More businesses have come online over time, but that trend is moving even faster with COVID-19. With prevention measures ranging from social distancing to shelter-in-place orders all over the country and the world, brick and mortar businesses are rushing to transition to online sales.
Because selling online is so important right now, we invited Justin Nealey — host of our Journey series on YouTube — to share some easy ways to help your clients sell online with WordPress in our first-ever GoDaddy Pro webinar.
If you missed it, or just want to see it again, you can watch the recording here:
Why is selling online so important?
There’s no denying the intense, immediate need for your clients to start selling online, but it’s also just a good idea in general.
Some of the benefits include:
- Increased reach: Your client gets customers from all over the world.
- Convenience: Customers can make purchases without having to leave their house (or put on pants).
- Survival: The world is virtual; adapting is the only way to survive as a business.
- Value: The websites generates more revenue and leads for your clients.
Your clients aren’t the only ones who benefit, though.
If you build ecommerce websites, you can charge more for your site builds, and you can pick up new clients needing to make the shift to online sales.
If you’ve been specializing in informational business sites until now, it may be time to look into branching out to ecommerce.
The 4 components of an online store
Justin identifies four separate (though complementary) parts of an online store:
- Website: This is separate from the store because it’s where your client tells their story; it’s how their customers interact with their brand.
- Products: These are the tangible part of the store, the physical or digital goods and services your client sells.
- Shopping Cart & Payment: This is how your client’s customers will purchase the products, since they can’t just walk up and hand you cash.
- Fulfillment: An often-forgotten component of an online store, this is how your clients plan to get their products to their customers after purchase.
You probably already understand why the website, products, and shopping cart/payment parts of the online store are important, but it may not be as clear how fulfillment can make or break a business.
Justin shared a story about a friend with a beard oil business to illustrate how important it is to plan fulfillment. Because his friend didn’t have a system in place, he got overwhelmed with orders and had to stop his business because he wasn’t serving his customers fast enough.
Justin recommends talking with your client about their plans for fulfilling the orders that come in through their website, so they have a strategy in place ahead of time.
Simple solutions for selling online with WordPress
The easiest way to help your clients start selling online is through WordPress plugins.
Justin started with 3 plugins he recommends for clients who need a simple solution start selling quickly:
- Quick installation and setup. Roughly 5-10 minutes to set up and start adding products.
- Good for clients who already have a Stripe merchant account to start selling files, digital goods, or downloads.
- Take payments directly on the website without redirecting.
- Requires an SSL certificate on the website.
- Has an “Add to Cart” button and creates a shopping cart so shoppers can add multiple products before checking out.
- Redirects to PayPal for payment.
- Good for sites that already use Contact Form 7.
- Add-ons are free.
- Built in support for multiple languages and currencies.
A tip from Justin: Update the submit button text. It says “Send” by default, so that might be confusing to customers when they’re expecting to make a payment.
Try these WordPress plugins to help your clients sell online
During the webinar, Justin demonstrated the Contact Form 7 and WooCommerce solutions for us, giving us a quick overview of setup and some use case scenarios. He also recommended plugins to use for specific types of online sales.
Here’s a quick breakdown of his recommended solutions:
What it’s for: Restaurant order and delivery.
Benefits: You can set up a minimum order amount and a lead time to prevent orders that are too small to be worth delivering and to allow time to prepare the meal before delivery.
What it’s for: Membership or paywall for premium content sites, subscriptions, and more.
Benefits: Freemium – most people can get by with the free version, but the paid version has a lot of additional features.
What it’s for: Downloads and other digital products.
Benefits: It’s easy to set up andsupports tons of payment gateways
What it’s for: Everything.
Benefits: WooCommerce is the most popular ecommerce platform on the web. If you have WordPress Ecommerce Hosting from GoDaddy, you also get nearly $1000 worth of WooCommerce extensions for free.
Build confidence in WordPress with your clients
One attendee brought up a really important question:
“How do you convince customers that WordPress can be easy to use to sell online?”
Getting your client to buy in to your chosen platform or strategy is probably the most important part of this process, and Justin had some useful tips to share on that as well.
- You set it up for them.
- Use one of the easier plugins. If they don’t need the flexibility of WooCommerce, you can use one of the less complex options, like the Stripe plugin.
- Record tutorials. Record yourself talking through product setup and other tasks so your client can refer back to them when they get stuck, and you can re-use the same tutorials for future clients.
This is a great time to consider expanding your web design & development services to ecommerce, since businesses are eager to start selling online due to COVID-19.
If you’re new to selling online with WordPress, these tips and demos will give you a jump start.
Editor’s note: Are you building websites for clients? Join GoDaddy Pro to manage all your clients, their websites and GoDaddy products from a central dashboard.