WP eCommerce Show

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Today marks the end of the WP eCommerce Show.
In episode 170 of my podcast, I am flying solo and diving deep into helping you create and manage your WooCommerce store’s content strategy. Content has been my WordPress life. Listen in as I give tips, insights and my own experiences with strategies and tools to help you start and implement your WooCommerce shop’s content strategy. I talk about: How to discover your content focus.Exploring even a deeper focus on the types of content you might consider.What multi-media options are available to you.How you can blog without blogging.Managing your content, including posts, products and media.Keeping your content updated and repurposing your existing content.The benefit of using social media and scheduling shares. You can see our post on creating your WooCommerce content strategy here. Tools I mentioned: Publish PressWicked Folders ProSocial Web SuiteBroken Link Checker Plugin
In episode 169 of our podcast, I chat with Cathi Bosco and Jackie D’Elia from UX All the Things. WordPress, WooCommerce and UX The goal of any online store owner is to make the user experience and as seamless as possible. So I thought it would be great to pull in the experts to give us some tips and insights. I start by having both Cathi and Jackie share just how important content and design go hand-in-hand when it comes to good UX and your online store. Then we look at some of the failures they see most often and they share their ideas of how to make those work for your customers. I cannot help myself by asking them their feelings towards pop-ups, specifically when it comes to an online store. Jackie and Cathi dive a bit into both WordPress and WooCommerce, telling us how both of those bring a better user experience to the customer. And lastly, I haven’t asked my guests this question for a long time. So stay tuned in to find what neither one of them would ever buy online. Where you can find Cathi and Jackie UX All the ThingsCathi on Twitter @BeTheBreezeJackie on Twitter @jdelia
In episode 168 of our podcast, I chat with Shayda Torabi, co-founder of RESTART CBD. CBD, WooCommerce and WordPress The CBD (cannabidiol) industry is growing by leaps and bounds. Shayda took her personal challenges and turned it into a business through her passion. She tells us the story behind why she started the business and is candid about the challenges from governmental to payment gateways. She also shares why she chose to use WordPress and WooCommerce and the experiences she had when looking at other eCommerce platforms. We also talk a lot about her challenges with WordPress and WooCommerce. Shayda doesn’t hold back on this and we discover that selling a product such as CBD comes with a lot of variables and potential hurtles to overcome. Shayda also is one of the few business owners that I have talked to who started online and then opened up a brick and mortar shop. This, again, comes from the unique challenges of CBD but also extends to why she felt the need for a physical presence as well. There are a lot of gems in this conversation for anyone who works with WooCommerce and/or is thinking about getting into the CBD space. Hope you’ll join us for this one. Where you can find Shayda RESTARTCBD.comRESTARTCBD on InstagramRESTARTCBD on FacebookRESTARTCDB on TwitterShayda on InstagramShayda on Twitter
In episode 167 of our podcast, I chat with Gregroy Karelitz from Hubspot. CRM, Inbound Marketing and eCommerce with WordPress I ask Gregory to start with the differences of a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and Inbound Marketing. Both are the backbone of Hubspot and he gives us a clear definition that shows the importance of both strategies. From there I have Greg explain the importance of having both a CRM and Inbound Marketing plan for your eCommerce site. Although WordPress isn’t the only platform that you benefit from in using these tools, Greg shares with us the advantages WordPress brings to the table. Then Greg dives into the details around a WooCommerce and WordPress integration with Hubspot, including more details on their plugin. We round it off with Greg to sharing one final tip for the small online store business owner. Where You can Find Gregory HubspotOn Twitter at @GKarelitzGreg on LinkedIn The Hubspot WordPress Plugin On WordPress.orgOn Hubspot Thanks again to our podcast sponsor Cloudways.
In episode 166 of our podcast, I am chatting with Spencer Forman, entrepreneur and the founder of the WooCommerce plugin LaunchFlows. Spencer has been around the web for some time, a good part of that in the WordPress space. He especially is fond of talking about and helping people with their automation. Automation and Sales Funnels Automation and sales funnels work hand in hand. I asked Spencer why they are particularly critical for the eCommerce site. He explained why so many store owners drop the ball when it comes to automation and how they can find solutions that integrate easily with WordPress. Spencer shared his background that has brought him to where he is today, his experience in the WordPress space and his admiration for the WPFusion plugin. He explained how he created LaunchFlows to help users of CartFlows and eCommerce maximize the sales funnels on their online stores or other WooCommerce-powered sites. We closed the podcast with Spencer sharing thoughts on what he sees coming in automation and sales funnels, especially around the WordPress/ eCommerce space. Where you can find Spencer: WPLaunchifyLaunchFlows
In episode 165 of our podcast, I am chatting with Matt Medeiros, podcaster, publisher and the founder of the soon-to-be Business 5000. Matt has a history, both in the WordPress space and in creating products. He has had his share of ideas, pitches, successes and challenges, the things anyone thinking about a product can relate to. Matt and the Business 5000 Matt introduces his newest idea, Business 5000, walking us through how he came up with the concept of this incubator. I asked him how important it is to have a product in this digital age and what that might look like. I also ask him about peer pressure around making products, whether that helps to motivate us—or does it just add extra anxiety. Product Ideas We move into the topic of product ideas. Many of us have tons of ideas for products. We have a boatload of domains just crying to be used. Matt shares how he personally weeds out his product ideas and gives you some tips that will help you to focus. Product Pitches With product pitches, we look at which is the bigger weakness, not knowing how to do them or merely not doing them. Or do those go hand in hand? And once we have conquered this problem, how do we prioritize those pitches and avoid just trusting the power of email to solve our problem by sending out mass messages. Lastly, I ask Matt to share what unique challenges a new product has in the WordPress space. If you know Matt, he has plenty to share with us. Listen in, enjoy and don’t forget to subscribe. Where you can find Matt Business 5000MattReportPluginTut
In episode 164 I chat a bit about the coming year on this show. First off, I would like to send a huge thank-you to all my sponsors and everyone who has tuned into The WP eCommerce Show since March of 2016. This is my longest running podcast and I am excited to see how things unfold in 2020. The format will be unchanged: conversational-style interviews with a broad range of bright minds on topics covering the broader spectrum of WordPress in the eCommerce space. The Do the Woo Podcast As you may or may not know, our other eCommerce podcast, the WooCommerce-focused Do the Woo Show, is expanding in 2020. The podcast itself will remain the same: conversation that totally focuses on WooCommerce. Each week my co-host and I talk with someone in the WooCommerce community. And though we have always touched on news around WooCommerce, that is now being expanded to the entire site. So BobWP.com becomes, Do the Woo on BobWP.com. The focus: WooCommerce Community and News. So if you are a WooCommerce fan, I would suggest you definitely head on over to BobWP.com and check it out.
In episode 163 of our podcast, our last show of 2019, I have asked a few knowledgable peeps in the WordPress/eCommerce space for their predictions for 2020. Although there are tons of people who I am sure would have some great insights to add, time was limited and it was a bit of a challenge finding anyone that had a little spare time during this season. 2020 / eCommerce / WordPress Of course we could have reflected on the last year and what we’ve seen. I’m sure there will be plenty of those posts. Instead, being more of a what-we-could-see rather than a what-we-have-seen kind of guy, I took this route. So enjoy and thank you for being one of our loyal listeners this last year. Here’s to a fantastic 2020! Brad Williams – WebDev Studios | @williamsba (and also co-host with me at Do the Woo Podcast) I have two predictions. First up, AI and machine learning. Imagine what the eCommerce market could gain from understanding customer needs and serving them. in the past, recommendations were set manually based on your purchase history or others who purchased similar items. But integrating AI and machine learning can take that further and can actually understand who you are. Learn about your customers, learn the brands they like, the colors they like, maybe their gender, the general budget they spend. All these different factors to give them recommendations that they actually care about and will spend money on. These AI services are becoming easier to integrate. They’re cheaper, they’re faster and much more important, to be integrated into your eCommerce store. So look out for that in 2020. Second, voice commerce, Amazon, Alexa, Apple, Siri, Google assistant. We all have one of these devices if not more than one in our house and in our pocket and in our cars. It’s estimated that by 2023, there will be over 8 billion devices with voice assistants in them. And voice shopping is expected to hit $40 billion by 2022. You want to make it easy for your customers to purchase your products however they want. Mobile has been the trend for years. Now we know that continues to grow, but purchasing things with your voice, using voice assistance is the next big trend. So get on it. Make sure people can order your products through Alexa, through Siri, through Google. Reach out to your eCommerce provider or your developers and talk to them about it. These are my recommendations for 2020. Beka Rice – SkyVerge / Jilt | @Beka_Rice For eCommerce in 2020, I think there are a lot of really interesting trends. One of the things I’ve loved for a long time is virtual reality and augmented reality and I think that’ll continue to grow in 2020. But for a more immediate trend, I think multi-platform selling is going to make some big gains this year with new technologies like Instagram checkout coming soon. I think this will make it much easier for merchants to sell directly to customers in the marketing channels they’re using, which is pretty unique and interesting. So I think that we’ll see the rise of more platforms like Instagram checkout change the concept of purchasing and how brands engage with their customers, and how they build brand awareness with their customers. Kyle Maurer – Sandhills Development | @MrKyleMaurer My prediction is more consolidation. Venture capital is entering WordPress, which is proving to be a ripe market for investment. I believe many product creators in WordPress are overworked, overwhelmed, undervalued, and inexperienced when it comes to turning the fruits of their labors into longterm enterprises. Investors do know this and are aggressively scouring the landscape for businesses with potential which can be acquired for amounts far less than similar businesses outside of WordPress. In 2020, even more of the brands you know and love will finally give in and accept investment from either larger companies already in WordPress or new funding sources recently entering the scene. The eCommerce brands are among the most enticing to those investors. All of the brands you know and love are having conversations about this right now. Some will carry on as they have been while others will take the offer to cash. I predict we’ll see as many as one and a half to two times the number of companies taking on funding or selling their business entirely in 2020 compared to what we saw in 2019. Kathy Zant – WordFence | @kathyzant I think first we’ll start seeing WordPress used as a platform for more than just the standard HTML based websites we’ve seen in the past. We’ll start seeing new interfaces in both mobile and desktop environments leverage data that’s stored in the WordPress database in new and unique ways. We’re already starting to see some of this with new tools coming forward like Gatsby, but I think we’ll start seeing other tools and methodologies coming forward that use WordPress’s database as a storage tool and present data in new ways. I think we’ll also start seeing increasingly sophisticated attacks on eCommerce stores. Store owners are becoming much more security conscious and hosting providers are developing more methods and tools for keeping storefronts and customer data safe. So hackers are being forced to up their game. We won’t be able to let our guard down, even if some of the more basic intrusions are blocked. It’s going to be critically important to have a firewall. And I think we’ll start seeing more store fronts using both cloud-based firewalls and end point firewalls together for additional layers of security. 