Putting together a new website on a new platform takes a lot of time and money. If you already have a WordPress site and want to turn it into a store, the best thing to do is download and install a plug-in that will turn your blog into an online store.
But what are the things that your WordPress site must have in order to have e-Commerce? Here, we’ll talk about the seven things you must have on your WordPress site if you want to use e-commerce as a way to make money. We won’t talk about dynamic content; instead, we’ll talk about the plug-ins that you have to use.
You must change your WordPress theme before you can sell. This can be a lot of work, but you have to find a new way to show off your goods.
The great thing about WordPress is that if you change your theme, you won’t lose your content. The blog posts will still be there, but things like reviews and user comments may be lost if the new theme doesn’t support what was in the old one.
Now, not all themes are free, so before you make this change, you should look around for the best one for you. WordPress runs 75 million websites, and you can choose from thousands and thousands of themes.
Here are some tips on how to choose an e-commerce theme for your WordPress site:
- Ease Of Navigation: Make sure the theme isn’t too busy so that it’s easy to find your way around. Customers should be able to easily look through the product pages, menus, and other content.
- Loading Time: The theme must load quickly so that customers don’t leave your website. If a theme takes a long time to load, it’s like giving money away. Use tools like PageSpeed Insights to find out if the theme you’re interested in takes a long time to load.
- Security: WordPress is safe, but you still need to choose a theme that can’t be hacked easily. Even if your web host already has the required SSL Certificate, some themes add another layer of security.
- Mobile-Friendly: When a customer looks at your website on their phone, the theme should automatically change to a mobile-friendly design. This keeps people on your store longer.
- SEO-Friendly: When making the theme, SEO should be kept in mind. This means that when you add a new product or blog post, there must be a place for you to add meta-tags and titles and use your SEO strategy.
The cost is the last thing to think about. If you’re just starting out, it’s fine to use the free themes, but if you’ve been in business for a while or want a better website, you have to buy the paid themes. There are themes that cost less than $60, which is a good way to spend your money. The ones you pay for have more power and features than the ones you get for free.
Don’t forget that the theme you choose needs to be able to show off your products and their prices. It needs to have places where you can change prices, add new options, and do a lot more.
A shipping plug-in is a piece of software that lets you make up your own shipping costs. This is important because on the checkout page, the customer will see how much he has to pay for shipping. WordPress has a lot of shipping plug-ins, and most of them were made to work with WooCommerce.
Here are some of the things a shipping plug-in should help you do:
- Allow you to set the shipping prices you want based on conditions
- Have a form where the buyer can put in his shipping address
- Must change the price of shipping automatically based on what the buyer did.
The shipping plug-in will let you set a price for shipping, which will then be added to the customer’s total bill. If you do this right, you won’t lose money. This is especially true if you are sending the package overseas.
Here are some tips for picking a plug-in for shipping:
- You must have the ability to set up shipping zones.
- The cost must be worked out automatically.
- Must let you set shipping prices based on weight, category, number of items, location, and other possible rules
- Shipping costs must be set up without any coding; only dropdowns should be used.
- Must offer free shipping, a flat rate, or shipping based on a percentage of the subtotal of the shopping cart.
If you can, you should choose a shipping plug-in that shows the customer the cost of shipping in real time. Apps like UPS can help you do this.
You might also want to add a way to track shipments. This is a plug-in that will help you tell your customer where their shipment is in the process. It gives your business more credibility, and your customers won’t ask you where their packages are.
Most shipping plug-ins made today are made to work with WooCommerce. WooCommerce, on the other hand, is an e-commerce plug-in that you must install on your WordPress site before you can turn it into a blog.
Many business people prefer the WooCommerce plug-in, but WordPress has an extension or plug-in that will turn your site into a store. It goes by the name WPeCommerce. If you have a Business account with WordPress instead of a Personal account, you will have this.
Checkout and Gateway for Payment
The plug-ins for the checkout and payment gateways let a customer type in his billing address and credit card number and then pay you.
Stripe and PayPal are two of the payment gateways you can use with WordPress. Most of the time, you still need to use WooCommerce before you can install payment gateways.
Here are some things a payment gateway must be able to do:
- Find out how much all of the products a customer is buying will cost.
- Add the shipping and tax costs to this total price.
- Charge a customer using a credit card or some other method.
- Tell you when the payment is done.
