When you’re setting up a WooCommerce store there’s a lot to do. Like any massive project, it can feel overwhelming. But there are some WooCommerce tasks you can set and forget.
We’ve got a list of a few things that are important to do, but you can set them and not worry about them. Move on to the giant items in your task list and know that these things are done and will benefit you in the future.
So we’re talking about things that will set your store up well down the road. You need to take care of these things. But in the midst of launching an entire store, you shouldn’t stress or dwell on these things. Set ‘em and forget ‘em.
Now let’s be honest: There’s really nothing you should forget about with your e-commerce site. Every one of these things is something you should eventually come back to and spend some time on.
But you don’t need to spend your precious bandwidth in those crucial months when you’re getting the site launched. Once your store is up and running for a month or two, then come back and readdress these things.
Setting it and forgetting it can buy you some peace of mind now, but you’ll always want to check in at some point—even just to nod your head and know things are good.
1. WooCommerce Backup & WooCommerce Security
One of the major things you need to set up from the beginning is WooCommerce backup and WooCommerce security. This is ‘first step’ kind of stuff. If you’re not protecting your site from hackers and catastrophe, you’re asking for trouble.
The good news is that both backup and security are something you can set up and move on. Put them in place and stop worrying.
Yes, that pesky caveat. While you can set and forget backup and security, you also need to know if something goes wrong. You can’t forget it if it suddenly stops working and you need to go tweak a setting. So make sure you have notifications set up to let you know if anything goes wrong. You can also look into monitoring that will notify you of problems and WordPress maintenance plans that will take care of updates for you (a major security problem is not keeping up with updates—so that’s an important part of security you can’t forget).
2. WooCommerce Stats
Another overwhelming facet of running a store can be the stats. Now you’ll need that data to help you make decisions, so it’s an important thing to have. But it can be overwhelming to sift through it and figure out what’s important and what’s not.
Especially when you’re just launching. You won’t even have much data to look at.
So stats are something you can set and forget. Be sure to set up a stats system so you’re collecting the data. Get Google Analytics up and running so you’re collecting traffic data. Check out iThemes Sales Accelerator so you can collect sales data and have more to go on than the basic WooCommerce reports.
We’re not suggesting you can forget about your stats. Set it up, let it do its work, then get back to the hard work of launching your site. Later you can come back to all the data you’re pulling in and decide what to do with it.
3. Email List
Another important thing to set up from the beginning is your email list. Email marketing offers a huge return on investment and it’s something you shouldn’t ignore.
Capturing email needs to be built into your site. And getting those emails isn’t enough. You need to feed them into your email newsletter provider. This is all stuff you can set and forget.
Here are a few different places and ways to collect those email addresses:
- Obviously, customers need to be on your email list. WooCommerce should have an extension to make that happen, no matter your provider: MailChimp, Constant Contact, Aweber, etc. You can’t force customers to be on your email list, but you should make it easy for them to sign up. The simplest approach is a sign-up checkbox as part of the checkout process.
- Make it easy for casual shoppers to sign up for your emails. You should add a sign-up form somewhere fairly visible on your site (a sidebar or footer). Another option is to advertise the list—promote the list on your site just like you promote products. A third idea is to offer an incentive for a sign up—offer a lead magnet such as a PDF shopping guide or a discount.
- A pop up sign-up form for visitors to see when they leave the site, triggered by specific activities. This can be a good way to capture the email address of window shoppers and hopefully bring them back in the future.
Email marketing is not something you can set and forget. You’ll need to put together a solid plan and start working that plan. But the important thing to do when you’re launching your store is just to make sure you have a few ways to gather those email addresses. You won’t have much of an email marketing campaign if you don’t have any emails. So start here first. These are all methods you can set and forget, knowing your email list is growing.
Actually setting up and managing your email marketing campaign is something you can come back and do later. When you’re ready you can learn more about email marketing from some WordPress pros.
4. Automatic Emails
Setting up automated tasks is one of the best ways to save yourself time and sanity. There are several ways you can do this:
- Send an automatic email to new customers, thanking them for their purchase. This is an opportunity to build your brand and make yourself memorable in the mind of the customer, so don’t make it generic. Put some of your brand personality into it.
- Send an automatic email when someone joins your email list. Thank them for joining and let them know what to expect. You could even send them a discount to entice them to return to your store and make that first purchase.
- Set up an automatic abandoned cart email. Customers abandoning their carts is one of the biggest sources of lost sales, so this is a helpful strategy to implement.
- There are a number of other automatic email responses you can send based on specific criteria. You can email your best customers with a thank you or special discount. You can respond to interest in specific products or categories with suggestions. You can follow up on customers who haven’t come back in a while.
All of these solutions are helpful ways to bring customers back and form a tighter relationship with them. Thankfully they’re also tasks you can do once and then not worry about.
Well, anything you set up automatically you don’t have to worry about for now. These automatic strategies will probably work just fine for a while, but you should check in on them from time to time.
Just because it’s automatic doesn’t mean you can ignore it forever. Check in occasionally: Make sure everything is working properly and review the actual content. Nothing’s worse than trying to reinforce your brand with outdated content.
5. WooCommerce Receipt Notices
Receipts can seem like a required, boring part of any commercial transaction. They may be standard, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help you. A receipt is an opportunity to build your brand, forge a connection with a customer, and offer helpful information.
And a receipt is definitely something you can set and forget.
There are all kinds of customizations you can make to the standard receipt email in WooCommerce that will make you stand out from the crowd:
- Add some engaging content, from graphics to copy that fits your style. It should be obvious at a glance that this receipt is from your store.
- Be helpful. Include contact information and basic policies like returns and exchanges. Make it easy for a customer with questions to find answers.
- Entice customers to come back. Maybe you offer a discount for repeat purchases or suggest similar products.
WooCommerce offers an overview for how to customize your receipts and a few solutions for making it happen.
Any time you update your brand, policies or discounts, you’ll need to take a look at your receipts and make sure they’re still current. You can only forget the receipts as long as nothing changes. And change is constant—so just remember to update your receipts along with everything else.
WooCommerce Set It & [Mostly] Forget It
Let’s be clear that e-commerce is not a ‘set it and forget it’ business. Maintaining your WooCommerce store is proactive work. If you sit back and wait for things to need attention, you’re going to be in trouble.
But there are a lot of things you can set up that will help your store be successful that don’t require active management. You can set them up and mostly forget about them. That frees you up to more actively focus on other issues.
For more on WooCommerce care, check out how to do WooCommerce maintenance.