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June 2016

Ecommerce tips to help increase sales

By | Ecommerce, Marketing, Woocommerce, Wordpress | No Comments

In this post I’m going to give some tips to help you increase your sales.

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Speed – Make your website load quickly

Customers like fast sites they can browse quickly and find what they need. Slow loading pages will make many potential customers go to elsewhere site to buy, bottom line you lose money.

There are lots of ways to increase website speed including:

  • Fast hosting (you get what you pay )
  • Caching (this can bring big gains)
  • CDNs (content distribution networks)

There are many other ways check out this article I wrote on speeding up WordPress if you’d like abit more depth on some of these.

Monitor Uptime

How often do you check your site uptime ? If you don’t you could be missing out on loads of sales because of site downtime. Check out monitoring tools such as pingdom.

Test your website on different Devices

Check does it look good and is it easy to navigate on mobiles, tablet etc… A website that is hard to navigate = lost sales. Its essential you test this after updating themes , plugins etc …

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Abandoned Carts / Cancelled Orders

Alot of the big retailers woo these customers back by offering a discount/voucher code. You could (and maybe should) be doing the same.

Make your Offers prominent

If you are running an offer or incentive, don’t hide this away put it somewhere it can easily be seen by the Customer, a good example if to place a banner on all pages.

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Email Signup

Your best customers are your existing customers, why? Because if they have purchased from you before and like your product / service, they are likely to buy from you again. But sometimes you need to remind them you exist. This is why it’s important to capture customer/fan email addresses and get them signed up to your newsletter.

Ask for Product Reviews

Let your customers generate new content for you, boosts SEO (and more people find you). You could offer a voucher code to incentivise.

Get Social

  1. Post onto social networks as you add products, this generates good quality relevant inbound links to your website.
  2. Put social links in your customer emails, lots of customers will ignore them, but some will tweet etc… Again free inbound links

The feedback I’ve had over the last few months suggests that Pinterest and Instagram are best for promoting products (probably because of their more visual appeal).

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Outreach to Blogs in your niche/field

Do promotions, asking bloggers in your niche (bloggers that have a good following), to feature your promotion.

Closed Feedback Solutions (such as Feefo)

Systems like Feefo only allow real reviews, and Google trusts them and bases its staring system on such systems.

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Try out Heatmaps

This can help you see how people are using your website and help with insights, see plugins such as this for an example.

 

I hope you find these tips useful to increasing your ecommerce website sales.

beginners guide to theming Woocommerce

How to make a WordPress Theme, Woocommerce Compatible from scratch

By | E-commerce, Ecommerce, PHP, Programming, Theming, Woocommerce, Wordpress | 6 Comments

In this post I’ll going to explain how I took a WordPress Bootstrap Theme and made it Woocommerce Compatible. I couldn’t find many good tutorials on this so I’m writing this one, so that it might help someone else.

The Process to make a theme Woocommerce Compatible

I’m going to take the very nice DevDmBootstrap3 theme and make it Woocommerce Compatible.

  1. I created a child theme of DevDmBootstrap3
  2. I added the required stuff needed to that child theme

I’ll skip over 1 (there are plenty tutorials of how to do that out there), and move right onto 2.

Complete code below (can be put in functions.php)

Sidebar Code for Woocommerce (wp-content/themes/THEME/sidebar.php )

The DevDmBootstrap3 theme didn’t have a sidebar.php so I added one to my child theme with the following:

Explanation of Code

Remove the Woocommerce default wrappers (this drops wraps the Woocommerce content in the theme, so everything looks nice), see remove_action lines.

Next, we need to make our own wrappers so Woocommerce can nicely be wrapped into the theme and all looks good. See functions gbb_theme_wrapper_start() and gbb_theme_wrapper_end(), in these functions I wrap the content in the theme (todo this on different themes this will vary slightly).

Roughly speaking the contents of the 2 wrapper functions will be output between the header.php and footer.php files of the theme you are using.  As you can see below I’ve added content to drop in relevant stuff from the DevDmBootstrap3 theme such as the menu e.g. ‘topnav’ .

 

Essentially what I’ve done is created a bootstrap row with 2 columns: column 1 is two thirds width and column 2 is one third width.

Column 1 (col-md-8)

This contains the main Woocommerce content.

Column 2 (col-md-4)

This contains the Woocommerce sidebar.

After that I declare Woocommerce support in the theme, and lastly create a sidebar for the theme (that I can use as my Woocommerce sidebar). The sidebar can be seen in the themes sidebar.php template file (which I created for this theme as it didn’t have one).

And thats about it in nutshell as they say, hope you find this useful.

 

 

 

 

References:

Woocommerce third party theming

Theming Jigoshop , this is the best resource I could find (Jigoshop is a fork of Woocommerce or vice versa)

 

Update 27 June 2016

To Download the latest version of the Woocommerce Compatible theme click here

In this version there is no sidebar on woocommerce pages (except on cart / checkout, this can be switched on/off via devdm-theme-options is needed).

To have a sidebar in the shop / product page etc this can be setup via the wrapper functions see file: make_theme_woocommerce_compatible.php (as in the tutorial above).

 

TODO at a later date I will do a part 2 to this tutorial to  create the rollover cart contents script (that will be put in the header to quickly preview whats in the cart).