2020 is going to be a year of growth online, in my opinion. And I’m optimistic about where both eCommerce and WordPress are going. Chris Lema – Liquid Web | @chrislema Today, if I head to a website that is an eCommerce store, I normally get to the homepage of the store and it says in the navigation, men, women, children, accessories. It shows me the categories. And if I click into men and then I click into jeans or shirts or shoes and I browse two or three items and I go back to that homepage, for the most part, the homepage looks identical. It looks the same. My click stream hasn’t changed how the company has designed their homepage or any other page on their website. But if you go to the good ones, if you go to the ones that are paying attention, what you see is that if I spend all my time browsing through the men’s section of an online store, when I get to the homepage, they’ve recast that homepage to be for men. These are the products and the suggestions and the favorites and the promotions offered. And the same thing would happen if I were a woman. So my prediction when we talk about eCommerce and particularly 2020, and where it’s going is I think more and more stores are going to use clickstream and behavior analysis to dynamically change or to personalize a buyer’s journey on their website. And the ones that do it more and more, we’ll see better and higher conversions because the store starts paying attention to what we’re already telling it without necessarily typing in search or without filling out a contact form. We’re telling you what we’re interested in and a smart website should pay attention to that. Maddy Osman – The Blogsmith | @MaddyOsman My prediction for e-commerce in the WordPress space is that in 2020 we’re going to see a more democratized space in terms of things that we saw in 2019, like BigCommerce releasing a plugin that expanded their managed platform to now work with WordPress as a headless eCommerce system. And more recently when GoDaddy and WooCommerce partnered to the effect of people being able to use many of their extensions that they’d normally pay a yearly subscription fee on as included with their GoDaddy hosting plan. So it seems fair to assume that more things like this could happen in 2020, making WordPress eCommerce tools more accessible to users, both with technical experience and those without it. It would be interesting to see a major player like Shopify doing something like what BigCommerce did, but I tend to doubt that that would happen just because they’re doing so well on their own without any partnerships with WordPress. But in general, I think that eCommerce is going to be easier and easier for people to use, especially with WordPress as the backend system. Mario Peshev – Devrix | @no_fear_inc There are two trends that I see becoming more popular and more important throughout 2020. When it comes to eCommerce, the first one is social selling through different social channels. We are all aware that chatbots are becoming even more popular and lots of people are trying to sell straight from Messenger or to different mediums like Instagram or Pinterest or even Twitter. Now that’s something that has already been working, not to mention that you can now purchase different things through Google search changing itself or through the Facebook marketplace. And more and more businesses are trying to segregate these and move further away from their own store or integrate their own stores into different popular channels in Facebook pages or find a different medium to do dropshipping. Then Amazon, which is the known leader in the space. This one will definitely take some precedence, not to mention the fact that chatbots are becoming more and more popular. At the same time, Facebook is now trying to set some regulations simply because Facebook is not really earning from chatbots at this time. So we’ll see some interesting stunts in the chatbox space through the coming year. The second thing is more and more purchases to voice-control devices. Now voice search is picking up a lot of traction and I assume it’s going to reach about 50/50, we’re even going to see more than the traditional local search and e-commerce search in Google SERP, or in different similar channels. Even the voice search itself is not going to solve all problems out there. More and more people are trying to use their home devices such as Google home or Alexa or Cortana or anything like that to purchase stuff or set up shopping lists. There are even smart fridges that let you know what sort of recipes you’re interested in, what sort of purchases you need to make and so on. All of those are going to be consolidated and it would be made easier to buy stuff through voice-control devices. So having integrations with those, making sure that you’re actually ranking properly for those devices, making sure that your items are compatible with all those services that are looking for goods and services online. This is also important and will be even more important throughout 2020. Marieke va de Rakt – Yoast | @MariekeRakt If I was to predict a trend in a WordPress eCommerce space, I would say that structured data, our schema, it’s gold and will become more and more important. So our SEO plugin, the OCO supports multiple schema.org out of the box. And if you implement correctly, search engines can use schema to understand the contents of your page better. As a result, your site might be presented better in the search results. For example, in the form of rich results, like rich snippets or rich cards and for product pages. For every eCommerce site, this will become more and more important because the competition and eCommerce sites are so very fierce. If you want to end up in the search results, you’ll need a good schema implementation for sure. So the most important trend is schema. Topher DeRosia – BigCommerce | @topher1kenobe My main prediction for eCommerce in 2020 is a general move toward API-driven eCommerce. Traditionally self-hosted, open source platforms have owned the flexibility space, and SaaS platforms have owned the pre-packaged secure and stable space. With an API driven system you can have the best of both worlds. The experience layer is infinitely flexible, while the eCommerce layer is protected and stable. This allows companies to quickly and easily pivot on the experience layer without disrupting the eCommerce layer at all. It also allows large scale companies to incorporate an eCommerce tool into an existing tool chain. At large scale you’ll see hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of people working with a complex existing toolchain. Rather than ask them to change that toolchain to accommodate a rigid, proprietary eCommerce system, an API-driven platform can seamlessly fit into that chain, reducing time and cost. This follows the Unix philosophy of making focused, powerful tools that integrate with other tools. Thanks to our sponsor Ahoy! A big thanks to our sponsor Ahoy!, the perfect way to recover and boost your WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads online store’s revenue. Their automated marketing message lets you easily create and fine tune your message box for increased conversions. Most importantly, it helps you with those eCommerce conversion hotspots: cart abandonment, instant up-sells and targeted cross sells. They have some slick reporting features built in to help keep you on top of the game. And, of course, excellent customer service and a money back guarantee should you not start seeing results in 14 days. So what are you waiting for? Head on over to use ahoy.com/bobwp and use the code BobWP to get 20% off any of their plans.
In episode 162 of our podcast, I chat with Aaron Campbell and Adam Warner from GoDaddy. Aaron is the head of the WordPress core and ecosytem at GoDaddy and Adam is field marketing manager for their GoDaddy Pro team. Occasionally I like to bring in hosting companies for perspectives and advice on navigating the WordPress/eCommerce space. eCommerce and WordPress From a Hosting Perspective I asked them what they feel is one of the bigger advancements in the space during the last year. Each of them playing a different role at GoDaddy, they shared what are some of the bigger challenges for someone who wants to start selling online. We hear what they consider some of the first steps to getting started and how hosting plays a role in that. We also learn about the new partnership with  WooCommerce and what GoDaddy is now offering specifically to WooCommerce store owners. I ended with asking for their predictions for the coming year and, since we are in the holiday season, what they would never buy online this time of the year. Advancements in the past year One of the biggest things I see is the trend toward making it so much easier to run your own store on WordPress—a place where you can own your own data. I think the difficulty level took a drop over the last couple of years. That’s exciting because it brings a whole new group of people that want to have an online presence, but don’t want to be a web experts. People don’t even need to know that it’s WooCommerce. They just need to know that this solution offers me the ability to add and sell products easily rather than going to someplace like eBay or Etsy. The idea being that you are not bound to a platform that you are in control of your hosting, you in control of your store, you’re in control of your products. I think that has a huge benefit, especially for new users. New users wanting to sell online It’s one thing to spin up a store and add products: images, descriptions, whatever. Anybody can do that. But then you start adding things like payment processors. Do I choose PayPal? Do I choose Stripe, do I choose something else? And then email marketing. And things like Google analytics and Facebook. You can put up a bunch of products but no one will come unless they know about it. I think that as we’ve seen those whole solutions come to WordPress, we’re seeing some of that difficulty solved, but we’re not quite there yet. And I think that’s still one of the biggest struggles that people face. Adding to that, the whole back-office part of running an eCommerce store. Do you use QuickBooks? Do you hire a bookkeeper? All of those things are hurdles for someone spinning up an online store. Hosting for your eCommerce store My first question would be more on a personal level. What are your goals? What are you selling? Are you selling one product? Are you selling 10,000 products via some kind of a product feed? So try to whittle down to what the goal is, what you’re trying to accomplish, and then talk about the different solutions for hosting an eCommerce store. Choose a host that has a WooCommerce-focused hosting product because that means that they’re familiar with WooCommerce. They are familiar with any hurdles that might arise in a hosting environment. They’re familiar with how to optimize that hosting environment for eCommerce. One of the biggest things you want to look for in the technical solution you’re buying into for hosting is this: does it cover all the parts I don’t want to do myself? You’ve got to know what those parts are that you want to do yourself. It can be frustrating to not want to do a thing but need to do it. And it’s just as frustrating to want to do a thing and it’s not in your control because the host controls all that. So what are the things that you do want to control? Then find the host and the hosting package that covers all the stuff that’s not on that list. The WooCommerce / GoDaddy Partnership with managed hosting I think our biggest focus was how can we make having an online store on WordPress as easy as it is to have an online store anywhere else. How can we give entrepreneurs and small business owners the tools they need without adding so much complexity that they don’t want to do it? How can we simplify that process? We want it to do it as simply and easily as possible. From an onboarding flow that dramatically simplifies the steps of setting up an online store all the way to packaging the add-ons that we know people are going to want and need and all together in one place so that they don’t have to go hunt those things down. So they don’t hit a point where they’re trying to do something that they’re not capable of doing with what we’ve already given them. When you install WooCommerce, you need to hunt for those plugins. The onboarding flow has been designed to reduce the number of steps and reduce the number of decisions that the person spinning up the store has to make. So you’re asked a series of pretty simple questions. Once you’ve made those choices, then everything is pre-installed and activated for you and you’re ready to go. Having WooCommerce installed and having access to all of the ad-ons and extensions at such a low monthly price point with all of that included is a huge savings. I think that’s really important to reduce the friction. With the WooCommerce hosting here, you get an easy onboarding experience plus the low price point plus some pretty fantastic and fast hosting where everything’s done for you. Predictions for eCommerce and WordPress in 2020 I think that we’re gonna see pretty dramatic growth of these new entrepreneurs coming in and using eCommerce on WordPress as a way to bring to life to all of their ideas, the things that they’ve always wanted to do or wished they could do. We’re seeing more focus on people beginning to understand some of the importance of the flexibility that that is offered by WordPress and WooCommerce and, and the importance of owning your own data and not letting that belong to some other company. We’re going to see that in new stores, a big boom of those over the next year. eCommerce is going to get a lot more focus on the other parts of the business, other than just selling a product. I’m talking about marketing. You have this opportunity to easily spin up a store. You put all the functional stuff in place and then the real work begins. In 2020 more people will be talking about how to market your products, including email marketing and digital advertising. Also, a social presence and how to engage properly there. All of those marketing things. They will become more important and there will be more of a focus in 2020 on them in the eCommerce space. Where to find Aaron Slack at aaroncampbell Twitter @aaroncampbellAaron’s blog Where to find Adam Slack at awarner20 Twitter @wpmodder Resources & Other Links News: GoDaddy Partners with WooCommerce for eCommerce Hosting PlanGoDaddy Managed WooCommerce Hosting Thanks to our sponsor Ahoy! A big thanks to our sponsor Ahoy!, the perfect way to recover and boost your WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads online store’s revenue. Their automated marketing message lets you easily create and fine tune your message box for increased conversions. Most importantly, it helps you with those eCommerce conversion hotspots: cart abandonment, instant up-sells and targeted cross sells. They have some slick reporting features built in to help keep you on top of the game. And, of course, excellent customer service and a money back guarantee should you not start seeing results in 14 days. So what are you waiting for? Head on over to use ahoy.com/bobwp and use the code BobWP to get 20% off any of their plans.
