Just as WordPress has come to dominate the web, WooCommerce is dominating the e-commerce space. So we’re talking to WooCommerce experts to learn some new strategies and insights.
Beka Rice manages product development for SkyVerge and Jilt. She also shares her e-commerce wisdom as editor of SellWithWP. Beka has a background in chemistry, sports journalism and teaching—making her well-rounded and knowledgeable.
We talked with Beka about ways to boost income based on your volume, how to deal with cart abandonment, and the future of e-commerce.
What are some effective ways a WooCommerce store can increase its income?
This depends on where the store is at in its lifecycle—if you’re getting started, your most effective gains may be in implementing some automations or focusing on driving more traffic. I have some tips here on what metrics you can focus on to start optimizing your store.
If you have a lot of existing customers and traffic, you might benefit more from optimizing your conversion rate, negotiating shipping rates, or encouraging loyalty. There are some exciting directions you can go in once you start to hit volume.
One of the most foolproof ways, regardless of volume, is related to the next question here—cart abandonment. Stores of almost any size can generate additional revenue via automated lifecycle emails:
- Abandonment recovery emails: If you don’t do this yet, implementing recovery emails can yield a 15-20% revenue bump on average.
- Sending automated post-purchase follow-ups is a great way to encourage repeat purchases, increasing your customer lifetime value.
OK, cart abandonment: How much of it is an issue of being ready to buy but hitting a roadblock in the checkout process versus casual shoppers who are just checking things out?
There’s certainly a mixture of both! The largest cause of abandonment is due to roadblocks: either seeing unexpected costs (such as shipping or other fees that weren’t communicated before checkout) or meeting friction in checkout (such as creating an account or technical difficulty in loading).
A smaller, but still significant portion of customers want to check things out; however, once they’ve committed to putting an item in the cart, there’s a good chance that something else made them leave it, whether it’s getting distracted or seeing something they didn’t like. This is why recovery emails are so powerful—they can let you tap into those reasons and overcome objections to close sales.
Can you give us an example of using data to improve a WooCommerce shop?
Sure thing! Again, I think the kind of data you use varies depending on what order volume your store has—stores with larger order volumes can measure certain statistics more effectively than stores with lower order volume.
For stores with fewer than 100 orders per week, I’d look at average order value—you can get this right from your WooCommerce reporting—then follow some tried and true practices to increase average order value with WooCommerce.
Once you have enough orders to generate statistically significant data, then you can use other metrics to improve your shop, from landing pages to checkout conversion rate. While these aren’t exclusive to WooCommerce, here are some surprising conversion rate optimization case studies done for stores at scale.
What’s in store for the future of e-commerce? Are there things on the horizon—either mundane realities or cool tech—that excite you?
I’m pretty excited about virtual reality (VR)—I’ve got an Oculus at home, and everyone in my family has been fascinated by it, even the “non-gamers.” The implications for VR are huge, from virtual meetups with friends who live far away to training for some of the most difficult jobs on earth.
I think its implications for e-commerce are particularly cool, and we’ve already seen some brands leveraging augmented reality to help sell items that historically don’t sell well online—for example, IKEA lets you use VR to check out new furniture in your place, plan a kitchen, and more. I think the ability let you “try before you buy” will be pretty neat for a large set of sellers.