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What is Schema Markup? How To Implement Schema in WordPress

There’s a lot to consider when building your ecommerce website. You want your customers to be able to find your products and information about your company. Implementing schema markup in WordPress can be the key to getting a jump on your competition. Even if your search engine optimization game is on point, there are still ways to show up better in search results, and schema markup helps. Keep reading to learn how to implement schema in WordPress.

What is Schema Markup?

Schema markup is a way to structure your website’s data, so it’s clear to humans and machines what the data is. Using schema markup is like telling someone what kind of information you’re giving them so it can better be categorized. By using schema markup in WordPress, you’re helping search engines better understand the information on your website so they can give it to the right searchers.

Implementing schema markup in WordPress can help structure data around common types of information, like:

  • Articles
  • Events
  • Products
  • People
  • Organizations
  • Local businesses
  • Reviews
  • Recipes
  • Medical conditions

By using schema markup, your website content can appear in search as rich snippets, a visual way of displaying search results, so it’s clear what those results are. For example, if you use schema markup, your events can show up in a Google search as events before someone even clicks on your website. This targeting makes schema markup an excellent tool for improving your company’s visibility.

Benefits of Using Schema Markup in WordPress

Schema markup can better organize the information about your website’s content. But there are other benefits too.

Gives Pages Additional Context

Like targeting keywords in your website’s content, on-page SEO is a great way to attract an audience. When you use a keyword, it tells Google what your content is about. Schema markup works similarly, except instead of telling Google what your site is about, it tells Google the relationship between all the concepts on your site. When Google can understand that sort of thing about your site, it can give searchers better results, like rich cards or rich snippets.

Helps to Rank More Accurately for Search Engines

Officially, there isn’t any evidence that using schema markup in WordPress directly impacts organic search engine rankings. But don’t let that get you down. When you use schema markup, rich snippets allow your website to be more visible than normal circumstances, often with the snippets at the top of the Google search results page. This visibility helps with the click through rate. So, even though you may not see a direct jump in organic ranking when adding schema, you could see more organic traffic to your website.

Improves Search Engine Appearance and Click Through Rate

As mentioned before, using schema markup can enhance your site’s appearance in search results. So if you have an event, Google can display it as one at the top of the results. Or, if you’ve added schema to reviews, people searching for your services can see your five-star reviews before they learn anything else about your business. This feature makes your website stand out among the other search results and has the added benefit of helping you stand out in voice search. Voice-activated assistants, like Google Home, rely heavily on schema to find relevant results to the spoken search requests they receive.

Become More Eligible for SERP Features

While focusing on SEO keywords in your content strategy is a great way to rise to the top of search rankings, using schema markup allows you to be featured in a box separate from your organic search listing. These features are usually above all the organically ranked links. They can be in top stories carousels, video carousels, or information tables. It may also enable your site to have a knowledge graph, a big box on the right of the search results with your business’s most pertinent contact information.

Best Practices for Using Schema Markup

In general, there are some things you can do to implement schema markup in a way that’s beneficial for you and Google. For example, using the most specific class possible and using markup only for what’s on the page are great practices to cultivate.

Use specific classes for:

  • Creative Works. This broad schema category can include books, movies, paintings, sculptures, and even blog posts.
  • Articles. People use this schema markup to show the latest news or blog posts on a particular site.
  • Events. Schema markup for events shows your event’s specific location, date, and time.
  • Organization. Use this markup to introduce the company. Give the official logo, company name, contact information, and social profiles. It usually appears in a box on the right-hand side of Google search results.
  • Person. This type of markup will share basic information about a person mentioned on a webpage. This schema markup usually includes birthdate, death date, occupation, organizations, and relations.
  • Local Business. This markup allows searchers to get specific information about a local company, including their business hours, reviews, menu, if they have one, and their contact information.
  • Product or Offer. This type of markup is to show something for sale. Schema markup will show the product’s price, the type of currency accepted, and whether the product or offer is in stock.
  • Review. Using this markup will show a star rating for your business in the rich result on search engines.
  • Podcast. Using schema markup for podcast episodes allows users to find and play your podcast episodes in their browser. It also shows them the episode number and how long the episode is.

How To Implement Schema in WordPress

There are two simple ways to implement schema markup in WordPress — a theme or plugin.

Installing a theme with schema markup already included is a great way to implement schema, especially if you’re in the early stages of building your site and don’t already have a branded theme in place. Search for schema on the WordPress theme directory, and you’ll get many results. You can also talk to your web designer about the schema themes they recommend.

If you already have a theme and don’t want to change it, you can find tons of schema plugins to add to your site.

Ready to Get Started with Schema?

It’s easy to see how schema markup can be a game-changer for brands that want strong Google search results. So if you’re ready to take your business to the next level, check out our fully managed WordPress hosting.

Build a faster, more secure, and scalable website. Let us manage your WordPress hosting so you can focus on running your business.

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How to Create a Landing Page in WordPress: 3 Methods to Try

No matter how long you’ve been a freelance web developer, you’ve probably had several clients ask you to build a landing page. Mastering how to create a landing page in WordPress quickly sets your freelance business up for success.

From ebook downloads to purchasing meal delivery services, landing pages drive many businesses’ leads and revenue generation activities online.

In this post on how to design a landing page with WordPress, you’ll learn:

Elements of a Good Landing Page

What makes landing pages different from other pages on your site? Your homepage has many purposes. Homepages explain what your business is, display your services or products, and introduce your brand. Landing pages have one goal: to entice visitors to take action.

Uses of landing pages include:

  • Selling a product or service
  • Paying for a subscription
  • Lead magnet downloads like white papers or ebooks
  • Scheduling a demo or consultation
  • Registering for a webinar or event
  • Opting into an email list

Landing pages generate sales or leads. To drive these conversions, landing pages include different design and content elements than other web pages.

Common Landing Page Features

  • A Clear Offer. Landing pages often include a design emphasis on the hero section to clearly call out the offer or unique selling proposition of the product. You need to design a page where people want to sign up or buy, based on what they see above the fold without scrolling to the bottom of the page.
  • Call-to-Action. What’s the purpose of the page? From filling out a form or making a purchase, most landing pages need functionality to collect customer information.
  • Social Proof. Nothing motivates like peer pressure. Marketers add social proof to pages to encourage more people to sign up. Examples of social proof include customer reviews, testimonials, certifications, or celebrity endorsements.
  • Benefits. Most landing pages will have a section highlighting the benefits of why someone should buy or sign up for the offer.

Why Freelancers Like Building Landing Pages

Building a landing page in WordPress is an excellent project for freelance web designers or developers. The high demand and relative ease of creating landing pages in WordPress make them ideal for freelancers for many reasons.

Fast and Easy Build-Outs

Unlike website build-outs, freelancers can complete landing pages in less than a day. The payday on a finished website will boost your bank account, but you might have to wait several weeks or months. Simple, smaller projects like landing pages wrap up and get paid quickly.

Templated and Scalable

Landing pages often rely on templates. You won’t have to build or code everything from scratch. Once a client likes their landing page template, you can create new pages using the same template with minimal effort. This makes it easy to scale up your landing page building services.

High Demand

Most marketers need multiple landing pages. Different campaigns have various offers. You might need a page for an ebook on productivity tips and another for signing up for a coaching session. Clients probably won’t stop after the first landing page they request. In addition to hosting and maintenance services, building landing pages is a great way to generate additional revenue after you launch a website.

How to Create a Landing Page in WordPress

When building a landing page in WordPress, you can choose between using the WordPress built-in page editor or a plugin. If you also want tips for building ecommerce websites quickly, check out our guide to a faster way to build WordPress websites.

Option 1: Make a Landing Page in the WordPress Editor

In our beginner’s guide to WordPress, we talked about the difference between posts and pages. Posts are blog entries, and pages are for more static content. You can build a landing page by going to “Pages,” “Add New” in WordPress.