In episode 161 of our podcast, I chat with Evan Medeiros, founder of The Trade Risk. Evan runs a membership site that grew from an interest of his blog readers. He also sells downloadable products. As a back-end developer, he is a true do-it-yourselfer. Creating and Running a Membership Site Evan gets into his decision to start a membership site and how he has recently restructured it based on member feedback. We also talk about how content has played an important role in the growth of his site, how he has learned to manage and create content while still finding time for the membership side of the site, and the challenge of maintaining that content level. The talk moves into his challenges of producing the content and marketing his memberships and products while being in an industry where there are limitations of what he can say— or even imply. We dive into the tech side of things and learn why he chose WordPress. He shares the plugins he uses, including Paid Memberships Pro, Beaver Builder and WooCommerce.  Lastly, I ask Evan to give us his own tips for starting a membership site based on his 5+ years of experience. The Transition to a Membership Site I had people start to reach out to me and say, Hey I like what you’re doing. What else do you do? Like, can I get more insights from you? Can I get X, Y, or Z? At that point I said, okay, this is kind of naturally turning into something here. That I think I have value. I have people asking me for something. And that’s really where my membership product came from. It seemed natural at that point to go down the membership route. And the reason was because of the nature of the business and what I was doing is basically providing technical analysis or information about the stock market, doing pattern recognition. And looking at opportunities in the stock market. When people reached out, the primary interest was can I get more from you on a day-to-day basis? Can I get more content? Can I get more real time? I don’t want to wait for you to publish a blog post at the end of the day. I want more instant access. The membership model seemed to be the right fit. I didn’t think twice about it. In 2014 I had no real vision. I didn’t launch the blog to start a membership site or anything. So when someone started to come up and ask, Hey can I pay you for this content? I thought to myself, well, what do I charge them? Changing your model As of just this month, I’ve flattened the membership to just a single model. I’ve gotten rid of the tiers and I’ve run a monthly plan and an annual plan. It’s the same plan, but one membership. Part of that decision is that I’m not going to teach you how to trade anymore. One of the things that I am working on now, when I was thinking about still keeping the two tiers, is the person who wants more. There’s always someone who wants more handholding or wants more access or wants more information. I’m going to do a standalone research report product which is going to be for people who want to know more about how the system was made. Listening to your members Getting feedback is important. Have a survey that goes out. I always survey everyone: either myself reaching out or a Google form that goes out shortly after they join, getting them to give me feedback on the features that I’m offering in the membership. Some of the some of the features I was putting into the membership people didn’t really care about. I thought they cared about it and I was spending a lot of time on these certain things. I started to realize that I could probably kill this off tomorrow and I wouldn’t lose anyone, because nobody really cares about this. It would free up 10 hours a week for me. Industry limitations and transparency I’m not a financial advisor. I don’t have any designations, I’m not registered with the state of Washington or anything. You have to be very transparent and clear about that. There’s absolutely some things I’ve learned. The biggest thing? Common sense goes a long, long way here. Just operating with the right intentions goes a long way and people notice it. Don’t try to be slick or clever with your marketing or what your promises are. I try to be very clear upfront on the signup page, on the footer of my website, basically anytime I’m transacting or selling anything, there are disclaimers out there and clear readable text that says, Hey, this isn’t some get-rich-quick scheme. You’re not going to be on the beach trading and making tons of money. It still requires work. You still need to do the homework. The do it yourselfer I’m a computer science grad, so I have some coding chops, although I was never a front-end guy. I was always a back-end systems developer. I’ve always hated the front-end and all the layers of trying to get things talking to one another. It still drives me nuts, but I can hack my way around. I use Paid Memberships Pro and WooCommerce, I added late last year. Late 2018 is when I started selling individual digital download products, which I use WooCommerce for. Those are the two big ones. In terms of site look and feel, I’ve aligned myself with BeaverBuilder. I’m pretty happy with them. Outside of that, for email business, MailChimp. Keeping content maintained Over the past four months, as I was relaunching this membership site and finishing up the trading algorithm that people would be signing up for, I was dying to write content. I had so many ideas and too many things. I was going to some conferences, I was running into people and there were so many great blog posts or videos that I could do. I just didn’t have the time because the priority was getting the development of this new product in place. I’m trying to support and run a business and support members, develop the products, maintain the website, all of that fun stuff. I try to schedule my time carefully to be able to leave room for fresh content coming out. I do a lot of video now instead of blogging because I’m quicker with it. I can jump on and record something. The equivalent blog posts would probably take me three to four times as long in terms to produce. But for any of the big stuff, I always try to transcribe it and always hit blog posts and video because different people are searching in those different engines. It’s about carving out the time to generate your content and not spreading yourself too thin. A few final thoughts Some people that have been following me for a long time say, I’ve watched videos for 20, 30, 40 weeks on end. I didn’t even know you sold anything. I didn’t even know you had a product available there. Because I really don’t push the heavy marketing. Part of it’s the industry because I want to be careful and play within my wheelhouse, a financial center, and not make big promises or claims. But it’s also because I’m looking to be in this for the long term. I’m not looking to exchange short-term profits or trying to coerce anyone into buying something. When people are ready, they’ll find me. Being able to adapt and look at the behavior of your members and your customers and listening to what they actually want is important. The example I gave about the part of my membership that was taking 10 or so hours per week that nobody really cared about, I thought was important. So adapt to your members and what they want. There’s a lot of content that you need to make for memberships and you also have to think about content that you’re doing that is the top of funnel for everybody. That’s a lot of content. So have a plan to know what’s going in the membership and doing this right. Understand the amount of work and effort that goes into coming up with a real good value prop for people that will keep paying you every month. Where to find Evan The Trade Risk websiteThe Trade Risk on YouTubeOn Twitter @evanmedeiros Thanks to our sponsor Ahoy! A big thanks to our sponsor Ahoy!, the perfect way to recover and boost your WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads online store’s revenue. Their automated marketing message lets you easily create and fine tune your message box for increased conversions. Most importantly, it helps you with those eCommerce conversion hotspots: cart abandonment, instant up-sells and targeted cross sells. They have some slick reporting features built in to help keep you on top of the game. And, of course, excellent customer service and a money back guarantee should you not start seeing results in 14 days. So what are you waiting for? Head on over to use ahoy.com/bobwp and use the code BobWP to get 20% off any of their plans.
