In today’s digital age, where information is just a few clicks away, websites play a pivotal role in disseminating knowledge, offering products, and providing services. However, with the ever-increasing complexity of content and services offered online, users often find themselves in need of quick answers to common questions. This is where Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) come to the rescue.
FAQs are a valuable tool for websites, offering a concise and organized repository of answers to the most common queries users may have. In this article, we delve into the world of FAQ plugins for WordPress, exploring the top choices that can transform your website’s user experience. We’ll also outline the advantages of implementing FAQs on your website, such as reducing customer support inquiries, enhancing user engagement, and streamlining information dissemination.
Whether you’re running a business website, a personal blog, or an online store, finding the right FAQ plugin can significantly improve your site’s usability and accessibility, making it an indispensable asset for both site owners and visitors.
In this article, we’ll explore the top FAQ plugins for WordPress that can help you easily manage and display your FAQs, providing a seamless user experience.
Ultimate FAQ is a user-friendly plugin that allows you to create and manage FAQs on your WordPress site effortlessly. It offers a simple interface, making it easy for beginners to add and organize frequently asked questions. The plugin provides customizable FAQ templates, enabling you to match the look and feel of your website. It also supports categories and tags, helping you categorize your FAQs for easier navigation.
User-Friendly: Ultimate FAQ is highly user-friendly, making it accessible to both beginners and experienced users.
Customization: It offers customizable FAQ templates, allowing you to match your website’s design.
Organization: Supports FAQ categories and tags for efficient organization.
Bulk Import/Export: It allows you to import and export FAQs in bulk, saving time when managing extensive FAQ content.
Limited Styling in Free Version: The free version has limited styling options, potentially requiring additional CSS customization for advanced design changes.
Why You Should Try It: Ultimate FAQ is an ideal choice for those looking for an intuitive and user-friendly FAQ plugin. It simplifies the process of creating and organizing FAQs on your WordPress site, making it accessible even to beginners. With customizable templates, it allows you to maintain a cohesive look and feel with your website’s design. Its support for categories and tags ensures that your FAQs are well-organized, helping users easily find the information they need.
Easy Accordion is a versatile plugin that not only allows you to create FAQs but also responsive and SEO-friendly accordions. It’s an excellent choice if you want to present your FAQs in an accordion-style format, saving space on your webpage. You can insert various content types, and the plugin offers customization options for colors and styles to seamlessly integrate with your site’s design.
Responsive Design: Easy Accordion specializes in creating responsive and SEO-friendly accordions for FAQs.
Content Variety: It supports various content types within the accordion.
Customization: You can customize colors and styles to seamlessly integrate with your site’s design.
Limited FAQ-Specific Features: It lacks specific FAQ management features like categories and tags.
May Require CSS Knowledge: Advanced customization may require CSS knowledge.
Why You Should Try It: If you want to present your FAQs in a space-saving and visually appealing accordion format, Easy Accordion is the way to go. This versatile plugin not only lets you create FAQs but also responsive and SEO-friendly accordions. With customization options for colors and styles, you can seamlessly integrate it with your website’s aesthetics, enhancing user engagement and keeping your content organized.
Quick and Easy FAQs lives up to its name by providing a straightforward way to add frequently asked questions to your WordPress site. It includes a built-in shortcode generator, making it easy to embed FAQs anywhere on your pages or posts. The plugin also integrates seamlessly with the Gutenberg block editor for modern WordPress content creation.
Ease of Use: Quick and Easy FAQs is designed for simplicity, making it easy for users of all levels.
Shortcode Integration: It integrates smoothly with the Gutenberg editor and offers shortcode integration.
Translation-Ready: The plugin is translation-ready, accommodating global audiences.
Basic Features: It lacks advanced features such as categorization, search, or detailed statistics.
Limited Customization: Advanced customization options are limited.
Why You Should Try It: Quick and Easy FAQs is a time-saving choice for adding FAQs to your WordPress site. It lives up to its name, allowing you to swiftly create and embed FAQs anywhere on your website. With its built-in shortcode generator and integration with the Gutenberg editor, it streamlines the process of adding FAQs to your content, making it hassle-free for both beginners and experienced users.
Accordion & FAQ is a versatile plugin that offers both accordion and FAQ functionality. It enables you to create responsive and collapsible FAQ sections, enhancing user experience. The plugin provides a shortcode for easy integration, allowing you to place FAQs wherever you need them on your site. While it’s user-friendly, customization options are somewhat limited in the free version.
Versatility: It provides the flexibility to create both accordion-style content and traditional FAQs.
Responsive Design: Accordions created with this plugin are responsive.
Shortcode Integration: Offers shortcode integration for easy placement.
Lacks Advanced Features: It lacks some advanced features like extensive customization or categorization.
Free Version Limitations: Customization options may be limited in the free version.
Why You Should Try It: Accordion & FAQ offers a versatile solution for those who want to combine accordion-style content with traditional FAQs. This plugin allows you to create collapsible and responsive FAQ sections with ease. Its shortcode integration makes it simple to place FAQs where needed. While the free version has limitations in customization, it’s still a great choice for a quick and functional FAQ setup.
Knowledge Base is more than just a FAQ plugin; it’s a comprehensive system for creating and managing knowledge bases and articles on your WordPress site. It employs custom post types to organize your articles efficiently and includes advanced search functionality to help users find the information they need quickly.
Comprehensive Knowledge Base: Provides a complete knowledge base system with custom post types.
Advanced Search: Offers advanced search functionality, aiding users in finding information quickly.
Not FAQ-Centric: It’s not designed specifically for FAQs and may be too robust for simple FAQ needs.
Lacks FAQ Schema: It doesn’t include FAQ Schema structured data.
Why You Should Try It: Knowledge Base is your go-to plugin when you need more than just FAQs. It provides a comprehensive system for organizing articles and creating a well-structured knowledge base. With custom post types and advanced search functionality, you can build a rich resource for your users. This plugin is particularly suitable for websites that aim to provide in-depth information and support.
WP Responsive FAQ is a premium plugin designed for creating responsive and mobile-friendly FAQ sections. It offers category-based organization, helping users navigate through your FAQs effortlessly. The plugin also includes search functionality for improved accessibility, making it a suitable choice for websites with extensive FAQ content.
Mobile-Responsive: Designed for mobile responsiveness, ensuring FAQs display well on all devices.
Category-Based Organization: Allows for efficient grouping of FAQs.
Search Functionality: Includes search capabilities for user convenience.
Paid Plugin: It’s a paid plugin with no free version available.
Why You Should Try It: WP Responsive FAQ is perfect for those who prioritize mobile responsiveness and organized content. It offers category-based organization, ensuring users can navigate through FAQs with ease. The inclusion of search functionality enhances the accessibility of your FAQs, making it an excellent choice for websites with extensive FAQ content, ensuring a smooth user experience.
FAQPlus is a feature-rich plugin that simplifies FAQ management on your WordPress site. It provides an easy-to-use shortcode generator and supports rich content, such as images and videos within FAQs. Additionally, it offers customization options for styles and layouts, allowing you to tailor the FAQ section to your site’s design.
Rich Content Support: It supports rich content, including images and videos within FAQs.
Shortcode Generator: Offers an easy-to-use shortcode generator.
Customization: Allows for customization of styles and layouts.
Paid Plugin: Requires a purchase for full functionality.
Why You Should Try It: FAQPlus is a feature-rich plugin that streamlines FAQ management. With its user-friendly shortcode generator and support for rich content, it caters to diverse needs. Customization options for styles and layouts allow you to tailor the FAQ section to your website’s design. Whether you want to embed images, videos, or other media in your FAQs, FAQPlus has you covered.
Ultimate Blocks is a collection of content blocks for the Gutenberg editor in WordPress. While it’s not a dedicated FAQ plugin, it includes a FAQ block that makes it easy to insert and manage FAQs within your content. It offers a range of other content blocks, enhancing your site’s functionality.
Diverse Content Blocks: Offers a variety of content blocks for the Gutenberg editor, including a FAQ block.
SEO-Friendly: Provides SEO-friendly design for improved search engine performance.
Not Dedicated to FAQs: While it includes a FAQ block, Ultimate Blocks is not solely dedicated to FAQ management.
Why You Should Try It: While not exclusively a FAQ plugin, Ultimate Blocks offers a variety of content blocks for the Gutenberg editor, including a dedicated FAQ block. This plugin simplifies the process of inserting and managing FAQs within your content. It’s a versatile choice for those who want to enhance their website’s functionality beyond FAQs, offering a wide range of content blocks for various purposes.
FAQ Schema is a plugin that focuses on adding structured data to your FAQs for SEO benefits. By implementing FAQ structured data, you can enhance your website’s appearance in Google search results, potentially earning rich results like FAQ snippets. It’s a lightweight and straightforward solution for SEO-conscious website owners.