The problem is your options are a bit limited. Many people opt to remove the navigation and footer links from landing pages to decrease the chances someone will leave the page before completing the form or making a purchase. Depending on your theme, customizing the design using the native page editor may be difficult.

Option 2: Use a Plugin

For an easier building experience, consider using a plugin specifically for building landing pages. SeedProd is one of the most popular plugins for creating landing pages in WordPress. After installing the plugin, you can pick from various templates. You have to subscribe to unlock all the templates.

Option 3: Use a Page Builder

If you built your client’s website with a page builder plugin, you could use the same plugin to design and build landing pages.

Popular page builder plugins include:

  • Elementor
  • Divi
  • Beaver Builder
  • WPBakery

Create a new page and then look for template options for landing pages. This option is great because you can import the fonts, colors, and branding of the existing site into the landing page.

Builder Better Landing Pages with the Best WordPress Hosting

Design is only one element of a landing page. You also need a fast-loading site. Slow sites decrease conversions on ecommerce websites and landing pages.

With managed WordPress hosting from Hostdedi, you can trust that your client’s site will always run at top speed.

Sign up for a managed hosting account today or explore our affiliate program for freelancers to start earning commissions on client referrals.

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5 Tips To Improve the WooCommerce Checkout Process

When it comes to ecommerce, conversions and sales matter most.

Anything that deters potential customers from clicking on the “Place Order” button costs you money. 80% of customers are abandoning their carts which costs ecommerce businesses over $18 billion in lost sales revenue annually.

Customers abandon shopping carts for various reasons, ranging from high shipping fees, slow delivery, and complicated checkouts. To combat them, we’ll show you how to improve checkout processes to encourage customers to convert.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Benefits of Improving the WooCommerce Checkout Process

Besides the lost revenue from abandoned carts, improving the WooCommerce checkout process also brings:

  • A better customer experience. 70% of customers agree that a speedy checkout process affects their willingness to buy from an online retailer.
  • Higher conversions. According to a study by the Baymard Institute, the conversion rate of a large ecommerce store could increase by up to 35% by adopting an optimized checkout process.
  • Repeat purchases. Happy customers are more likely to make repeat purchases.

How To Improve the Checkout Process

1. Optimize your website for mobile.

2. Implement single-page checkout.

3. Ensure the checkout process is secure.

4. Reduce the number of required form fields.

5. Consider checkout flow design.

Proper implementation of these tips will lead to more sales on your WooCommerce website. Let’s see what they’re about.

1. Optimize Your Website for Mobile

Today, 58% of internet users access the internet via their mobile devices and are shopping on them. Insider Intelligence predicts that mobile commerce will account for 43% of all ecommerce sales by 2024.

In that sense, it’s best to upgrade your mobile checkout experience to avoid losing sales.

To start, optimize your mobile ecommerce site for page load speed. It affects multiple aspects: conversion, sales, SEO, and user experience.

For instance, a website that loads in one second has 3x more conversions than one that loads in five seconds, and up to 5x more conversions than one that loads in 10 seconds.

Here are some ways to increase page load speed for your ecommerce website:

  • Use plugins like WP Rocket, Smush, and Imagify to compress heavy files that slow down the website. Compressing images keeps file sizes low while retaining image quality.
  • Minimize unnecessary files. Delete plugins you don’t need.
  • Implement website caching.
  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for quicker delivery of static files like images.

You can sign up for a CDN separately, but Hostdedi WooCommerce hosting comes with a free CDN.

2. Implement Single-Page Checkout

One of the best ways to increase conversions is to make the checkout process as seamless as possible. That’s why Amazon’s one-click checkout gave it an edge over competitors until the patent expired in 2017.

With the average American making 12 monthly impulse purchases and spending up to $3,000 on these purchases annually, Amazon’s seamless checkout resulted in billions of dollars in sales.

Amazon’s patented click and pay technology was eventually licensed to other ecommerce retailers and payment solutions like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Stripe.

If you want to implement single-page checkout on your WooCommerce store, check out these plugins to help you out.

3. Ensure the Checkout Process Is Secure

With different frauds and scams happening today, consumers consider security a top priority for online stores.

Online shoppers feel uneasy about sharing their payment information — 87% admitted they check to see whether a shop is legitimate before purchasing.

Improve the checkout process by giving customers a reason to trust your store. Here are some ways to do so:

  • Install an SSL certificate. Some hosting plans don’t include SSL certificates, so you may have to buy one. Hostdedi plans come with a free SSL certificate.
  • Use trust signals like security badges, and add testimonials and reviews.

4. Reduce the Number of Required Form Fields

When a website visitor is ready to buy something, they’ve already made up their minds. Don’t give them a chance to rethink the decision.

If you can’t implement one-click checkouts, reducing the number of steps improves the checkout process. The Baymard Institute found that websites with fewer form fields have a higher performance rate during checkout.

Here are some things you can try:

  • Implement autofill for address and credit card data. These items take the longest to type out and are the information you need to ship out an item.
  • Don’t ask users to create accounts. You can also implement a social sign-in option. It’s a more accessible alternative to user account creation that enables users to log in using their social media accounts. You can also provide a guest checkout option or let them create an account after making a purchase.
  • Introduce default billing/shipping addresses for returning users so they don’t have to keep inputting their information.

5. Consider Checkout Flow Design

If customers are to buy, they have to navigate to the checkout page — and they can’t do that if your website doesn’t optimize for design.

Here are some ideas to implement:

  • Use responsive WooCommerce themes.
  • Make buttons larger and more clickable, which also helps the mobile version of your site.
  • Ensure call-to-actions are displayed prominently on the checkout page and that headers and footers are distraction-free.
  • Use a progress bar or progress indicator so the customer knows what step they’re at. For example:

Final Thoughts — 5 Tips To Improve the WooCommerce Checkout Process

The main goal of any ecommerce store is to get customers to the end of the checkout process. Customers abandon carts for so many reasons, which translates to lost sales.

Follow these five tips to improve the checkout process, and you’ll soon see increased conversions, sales, and revenue.

Just remember to back up your checkout process improvement efforts with reliable hosting. Sign up for a Hostdedi WooCommerce hosting plan today.

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What is a Sitemap? How to Create Sitemap in WordPress [2022]

What is a sitemap? You’ve probably heard the term being thrown around, but you might not know what sitemaps are and how useful they can be. Keep reading to learn how you can utilize this to your advantage and how to create a sitemap in WordPress.

What is a Sitemap?

A sitemap or item map is a file that has information about the pages, posts, and files on your website as well as their relationships. Search engines use it to follow the links on a page to new pages, and continue to find and follow links on new pages to other pages on your site.

Essentially, a sitemap is a list of pages of a web site within a domain. There are two primary types of sitemaps. We’ll discuss how to create a sitemap in WordPress in more detail later on.

  • Human-visible listings of the pages on a site.
  • Structured listings for web crawlers such as search engines.

Sitemaps are arguably the only true overview of everything on a site. Some navigations offer drop-down menus that let you see options available in each site section, but even these menus only show one section of content at a time.

Why Do You Need a Sitemap?

A sitemap lets you see all available content areas on one page. Sitemaps provide instant access and help users find order in an otherwise cluttered website, with a simple user interface.

The good thing about sitemaps is that they’re a secondary navigation feature. Generating a sitemap in WordPress is easy, and they come in handy, all while incurring little to no cost at all.

Sitemaps also allows you to optimize non-HTML content, which crawlers would otherwise be unable to find. If you have a broken link, crawlers would pick up on it right away to let you know what needs to be fixed, and even provide a temporary remedy for the issue in the meantime. Now that you understand the benefits of sitemaps, let’s go over how to create a sitemap in WordPress.