In episode 160 of our podcast, I chat with Jonathan Wold who is on the WooCommerce team at Automattic about the open web, eCommerce and WordPress. Jonathan has a passion for this subject and I wanted to dig deeper into the philosophical aspects of it. eCommerce and WordPress on the Open Web I kept the questions open and broad so we could go in several directions. I wanted him to describe how he defines the open web and how it plays into WordPress and eCommerce. We looked at things historically, in the now and into the future.  There were too many twists and turn to go over in this intro. So I would suggest you listen in to experience some great conversation. What is the open web? I define the web as a digital network of connections. We connect people with each other, people with ideas, with organizations, with causes. The open web then is the description of the ideal state of the web. So if the web is a thing, I suggest that the open aspect of it is what I believe we want. It’s this idea that anyone’s able to access the web, that you’re not limited by geography, by device type, by connections. This is a sort of general principle, but we want the web to be as accessible as it can be to as many people as possible because it’s about connection. The ability to contribute to the web, to be able to take your ideas and put them online so that others can access them, I think that’s an important concept. That’s a lot of what it was at the beginning. People connecting and then creating their things and sharing them. The role of WordPress and eCommerce in the open web Publishing can mean any number of things: we associate primarily with where it started. Blogging was sort of the first focus of that expression. eCommerce and what Woo represents. It’s the democratization of commerce, right? eCommerce at its core, it’s that mission of, let’s democratize it. It’s focused on empowering the merchants themselves, the person who has an idea, they want to enable things that were never possible before. Someone out in the middle of nowhere with a little farm can connect with people who care about that thing they are selling. They are happy to buy it. They wouldn’t know that it existed otherwise. I can go on eBay, but to have your own place on the web, there’s a big difference. Because the Amazons, the eBays, there’s not really others like them. They’re fairly unique. But these marketplaces are very much focused on the customers, the people buying and end up treating the merchants as commodities, right? The open web historically You could look at sites, copy and create stuff. Decisions were made that allowed possibilities that couldn’t be imagined. We saw some of that thinking carry into early projects. I don’t think most people who worked on WordPress early could even see what would happen today. Some of our most popular plugins didn’t anticipate ever being as big as they are, but sound principles and this focus on empowering people to create things. By its very nature you can’t really anticipate what people will create with it. I think one of the things we’ve seen historically is with WordPress a key aspect has always been that focus on the nontechnical, empowering creativity. For someone who doesn’t have a development background. I think that’s been a key reason why it’s done as well as it has. And what has happened over time as the technology gets increasingly more complex. What stands out now Most people, this is true of WordPress and WooCommerce, don’t realize how big it is. You’ll hear some of these numbers and a lot of people haven’t even heard the numbers and your percentages of the web. It’s massive. If you take this idea of thinking about it as an operating system, imagine waking up and realizing that the majority of your customers are using iPhones and you don’t have a presence. And with WordPress, this is especially true because a good integration with WordPress can make a night and day difference in the quality of the experience that the customers are having. What’s starting to happen is companies are waking up to that like, okay, a lot of our customers are here, we should serve them better. I really think we’re in the early days of WordPress’s potential. The same with all that sort of builds, including Woo. We’re just getting started. There’s an incredible amount of momentum that’s easy to discount because of the nature of the project and the lack of big splashy things happening around it. But there’s a huge amount of power there. The future What I hope for looking through the lens of eCommerce is that we continue to make commerce on the open web more accessible and that we empower more creativity with that. I think as long as we keep going that direction, then that’s good for the project. And it’s also good for the open web. If the empowering drops then I think there’s going to be a natural gravitation towards the closed platforms and the closed ecosystems which have their benefits but also a big downside. You’re giving up autonomy. What I hope for is a healthy tension between the open web and people who feel empowered to create whatever they’re going to create. These closed systems that are able to move quickly and innovate and provide value, I think it’s great. I love what they’re doing. I just don’t want to see that become the web. We can’t anticipate all the ways in which people might create. I think it’s going to get harder and harder as these projects grow. It’s going to require a lot more effort and people doing some of their hardest work. And often times it can be thankless. Where to find Jonathan His website at JonathanWold.com Thanks to our sponsor Ahoy! A big thanks to our sponsor Ahoy!, the perfect way to recover and boost your WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads online store’s revenue. Their automated marketing message lets you easily create and fine tune your message box for increased conversions. Most importantly, it helps you with those eCommerce conversion hotspots: cart abandonment, instant up-sells and targeted cross sells. They have some slick reporting features built in to help keep you on top of the game. And, of course, excellent customer service and a money back guarantee should you not start seeing results in 14 days. So what are you waiting for? Head on over to use ahoy.com/bobwp and use the code BobWP to get 20% off any of their plans.
In episode 159 of our podcast, I chat with Chris Wiegman, Senior Software Engineer at WPEngine. Security and Privacy with Your WordPress eCommerce Site We chat about: What has been accomplished with privacy in the last year in the eCommerce/WordPress spaceWhat is the biggest weaknessTwo top privacy issues to consider when starting to sell on WordPressWhat you should look for when purchasing on a siteWhy it’s easier to plan what you collect vs. removing it after the factWhether people are becoming too paranoid or complacent when it comes to privacy Today we are revisiting a topic that stays in the forefront of our minds.: privacy, eCommerce and WordPress. Chris has a long history around security and privacy in the WordPress space. The two go hand in hand, so I asked Chris to share some insights and tips. We started out with Chris sharing what he felt was the biggest stride we have made in the space this year. We also look at the flip side of things and talk about what is still a large weakness with privacy in the eCommerce and WordPress space. Chris shares his advice on the top two pieces of the puzzle when you start selling using WordPress. From there, he gives us three important things to be aware of when visiting an online store or site as you consider making a purchase there. We also talk about how important it is to plan just how much information you need to collect when starting your site vs. thinking about how to remove it later on. I ask Chris to close out the show with his opinion on whether we have become a population of tin foil hat wearers or are we so getting so use to all of this that we are indifferent? Of course the conversation takes us into different directions and the result is giving you the approach to take to make sure you are protecting your customers and your own privacy. Tips and Insights from Chris Advances in the last year I think the biggest strides bookend this year. And that was GDPR last year, followed up by CCPA this year. We’re seeing that individual site owners are meeting with their legal counsel or something similar. That might be to set up just to make sure that they are meeting privacy terms and things like that. I’ve seen much more at the grassroots level than anything top-down. The largest weakness in the ecosystem We’re seeing hosts popping up strictly with their entire marketing schemes. That says a lot when you’re talking about WordPress as a stage. The amount of data processing involved in eCommerce is still a weakness on a system and on a legacy. What’s become a legacy system like WordPress is getting better. But these are oftentimes outside solutions that the individual site owner has a hard time controlling. Maybe the host that you’ve been on for 10 years and you have a lot invested in, isn’t really emphasizing e-commerce, where other hosts are. Data breaches, plugin vulnerabilities, all the things that have been a classic nemesis to WordPress and security in general, especially the update thing, becomes even more pronounced in the WooCommerce space. Two top privacy pieces for the first-time seller One would be data minimization. It’s tempting to say I need all of this data on my customer and I need to store it forever. What if they come back? If they’re just doing a digital download, you might not need their address. You might need a zip code or something else for tax purposes, but you may not need all the data you’re getting. The second one would be watching how you handle user accounts. Try enforcing strong passwords for your users. Password managers are a good thing for this. You can’t solve every issue, but taking your user accounts security for granted is going to get you in trouble. Limiting data now or later Part of the problem with the decentralized solution is purging individual data isn’t highly dependent on how you’ve set it up in the first place. It’s not a simple process to go back to old dates, which is why privacy by design becomes such a big issue. Do it when starting your new store. So when we’re looking back at existing sites, you know your site well enough where you can go back and pull all that data out, or you’re going to need to have your developer or agency team look back at that data and handle that for you. Privacy red flags as a consumer Watch for on any store you want to buy from that doesn’t have SSL. There are still stores out there like that. When was it last updated? If they have a copyright date at the bottom that says 2003 clearly, it hasn’t been touched since 2003. Have updates been applied? Is the site compromised? Who’s processing my credit card? If they’re not using something like Stripe, or PayPal, it’s clear that this user is taking that credit card number or the site itself is taking your credit card number. That to me is a big red flag. A final thought on privacy It’s always been, if you’re not paying for it, you are the product. But now it’s even beyond that. I would say you’re not the product anymore, you’re just a commodity and you’re the commodity to just build the product. There’s a lot a truth to it. Where to find Chris On Twitter @ChrisWiegmanWebsite: ChrisWiegman.com Resources Book mentioned: The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power Thanks to our sponsor FooSales A big thanks to our sponsor, FooSales. If you are looking for secure Point of Sale system for WooCommerce, FooSales has you covered. It turns any computer, iPad or Android tablet into a cash register and gives you the power to sell your products and run your business anywhere in the world. What’s cool is that it will connect directly to your WooCommerce database so as you are busy selling via this point of sales, your online store is perfectly synchronized. And unlike so many branded point of sales products, this doesn’t limit you to any single service provider and can be used with any credit cared processor. Have you been looking for that sales register? They have a 30-day free trial so you can test the waters. But I’m sure you will be more than happy with FooSales, so make sure and go to FooSales.com and use the code BobWP to get 25% off any of their plans for 12 months.