SEO Enhancement: Focuses on adding FAQ Schema structured data to improve SEO and search engine visibility.
Simplicity: It’s a straightforward solution for SEO-conscious website owners.
Not a Full FAQ Plugin: It doesn’t offer the full spectrum of FAQ management features.
No Content Creation: It doesn’t create custom FAQs; rather, it enhances existing ones with structured data.
Why You Should Try It: FAQ Schema is the plugin to consider if you’re serious about improving your website’s search engine visibility. By implementing FAQ structured data, you can enhance your website’s presence in Google search results, potentially earning rich results like FAQ snippets. It’s a lightweight and straightforward solution for SEO-conscious website owners who want to boost their organic traffic.
Arconix FAQ is a lightweight and simple FAQ plugin for WordPress. It offers an easy way to create and display FAQs using shortcodes. The plugin’s responsive design ensures your FAQs look great on all devices. While it may not have extensive styling options, it excels at providing a basic and functional FAQ solution.
Lightweight: Arconix FAQ is a lightweight and straightforward FAQ plugin.
Responsive Design: Ensures FAQs look great on all devices.
Basic Functionality: Offers basic functionality without advanced features like categorization or search.
Limited Styling Options: Customization options are limited.
Why You Should Try It: Arconix FAQ is a straightforward and lightweight plugin for those who want a basic yet functional FAQ solution. Its responsive design ensures your FAQs look great on all devices, and its use of shortcodes simplifies the process of adding
Each of these plugins caters to different user needs and preferences, so consider your specific requirements when selecting the one that best fits your WordPress website. Whether you need advanced customization or a basic, no-frills FAQ solution, there’s likely a plugin on this list that suits your needs.
When choosing a FAQ plugin for your WordPress site, consider your specific needs and preferences. If you want a dedicated FAQ plugin with extensive features, plugins like “Ultimate FAQ” or “FAQPlus” are excellent choices. On the other hand, if you need a lightweight and straightforward solution, “Arconix FAQ” might be more suitable.Ultimately, the right plugin will enhance user experience, reduce support requests, and improve the overall usability of your website. So, choose wisely and create an engaging FAQ section for your audience.
Are you looking to add interactive and dynamic calculator functionalities to your WordPress website? Calculators can be incredibly useful tools for engaging your audience and providing them with valuable insights. Whether you need a mortgage calculator, price estimator, or any other type of calculator, WordPress has a plethora of plugins to choose from. In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 calculator plugins for WordPress that can help you achieve your website’s goals. Let’s dive in!
Everest Forms is a versatile plugin that not only offers an easy way to create forms but also comes with a built-in calculator feature. It allows you to build interactive forms with calculated fields to provide instant results to users.
Effortless Creation: Building forms is a breeze with the intuitive builder.
Instant Calculations: Users receive immediate responses thanks to calculated fields.
User-Centric: The user-friendly design enhances overall experience.
Limited Complexity: The calculator may feel basic for intricate calculations.
Design Constraints: Advanced customization options might be limited.
Involve.me is an all-in-one platform that includes interactive content tools, and it features a calculator builder. You can create quizzes, assessments, and interactive calculators to engage your audience.
Multifaceted Content: Beyond calculators, you can create quizzes and more.
Integration Heaven: Seamlessly connects with marketing and CRM tools.
Lead Magnet: Ideal for generating leads through interactive content.
Steep Learning Curve: Navigating its extensive features can be overwhelming.
Feature Restrictions: Certain advanced functionalities are gated behind paid plans.
As the name suggests, Calculator Builder is solely focused on creating dynamic calculators for your WordPress site. It provides a user-friendly interface to design various types of calculators without any coding.
Calculator Focus: Dedicated entirely to crafting interactive calculators.
Advanced Calculations completely revamps calculations in Gravity Forms. Not only does it empower you with advanced mathematical functions and conditionals, it improves the formula editing experience with a powerful new editor, complete with syntax highlighting, autocompletion, shorthand field references, and so much more!
Add-on Ecosystem: Boasts a wide range of powerful add-ons.
Scalable Solution: Suitable for various types of forms, from simple to complex.
Logical Calculations: Conditional logic enhances the accuracy of calculations.
Cost Accumulation: Expenses can escalate with multiple add-ons.
Basic Version Limitations: Some advanced features are exclusive to premium versions.
As the name implies, Mortgage Calculator specializes in providing users with instant mortgage calculations. It’s a great tool for real estate websites and financial blogs.
Mortgage Specialization: Tailored for accurate mortgage calculations.
Simplicity in Focus: The focused interface promotes user-friendliness.
Niche Relevance: Enhances user experience for real estate and finance sites.
Limited Scope: Might not cater to websites outside real estate and finance.
Niche Restriction: Limited utility beyond its designated domain.
In conclusion, adding calculator functionalities to your WordPress website can greatly enhance user engagement and provide valuable insights to your audience. Depending on your specific needs and level of expertise, you can choose from a variety of calculator plugins, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Whether you’re looking for an all-in-one solution or a dedicated calculator builder, these top 10 plugins have got you covered. Experiment with a few to see which one aligns best with your goals and website’s requirements.
Freelance services have expanded exponentially in the past decade and are projected to increase further in the coming years. With such growth, it is predicted that freelancers will account for as much as 80% of the entire workforce worldwide by 2030. The so-called “gig economy” is not just another buzzword anymore. With 57.3 million freelancers in the US alone (which makes around 36% of the total country’s workforce), there is no denying the fact that it is now the reality we live in.
These online professional services marketplaces serve as mediators between employers and workers to help them establish business relationships with each other. Each day, these websites help millions of their users find suitable jobs or staff, thereby earning their owners tremendous income. Freelance work, previously seen as pure side gigs and extra jobs, has now become a big job choice.
Freelance Marketplace Plugins are specifically designed and built to meet the needs of people interested in creating a freelance marketplace or other related ventures, after extensive study. Therefore, providing you with a Freelance Platform with the best framework possible would include all the necessary features and capabilities.
There is a rich eco-system available with WordPress plugins and codes that can help you develop and customize your WordPress Freelance Marketplace in whatever way you wish.
WordPress plugins have the potential to help you focus more on SEO and content marketing. They are two really effective tactics that will in no time draw clients and visitors to your website.
Finally, it wouldn’t be a problem with WordPress integrating with other tools and plugins. If required, you can use multiple WordPress solutions altogether to help you develop and automate your website on the Freelance Services Marketplace.
How to Find a Suitable WordPress Plugin for a Freelancer Marketplace
You’ll need to study and compare what plugins are better suited for your WordPress website. Below are several parameters that could be used:
Design: You need to get the template tested. A Freelancer Marketplace website uses many complex workflows, which is why it is critical that the plugin offers a great design and user-friendly features.
Payment Gateways: For a freelancer marketplace the processing of payments is crucial. It’s not really a problem, to begin with but later you do need a solution to essentially automate all payments. Therefore you will need to test which payment gateways are supported and you can use your WordPress plugin to enforce this. However, bear in mind, many payment gateways only allow businesses in some countries and many businesses in other countries than the US and Western Europe still have trouble getting accepted by other payment gateways.
Scalability: You’ll need to test the plugin’s backend structure in terms of technical scalability but also administrative ease here. It is vital that the backend has all the information at hand so that the website operator can easily find out what is going on and have all the details at hand in case of conflicts or demands for refunds.
Eco-System: Does the plugin come with an ecosystem of other great plugins, which can be easily added later in a cost-effective way? Here you want to start with a simple configuration to test your idea first but then you want to have access to a rich ecosystem with other plugins where you can easily add additional functionality to make your platform very awesome and where you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. So, you can verify whether your Freelancer Marketplace plugins are compatible with other applications or plugins.
Familiarity: You may also need to bear in mind that it is easier to find cost-effective developers for technical assistance when choosing a plugin that is compatible with other applications such as WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads because they have already worked on similar projects.
Must-have Features of an Excellent Freelancer Marketplace
In my opinion, if you want a perfect freelance marketplace, it must have the following features available:
1. Easy Onboarding Process – The platform must also offer a quick and easy onboarding process that will benefit both the customer and freelancer. The best feature for this one is that the customer can hire the freelancer right on his profile, or right on the Freelancer List.
2. Freelancer List – Customers must easily locate each of the available Freelancers, along with their profiles to check and see whether they fit the criteria that the customer is looking for.
3. Excellent Bidding Process with the option to Create Project Milestones – It is a must-have for a Freelancer Marketplace to have an excellent bidding flow and process. It must contain necessary and clear information about the Freelancer’s Bid, and also the option to create project Milestones(either by the Customer or the Freelancer).
4. Rating Procedure – The platform should enable the parties to rate each other depending on their performance as a party involved in the project.
5. Social Login – Since many people will register to your platform, we must give them an easy and quick registration process, by enabling them to register using their Social Accounts.
