So this just happened, and the online shopping world changed forever.

So this just happened, and the online shopping world changed forever.

As a lot of our clients know, we are big fans of two ecommerce platforms. The first being WooCommerce by Woothemes. A great WordPress based plugin that allows you to sell products on your WordPress website or blog, with tremendous flexibility and customisation ability. It has become my first choice for WordPress based eCommerce solutions. The second being Shopify, the all in one amazingly tidy shopping cart. Although with a heftier outlay, the Shopify system does include pretty much everything you need to get started, including hosting and basic themes.

Which one is better?

Well that depends on your brand, your product and your audience. Both definitely have their pros and cons, although if looking to setup shop yourself and you don’t see yourself as being very tech savvy, Shopify definitely makes things easier in my opinion. The WooCommerce solution can become extraordinarily amazing, although some good knowledge of CSS and HTML will help.

Now for the BIG NEWS!

So I am reading through my emails, and as a Shopify partner, I try to ensure I am across all things Shopify. Then I spot “Shopify + WordPress” in one of the subject lines. Nooooooooo way! Get outta here!!!! Is this a typo?!?

Nope, I read right. Shopify has created a plugin for WordPress that will allow you to semi-integrate the Shopify system into your WordPress website. This might not sound great to some, and not perfect, but let me tell you why I think this is awesome….

WordPress is the basis of some truly amazeballs websites and blogs, and many of the website you use and love are most likely based on the WordPress platform. By being able to integrate Shopify through a plugin, it means not having to have an amazeballs websites and a Shopify store, it means it all becomes one. Much better!

The point of sale options, shipping and payment methods and usability of the Shopify system are at the forefront of online shops. It works great, the code is fast and tidy and the support is better than most other options out there. Taking these advantages into your WordPress website for selling products is just a godsend. You can also utilise Shopify’s ability to sell on social media and from your iPad!

From an SEO point of view, I believe many clients find it difficult having to have two sites to manage. On one hand you have your beautiful blog, and on the other you have your shop. Unfortunately, unless you keep your themes super bland and simple, it is very hard to make the two look the same. You will also be up against yourself for the number one spot on Google search. Having two listings could be good, but it’d be better to have an integrated solution right up top.

Of course there is a downside, but it is not as bad as you may think. Stop groaning.

Having the plugin means using Shopify and signing up to one of their eCommerce plans. At the moment, $9/month is the cheapest. It also means creating products in the Shopify admin not the WordPress panel. This could be seen as an additional cost, which it is, although you’d be paying something similar for a correctly setup, secure and managed WordPress/WooCommerce store.

The other downside is that since this is so new, there are limited themes for the shop pages. Shopify have release three themes in partnership with Themezilla, Themify, and Ultralinx. You can read more about the themes and the Shopify plugin for WordPress here: www.shopify.com/blog/113145925-introducing-shopify-for-wordpress

LEARN HOW TO START YOUR OWN FASHION STORE ONLINE

What should you use?

It can be a difficult decision, although if you already have a WordPress website that you love and use, maybe the Shopify WordPress plugin is the way to go. If you already have a Shopify site, would you consider selling your products on another site to increase your web presence?

There are many options out there, although as I mentioned earlier, we are very happy at Xmedia Digital Solutions to work with WooCommerce and Shopify. If you would like to discuss this all in more detail, be sure to contact me through the contact form. My direct contact details are all there.

Do you have an online shop already? What platform do you use and what made you choose it?

The Benefits of Email Marketing for Your Business

The Benefits of Email Marketing for Your Business

When it comes to marketing online, there is a plethora of options, a myriad of applications to help you and of course, the endless comparisons of what works best. What about newsletters?

You are 50-70% more likely to sell to an existing customer, than you are of selling to a new one and the costs for advertising to bring repeat customers in are 5 to 20 times cheaper.

As a lot of business owners know already, having a database of your customers is paramount in remarketing and getting return clientele. This can be done through traditional mediums such as phone numbers and callouts, area codes and radio advertisements or even postal addresses and snail mail.

Of course, in the world of online marketing, we want to deal with online accounts. This means either getting social media followers or start collecting emails. Building an email database of your current clients as well as potential customers is a great way to build your business. Once you have a list of email addresses, you can start sending out newsletters or promotional content.

There are numerous benefits when it comes to email marketing for your business, here is just a couple.

1. Time and Effort
Rather than having to batch print and send a whole heap of letters out via Australia Post, you just create your campaign online and click send. Wow, is it really that easy? Yes.

2. Real Time Communication
Unlike other forms of mail outs or advertising, emails are real time. Apart from a few minutes while they scream across the cyber world, emails are basically in your customers/readers inbox immediately. No waiting for the postal service, or special offers to pop up on ads or Facebook.

3. Personalised Newsletters
Like lots of today’s online marketing, newsletters can also be personalised. You can create different lists of customer email addresses to send different topics or offers. No more blanket mailouts to everyone. Your reader will get an email directed to them about what concerns them. This also helps your newsletter avoid being marked as junk or spam mail.