How to Create Sitemap in WordPress

In this section, we will explain how to create a sitemap in WordPress. The recommended and usually the most simple way to generate sitemap in WordPress is by utilizing a plugin. In this case, we’ll use the All in One SEO plugin and Yoast SEO plugin. Both will generate a sitemap in WordPress with ease, while providing additional SEO functionality.

Utilizing All in One SEO Plugin

1. Installing the Plugin

Navigate to your WP-Admin area. Go to Plugins > Add new >  and search for “All in One SEO.” It should be the first result.

2. Activating the Plugin

After installing the plugin, click the Activate button to activate the plugin.

3. Set Up the Plugin

A new menu has been created for easy navigation in the top bar of your admin area as shown here. Navigate to the sitemaps menu to create a sitemap.

Once there, you should see a lot of sitemap options. We’ll be focusing on the XML sitemap, found under “General Sitemap,” and the HTML sitemap.

Depending on the content type you have on your website, you may want to consider creating a video sitemap, news sitemap, and an RSS sitemap. The video and the news sitemaps currently require you to use the Pro version of the plugin. However, if you’re using RSS feeds to update visitors on newly published content, you can generate this sitemap and publish it to Google, Yahoo, or Bing, which helps bring content to your users without having to visit the site. It also helps your SEO by letting crawlers and search engines index your pages with just one visit to the sitemap.

4. View Your XML Sitemap

Next, you’ll have a preview option once the sitemap is enabled. The preview will take you to https://yourdomain/sitemap.xml, where you’ll be able to see what the XML sitemap looks like.

5. Create & View Your HTML Sitemap

Next, navigate to the HTML sitemap and enable it. There are many options for displaying your HTML sitemap, ranging from a dedicated page to widgets or even directly in the code. Let’s go ahead and create a dedicated page, which also allows you to set a custom URL for visitors to navigate to and easily find any content they might be looking for, or check for any unwanted content to remove.

Utilizing Yoast SEO Plugin

Now, let’s review how to create a sitemap in WordPress using the Yoast SEO plugin.

1. Installing the Plugin

Navigate to your admin area. Go to Plugins > Add new >  and search for “Yoast SEO.” It should be the first result.

2. Activating the Plugin

After installing the plugin, click the Activate button to activate the plugin.

3. Set Up the Plugin

Once activated, a new menu will be available as shown below. Navigate to SEO Settings > General.

From there, select the “Features” tab.

4. View Your XML Sitemap

Once in features, scroll down and you will find the “XML Sitemaps” option. You can click the question mark to expand options and either view or learn more about XML sitemaps.

Advanced: Manually Creating an XML Sitemap

In case you want to elevate your sitemap game, or you’re wondering how to create a sitemap in WordPress without the use of plugins,  here’s a basic overview of the process.

Sitemaps are based on the sitemap protocol, so let’s being by creating a file with an .xml extension and add the following 2 lines of code:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>

<urlset xmlns=”http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9″>

After that, we’ll need to define the <url> & </url> tag to create an entry for every URL you’d like to include. Here’s an example:

<url>

<loc>http://www.buysomemorestore.tk/</loc>

<lastmod>2022-03-28</lastmod>

<changefreq>weekly</changefreq>

<priority>1.0</priority>

</url>

Let’s talk about what each tag specified does:

  • <loc> (REQUIRED) Provide the full URL of the page, including http/https.
  • <lastmod> Provide the date of last modification, in YYYY-MM-DD format.
  • <changefreq> Possible values including: hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and never. This is only a pointer for crawlers
  • <priority> Allows suggestions to search engine crawlers on which pages are most important. Ranges can be set from 0.0 to 1.0 (highest) with the default being  0.5.

Once you have all the URLs, you can save the file, upload it if you made the changes locally, and define the sitemap in the robots.txt file with:

Sitemap: <sitemap_location>

<sitemap_location> Should be a complete URL to your site including the http/https. Make sure the URL matches the filename. Example:

Sitemap: https://buysomemorestore.tk/sitemap.xml

You can then submit them directly to Google. Make sure to replace the tag with your URL by going to: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ping?sitemap=<sitemap_location>

Power Your WordPress Site With Fully Managed Hosting

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This blog was originally published in October 2015. It has since been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Magento 2 Shipping Methods | Hostdedi

Shipping and delivery methods play a fundamental role in the success of an online business. A recent quantitative analysis by the Baymard Institute reveals that 48% of U.S. adults abandon their shopping carts due to extra costs such as shipping and handling fees.

Furthermore, they also found that 28% abandon their carts due to slow delivery.

If you’re a Magento store owner, you have access to some of the most comprehensive shipping features available on an ecommerce platform.

You can use the default Magento 2 shipping methods to configure everything from simple free shipping to complex conditional rates without a shipping extension or third-party integrations.

Want to learn how? Keep reading.

An Introduction to Magento 2 Shipping Methods

There are four primary shipping methods in Magento:

1. Free Shipping.

2. Flat Rate.

3. Table Rates.

4. In-Store Delivery.

Here’s a brief explanation of each Magento 2 shipping method:

Free Shipping

The free shipping method in Magento 2 is the best way to offer no-charge shipping to your customers. You can use it to set up shipping promotions for orders over a certain amount to boost the average order value of your store.

It’s worth noting that even though you can set up free shipping using Magento 2 cart price rules, the shipping method takes precedence over the price rule when applied to the same order.

Flat Rate

The flat rate shipping method allows you to charge customers a fixed price per item or on the cart subtotal. It helps you standardize the cost of shipping products and simplify logistics using prepaid packages from providers such as FedEx, DHL, and USPS.

Table Rates

The table rate shipping method in Magento 2 calculates shipping rates based on conditions such as:

1. Number of items vs. destination.

2. Price vs. destination.

3. Weight vs. destination.

You only need to upload a .csv file of shipping rates to your store, and Magento 2 will estimate shipping charges using that file during checkout. This method allows you to charge customers more accurately and pass on shipping cost savings.

In-Store Delivery

In-Store Delivery in Magento 2 lets you offer customers the flexibility to collect their orders from your store during checkout. It helps you create a seamless omnichannel shopping experience and offer customers more control over their shopping experience.

How To Set Up Free Shipping in Magento 2

Before setting up free shipping, make sure you configure a shipping carrier to support this Magento 2 shipping method. Then, follow these steps:

1. Go to Stores > Settings > Configuration > Sales > Delivery Methods in the Magento admin panel.

2. Expand the Free Shipping section and set Enabled to Yes.

3. Enter identifiers for the method in the Title and Method Name areas.

4. Enter a value (without special characters) for Minimum Order Amount to define the free shipping threshold.

5. Set Include Tax to Amount to Yes to include tax in the minimum order amount. Alternatively, set it to No to exclude tax from the qualifying amount.

6. Enter a message in the Displayed Error Message to show when free shipping is unavailable.

7. Choose a value from the Ship to Applicable Countries dropdown. You can continue with the default shipping settings or manually select countries from the Ship to Specific Countries list.

8. Set Show Method if Not Applicable to Yes to display the free shipping option even when unavailable, or set it to No to show it only when available.

9. Enter a value for Sort Order to define the position of the option in the list of shipping methods during checkout. For instance, a method with sort order “0” displays first, “1” second, and “2” in the third place.

10. Click Save Config.

How To Set Up Flat Rate Shipping in Magento 2

The Flat Rate Magento 2 shipping method is a simple and predictable way to charge a shipping fee on your store. Here’s how you can set it up:

1. Go to Stores > Settings > Configuration > Sales > Delivery Methods in the Magento admin panel.

2. Expand the Flat Rate section and set Enabled to Yes.

3. Enter a custom shipping method title in the Title area to display during checkout on the frontend.

4. Enter a custom Method Name to display next to the rate in the shopping cart. This value is “Fixed” by default, but you can replace it with something like “Shipping Fees.”

