I talk about the features about eCommerce platforms all the time. But I don't often talk about related but important concepts. Every store owner has thought about security and how to keep their store safe both for their customers and so they don't get sued. When it comes to security there are two things you need to worry about.
- The security of your site
- The security of payment information
Now that the wrap up post for WooConf is out the door I can finally relax. WooConf was the latest event I worked on this year and by far the most intense. Working on three different events – all at different levels of complexity – taught me a few things about running events.
I'm going to share some lessons but first let me give a little context:
1. Lift Off Summit – I designed this summit to help people develop a marketing strategy for their online store. It's a virtual summit so you can tune in and watch ~20 hours of content for free and you can pay to watch the sessions whenever you want.
Event cost: free to stream / $97 for recordings
2. WordCamp Denver – I've always loved helping my local WordPress scene. I've helped organize several meetups and WordCamps in the past. This is my third year organizing this particular conference and it was one of the best we've done.
Event cost: $40
3. WooConf – I've been heavily involved with WooCommerce for years as a customer, developer, product manager, and now educator. So when they asked me to help them plan the content I couldn't say no.
Event cost: $500 early bird / $700 regular
In 2011 Netflix made an announcement that they’d be splitting into two companies:
- Netflix would focus on streaming &
- Qwikster (the new company) would focus on DVD rentals.
Netflix claimed they wanted to make it easier for customers and doing this gives both companies the best chance for success. The feedback was instantaneous & almost uniformly bad.
There were numerous reasons this separation didn’t work (it didn’t add any value for customers, costed more, required more work, was rushed, terrible name, etc. They made a mistake and that mistake cost them nearly 800,000 customers.
The most important part of the story is that two months later they reversed their position. They could have continued down the path of “I know best” but they didn't. They stopped all plans for Qwikster and haven't looked back. They started earning back the trust of their customers and they went on to dominate online streaming.
Imagine it's the week before Xmas and you realize you forget to get a present for someone. You start looking for the perfect gift and you manage to find it. It's exactly what this special someone would love.
You add it to your cart and as you start looking at the shipping options you realize you don't know if it will arrive in time. There's “free shipping” – who knows how long that will take. And there's “expedited shipping” which will probably get there on time but you don't know if it's worth the extra $20.
You start googling rates, prices, and shipping times and you go down a rabbit hole and might never come back to that site.
It's the holidays and we're approaching the cut off date to get presents on time. As a store owner you want to let your customers know the last day they can order and still get presents. This does two things:
- It removes uncertainty. If you're uncertain if the present will get there on time you might not order. Or if you have to do a bunch of work to guess if it comes on time you might just get lost down the rabbit hole and never come back and order.
- It creates urgency. When users come to your site and they see a banner that lists the last day to order it creates pressure. They don't want to forget the present and they don't want to miss the cut off date. They will be more likely to buy right now.
There are a few different WooCommerce Facebook groups and all of them have great discussions. Earlier today there was a question about selling videos with WooCommerce:
If I have video files in a cloud storage independent from my WordPress site can I link those videos and sell them as digital, downloadable products? I don't want to store videos in my WordPress site.
The short answer is yes – WooCommerce can sell downloadable videos (or any sort of downloadable product).
Most e-commerce platforms let you create orders manually. That way even if you're at a conference or a potential customer calls you you can capture those orders.
While many systems let you create orders manually they don't always let you charge a credit card which kind of defeats the purpose. But even if your e-commerce platform doesn't let you process credit cards if you use Stripe you're in luck. They make processing credit cards really easy.
Two years ago I wrote a post about how hard it was to setup a membership website with WooCommerce. It took twenty two steps and it required two plugins.
At the time we thought it best to integrate with an existing solution that already had some users. Sounds smart but it forces users to go through the extra steps to make the integration work. And as someone who has to setup his own site & his own accounts I hate when someone drags me through extra steps.
End users don't care what powers their technology. They just want to solve their problem. Which is why we set out to build an entirely new system.
I'm super proud to announce my first major product after leaving Automattic. I've worked with Lynda.com to put out an advanced course all about WooCommerce. It's called WordPress: Customizing WooCommerce Themes.
A week ago we released Square for WooCommerce. Dozens of people worked on the product and after 18 months the launch was successful.
I'm documenting this process both for myself and for other product people who want to see how we at WooCommerce go about building a product.
At the very first WooConf Cyndie Shaffstall talked about some of the conversion rate optimization (CRO) techniques. One of those techniques was to add an arrow to the Add to Cart button. The arrow helps people find the add to cart button and should increase conversions as it did with many of her clients. So with that knowledge I thought I'd document how you can do that with WooCommerce.