In episode 158 of our podcast, I chat with Lindsey Miller from Liquid Web as she shares her insights and experiences with building partnerships. Building Partnerships for Your Products and Services We chat about: What a partnership meansHow companies are doing it wrongIf your focus should be on customers or agenciesWhat is a good balance of give and takeThe importance of expectationsHow to maintain a partnership I do have to admit, partnership is a term that is loosely thrown around. And most who seek out partnerships are doing it all wrong. At least that’s been my experience.  You may be asking what this has to do with eCommerce. Well, anyone selling anything online at some point or other will want to build partnerships. And I don’t just mean affiliates.  Lindsey talks about how to create and build these partnerships with both customers/clients and agencies. We chat about how approaching these different audiences and how you can decide where to put your efforts. Most important she explains how a partnership means a good balance of give and take. It really is all about expectations on both sides. Creating and building those partnerships take a lot of work. So does maintaining them. Lindsey tells us why this is such a critical piece and how you should make it a priority.  If you are a WordPress eCommerce business and are just starting down the partnership road, or your efforts have been unsuccessful, this is for you. Lindsey and I, coming from both sides of the equation, bring you an interesting conversation filled with insights.  Tips and Insights from Lindsey What is a partnership? A partnership is truly a partnership. You’re going to do something for me, but I’m gonna do something for you. How to make our relationship mutually beneficial? I think to myself, if I can help somebody build their business, they’ll be helping me build my business. It feels nicer if we can all be a ship rising together as opposed to the really big ship rising and the little one, moving along a little bit at a time. It’s about finding out what their goals are and if they align with ours, if their goals are growth, then that’s probably a pretty good fit. The right customer for the right partnership Traditionally in the WordPress space, everyone had partnership programs and they really were just affiliate programs. They weren’t more robust than that. Even if they were mutually beneficial, it was just a, here’s your link, here’s your coupon code, we can help you with content or whatever it was. We go back to what are your goals, what’s the business like, your goals of your business or you as an individual that doesn’t even have a business. And then we can figure out which partner program you fit into that you’ll have the most success in and help you get set up. Expectations Setting expectations up from the very beginning. I let them know what I can do and what my limits are to help partners and then also on their side, what are all of the benefits and what can we help them do and succeed at or accomplish. Also, be willing to listen to what else they need. Maintaining partnerships I’m a relationship person. You hear that it’s not just about partnerships and it’s not just about sales, it’s about relationships. What we do on our team is we say if there was growth, that means that our partner, the relationship we have, that they grew their business and if they grow their business, they’ve added clients to their account. That is success for us. I have calls with people all week long who don’t have maintenance plans. It’s my favorite conversation because it’s super easy to add revenue to them. It doesn’t add revenue to us at all, but it does help them grow their business. And that makes me feel really good and that’s why I’m making a relationship and I’m making a partnership and I’m not making a sale. Where to find Lindsey On Twitter @LindseyMillerWP Thanks to our sponsor FooSales A big thanks to our sponsor, FooSales. If you are looking for secure Point of Sale system for WooCommerce, FooSales has you covered. It turns any computer, iPad or Android tablet into a cash register and gives you the power to sell your products and run your business anywhere in the world. What’s cool is that it will connect directly to your WooCommerce database so as you are busy selling via this point of sales, your online store is perfectly synchronized. And unlike so many branded point of sales products, this doesn’t limit you to any single service provider and can be used with any credit cared processor. Have you been looking for that sales register? They have a 30-day free trial so you can test the waters. But I’m sure you will be more than happy with FooSales, so make sure and go to FooSales.com and use the code BobWP to get 25% off any of their plans for 12 months.
In episode 157 of our podcast, I chat with Tessa Kriesel from Devocate. Tessa has taken her experience of development and passion for connecting people to her new business.  Developer Influencers We chat about: What makes a developer influencerCampaigns and what they might look likeHow to grow as a developer influencerWhat social platform is best for developersThe importance of authenticity The term influencer brings to mind many things. There is always a lot of talk around it. But I ask Tessa what make a developer influencer different. Tess shares this unique approach and gives us some great examples of campaigns and that makes it easier to understand. She also shares tips on what a developer can do now to make themselves a potential influencer.  We look at the mistakes companies make when starting to bring in influenceRs and how they can avoid them. Tessa gives us what she has found to be the better social platform for developers as well. This just touches the tip of the iceberg as Tessa dives into this much deeper and we go off in several different directions to encapsulate exactly what a developer influencer means to potential companies out there. It’s far from the celebrity influencers we have become so tired of. If you are a developer looking at expanding your brand and authority, this is a must-listen to show. Tips and Insights from Tessa The developer influencer Developers are not the ones who want to have those conversations with sales reps. It’s going to be a higher level executive at that company. It’s going to be the director of technology or the CTO. But they have opinions. They have ideas, they’ve got things they care about, they’ve got tools they want to use. They also have products they prefer. So the developer influencer angle is really more about that authentic relationship. I think most developers will kind of cringe and think I’m not an influencer, nor do I want to be an influencer. It’s not necessarily that they’re the influencers that we all envision on Instagram. Those people who have thousands and thousands of followers and they’re making really inauthentic posts. You have thousands of followers, you’re getting paid to do this. It’s more about taking the influencers that really love a specific product. Campaigns I think one campaign could be as simple as a company is releasing a new feature and they’re really excited about it. They want word- of-mouth to spread. They want people to test out this new feature. Maybe it’s a new add-on revenue stream for them. It could just be something as simple as, will you retweet this for us, we are announcing our new feature. We’d love for you to get this to your audience as well. Maybe a case study. They’ve already used it on a project and can talk about that case study, share details about that. Each different campaign could also have its own correlating reward. If you’re asking someone to retweet something, it could be something as simple as a few points for this task and then eventually you can incur points to purchase or redeem for some really cool items. Customer engagement It’s truly about getting to know your customers. I think the big angle is that there are so many product companies that are wildly successful and that’s awesome. But just think about that success and how they could possibly double or triple that if they started to just engage with their customers. Because not only are you going to get to know them on a more personal level, it’s going to have them invest even deeper in your product. Getting to know your customers is really going to drive those campaigns and drive what that reward system looks like, but also it’s going to help you make your product a hundred times better. Becoming a developer influencer Your influence about customer advocacy needs to be authentic. It needs to be you saying exactly how you feel and exactly the things that you stand behind. So stay authentic no matter what. I don’t care if you have a hundred followers or you have 100,000 followers. It’s more about that score. People call it a variety of different things, but when you post something, do your followers listen to you? I don’t have tons of followers, but when I do post, the people who are my followers engage with my posts most of the time. So that is a much better following than if you have thousands of followers who don’t engage with you. You want those followers who actually care about who you are, about what you do. So if you’re a developer with other developer followers, that’s going to be more successful than just having those high numbers. Mistakes companies make with influencers They’re thinking numbers. I think most of the time when I have these conversations, they want to find someone who has thousands and thousands of followers, or billions of followers. Those aren’t your people. The people that really truly matter are the ones who are your happiest customers. How can I get those passive customers to be our promoters? Those promoters are the ones who are going to stick out to you. They are the ones who love your product. They want to tell people about your product. I say focus on those people. Focus on the people that already love your product. Where developers hang out on social I would say by far, Twitter. So when I’m talking to my clients, I tell them to put most of their eggs in the Twitter basket because that’s going to be where most of the developers are spending their time. But this is also product- and company-specific and customer-specific. Right? So when you think about who are your influencers, what are they doing? Where are they spending their time? Two final tips Speaker 2: (30:21)The first one is to start collecting net promoter scores. The second one is start engaging with 10 new customers a month. That’s pretty easy to do. That’s two to three customers a week. All you have to do is spend a half an hour with them and find out what made them make that decision. Why did they buy your product? What problem are they solving? What problem is your product helping them accomplish or getting them to that goal. Where to find Tessa DevocateOn Twitter @Devocate_Tessa on Twitter @tessak22 Resources What is a Net Promoter Score? Thanks to our sponsor FooSales A big thanks to our sponsor, FooSales. If you are looking for secure Point of Sale system for WooCommerce, FooSales has you covered. It turns any computer, iPad or Android tablet into a cash register and gives you the power to sell your products and run your business anywhere in the world. What’s cool is that it will connect directly to your WooCommerce database so as you are busy selling via this point of sales, your online store is perfectly synchronized. And unlike so many branded point of sales products, this doesn’t limit you to any single service provider and can be used with any credit cared processor. Have you been looking for that sales register? They have a 30-day free trial so you can test the waters. But I’m sure you will be more than happy with FooSales, so make sure and go to FooSales.com and use the code BobWP to get 25% off any of their plans for 12 months.
In episode 156 of our podcast, I chat with Tyler Lau from Sandhills Development. Refunds are something that no matter what you sell, or how large your online store is, it has to be a priority from the very start. Tyler spends a lot of his time working with refunds, so he has been there, done that. He shares tips, insight and stories around: What you need to think of when it comes to refunds the moment you start planning your online store.The importance of your policies being clear and easy to find.Whether you should consider cash back, store credits or exchanges.The irate customer, both one-to-one communication and via socialWhen you need to bend the rulesPayPal’s new refund policy.What you need to think about with fraud and refunds. Tips and Insights on Refunds from Tyler The first thing to do The first thing you need to pay attention to is your return and refund policy. This is the document that dictates how the refund process is going to happen. This is where you define the exchange. That means whether it’s a full cash or an exchange for a similar product. Defining this exchange really sets the tone of how the financial part actually happens. It’s important because this is what you’ll refer to when you say, Hey, you asked for a refund for something you paid for six months ago. You’ve been using it this entire time. You may not have been using it well or making money off it, but you’ve been using it and I can see that you’ve done this for six months. So you want to build and create a refund and return policy. Even if it’s as simple as no refunds, if it’s as simple as all sales final, that is still a return and refund policy. You just said no refunds. But if you were to go that extreme and have that route, you would still need to write that down in your return/refund policy. Easy-to-find refund policies You need transparency. We make sure that ours is visible in at least three places. Very clearly. We have it in our footer on every page. We have it on the product and pricing page. We also have it as a checkbox that you must agree to this before you purchase it. Refunds are more than just refunds Refunds, provide a lot of information for you. You may see patterns of repeating issues. This is a prime opportunity. We’ll give you the refund with no questions asked, so we’ll give you your money. But we do kindly request that you talk about what kind of issues did you have? I think it comes down to assessing whether the customer’s upset due to the fact of errors we have caused or it has escalated in the duration of our conversation with the customer. Or sometimes it’s entirely out of the blue. Life happens The other thing about your refund policy that I advise is to be human about it. A lawyer probably won’t agree with me on this, but don’t always follow at 100%. Use your discretion. It comes down to making your decision and it’s like life. Things happen. And if your customer has that and has a terrible experience or is dealing with possibly dealing with something that’s so out of the ordinary, be human, just give them their money back. You know, that’s the other aspect of your refund policy. Cash back, exchanges or store credits If their products are easily exchangeable and they’re not losing that much off a product, then keep that money in the family and just exchange a product. In the terms and conditions of the refund and in return policy, you need to define that exchange. Is this something that you have applicable products that you could exchange for? Do you want store credit or do you just simply want that money to go back and reverse everything and that’s all we do, right? You get the money back. PayPal’s refund policy If they’re not caught up to what happened regarding PayPal and their refund policy, their refund policy is PayPal now will not refund their transaction fee. And they have done this once before and then kind of reneged on it and it went away. But within the last couple of weeks they are trying to sneakily reinstate this and a lot of people are upset. I think our ultimate move is trying to get everyone to use Stripe. It means we’re trying to gear everything and funnel everything towards Stripe right now. Refunds and fraud The area of fraud is huge and websites should use several tools to fight fraudulent payments. But there is a pretty easy way to get around some of these in the sense of like, I purchase this software and I download it and now I have it and then I ask for a refund. So essentially I get free software. Where to find Tyler Sandhills Development On Twitter @tylermaximuslau On Instagram at tylermaximus Thanks to our sponsor FooSales A big thanks to our sponsor, FooSales. If you are looking for secure Point of Sale system for WooCommerce, FooSales has you covered. It turns any computer, iPad or Android tablet into a cash register and gives you the power to sell your products and run your business anywhere in the world. What’s cool is that it will connect directly to your WooCommerce database so as you are busy selling via this point of sales, your online store is perfectly synchronized. And unlike so many branded point of sales products, this doesn’t limit you to any single service provider and can be used with any credit cared processor. Have you been looking for that sales register? They have a 30-day free trial so you can test the waters. But I’m sure you will be more than happy with FooSales, so make sure and go to FooSales.com and use the code BobWP to get 25% off any of their plans for 12 months.
