eCommerce Web Design
It’s a relatively straightforward process to start down the path of eCommerce web design. However, we recommend WooCommerce as our preferred platform for its many benefits:
- It’s very easy.
- It’s an “open source” canvas with many capabilities.
- It provides a wide range of integrations and plugins.
- If there’s not already some customization you want, it can be built specifically for your needs.
- It’s very, very well developed.
- The interface is improving on an ongoing basis.
- And best of all, you don’t have to build your actual shopping cart. The shopping cart is there, and you build upon the layers of it.
WooCommerce is an eCommerce store platform that’s appealing to many businesses. Some companies are just now starting online stores, while others are moving away from a different platform and onto WooCommerce.
Don’t Design Alone
If you’re not an expert, there are seven key projects you simply must outsource when opening your WooCommerce store:
Configuring your WooCommerce Store
Moving to WooCommerce
Content Marketing & SEO
If you leave eCommerce web design to the experts, you will reap the rewards both immediately and in the long run.
Configuring your WooCommerce Store
Creating a WooCommerce account is very simple. It’s applied on the WordPress Dashboard. It’s not as though you’re building some very difficult eCommerce functionality. It’s all there for you. You’re simply plugging in your categories, your tags, your individual products, and making sure that it is configured in the way that you want.
But don’t underestimate the simplicity of the platform. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could be making a lot of expensive mistakes. As a beginner, it’s much too easy to get lost in the weeds.
Why waste your time and resources reinventing the wheel? And why run the risk of making mistakes that will affect your bottom line now and in the future?
Moving to WooCommerce
If you already have an eCommerce store elsewhere — perhaps with Yahoo or Shopify — what about the process of moving to WooCommerce?
One of the big advantages of migrating to a platform is that you get that “clean slate.” Most eCommerce platforms will allow you to export your data. It can come in various configurations. Typically, it’s going to look like a CSV or an Excel spreadsheet.
It’s very important to go in and clean up the data. You need to understand how to differentiate the items that are relevant and how to delete all the “noise.” Don’t make the mistake of filling up your space with excess data that won’t be useful in the future.
The key here is to be organized from the start, and to understand exactly what the end goal looks like. If you are a beginner and don’t already know how to sift the wheat from the chaff, we strongly recommend leaving it to the experts.
If moving from another platform into WooCommerce, you’ll want to import your past customers. And this doesn’t just mean importing their email addresses and phone numbers. You’re going to want to import this core information so you can reference it in the future. However, you should also import data about:
- The products they’ve ordered in the past.
- Where they were acquired from in the first place.
- Sales reps, commission, etc.
When you import your products, your images must have title tags and alt tags. Your products should consist of all the correct data you can include.
It certainly would be a shame to lose all that data in the process of importing. Worst case scenario, it’s something that could be re-added if necessary. But what a shame to not do it properly the first time while focusing on your eCommerce web design.
Assuming you’re a business looking to make data-driven decisions, then you certainly want to make sure your analytic configuration is outsourced. Analytics allow you to make business decisions for the future based on:
- How users interact with your site.
- How they behave.
- Where to apply marketing dollars.
- What’s working.
- What’s not working.
Configuring your analytics is something you simply must understand at the forefront. That way, when you test out your WooCommerce shopping cart and people start purchasing, you’re getting the correct data coming in.
Depending on how many people worked on your site over time (or did not work on it), different “analytic trackings” will be available. Oftentimes, if your site had multiple turnovers, people would have added analytic trackings or removed them. This way, at least, you would know exactly where your tags were firing.
However, we find very often that eCommerce web design sites have been mismanaged or not managed at all.
Problems with Analytic Tags
It’s not uncommon for us to see two or three analytics tags firing for a single product. It’s also not uncommon to see, when a specific page loads, that there are tags sent to a data source wrongly claiming that there were multiple page views because there were multiple tags firing.
In a very high level way of looking at it, when a page is loaded, a little piece of data is sent to analytics saying, “Okay, one person opened this page.” Now, if that tag were to be on your site and just duplicated two or three times, it’s possible that every time a page loads, it could be saying that you had three visitors when in fact it was only one.
