Tag Archives: online-store

The Best WordPress WooCommerce Themes for eCommerce Sites

The post The Best WordPress WooCommerce Themes for eCommerce Sites appeared first on HostGator Blog . Selling products online has never been easier, even for the smallest of businesses, thanks to WordPress-compatible eCommerce tools like WooCommerce and free themes to customize your store’s appearance. Whether you’re still in the planning stages or want to update your online store, it can be a challenge to pick the right theme from so many options. Here’s a look at some popular eCommerce themes for WordPress, along with a quick overview of WooCommerce for WordPress, to help you find what you need. Setting Up an Online Store on Your WordPress Site A lot goes into building an online store : product categories, search tools, inventory tracking, color and size options, a way for customers to pay, and shipping options. And those are just the basics. WordPress doesn’t provide these functions automatically, so you’ll need to install an eCommerce plugin to get started. One of the most popular eCommerce plugins for WordPress is a free, open-source program called WooCommerce . It’s used by small store owners and major brands around the world because it integrates so well with WordPress and because there are so many ways to customize it. For example, you can add support for different payment methods, email list management, and merchandising with extensions from the WooCommerce library. Want to sell memberships or subscriptions? There are WooCommerce extensions for that, too. (Many but not all WooCommerce extensions are free.)   Best WordPress WooCommerce Themes for eCommerce Themes give you another way to customize your WooCommerce store by changing its appearance and creating the user experience you want your customers to have. These are our picks for the best WordPress themes for eCommerce, and they’re all compatible with WooCommerce.   1. WooCommerce Storefront Storefront is a free theme built by and for WooCommerce. It includes schema markup for SEO, and it has a responsive design to so it looks good and works well on all kinds of devices. Storefront’s developers built it for fast loading and easy use. You don’t have to use WordPress shortcodes to customize Storefront, and it’s compatible with lots of payment, shipping, and SEO plugins. When you want to update your store’s look, you can use the WordPress customizer with Storefront. You can also switch to one of Storefront’s child themes. Each of the 14 child themes (free to $39 each) is tailored to a different type of business, like food, fashion, books, toys, and vacation lodgings. Storefront is a good choice for both: Non-tech people. Because it’s tightly integrated with WooCommerce, you’re unlikely to run into compatibility issues that would require coding skills to fix. And Storefront is compatible with the new block-based Gutenberg editor in WordPress . Tech people. If you’re happy to write your own code, Storefront and WooCommerce’s open-source foundation make it easy to build your own extensions to customize your store. Storefront’s not the only free WooCommerce theme out there. Let’s look at a few top choices from other publishers.   2. Astra Like Storefront, Astra is WooCommerce compatible and uses schema markup to help your store’s SEO. Astra’s developers recently released a free library of blocks you can use with WordPress’ new Gutenberg editor to customize your site without coding. Astra is very fast—it takes less than 0.5 seconds to load, using standard WordPress data—and it only uses about 50 KB of resources. That means your store pages will load fast and keep your shoppers from bouncing before they see your awesome merchandise. Astra also has a library of pre-made starter sites. You can use the Astra Starter Sites plugin to install one and save yourself a lot of time on store design. Upgrading to Astra’s pro or agency packages ($59 to $249) gives you access to more starter sites. Astra is a good choice for: Shop owners with lots of mobile customers. The store’s light weight and fast load times make it a good fit for m-commerce. People who want to a pre-designed site. Astra’s starter site library gives you instant site options.   3. eStore Another popular theme for WooCommerce, eStore is responsive, SEO-friendly, and designed to help your pages load quickly. If you’d like your customers to be able to make and share wishlists from your store—a feature that can earn you more conversions—eStore is compatible with the YITH WooCommerce Wishlist plugin . This theme has a couple of cool design features in its free version: the ability to color-code your product categories, and a template that lets you feature all products in a collection on a single page, as well as in their categories. The pro version ($69) gives you more options for customizing eStore’s appearance, with the addition of Google Fonts, more header and color choices, and testimonial and product tab widgets. eStore is a good choice for: Store owners who want wishlists. YITH Wishlist and eStore work well together. Sellers who regularly feature new collections. The eStore product collection template makes those displays easy to update.   