4. Frequency
As there is less time spent on email marketing when compared to snail mail, you are able to prepare and send your newsletters out more often. Some businesses tend to send smaller newsletters more frequently, whilst larger mailouts are done monthly or quarterly.

5. Sharing
You gotta love the internet for sharing. Just like social media posts and videos can go viral, so too can your newsletter. People are able to forward your newsletter to friends or colleagues, or print it out for the office. It is much easier to get your content to more people.

6. Track Your Results
Newsletter campaigns created through applications such as Aweber and Mailchimp allow you to monitor the success of each of your mailouts and campaigns. They will show you how many people received your email as well indicating whether it was opened or deleted. Wow!

7. Clean and Green
Most importantly, your newsletter will not mean using up heaps of paper, ink or other consumables. Electronic newsletters and email mailouts are much more environmentally friendly. You will be helping save the planet!

Incorporate a Newsletter Subscription in your Website

Creating a subscription link on your website is a great way to get subscribers. You can do this numerous ways. The visitors to your site are obviously already interested in what  you have to say or provide and have come through social media or search results. It is now time to give them something for their efforts and you can win here too.

Make it easy for them to sign up to your newsletter or integrate the sign up with a special offer. We have used free downloads and giveaways as part of email marketing campaigns. People love to sign up to things if they are going to get something for free. Try repackaging one of your more popular blog posts as an ebook and expand on it, this will make great content for a free ebook. You can then advertise the offer on your website, and when they sign up for the newsletter they get their ebook download.

Mailchimp makes this super easy. If you need or want this setup for you on your website, contact our team to get it started today!

How to Start a Fashion Shop or Online Blog

How to Start a Fashion Shop or Online Blog

Have you got some amazing fashion pieces the world needs to see? Perhaps you love fashion and want to share your passion with the world? Whatever it is that you love about fashion, here are some tips to get you going with starting a fashion blog or shop.

Do your Homework.

There is a plethora of online options out there when it comes to starting a website. Some are quick and easy, and often have their downfalls. Others can be quite expensive and not budget friendly for a fashion startup or fashion blogger.

Fashion Blogger.

If you are thinking of becoming a fashion blogger, I would definitely recommend the WordPress website platform. WordPress started life as a blogging platform, and has grown to become so much more. It uses a SQL database and PHP interface on your web hosting server to create dynamic and feature rich content. It is relatively easy to setup and even simpler to use and manage.

Once setup right, the blog can be very SEO friendly as well as user friendly. This is already 10 times better than those drag and drop FREE WEBSITES that so many get stuck with. The benefits of WordPress include site control, exponential expansion potential and the ability to manage the important things like site backups and transfers, content and SEO.

To learn how to install WordPress, try our easy 10 step guide which you can find here.

If you rather have it all setup ready for you to start blogging, it may be worth talking to our website team. Use our contact form or call me directly on 0434 001169. I would be happy to discuss your website options.

Online Fashion Shop.

If you are looking to create an online shop or fashion sales rack, once again, there are a few options to consider.

If your budget is less than zero, like a lot of startups, you could start with a blog and a business Facebook page. If you use a WordPress.com FREE blog to create your content, and then use Facebook to create shop pages and links back to your product info, you could start creating leads and sales. This is a great way to get started as a fashion shop and allows for easy expansion.

When your budget allows, transfer your content from your WordPress.com FREE site to a hosted WordPress solution. This will allow you to keep what you already have setup although now you can expand your site’s capabilities.

For the shop features of WordPress, we use and love WooCommerce by WooThemes. Definitely worth looking at for shop pages, payment gateways and a multitude of customisations. There is also a lot of online support through videos, blog posts and forums.

The WooCommerce plugin is free to use, and if using the PayPal gateway for payments, you are saving on SSL certificates, merchant gateway and banking costs, along with reoccurring monthly fees. PayPal will charge you per transaction.

There are many themes for WordPress that are specifically designed to work with WooCommerce and many of your favourite stores are probably running WooCommerce. It is a great plugin for your shop.

Another option, which if starting from scratch, is to sign up with Shopify.com

This is a complete shop solution. It includes web hosting and product listings and has the ability to accept add-ons like different payment gateways and shipping methods.

For a monthly fee, everything to get started is covered. If you choose to use add-on applications like Australia Post Shipping or Mailchimp Newsletter integration, there can be additional costs.

15/03/16 UPDATE – STOP THE PRESS! THERE IS A SHOPIFY PLUGIN AVAILABLE FOR WORDPRESS! CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT IT.

Integrate your Shop with your Online Store.

Shopify also offer Point of Sale products which allow you to integrate your online store with your real world fashion shop. With payment terminals and ipad integration, along with managed inventory solutions, you can manage your online and real world store in the one place. Many people find this much easier than having two different entities to manage.

shop online fashion

Integrate your real world fashion shop with your online store.

Check out the links below to the applications and products I mentioned above. As always, I am happy to talk to you about anything I write or business associated, so use the contact form on the site or call me to setup a FREE CONSULTATION today.

WordPress.com

WordPress.org

WooThemes.com

WooCommerce.com

Shopify.com

I hope you found this article helpful. Please comment below to let us know what you would like to know more about. Have a great week!

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