For anyone looking to sell products or services online, WooCommerce is an excellent tool. It’s incredibly easy to use, and helps you set up a store on your WordPress site in less than an hour. Still, you’ll need to do some additional work if you want your e-commerce shop to be successful.
There’s a lot of competition out there, so simply setting up some product pages and configuring the plugin’s basic settings isn’t enough. To stand out from the crowd, you’ll want to do everything you can to show off your products in their best possible light. The goods news is that this isn’t hard to do, and there are even tools that can help you get there faster.
In this guide, we’re going to walk you through five of the best ways to optimize your WooCommerce products, in order to encourage more sales. Let’s get down to business!
1. Display Product Attributes and Variations
These days, people tend to do a lot of research before making a purchase. When potential customers arrive at your e-commerce shop, therefore, you’ll want to be ready with all the information they’ll need. The last thing you want is for them to decide against buying because there aren’t enough details, and head to another store instead.
A good start is to fill out as much information as you can for all of your WooCommerce products. Each one will need a title and a description, categories and tags, and various pricing details. However, two often-overlooked options on the WooCommerce product page are attributes and variations.
Both of these settings can be found in the Product data section of each product page:
You can start out by including the item’s attributes, which are short descriptors of its primary characteristics. This could include its color, for example, and the material it’s made out of. Once added, this information will be displayed on the product page the customer sees, giving them some quick and vital details about the item:
After adding attributes, you can also set up variations. These are useful when a single product is offered in multiple types – such as various colors or sizes. They’ll also be shown on the product page, and the customer can select the options they want from one or more handy drop-down menus:
You can even include different pricing information and other details for each product variation. That makes this feature a must for stores offering customizable items – benefiting both you and your customers.
2. Add an Image Gallery to Each Product
Images are powerful things – and nowhere is that more true than in sales. Customers place a lot of emphasis on product imagery, using it as a key deciding factor in their purchasing decisions. In fact, when used well, images can increase your overall conversion rate.
At the very least, each product should have a primary photograph, which you can add in the Product image section in your WordPress dashboard. However, you can also go one step further, and add a full set of photographs using the Image gallery section:
Including multiple images accomplishes a number of things. It can show off the product from multiple angles and in various styles, and enable you to display it both in-use and in a more staged setting. More generally, providing a product gallery helps potential customers get a more complete idea of what the product looks like, and how it can fit into their lives.
Actually creating your product gallery is simple – you can just upload whatever photos you like, and rearrange them at will. The appearance of the final result will depend on your theme, but it will probably look something like this:
It’s important to note that you’ll want these images to be both original (i.e., not stock photography), and high-quality. In order to minimize the impact of so many media files on your WooCommerce store’s performance, it’s also a good idea to optimize all the images you use.
3. Enable and Manage Customer Reviews
When convincing visitors to make purchases, images are one of your most powerful tools. However, customer reviews are just as (if not more) influential. Consumers place a huge amount of importance on reviews from real buyers, using them to judge whether or not a product will arrive as expected and work as intended.
Therefore, it’s usually best to let people post reviews of your products on your e-commerce site. You can find this option under WooCommerce > Settings > Products:
This will let you enable reviews, and also decide who can post them. ‘Verified owners’ are logged-in users who have purchased the product through your site. Although this option will likely reduce the total number of reviews, it can enhance your review section’s credibility, since people will know that none of the customer comments are spam or fake.
As-is, the WooCommerce review system is functional but basic. So you may also want to consider improving it, via a plugin such as Customer Reviews for WooCommerce:
After installing this tool, you can view all your reviews in a dedicated tab, and manage them easily. Plus, you’ll get access to a wide range of settings:
Most importantly, you can set up email reminders encouraging customers to submit reviews. You can even personalize the messages you send. This is an excellent way to get lots of ratings on your product pages.
4. Provide Easy Support via Live Chat
If you complete the tasks we’ve discussed so far, customers should have most of the information they’ll need to choose whether they want to make a purchase. Still, some of them are going to have questions. How well (and how quickly) you provide answers will have a significant effect on their overall experience, and even on their buying decisions.
Naturally, you’ll want to provide a contact form or page somewhere prominent in your store. This can present traditional means of getting in touch, such as phone numbers and email addresses. However, customers are impatient, so it’s smart to go the extra mile when it comes to support.
The best way to do that is to offer a live chat feature:
This will let customers ask questions and get answers right away – reducing the chance that they’ll simply leave your store. You can also use this feature to increase sales, such as by suggesting related products.
If you want to add live chat to your e-commerce store, you’ll need to use a dedicated plugin. LiveChat for WooCommerce is a good place to start:
This is a WooCommerce-specific option, and is simple to set up and use. However, it’s worth noting that although the plugin itself is free, you will need to sign up for the LiveChat service in order to use it over the long term.
WP Live Chat Support is a reliable free alternative:
While not designed specifically for e-commerce, this plugin will integrate smoothly into your WooCommerce site. Plus, it provides a user-friendly dashboard where you can see and manage your chats:
In the settings, you can customize how the chat feature works, and set up notifications. There’s also a pro version of this plugin, which comes with additional functionality such as surveys and analytics. Whatever solution you use, it’s vital to respond to customer queries promptly, and maintain a professional but friendly tone throughout all of your interactions.
5. Offer Plenty of Payment Gateway Options
So far, we’ve been looking at techniques that encourage visitors to hit that ‘buy’ button. Of course, your job doesn’t stop there. Each potential customer has to make it through the checkout process successfully, before you see the results of all your hard work.
There are various reasons you can lose customers in the middle of the checkout process. Fortunately, WooCommerce provides a streamlined and easy-to-use system by default. However, a long or confusing process isn’t the only reason customers abandon carts – they may also leave because you don’t offer enough payment gateways.
A payment gateway is simply a method for accepting payments through your site. Everyone has their own preferred methods of paying for products online. Some people like to use credit cards, while others may stick with PayPal whenever possible. You can’t offer every payment gateway on your site, but the more you support, the more options your customers have to choose from.
By default, WooCommerce supports PayPal, Stripe, direct bank transfers, and offline payments:
This is a good start, but you can add plenty of other choices. In fact, the WooCommerce extension store has an entire section devoted to payment gateways:
There are a few options you can include for free, such as Amazon Pay and Square. Other gateways may require a one-time payment, or involve various fees. Be sure to research each platform carefully before signing up, so you understand its terms and requirements.
WooCommerce may be easy to set up, but you don’t want to rush out a basic storefront and hope for the best. Running a successful e-commerce store requires planning, time, and commitment. On the plus side, many of the most effective strategies are easy to use and very accessible.
If you’re looking to maximize your WooCommerce sales, you’ll want to start by:
- Displaying product attributes and variations.
- Adding an image gallery to each product.
- Enabling and managing customer reviews.
- Providing easy support via live chat.
- Offering plenty of payment gateway options.
Do you have any questions about how to implement theses methods on your WooCommerce site? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image credit: CarolCarter.