6. Manage Disputes and Settlements among the Parties – Different problems, issues and misunderstandings may arise during Project Execution among the parties, so because of that, there must be a way for the parties to report any disputes to the Site Administrators. They should have the capacity to submit disputes or claims against the party and the whole process needs to be managed.
7. Ability to scale up the Freelancer Marketplace – Besides offering Freelance Services to your customer, it is a great strategy if you are able to offer other products or services right on your Freelancer Marketplace. You can either sell digital downloads, website themes and designs, documents, and others. There’s always an opportunity to let more revenue flow in so we don’t want to waste it.
8. Payment Gateways – Freelancer Marketplace must have the ability to collect payments early on and hold them back until the projects are closed. Preferably, customers can pay with different payment methods such as Credit Cards, PayPal Balance and many more options.
These are just a few suggestions I have in mind if we are to talk about an efficient and effective Freelance Marketplace platform to service customers. Of course, there would be a lot more, but I hope you keep in mind these important features.
In order to achieve the above features on your Freelancer Marketplace Platform. You might want to check out this Freelancer Marketplace Plugin for WordPress.This plugin will help you build a freelancer marketplace for WordPress and Easy Digital Downloads. It also offers a comprehensive collection of settings and configurations to give you total control over your own freelancer marketplace, allowing you to configure it any way you want.
Conclusion: Developing a Freelance Marketplace is not a problem when you have the perfect solution
It will never be easy to start your own Freelancer marketplace with WordPress without the right resources and software, to begin with. You may have thought it would be difficult today to create your own online marketplace for freelance services, but what you really need is to be completely prepared and ready with the right tool, skills, and knowledge.
Just make sure that these features are well integrated and incorporated on your Freelance Marketplace, as well as the correct marketing and management, your marketplace will soon be up and running together with many clients and freelancers working with you.
If they run into problems, customer anger rises and they can’t find a representative to speak to quickly. There are many online businesses that are not responding to customer complaints or their responses are very sluggish, adding insult to injury. However, response time is crucial because three out of five customers never complete their purchases due to poor customer service.
American shoppers believe that customer service is a “true test” of how much a brand values them. Which is to say, they recall the customer service you have. For both negative and positive reasons the customer service that you provide is strong. 70% of consumers said they would remain loyal to certain retailers because of good customer service and 70% of customers cite poor customer service as a reason for not buying from a brand.
It costs seven times more to attract new customers than to retain existing customers. Providing excellent customer service not only improves revenue and revenues but also allows businesses in the industry to stand out. There are so many ways to offer excellent online service, even without face-to-face contact.
What is Good Customer Service?
Customer service is the position that lets clients get the value they’ve paid for from a product or service, particularly when things go wrong. Most companies have a dedicated customer service team, but those invested in providing quality experiences make support a priority for the organization at large.
The word ‘good customer service’ is intended to help clients make the right decisions. Your eCommerce brand needs to reduce the uncertainty of your customer, answer any questions and build enough confidence to persuade the shopper to pull the trigger and purchase. In comparison to traditional retailers – online shops don’t benefit from supportive customer service assistants.
Good Customer Service Strategies
Below are some best strategies to exercise good customer services on your WordPress webstore:
Build trust and relationship with customers
Loyalty is both the rarest asset in eCommerce and the main determinant of sustained eCommerce performance. When you can produce loyal customers consistently-you have a competitive advantage for yourself.
Note, the market is full of rivals and if your customer service fails by any measure, online shoppers need not walk far to visit one of the thousands of other rival stores in your niche. eCommerce brands need to work harder to maintain customers and create trust than any other company. It’s just that quick to abandon your online shoppers without having to offer any explanation.
Request Customer Feedback
Let’s face it, most consumers won’t leave reviews or suggestions unless you ask them to. Write a follow-up email asking them to rate their experience or write a short review on your blog or on social media. They’ll more than likely jump on it, particularly if you’re offering a small discount on a future purchase for that.
Feedback and ratings are also important for the company as they provide useful information and allow companies to see what works and what isn’t. Poor reviews aren’t all negative either, they’re an opportunity to find out and fix what went wrong. If the review was constructive or negative, reacting and thanking the client is often the right way to. Getting a conversation started is often a win-win. And the name of the game is being positive with social media.
Live Chat With Customers
Live chat is a great way for current and potential customers to get easy, easily accessible help. Fixes real-time consumer issues. There’s no need to have live chat available 24/7. You should set hours and post them on your website, so that customers know where you can be found. The duration of live chat will be dependent on the highest traffic levels, with additional hours added during a sale or directly after a promotional email has been sent.
Provide Service Through Social Media
Community Support for the clients. Social networking is where people meet and talk and connect, so why not be where your clients are and talk with them to answer any questions or concerns they may have. Your customers will not only appreciate the immediate attention, but it will also encourage future customers to see how open your company is.
Alerts from social media let you know when your business is being addressed, and let you join in the discussion. According to a report by Bain & Company, businesses that connect with customers and respond to customer service requests on social media end up generating 20 to 40 percent more revenue from those clients.
Prepare FAQs to lessen customer inquiries
Head off (and reduce) supporting questions by developing a FAQ page or other documentation that communicates your specific policies and responds to the most popular queries. Providing this knowledge to your customers, and making it easy to find, gives them the opportunity to self-serve and saves valuable time.
5 Tips in replying to a customer
1. Respond as soon as possible – Always get back to the customer as soon as possible whenever there’s an issue. Cases like these need attention since they could’ve spotted a technical issue happening on the website. Otherwise, it is still important to be active in answering inquiries and questions.
2. Be helpful by offering assistance – If the customers complain about not being happy with the digital product they bought, instead of directly conducting a refund, it is better to ask the customer what they are unhappy about the product.
Negative feedback will be very helpful in further improving the product. Or in our case, we simply assist the customer and help them on how to use the product properly. This way, we are showing that we truly care about the customer’s thoughts and that we are putting effort into connecting with our customers.
3. Avoid compromising the store’s reputation – If there was an issue with your system and caused inconvenience to the customer, if possible, avoid divulging too much information when explaining to the customer. Compromising the store’s reputation is the last thing you want (e.g. web stores system being faulty). As long as it can be fixed as soon as possible, an apology email works but it’s best to not make it sound severe and be simple about it.
4. Always investigate customer claims thoroughly – There was actually one time where a customer lied about purchasing a product from us. It turns out, he was just trying to get a free product. But we handled it by being nice and polite all the way.
Showing screenshots (if any) of unpaid transactions or no transactions at all under the same name/email. Another case would be a customer did purchase a product but used a different email and name. As such, there was a misunderstanding but was easily resolved by asking politely without judging the customer right away. At the end of the day, staying polite is the best solution in handling cases like these and at the same time being thorough.
5. Always be polite – Customers often get nervous when buying digital products online due to fraudulent cases, hence, if there’s a case where they don’t receive the product after purchasing, they mostly complain, reach out, and scream “scam”. Cases like these are unavoidable and happen quite often for digital marketplaces/stores. But, don’t get discouraged. Just reach back and explain the cause of the delay after investigating the case thoroughly. It could be there was a system bug, payment not going through, or other hiccups that delayed the process.
Again, being polite is the best way to go and, of course, don’t forget to add the line “Thank you for your understanding and patience”. Though the customer might be quite the opposite of what the line means, in this way, we can calm their opinion about the store.
Conclusion: Good Customer Service equals to Sales
Customer service is vitally essential for any company. While the internet breaks down barriers to retail market entry around the world, competition for eCommerce is intense. The goods are a commodity more than ever before. Customer service is an important part of the brand.
When the best customer service in your market is offered by your eCommerce shop, you can build loyal customer relationships, create daily repeat sales and maintain profit margins by persuading consumers to pay a premium. Focusing on customer satisfaction and providing your customers with the very best experience gives your company an incredible, competitive advantage that goes way beyond your competition. Concentrate on the entire shopping experience through consumers ‘eyes to make sure it’s simple, friendly, and personal all over your web.
It is very important to work your first impression with customers. If your website is unappealing to your audience and difficult to navigate, then it’s likely to increase the bounce rate. Your website navigation should instead help customers find the products they want quickly and easily.
Good navigation on your Easy Digital Downloads WordPress websites improves the online shopping experience and helps merchants increase sales and profits. Setting up your WordPress websites with Easy Digital Downloads could be your smartest move if you are into eCommerce and have excellent digital goods ready to offer for download.
Even relatively small differences in global navigation — i.e., the navigation that appears on almost every page of a site — may significantly impact users and their ability to find products. They have increasingly shorter attention spans, so you need to be able to quickly attract their attention – and make the shopping experience pleasant and easy.
Why improve your website navigation?
It can be safely said that navigation is one of the most critical parts of your store’s design. Good navigation provides an improved user experience leading to more sales and revenue. On the other hand, poor navigation frustrates the users leading to a higher bounce rate.
