With social distancing being put in force more and more every day, you may feel that shopping is falling by the wayside as well.
You’d be wrong on that count. Some companies and industries are thriving. Amazon announced that it’s hiring an additional 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers to help handle the recent surge due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Then there are the Amazon sellers who were blocked from selling their stockpile of products because of price gouging. I’m definitely not siding with the price gougers, but this brings up the reason to diversify your offerings. What’s that saying about putting all your eggs into one basket?
Amazon, Shopify, Ebay, Etsy, etc., are all great platforms to sell your products. However, in my opinion and experience, they should be secondary to your own website.
Your website should be your hub for your business, where everything happens.
With a myriad of choices, you can turn your website into a profitable ecommerce hub.
In this article, I’ll review your choices and show you how easy it really is to make your own ecommerce website.
First things first, you need to have a WordPress website to make this process work properly.
Yes, there are other website-building platforms, however here at CSI, we only use WordPress.
WordPress powers 35% of the web and is behind 30.3% of the top 1000 websites. WordPress is Open-Sourced, which means its free to download, use, and install. Thousands of developers work on it and its accompanying 54,000+ free plugins. There are numerous premium or paid plugins available as well.
WordPress is the most used CRM (Customer Relation Management) software and garners a 61.8% market share.
Stats provided by Digital.com
How do you know if your website is created with WordPress?
If you go to www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin and you see something similar to the graphic above, that’s your first sign that you definitely have a WordPress website.
WordPress has a signature look for their dashboard. If your dashboard looks similar to the above graphic, you definitely have a WordPress website.
Now that you’ve determined that you do have a WordPress website, it’s time to move on to functionality.
The easiest way that we’ve found to both design and set up both our own website and the websites for our clients is to use Elementor.
With Elementor, there’s no need to install a stand-alone theme because it comes with a theme builder build into the interface. You are able to create your own theme and look for every page, section, post, and archive of your website.
However, if you want to get your site set up quickly, without having to create a lot on your own, download and install OceanWP. This is an awesome free WordPress theme that’s easy to set up and use quickly. You also install Elementor to use for landing pages and to add that extra umph to all of your pages. Elementor works alongside your theme to give you super flexibility for your design.
The easiest and fastest way to convert your website into your ecommerce hub is to install WooCommerce.
WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress. The best part about WooCommerce is that its FREE to use on your website. They make their money by selling extensions that give you additional functionality for your store.
We’ve used WooCommerce to set up our online store as well as our client’s stores since 2015.
WooCommerce is super easy to install, setup, and get running quickly. They offer a set up wizard that takes you through each step of the setup process.
We looked at quite a few ecommerce plugins and none of them compare to WooCommerce.
If you’ve signed up for an online “academy,” group course, or subscription program, you’re already part of one of the most lucrative ecommerce products around . . . courses.
Using either of those platforms means that you’re sacrificing some of your profit to play in this arena.
There is another way, Wishlist Member.
Using WishList Member™ can turn any WordPress site into a full-blown membership site. It’s a powerful, yet easy to use solution.
We use Wishlist for all our membership plans. (no links)
- UN-Marketing Inner Circle
- Take Action Coaching
- CSI’s Program Vault
It’s relatively easy to set up and provides you with a range of options for locking your content behind a membership wall.
We’re always searching for new, better, and different options to make our website work more effectively. When I heard about Lifter LMS, an online course creation plugin for WordPress, I had to investigate. I loved how it worked so much that I used it to create one of our most popular courses, Social Media Success Strategy.
The interface and layout remind you of some of the popular course creation platforms.
Actually using Lifter LMS is pretty intuitive. It’s pretty simple to setup, put your course together, and start selling it.
The final way to turn your website into an ecommerce store it to become an affiliate of any and all of the products that benefit your audience.
There are several networks and thousands of products you can utilize.
We use Share-A-Sale
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing makes you money while you sleep. You promote the products or services of another company and they pay you. The company provides you with a special, unique link that you use for promotion. Each time you generate a sale via that link, you get paid. Affiliate marketing can be thought of as revenue sharing.
How do you become an Affiliate Marketer?
If there is a product or program that you really like, search Google to see if they have an affiliate program. Input into your browser: “your keywords” + “affiliate” or “affiliate program.”
If they have an affiliate program or even a referral program, it will be listed in the results. A referral program is similar to an affiliate program, but you usually get paid in credits you can use in the actually program. I’ve only seen it used in services as opposed to products.
Either way, you’d be surprised how many companies actually have affiliate programs. You’ll also see how much you’ve been missing out on.
We have an affiliate program. You can apply to join by dropping me a message here.
How do you set up Affiliate products to sell on your website?
Once you sign up for your chosen affiliate product(s), they will give you the link, graphics, and text to use for promotion. Each company also has their own set of rules and Do’s and Don’ts, so be sure to read over all of that so you stay in compliance.
Once you get the promotional information, create a post or two around that particular product.
If you’ve set up WooCommerce on your site, you can add that product to your store and sell it that way. You still get the commission because the link to purchase is your affiliate link.
Over to you, which system are you going to use to turn your site into an ecommerce website? Let me know in the comments.