5. Choose how shipping is calculated using the Type dropdown. You can select None to disable Flat Rate shipping, Per Order to charge a flat rate on the entire cart value, or Per Item to charge for the total number of items in the cart.

6. Enter the shipping price you want to charge next to Price.

7. Expand the Calculate Handling Fee dropdown and choose how you want Magento to calculate any extra handling fees: Fixed or Percent.

8. Enter the value for handling fee calculation in the Handling Fee area. If you chose Fixed in the previous step, enter a number rounded up to two decimal places, such as 9.90 or 10.00. If you chose Percent, enter a number without decimals.

9. Enter a custom error message in the Displayed Error Message text area or proceed with the default message.

10. Set Ship to Applicable Countries as All Allowed Countries or Specific Countries. If you choose Specific Countries, manually assign countries for this method using the Ship to Specific Countries list.

11. Set Show Method if Not Applicable to Yes or No.

12. Set the Sort Order.

13. Click Save Config.

How To Set Up In-Store Delivery in Magento 2

Before using the In-Store Delivery Magento 2 shipping method, make sure you’ve configured a source as a pickup location and a Distance Priority Algorithm. Then, follow these steps:

1. Go to Stores > Settings > Configuration > Sales > Delivery Methods in the Magento admin panel.

2. Expand the In-Store Delivery section and set Enabled to Yes.

3. Enter a descriptive Method Name to display in the shopping cart.

4. Enter a Title to display during checkout.

5. Set the Price for your in-store pickup service. Leave it as “0.00” to offer it for free.

6. Enter the Search Radius (in Kilometers) to search for a pickup location during the customer checkout process.

7. Enter an error message in the Displayed Error Message text area or proceed with the default message.

8. Click Save Config.

Final Thoughts: A Beginner’s Guide to Magento 2 Shipping Methods

Magento 2 shipping methods help you offer a unique shopping experience to your customers. They support complex use cases and can help you create the ultimate omnichannel shopping experience.

Besides shipping, Magento 2 performance also plays a crucial role in improving the customer experience. Don’t let website performance hurt your online conversions. Migrate to Managed Magento Hosting by Hostdedi and enjoy the convenience of performance-optimized servers.

Browse our plans and get started today.

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Enhance the Post-purchase Experience for Customer Retention

What are your top business goals? For most online store owners, customer acquisition is a top goal. Acquiring customers usually requires many tweaks on your online store’s front and back end.

But once you have great WooCommerce hosting and a fantastic WooCommerce store that offers website visitors a pleasant and reliable customer experience and achieve your sales targets, what’s next?

Successful businesses don’t stop at acquiring customers. They strive to give their customers a great post-purchase experience. You need to nurture your customers even after they click that ‘buy’ button on your website.

After all, the post-purchase experience can define how customers feel about your store and brand. And these feelings will likely determine whether they’ll visit your store again to make repeat purchases or recommend your brand to their friends and family.

A 2022 Emplify survey backs that up, finding that 63% of people leave brands due to poor customer experience, making the customer experience one of the keys to customer retention.

With that in mind, let’s see how you can ensure a great post-purchase experience for your customers. Here’s what we’ll cover:

Importance of a Great Post-Purchase Experience

According to Brain & Company, 5% customer retention results in a 25% increase in business revenue. That means existing customers offer a higher return on investment than new customers.

It’s not just about the repeat purchases; loyal customers often become brand ambassadors, bringing in more revenue through their friends and family. Overall, positive post-purchase experiences result in increased brand reputation and revenue.

In a competitive market, it’s not easy to gain customers’ loyalty. Hence, it’s not just sufficient to understand the customer’s needs. You need to follow their customer journey and strive to offer a positive experience at every stage of it.

Customer’s Journey

Understanding your customer journey helps you improve the marketing and sales efforts across its stages. Let’s explore the main stages in a customer’s journey.

1. Awareness

In this stage, customers identify they have a problem to solve or an opportunity to pursue. The customer is aware that they need to make a purchase to fulfill their need, but they aren’t sure what could be a possible solution.

The customer starts gathering information about how others have solved this issue. They might seek referrals from their friends or search on the internet.

2. Consideration

In this stage, the customer has already defined their need or problem and has identified multiple solutions. The customer carefully evaluates the pros and cons of each solution. They will also check how cost-effective each solution is.

3. Decision

Now, the customer knows what product or service they need. The decision stage is where they assess several brands and choose the specific brand that best fits their needs.

Post-Purchase Evaluation

The customer’s journey doesn’t end when they make a purchase. Soon after the purchase, the customer starts evaluating their purchase decision. They don’t just consider the quality of the service or product. They also reflect upon:

  • The check-out process
  • Shipment tracking
  • Communication with customer representatives
  • The onboarding process

Based on their evaluation, they soon come to a verdict about their new purchase. That verdict affects the customer’s future purchases and engagement with the brand.

Post-Purchase Behavior

The post-purchase behavior defines how customers feel and what actions they take after a purchase. Along with the product/service quality, several other factors affect a customer’s post-purchase behavior. Customer behavior could be positive or negative based on how a brand stays true to its claims and treats its customers.

Positive vs. Negative Post-Purchase Behaviors

On one end of the spectrum, you have highly-satisfied customers who will write ravishing reviews and endorse your brand. On the other end, customers might regret their decision to purchase.

Highly-satisfied customers display positive post-purchase behaviors such as writing positive reviews, making repeated purchases, and recommending the brand to others. Customers disappointed with their purchase will show negative behaviors — writing bad reviews and switching brands.

It’s crucial to observe and influence your customer’s post-purchase behavior to improve your customer retention rate and revenue.

How To Ensure Customers Stay in the Post-Purchase Loyalty Loop

The customer loyalty loop is the path customers take when they make repeat purchases. Getting customers into the loyalty loop is highly rewarding for brands as it increases customer lifetime value and brand reputation.

A positive post-purchase experience urges customers to stay in the loyalty loop. Let’s see how you can create a customer experience that results in positive post-purchase behaviors and retains them in the loyalty loop.

Post-Purchase Communication

The moment a customer makes a purchase, the post-purchase communication channel opens. Prompt and transparent communication plays a great role in creating a positive post-purchase experience.

Most brands communicate with their customers through post-purchase emails. Crafting personalized and engaging emails is key for effective post-purchase communication.

There are multiple types of post-purchase emails.

Welcome Emails

A well-crafted welcome email is a crucial touchpoint in communicating with customers. You need to leverage the welcome mail to build brand loyalty.

To do that, you can:

  • Personalize your welcome email and address the customer by name.
  • Ensure the welcome mail has helpful information for the customer.
  • Invite the customer to your brand and make them feel special.
  • Ensure the mail is clutter-free and focus on a single call to action.

You may want to create multiple welcome mail templates for different customer segments.

Food52 sends a welcome mail that offers customers some great deals. They also include the founders’ image, which will help them earn the customer’s trust.

Other Types of Email Communication

Having a post-purchase email marketing strategy to keep your customers engaged is crucial. Include the following in your emails to build a community of loyal and engaged customers:

  • Information about exclusive deals and offers.
  • Suggestions on how to make the best use of their purchase.
  • A curated list of products that will complement their current purchase.
  • Invitation to special events.
  • Timely reminders for refills and subscription renewals.
  • General follow up emails about customer experience.

You can also use a newsletter builder to create engaging newsletters and develop rapport with customers.

Post-Purchase Customer Support

The quality of your customer support influences how customers feel about your brand. Customers feel valued when you help them solve their issues and ease them into your products.

Streamlined Omnichannel Support

Customers prefer communication through different channels. So you need to extend your support through channels such as:

  • Live chat.
  • Video/audio calls.
  • Face-to-face consultations.
  • Social media.

Providing omnichannel support reduces friction between your customers and the support team. It also helps streamline support workflows and achieve quick resolutions to any issues, thus empowering your support teams to take quick, actionable steps.