As mentioned before, poor website navigation has a higher tendency to increase the bounce rate. As a matter of fact, studies show that 76% of consumers say the most important characteristic of a website is ease of use. The objective is to help shoppers get to what they want faster and without running into unnecessary complexity that can clog up the path to purchase.
Navigation can make or break your website’s overall performance when it comes to retaining visitors, keeping them engaged and driving them through the conversion funnel. Strong site navigation makes it easy for visitors to quickly find the information that interests them. It also helps search engines index your important information efficiently and effectively.
So in summary, webstore owners need to once in a while check and optimize their site navigation because:
Site navigation is very important to customers until they reach their purchase decision.
Excellent Navigation leads to more sales and revenue for your webstore.
Increased your Visit Duration and Decreased Bounce Rate
Keep your clients and visitors happy and coming back for more, thus you won’t lose your customers.
Good navigation makes the whole process easy and smooth. Bad navigation is frustrating and can lead to a loss of sales.
Although it may seem negligible, having organized and easy-to-follow navigation for a website is very beneficial and important for the overall user experience.
How to Improve Website Navigation for EDD
Even relatively small differences in global navigation — i.e., the navigation that appears on almost every page of a site — may significantly impact users and their ability to find products.
To improve your EDD WordPress site navigation, consider these suggestions.
Search is one of the most important tools for EDD WordPress website navigation. It should be included at or near the top of every page on a site. For this, you need to select a good EDD theme that already offers an on-site search bar or install a search plugin instead.
When using an in-site search feature, the search results page must always produce relevant results. It must compensate for misspellings, show related items and even produce results for products you don’t have while displaying similar products you offer.
2)Accurate navigation titles
Visitors should have a general idea of what they should find on a page even before clicking any navigational link. This is true whether it’s the main navigation link or an internal text link. Use accurate text to describe the linked page so visitors know what they’re going to get. Cryptic or misleading navigation text confuses and annoys visitors, possibly to the point of site abandonment. Make sure all link verbiage, whether textual or in an image, accurately portrays the corresponding pages.
3) Clickable links and pages on the navigation
When using multiple categorical divisions in your navigation, all heading elements should be clickable links. This is true even with drop-down menus where clicking a sub-category link may be the natural inclination of the visitor.
In order to add a navigation menu on your EDD website, an excellent and flexible plugin we have been using is the Nav Menu Roles. This plugin lets you hide custom menu items based on user roles.
4)Product Categories and Subcategories
Product categories are often arranged in a hierarchy that moves from the general to the specific. It is possible, however, that some products might naturally appear in more than one hierarchy.
5) Keep it consistent
Consistent navigation promotes ease of use and increases your visitors’ ability to find relevant information more quickly, and also so that people can find their way around the site from wherever they happen to be. If your navigation is constantly changing from page to page (except where absolutely necessary), visitors lose their on-site bearings and must reorient themselves constantly.
6) Follow Design Conventions
Although it might be fun to generate a unique and unusual form of website navigation, for eCommerce it is often best to follow common design and navigation conventions. With this in mind, navigation should either be at the top of the page or, for sites featuring left-to-right reading languages, on the left side of the page.
If you have tons of products on your webstore, Filtered navigation is essential. It makes for effective browsing by allowing the customer to narrow their product selection by eliminating results that are irrelevant to them.
8) Product Displays and Carousel Sliders
Carousels, or image sliders, and even simple product displays are commonplace on eCommerce sites which can be achieved by using shortcode for WordPress. Essentially, they allow your customers to promote several different products without using all of the space on the page, thus making it more user-friendly, creating an eye-candy, animated display. Fortunately, there is WordPress shortcode plugin out there that you can use.
If you want a WordPress shortcode plugin to enable product/vendors displays on your webstore, either a simple grid display or a carousel slider, you can try checking out the EDD Advanced Shortcodes plugin. This truly enhances website navigation and browsing capabilities of your products and vendor profiles in a more powerful manner using the advanced shortcode for WordPress provided.
9) Fix Broken Links
Always keep in mind to frequently check and fix broken links. Whether the page is yours or another website’s that you hyperlinked somewhere, 404 error pages aren’t helpful for visitors. Actually, they make them want to leave. WordPress has multiple plugins to check for broken links within your pages, posts, comments, directories, etc. but I suggest using Broken Link Checker since it’s one of the top plugins for this purpose.
10) Optimize for Mobile
As of 2017 Q1, mobile devices were found to be used for 49.7% of overall web page views globally. Make sure that everything you have on your desktop website version fits well with the mobile version. Choose either to create a responsive or adaptive mobile version depending on budget and what works best for your overall needs.
Keeping it simple and obvious will keep your clients and visitors happy and coming back for more. Be sure that your visitors are able to locate the necessary information as soon as possible, without searching through heaps of extra information. Navigation should assist the user in finding all the information they are after before a call to action can be made.
Conclusion: Make it easy for customers to find what they want!
Continuously thinking of new ways to attract more visitors to your EDD webstores can be very challenging. But what’s even more difficult is to keep and make your customers stay browsing on your website, how? That’s where good website navigation takes place. This should make it easy for your visitors to find exactly what they’re looking for.
Improving your website navigation also comes with improving your website speed. When it comes to page speed and load time, an improvement of just a single second can have huge implications for your bottom line. The result of this is faster loading times and happier visitors. You can read through this article “A Guide to WordPress Caching and the Best Caching Plugins” to learn more about WordPress Caching.
No one wants to go through leaps and hurdles to get to the endpoint, so make it easy and optimize your navigation for better user experience. Use any or all of these techniques above for your Easy Digital Downloads WordPress website, and you’ll be helping yourself and your visitors to move them toward your ultimate goal – conversions.
Are you spending loads of your hard-earned money on driving more visitors to your Easy Digital Downloads WordPress website using various eCommerce paid tools and or via Facebook Ads or Google Adwords, yet not seeing the revenue follow? For most eCommerce businesses, one of the biggest leaks in their sales and marketing funnel is shoppers who add products to their cart, but then abandon them at checkout.
Cart abandonment is a rising challenge for all retail marketers as well as the most common and most inevitable scenario. SalesCycle reported that approximately 75.6% of carts were abandoned in 2018 and unfortunately, this is a number that has slowly been increasing in recent years. That means that only 1 in every 4 customers actually finishes their purchase.
This is why marketers usually turn towards emails to help recover these abandoned sales. Good Abandoned Cart Emails are so important for eCommerce marketers. With a great eCommerce marketing automation strategy (including the timing and message), they can set it up and have it recover sales on autopilot. This type of eCommerce email is one of the most effective, revenue-generating emails that you can send to prospects.
But if you’ve never set up a cart abandonment email, or you’re not satisfied with your current results, you’re probably wondering what makes great cart abandonment emails. That’s what we’ll be looking at today.
What are Abandoned Cart Emails?
Abandoned Cart Emails are messages sent automatically whenever a customer comes to your webstore and adds an item to their cart, but doesn’t buy the item. These emails can also be triggered when the customer abandons the checkout flow.
In other words, this is a follow-up email sent to someone who has added items to their cart and gotten through a portion of the checkout and then left the site without purchasing. Abandoned cart emails work to remind customers of items they left in cart – enticing them to come back to purchase what they are already so close to buying.
Consider these abandoned cart statistics from Moosend:
There are different types of emails you can send to your customers. But with numbers like that, cart reminder emails give some of the highest returns on your investment.
Now it may not be possible to persuade all cart-abandoners to go through checkout and triple your sales. Some customers may have never had the intention to purchase in the first place. But it’s worth putting in the effort to resolve as many lingering hesitations as you can because a significant percentage of them are persuadable.
Why do customers abandon their carts?
We can’t eliminate shopping cart abandonment. But, we can try to understand its root cause so as we can properly plan ahead and deal with it. Here’s a survey Baymard Institute has conducted containing reasons for Abandonment during Checkout.
Now we can rehab our webstores by taking into consideration the above cart abandonment reasons. Work your way on making your checkout process smooth and hassle-free. But again, shopping cart abandonment cannot be totally eliminated. Other reasons why they abandon their carts are: visitors are just browsing, found a better price elsewhere and maybe suddenly have decided against buying it.
Abandoned Cart Email Best Practices
Even though we can’t eliminate cart abandonment entirely, we can minimize the likelihood of it happening – by using abandoned cart emails. Good abandoned cart email is one of the most effective, revenue-generating emails that you can send to prospects.
And in this article, we will show you some outstanding cart recovery email strategies that will help you lower your cart abandonment rate and increase your bottom line.
In order to be successful, there are some important things you need to include in your cart abandonment emails. They are enumerated as follows:
High converting subject lines
Include abandoned product
Keep email simple and personal
Offer Discount Codes/Coupons
Mail Frequency and Creating Urgency
Add CTA buttons and Contact Details
Trust and Credibility through Product Reviews / Social Proofs
Display your other products
Let’s explain each of the above Abandoned Cart Email Best Practices.