- As soon as possible, move the money to your bank account.
Most of the payment methods on WordPress are either PayPal or Stripe, which are both owned by the same company. There are other tools, like GoURL Bitcoin, that you can use to charge cryptocurrency.
Some apps or plug-ins let you pay with AliPay, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
Here are some tips to help you choose the right payment gateway for your online store:
- must take payments from around the world
- Must work with a lot of currencies
- The price should be fair.
- The payment gateway must be on-site; it can’t be somewhere else.
- Safe and can’t be broken into
When we say “on-site payment,” we mean that your customer must never leave your website. When a customer clicks on the “Pay Now” button on some payment gateways, they are taken to a different website.
Many people get scared because they think they are being hacked. Compared to on-site payment gateways, ones that aren’t on the site aren’t as trustworthy.
When it comes to fees, these payment gateways usually charge at least 2.9% of the total cost of the transaction plus an extra $0.30. Some will charge as much as 6%, especially if you take direct payments from credit cards.
If you can, choose a payment gateway that sends an invoice or receipt to the customer’s email address automatically. This makes it easier to handle customer complaints down the road. As a seller, the payment gateway needs to have at least two ways to let you know that you’ve been paid.
The payment URL must also be safe. It must have SSL, and the payment processor must make sure that it uses at least 128-bit encryption. This is the only way to keep hackers from stealing financial information from you and your customers.
The Tools for Marketing and SEO
When we talk about marketing, we’re not talking about ads. We want a marketing tool that lets you get your customers’ email addresses, make a pop-up, and improve your website’s search engine ranking.
You need SEO and marketing tools for the following reasons:
- Keep an eye on your rivals
- Use back-linking strategies and check to see if they are helping you.
- Find out what keywords you should use in your blog posts and product pages.
- Keep track of how your SEO campaign or plan is going.
- Check to see if your SEO keywords are bringing in business.
Now, SEO and marketing are two big topics, but there are programs like the Yoast plug-in that will make your job easier.
Yoast is a simple SEO program that helps you figure out if you are using the right keywords and SEO strategy to get people to see your website. This is important if you want to turn your WordPress blog into an online store where people can buy things. Search engines need to be able to find your website.
If you sell black pants, your website must show up when someone searches for “black pants” on Google. Yoast will help you with that.
In terms of marketing, you need to download and install plug-ins that let you collect email addresses from customers and send your content to those who have signed up.
MailChimp is one of the best tools out there, and WordPress has a plug-in for it. You can only use this, though, if you have the WooCommerce plug-in installed. 17 million customers all over the world use MailChimp.
Here are some of the benefits and features of using MailChimp for marketing:
- It’s no cost.
- You can share the information about what people have bought with them.
- Automate your marketing campaigns, such as email blasts, follow-ups on purchases, and carts that were left empty.
- You can use it to show suggestions for products.
- Make categories for your customers based on the products they bought from you.
- Use of a tool for reporting
- Use ads on Facebook or Instagram to reach new customers.
- You can use it with Google Ads to get people to visit your website.
- Make pop-up forms for signing up for an email list.
- Use discount codes in your emails
- Make landing pages for both new and old products.
Marketing plug-ins and SEO plug-ins are different because they are used for different things. But these two things always go together. If you can, start with the free ones and learn how they work. Once you’re sure of your skills and strategies, you can pay for upgraded versions that give you access to more features.
Tools for finding products
You might not be making your own things. If this is true, you need a plug-in that lets you find products. This is especially true for dropshippers, and a plug-in like this will make it easier for you to find products, check the stock, and change prices.
A good tool for finding products must be able to do the following:
- Have a list of suppliers or manufacturers who have been checked out.
- These suppliers must be willing to ship to the customer.
- You must be able to get to a control panel or dashboard through the app or plug-in.
- It must be flexible enough to work with the payment gateway you choose.
- Have a management dashboard that makes it easy to set prices for products.
If you don’t use a tool to help you find products, you will have to look at a lot of websites. You have to copy every picture and description of a product to your own website. Not only does this method take a lot of work, but you also don’t know if the price of the product has gone up or down.
With a product sourcing tool, you can set up your dashboard so that if the manufacturer or supplier changes the price, the prices will change automatically.
Most of the time, you can only find tools for finding products on other platforms, like Shopify. There are tools like this in WordPress, but Spocket is the best.
