E-Commerce Platforms Need a Blog

Blogging in Notebook

Last week I wrote about how you need to make sure your e-commerce platform can sell your products. Once you determine that a platform can handle your base needs it’s time to start looking for those extra features that can make the difference between just scraping by or having an avid fan base that buys your products as soon as you release them. I’ll be writing about one feature each day this week. Let’s get started with the first and probably most important feature…

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Choose an E-Commerce Platform Based on Your Products

Packaging

It’s surprising how many people recommend just one e-commerce platform - a solution that should work for everyone and every store. They may be brilliant developers or sales people but they probably aren’t trying to solve your problems. You need to choose a platform that fits your needs.

You should first choose if you want either a self hosted or a hosted platform. After that you should look at your products. The type of products you have will determine the features you need. There are plenty nice-to-have features like pretty reports, order management, & newsletter integrations but you first have to make sure the platform can sell your product.

There are a few questions that I typically ask people about their products that determine what platforms I recommend.

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Hosted vs. Self Hosted E-Commerce Solutions

Servers

In case you haven’t guessed yet from the dozens and dozens of posts on this site I’m a huge fan of WooCommerce. It’s such a great tool for e-commerce. But just because it’s a great tool for me doesn’t mean that it’s the right solution for everyone. There are a ton of other great solutions based on your needs and your abilities.

There are dozens of e-commerce solutions out there (although I’d only recommend a 1/2 dozen or so) but before we get into the specifics of each platform you need to understand the difference between a hosted & self hosted solution.

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Advanced WooCommerce Reports

Reading Paper

I’m a big fan of podcasts. They’re just so handy when it’s late at night or early in the morning and I want to take the dog on a walk. Why not learn something while I do that? Just yesterday I heard a WooCommerce question on the WPCast.fm podcast and I thought I’d take a crack at answering it.

Hi guys, my name is Travis and I’m interested in finding out what you think about the reporting options with WooCommerce. I have several clients who are running WooCommerce and are having issues with the way the reports are laid out. There’s a couple paid options and I wanted to know if you knew of anyone with in-depth reporting experience & WooCommerce.

The good news is that the reporting that comes bundled with WooCommerce is actually pretty solid. It has all of the basics that any store would need. If you need more there are some pretty awesome free plugins and even a couple premium ones to take care of those needs.

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Using Free Shipping to Convince Someone to Pay $430.27 for Plastic Toys

Lotus Elise

About four years ago I was really into this game called Warhammer 40k. You collect miniature soldiers which you build, paint, and eventually assemble on the battle field for a battle against a friend. There’s a company in that space that creates incredible detailed and customized miniatures. They’re very prestigious and also incredibly expensive. It’s hard to explain to someone not in the hobby but basically this company, Forge World, they’re not a Ford Focus; they’re the Lamborghini.

The miniatures by themselves are already cost prohibitive not even including the fact that the store is based in the UK and it’s a pretty penny to get something shipping from the UK to Wisconsin. So how did they do it? They had an excellent marketing plan combined with a good incentive (free shipping).

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When You Should Capture a Charge in E-Commerce

If you run an e-commerce store you’re well aware that chargebacks on credit card transactions can be costly. You may also occasionally have upset customers if you charge a card right away and take a few days to ship the order. One of the strategies you can use to avoid these problems is to capture the payment when you ship the order instead of automatically capturing it during checkout.

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