Unique and Effective Subject Line
If you like the subject line, and if you trust the sender, you will open it. If not, the chances are high that you won’t open it. In fact, 35% of email recipients open an email based on subject line alone.
This means that a good and effective subject line for abandoned cart email can grab the attention of the customer and increase open and click rates.
When recipients read your subject lines, they should be reminded of what they left behind. A well-written subject line for abandoned cart email can go a long way toward piquing the interest of reluctant customers.
Include abandoned product
Showcase exactly what was left behind in your customer’s cart. Reminding the product what they have missed out is very important. Make sure to add the product along with the product image, description, benefits, and features, etc. It’s not enough anymore to just include the name of the product. The image is a must along with the product details.
People might not remember what products had them clicking the “add to cart” button. After all, they may not really remember what product they abandoned if they had a particularly busy looking and scrolling through different webstores.
Keep email simple and personal
Besides attractive images and contrasting CTA buttons, it’s important that you have a convincing and personalized text and content that’s ultimately pushing towards conversions. With 94% of businesses saying how critical email personalization is to their success, basic personalization such as including the customer’s first name in the salutation or subject line is proven effective and very important.
An excellent subject line may contain some important points such as:
Customize the message by including their names or product names.
Make use of some great offers to bribe them in opening the email.
Play the idea “Fear Of Missing Out” (FOMO) to your customers.
Make it short and simple but alluring enough for them to open the email.
Also, it’s important never to overload readers with information. Instead, focus on what’s necessary for the prospect to return to their cart and complete their order. Writing short emails is an effective way of ensuring that you hold the reader’s attention long enough to do this.
Offer Discount Codes/Coupons
Most customers abandon their carts because the final price is more than what they expected. And there’s a simple way to recover the customers who have been scared away by the final price: issue a discount.
Offering discounts for customers to complete their purchases can really work in your favor. But, be aware of the pitfalls. A common concern is training customers to abandon transactions on purpose to receive a discount.
If you were to offer a discount in your email, it could be the final push they need to complete their purchase. Save your discounts for the end. If you send a sequence of emails, save that coupon code for the very last one. This is your last shot at getting the customer to convert, after all.
Mail Frequency and Creating Urgency
Mail Frequency is a very essential element in your cart recovery process. When to send an abandoned cart email? Many stores prefer sending the cart recovery email right after the visitor abandoned the cart. Sending the email within an hour after the customer abandoned the cart, is the most preferred time because:
The email will arrive before the customer totally forgets about the cart;
The customer is still in their “buying” mood;
The email will arrive before the customer decides to purchase elsewhere.
Also, sending additional email reminders will greatly improve our chances of success. We can earn more revenue from abandoned carts and increase sales conversion by following up with a series of emails.
Email #2 must be sent after 24 hours, after the first one. Usually, the customers shop at the same time of the day. Also, we’ll remind them once again of their cart contents and of any discounts.
Email #3 must be sent after 72 hours, after the previous email. Use a persuasion technique of scarcity, by telling customers that the discount will expire soon. This is your last chance of converting the customer.
The most common way in creating a sense of urgency is by putting a limited time offers in the recovery emails we sent – usually free shipping or product discounts. This way, the customers will be more interested to take advantage of the discount and then continue with the purchase as soon as possible.
Add CTA buttons and Contact Details
Bold and attractive CTAs can really grab the attention of the shopper and push them towards an action you want them to take. Make it easy for the customer to finish buying the product. Let them know what they abandoned, show it (with a big image), then put the bold, easy-to-see, contrasting CTA right below that product image.
Another important thing to include in your contact information for people who want to reach out to ask further questions. There are many reasons why shoppers abandon carts. They may have extra questions and it’s a good idea to include your support contact info.
Trust and Credibility through Product Reviews / Social Proofs
Customers have become more careful especially first-time visitors on your website will need a little more convincing before opening up their wallets and proceed to purchase. This is where social proof can help you convert those first-time visitors or skeptical buyers.
The best way to do that is to use product ratings and reviews so that those prospects can see that other people (like themselves) have happily purchased from you before.
When 88% of consumers claim that ratings and reviews influenced their buying decision, this represents a big opportunity for you. Instead of just using this social proof on your website, you can use it in your abandoned cart reminder emails too.
Display your other products
People might have abandoned their shopping cart because they were unsure of their choice — maybe the item isn’t exactly what they had in mind. But, they might be sold on similar items they missed the first time. Sometimes, offering alternatives to abandoned cart items can help return a missed sales opportunity.
With product recommendations, it’s easy to show off other stuff that your customers will love. (They might even like those options better.) Visitors might not have been completely sold on the items they added to their cart, but they might be interested in similar items they didn’t notice the first time on your site.
Conclusion: Start turning missed opportunities into recovered sales!
Too many eCommerce sites let potential revenue fly out the window because they don’t send people a friendly reminder that they left something behind. Improving your abandoned cart recovery is an incremental process that requires many smaller steps.
A good abandoned cart email contains many different elements which vary greatly from business to business. You might need to do a few testing to create an abandoned cart email that works for you and your audience. A great cart recovery campaign can make people remember you. 75% of shoppers plan on coming back to their abandoned cart. Quickly change their “plan” into “did” with abandoned cart emails that work. You see, abandoned cart emails are easy to set up, and really it should be something that everyone does give the high abandonment rates.
You’ve might work hard to attract visitors to your Easy Digital Downloads WordPress website and put a lot of time and money into creating and developing your products, but if those visitors don’t make it through your checkout process to finalize the purchase, none of those things really matters. Your success rises and falls on how many sales you make, not barely on how many people you can attract to your site. Unfortunately, most eCommerce websites don’t do checkout very well.
The checkout page is the most important part of your website as this is where prospects become customers, and it’s where you make money. Also, it is a frequently overlooked area for webstore owners looking for ways to increase online revenue and conversion. Achieving the best checkout page requires testing and optimization to hit your desired conversion rates and ensure your customers complete their transactions. Some eCommerce businesses excel at the checkout page while others overlook the functionality of this all-importance page.
Why do you need to optimize your checkout page?
While you may think a single page can’t cost your site that much money, you’d be surprised by how much a poorly-done checkout page could harm your conversions. Do you know why are you losing customers at your checkout page? Shopping cart abandonment is a big issue for eCommerce store owners because it can cost hundreds of billions of dollars in lost sales.
Now that you’re crystal-clear on exactly how important yourcheckout page design is, let’s go straight to the best checkout page strategiesto optimize your checkout page for higher conversion rates.
Keep process quick and simple
With each field you add to your checkout page you’re increasing the amount of time it takes a customer to give you money. Plenty of conversion studies have shown that the fewer clicks to checkout there are, the higher your conversion rate will be. With the cart and basket pages, the key is to keep things as simple as possible. Only include custom fields that are absolutely necessary, since these naturally provide more shopper friction.
The email address should be one of thefirst pieces of information collected. By collecting the email address first,you’re able to target customers later if their cart is abandoned. Only showfields that are absolutely required. Keeping your checkout form simple and freeof clutter is an easy way to put your customers at ease while they breezethrough the checkout process.
Keep in mind in order to be effective, your checkout page has to be laser-focused and straightforward. The goal of your checkout page is to get your customers to complete their purchase. This means you should only have one Call To Action (CTA) prompting your customer to make a purchase. You can replace or minimize the header and footer, in order to prevent any distractions for the user. The focus of the checkout page should be — well, the checkout page.
When a visitor is shopping on your site, and providing private information, they want to feel safe. A secure site not only puts your customers at ease; it can also help you convert more visitors into customers. Baymard says that around 19% of visitors abandon the checkout page because they don’t trust sites with their payment information.
Don’t forget to include credit card logos and security seals. Trusted payment logos and trust badges/seals (if applicable) should be displayed prominently on your checkout page, along with accepted forms of payment. Displaying these images to your customers will increase their sense of security and trust in your site. Let shoppers know your site is a secure, trusted place to do business. Also, if you offer a money-back guarantee or some important notes you want to tell your customers, be sure to add those in the checkout page as well.
Makecheckout mobile friendly
There is a possibility that your E-commerce website is responsive but is your checkout page optimized for mobile users? Stats show that 74% of mobile users are more likely to revisit your site in the future if your site works well on a mobile phones. Mobile optimization for the checkout page is a must to improve sales and conversion rates.
A fast, simple checkout will besignificantly easier to use on mobile devices. Remember that more and moretransactions are taking place on mobile devices, and a clunky mobile checkoutmight send a potential customer off to a competitor’s site.
Improve site loading times
Do you know that increasing the number of components on your checkout page will result in increased load times and reduced customer satisfaction? 59% of people will abandon a webpage if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds. Make sure to eliminate distraction by removing unnecessary features from your checkout page, and stick to the basics.
