WordPress for Business – E-commerce
This is part 3 in a series on WordPress for Business
One of the main reasons that many people have a website is to sell goods and/or services. In this modern world, many people are very comfortable purchasing these goods and services online. If you have a WordPress for Business site you are in a prime position to be able to collect payments and handle your whole purchasing process from end-to-end. Using only your WordPress site and a little bit of employee training you can save time and money. The main plugin that we’re going to talk about is WooCommerce. Over the years and through many installations “WC” has become the de facto standard of WordPress Ecommerce. WooCommerce allows you to add products to your site in a shopping cart much like your favorite online retailers. WooCommerce is excellent for physical goods such as hats, furniture,t-shirts, etc… but it can also be extended to virtual items such as downloadable books and or software. The power of this is that you will have a 24/7 storefront built into your WordPress website that will generate revenue for your company. You can also reduce manpower because many people feel comfortable purchasing from a secure web store. Woocommerce allows you to sell your goods and services but using additional add-ons, you can calculate taxes, shipping stock levels, and more.
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Exciting New WordPress E-Commerce services
New services are popping up that offer integration that was only offered with expensive software packages previously. Using our tax example, services like WooTax and TaxJar offer to do tax calculations automatically for you based on purchaser location. There are also Google analytics plugins for WooCommerce that give you statistics on which of your products and services are most profitable, and where customers are coming from. Through the use of additional add-ons you can literally take your sales figures and tie them into other online services such as QuickBooks or other accounting software. That will truly simplify things for your accountant and lower your overall bill while making accounting more accurate. You can also tie purchases to social media so your customer can share their purchase with others.
Not Just for Retailers – Wholesalers can join the fun too
Those who sell to customers don’t have to have all the fun. Wholesalers that have inventory that needs to be sold can have a logged in area in their WordPress site that gives access to a WooCommerce store. You can have your wholesale storefront available for your wholesale customers and can set stock and quantity levels. This would improve efficiency because it allows your customers to see your wholesale inventory levels immediately and purchase accordingly all without having to pick up the phone. In addition to all of these things you can have an unlimited number of goods. If an item goes out of stock it can be preset to be taken out of rotation until stock levels have been replenished. By automating this workflow you’re giving yourself and your business a much better chance to turn over your inventory.
Triple the fun
You can also feed this information into other online storefronts such as eBay and Amazon so your WordPress site can literally become the central hub for your whole e-commerce operation. The good thing
about hosting it yourself on WordPress is you don’t have to pay the fees that eBay and Amazon shops charge you per transaction. You can also choose multiple gateways in order to process payments such as Stripe & Authorize.net. As your business grows you’ll be able to do exceptional things with your online storefront.
Don’t limit this possibility only to physical goods. if you have downloadable items such as e-books or software WooCommerce is still a great option. If your business has amassed a great amount of content that would be valuable to potential customers, by all means put it in a publishable form that can be purchased.
- A photojournalist,photographer, or artist can offer a package of images for download.
- Physical Trainers can offer their top training methods in the form of an ebook.
- Real Estate Professionals can create an ebook on what first-time homebuyers should expect.
- Nutrition experts can create a downloadable “recipe book”
- Non-profits can sell access to sermons or recorded lectures and presentations
Even though this will be covered in more detail in another post, WooCommerce can also be used to sell tickets to events. Using this method, you can streamline operations and also know approximately how many people will show up. All without using more expensive online methods.
Did I mention it’s Free?
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the base WooCommerce plugin is totally free. You’ll only have to fork over money for the add-ons, which may or may not be necessary for your particular use case.
Continue in this series to find out more about leveraging WordPress to save your business time and money.
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