This becomes highly problematic when you start looking at your conversion rate or your page views or where to optimize. You would see inflated data leading to incorrect decisions with potentially dreadful results.
If you’re not an expert in this subject, you need to outsource it to a reputable firm to ensure these pitfalls don’t occur.
You certainly want to make sure that your analytics are set up correctly and that you’re tracking your conversions correctly.
You want to make sure that when someone does complete a purchase, you’re “remarketing tags” are correct. These need to tell Google analytics, “Okay, this person already purchased this item. Let’s not continue to send them ads anymore because they’ve already completed the goal.”
You certainly want to make sure to get these set up ahead of time — before the site goes live — so you know that the new data is clean.
Typically, when we refer to analytics, we’re only talking about Google Analytics. However, there is also Facebook Analytics to consider. This is a separate third-party pixel that gives us other types of data that we can’t necessarily get through Google.
And where this really excels is when you want to track customer data across devices. For example, if someone is viewing your eCommerce store on their mobile phone and then they move to their laptop, sometimes there can be discrepancies. Is this the same user?
With Facebook, most likely the person is logged into Facebook or Instagram or WhatsApp on their cell phone and then when they go to your site on a desktop, most likely they’re logged in somewhere between one of those platforms. Facebook Analytics will help connect the different devices to report it correctly as one user versus two.
Content Marketing & SEO
Outsourcing your content marketing and SEO depends on the stage your business is in. If you don’t really have a customer base and you’re just getting off the ground, there are several aspects that you could probably handle yourself.
However, if you have a solid business and you’re focused on growing your business, you should certainly find people who specialize in content marketing. They need to know what to look for, how to find the low-hanging fruit, how to find the correct type of backlinks, and exactly how to pinpoint what your company has a good opportunity of ranking for.
Content creation is a cornerstone issue when it comes to SEO and showing up locally. It’s about creating a plan, doing the research, and implementing a calendar of how you are going to push out content based on a master list of keywords that you are focusing on and trying to rank for.
When you’re doing content, you’re doing it for a purpose — to provide value to your audience. As a business owner, you have a lot of input about the type of value that your customers are looking for in terms of content. Your input will help during the eCommerce web design.
Nevertheless, when you’re looking to get content and be able to market it and optimize it for Google, it must be written in such a way that Google understands how to read it very easily. And that’s where a professional will be able to help excel your content marketing efforts.
And be aware that this process is not something where you snap your fingers and you make some edits to the site. It doesn’t matter how skilled somebody is — this is a long-term view.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a time-consuming and costly process for beginners. As a non-expert, you would have to spend a lot of time on research, and you would need to pay for the tool set of new software. Furthermore, how would you determine which subject to build content upon? There are tools to assist you, but at the end of the day, there are no shortcuts for it.
Nevertheless, when it comes to hiring someone to perform search engine optimizations (SEO), it’s a quagmire of sorts. Unfortunately, somebody who says they understand SEO could unwittingly be doing damage.
Please take the time to do your due diligence. Make sure to hire a reputable group who can provide testimonials, with case studies about what they’ve worked on and what the results were. It pays off to find a group with extensive experience in eCommerce web design.
You’re getting sales from many different channels — referrals, word of mouth, people organically finding you online, paid ads, etc.. How do you know exactly what’s excelling and what’s not? When using Google Ads or Facebook Ads, you want to be able to see, “Are my paid search ad efforts working?”
We have seen a very common practice where businesses are spending thousands of dollars on Google ads and they have never asked, “Is it turning a profit?” If your paid ads are not turning a profit, you’d be better off saving the money and not bothering with them.
However, with proper management, you could easily pinpoint where your returns are coming from, based on “conversion tracking,” which could help increase your bottom line exponentially.
Therefore — building off the foundation of analytics — you want to make sure that you have someone who knows how to properly configure your conversion tracking. You need someone who understands how to set up the proper campaign structure and how to build out your data feed.
Optimizing Your Data Feed
With WooCommerce, you start off with a data feed, which is an export of all your products in real-time sent directly to Google. This is formatted slightly different than an Excel spreadsheet, but it’s along similar lines.