Stress test important pages on your site asmuch as possible to know how they work under extreme conditions, andinvestigate Google PageSpeed Modules or other tools to speed up load times.
Offering multiple payment methods makes this easier for the customer, as they can choose the payment method they’re most comfortable with to overcome purchasing objections. Offering as many payment methods as you’re comfortable can drive additional conversions by ensuring your customers pay with the method of their choice. The preferred payment options are by credit card (42%) followed by PayPal (39%).
In the Baymard research, 37% of shoppers abandoned carts because theyhad to create an account to shop. That’s a huge number of potential customersto lose. Some of your customers will be hesistant to create an account withyour store upon checkout — registration forms such as this can be verytime-consuming and tiring to fill out, and they create mental tension byrequiring another “decision” during checkout.
Anonymous checkouts are especially important for first-time customers.Forcing users to sign up for an account on the website before they reach thecheckout page has been shown to decrease conversion rates. To solve thisproblem and make things easier for your customers is by introducing a guestcheckout or including social login to make signup easy.
Offer Up-sells and Cross-sells
Theseare sales techniques we can also add on our checkout page to optimize salesconversion. Cross-selling pitches products in addition to what the customer isalready interested in, and upselling suggests a more expensive version of theproduct. The idea is to make the customer spend more money they originallythought they’d spend. These are great, and have always done the trick whentrying to increase online sales.
Unlike an eCommerce business that sells physical products, digital products that are available instantly don’t require a shipping address or phone number. Street address, state, and zip code are all fields you can immediately eliminate from your checkout form. Thus, the checkout page of a digital product webstore offers a simple, easy and less complicated checkout than with buying a physical product. So we need to remember that it is very important to make the checkout least difficult part of your customer’s eCommerce journey.
Conclusion: Increase your Sales Conversion Rate!
All in all, your eCommerce checkout page is the most important part of your online store. You cannot win sales and grow your business if you cannot get consumers to convert. A smooth checkout flow can increase profits for your online business and can improve cart abandonment rates.
Optimizing your checkout process will help increase revenue, and customer satisfaction. Along with this, you can also try improving the totality of your website by making sure that you have good and smooth site navigation. But where do you start? You can read this article “How to improve website navigation for your EDD store” to learn some tips and strategies on how to excel with site navigation.
Conversion rate optimization is an ongoing process. Develop ideas, make a change, test to see how it affects sales. I admit, there are other ways, too. But, it’s a guarantee that these steps will help you stay on the right track.
WordPress today powers 30% of the world’s websites and leading eCommerce software such as WooCommerce are actually WordPress plugins which have proven that WordPress is much more than just a blogging solution.
When you are considering setting up a multi-vendor digital product marketplace you might want to consider using Easy Digital Downloads (EDD). EDD is the leading WordPress solution which is specialized in selling digital products and offers a marketplace extension as well. Unlike WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads does not come with any in-built legacy made for shipping physical products, instead, it is truly optimized in selling digital products. In this article, we will outline how to set up a multi-vendor marketplace platform in WordPress with Easy Digital Downloads.
Why create a Digital Product Multi-Vendor Marketplace Platform?
Sales for online marketplaces are expected to greatly double from $18.7 billion in 2017 to $40.1 billion in 2022 (MCFADYEN based on eMarketers). During the May 2018 survey made by Statista, 50 percent of global shoppers stated that they preferred to make first-time purchases at a retailer, whereas 47 percent of repeat buyers preferred online marketplaces. As per Statista, two of the top three reasons for purchasing at a marketplace instead of a retailer were more competitive prices and a broader selection of products available. Also 38% of all online shoppers in 2017 ordered from abroad.
Number ofDigital Buyers Worldwide, Source: Smartinsights 2017 based on eMarketer
First of all, why should your first choice be is to sell a digital product and not a physical product in your marketplace? The three main reasons are:
(1) No inventory required
(2) No shipping and handling problems
(3) Easier to sell worldwide
When selling digital products, a creator willhave the choice to either sell his digital products on his own website or usinga digital product marketplace. Below are the arguments why it can be a goodidea to start a multi-vendormarketplace platformrather than a single vendor store:
Selling a digital product is easier than selling a physical product
Buyers prefer choice and larger product inventories
Same launch costs as single-vendor websites
Low fixed costs enhancing chances of achieving break-even early on
Scalable business models with benefits in obtaining traffic (e.g. SEO and Social Media)
Best is to start a digital product marketplaceonly in a niche you are very familiar with as this will save you time and itallows you to find solutions to problems quicker than when you know nothingabout an industry. Some people also say you need a large amount of passion. Wethink it cannot hurt and will only help you if you actually care about theproducts you will sell in your digital product marketplace.
Before starting a WordPress Marketplace – Market Research
Conducting market research is the very firststep we must work on and do before even building and starting our DigitalProduct WordPressmarketplace. It is important to first conduct thorough market researchand study the essential factors which can affect and contribute to the successof the business plan when starting a digital product marketplace.
An effective wayto conduct a market study is by starting with the closest competitors of your digital productmarketplace idea. Try to especially focus on the top 5 or 10 competitorsand thoroughly research their profiles to understand what and how they aredoing and where the market gap for a new digital product WordPressmarketplace might be. When analyzing competitors, try to analyze thefollowing:
What do they sell?
Number of Vendors / Products
Price ranges of their products
Followers on social media
Sources of traffic
Strengths and weaknesses
Reviewing the strengths and weaknesses ofcompetitors should not only be in terms of how good their website appears butmore in terms of how good their business model is. Is this a marketplaceplatform you believe can attract the interest of customers and vendors? If yes,why? What do they do well? Which points they seem to neglect or where do theyshow weaknesses? There might be an untapped opportunity where the market is notserved?
Doing this analysis properly will give youmore information about the marketing strategies and tactics of each of thecompetitors and you will quickly figure out where there might be an untappedopportunity in the market that deserves to be serviced by your new digitalproduct WordPressmarketplace.
SEO can offer a cost-effective long-termmarketing strategy for marketplaces since there is a lot of content placedthere. Therefore you will need to do keyword research which is the process offinding and analyzing actual keywords entered in search engines. The objectiveof the keyword research will be to figure out which keywords would be easy torank within our market niche, have decent traffic search volumes and show onlya low level of competition.
Another topic to research and check arecommission rates charged to vendors by similar digital product marketplaces. Standard commission fees for digital product marketplaces are somewhere between 10% and 30%. Sobefore deciding what it will be, please check first how many potentialcompetitors are charging to their vendors and see that your fees are in linewith the market terms for your market segment.
Setting up a Digital Product Marketplace
Just like in starting a simple DigitalDownloads eCommerce WordPress Website, the very first thing to do is to chooseyour Domain Name URL and a Web Hosting Provider.
The Domain Name URL is the internet addresswhere Internet users can access your website. Registering domains will costfrom $10 per year upward, depending on the registrar and top-level domain(TLD).
The next task will then be to select asuitable web hosting provider that will host your website. You can choosebetween a shared and a private server. If you have plans to make your websitelarge, you might be better off starting with a private server as otherwise, youwill have to move your website away from a shared account as soon as you getmore traffic.
As mentioned initially, you will need to install Easy Digital Downloads which is the leading solution in WordPress and fully specialized to sell digital products online.
Installing a Multi-Vendor Marketplace WordPress Theme
The next step will be to install a WordPress Theme for your new marketplace platform. There are numerous free and paid themes available which are covered in a previous article and summarized here:
What you need to watch out for is to install a theme that supports the Frontend Submissions (FES) plugin in EDD. In case your chosen theme would not support FES, you can still install the theme but then you will have to manually develop designs for frontend vendor pages which is costly and time-consuming to do. Therefore, better use a standard theme which already supports FES, to begin with.
Please note, the theme just needs to serve thepurpose to get you off the ground. You will have to rework your website manytimes during the operations of your digital product WordPress marketplace.We just need a theme to start with, makes your marketplace presentable andhelps us to attract first customers and vendors.
Frontend Submissions provides a full-featured front-end package to turn your Easy Digital Downloads powered website into a complete multi-vendor marketplace. It allows you to accept download submissions from third-party authors or vendors and allows them to list their products in your Easy Digital Downloads marketplace website.
By using the FES plugin on top of your EDDplugin, you can build a store where vendors and creators can sign up, listtheir products for sale, and manage their own accounts, all from within your WordPress marketplace platform.For a multi-vendor digital product store, FES is the key marketplaceplugin for WordPress to use.
Commissions– An Essential Marketplace Plugin for WordPress
The Commissions extension is what you need to administer the revenue split between your platform and third-party vendors automatically. The way it works is that you need to define the percentage of sales (the commission) your third-party vendors get on every product sale. For digital product marketplaces, commission rates should lie between 10% – 30% which will form your fee income.