4. MetroStore Like eStore, MetroStore supports YITH Wishlist and provides product-collection page templates. It’s also compatible with YITH WooCommerce Compare , a plugin that lets customers select and compare different items in your store. Comparison charts can help increase your store’s conversion rate, especially if you sell appliances, tech products, or other items whose specifications and features are big factors in your customers’ purchasing decisions. MetroStore’s free version also lets you add video backgrounds to your full-width banners—a pretty cool feature if you have a brick-and-mortar store, fashion shows, or product demos to showcase. The pro version ($55) lets you import demo pages to your store in a single click so you can set up your shop faster. Upgrading also gives you offers and team members sections for your store. MetroStore is a good choice for: Stores that sell tech, appliances, or tools. Support for the YITH WC Compare plugin lets your customers create comparison charts. Store owners who want to use video in their store design. The video-background banner makes that possible.   Choosing a WordPress Theme for Your eCommerce Site Before you choose a theme, it’s a good idea to explore their online demos on your laptop, tablet and phone to see if they’ll give customers the experience you want them to have. Then you can download the free versions of the themes you like best to try them out with your own content before you go live. After you debut your new theme, track metrics like bounce rate and conversions to see if your new theme is helping customers find what they want or whether you need to make adjustments. Ready to get started? Start building your eCommerce store today with HostGator WordPress hosting . Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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Use a Website Builder to Set Up Your New Online Store

The post Use a Website Builder to Set Up Your New Online Store appeared first on HostGator Blog . You’ve decided it’s time to start selling your products online . You’ve known for a while you should, but you just didn’t know how. The skills it takes to become a business owner aren’t the same as those it takes to set up an online store from scratch. But even though you worry it will be hard, you trust it will be worth it. With an online store, you can bring your products to a wider audience than you can with a storefront. You make the decision to purchase more convenient for your customers – being able to buy something without leaving the couch removes a lot of the possible barriers to a sale.   And you can tap into the power of online marketing and SEO . Now that so many people start their search for a new product online, the best way to show up when someone’s looking for what you sell is to be online. If the main thing stopping you was concern that setting up an online store would be difficult, we’ve got good news. With the right website builder , creating an online store is easy — no matter your level of experience.   Why You Should Use a Website Builder to Set Up Your Online Store For any business ready to get an online store up and running, there are a few clear benefits to using a website builder to make it happen:   It’s easy. This might be the most important benefit for most small business owners. You don’t have time to learn all the ins and outs of setting up an online store from scratch, and you don’t have the budget for hiring someone that does. But you don’t need either if you use a website builder.   It’s quick. Every day your website isn’t set up for selling products is a day you could be losing out on sales. The sooner your online store is functional, the faster you can start making extra money.   It brings the main tools you need into one interface. If you set up an online store on your own, you have to remember to find the right design tools, eCommerce software, and security features all as separate steps. With a website builder, everything you need is brought together in one place, where you can access it all through one interface. It makes your job easier and ensures you don’t forget anything important.   How to Set Up an Online Store with a Website Builder If you already have a website that you’re adding an online store to, you can skip the first few steps. But if you don’t have a business website yet, you’ll need to start at the beginning.   1. Choose a domain name. Your domain name will ideally be yourbusinessname.com. But if your business has a name that’s at all common, that may already be taken. You can use a domain search tool to find out what’s available and brainstorm options that will be easy for your visitors to remember. If the .com is taken, then .net or .co may be a better option. You can also consider variations of your business name using hyphens between words, so a business called Acme Knives becomes acme-knives.com, if acmeknives.com is taken. Get a little creative if you need to, but make sure the end result is something that will be intuitive for your visitors to use and remember.   2. Select a hosting plan. Every website online requires hosting. When you start looking into your hosting options, you’ll quickly realize that there are both a lot of providers and a lot of different plans to consider. In your search, make sure you prioritize finding a hosting plan that supports an eCommerce website and that will be compatible with the website builder you use. Here’s a helpful checklist to follow when selecting your web hosting provider.   