Paid search is very similar to content marketing. And understanding how to optimize your data feed for Google will determine whether Google shows your product when someone types in a “non-branded search.” A non-branded search is when someone is not looking for your company or the name of your company.
For example, if I go to Google and I type in, “65 inch flat screen TV,” it’s not brand specific, but it’s item specific. How will Google decide which 65” TV to show to me? Its algorithm knows approximately what my budget might be based on some of my other searches and it takes hundreds of factors into it.
But at the end of the process, Google is going to end up showing me (at the top of the search results page) items based on some company’s paid ads, based on their data feed.
It’s not rocket science, but you certainly want to have someone who has the expertise, who knows how to make efficient use of your eCommerce data. No matter how you figure it, it’s going to take hours of work by someone who knows how to do it and how to do it well. That’s just the foundation of paid search.
Paid Ad Campaigns
You will find a wide variety of campaign styles and goals on Google ads, Facebook ads, and Instagram ads platforms.
You need to understand how to set up your bids. For example, when you’re trying to sell a product, you don’t want to “bid” the same price to a customer who has already been to your site four times versus someone who has been to your site only one time.
Such a first-time visitor is a distinct target. How much ad money did you spend to acquire that new customer? The type of messaging you’re showing to a new customer should be very different.
You need someone who understands which message to use on a customer who enters your sales funnel at a high level. For example, if a customer is looking for a specific product but two or three days has passed and they still haven’t bought it, you’re going to want to show them ideas to reinforce their willingness to purchase.
Proper eCommerce Web Design
Someone who is not interested in your product should not be randomly finding your product.
Assuming you have a proper ad campaign structure setup, if the right person came to your website and did not purchase that first time, you need to understand how to show them an ad on Facebook or Instagram. Perhaps, instead of simply showing them an ad of the same product, you could show them how to use it. Or you could show off a feature or a testimonial from a previous customer.
All those structures in place will play into making sure you’re able to maximize your investment.
There are a lot of things you can do with email, but under no condition should you take an entire list of all your customers and send them the exact same email. Those days are long gone.
Businesses forget about their most valuable asset — their current paying customers. There’s too much attention focused on new, new, new customers, without marketing to the people that have already shown to be loyal buyers of your product or service.
You want to make sure you’re not sending too many messages, and all of this can be set up with a “conditional logic” in the backend of most email platforms. You need to understand who your customer is and what type of emails you should send to them before starting your eCommerce web design.
For example, if a customer bought a blue widget, maybe they need a green widget to accompany it. When a customer completes a purchase, they’re not going to feel any more excited than that moment in time. Strategically, you can send them a follow-up email, “Add this item to your cart for X dollars,” or “Here’s how this can also help your purchase,” etc.
Now from an operations standpoint, potentially you could bundle both items into the same box before you ship it and save money there. That’s again, at a very high level. And obviously it depends on the actual eCommerce business operation.
WooCommerce Email Marketing
There’s a way to set up your email marketing to get people into your sales funnel. You want to make sure you have the proper emails going out to the right customer at the right time.
When someone comes to your site, certain techniques are available that are relatively inexpensive and very effective, including:
- An abandoned cart.
- A welcome series.
- A specific, targeted email.
- A flow based on user activities.
However, you don’t want to send someone a 15% off coupon if they just purchased the same product two hours previously. That’s going to open customer service returns. They’re going to want to know, why didn’t they get a good deal? And then you’re going to train customers that all they must do is add an item to their cart and wait and then they’ll end up getting some coupon.
Email Marketing in eCommerce Web Design
You need someone who understands what to send to each customer, how to boost sales, whether it’s an initial purchase or it’s a follow-up purchase or it’s just to engage with your customers, when to email about product releases, etc..
Email marketing should account for anywhere from 8% to about 15% of your total revenue. Assuming it’s done correctly, that’s just an average. It can often account for 30% to 60% of revenue, depending on the type of campaigns. For example, you can often convert a customer who’s already bought three times into monthly recurring revenue by understanding how to send a campaign for a subscription.
Find experts in eCommerce web design and watch the great results pour in!