The current unprecedented trend toward eCommerce leaves some of us shaking our heads as to where to start. It’s no small task moving your entire inventory online, but WooCommerce may be the solution you’re looking for, and we are here to help.
WooCommerce is an open source [code for software made freely available by contributing developers] eCommerce platform for WordPress. Before getting too fancy with customizing your theme, try the “bulletproof” WooCommerce Storefront that works flawlessly on WordPress. Other themes are available, some free and some costly, but they may present a steeper learning curve that leads to discouragement and creative fatigue. You can get paid by WooCommerce Payments directly through the dashboard or connect to PayPal, stripe or Square. Add plugins to extend the functionality of your store, such as ShipStation [order fulfillment], Google Ads, Mailchimp or Facebook for social engagement. Beyond the basics, you can add subscription extensions, and other enhancements for merchandising and search and navigation.
With WooCommerce you can start for free, which means you don’t have to stress out or rush to get your entire inventory online the first day your store opens. Starting off with a free platform takes the pressure off your budget. You can start by launching a few products, then gradually build your website as your business grows. There’s a lot to learn with inventory management, but watching the first sale go out the door can be exhilarating.
What you need for your online store:
Product photos and descriptions are needed to sell your product. Make your images clear and take pics of varying angles so your customers can clearly define materials, colours and size. Before uploading photos, make sure they are the resolution and size needed for online viewing. If your product photographs are too large, they will slow down your page load time, which is really bad for search engine optimization. Your product descriptions should be clear and concise. If you feel the need to get wordy, add an info popup or separate product page that loads at max speed. You can always expound on your products through storytelling on your social media accounts or blog page.
Shipping fulfillment is essential in eCommerce, but what will you charge? Are you shipping by Canada Post or UPS? These accounts will need to be set up with your personal business information. Are you shipping internationally? If yes, you will have to do a little research into customs charges and labeling so your product crosses the border to reach your customer on time. When fine tuning your shipping policy, you will want to write out your return conditions and make these points clear to your customers. Will you accept returns and under what terms? This will depend largely on your product, but again, your policies need to be clearly visible on your website.
Taxes vary between provinces in Canada, and if you’re shipping internationally, find out how much to charge so you can submit these totals legally to CRA. No doubt you ironed out these details when you wrote your business plan, but if not, contact CRA with your questions. Having the answers down in writing will allow you to finish your WooCommerce POS settings, instead of stalling out while you wait for information.
Moving your store online and mastering the basics of eCommerce is not an easy task, it’s time consuming and frustrating at times, but those of us who adapt to new technology to accommodate shopping behavior will succeed in business.
Can we help?
We will register your domain name and pay the yearly fees for you, set up your storefront using the most effective design for your industry and test your POS for efficiency. If you need a logo and brand direction, we can help you fine-tune your business goals for marketing then get you on-track with your first campaign. Setting up your store will take time and open communication with our content collector and developers, but we are with you every step of the way from original concept to your first sale. Visit iNFOTEL MULTIMEDIA for more information.