Demos and Tutorials

Some customers prefer to do things themselves without contacting a customer support representative. Tutorials and how-to guides are a great way to communicate with this customer group.

Ensure your tutorials and guides are:

  • Tailor-made for different customer segments.
  • Available in different formats, online and offline.
  • Capable of solving very specific questions.

Offering top-notch customer support is essential to avoid customer dissonance and negative post-purchase behaviors. Hence, post-purchase customer support should be crucial for your customer retention strategy.

Post-Purchase Customer Service

Customer support only kicks in when a customer has a question or issue, but customer service accompanies your customers 24/7. In that sense, the importance of customer service can’t be understated.

Soon after their first purchase, customers might feel anxious about their decision. Uncertainties around shipping and their knowledge about alternate choices might increase their anxiety.

Customer service should alleviate that anxiety by answering questions about:

  • Product specification and usage.
  • Product compatibility.
  • Shipping and package tracking.
  • Return and refund policy.

Customer support should also help the customers return or exchange the product if they wish. The brand should have a transparent return policy and a hassle-free refund process to make this process easy.

Contact Options for Customers

It’s doubtful whether machines can fully take over human interactions in customer service. While human-to-human interactions could be more authentic, you may want to use artificial intelligence-based customer service for simple service questions.

Just like your customer support, customer service should also be available through various channels such as:

An excellent post-purchase service will help new customers connect with your brand and feel confident about their purchase decision.

For example, Ohlolly is a beauty brand with exemplary customer service. They keep customers engaged and informed by offering seamless customer support.

Post-Purchase Loyalty

Good customer service, communication, and support will ensure satisfied customers, but you need a few more ingredients to nurture customer loyalty. Customers who feel connected with a brand will help the brand grow through word-of-mouth publicity.

Businesses often have customer loyalty programs to build a pool of dedicated customers.

However, you need to go above and beyond the standard loyalty schemes to earn your customer’s loyalty and turn them into your brand promoters.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Create and manage a customer community around your brand.
  • Nurture conversations and companionship within your customer community.
  • Empower customers with information about your products.
  • Create a positive brand image that’s inclusive and diverse.
  • Create an innovative loyalty program with great offers and incentives.

For example, the Harley Owners Group is a community nurtured by Harley-Davidson for its loyal customers.

Measure Post-Purchase Satisfaction

We’ve discussed methods to ensure customer satisfaction. It’s not just enough to make your customers happy. You also need to understand what they feel about your brand.

Requesting customer reviews is the best way to measure their satisfaction. It also makes the customers feel valued.

However, collecting customer reviews may not be easy, and you need to strategize how you want to approach customers for their feedback. Here are some tips for asking for reviews:

  • Ask for reviews at the right time, especially after the customer had a positive experience.
  • Make it super simple to leave reviews by offering omnichannel support and templates.
  • Ask for reviews in person or send them a personal note.

Amazon is a classic example of creating an extensive review ecosystem for its customers. They have made product reviews an integral part of the business process.

Another method of gauging customer satisfaction is by asking for their suggestions. You must have an open channel for suggestions on your website, like the suggestion boxes in physical stores. Forms are an excellent way to collect customer feedback.

Final Thoughts: Enhance the Post-Purchase Experience for Customer Retention

A brand’s job isn’t done when they acquire new customers. The post-purchase experience is crucial for customer retention, future revenue, and the brand’s reputation.

Exceeding customer expectations will encourage customers to stay in the loyalty loop and display positive post-purchase behavior.

Brands can create a positive customer experience by:

  • Offering excellent post-purchase communication.
  • Enabling quick customer support and service.
  • Nurturing post-purchase loyalty.
  • Measuring customer satisfaction.

However, keep in mind that incorporating these customer retention efforts won’t yield positive results if they aren’t paired with a reliable ecommerce platform. Try out Hostdedi’ WooCommerce Hosting and give customers and prospects the environment they need to become loyal, long-lasting customers.

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Blogging for Ecommerce to Give Your Online Store More Substance

You’ve probably come across many ecommerce sites that have a blog. It’s an important part of an ecommerce content strategy. Blogging is also an excellent way to inform your audience about the products and services your store offers. A blog also allows you to develop your brand voice or share your story with your audience.

Keep reading to learn why blogging for ecommerce is important and how to write a blog for an ecommerce website.

Why You Should Be Blogging for Ecommerce

Blogging for ecommerce helps you drive organic traffic to your site from new sources. It’s relatively straightforward — the more pages on your website, the more likely potential customers will find those pages and get familiar with what you’re selling.

Blogging for ecommerce can also boost your SEO. Search engines “reward” websites that offer answers to digital questions users have. Not only that — you actually offer your potential customers extra value by giving them free, useful information. Also, offering free and useful content adds extra value to your customers’ experience which, in the end, positively affects your overall business results.

Developing Ecommerce Blog Content

What to Write About?

When blogging for ecommerce, do keyword research first. Get familiar with terms your potential buyers search on the internet. You can then use these search terms in the content you create.

When you’re looking for ecommerce content ideas for blog posts, try to stick to evergreen topics. You may also want to refer to relevant current events. Keep an eye on news sites and create posts where you incorporate your views on novelties in your niche.

Interact With Your Audience Through the Blog

Another great way of getting ideas for ecommerce blog posts is to invite your visitors to share their thoughts in your blog’s comment section. This method may not give results right away, but you can get insight into what they want to read about.

Blogging for ecommerce is the fastest way your audience can learn more about your store as well as get familiar with how your products can help them. It’s also where they can leave feedback, constructive criticism, or mention things they like about your brand. Check social media platforms too. People there discuss their habits, tastes, experiences with certain products, and preferences, which can help you understand their perspective better.

Integrate Your Ecommerce Blog With Email Marketing

The point of using multiple ecommerce marketing strategies is to get customers into your sales funnel. Generally speaking, a sales funnel is the journey your potential buyers go through on their way to finalize a purchase.

For instance, choose email marketing to be at the top of your funnel. The next step would be growing your email list by sprinkling CTAs for newsletters throughout your blog. Then, you can announce new blog posts through structured email campaigns and, by that, follow up with your email leads. This way, you increase your brand’s awareness among people from your email list so they remember your store the next time they want to make a purchase.

Beyond Blogging for Ecommerce: Other Types of Content

Utilize Video

More than 82% of the internet traffic in 2021 was video content. This means many internet users prefer this form of content over traditional blog posts. Adding videos to your blog can help you reach a wider audience with different habits and preferences. Plus, 55% of customers in general watch videos before they make purchase decisions. Thus, video for sales can be a great asset for your site.

Video is a great way to:

  • Tell a story. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish a brand from one another, so creating video content helps you tell the company’s story from your perspective. This form of content can also evoke the user’s emotion if you, for example, use soothing sounds and heartwarming visuals.
  • Present your product. A demo video helps users understand your product better and saves them time reading long technical descriptions related to it.
  • Incorporate tutorials. How-to is definitely one of the most sought-after types of content. This type of video is vital for a brand because it helps you generate traffic as more and more users look for tutorials and problem-solving guidelines.
  • Improve interaction with the audience. How about adding some interactive videos too? Insert a CTA people can click right away. Having interactive videos could be an interesting part of the ecommerce content marketing plan, where users can get familiar with your product as well as make a decision on the spot.

Share on Social Media

With more than 53% of the world’s population on social media, it’s essential to develop an effective marketing strategy that covers platforms where your intended audience is active.

Here are some of the ways you can use social media platforms.

Build Brand Awareness

If you’re launching a new product or even a store, you can start building buzz on social media platforms even before you’re ready to go live. Share your ecommerce blog content and engage with followers. Be consistent and patient because building brand awareness is a process that takes time.

Advertising

Developing blog content for your store can help broaden your audience over time, but if you want to speed things up a bit, opt for paid ecommerce ads. Most social media platforms offer advanced targeting tools to select your target audience according to location, gender, age, and other relevant elements. This way you don’t direct your efforts, money, and ads in general to people who are probably not interested in it in the first place.