In episode 155 of our podcast, I chat with two guests. Topher DeRosia from BigCommerce and TJ Gamble via his eCommerce agency, Jamesan, as well as eCommerceAholic. We dive into both long-term and short-term prepping for the holidays and chat about: When you should start prepping for the big holiday season.At his point in time, what should you be looking at in both the backend and the frontend of your online store.How to garner fans and customers to help you with your Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales.Some tips for the two days prior to Black Friday.Their top tip for getting your store ready for the holiday season. Some insights from TJ and Topher Getting started on the holiday plans You have to understand this is the most important time of year. This is where a lot of merchants, depending on what you’re selling, depending on your customers, a lot of people from now till the end of the year do over 50% of their sales. So with that being so important, it’s smart to have a strategy that takes these customers that are coming for a deal where you don’t make a high margin on them but turn them into long-term customers. They should start immediately right after the holidays for the next year. But most of them don’t. They get in and around July started thinking, Oh no, it’s almost time. But the more years you do it, the better you get at it and the more infrastructure you have. Some backend final touches Test everything. Review all of your email texts, make sure everything is spelled right. Try sending a test email and make sure it’s going out properly. Do transactions.If you’re doing millions of dollars in sales, that preparation is gonna look a lot different than if you’re doing thousands of dollars in sales. Have a backup plan for anything that could catastrophicallygo wrong. Depending on your risk tolerance, you need to be prepared for every possible scenario.Look at history. You’ve probably been doing this for more than one year. What happened last year? Did they go down? How did you recover all that stuff? Do some research on where you are now and do that same research on wherever you might need to move. Some frontend final touches All the time they’re checking it on desktop. They’re not checking it on mobile, even though 70% of their traffic’s on mobile. If you’re doing something complicated with cross sells and upsells and you’re trying to get the most out of those customers, those things can be tricky sometimes to make sure they work right. In the U.S., we typically think of Black Friday, Christmas, things like that. But there are other holidays to test on. You can test the load of your site on Easter and get prepared for other holidays. Holidays happen all the time. Load happens all the time and they can be as big a deal as you want to make them. Asking fans and customers to help you promote You can segment your audience, whether it’s your fans and you’re trying to enable them. Understand their motivation all the way down through your customers or someone that you have in your database: knowing how you found them, what they’re interested in and segmenting the message that you’re sending to them to get the most impact is absolutely something that you have to do as a business to try to get the most out of the people you interact with.One of the Holy grails of eCommerce is a passionate customer base. Once you get your customers excited about what you’re doing and they start talking to their friends about it, then you have a free marketing team basically. That’s something that takes a long time to build up. Two days before Black Friday It’s just double and triple checking at that point, right? Make sure everything is in order. All your contingencies are in place. Go through every single scenario you can possibly walk through and make sure you’re prepared for it. Final holiday store prep tip Acquiring a customer during the holidays, it’s a great time. A lot of people are buying. So it’s easier to acquire customers during this time period, but you really need to tie in your holiday strategy with your long-term strategy to do what you can to make sure you’re getting the most out of that customer acquisition.Read stuff on the internet. People have been dealing with the holidays for many, many years. There are new things that come up every year, but the rush is there every year. There are people that have solved this and there is a lot of great stuff on the internet Where to find Topher BigCommerce On Twitter @topher1kenobe Where to find TJ Jamersan eCommerceAholic On Twitter @ecommerceaholic Resources BigCommerce Blog Thanks to our sponsor Ahoy! A big thanks to our sponsor Ahoy!, the perfect way to recover and boost your WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads online store’s revenue. Their automated marketing message lets you easily create and fine tune your message box for increased conversions. Most importantly, it helps you with those eCommerce conversion hotspots: cart abandonment, instant up-sells and targeted cross sells. They have some slick reporting features built in to help keep you on top of the game. And, of course, excellent customer service and a money back guarantee should you not start seeing results in 14 days. So what are you waiting for? Head on over to use ahoy.com/bobwp and use the code BobWP to get 20% off any of their plans.
In episode 154 of our podcast, I chat with Kathie Keith from Barn2 Media about how the WooCommerce store owner can customize their WooCommerce-specific pages, such as the shop page, archives, etc. This has been a growing market for plugins and page builders over the last few years. We talk about: The benefits of customizing these pages and what it means to the shop owner.Customizing your templates without knowing code.A few WordPress plugins that help you to customize these pages.Whether there are dangers in giving the non-designer these kinds of choices.How A/B testing plays into using these plugins. A Few Thoughts from Katie Customizing WooCommerce pages Pretty much all WooCommerce-ready themes come with this standard layout. My issue with that is that it’s fine for some shops, but are site owners using it without thinking about whether that’s the right way to sell their specific products? WooCommerce is the perfect vehicle for many sorts of products, but the default layout may not be. Customizing without a plugin for the non-coder Unless it’s some sort of theme that comes with stuff built in… But even these days, themes come with plugins that allow you to customize layout. It’s not part of the theme. So there will always be a need for some sort of plugin to customize your layouts. Plugins for customizing the pages WooCommerce Product Table lists products in a table layout instead of the standard grid that you get with WooCommerce. You can either use it with the standard grid like on a different page, or you can use it to completely replace the layout that comes with your theme. A lot of page builder plugin these days are integrating more and more with WooCommerce. So for example, Elementor, a page builder plugin, lets you redesign the shop and category pages. Some themes come with tech page builders. So a lot of themes are having features that allow you to change your WooCommerce layouts. IconicWP has a plugin called WooCommerce Show Single Variations. It keeps the grid layout, but lists each variation as if it was a separate product. So that’s quite clever. Let’s say you had a tee shirt available in red, white, and blue. Well, it would actually show on the shop pages separate products so that people don’t have to go through to a separate page to buy each variation or to see a picture of it. Too much control for non-designers People should choose how to list their products based on a real understanding of what they’re selling and the target audience. You need to think about the best way to present it. You shouldn’t do it the other way around, which is to see a plugin and think, oh, that looks cool, and install it. You should do it from the perspective of your users and what you sell and the products that you’re trying to get them to buy. Find Katie at: Barn2 Plugins On Twitter @barn2media Plugins and Page Builder Mentioned WooCommerce Product Table Plugin WooCommerce Lead Time Plugin WooCommerce Show Single Variations BeaverBuilder Elementor Thanks to our sponsor Ahoy! A big thanks to our sponsor Ahoy!, the perfect way to recover and boost your WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads online store’s revenue. Their automated marketing message lets you easily create and fine tune your message box for increased conversions. Most importantly, it helps you with those eCommerce conversion hotspots: cart abandonment, instant up-sells and targeted cross sells. They have some slick reporting features built in to help keep you on top of the game. And, of course, excellent customer service and a money back guarantee should you not start seeing results in 14 days. So what are you waiting for? Head on over to use ahoy.com/bobwp and use the code BobWP to get 20% off any of their plans.
In episode 153, I chat with Chris Klosowski from Sandhills Development and Easy Digital Downloads. Our topic is the SCA, or Strong Customer Authentication. This is happening in the EU and, of course, affects online store owners beyond those borders. We talk about: What exactly SCA is and what it means.How this affects store owners outside the EU.The benefits Chris finds with SCA vs. what we found with the GDPR.Why this is important for WordPress store owners and how it impacts them directly.Whether enough store owners are aware of it.What it took to make Easy Digital Downloads SCA-ready. Find Chris at: Easy Digital Downloads Sandhills Development Chris on Twitter @cklosowski Thanks to our sponsor Ahoy! A big thanks to our sponsor Ahoy!, the perfect way to recover and boost your WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads online store’s revenue. Their automated marketing message lets you easily create and fine tune your message box for increased conversions. Most importantly, it helps you with those eCommerce conversion hotspots: cart abandonment, instant up-sells and targeted cross sells. They have some slick reporting features built in to help keep you on top of the game. And, of course, excellent customer service and a money back guarantee should you not start seeing results in 14 days. So what are you waiting for? Head on over to use ahoy.com/bobwp and use the code BobWP to get 20% off any of their plans.