The Commissions add-on is often paired with FrontendSubmissions, but it can also work perfectly on its own. Commissions can be paidto any WordPress user at either a flat rate or a percentage of sales. It’s akey component for any Marketplace plugin in WordPress and EasyDigital Downloads.
Our PayPal Adaptive Payments, same as FES, the main marketplace plugin for WordPress, is a key WordPress plugin to use, as it automatically splits payments received between you and third-party vendors. This way, it avoids a lot of administrative work as the payment of third-party revenue can be done instantly and it saves significant time. This marketplace plugin for WordPress is a tested and true time-saver for all multi-vendor Easy Digital Downloads stores.
The plugin connects Easy Digital Downloads to the versatile Adaptive Payments gateway. With this gateway integration, you can easily split payments with up to 6 different receivers at the same time. You can set each receiver up with a specific percentage of the payment within the settings for this gateway. Also, you can determine whether you would like to use chained or parallel payments.
We do really like to recommend you to use this plugin and benefit from its very helpful and straightforward features. We have customers who spent a lot of time executing payments to vendors manually every month and is simply a lot of work which you do not need to do if you have an automated solution. PayPal Adaptive Payment Gateway is not actively promoted anymore by PayPal and you will need approval from PayPal before you can implement it. Nevertheless, we recommend using it as it saves a lot of time and as far as we are aware PayPal still accepts new users into its program.
After you have successfully set up your digital productmarketplace and installed the specific EDD WordPress plugins, the nextessential step to take is to be able to fill up your catalog with products, buthow? The answer is, we first need vendors to get on board with us. It wouldn’tbe a marketplace if there were no vendors. This means we will have to source ourfirst vendors who will contribute the digital products for sale on ourmarketplace.
From where can you obtain first vendorswilling to sell their products with you? Based on our experience, vendors arenormally sourced from the following sources when starting a new digital product marketplace:
Creating your own products
Partner with vendors you know personally
Reaching out to potential new interested vendors.
Read our eBook for more insights on each sourceof vendors.
Marketing Strategies for Digital Product Marketplaces
Once your WordPress marketplace has beenlaunched, promoting your digital product marketplace is important forgaining the attention of future customers and prospective vendors. The processof selling and promoting digital products is quite similar compared to how youwould sell and promote physical products on any eCommerce website.
Now, if you are looking for ways to effectivelymarket your digitalproduct marketplace, here are the strategies that should be tested.
Social Media Marketing
Social media refers to websites andapplications that allow users to create and share content as well asparticipate in social networking with other users. Different Social MediaPlatforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and many other remainsa very great way to establish your brand and build an audience.
Keep in mind, depending on your target market,there will be different social networks of relevance. E.g. managementprofessionals you most likely find on LinkedIn, developers there are many onTwitter and Youtube, etc. Try to figure out which social media networks yourtarget audience is most active and these should be the social media channels tofocus on.
Social media marketing is an art by itself andthere are many techniques and tricks to be mastered. Most important we find isto post regularly. For this, you can use a service such as Buffer which allowsyou to put your posts in a queue so that you won’t forget to post at least onceper day.
Normally, the tasks are to review your posts,compared to your competitors, research and learn what can be improved andimplement it. The key performance indicators (KPIs) normally are engagementreceived, number of followers, retweets/reposts, shares, clicks which drive trafficto your website. This all needs to be monitored on a regular basis. So beprepared for a steep learning curve and lots of trial and error until you knowhow to master social media marketing for your digital product WordPressmarketplace.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to theprocess of optimizing your website to be found by search engines. The objectiveis to rank on the first page such as Google, Bing or Yahoo when somebody entersa keyword in the search bar. The result will be that you will be getting freetraffic from organic search results via the search engines as you will improveyour website position in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
There are two sides to any successful SEOapproach SEO has two techniques to improve website position, On-Page SEO andOff-Page SEO.
This refers to all the optimization tasks thatwe do on our websites such as optimization of text titles, meta descriptions,page titles, contents, image optimization by adding alt tags and descriptions,checking keyword density in text, internal linking, creating sitemaps, easenavigation, reducing page load times and many more tasks.
Overall, the on-page technique aims tostructure and present your website in a search engine friendly manner. This isa very important task and to be done before even thinking about working onOff-page SEO link building.
Off-Page SEO (Backlink Building)
This refers to all the activity that happens away from your website to raise your site’s rankings by building quality back-links. Building quality backlinks is at the heart of off-page SEO. Search engines use backlinks as an indication of the linked-to content quality, so a site with many high-value backlinks will usually rank better than an otherwise equal site with fewer backlinks. Below find some strategies you can use to obtain backlinks for your digital product WordPress marketplace:
Participating in Forum Discussions
These are just some of the techniques whichcan be used to build backlinks. Feel free to talk with an SEO agency, theynormally can provide you with additional options where to place backlinks andcan also help you work on that.
An email marketing list can become a veryeffective tool for communicating with your audience on a regular basis.
The first step in setting up your email marketing program is to install an onboarding process. Mostly this can be done by adding a subscription form at the checkout page to stay updated on news and product updates (e.g. install the Mailchimp extension). Another way is to add a widget or a popup window with subscription suggestions on your website.
Email newsletters should be sent on a regularbasis (e.g. monthly) but also not overdoing it as otherwise unsubscribe rateswill become high. For digital product marketplaces here, some ideas whatto put in your newsletters:
Present new products
Summarize new blog posts or research articles you have written
Present select vendor achievements or story
Present customer showcases and how your marketplace could help them
Introduce new features of your marketplace
Ask for user opinions on topics of interest
Only by tracking and comparing your newsletterresults you can figure out how to make your email marketing campaign moreeffective and which changes lead to best results among your audience.
Now that we have successfully set up our multi-vendor marketplace platform and, have startedwith marketing and vendor onboarding, we need to focus now our attention on theoperations of our digital product marketplace.
There are actually a lot of different elementsthat we need to keep on our radar, constantly observe and work on in order toenhance and improve our WordPress marketplace.
Normally the main goal of your digitalproduct’s marketplace will be to maximize sales and profits over the long-run.In eCommerce we have 4 factors which determine your revenues as shown in thefollowing graphic:
This means you can maximize revenues of your digital productmarketplace when you seek to maximize each of the 4 revenue drivers:
Number of Visitors – See previously mentioned marketing strategies which will be needed to attract and grow the number of visitors
Conversion Rates – You will need to work on your website to best convert visitors into paying customers
Number of Orders per Customers – The more times your customers return and purchase from you, the higher your sales will be
Average Order Value(AOV) – Mostly depends on the price point of your products, how your products are packaged and how easy/difficult it is to sell them.
As for any eCommerce website you will need towork on improving each of these four factors in order to max out your full salespotential.
Running a successful digital product multi-vendor marketplace platform meanskeeping an eye on multiple vendors. Vendors come to your store with their ownideas, expectations, and ways of doing things. You have to gather thesedifferent vendors under one umbrella.
Your job as a store manager is to help vendorssell as much as possible as easily as possible, while still retaining theability to make important decisions about your store. This means making vendorshappy while making yourself happy as the store manager.
Most digital product marketplaces will opt for curating all products theyreceive from vendors for the following reasons:
Avoiding harm: Digital products are subject toharmful code additions that might not be detectable by normal users. The worstthat could happen is that any form of digital code or program harms customer’scomputers. Therefore, it is important to review each product and know thevendors you work with as otherwise, the risk may get too high.
Avoiding chargebacks: In the case of productdescriptions that would not be accurate, they will have a good chance ofrequesting chargebacks as payment gateway providers will have the last say insuch cases. It is therefore in the best interest of the marketplace operator toensure product descriptions are accurate to avoid problems later on. Especiallyproducts listed from new vendors will require a careful review.
Establishing a personal relationship with your Vendors: A product curation process will also establish a more personal relationship with your vendors. As the operator of a multi-vendor marketplace platform, your vendors are not simply your sellers but rather they are your business partners. It is very important to establish a good personal relationship with them. Why not use product curation as one way to do this? Especially smaller niche marketplaces have an advantage here as they can afford to deal with their vendors on a 1:1 basis.
It is very rare to see a digital productmarketplace that would not use a curation process to ensure ahigh-quality of products are listed in its marketplace. However, we are stillchecking for best practices on how to do this. Let us know if you know any goodexample which should be listed here.
Monitoring How Vendors are Doing
As the operator of your marketplace, you don’tsimply source vendors and let them be on their own selling digital products onyour website. It is very important to also monitor how your vendors are doing.You should, therefore, run different reports from time to time to benchmark andcompare your vendors to find out what works, what doesn’t and what are the bestpractices that might help all the vendors to sell more.
If you find vendors who areunderperforming, first, check vendor profiles if all necessary information ispresent in so that they will have a well-established identity that yourcustomers may see and observe.