Direct Sales

Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest allow you to sell your products directly on your social media accounts. Social commerce definitely has some good sides:

  • You can set it up for free.
  • It provides your customers with an interactive and memorable shopping experience.
  • It simplifies the sales process because customers don’t have to click through an external site. They shop directly from their feeds which can positively affect your ecommerce conversion rates.
  • 70% of shopping enthusiasts discover new products and brands over Instagram. Why not help them find some of your products?

Managing Your Content

Here are some of the things to consider when managing your content.

Use a Content Calendar

Content calendars are a vital tool companies use to keep their content strategy on track. They help you stay organized and accountable on your blog and on social media. Rather than just focusing on your next post, you’ll develop a more holistic understanding of the topics and the overall content plan.

Plan Around Big Business Initiatives

Your company’s schedule is definitely one of the best places to search for blog content ideas. Plan your content around product launches, events, sales, and other happenings that are important for your business.

Be Consistent

When you create content in advance and stick to a schedule, you can keep a consistent flow. This is important because your audience then knows they can come back at any time to consume more new content.

Quality Over Quantity

There are a lot of ecommerce blog examples out there, which means your visitors have a wide choice when it comes to picking sources of the information they need. So, if they see long, boring, technical content that’s hard to read or filled with numerous grammar errors, they’re likely to go somewhere else. Use different services like Essay Writing Service or Grammarly.

Try to keep every post on point and skip the fluff. Break complicated topics into multiple posts or create a small series. It’s better for your readers and also gives you multiple pages which can improve your rankings in the SERPs as well.

The Best Platform for Ecommerce and Content

WordPress is still the best choice for blogging for ecommerce — as well as for your next online project in general. WordPress is a simple, yet scalable solution everyone can use for starting websites, online courses, membership sites, blogs, and ecommerce stores.

Plus, it’s open source, which means that WordPress doesn’t lock you into a private, inflexible platform with exorbitant fees. Instead, WordPress is a free, highly secure, and SEO-friendly tool you can modify however you want, whether you’re a beginner or professional. It offers over 50,000 plugins, including those that will power your ecommerce store.

Hostdedi offers hosting specifically optimized for WordPress. For you, this means a scalable, faster, and more secure website with smart monitoring tools built in.

Check out our Managed WordPress Hosting and Managed WooCommerce Hosting plans. The latter is the first-ever hosting created specifically for the unique needs of WooCommerce stores.



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Starting an Online Store With No Money: Is It Possible?

You’ve probably heard the adage, “You have to spend money to make money.”

But is it true?

Starting an online store with no money can be a viable alternative to the overhead expenses that brick-and-mortar shop owners face. But what does it take to start a business with no money?

Before you dive into building an ecommerce website, check out all the ways you can make money online. Here’s what you need to know before you start.

Is Starting an Online Store With No Money Possible?

If you’re interested in how to start a business with no money, there are some tried and true methods to make it happen. Not every option will work for all online entrepreneurs, so finding what works for your particular skill set is crucial.

Blogging

If you enjoy writing and understand search engine optimization, blogging can be a great way to earn some money online. Pick a blogging niche you have some knowledge about, find an online platform (like WordPress) to manage your content, and start writing posts. You can earn money through affiliate marketing, which is when you get a commission when you link to products that your readers purchase. You can write sponsored posts for companies on your blog or use ads in your content. You can even sell digital services or products related to your niche.

Web Design

Freelance web design can be a fun and lucrative business if you enjoy creating websites. While web design takes a significant time investment to learn how to create the layout, theme, and color palette that correctly conveys a brand’s tone, it’s also a skill that can pay off. Most web designers need subscriptions to the Adobe Suite of products, which aren’t cheap. But it’s a business you can start at no additional cost if you own those programs.

Podcasting

Much like blogging, podcasting requires you to pick a niche and create content for it. But, rather than writing content, you record it. You can start a podcast if you have access to a microphone, computer, and sound editing software.

To monetize your podcast, make a website for your podcast with a membership program where your audience pays to listen. You can join an advertising network to quickly and easily put ads on your podcast. You can also sell advertisements or allow sponsors to pay to be mentioned in the podcast.

If you find your podcast does well for free, you can create a premium version. You keep offering the regular podcast for free but put additional content behind a paywall.

Consultant

If you have experience in a particular industry, you could offer your guidance as a consultant. You can help those starting in your industry, or you could offer more in-depth help. Your skills and expertise are invaluable to those who don’t have them, so why not sell them? Your industry and experience determine your prices and who you work with, but the good news is there are no startup fees with consulting. All you need to do is share about your new venture on a social media platform and have an email where potential clients can contact you.

Online Retail

Online shopping is practically the norm now, so if you want to create a website to sell products online, there’s already a customer base. Selling print-on-demand products is a great way to make money without investing in a large stock of products that you pay for upfront and store in your home. To set up your online store, you’ll need a website and a store manager on the backend, like BigCommerce, WooCommerce, or StoreBuilder.

Virtual Assistant Services

If you’re an organized person who likes to multitask, virtual assisting may be a great career. There are tons of business owners and professionals who need your skills. Virtual assistants do many things, from helping with the backend of ecommerce sites to managing email inboxes to scheduling social media to even answering online chat questions. Your particular skills will determine what kind of virtual assisting you do. Picking a specific niche of people you work with is an excellent way to build even more expertise.

Steps to Open Your Own Store

Once you’ve figured out what kind of business you want to start, it’s time to determine how to start an online business with no money. Every industry is different, but some general guidelines apply to every online business.

  • Do Your Research. See who is already running a business like the one you want to start and how they do it. Do some networking and meet with business owners to get their insider information and learn about the struggles they faced.
  • Identify Your Skills. Brush up on any skills you’ll need to run your business, especially if you plan to work with clients. You won’t be able to keep clients long if you can’t properly serve them.
  • Keep It Lean. Until you’re making money, use all the free tools at your disposal. Google has a great suite of office products for free, and Canva’s free tier will allow you to create graphics. Use PayPal to take money, and network with customers using free social media. Many email marketing platforms like MailChimp and MailerLite offer a free tier to use while you’re getting started.
  • Don’t Over Stock. Purchase as little stock as possible while building up your audience and customer base. Until you develop your audience, you won’t know exactly what your customers want. Use the profits from initial sales to reinvest in more stock.
  • Make Your Platform User Friendly. Your website should be clear and easy to understand. Your customers should be able to navigate it. Don’t overdesign. That can lead to confusion in your customers, leading to a lack of sales.
  • Do It Yourself. There are tons of plugins and tools at your disposal. Learn as much as you can at the beginning until you have time to invest in someone to do the work for you.

StoreBuilder Can Help

You know how to start an online business with no money, so it’s time to take the leap. StoreBuilder can help you take your business idea and make it real. It’s the best ecommerce website builder for building your business in WordPress. You can sell products online easily and worry-free without learning code or web design.

Try StoreBuilder and see how easy it can be to build your online store.

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5 Best Ecommerce Marketing Automation Software for 2022

Ecommerce is growing. Adobe estimates U.S. ecommerce spending to pass the trillion-dollar mark in 2022 based on data from Adobe Analytics.

This growth means you’re likely to spend more time trying to keep up with the latest ecommerce marketing trends, reducing the time for critical tasks.

Tracking what you should be targeting or measuring can be exhausting and time-consuming.

Here’s the good news. You can rely on marketing automation solutions to make the job easier and focus on other activities that drive revenue.

Read on to learn about the five best ecommerce marketing automation software to make your marketing campaigns more productive.

What Does Marketing Automation Do for Your Business?

Lead generation and customer engagement throughout the buyer’s journey are the most common challenges for ecommerce businesses.

