January 27, 2020
What to Consider When Planning An eCommerce Store With WordPress
The vast majority of Americans now shop online at least occasionally, with some turning to eCommerce for the majority of their shopping needs. This presents a huge opportunity for modern businesses, but also, a few notable risks.
Due diligence is critical to ensure that the sales potential warrants the possible cost and time commitment of maintaining an eCommerce store. Before you begin setting up a WordPress store, consider the following:
While most modern businesses can benefit from digital marketing, this effort takes on an additional level of importance in eCommerce, in which a steady flow of online traffic is especially critical.
Digital marketing strategies vary dramatically from one eCommerce business to the next, but in general, most benefit from a multifaceted approach that integrates the power of search engines with social media initiatives.
In a crowded market, the importance of repeat customers cannot be denied. Marketing strategies should focus not only on attracting new visitors, but also, securing additional purchases from loyal customers. Therein lies the strength of social media, which can be used to build a dedicated community of online shoppers.
Pricing strategies for eCommerce sites may differ significantly from those associated with exclusively on-premise businesses. With eCommerce, a whole new set of factors must be taken into account. Key considerations include the cost of sourcing products, marketing, and shipping. Prices assessed by competitors also warrant attention.
Some eCommerce businesses opt for a straightforward pricing approach, while others prefer to provide special incentives for those who buy certain products or spend above a particular threshold. Sales and coupon codes can also prove valuable for drawing in new customers. Unfortunately, while these initiatives may dramatically boost conversion rates, they can also harm returns per conversion.
Once visitors have browsed your website’s products and selected their intended purchases, how will you handle payment? Shoppers are nowhere near as reluctant to provide credit card information as in the past, but many also prefer to take advantage of options such as PayPal or Venmo. Each added payment solution provides the potential for increased customer satisfaction, but these additions may also increase processing costs.
Some websites simplify payment with expedited checkout for regular customers. This reduces the risk of cart abandonment while encouraging repeat website visits.
Today’s online customers hold exceedingly high expectations for shipping. Few are willing to wait more than a couple of days to receive desired products. Most will abandon their carts if shipping costs exceed a few dollars. After all, in an age of one-day Amazon shipping, consumers can always find faster and more affordable alternatives.
Unfortunately, because current expectations are so lofty, problematic shipping experiences can have a detrimental impact on satisfaction, regardless of how delighted customers are with the actual product. If they receive purchases later than expected or in anything other than pristine condition, they are not likely to return.
Prior to launching your eCommerce site, consider what your business can realistically handle in regards to shipping demands. Look closely at how shipping will play into overarching strategies concerning prices and marketing initiatives. The urge to provide lightning-fast shipping is understandable, but keep that ambition in check; your failure to deliver as promised could harm your reputation.
Like shipping, return policies can have a huge influence on customer satisfaction. Many consumers are surprisingly forgiving when shipped products that don’t meet their initial expectations—but only if they’re able to return said products and receive swift refunds. Unfortunately, the costs of dealing with returns can add up quickly. A detailed return policy is critical, as are thorough product descriptions and quality photos via WooCommerce to reduce the risk of customers ordering incorrectly.
Taxes cause headaches for all types of businesses, but eCommerce adds several new sources of complication. Chief among them? Geographic breadth. Your online presence may open your shop up to a broader array of customers, but it also could prompt purchases from states with radically different tax policies.
Ultimately, your sales tax burden depends on a concept known as ‘nexus,’ which references the extent of your presence within a given state. This is determined not only by your company’s physical presence, but also by affiliate programs, dropshipping relationships with local vendors, and sales thresholds.
If handled proactively, the concerns cited above need not prevent you from establishing a greater business presence online. Factor in both potential costs and rewards to determine which approach is ideal for your situation. You just might have a successful eCommerce business in the making.
As you strive to level up your WordPress eCommerce approach, don’t hesitate to seek support from our knowledgeable team at Alt Creative. We can help you build an effective web strategy that allows you to better reach and thrill your customers online. Contact us today to learn more about our solutions.