You are in the stages of setting up a WooCommerce store. You want a site that will give high-quality results because it will be essential for the running of your online store. And with WooCommerce you are sure to get the right technology to help with the process. You, however, need to familiarize yourself with the proper practices, to ensure success in what you are doing. Only then can you ensure that the running of the store will be efficient.
If you are currently in this situation, you will want to read on for the best practices when building a WooCommerce store.
1. A Good Hosting Plan Is Critical
A good hosting plan will determine the user experience on your online store. With so much choice available, the online shopper wants speed and efficiency in their transactions. Therefore, if your site is not responsive, you’ll lose a lot of traffic. You can be sure that your competitors are doing all they can to give a seamless experience on their websites.
You can only achieve an enjoyable experience by choosing the right hosting plan. There are several hosting companies available, and you need to take the time to understand every one of them, before signing up. Some of the factors you need to consider include cost, ability to scale, the security of customer data, among others.
Many beginners will go for the more inexpensive options. But, it may, in the long run, be more costly if you have to move to another hosting plan the more you grow. You will realize that the more people learn about you, the more traffic you will attract, and the basic hosting plans may not work well. Look for a hosting plan that has sufficient bandwidth and memory.
Track the performance of your website so that you know how it is using the available resources. Pay close attention to the customer feedback on their experience on your website. Only then can you make the necessary adjustments, even if it means looking for an alternative web host provider.
2. Keep Up With The Updates
It is not possible to efficiently run your WooCommerce or WordPress platform without running regular updates. You need the update so that you can fix bugs, resolve conflicts, and enhance your security. You also get to improve the extensions which undergo constant updating from the developers.
Many people do not like to run updates because they feel it is time consuming and will interfere with what they are already comfortable working with. However, the benefits outweigh the slight inconvenience you may have to contend with. You do not have an excuse not to run the updates because it is effortless to do.
Look at it from this perspective; why would the software developers continue to work on ensuring that they give you the latest updates if it is not essential. Your customers will also thank you because they will have a better user experience in your online store.
3. Avoid Any Security Risks
To go back to our earlier point, updating your site will ensure that you enhance the security on your website.
The more outdated the software is, the more vulnerable you are to online attacks.
Data breach of any kind can severely damage your reputation. Even if you can keep the client data safe, the fact that you are susceptible to attacks can have your customers running to your competitors.
You, therefore, need to ensure that you set aside sufficient time for the latest updates. You can schedule this for any time you are not actively on the site. Also, make sure that whatever updates you are running is compatible with the software you have. Running tests before the full update will let you know if there are any issues thereby allowing you to take corrective measures in good time.
It is also essential that you do a manual backup before running any updates. It would be terribly inconveniencing if you were to lose all the information you have. You can manually create a system of automatically running updates at particular intervals.
4. Data Security Is Crucial
Running an online store requires that you collect a lot of information from your customers. You will, therefore, find that many online store owners struggle with how to keep the data safe. There are specific security measures you can put in place, to beef up the security of your site.
The most important is to ensure that you get the right hosting provider. When you are looking at what comes in the package, check what security features they have in place. The hosting provider should have a strategy in place to deal with security threats. The provider should be able to let you know how they monitor and prevent the possibility of cyber-attacks.
Do they have in place systems that will deal with any vulnerability promptly and efficiently? How often do they have security updates? What measures do they have to prevent the spread of malware or viruses? Do not be afraid to ask the relevant questions; at the end of the day, you have your reputation on the line.
You do not want to handle the backlash of customers complaining that you compromised their data security. You will also find other tools online which can help with the security aspect on your side. Look for plugins that will give you functionality such as:
- Protection against anyone attempting to access your site forcefully
- Timely alerts anytime someone tries to log in to your website repeatedly
- A Limit on who can access the site, and reports on how many times they attempt to log in
- Scanning services for any suspicious code for data breach
- Backups and restoration for your site
- Spam protection
- A limit to who can access sensitive directories via FTP
An SSL certification will show your clients that you are taking their security seriously.
5. Think About Your Password
Many people have challenges in coming up with good passwords. A strong password is essential as a first step for ensuring the security of your site. The usual temptation for people is to have one password for almost all their platforms.
