Wow! The first day of the first-ever WooCommerce conference was an excellent experience. I got to meet a lot of wonderful people, and I definitely learned some new things. I also confirmed that when it comes to website development and e-commerce in particular, FirstTracks is definitely on point with its approach and methodologies. Here are my Top 5 takeaways after spending a full day with WooThemes and WooCommerce.
1. Creating Buyer Personas
This is something that I am going to get busy creating for ALL of our e-commerce clients immediately. Basically, the idea is you create a visual breakdown of how your customers are using photos. Who are your customers? What do they like? How do their experiences with your product offerings differ? Creating this outline breakdown and using the information as a guide should have an effect on all future communications. Trying to come up with your next A/B split test subject line? Thinking about what headline you should use on your next website banner promotion? You need to always go back to those buyer personas and put yourself in their shoes. This will make all your marketing and communications more relevant and successful across the board.
2. Tools and Methods for Creating More Marketing Automation
I am VERY excited to dig into this tool and get it running for some of our clients. We have been using a service called Zapier to help our client Yankee Barn Homes get its sales lead requests from gravity form submissions over into their Salesforce CRM platform. It works excellent once you have it set up. What I learned is that you can also use the Zapier service to create automatic email reminders for abandoned shopping carts. In tests, these emails have repeatedly received open rates in the neighborhood of 40%. That is HUGE! Think about all the potential missed revenue this automated service alone could generate for your store. Fantastic!
3. Video Is a VERY Powerful Sales Tool
Video is easier than ever to produce for the web. With a basic smartphone and a YouTube account, anyone can do it these days. I was excited and shocked to learn that just adding a simple product overview video to your product detail pages can increase your conversion sales by as much as 250%. The video doesn’t have to be fancy or over-produced, just clean, simple, direct, and to the point. A video provides users with a much more tangible view of what they are buying and makes them much more likely to purchase.
4. Securing Your Website Is More Important Than Ever
At FirstTracks Marketing, we take the security of our client websites VERY seriously. After attending two security talks, I determined there is still room for improvement across the board. I learned some great quick tips that provided simple solutions to common hacking point attacks. For example: If you’re going to work on your website over pubic wi-fi and your site admin isn’t protected with an SSL certificate, use a service such as getcloak.com (if you are on a Mac). This service basically turns access to your site into a VPN of sorts. A definite must.
5. If You Want to Build a Platform—You Need WooCommerce
If I were to sum up the entire day, the above statement by Chris Lema does it best. I was inspired by Chris and his presentation, both in style and in how he commanded the room. I’ve given a few WordCamp Boston presentations, taught college classes, and consider myself a decent speaker, but Chris definitely showed me how a great speaker handles a crowd and delivers a powerful gripping message through story, humor, and experience. To summarize Chris’ talk: There is no other e-commerce platform other than WooCommerce that allows you the flexibility to adjust and accommodate the vast variety of customer needs. The key to success online today, particularly from a product sales standpoint, is being able to efficiently monetize your products and services. WooCommerce has all the tools (and is constantly developing new ones) that make it easy for you to sell pretty much anything you can think of, while seamlessly integrating those structures in with your content generation activities. You want to own all your real estate, control all your sales, crush it in organic growth, and traffic, WooCommerce is the best way to get there.
Additional Thoughts from Day 1 & Looking Forward to Day 2:
FirstTracks has been an affiliate developer with WooThemes for more than 3 years. I’m proud of this affiliation. It has been a great feather in our caps. After meeting and mingling with a good amount of the WooCommerce staff during the day, and at the after party, I am more confident than ever that we are partnering with the right group of people. These people come from all over the world and are extremely passionate about what they do with WooThemes—be it marketing, support, development, or testing. I was excited to see this, because it’s the same passion, excitement, and dedication the staff at FirstTracks gets from building, managing, and marketing all the sites we create using these products. WooThemes work. They are reliable and they are successful. I am excited about what’s to come. Kudos to everyone I met. You did an excellent job today. I’m looking forward to Day 2 and attending (or maybe even presenting) next year’s conference.
View the Twitter stream from the conference at #WooConf