Spocket is a tool where tens of thousands of manufacturers and suppliers are listed and checked. If you use Spocket, all you have to do is add products to your WordPress store and set the prices and shipping terms.
Once an order is paid for, Spocket will let you know. Then, all you have to do is fill out the purchase form on Spocket, and the manufacturer will ship the item to your buyer.
Here are some of the good things about using Spocket:
- It’s no cost.
- There are thousands of items to choose from.
- You can choose either international or local suppliers.
- A variety of shops from around the world
- Access to an easy-to-use dashboard and control panel
- You don’t have to keep any stock; you only pay for what you sell.
- Order fulfillment with one click
- Prices change on their own
- Helpful support staff
- Simple tools to import
- If you want better services and features, you can choose a different plan.
With Spocket, you only have to set up your store once, and then the products will update themselves. It will give you a lot more time, which you can use to market your store or write blog posts to add content to it.
Analytics from Google
Data, not feelings, must be used to make business decisions. Google Analytics was made for this reason. The problem with analysis is that it’s hard to gather data, especially for online transactions.
Here are the things Google Analytics can do and what it can do for you:
- Find out how many people visit each page and website.
- Find out where your visitors are from, what browser they use, how they found your website, and much more.
- Check to see what links they click on your website.
- Find out how many people visit your site and then leave without coming back.
- Find out when people are most likely to visit your website.
If you know all of these things, you’ll be able to run your business based on facts, not guesses. The problem is that WordPress doesn’t have a plug-in for Google Analytics. But there are many plug-ins, like the ones shown below, that will let you connect your website to your Google account.
You can use Google analytics on its own if you don’t want these apps. Sign up for Google Analytics through your Google Account. This is the first thing you need to do.
Follow the steps below once this is done:
- Get your Google Analytics tracking code. Sign in to Google Analytics and choose which website you want to track. This website will be there because you put it there when you signed up.
- Click Tracking info in the Property column, then Tracking code.
- Here’s the code.
- Go to WordPress admin, click on Appearance, and then click on Editor.
- Click on the header.php file.
- Put the tracking code at the bottom of the header.php file before the closing tag.
- Click on File Update
From now on, you’ll be able to see a report about your website on your Google Analytics page. Then, you can use the analysis to get ideas and draw conclusions. The only thing left to do is to act or fix your mistakes.
For example, if 80% of your site’s visitors click on Product A, but no one buys it, you need to do a different kind of analysis to figure out why. Maybe your photos are great, but the way you describe your product isn’t.
Maybe the cost of shipping is too high, or maybe the price is too high compared to what your competitors are charging. Google won’t tell you what the problem is really about, so it’s up to you to figure it out.
Social media is the last plug-in you need. This plug-in must have social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
There may be more than one plug-in for this, but pick one or two that can do these two things:
- Let your site visitors share what’s on your site.
- Let you share your website’s posts automatically on your official social media channels
These two things are just the basics. A social media plug-in can also help you in other ways. You should be able to put the social media icons anywhere you want with the plug-in. It’s annoying if the social media icons are too small or if they’re too big and block the view of your content.
You should also look for a plug-in that lets you set up the icons for social media. For instance, the social media icons might show how many people have liked your Facebook page. For Twitter, the app can get a live feed from your business’s Twitter account and show a piece of your Twitter page on your website.
You can also use plug-ins to make social media look like a floating sticky. This means that the social media icons will still be there even if the customer scrolls up or down.
You should also be able to pick the style of the icons. This is important because the shapes of your icons need to fit the theme of your website. There are icons with round corners, square corners, and no corners at all.
Don’t forget about scheduled posts, which is an important part. The social media plug-in should share your website posts automatically on your social media accounts. This will help bring people to your site and also make it easier for them to buy something.
These seven add-ons cannot be changed. If you want to turn your WordPress site into an online store, you need all of them. The dropshipping plug-in is the only thing that is different. You do not need it if you are selling digital goods.
In short, here are the seven things that an e-commerce WordPress site must have:
- Theme of e-commerce
- SEO and marketing
- Checkout and Gateway for Payment
- Analytics from Google
- Social Media
- Getting products
There are hundreds of plug-ins, so take your time when looking for the right one. You can also check out the ones we told you to look at. As you look at the different plug-ins, check to see if they work with each other.
It is also important to know how much each plug-in will cost you each month so that you don’t lose money.