You might have sold products with WooCommerce, or you might just be thinking about it … but how about using it to sell your services?
Most business owners think of WooCommerce as a way to sell physical or digital products: things that are created ahead of time, then purchased by customers.
But if you sell services – perhaps as a coach, consultant, or freelancer – you can still use WooCommerce.
Once you’ve figured out the services you’ll be offering, how you’re pricing them, and who you’re marketing them to, it’s time to get WooCommerce set up to work for you.
To make sure you get everything working smoothly from the beginning, you’ll need to consider these five important things:
#1 How Will You Track Your Conversion Rate?
You may not be sure what sort of conversion rate to expect for your services, even if you’ve been selling products through your site in the past.
Conversion rates vary a lot: some people will tell you that 2% is good; others will say that you should be aiming for as high as 11%. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter exactly what your starting rate is: what’s important is that you’re always striving to improve it.
It’s crucial to track your conversion rate, so you know whether any changes you are making are improving it or making it worse. A simple increase in sales won’t tell you much: it could be down to an increase in traffic rather than in conversion rate.
For instance, if you revamp your sales page to include more images and less text, and later see an increase in sales, you’ll want to know whether that’s down to the changes you’ve made or whether it’s due to your SEO efforts paying off in bringing in more traffic.
Key Tip: Some users will return to your site multiple times before making the decision to buy, especially if you have high priced services or services they need to schedule.
This means it’s crucial to track your rather than conversion rate (which you can learn exactly how to do in Google Analytics as you might find it’s a lot better than you thought!
#2 What Other Plugins or Extensions Will You Need in Order to Sell Your Services Effectively?
Since WooCommerce is designed for product sales, rather than as a way to sell services, you’ll almost certainly want to use some other tools along with it.
For instance, if you’re going to sell a subscription-based service (e.g. a regular coaching call, where your client pays weekly or monthly) you can use the WooCommerce premium extension WooCommerce Subscriptions.
If you’ll need to schedule your services at specific times, then the extension WooCommerce Bookings could be very handy.
Depending on the type of services you sell, you may need to issue your customers with an invoice: this is easily automated through the (free, with premium option) plugin WooCommerce PDF Invoices.
There are dozens of other plugins available that might be helpful to you, depending on how exactly you want to sell and provide your services.
Key Tip: If there’s something you’d like to be able to do during the booking process that WooCommerce doesn’t have the functionality for … chances are, someone out there has built a WooCommerce extension for it.
Don’t assume that the functionality simply doesn’t exist – instead, look around to see whether you can find something that will help you make your sales process even smoother.
#3 How Will You Take Payments?
With WooCommerce, you can take payments in various ways. While using PayPal, or accepting credit card payments via Stripe, might work fine for your products, you may need to think how best to charge for your services.
Some customers, for instance, might be more comfortable sending the funds by electronic bank transfer – especially if your services cost several hundred dollars. This option is also built-in to WooCommerce.
You may need to consider, too, allowing customers to pay in instalments or letting them pay a deposit to secure their booking. You can find out how to do that using the SUMO WooCommerce Deposits Payment Plans.
Although WooCommerce comes with a high level of security, you may also want to make payments extra secure.
Key Tip: Make sure you let customers know how secure their payments are: this can be reassuring for first-time customers or for those who aren’t especially confident buying online.
#4 Will You Offer a Customer Loyalty Program?
If you’re offering a single service that most people will only buy once (like website setup), then a loyalty program may not make sense. But if you’re offering multiple services or a service that people might buy again and again – such as freelance editing – then implementing a loyalty program could see you winning lots of easy repeat business.
One easy way to offer a loyalty program is via the SUMO Reward Points plugin. This flexible plugin also allows you to issue reward points for things like social shares – which can help encourage customers to spread the word about your services.
You may also want to offer some type of loyalty reward to past customers: the easiest way to implement this is probably with a discount coupon. There are some great plugins out there and many discount ideas to try out.
Key Tip: Don’t make your rewards program too complex, or too long-winded. Most customers would rather get a smaller reward sooner than wait ages to build up to a big reward. For instance, 10% off next month is likely to work better than 20% off in six months’ time.
#5 Will You Need to Include Sales Tax for Your Services?
Some countries levy sales tax on certain services: you’ll need to find out what laws apply in your own country (or state, if you’re in the USA) so you can apply this correctly.
The way sales tax works (VAT if you’re in the EU) varies wildly from country to country, so do make sure you find advice that’s applicable to where you live. If you live in a different country from where you do business, or if your customers live in multiple different countries, that can complicate the situation too.
Thankfully, WooCommerce makes it relatively easy to include Sales Tax – it’s just a matter of ticking the correct boxes under Settings -> Tax. WooCommerce have a guide to the situation in the US here that walks you through the process step by step.
Key Tip: If you’re unsure about whether you should be charging sales tax, get expert advice from an accountant.
Whatever services you plan to sell, WooCommerce could be the perfect way to let your clients easily buy from you – without you having to do a ton of administration each time you take on someone new.
By thinking through the above questions, you’ll be in a great position to bring in new customers and to win repeat business from existing ones, too.
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