3. Choose your website builder. Some web builder plans come with hosting included (including HostGator’s ) , so you may be able to complete this step at the same time as the last one. If not, then spend some time reviewing your different options. Make sure you go with a website builder that’s easy for beginners to use and makes adding an online store to your website a breeze. Consider the number of themes and features each website builder offers and how the costs line up with the budget you have in mind. 4. Select your theme. Most website builders come with a number of different themes you can choose from. The theme works as a starting point that provides a structure for your website. You can make changes to it to make the design your own by moving different elements of the page around, adding in any new elements you want, and subbing in different colors, images, and copy.   5. Create your main pages. Your website can’t just be product pages. At the very least, you’ll need a Home page that communicates your company’s unique positioning and why your visitors should do business with you. In addition, you may want to include:      An About Us page that provides information about what your business is and who’s behind it      Category pages that help you organize your products based on the main attributes your visitors will use to find what they need      A contact page that makes it easy for your visitors to find out how to get in touch Figure out the most important pages you want to include on your website and how best to organize them.   With that done, you can start working on the online store part of your website.   6. Add an eCommerce app to your website builder. Depending on the website builder you choose, eCommerce features may be included, or may be an additional add-on. With HostGator’s website builder, the eCommerce store is an app you can easily add to your website builder. A good eCommerce app will make the next few steps easy.   7. Add products to your store. Now that the structure of your website and online store are in place, you can start adding in your products. In addition to filling in the product name and the price of each product, make sure to load high-quality product photography and include persuasive copy that touts the benefits of each product. This step is worth committing some time to. Your product pages have a lot of work to do to get your visitors to take that last step to purchase. It may be worth hiring a professional photographer and copywriter to make these pages really attractive and convincing. And take a little time to learn SEO basics and optimize each of your product pages. Your website will go a lot further if people can find your products when searching for them in Google.   8. Select your payment options. To make sales online, you need a way to process payments. Chances are, the eCommerce software or website builder you use will have some particular payment options it’s compatible with. These likely include Paypal, Stripe, CashonDelivery or other payment processing solutions. Choose which payment options you’ll accept and connect them to your merchant account.   9. Start promoting your store. You finally did the work of setting up your online store, now you need people to find it. With the sheer number of eCommerce businesses on the web, people are unlikely to stumble across yours without a little nudge (or a big one). Figure out a plan to market your website. A good digital marketing strategy often includes:       SEO – Strengthening your website’s authority to increase search engine rankings for relevant terms.       Social media marketing – Promoting your brand and products on social media channels where your audience hangs out       Content marketing – Creating high-quality content as a way to attract new traffic, build trust in your website, and convert leads to customers.       PPC advertising – Paying for ads on the search engines or social media sites that charge on a pay-per-click model.       Email marketing – Building an email list to sustain and grow your connection with leads to help convert them to customers (and keep them as customers for the long term once you do). Decide what the right mix of tactics is for your online store and get to work. Be aware that online marketing is a long game, and you may need to put some real time and work in before you start seeing big results.   10. Track analytics. A good website builder will come equipped with analytics tracking that helps you gauge the success of your website so you can improve over time. Pay attention to what your analytics tell you about your traffic: where it’s coming from, what people do once they reach your website, and which visitors become customers. The more data you gain over time, the better you’ll understand what works best for your particular audience. You can improve the copy you use on your website, select the most effective keywords to target in your SEO and PPC ads, and tweak your marketing efforts to focus on the tactics that result in the most profit.   Build Your Online Store Running an online store takes work, but you can save yourself a lot of time and money in the early stages by using a website builder to get your new online store set up. With an intuitive, accessible online store, your customers gain a new way to buy from you, and you gain a new stream of income. 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Shopify or your own ecommerce design – what do you prefer?

