information is just as relevant to existing online businesses)
Wordpress and eCommerce are a great way to extend your business’s reach, by allowing customers to shop, order, and purchase safely, online. We have put together some essentials for you to help amplify your organization’s influence on the world wide web.
WordPress is a great Content Management System (CMS) with a variety of possibilities. WordPress is a free and straightforward platform with the ability to customize and/or develop all kinds of websites. Perfect for small to large scale businesses.
It can be simple to manage whether or not you have any technical background. It is a great first time CMS for any business owner. 28.6% of all websites are powered by WordPress, making it the most used platform in the world.
Once you install WordPress or have partnered with an experienced agency to do it for you, you will need to have previously decided on a theme. WordPress comes with a large library of themes to choose from (some are free, some aren’t). Duly note that not all are commerce-focused themes. With eCommerce plugins (which we will get to), many of those also include free storefront themes.
When you and your agency have installed Wordpress and the agreed upon theme, your next step is partnering with a payment option or gateway. When you move your business online (if you aren’t already), customers will need the ability to easily go from browsing to placing an order, to payment options easily. The most common payment method, for a smooth transaction process, is credit card or debit.
It will be important to do some research to see which payment gateway works best for you and your business. Your partnered agency will be happy to work with you and recommend the best solution for your business. There are a variety of payment methods to choose from such as PayPal, Stripe, Square, Moneris, Amazon Pay and more. As you work with your partner agency, you can narrow down which gateway works for your business the best and which payment methods are accepted and the cost(s) per transaction to your business. You can learn more about the top payment gateways here that integrate with WooCommerce.
WooCommerce is easily one of the most customizable and popular eCommerce platforms. With over 89,250,634 downloads, it can be a great choice for your business. WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin, boasting extensive features and is user-friendly for your business. It allows customers to easily access your store online, browse, then buy with ease.
Moving your business online doesn’t have to be scary. WooCommerce creates a great experience for users without sacrificing your website’s administrators' sanity. When creating an online shopping experience for your customers, WooCommerce does a great job of hosting your store online with very stable interactions for your users while providing 100% seamless integration with WordPress.
Running promotions, campaigns, and having options for delivery, will be an important feature for you as a business owner. WooCommerce allows you to select different options for your promotions, discounts, and delivery, while also providing the ability for limiting the amount of product sold to each customer (if applicable, which these days it is!)
As you decide to move (or amp up) your business online to allow your customers access to your business at any time, you will have to consider delivery methods. Fulfilling your customers' transactions/orders in a timely, cost-efficient manner, will be very important. WooCommerce has a variety of options available for shipping & delivery. (free and paid services)
One option you will have to decide on when selecting your shipping/delivery methods is the cost to your customers. Options to consider include,
- Flat Rate - One of the easiest options for both business owners and customers. Flat rate is a static price no matter the weight or spend, it will stay the same.
- Delivery Fee Tier - Have pricing tiers for shipping nationwide and weight of the package. This is the most cost-efficient option for a business owner, putting the shipping on the customer.
- Free Shipping - Another option to consider, especially during COVID-19, is free shipping for a limited time or if a customer spends over a minimum dollar amount. This option entices your customers to act on purchasing more to meet the minimum “free shipping” amount.
Most importantly, when setting up your website, you will need to buy a domain name. To have your customers find you online, you will need a unique domain name that showcases and/or represents your business. Generally, your domain name reflects your existing business name. For example: Cheeky Monkey Media….www.CheekyMonkeyMedia.ca. Remember, keep it simple and intuitive for your customers to search for!
At Cheeky Monkey Media, for user friendly domain name purchases, we recommend namecheap.com or
webnames.ca. If you are unsure about the next steps, your partnered agency would be happy to guide you through each step.
With your website, you will have to choose a hosting platform that is not only secure but reliable. As you do your research, there is a variety of hosting platforms available, but you will need to choose one that fits your website's needs and can handle the amount of “traffic” it engages.
At Cheeky Monkey Media, we recommend Pantheon as your WordPress host. Pantheon provides the support & virtual environment(s) you need to build and execute fast WordPress sites. Regardless of whether you are a small scale company or a larger “enterprise level” business, this means your customers should be provided with improved user experience. Pantheon offers multiple environments, secured hosting, 24/7 support, high page loading speed and much more. You can read about WordPress and Pantheon hosting here.
The ever-evolving online world for consumers and businesses is changing and it can be daunting. There is no need to go it alone or be left behind! At Cheeky Monkey Media, we are here to support you and your organization with some great WordPress options to extend your availability and reach to your customers.
With the rise of all things virtual not slowing down anytime soon, this is no time to wait. Let us help you join the cyber revolution by helping you create or update your website. With over 12 years of experience in the web development industry, we are ready, willing and able to assist where we can!