Updated October 2016
If you read my blog at all, then you know I’m a big fan of Woocommerce. They provide one of the best ecommerce platforms around, and what makes them so great is the abundance of extensions and plugins that you can integrate into your store. Many of these are aimed at marketing to your customers to improve sales – doesn’t matter if you’re selling vaporizers or toilet seat covers or hot tub covers – it works just the same. Below I’ve assembled a mix of useful plugins and tips that you can implement on your store to improve your conversion rates immediately.
1. Add “pay by phone” option
Consider this – some of your visitors probably still use a landline to call people, mail all of their bills in a stamped envelope, and balance a real, physical checkbook. Yes, those people still exist. They may think that someone’s going to snatch their credit card digits when they order online, especially with all the highly publicized breaches in online security lately. So give them an alternative, and allow them to place an order by phone. It’s an easy way to comfort the worrisome folks out there. To do this, go to Woocommerce > Settings > Checkout and configure the COD option to say “Pay by phone”. Then you can allow people to complete their order using that option. Just be sure to change the status of those orders to “on hold” and get your payment cleared up before it goes to production.
We offer free shipping for hot tub covers on one of the sites I run, but that excludes Alaska and Hawaii. If you need a quick way to add this functionality to your store, refer to this quick snippet of code from Steve Grunwell.
If you have a product that’s not just out of stock, but perhaps completely sold out, this might be helpful. Let’s say you sell wine, and a certain vintage of Merlot sells out. This would be a better fit. Alternatively, the link above has other tips to change the “Add to cart” text.
4. Warm the checkout with Granify
Suppose you attract the prime kind of visitor to your website, and they add something to their cart before finally entering the checkout. How do you keep them from abandoning? At this point, the customer has a few thoughts that keep them from proceeding:
- Can I get this for cheaper somewhere else?
- This could work depending on shipping.
- Where do I get a coupon?
- Do I really need this?
The answers to those questions should be apparent, but sometimes they aren’t. With the Granify extension, you can learn how to cater to the customer’s needs, and coax them along the buying path. Alternatively, Woothemes offers a $49 extension called “Cart Notifications” that works in much the same way.
I use Zopim on Hot Tub Cover Depot, and it’s a great way to connect with customers and ask if they need any help. You’d be surprised how many simple questions you get. While these may seem obvious to you, it helps you understand what your customers are looking for and fosters trust. One thing I like about this tool is that you can initiate the conversations, rather than waiting for the customer to click the chat. Sometimes a simple introduction is all you need to set their mind at ease.
I like to use MailChimp for email marketing, and this handy extension will parse customer information into your subscriber list. Aside from the basic function of adding the customer as a new subscriber, it comes with other useful features including the ability to integrate with eCommerce360. This means that you can pass over important order information and buying habits to your subscriber list, and automatically segment them into groups in MailChimp. Using groups can help you deliver more targeted campaigns in the future.
Turn your customers into instant brand ambassadors with this plugin. Users can share your website and in return an instant coupon discount code is applied to their shopping cart. It’s a simple yet effective strategy to get more social exposure while driving customers toward purchasing at the same time.
Everyone loves getting something for nothing, and this extension allows you to offer customers a free gift with a purchase. This is a common feature that many larger retailers use to entice buyers. The idea is to reward users with a gift when they spend over a certain amount. You can specific a particular product to promote, or let them choose from a defined product category.
In some instances you might want to display a product, but not allow visitors to buy it directly from your website. For example, we sell ground covering for playgrounds on one of our sites, and in order to calculate the cost, we need to know the volume, along with other things like whether or not we can deliver it to the site or not. Because it’s not easy to calculate the costs for these things, we offer a “Request a quote” option instead.
If you sell an item that people may purchase a lot of, you may consider offering bulk discounts for large purchases. This plugin helps you set up bulk discounts for items, and provides users with a visual cue letting them know that ordering a certain amount will get them a cheaper price.
11. Send abandoned cart notifications
This is perhaps one of the most effective and easy ways to get a customer to complete their order. Something like 70% of shoppers abandon their carts, and with a simple reminder, you can easily recoup 10-20% of those lost sales. I have used a service called Cartstack in the past, but recently came across Roost, which seems promising. I’m currently testing Roost on the spa cover website, and will compare its performance against the Cartstack service. Stay tuned for an update comparing the two services.
12. Make use of customer reviews
It’s been proven that customer reviews help reinforce trust in visitors to your store, and in turn boost sales. Woocommerce allows you the option to include reviews on products, and I highly recommend doing so. If you are wondering how to get reviews, there are a few options. First, use your automated system emails to help prompt customers to leave a review after purchasing. Woocommerce comes with several built-in emails that send at various times. You can edit the template for each email by going into Woocommerce > Settings > Emails. Use the “Completed Order” email to insert a call to action prompting the customer to leave a review on the product page.
Alternativey, you can use a plugin like the “Review for discount” one that Woocommerce offers, which costs only $29. This helps automate the delivery of a coupon code for customers once they complete a review on your site.