Hi all, aside from selling on ebay or amazon – what if you are going to start up your own online store – would you prefer to open it on shop… | Read the rest of http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1739154&goto=newpost Continue reading

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How to Sell Products Online in 6 Easy Steps

The post How to Sell Products Online in 6 Easy Steps appeared first on HostGator Blog . Deciding to start an online business and begin selling products online can be an exciting experience. However, this excitement can soon be replaced with overwhelm if the proper process isn’t followed. There are a lot of considerations and research to be done if you want to learn to sell products online the right way. Below you’ll learn the proper steps to take before you launch, during launch, and how to set your online store up for long-term success.   1. Decide What to Sell Choosing the right products to sell will make or break your success online. As a result, you should spend a lot of time during the research phase. It can be helpful to choose a product or market that you actually care about. With more and more competition every single day, choosing a market you have passion about will give you a leg up, as you’ll be willing to go the extra mile. Ask yourself: What kind of products would I love to sell? What would be my dream niche to serve? What industries do I have experience and knowledge in? What pain points currently exist in the market? Do my products provide a practical solution? This should give you a list of products or markets that you’d love to serve. With this in mind it’s time to get a better picture of the existing market, so you can decide how to compete and position yourself.   2. Research Your Market You probably already have an idea of some of the competitors in your space, but now it’s time to take a deeper dive. You’ll be looking for companies that sell similar products, what makes their approach unique, the methods they use to market themselves, and how they speak to your target market. Find your top competitors and make a list with the above elements in mind. This will not only help you better understand how to market and sell your products, but you might be able to uncover an underserved portion of the market hungry for your products. Beyond having a deep understanding of your market, you’ll also want to thoroughly understand your customers . This will make the sales and marketing process much easier. Ask yourself the following questions: How old is my customer? Where do they live? What’s their gender? How much money do they make? What’s their occupation? What other interests do they have? How do they spend their time? What are their beliefs about the world? Why do they buy products like yours?   3. Decide How to Ship Your Products With an idea of what you’re going to sell, the existing market, and your buyer preferences, it’s time to think about how you’re going to ship your products to them. The first is hiring a manufacturer to create your products for you. This can lead to a more custom product, higher quality control, and less cost per unit. But, you’ll have to spend more time creating your product, working out manufacturing issues, and figuring out shipping. The second approach is relying on dropshipping . With this approach, you’ll be purchasing other people’s products and selling them through your online store. The drop shipper will also fulfill and ship orders on your behalf. This approach will have lower overhead costs, and less work overall. However, you may have to operate on slimmer margins and will have less quality control over the final product.   4. Build Your Online Store Now it’s time to start building your online store. You’ll have a few different approaches to take. You can build your own online store through WordPress and a tool like WooCommerce. You can sell products through an existing platform like Etsy, or Amazon. Or you can use an eCommerce website builder to easily build your store and manage your products. For the sake of this tutorial, we’re going to assume you’re using a website builder. This approach will give you the freedom of customizing your own site while helping manage all of the technical details for you. With an eCommerce website builder all you have to do is select a theme, customize it to your liking with the drag and drop builder, upload your products, and press publish. You’ll also be able to manage your inventory, handle tax, and shipping rates, and even integrate a payment processor.   5. Craft a Marketing Strategy Simply publishing your site online isn’t enough; you need to craft a marketing strategy to help get the word out. It would be impossible to cover every single aspect of marketing your online store in this post, but here are a few questions and considerations to get you moving in the right direction: What marketing approaches will you take? Social media? Content marketing? Paid advertising? Influencer outreach? Guest blogging? How will you get customers to buy from you again? A royalty program? Subscriber discounts? How will you convert traffic to buyers? Regular promotions? Product and upsell suggestions? What will make your strategy successful? Rising traffic? Conversions? Email list growth? As you can see you have a lot to think about when it comes to marketing your store and ensuring it’s success over the long run.   6. Launch and Execute The day has come to finally launch your online store and start sharing your products with the world. Even though it probably feels like your work is finished it’s actually only just begun. All of the preparation work, research, and website building has been leading you up to this point. Continue to execute and experiment with your marketing strategy and optimize your site based on user feedback, analytics data, and the kinds of products they’re actually buying. Selling products online is a journey and you’ve just taken your first steps. Hopefully, you’re now better equipped to create and launch a successful online store. Get your store up and running quickly with the GATOR website builder. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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Choosing the Best eCommerce Loyalty Program for Your Online Store