In episode 152, I chat with Tina from Social Web Suite, a WordPress plugin and solution for your social sharing strategy. There’s a lot around scheduling your social and we will learn what Tina has discovered from both her customers and her research. We talk about: Strategies that help online stores avoid social shares that look like ads.When to schedule your shares and is there a sweet spot for online retailers.Taking advantage of the character limits in Twitter.Some ways that online stores might share on social that will turn people off.What Tina recommends when someone asks her what social platform they should start with.The one feature of her plugin, Social Web Suite that is especially helpful for online store owners. Some of Tina’s Tips: Making sure your social shares don’t look like a big ad You should do 70-80% educating people or providing them some of the value. And 20-30% of social shares should be offering your services or products. . Use common sense. What do you want to see when you go to somebody else’s Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram profile? Products blasted out all the time or useful and valuable content? Social sharing and when to share LinkedIn is mostly for business people. So people are checking LinkedIn profiles during nine to five when they are working. Facebook and Twitter are a little bit different. People may be tracking Facebook when they are commuting to work or coming back, or Twitter during the lunch break. If you want to share your products, the sweet spots are Wednesdays and Thursdays. The other days, like Monday, Tuesday and Friday, I would suggest basically some other content. There is no best time that works for everybody. It really depends on your audience, and where they are based, and your time zones. Just pushing out social shares that look like ads isn’t the only problem. If you are selling something, the image is important. You have to have really nice images of the products. And, for your social profile, make sure your images are optimized. Go to your Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn or Instagram and check out what it looks like. If it doesn’t look good, drop out of that social sharing service immediately and use somebody else. What social platforms an online seller should start out on First of all, what are they selling? That’s the most important thing, right? And the images are really important. For example, with clothing or makeup, obviously they should start with Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. Pinterest and Instagram used to be a female-dominated. They were all mostly females. So basically if that is your audience, then obviously we want to go there first. Twitter is important for brand engagement and awareness. The hope is that they will click on your link and check out your site. LinkedIn is more selling to companies. If they find out you have products that they need or want, some marketing manager or you know, financial director is more likely to contact you. Find Tina at: SocialWebSuite.com Social Web Suite on Twitter @SocialWebSuite Tina on Twitter @TinaTO Tina on LinkedIn Tina on Facebook Thanks to our sponsor Ahoy! A big thanks to our sponsor Ahoy!, the perfect way to recover and boost your WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads online store’s revenue. Their automated marketing message lets you easily create and fine tune your message box for increased conversions. Most importantly, it helps you with those eCommerce conversion hotspots: cart abandonment, instant up-sells and targeted cross sells. They have some slick reporting features built in to help keep you on top of the game. And, of course, excellent customer service and a money back guarantee should you not start seeing results in 14 days. So what are you waiting for? Head on over to use ahoy.com/bobwp and use the code BobWP to get 20% off any of their plans.
In episode 151, I chat with Lindsay Halsey of PathfinderSEO. If you are an owner of a eCommerce site built on WordPress, you will learn a lot that will help you with your link building no matter what you are selling. When we think of link building, many tie it directly to guest posts and think of it as the answer to all off-site SEO. But in this show, Lindsay talks about how we can go beyond link building for off-site SEO. We chat about the importance of your online authority, link building through organization affiliations, and other opportunities, such as podcasts and sponsorships. We also touch on how outgoing links play a role in SEO and other ideas. This show is filled with tips, so don’t miss any of the expertise Lindsay shares with us.  Some of Lindsay’s Tips: No matter how much you may know as a DYI’er, it’s always good to get solid SEO advice. It is a blend of an art and science so it can be really helpful to talk things through. Importance of off-site SEO and building your authority online. How does Google actually know if it should trust your content and your website? It measures that trust in part by thinking about the links that are pointing to your website. Those links that say good things are measures of authority and gives Google the confidence to display your content in the position or sort of rank that it deserves. I consider offsite SEO and link building to be important components of offsite SEO, as being somewhere around 40% of the game. Offsite SEO and building one’s online authority is still an important component of performing well in Google, Yahoo and Bing. My earlier days of building authority without a heavy pursuit of link-building. Back then, jumping on the bandwagon with some of those gray area link-building techniques, ultimately you probably made the smarter choice. It’s been been of high value to have missed the little window of actively engaging in link building. The more businesses we work with— local businesses to enterprise level companies— there is a huge array of strong professional relationships. But only a fraction of those professional relationships are echoed online in a way that Google can pick up and understand via the backlink network. How much do in-bound links from organizations online, such as chambers of commerce, play in the role of SEO? I usually ask myself on the value of a link from a chamber of commerce: does the business serve a local area? And if the answer is yes, it makes total sense. Not all chamber of commerce websites include a link that passes SEO value …. but even if they don’t have that type of link, just being included in that list gives Google a bit of trust and confidence that that business really is serving that local area. The value of in-bound links around podcasts and sponsorships. When I think about guest blogging, sponsorships, podcasts, they all fit into the broader, everyday, real-world marketing. It’s not just about SEO, it’s not just about link building, it’s about building your brand. So it’s about the business value of being a sponsor and going to an event and having a presence. One of the positive byproducts of that is picking up a backlink. And a lot of people aren’t thinking in those terms. So they’re going out and sponsoring an event and they forget the fact that they should get a backlink. It still comes down to these basic contextual text links in blog posts, in web copy, that still have tremendous value in terms of organic search. When a request to add a link to an existing mention in a post, is there a benefit for the person who adds that to their site? External links pointing out of your website and going to third party websites can have value for your own organic search results. If you never link out from your website to any third parties, you look very isolationist. The biggest value you get is if you link out to a trusted resource. Make sure the link you add to your post is valuable for your readers If you linked out to one of their deeper posts, a blog post about what is or how to and you thought it was really good, then that relationship is showing that you value their content. You never want someone to click on a link and have that experience of like, oh, that’s not what I thought it was going to. Is back-linking being played down in the SEO industry or is it as important as ever? It’s all about your readers and your site visitors. I think it depends on the SEO agency. You can have a team that helps you build links without having to go out and hire a third-party agency that is probably going to pick up much lower valued links. Thoughts on sites that simply reproduce numerous feeds of other sites and if that is effective for them and the receipient as far as SEO? Syndications of RSS feeds, that news site, whether it’s in the WordPress space or not, is going to need to do more than just pull in 20 or 30 different RSS feeds and then categorize the content and link out to all those sources to actually do well for a keyword like “WordPress news” or something like that. They’re going to have to have some unique content or a really strong offsite network that’s pointing to that site and saying, this is the best place to read WordPress news. An SEO Deal For Our Listeners 25% off 3-months subscriptions at PathfinderSEO.com on their guided SEO plans – use code: wpdigitalshop! Find Lindsay at: PathfinderSEO.com Thanks to our sponsor Ahoy! A big thanks to our sponsor Ahoy!, the perfect way to recover and boost your WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads online store’s revenue. Their automated marketing message lets you easily create and fine tune your message box for increased conversions. Most importantly, it helps you with those eCommerce conversion hotspots: cart abandonment, instant up-sells and targeted cross sells. They have some slick reporting features built in to help keep you on top of the game. And, of course, excellent customer service and a money back guarantee should you not start seeing results in 14 days. So what are you waiting for? Head on over to use ahoy.com/bobwp and use the code BobWP to get 20% off any of their plans.
In episode 150, I chat with Robert Windisch, a prominent developer in the WooCommerce space and an advocate of multi-sites. Robert also is on the team of the popular WordPress plugin, MultilingualPress and CIO at Inpsyde. Multisite can be a powerful tool when it comes to your online store on WordPress. But we need to understand when it is the right move to use multisite and where that power really lies. I asked Robert to talk about: What multisites are and the advantages of using them.When multisites became a more integral part of WordPress core and plugins.What WordPress plugins are compatible with multisites.Who should be using multisite on their online store.What challenges to expect when using multisites.When to install multisite on your WordPress online store. A bit of insight from the podcast: What is multisites and what are the advantages? It’s enabling absolute flexibility because you can have stores that look completely different. You can have a store for specific countries. You can have different shipping, different payment methods abled for different sites. That could come in handy if you plan to roll out bigger sites or sites for different markets and languages. A multisite is also a benefit because, as a super admin, as someone who administrates a multisite, you can disable and enable themes and plugins for these new sites. For a store, the advantage of using it is more based around whether you need it in different languages, if you need it for a certain audience. Are there quite a few eCommerce plugins that work with multisite? Some are fully multisite-compatible, which means that they are aware of multi-site and they actively support that which in different ways. There are others that are incompatible and will break your site. Some will simply break it by being installed. They will say, okay, we are not supporting multisite. And that’s the end of the conversation. Others are passively incompatible. They will work with multi-site and you can use them and they are not like doing fancy stuff, simply directly grabbing data to data tables in a database and stuff. What are some of the challenges? The challenge of that is that if you if you use a multisite for more than a store, it’s hard to split between the different sites. It’s way harder to achieve an overview in WordPress and you need to switch between the sites all the time. You need to have a concept before and think about the road in front of you and your sites. Should I install multisite when I begin building my online store? If you have a concept before, such as different languages or different markets, then you always should install WordPress and enable multisite just to be ready. If you just want to earn some money and invest it into your site to hire someone to help you get more traction, get more sales, then you should not tangle yourself up with too many things at once, such as multisite. Where to Find Robert Robert on Twitter @nullbytes Inpsyde Resources Mentioned by Robert MultilingualPress plugin Thanks to our sponsor Ahoy! A big thanks to our sponsor Ahoy!, the perfect way to recover and boost your WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads online store’s revenue. Their automated marketing message lets you easily create and fine tune your message box for increased conversions. Most importantly, it helps you with those eCommerce conversion hotspots: cart abandonment, instant up-sells and targeted cross sells. They have some slick reporting features built in to help keep you on top of the game. And, of course, excellent customer service and a money back guarantee should you not start seeing results in 14 days. So what are you waiting for? Head on over to use ahoy.com/bobwp and use the code BobWP to get 20% off any of their plans.
