Some websites are solely for conveying information about a business or service provider, such as a restaurant’s websites with their hours and menus, or a dentist’s website with his location and what dental procedures he provides. An e-commerce website is different from these because goods can be purchased directly from the site, examples including Amazon or Zappos. These sites must take into consideration additional features, such as shopping carts and secure payments. Fortunately for WordPress users, there are many plugins available that make e-commerce much easier.
Florida Web Design Agency Big Eye Creative consults with clients on ecommerce sites and marketing. They build most of their websites on WordPress, and are familiar with e-commerce plugins. One of the most well-known e-commerce plugins that they have recommended is WooCommerce. This plugin is very customizable and works with most WordPress themes. Products, shopping carts, and payment methods are easily accessed and edited, and the plugin also provides reports and statistics that allow you to track sales and reviews.
The most popular e-commerce plugin for WordPress is WP e-commerce. This plugin is very easy to install and very compatible with WordPress themes, widgets, and other plugins. It also offers several payment processing options, and makes coupons and discounting easy. It is highly advisable for ecommerce websites to include coupons, promotions, and discounts because people are more likely to buy if they feel as though they are getting a good deal. An example of this could be free shipping when a minimum order amount is placed, or buy-one-get-one-half-off sales. Once someone has purchased from your website, emailing follow up coupons or discounts is a great way to keep that customer coming back.
Another popular and highly rated e-commerce plugin is Ready! E-commerce. This plugin is more for just the shopping cart feature, and there are e-commerce WordPress themes to choose from that Ready! is compatible with. This plugin also has a sales, gift, and coupons pack included. It also includes several shipping options, which is an important consideration for any e-commerce website. Too often ecommerce websites jump into selling without planning properly for the logistics of shipping all these goods. This is too important of an aspect to overlook, as a long shipping time can prevent a customer from ever returning to your store. Fast shipping times will encourage repeat customers.
All of these plugins also support mobile e-commerce websites, which is something to keep in mind when choosing an e-commerce WordPress plugin. A study from Pew research found that 28% of smartphone owners use it as their primary way of accessing the internet. If you do not have the means to develop a completely separate mobile website, there are some steps you can take to make your current website more mobile-friendly. For starters, keep it simple and make sure the most important information (contact info, links to popular products, etc) is easy to find. Do not utilize pop-ups, drop down menus, or downloadable PDFs. These are more difficult for a mobile user to see, and in fact will detract from their overall experience on your site. The same goes for the use of Java and Flash, since many smartphones do not support these applications. A mobile user who finds your site frustrating to use because there isn’t a mobile version will likely find the product they need on a different site.
Ecommerce websites have more design considerations than service websites. Because the goal is to get people to convert right there on the site, more thought must be given to the customer experience and usability. These popular and useful WordPress plugins can make your e-commerce website run smoothly and provide a seamless customer experience.
Guest post on behalf of BigEye Creative