The post Choosing the Best eCommerce Loyalty Program for Your Online Store appeared first on HostGator Blog . eCommerce Loyalty Programs: Why Your Online Store Needs One E-commerce is an easy way for small businesses to reach more customers, as long as you don’t lose them to big players like Amazon and Walmart. Amazon alone took in 44% of the e-commerce in the US in 2017. To compete with major retailers’ selection and price, you probably already know that your online business needs to stand out by offering unique items, expertise in product selection, and excellent service. Another way to appeal to new customers and keep current ones coming back is with an e-commerce loyalty program.     What Can an E-commerce Loyalty Program Do for Your Online Store? We often think of loyalty programs as tools to get customers to come back, but that’s not all a loyalty plan can do. Here are five more benefits to e-commerce loyalty programs.   1. Get new customers on board. Don’t make your customers wait until they’ve spent a certain dollar amount or placed several orders to start getting the benefits of loyalty program membership. Offer your customers an immediate discount or bonus item for joining your loyalty program and they’re more likely to sign on and make a purchase.   2. Collect marketing data. A good loyalty program will provide analytics on your members so you can see which products they prefer, when they buy, how much they spend, and other information you can use to refine your marketing efforts. Smarter offers can lead to more sales and higher order values.   3. Increase the lifetime value of your current customers. With your loyalty program marketing data and targeted offers, your business should be able to not only retain customers but earn more from them. Exclusive product offers, previews, and upsells of related items are easier when you have accurate information and your customers’ trust. That trust is valuable—Invesp found that established customers are 50% more likely to buy a new product from a business than new customers are, and those existing customers spend about 30% more when they buy. 4. Keep your customer acquisition costs in check. By using your digital loyalty program to target offers to your existing customers, you can boost revenue from those shoppers and reduce the amount you need to spend on new-customer acquisition to keep your revenue stream flowing. And when you do look for new customers, your loyalty program data can help you identify target audiences similar to your most loyal and lucrative customers.   5. Win back customers. Sometimes an existing customer just stops shopping with you, and you don’t know why. Rather than write off that customer, you can use your e-commerce loyalty program to craft a custom email offer to bring them back to your store. Think about which of these goals is most important to your business, and take stock of the channels that you use most often to reach current customers and new customers. Depending on your goals and customer habits, you may be able to do well with a straightforward points-for-purchase loyalty program, or you may need a program that includes social media reward options, tiered reward levels, and other advanced features.   Setting Up Your E-commerce Loyalty Program There are several tools you can use to add an e-commerce loyalty program to your online store. Your options will depend on the e-commerce hosting platform you use and your budget as well as your goals and customer habits. Here are a few options to show you what’s available and what you can expect to spend.   WordPress E-commerce Loyalty Program Plugins If you have a WordPress-based store that uses the WooCommerce e-commerce plugin , there are several loyalty program extensions you can choose from.   1. WooCommerce Points and Rewards WooCommerce Points and Rewards lets you set up a points-per-purchase loyalty program with customizable settings for point values and maximum discount amounts. You can make points retroactive for past purchases, use points as incentives for sign-ups and reviews, and more. One one-year subscription for a single site is $129.   2. SUMO SUMO is another option for WordPress/WooCommerce stores. In addition to points for purchases and reviews, SUMO gives you the option to award points for referring new customers, sharing on social media, blogging, commenting, using coupons, and making charitable donations. You can also set points to expire after a certain amount of time. A regular license for a single store costs $49.   3. Beans Beans is a WooCommerce extension that offers more than twenty reward options, including rewards on customer birthdays, social media likes and shares, referrals, and reviews in addition to shopping. Beans also makes it easy to set up time-limited offers for loyalty program members, create custom rewards, and set automatic point balance reminders to encourage customers to visit your store. Unlike SUMO and WooCommerce Points and Rewards, Beans has a tiered pricing structure with five levels ranging from free to customized enterprise plans. The free plan offers rewards for purchases and signups, point redemption for discounts, a welcome email to new members, and a rewards widget and program page. Prices for the other plans range from $348 to $4,788 per year, and each comes with an increased number of reward options and a higher monthly transaction limit.   Magento E-commerce Loyalty Program Extensions Magento has several extensions that work with it, including Loyalty Program by Amasty and programs for Magento 1 and Magento 2 by Aheadworks.   1. Amasty Amasty ‘s program for stores on Magento 1’s Community platform makes it easy to create multiple levels of benefits for your loyalty program members based on their purchase histories, to award free shipping to VIP members, and to create customized promotions. The Community edition is $129.   2. Aheadworks Aheadworks’ Points & Rewards for Magento 1 lets you adjust the rate at which customers earn points for certain actions. It also offers options to award points for uploading user-created videos, answering product questions from other shoppers, and answering polls, along with other reward features for shopping and referrals. Auto-reminders are part of this extension, too. The price for this version is $299. Reward Points for Magento 2 includes pre- and post-sales tax point settings and analytics on spend rates by segment and individual customer. This edition integrates with ConnectPOS to sync customer rewards across your online and in-store channels. The price tag for this Aheadworks extension is $349.   Choosing Your E-commerce Loyalty Program Before you invest in an extension or a loyalty platform subscription, take the time to read the reviews, and double-check that it offers the features you want for your marketing program. Decide if you’ll want to purchase extended customer support as you set up and refine your loyalty program. The better you get at rewarding your customers, the more rewarding your loyalty program will be for your business. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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