So you want to sell something online, do ya?

Heading to Etsy? Not so fast! I do love Etsy, but…

If you’re a graphic designer or creative professional who is selling something related to your business, it should be an extension of your business and live in the same place. Yes, the same place…your website! And if you currently have a WordPress site, you already have the capability to house an awesome online store. That’s because eCommerce and WordPress are a perfect match thanks to a plug-in called WooCommerce. Not to mention the benefits of keeping your brand unified.

Adding a store to your WordPress site? First, consider these things…

Once you’ve decided that your WordPress website is the best place for your online store, think about:

Payment

Stripe is a free plugin which integrates with WooCommerce, but you may prefer Paypal, or a credit card service hooked up through your bank. Each payment gateway comes with its own set of fees. Some take a percentage of the sale (which can be good because you’re not paying monthly fees), and some charge a set monthly fee (which might make sense if you have a higher-volume store). Also, do you want your customer to stay on your site to pay? Or leave and use another payment gateway?

Shipping

Digital products are simple to fulfill, but if you have physical products, you’ve got to determine how you want to send ’em: via the good old-fashioned post office, UPS,  FedEx, or other carrier. Which shipping options do you want to provide? What will you charge your customer? Will you offer free shipping above a certain amount? The answers depend a lot on what you’re selling. If your product fits in a USPS flat-rate box, you can offer a choice between priority or standard shipping…pretty straightforward. If your products are different sizes, you might be better off with UPS, which can figure out weights and dimensions for you (based on what you assign to products on the backend). Sometimes, it simply comes down to what’s closer. If there’s a UPS store right next to your morning coffee shop, the choice might be obvious.

Inventory

If you carry products and have a certain level of stock, your online store can keep track of that for you. If you run out, the product can be hidden or go on “back order.” You can also choose to show low stock quantities: “Only 2 left!”

Customer accounts

If you’re going to have an online store, how much visibility do you want to give your customer? How much do you want to handle internally? When somebody checks out with WooCommerce, they can create an account or checkout as a guest. Creating an account lets them look at past orders or see if the product has been shipped (if that’s something you choose to update). It gives you the option to add tracking numbers as well.

When it comes to these elements—and everything else needed to get your online store selling—we’ll talk about the options and figure out what works best for you.

Want to start an online shop, the right way? Check out my WordPress eCommerce web design package.

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