And marketing automation is the answer. According to the 2022 Ascent2 survey of 393 marketers, more than one-third of marketers say that marketing automation helps them improve customer experience and optimize lead generation.

The benefits of marketing automation don’t end at lead generation. Here’s what ecommerce marketing automation can do for your business:

  • Improves lead nurturing efforts.
  • Increases your sales and marketing teams’ productivity.
  • Helps you optimize the marketing strategy.
  • Enhances customer experience, increasing the chances of retaining clients.
  • Boosts your conversion rates and revenue.

Choosing the Right Marketing Automation Software for Your Store

Email marketing is one of the most effective channels to reach your audience, sell your products, and build relationships with customers. But email isn’t the only channel available.

When looking for your ecommerce automation platform, consider the following factors to ensure you get the most out of your choice.

Ease of Use

The platform should be easy and intuitive to use for your team. Ask for a demo and see if you can perform frequent tasks seamlessly. If you have to ask for external help to finish simple tasks, that could be a red flag.

Functionality

Note down the features you need at the start to focus on selecting the right platform. Choose an automation software that natively integrates with your existing technologies. Integrations will save you time and money and reduce the time spent on retraining staff.

Customer Support

Ideally, you should have access to multiple customer support channels — live chat, chatbots, phone, email, and knowledge base. This omnichannel support ensures you always get help when needed.

5 Best Ecommerce Marketing Automation Platforms for Your Business

Every marketing automation platform has its benefits and drawbacks. Make sure to define your company’s needs before choosing any marketing automation software.

That said, here are the five best marketing automation platforms for ecommerce stores.

1. HubSpot

HubSpot is the king of marketing automation, topping the automation charts globally with a market share of 35.47%.

HubSpot is a complete package with analytics reports, blog publishing, and email marketing support. You can also use HubSpot API to create custom integrations for other ecommerce platforms.

Integrations: Magento, BigCommerce, Shopify, and WooCommerce.

Key Features

  • Landing pages builder.
  • Automated blog publishing features.
  • Social media management tools.
  • Automated email campaigns.
  • Lead scoring.

Best ecommerce marketing automation software for: Ecommerce businesses focused on inbound marketing and content marketing.

Pricing: Free with limited features. Premium plans start at $45/month.

2. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is a three-in-one tool, offering digital marketing automation, email marketing, and small business CRM.

ActiveCampaign helps you map out the automated workflows with its powerful visual editor. Besides that, you can access 600+ prebuilt automation recipes for powerful personalization and segmentation across email, social, chat, and text messaging.

Integrations: Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, Stripe, and BigCommerce.

If you use other platforms (such as StoreEnvy or BigCartel), you’ll need Zapier to pull ecommerce data.

Key Features

  • Website tracking.
  • Prebuilt automation workflows — for tasks including abandoned carts and multiple visits to specific products.
  • Custom forms.
  • Efficient email marketing.

Best ecommerce marketing automation software for: Small- and medium-sized ecommerce brands that want automation features to grow.

Pricing: Premium plans start at $9/month (when billed annually).

3. MailChimp

MailChimp is one of the best ecommerce automation tools for setting up and managing email campaigns.

Business owners can easily design and launch email marketing campaigns using the built-in campaign manager, helping them attract new subscribers and follow up with existing customers through targeted emails.

MailChimp also helps you manage ads on major social media channels — Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Integrations: Shopify, BigCommerce, BigCartel, Magento, WooCommerce, Salesforce, XCart, and OpenCart.

Key Features

  • Email reporting elements — click maps and subscriber activity.
  • Analytics360 module.
  • Robust API.
  • Industry trends review.

Best ecommerce marketing automation software for: Small- and medium-sized ecommerce businesses.

Pricing: Free with limited features. Premium plans start at $11/month.

4. Klaviyo

Klaviyo is an ecommerce marketing platform that enables brands to deliver personalized experiences across multiple marketing channels, like SMS, email, in-app notifications, and the web.

Klaviyo offers many pre-designed templates to help you create emails quickly and provides additional data analysis and segmentation based on your email list.

Integrations: Shopify, BigCommerce, BigCartel, Magento, WooCommerce, Salesforce, XCart, and OpenCart.

Key Features

  • Replenishment.
  • Cross-sell.
  • Win-back.
  • Cart abandonment.
  • Custom templates.

Best ecommerce marketing automation software for: Ecommerce businesses focused on email marketing.

Pricing: Free with limited features. Premium plans start at $20/month.

5. Omnisend

Omnisend helps marketers increase sales by connecting them with their customers on more touch points than before and offering a personalized experience.

Omnisend gives you the functionality you need to increase sales by triggering campaigns based on customer data and behavior. It also sends reports on how your marketing automation impacts sales.

Integrations: All major ecommerce platforms, including custom platforms, through their API.

Key Features

  • Drag-and-drop newsletter builder.
  • Pop-ups.
  • A/B testing.
  • Segmentation.
  • Comprehensive reports.

Best ecommerce marketing automation software for: Ecommerce marketers.

Pricing: Free with limited features. Premium plans start at $16/month.

Final Thoughts: 5 Best Ecommerce Marketing Automation Software for 2022

To sum it up, marketing automation streamlines many business operations and saves you time to focus on priority tasks. You can go with Klaviyo if you’re focused on email marketing or HubSpot if you need a robust marketing automation solution.

To benefit from ecommerce marketing automation tools, you’ll need an optimized online store that pulls its weight in converting the leads.

Build your online store with StoreBuilder by Hostdedi today. Hubspot comes included free, along with premium shopping cart solutions, online store marketing, product management, and much more.

Check it out and see why it’s the best ecommerce website builder to sell your products worry-free.

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Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence in Ecommerce [2022]

Whether you loved The Jetsons or feared The Terminator, we bet you were expecting that robots would be doing everything for us by now. In some ways, they are. If you’re running an ecommerce business, you’re used to having a lot of irons in the fire. Using artificial intelligence for ecommerce can help you streamline your online business operations, saving you both time and money.

What is Artificial Intelligence in Ecommerce?

When you hear artificial intelligence, you might be thinking about robots that have gained thoughts and feelings. It’s a little less science fiction than that. Artificial intelligence, or AI, refers to systems or machines that complete tasks normally completed by humans.

A cash register adds up several totals, adds tax, and adjusts for any coupons. Store employees don’t have to do that math — that’s AI. Imagine how much longer lines would be if everything was calculated manually.

AI is “programmed” by the data it is fed. The more information an AI system has, the more knowledge it gains. AI can be applied to every part of the customer journey — and utilizing it impacts data analysis, lead generation, customer satisfaction, and more.

That being said, you’re not “using AI” so much as you’re using a solution developed with it. There are a couple of terms that are sometimes used interchangeably with AI — but there are subtle differences within them. Let’s talk about machine learning and marketing automation.

Machine Learning for Ecommerce

Many of the solutions you’re using likely utilize machine learning to determine results. Machine learning is the process wherein the AI is trained by the actions taken or within data collected. That training helps to inform results that relate to your business.

Your email account uses machine learning. Every time you mark something as spam, your email provider recognizes the domain the spam was sent to and what content it contains. As you continue to mark items as spam, the provider can more easily identify potential spam and route it to your junk folder instead of your inbox — it’s why order and password emails often end up in spam, because they use common phrases found in phishing attempts.

Machine learning for ecommerce is incredibly helpful because it can predict customer behavior. This can be incredibly useful — what business wouldn’t love to know what you want even before you do? It can also border on being creepy, so it’s important to toe the line between personalization and intrusion.

Another application of machine learning is within direct customer interactions. If you’ve ever used automated assistants — or had Google ask you “Did you mean…?” — then you’re familiar with being asked to confirm information and say a few words about what you need. The system you’re communicating with “learns” from your input and continues to interact and make decisions based on that input.

