Making money with WooCommerce (WordPress e-commerce)
Andrew Wikel - WooThemes
• We make the #1 e-commerce
plugin for WordPress.
• We currently power approx.
30% of every online store.
I Like Legos.
And Star Wars.
And Star Wars
• I love WordPress
• I’ve been working with it since 2008
• I worked for a non-profit for 7 years before coming to
• I work in Payment Gateways Support for
The #1 tip to get people to give you money is this:
Make it as easy as possible for them.
“You need more than a website. You need a platform.”
It Typically Happens Like This:
• Someone (a user or a boss, or somewhere in
between) looks at you and says “We need a
• So you go build one or hire someone to build one.
• Then you start to realize that there is so much more
that you want it to do than what it does.
Then Someone Says This:
• “Why don’t you have a store online?” (Or “Why can’t
I donate online?”)
• So you start doing research on e-commerce, but you
get kind of intimidated when you read about VAT
collection in the EU, and PCI compliance, etc.
Then It’s All Downhill From There
• Should you use this software?
• What about this one?
• What about selling digital content? Physical
Think About It This Way:
• You have a message that you want to share with
anyone that will listen.
• That message takes many forms, and you need a
system that will allow you to harness as many of
these as possible.
Why Having One Platform is
• Ease of finding someone to maintain/modify
You Have Options:
• A Blog
• Digital Downloads - Images, etc.
• Physical Goods - Swag
• Donations (one-time and recurring support)
Remember that when you
say “We need a website”.
Think About This:
• Whatever you need, and whether or not you hire
someone to build it, there’s one thing that you need
You need to plan out what you need, and then
express what you need clearly.
• Sooner is better than later. It will affect everything
that happens to your platform.
Here are Some Ideas:
• Event Calendar and Ticketing
• Free and Paid Downloads
That’s in Addition to This:
• Selling Physical Items
What are Customers Looking
• They are looking for ease of checkout
• Reasonable shipping with alternatives
• Multiple Payment options (PayPal, Credit Cards,
• A mobile friendly experience
• This is huge. If you don’t have
the users’ trust, they won’t give
• There are many factors, and
not all of them are technical
• Make your email lists strictly opt-in
• Use an SSL on EVERY SINGLE PAGE that has a
checkout form, log in form, etc. There are no
• Foster trust in other methods of communication as
• Don’t ever have a credit card form on a plain HTTP
page. Please just don’t.
• Don’t mail people without their permission or sell or
give their info to others.
• Approx. 42% of customer on average never get past
the 1st part of checkout
• There is a huge barrier in getting customers to
Optimize Checkout Process
• Tear down the “sign-in” barrier - don’t disconnect your
customer from giving you money. Customers can resent
being forced to create an account.
• Provide a progress indicator - just let people know how long
the process is, and where they are in it.
• Match the checkout with your site’s look and feel
• Never send your customer outside the checkout process
once they are there.
• Visually reinforce all sensitive fields on the payment page
Smashing Magazine Study
• There is a clear divergence between the
customer’s mental model of form-field security
and the actual security.
• Many test subjects didn’t think about security
until they had to enter their credit card details.
• As one test subject who had just abandoned
their purchase said, “It didn’t look safe
enough.” Her reaction wasn’t based on the
technical security of the website, but rather on
the perceived security of the fields.
• I recommend three
• Have a few different options
• People want to see calculated rates
• People *really* like free shipping. They are willing to
jump through hoops, add more to their cart, wait for
• Don’t mess with the government. (As much as you
might want to, it’s just not going to turn out well)
• It should be fairly straightforward to figure this out. If
not, ask your accountant.
• TaxJar is a great service for managing tax rates.
• I’m not giving tax advice. :)
• Pick a theme that supports your e-commerce plugin
or pay someone to make it for you.
• Make sure that you pick a developer that is
reputable and supports their product well. It’s critical.
• If you have questions, ask the e-commerce software
maker. Their recommendations are probably better
than a theme maker (when it comes to your store).
• If you set this up yourself, give yourself a pat on the
back. Then hire someone.
• Hire someone to look over your work and test
everything before it all goes live. This can save your
The #1 tip to get people to give you money is this:
Make it as easy as possible for them.
I’m with WooThemes, and I’m going to be talking about getting paid, or specifically how to use the internet to facilitate your organization’s message with funding.
This is a team photo from our most recent WooTrip.
They told us to act like a ninja, but I was already being Batman, so… I just went with that.
It’s almost an unwritten rule that every tech session has to have at least one lego picture, so here is the required slide.
