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8 Steps to a WordPress Ecommerce Website

July 1, 2020

For many hardcore sellers, WordPress is not essentially an eCommerce platform and they would rather spend on other sales channels than banks on WordPress for their business.

Agreed, that WordPress was initially meant for blogging and is prone to hackers. But even then, you can leverage this platform and add fantastic business functionality through an endless string of plugins and tricks.

Why WordPress?

wordpress ecommerce website
Source: OptinMonster

If you choose to overlook the slight disadvantages, then WordPress can provide you with enough reasons why it is as good as any eCommerce platform.  

Pocket Friendly: WordPress is not really heavy in your pocket if you compare it with the other sales channels. With free plugins to apply, it is the most affordable way to build business for a small entrepreneur.

Flexible: Working with an existing eCommerce platform puts a leash on your creativity. But being open-source software, the WordPress content management system allows you to customize every aspect of your business as per your budget and requirement.

 Easy to Use: The Platform is most user-friendly and the basic codes are easy to install and use.

Now let’s get started with using the WordPress Ecommerce Website

1. Product, Domain Name and Hosting

Source: MyThemeShop

This is the first job. Just like any other eCommerce platform, WordPress can be used to sell anything under the sun. When you have decided what to sell, you need to decide on a domain name and arrange for hosting.

Choose your domain name wisely, because changing it later can cause a lot of extra effort to redirect the traffic.

It is better to pick a host that can accommodate you as and when you grow.

2. Choose your Ecommerce Plugin

wordpress ecommerce website
Source: WPBeginner

You will be spoilt for choice when you search for your eCommerce platform. There are hosted platforms like Shopify or open-source plugins like WooCommerce or BigCommerce.

These plugins will give your WordPress site the required eCommerce functionality. You get your shopping cart, your ‘BUY NOW’ buttons, shipping options, and everything else needed for a complete online business transaction.

3. Design your Page

Source: Elegant Themes

I had promised earlier that WordPress is super flexible. It gives you endless options in terms of themes and templates to arrange your site.

When you are selling online, the look and feel of your store go a long way in creating your image as a seller. So make use of the design options and give your page the look that goes well with your business.

If you don’t want to spend, sites like Storefront or ThemeForest can even give you free themes to choose from. 

 4. Payment Processing

wordpress ecommerce website
Source: DreamHost

While you make an impressive interface, it’s equally important to pay attention to the backend. The payment gateway is most crucial to any eCommerce platform.

You can either go for a traditional merchant service account or use an all-purpose payment processor like PayPal. Just make sure that your buyers have enough options in the payment gateway. Allowing them to choose from eWallets makes it easier for them to pay.

Depending on the type of product you deal in, your WordPress eCommerce website may need installment options. In fact, allowing part payment increases the chance of conversion!

You will need plugins that allow customized payment plans and will let you have the total sale amount upfront.

5. Shipping

Source: E-Commerce Nation

Your eCommerce plugin will have a shipping tab that you now need to work on. Your chosen shipping method should depend on what you are dealing with and where your customers are based.

The shipping you charge can either be a flat rate, or order value-based.

Try to keep this amount low because all your competitions do so! What with most eCommerce platforms dishing out ‘Free Shipping’ offers, nobody wants to spend much on shipping now.

So take a part of the burden on yourself, or you will discourage even the most interested buyers with your shipping charges.

6. Data feeding

wordpress ecommerce website
Source: Barn Media

With the shipping and payment setup ready, you should now focus on building your inventory. Most shopping cart plugins have fields for basic information like

  • Product Id
  • Product Name
  • Product Variable (color, size, etc)
  • Images
  • Number of Units
  • Price Per Unit

Your shopping cart plugin will allow you to import data from a CSV file. So if there are a large number of things to sell, the job gets easy for you.

You can enable the stock tracking option so that your inventory stays updated whenever there is a purchase. This will help you manage ‘out-of-stock’ complications and let you know when you need to refill your stock.

7. Post Purchase

Source: Bolt

Most eCommerce plugins will have tracking options for you to ensure that an order has been processed successfully.

Shipping plugins like ShipStation can help you manage the post-purchase hassles like generating shipping labels, notifying customers, and tracking the delivery.

8. Fortify with MORE Plugins

wordpress ecommerce website
Source: Cminds

To make your store compete with any full-scale eCommerce platform, you need to fortify it with all the functions that they benefit from.

Make use of plugins wherever required. It will not cut too deep in your pocket while it ensures smooth business operations. Plugins can help in –

The store features: You cannot compromise with the shopping experience of your buyers. Use plugins for features like ‘star rating’, ‘wish list’, ‘waitlist’, etc.

Analytics: Google Analytics plugins like MonsterInsights are important to assess what is being clicked on your site and track other important functions.

Live Chat: This feature is becoming extremely common in most eCommerce platforms and I suggest that you use it too for faster and seamless communication with your buyers.

Optimization: You cannot expect traffic on your WordPress eCommerce website solely on word of mouth and social media publicity. It’s time for link building and using keywords like plugins like SEMRush.

Make use of smart email marketing as a potential sales channel.

Security: WordPress covers over 30% of the net and security is a major concern for this site. Securing your site without compromising on the speed is a challenge and plugins like P3 and Sucuri can help in this area.

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