The famous e-commerce plugin for WordPress, WooCommerce, has recently surged in popularity and has now been downloaded more than 4 million times. The plugin has captured the attention of all types of business owners, and many entrepreneurs are wondering why hundreds of thousands of retailers have chosen WooCommerce as their e-commerce plugin of choice. Here are 6 of the key benefits and features of using the WooCommerce and WordPress for your online store: Read more
Launched in September of 2011, WooCommerce has become the most popular e-commerce plugin designed for WordPress. With over 4.5 million downloads, businesses of all sizes are capitalizing on the strength and ease-of-use of the dominant e-commerce plugin. Celebrated brands such as Entrepreneur, Harley Davidson, and Cosmopolitan have embraced WooCommerce, as well as roughly 400,000 e-commerce sites. With the recent release of WooCommerce 2.2, let’s take a look at 5 key improvements which will enhance your business’s website:
If your e-commerce site suffers from shopping cart abandonment issues, take solace in the fact that you’re not alone: the harsh reality is that the global average shopping cart abandonment rate is a whopping 67%.
Put another way: that represents more than two-thirds of your potential sales – gone with the click of the back button!
Fortunately, shopping cart abandonment has been the subject of intense scrutiny in the past few years with the result that a lot more is known about why customers leave websites before buying. And when you know why something’s going wrong, you can do something about it (or hire an expert to do it for you!).
Major causes of Shopping Cart Abandonment
What makes buyers change their minds – and, more importantly, what can you do to fix it?
Consumers hate unexpected costs.
According to a 2012 survey of 19,000 consumers by WorldPay, the number one reason for shoppers abandoning a purchase was unexpected costs.
Fix: Don’t hide your retail taxes or shipping and handling costs. Let shoppers know upfront what charges you’re adding to the final purchase price. Don’t be sneaky and think you can hide the costs until the last possible moment. Do that and you’ll continue to suffer from abandoned shopping carts.
Consumers are just browsing.
Oftentimes, prospective buyers simply change their minds before reaching the checkout. According to Forrester Research, only 3% of shoppers make a purchase during their first visit to a website. Of the remaining 97%, about 71% will pop something into their basket then leave before buying.
Fix: Use retargeting to entice the ‘just browsers’ back. People who’ve put something into their baskets are already part-sold on your product. With retargeting ads, you stand a very strong chance of enticing those would-be buyers back.
Consumers don’t like being made to create an account.
Making users create accounts with you before they buy is another reason for shopping cart abandonment, according to the web research company, the Baymard Institute. ‘Forced account creation’ was the second biggest purchase turn-off (after ‘Unexpected costs’), according to its survey of 1505 internet users.
Fix: Offer users a ‘guest checkout’ option. Don’t force prospects to create an account with you before they’ve made a purchase. You can always offer them an incentive to create an account or opt-in after they’ve made their first purchase.
Consumers are nervous about buying online.
Users are nervous about trusting their personal information and credit card details with a website they’ve never dealt with before. If they don’t see evidence that your website is safe, they won’t want to hand over their credit card details to you.
Fix: Make sure your website features trust signs. Place trust signs on your payment pages. Test the best placement.
Customers hate paying for shipping.
Online users are not only accustomed to getting things free online but they expect it. Worse, a study by ComScore found that 61% of shoppers would abandon their shopping cart if they weren’t offered free shipping!
In Deloitte’s 2014 Retail Industry Outlook, Alison Kenney Paul, vice chairman and U.S. Retail and Distribution leader, Deloitte LLP, said same-day delivery and free shipping are no longer unique, but expected.
“In our 2013 Holiday Survey, 71 percent of respondents said they would take advantage of free shipping if offered. And roughly two-thirds (68 percent) said that they were more likely to shop online if the retailer offered free shipping.”
Fix: Offer free shipping. If possible, offer your prospective buyers free shipping, even if it means you have to make up the costs somewhere else.
These are among the biggest reasons for buyers changing their minds before purchasing. It’s important to know the reasons for your prospective buyers changing their minds. To do that, survey your prospective customers. And as with all things related to conversion optimization, test everything!
We’ve been building custom content management for e-commerce for over a decade. We have hundreds of satisfied clients selling online right now, but sometimes a new client will come to us to build their online store on a limited budget. They may be a new business, a startup, or just a small or micro-business operating out of their home or garage.
In the past we would have turned these clients away, but today we’re announcing two easy and economical options for small businesses who need to get selling right now and don’t mind some minor inconveniences.