The other option is to choose passwords that incorporate the first names of all your children, anniversaries, birthdays, 1-9 sequence, among others. Be creative in the password you use. The longer, the better, because it will be more challenging to crack. You also have many online tools you can use to help you come up with a strong password.
Additional security comes in the form of two-factor authentication. You will find that site such as Google will ask you to give a second level of verification, for instance, your mobile number or another email address. Use the Google authenticator tool to help you with this aspect.
6. What Is The Customer Support Like
You cannot have a successful online store if you do not have good customer support. You need an excellent link between the customers and your store, to ensure a seamless running of the online store. Make sure whoever is handling the customer support desk understands what good customer care is.
You need to respond to the customers effectively and efficiently at all times. Remember one disgruntled customer can severely impact on the success of your store. You will find several extensions on platforms such as WordPress, which will help with customer support. Something as simple as a live chat can make a huge difference in service delivery.
7. Product And Inventory Management
You cannot run your online store without a system in place to manage your inventory.
If, for example, your catalog shows you have an item, but you are actually out of stock, it can be very frustrating for both you and a customer. How the customer perceives you is crucial, and not knowing whether or not you have stock can make you look very unprofessional.
You will find many online tools that can assist you with product and inventory management. It will ease the process of running your online store even if you are working with multiple channels. If you integrate your store onto other platforms, it will become especially important to know how your products are moving.
Product management will also tell you which items you need to stock up on, and which ones to let go of. There is no point of having a product that no one is buying, but you cannot know for sure if you do not have the right tools in place to let you know this information.
Factor in the following when you are thinking about product and inventory management:
- Think about shipping aspects, make sure you can deliver in a timely cost-effective manner
- Focus on how you display the different products on your online store
- Make sure you update all the relevant information every time you stock your shop
- Deleting a product from your site will still leave the URL leading to broken links on your website. Instead of deleting simply hide the visibility of the product on the catalog
- If you do not have a particular item, you can redirect the customers to a similar product
- Only download plugins that you require. The cost aspect of some of the plugins can make the running of your online store more expensive
- Too many plugins can also affect the customer experience; be especially careful about those that do not add any actual value to the functionality of the store
8. The Checkout Process
The Checkout process needs to be seamless if you do not want to deal with abandoned cart issues. You need to put certain aspects into place including:-
- Making the proper choice with regards to your gateway providers. not only should they be secure, but you should offer a wide range
- Have security seals
- Clearly, display your pricing, and be upfront about any additional costs. you do not want to hide relevant information such as taxes, shipping fees, or any penalties
- Only collect relevant data so that you do not have too much relevant information
- Always have a Call to Action button which will prompt the visitors to your site to complete the purchase
9. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
You will be competing with a large number of businesses on the online platform. You, therefore, need to ensure that you invest in search engine optimization (SEO) so that the search engines find you easily. Certain tools can help you with this, but the most important is to focus on the keywords.
Related Read: SEO Guide 2019 – 10 Pillars Of An Effective SEO Strategy
10. Optimize For Mobile
Many people will make their purchases from their mobile devices. You can therefore not ignore the importance of optimizing your online store for mobile. You will find many plugins that can help with integrating your online store to the mobile device. The whole idea should be to make the process as seamless as possible. Whatever experience the customer has while using a desktop appliance should be the same as those using their phones or tablets.
Bonus Tip: Tracking And Monitoring
The only way you can truly know if whatever you are doing is working is by monitoring. You will find many tools online that can help, including Google Analytics. If you find that something is not working, you have the opportunity to tweak it accordingly or disregard it.
We have highlighted the key aspects you need to consider when setting up your WooCommerce store. The whole idea is to give the customers a seamless experience when they come to your site. You will find many themes online but only get what you need.
Having too many integrations, plugins, or apps will make your online store challenging to navigate. It will also impact on the page loading speed, which can be a turnoff to most customers. Ensure that you put in place measures to keep your customer data safe, including the most basic, which is having a strong password. If you apply the right steps, you will find that running your online store becomes very easy.