In episode 149, I chat with my friend Chris Lema, VP of product over at Liquid Web, a WooCommerce expert and someone who loves telling a good story. Chris has been on our podcast before, and if you know him, he shares his eCommerce wisdom across the internet and at WordCamps. This time around I am doing something a bit different. I thought up six random eCommerce-related questions and asked Chris to run with them. : Is there still room for new eCommerce plugin solutions in the WordPress space?Why haven’t blocks made it into WooCommerce core for product pages? What is one of the coolest products or services that has emerged in the WordPress eCommerce space so far this year?What online store blows the mind of Chris Lema?What are the biggest challenges for online stores today?Is there anything, in this day and age that Chris still needs to purchase in person? Some teasers from Lema’s answers: Is there still room for new eCommerce plugins in the WordPress space? … I will remind people that there was a point in time where every eCommerce store on the planet was Magento and Shopify didn’t exist and WooCommerce didn’t exist. That’s not the case today. So there will always be a scenario where you go, well, someone has a majority of the pie and there’s no room for anyone else … … here’s the crazy thing with marketplace e-commerce, the platform showcases your competitors at the same time as it’s showing your product. … … I think what we’re seeing is a lot of SAS players who are saying, I’m not going to worry so much about the site you create, I’m gonna worry about all the other features … Why have blocks not made it into WooCommerce product pages? … I think people are already doing it, right? …. Gutenberg is where it’s all going. And so it would be silly to not go in the same direction that everyone else has going … … it makes sense to me that, and I think it’s really what you’re saying too, is that WooCommerce is probably best to leave core in the product page as is, you know … you do have the option of people to build blocks by adding to your store instead of everybody being forced to use it as part of core … What is the coolest product/service for WordPress online stores that you’ve seen so far this year? … two products are interesting. They do different things that I think are really cool and they’ve each pivoted this year in 2019 … … it’s notifications that are contextual, conditional, based on things like what’s in your cart or how many items were put in your cart or what category it was in your cart … … it uses tags and the tags that are in your internal systems as well as your behavioral paths to shape how you message, where you message, whether you pop something up or whether you just change the texts on the sidebar … What online store that you have seen blows your mind? … sizing is a super big deal. And if you’ve ever been to any website and you are looking at something you like and you click on the sizing details, which is kind of the standard best practice, which is not a best practice at all. You click on the link that says sizing details. Um, what do you get? … … when you load up the home page again, it shows you men stuff. Right. Cause you just told it basically via your clickstream that you’re a man, or at least that you’re looking for stuff for men. Right? I love that. … What is the biggest challenge for online stores? … I think the biggest challenge the store has today is storytelling. And the reason I think, it has that problem is because whether you’re telling a story with a Facebook ad or you’re telling a story with a blog post or you’re telling a story, uh, somewhere else, right? I think at the core of this, if you don’t have compelling stories, you won’t get the traffic … What would Chris never buy online? … I think there’s almost nothing now that I can’t buy online, right?… so almost everything, … I will say this, for a large guy like myself, inside of the clothes space is still something that only I can evaluate for myself … Where to Find Chris Chris on Twitter @ChrisLema ChrisLema.com Leaders.blog Liquid Web.com Sites and Resources Mentioned by Chris PootlePress Ahoy! Right Message Universal Standard Urban Outfitters Thanks to our sponsor Ahoy! A big thanks to our sponsor Ahoy!, the perfect way to recover and boost your WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads online store’s revenue. Their automated marketing message lets you easily create and fine tune your message box for increased conversions. Most importantly, it helps you with those eCommerce conversion hotspots: cart abandonment, instant up-sells and targeted cross sells. They have some slick reporting features built in to help keep you on top of the game. And, of course, excellent customer service and a money back guarantee should you not start seeing results in 14 days. So what are you waiting for? Head on over to use ahoy.com/bobwp and use the code BobWP to get 20% off any of their plans.
In episode 148, I chat with with Daniel Iser, a WordPress plugin developer and creator of Ahoy! and Popup Maker, to name just a few. I am focusing on the messaging plugins and the the value they bring to online stores. Specifically, conditional messages that give you much more control over what your customers see, where and when. As we chat about his plugins, we are looking at the the power behind this functionality. Daniel gives us some great insights into what it takes to build and grow a plugin that can become such an integral part of a WordPress online store. A Glimpse into the Conversation with Daniel: Are the small popups gaining traction due to the fact that they are less intrusive or are there other reasons? … I’m not sure this is the new normal as much as just a trend. Popup Maker hasn’t slowed down in its growth over the last year or two, which I think means full screen overlays are still very much in demand and they’re very effective … … if you needed inline conversions along with what the users are already interacting and doing with your page, you want something with a smaller footprint … How do strategies differ when you are selling physical products, eg. via WooCommerce vs. downloadable, eg. via Easy Digital Downloads? .. both are obviously impacted by cart abandonment and instant upsells. But a typical WooCommerce site can quickly target users with less than $50 in the cart and offer free shipping … … with your average EDD site, you might set up messages to show a notice if someone has a license and it’s expired or about to expire … Avatars of people work very well in popup messages. Would there be a time that a logo would work better? …yes, if you’re in a WooCommerce or EDD marketplace type store and you want to show the logo of the company that the product was created by … How effective is it when you add a product image in the message? … for things like cart abandonment, I wouldn’t recommend it unless you had something that was just really gonna catch their attention … … we find inserting images into the content is very effective for single-product upsells and cross sells … Where to Find Daniel UseAhoy.com Ahoy on Twitter @useahoy Daniel on Twitter @daniel_iser Resources Github repo for the conditional logic library Thanks to our sponsor Ahoy! A big thanks to our sponsor Ahoy!, the perfect way to recover and boost your WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads online store’s revenue. Their automated marketing message lets you easily create and fine tune your message box for increased conversions. Most importantly, it helps you with those eCommerce conversion hotspots: cart abandonment, instant up-sells and targeted cross sells. They have some slick reporting features built in to help keep you on top of the game. And, of course, excellent customer service and a money back guarantee should you not start seeing results in 14 days. So what are you waiting for? Head on over to use ahoy.com/bobwp and use the code BobWP to get 20% off any of their plans and enter for the chance to win a lifetime subscription. Good through August 31, 2019.
In episode 147, I chat with with Kathy Zant, Director of Marketing at WordFence, a WordPress security solution. It has been some time since we talked about security, eCommerce and WordPress on the show, so I wanted to look at the broader picture of the State of Security around WordPress and eCommerce. We also talk about when to use a plugin and when you should have a dedicated person staying on top of your security. We discuss the PCI basics that every store owner should know, as well as other great tips and insights for keeping your store secure. A Glimpse into the Conversation with Kathy: What changes have we seen in 2019 so far with security and the affect it has on WordPress? … the number one story of 2019 is something that’s been happening for a while, but I think it kind of scaled, and has gone through some growth and an uptick in activity … … I think right now the biggest issue in security is that the username password model is broken and we need to make sure the one that we’re using creates unique passwords everywhere… and using a password manager to manage all of those unique complex passwords … How do we decide whether we need a plugin or an actual person to stay on top of our security? … obviously, the more resources the better. But that’s the great thing about WordFence right out of the box. Once you install it and it’s freely available on the repository, 90% of the functionality of WordFence is actually free. You can install it and right out of the box it’s going to walk you through the most generic recommended settings to get you started … … we all need to up our game because it’s a constant cat-and- mouse game of staying one step ahead of the malicious hackers who are trying to leverage the hacked sites … … I would recommend leveraging professionals, but learn from them more than anything else and take what you learn and apply it yourself, not only with your WordPress site and your eCommerce sites, but also in your digital life going forward … What is PCI compliance for online stores and how do you factor it in with your growth? … it means that if you’re taking credit cards, like Visa and MasterCard, you want you to adhere to best practices of security in order to keep their customers and your customer’s data safe … … when I talk to people who are just getting started with eCommerce, I tell them go read the 12 parameters that PCI DSS want you to look at and get familiar with them … … you need to understand how that payment processing is happening, so when you’re ready to grow and those standards apply to you much more stringently, you’re prepared for it and you can plan for that growth going forward because that’s why we’re in eCommerce: to sell more, keep costs down and make more money … These are only the tip of the iceberg, so make sure you listen in as Kathy shares a ton of information and tips with us. Where to Find Kathy WordFence.com Kathy’s Homebase – Zant.com Kathy on Twitter @kathyzant Kathy on LinkedIn Kathy on Facebook Thanks to our sponsor Ahoy! A big thanks to our sponsor Ahoy!, the perfect way to recover and boost your WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads online store’s revenue. Their automated marketing message lets you easily create and fine tune your message box for increased conversions. Most importantly, it helps you with those eCommerce conversion hotspots: cart abandonment, instant up-sells and targeted cross sells. They have some slick reporting features built in to help keep you on top of the game. And, of course, excellent customer service and a money back guarantee should you not start seeing results in 14 days. So what are you waiting for? Head on over to use ahoy.com/bobwp and use the code BobWP to get 20% off any of their plans.
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Podcast Details

Created by
Bob Dunn aka BobWP
Podcast Status
Hiatus/Finished
Started
Mar 16th, 2016
Latest Episode
Mar 3rd, 2020
Release Period
Weekly
Episodes
260
Avg. Episode Length
28 minutes
Explicit
No
Order
Episodic

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