BigCommerce vs Shopify: Hosted Online Store Comparison
RemedyOne is now partners with BigCommerce and Shopify, two of the leading hosted e-commerce providers. Now these solutions aren’t as full-featured as a custom online store, and more established businesses may lose a little credibility going with one of these off-the-shelf systems, but that said, if you’re ready to start selling online and you’re dealing with major budget restrictions, they’re great choices.
Hosted Stores: The Basics
What are ‘hosted online stores’? Put simply, these are pre-existing services, where you can use a pre-built framework to sell your products or services online without the hassle of building your site from scratch.
‘Hosted’ means the company is storing and providing the online store to your customers from their computers, as opposed to you setting up that stuff yourself. Again, you lose a bit of flexibility in order to gain a lot of simplicity.
In the BigCommerce vs Shopify fight, customization plays a large part. How easy is it to customize your store? Both provide theming options, but Shopify’s themes are on the whole better, and you can view examples of them before you sign up (versus BigCommerce where you can’t see them until after you’ve signed up).
BigCommerce has a built-in HTML and CSS editor for advanced customization, and Shopify uses a proprietary language called Liquid to build their themes and templates.
We’ve found Shopify stores to be generally simpler to customize than BigCommerce, but not enough to make a huge difference.
This one is pretty simple – BigCommerce currently doesn’t have blogging functionality. So in this area Shopify wins hands-down. Here at RemedyOne we recommend blogging as a general rule for most companies and it is possible to work-around this limitation to set up a blog on a BigCommerce site, but for simplicity’s sake, Shopify wins this round!
BigCommerce packages start at around $25 per month, whereas Shopify packages start at $29. There are many more pricing levels with BigCommerce than Shopify, and both seem to start getting really cool around the $80 / month mark, when they both add Abandoned Cart Recovery as a feature.
They both have free trials so you can play around and decide which works best for you before committing.
Both have similar plugin and expansion potential, but one of the greatest advantages for Shopify in this regard is their Shopify POS product, which allows you to use your Shopify system as a back-end for your retail store, and use an iPad as a checkout system to ring up charges in a physical location.
BigCommerce currently doesn’t have such an elegant solution for POS.
In the war of BigCommerce vs Shopify, there isn’t really a clear winner as both offer a great product. If you are looking for a more modern look out of the box, with point-of-sale capabilities for your retail store, Shopify should be your choice. If you’re looking for
Selling products online has never been easier, with tools available to make setting up shop possible, even for people without a strong technical background. Although the most professional online stores are usually custom-built by web design specialists, there are many options out there for the startup or small business. Here are some of your options for setting up an online store.
These are great options for the budget-conscious business owner. They are surprisingly cheap and offer support for many different payment gateways and merchant accounts. The basic premise of these ‘hosted’ sites is that your store is created using the company’s proprietary system and lives on their servers for a monthly charge.
You won’t have as much flexibility as you have with a fully custom e-commerce solution, but if your business is just starting out and you don’t have the resources to hire a web designer, Shopify and BigCommerce are great options for you.
With a very low barrier to entry, you can get started selling your product from day one. Upload and go!
Open source options like WordPress with WooCommerce or OpenCart are frameworks that have evolved from humble beginnings to be quite capable and solid choices for the business wanting a little more control over their store’s look and functionality. While it’s still very possible to set up your own store using a self-hosted solution like WordPress with WooCommerce or OpenCart, we recommend using an experienced web designer to develop your store. You’ll save time and money and be able to start selling more quickly than if you have to learn the technical details yourself.
These types of solutions fall somewhere in between the hosted solutions and fully customized solutions – you have quite a bit of flexibility with both the design and the functions of your store, while keeping the overheads quite low.
Enterprise-Level Online Store
Solutions like Magento (owned by Ebay) are highly capable online stores that require talented developers to set up. Your store will gain a high level of design, strength and customizability, with an increased development time and cost. This option is suitable for more established businesses who want to be set up to grow exponentially, and who have the budget to embark on such a project.
100% Custom E-commerce Store
One of our clients had a point-of-sale and inventory management system they used in their retail locations, so their online store needed to track sales and inventory movements and record them in the point-of-sale system. There was simply nothing available that had the functionality they needed. We created an entire online store system for them, and built in the ability for the store to communicate with their point of sale system. With custom solutions, the cost is highest, but the flexibility is supreme.
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