The next step is to check theirproduct listings. Are the product descriptions accurate and are the productswell presented? In case of problems, does the problem lie with the seller orwith your processes? Is it easy to list products? Are there enough informationfields to completely present the products?
You might as well enhance andoptimize your website’s navigation and experience which would definitely helpyour vendors get a sale.
Promote your Vendors on Social Media and your Blog
Advertising and promoting your vendors, alongwith their products, in different Social Media Channels such as Facebook andTwitter can be a good way to get visitors and help your vendors with marketingtheir products. Remember, if your vendors earn, you earn, so it’s in your bestinterest to help them market their products.
As part of your digital marketplace marketingcampaign, writing blog posts about vendor products can help you to createadditional content for your web page and offer your vendors another platform tomarket their products. However, make sure the articles to be published complywith the required quality standards you need to maintain for your blog.
Providing Vendor Resources
Working with vendors and helping them tomarket their products will become an ongoing task. As such you will need aprocess to help your vendors. In the beginning, vendors will have a lot ofquestions as they will need to understand how to work with your digital productWordPressmarket place and what they will have to do to earn money.
Therefore, in order to anticipate theirquestions, it is advisable to follow a pro-active approach. One way to do thisis to send out a series of education emails to new vendors upon sign-up. Theobjective is to help vendors to complete their product listings and then in asecond step motivate them to list more quality products on your digital productmarketplace.
Building a Team
We all know that running a digital product WordPressMarketplace is tough. When you’re starting out with your business, youwill have to do all the tasks required. From running and managing yourmarketplace like updating and creating products, managing vendors, payingcommissions, sourcing more vendors, managing promotions, customer support,handling social media accounts, SEO Management – the list of To-Dos is endless.
However, as a business owner, it’s better to spend your time doing what you do best – running and growing your company. But that’s not to say the routine tasks and administrative duties aren’t important because they absolutely are. Depending on your budget, you will have to consider hiring people. Normally you want to hire employees in a lean manner. So apart from hiring employees, you have the following alternatives to hire:
When your marketplace is very new you don’twant to incur big costs at the beginning and first test out if there are demandand interest in the products. Therefore, you should consider outsourcing tasksfirst to freelancers then to virtual assistants until your marketplace producesstable revenues and profits so that you can afford to hire employees.
Tasks you can Outsource
It is important to know what tasks you shouldoutsource before you start building your team – including freelancers andvirtual assistants who you can work with on a more permanent basis. Whenconsidering to outsource tasks, look for manual, time-consuming work or tasksthat are repetitive, can be thought to others and where you are better offusing help rather than when having to spend the time yourself.
Here are some daily tasks you should considerdelegating:
Customer service: Answering emailsand phone calls from customers.
Social Media Management: Creatingcontent, responding to comments, and other community management tasks.
Store management: Reviewing productdescriptions, managing vendors, tracking KPIs
SEO: Off-page link-building
Technical operations: Websitemaintenance, SEO management, and other administrative tasks.
Data-entry: Bookkeeping orinputting data from different sources into a spreadsheet.
Tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
If you want to know how your digital productmarketplace is doing, you need to keep track of your Key PerformanceIndicators (KPIs). This is an important step to take to ensure that you are notgoing off track.
A key performance indicator – also known as“KPI” is a performance measurement that impacts the result of your onlinestore. KPIs need to improve and achieving your objectives will provideimportant milestones on your road to online success. Monitoring important KPIsfor your online store tells you whether your business is moving towards meetingyour objectives or not.
Essential KPIs you should track
KPIs for digital product marketplaces are numerous to track but important is tofocus on those where any change will impact the financial result of yourbusiness. Tracking should be done at least on a monthly basis or even on aweekly basis. The advantage of doing a weekly tracking is that you will findout sooner in case of any problems and have more time to take action. If youwait until the month-end, you might find out that too late that were problemsand it leaves money on the table.
We present a selection of KPIs which will beuseful to consider tracking on a regular basis for a digital product marketplace.They are:
WebsiteTraffic (Number of Visitors)
Average Time on Site
Domain and Page Authority
Social Media Followers
Conversion from Visitor to User
Conversion from User to Paying Customer (Free to Paid product)
Cart Abandonment Rate
New Customer Signups
Email list subscribers
Number of orders
Number of products
Average Order Value
Measuring KPIs on a regular basis is animportant step towards professionally managing your digital products marketplaceand finding the areas where you can still improve in order to achieve yourbusiness goals. To really grow your multi-vendor marketplace, you need to monitoryour webstore’s performance on an ongoing basis and take actions every timeKPIs, move in the wrong direction. Once you’ve decided which KPIs you want totrack, make it a part of your weekly and/or monthly routine to follow themclosely.
Automating and Improving Processes
At the beginning of your website, tasks arefine to deal with as they come up. But as you grow, these tasks get more andmore frequent, and the demand on your time and your team’s time becomes evengreater. After a while, these small tasks can significantly eat intoproductivity; reducing output, creativity, and even profit margins.
You will be confronted with seeking new waysto automate and improve your processes as your digital product marketplaces scale up and become larger. The objectiveis to save time, money, and sell more. Ultimately, it provides gets yourbusiness ready to scale-up exponentially. Automations include mostly:
Automating tasks and improving processes is anongoing task and there will be many more ways to save time and benefit fromautomated solutions and improved processing. Obtaining a sufficient level ofautomation is key to fully scale-up your digital product marketplace toreach its full potential.
Another important element that most eCommercecompanies need to consider from the very beginning is the eCommerce websitesecurity. If you run an eCommerce website, you’ll know that they are a majortarget for hackers, fraudsters and yes, even for your own competitors. Justthink about the thousands of user IDs, personal information, product catalogand prices, financial information including credit card details a typicaleCommerce webstore has. That’s what makes eCommerce sites, big and small, soattractive to cybercriminals to exploit and competitors to leverage on.
As your multi-vendormarketplace platform becomes larger you will also find that youwill have to spend more time in making your infrastructure more solid andenhance the security of your marketplace. Here are some basic measures you willhave to implement to keep your digital product marketplace save (among manyothers):
HTTPS / SSL – today Google views it as anoutdated practice to use HTTP and punishes websites still using the old HTTPprotocol. Therefore, implementing a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate fromthe start is a must. You can purchase one from your hosting company or areputable SSL vendor at affordable costs.
Complex Passwords – Insist that every userhave to use passwords that comply with a minimum standard.
Payment Gateway Security – While it may makeprocessing payments more convenient, having credit card numbers stored on yourdatabase is a liability. In order to save your business from this terriblefate, you should never store credit card information on your servers and ensureyour payment gateways security is not at risk. Today you can easily usethird-party payment processing providers such as PayPal or Stripe who willmanage all sensitive Credit Card information in a professional manner.
Firewalls – using firewall plugins and alsoconfiguring your server firewall is a must to protect again malicious attacks.
Backup your data – Data loss due to hardware malfunction or cyber-attacks are not uncommon. And if you don’t back up your data regularly, you are at the risk of losing it for good. Employ automatic daily backup service so that even if you forget to do it manually, all your data will be backed up automatically minimum once a day.
These are just a few elements to mention andto work on. As your digital productmarketplace becomes bigger, paying close attention to security becomeseven more important.
Conclusion: Building a Digital Product Multi-Vendor Marketplace Platform is aJourney, not a Destination
Building a digital marketplace is a good ideaas today the trend goes towards creating specialized niche marketplaces thatcan offer better know-how and a much more focused approach than a generalistmarketplace. Many buyers prefer to buy from a marketplace rather than a singlevendor store.
Easy Digital Downloads offers an open-source solution to run a digital product marketplace on WordPress by installing select marketplace plugins for WordPress. These are either freely available or are very reasonably priced. Also, many useful plugins are available on the WordPress plugin directory.
The marketing tactics require a bit adifferent focus for a multi-vendormarketplace platformcompared to a single vendor store. SEO and Social Media Marketing are twoimportant strategies to focus on, especially as traffic there is cheap in thelong-run compared to other sources of traffic.
Vendor management and tracking your KeyPerformance Indicators are a must in establishing a successful digital product marketplace.Activities and tracking of KPIs should focus on factors which will influenceusers and revenues later on.
Ongoing work will be required and normallyonly by keep testing and optimizing your WordPress marketplace you can exactly understandhow your marketplace business works and how to make it a success. Creating a digital product marketplace is not adestination but one of the most interesting journeys in eCommerce. Feel free totake it.
This article provides an overview of how to build, set up and operate your digital product marketplace in WordPress. If you are interested in more details, please download our Free eBook on How to Build a Digital Product Marketplace on WordPress which contains even more comprehensive and detailed information on how to set up a multi-vendor marketplace platform for digital products.
For any feedback or comments feel free to reach out to us as we are also interested in your input digital product marketplaces can be made even better.