It’s also a requirement that you include cat pictures, but that’s not really my style, so here is a picture of my Airedale.
So, a lot of you are thinking that I am going to be speaking about building up an e-commerce section of your site, and then go from there, but I’m not. There’s more to this than that. I will be speaking on the specifics a bit more in-depth, but I want to make sure that we are doing this justice.
How many of you have been there before? Started a project, and then realized that what you really wanted wasn’t exactly what happened?
There are a lot of different plugins and platforms out there that can handle some, most, or all of these.
You wouldn’t want to limit yourself to just one method of communication, would you?
With the non-profit that I worked for, they started out as needing a store to sell their books and materials on, and then they branched out to needing to take donations online, then needing an event ticketing system. If we had sat down and figured this out beforehand, we would not have had to redo everything after trying to patchwork it all for years. We ended up combining 5 separate systems into just using WooCommerce and extensions.
This has some major advantages over using split systems, in that it helps to manage compatibility issues that you come across, it helps manage maintenance (it’s all the same platform, so only one to maintain and update). Also, there is a benefit in having people trained well and specializing in that specific system. It’s easier to find qualified help when you have just one system that they need knowledge in.
Your mileage may vary, as I mentioned before, but at least give thought to what you are going to be doing in the future when it comes time to start the building of your platform.
This is the main thrust of the entire session, but I really wanted to convey that you need to think about far more than actually “Getting Paid”
You can throw a simple CC form on a static HTML site, if all you really need is somewhere for people to give you money. Hopefully, you won’t be doing this, when there is so much more out there.
First of all, you need to think about your product/service, and then you have to think about your customer/market.
As you can see, this is a massive amount of people that spend some part of their shopping process on a mobile device. If you aren’t optimized and have a decent experience for these people, you will see that they go elsewhere.
Read the stats of this.
As you saw in the last slide, there are still a lot of people that don’t shop on their mobile. These are the reasons why.
If you can solve these problems, then people are more likely to interact with your site on multiple devices.
This chart is from a survey of people on their trust in online commerce. People trust the e-commerce platforms as a whole, but are becoming more tech-savvy and discerning when it comes to where they place their trust.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It provides a secure connection between internet browsers and websites, allowing you to transmit private data online. Sites secured with SSL display a padlock in the browsers URL and possibly a green address bar if secured by an EV Certificate
For the SSL, you can have it running on your entire site, and that is a good thing. Make sure that you don’t have any errors about mixed content when your customer goes to checkout.
fostering trust in other forms of communication means that you mention your online store, and direct people to that portal. If you don’t ever mention that you have an online store, people are less likely to use it.
Tell them the Cliff Original story about no SSL.
This number can tie a *lot* of the things that we just mentioned to do or don’t do.
People abandon carts based on payment processor, on the price of shipping, of having to pay sales tax, of a myriad of other issues. You can’t stop them all, but you can reduce them.
Have you ever left an item in your cart on like Amazon? Then you got an email, right? There’s a really cool WooCommerce plugin called Follow Up Emails that will mail those people that leave their carts in your store.
There are a lot of ways to do this, but we are going to stick to some really generic tips.
Stripe will handle all your credit card processing, and then PayPal is that alternative payment method that I mentioned earlier.
A lot of people love using PayPal, since it’s accepted in a lot of places, they have their details already saved there, and they trust PayPal to keep their info safe.
Stripe is a great method for credit card processing, as it’s a really extendable processor, and integrates in most online solutions. It save their card to Stripe’s servers, enables them to charge the user card without the user having to input it again. This is great for recurring payments, such as subscriptions or monthly donations. Also, some customers already use Stripe to save their payment methods from other sites, and Stripe can remember them.
Let me distill all this down on shipping:
Offer quite a few options (even if it’s just one service, but it should preferably be at least 2). Think ground, 2 day, next day, etc.
Offer free shipping. Come up with a way to offer it (spend over $99, etc) *90% of people are willing to wait an extra day in shipping time if it means free shipping*
This brings us right into our next issue: the actual design of the store. Don’t insert functionality in a theme when it should go into plugins.
Either route you go, get your theme from someone that has some experience. You don’t want to mess with amateurs when it comes to your store.
I can’t tell you the amount of times I have seen critical website functionality broken because of lazy or poor standards in the theme.
Plug storefront here
Have a developer picked out and vetted *before* there is an issue. When your server has a hiccup and you can’t sell anything, it’s not the time to be searching for a developer.
Well this is about the end of the presentation. Thanks for joining me.