Web designers have few issues setting up a WordPress site, but often struggle with eCommerce. Yes, installing the amazing Woocommerce cart plugin is a breeze. This ease of install is a big reason young web designers are moving away from Zencart, Magento and others, to WooCommerce
Customising the look, adding products, prices and descriptions is easy too. But other areas can confuse and needlessly delay the site going live. This is where a web designer really needs the help of a senior web developer, to help complete the cart project. Here’s the most common issues people find, with many unique to the NZ marketplace.
The 12 things ‘web designers’ often overlook…
- Site speed – This is the most common problem we see. Did you know that 57% of cart site visitors will click away if waiting more than 3 seconds? Yet many WooCommerce sites are 2-4 times this. It’s especially true for DIY sites built using a fancy theme from themeforest, envato etc. Even some design agencies often use these to save time and improve their margins. Yet good looks seldom translate into high speed. Poor speed is especially annoying to mobile visitors, as well as Google, who will reduce you ranking. Check your speed at www.gtmetrix.com
- Poor SEO – This needs special consideration for carts. Adding an SEO plugin isn’t enough. Migrating a shop from another cart system is a hidden nightmare too, the new WooCommerce site generating hundreds of crawl errors. Your Google ranking will plummet, taking 6+ months to recover traffic – The opposite of what was expected when migrating to the Woo platform. It’s not the fault of WooCommerce, just how the designer set it up, not realising the special structure needed.
- Bad banking gateways – Please look beyond Paypal, which has excessive use of payment reversals that annoy sellers. And using providers like DPS is often too costly for those starting out. There are now better local options for small businesses like Paystation, eWay, Polipay, Paymate, Stripe and others.. We’ve seen local sites increase their sales by 30% just by looking beyond Paypal….
- Handling Subscriptions – Setting up subscription, deposits or part payments can be tricky. Paypal sort of works, but it’s still clunky. You want it linked to a NZ banking account, but without all the paperwork and banking fees. Fortunately some new providers have solved this nightmare, opening up immense opportunities for those running membership, directory or similar websites.
- Shipping issues – The normal shipping tools, add-ons for WooCommerce are largely designed for the big US market and of little use here. Can WooCommerce be setup to work with NZ courier providers?
- Cart invoices – The default Woocommerce system of generating and managing invoicing is very basic and far from ideal for NZ Setting up GST, generating accountant-friendly invoices, downloadable PDF copies, packing slips etc is missing.
- Email disappearing – Notifications from the site to advise of customers and store owners of orders needs to be reliable. Spam filters have become increasingly aggressive in recent times. You can’t have site emails going into peoples spam folders! A plugin can’t fix these issues and needs expert intervention.
- Product variations – This is perhaps the weakest area of WooCommerce, compared with most other carts. It can work well, but not always easy to setup correctly.
- Wishlists, rewards, abandoned cart tracking – These are popular tools in other high-end carts. Can WooCommerce provide these options? Absolutely.
- Smart coupons, trade discounts, affiliates – Offering specials to individuals and trade pricing to resellers or affiliates is important today. With added coding, WooCommerce can generate special discounts to individuals or user groups on an individual product or category basis. This more personalised approach can provide a huge boost in sales and customer loyalty.
- Selling on Facebook. This has always been a challenging area, since Facebook itself does not and will never include a shopping cart. But recent updates (4/2017) mean that one or more WooCommerce products as well as newsletter signup tools can automatically display on your Facebook pages, bringing more sales and traffic.
- SSL certificates; Site Hardening – Hacked sites, backups, lockouts. Adding SSL certificates plus security hardening and backups are the forgotten children to most eCommerce builds. A hacked WordPress site is often an easy fix, but not so an eCommerce one. Prevention is way better (and cheaper).WooCommerce Go-live review and enhancement packages
Put simply, we will focus on ‘how it works‘, allowing designers to focus upon ‘how it looks‘. We can often fix in a day what takes others days, even weeks of research, often by trial and error. We can get your WooCommerce site working as it should in record time. We’ve several affordable, packaged deals to take care of some or everything on the above list.