There are two main types of machine learning: supervised and unsupervised. The main difference between the two is that supervised uses already labeled data, while unsupervised uses algorithms to categorize the data it analyzes. If you’re really interested in machine learning, IBM is a great resource.

Machine learning, therefore, is how AI becomes AI. You can’t automate tasks without a system having “learned” what it needs to do.

Marketing Automation

If machine learning is driver’s education, and AI is getting your license, then marketing automation is the car you take to work.

There are countless software solutions that automate your ecommerce tasks. Some are free, some are expensive, and some you may not even realize count as automation. So, what is marketing automation?

Marketing automation is a tool or software that produces a result that’s beneficial to your online business. Think of marketing automation tools as the Alexa for your ecommerce store. You give it a task, and it does it for you. Marketing automation utilizes AI to automate different tasks that span each part of the customer journey. It may rely on data analyzed by machine learning.

Running an online business means doing a lot of different work simultaneously. You need a website, social media presence, and customer support — just to name a few. Marketing automation helps you do the smaller tasks so you have more time for the work that can’t be automated.

Any actions you can automate that will streamline your workload will not only save you time, but money, too. Let’s talk about why and where you should be using artificial intelligence in ecommerce.

Should You Be Using AI?

We know running a business can be difficult and confusing, especially if you’re brand new to running an online store. Wondering if AI is right for your ecommerce business?

You’re probably already using it! Whether you’ve sent a bulk email, used a SaaS tool to analyze customer satisfaction, or checked what product sells the most this month — you’re using AI in your stores already. Let’s talk about how and where you should be (or already are) implementing AI in your ecommerce strategies.

Why Should I Use Artificial Intelligence for Ecommerce?

Many business owners map out their strategy, see what needs to be done, and think “Oh! I can do that myself.” Sometimes you can — but utilizing AI-based technologies for your ecommerce store will supercharge your efforts. With artificial intelligence for ecommerce, you can:

1. Make better marketing decisions faster.

2. Enhance customer experience with faster, more focused support.

3. Segment data more easily for better targeting and positioning.

4. Experience higher-quality lead generation and management.

5. Enable your team to focus on the more important work that can’t be automated.

… and a lot more! Technology is always advancing so the possibilities are endless. Right now there are still a lot of ways AI can benefit your ecommerce business.

Where Do You Use AI for Ecommerce?

AI and marketing automation fits into every area of your business. A lot of the following ways to use AI work for one particular part of your company — but affect your team as a whole. Check out where you are (and should be) using AI and pay attention to how each part of your business works with the other.

Lead Generation

Marketing automation tools can help your team get better leads, leading to more conversions for less effort (and ad spend). Tools like Marketo, Constant Contact, and HubSpot help marketing teams track campaigns, manage leads, gain insights, and create better campaigns in general.

AI assisted solutions don’t just capture data — they analyze it. They can track patterns in purchasing, similarities between customers, and even qualify leads. AI can determine who, if, and how often leads open or click through emails. This can aid in increased accuracy in segmenting and improved targeting — and better targets make for informed positioning.

You can also automate email campaigns, minimize repetition, and improve your speed in converting leads to customers.

Content Marketing & SEO

Content creation can be automated, though you can judge for yourself whether or not the quality is what you’re expecting. Options like Copy.ai and Anyword are tools that generate copy. Some of them even let you create personas to generate copy for. If you have a few different types of customers you market to, you’re able to auto generate the best copy for them.

While this can reduce the workload for your content team, if it’s drawing on the most popular phrases to get results, it can sometimes come off as noticeably not-human. However, depending on your needs, it may be the right solution for you (and much more affordable).

Services like Grammarly can help your copy (or even just emails to your team) sound more professional. Nobody likes being called on a typo! When you run your copy through a service like this, it not only catches spelling errors, but it also makes suggestions for grammar and sentence structure, ensuring you always sound your best.

Tools like BrightEdge and SEMrush help you conduct keyword research, audit your site’s SEO, and help you improve your page ranks with the data it produces. SEO is one of the most important parts of your marketing strategy. Without showing up in the search engine results pages, you’ll be hard pressed to turn a profit.

Social Media

Every brand has a social media presence. The more channels there are to advertise on, the more of a strain it is on your team. You need to schedule and publish posts, track interactions, reply to questions, and even mitigate reputation management issues. Automated solutions, such as Sprout Social or HootSuite, let you drive all the cars at once.

Social listening is an important part of marketing tasks — and it’s time consuming to do manually. Automating social listening means you can set up software to alert you for brand mentions, keep an eye on competitors, and track relevant keywords so you can focus your content on what’s trending for your industry. Sprout Social does a great job of integrating all your social channels and monitoring.

You can utilize chatbots to assist with getting sufficient information before connecting them to a sales rep. This can eliminate wasting time if there’s a solution the chatbot can provide (like business hours) allowing your staff to focus on more important work. There are great options like ChatBot.com and HubSpot that offer low cost or free, easy-to-integrate options.

Sales

Let’s face it. You’re in ecommerce because you want to sell something. The hardest part of any transaction is getting the “yes.” Luckily for us, there are plenty of ways AI can assist your business with sales.

If you’ve been in ecommerce a while, you’re familiar with Customer Relationship Management software, or CRMs. Solutions like Salesforce analyze leads for you and prioritize them — meaning your reps will talk to the people most likely to result in a sale first.

Sales forecasting can be seriously improved when you’re usings software that takes a look at your sales history, trends, and customer activity. If you know exactly when products are selling their best, you know when to order inventory. It can help you navigate when you need to advertise, when you should plan sales, and ultimately save you money by not wasting time or budget. Salesforce has Sales Cloud Einstein that does exactly that.

Much like social media’s use of chatbots, using them can also be of great benefit for your sales team. Getting information ahead of time lets you route them to the right people. Maybe they need support — but maybe they actually need sales. Having an AI-enabled chatbot means customers aren’t being sent to several different people, and therefore they’re less frustrated with the process.

Your Business In General

Whether your business has 10 employees or 1000, you want everything to run smoothly. With so many different processes going on, it can feel overwhelming. Let’s talk about where AI can help your ecommerce business in a more general sense.

Not every business can afford an entire HR department. Zenefits and ADP are HR management solutions that automate tasks for your business. Zenefits is more geared towards smaller businesses, while ADP is a better fit for larger organizations. Whether it’s benefits, payroll, or taxes — automated solutions mean your business can focus on selling instead of paperwork.

You’ve probably heard of task management software like Asana. While it enables your team to organize their tasks and communicate through each step of the process, it also has features that measure how long tasks take to complete, which enable you to plan better for future tasks.

If you’re working remotely, you’re probably using communication software like Slack. While it is primarily a chat service — there are apps (just like a WordPress site!) that enhance functionality. You can install Clockwise to connect your Google Calendar to Slack, set work hours, and optimize focused time. Reminders of when you are about to start a meeting are super helpful when you’re heads down on a big project. Slack also integrates with Asana, Trello, Jira, and other task management software.

Hosting Your Business In The Age of Science Fiction

We’re doing things today that our grandparents likely never thought possible. Everything is instant, virtual, and improving all the time. Now that you know lots of ways to bring your ecommerce business into the future with AI — you’re going to want a host that matches your energy!

Hostdedi doesn’t just have lightning fast speeds and top notch security — we’re here to support your business in smart ways.

Our Managed WooCommerce and StoreBuilder hosting plans are built on WordPress, which has a giant library of extensions that help automate processes in your store.

We’re a proud partner with HubSpot — an industry leader in marketing software and marketing automation options.

Hostdedi also exclusively offers Sales Performance Monitor with every WooCommerce and StoreBuilder plan — which tracks trends and alerts you to when something changes. We also offer WooCommerce Automated Testing, which runs important tests daily to ensure your store is always working and problems are caught before your customers encounter them.

Want to stay on the cutting edge? Try Hostdedi StoreBuilder today.

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