WordPress has come a long way from its days as a dedicated blogging platform. It can now be used to create a number of different sites, including ecommerce sites. However, creating a user-friendly ecommerce site with WordPress isn’t as simple as installing a shopping cart plugin and a theme compatible with that plugin.
There are a number of additional steps you can take and plugins you can install to extend the functionality of your ecommerce site well enough to make it easier for customers to use. Let’s go over 10 different ways you can accomplish this task.
1. Use reputable ecommerce platforms
The single most important thing you can do to make your ecommerce site user friendly is use a reputable ecommerce platform built for WordPress. We recommend WooCommerce.
WooCommerce is a free shopping cart plugin that enables you to turn your WordPress site into a fully-fledged ecommerce store complete with product pages, a shopping cart and a checkout system.
WooCommerce is the most popular ecommerce platform available for WordPress due to its simplistic and open-source nature. It has a beautiful frontend design and an easy-to-navigate backend interface, making it a great option for both individual store owners and developers who need to set up a shop for a client and pass the responsibility of running the shop over to them.
WooCommerce being an open-source platform is an attractive feature for developers as it allows them tweak, modify, integrate and build off of a well-developed base, which saves them time and money.
It streamlines the development process by giving developers a head start, allowing them to focus on tweaking WooCommerce to suit their clients’ individual needs rather than worrying about having to build ecommerce platforms from scratch.
WooCommerce is great, but it’s only a plugin. You still have your store’s entire design to worry about, and you should be worried about it. A poorly-designed ecommerce site can lead to a number of different consequences, among them being a site that loads slowly, a site that appears broken or a site that’s difficult to navigate.
One of the most effective ways to avoid these issues is to use a WordPress theme designed for WooCommerce. These are themes developed with ecommerce in mind, but their developers have gone a few steps ahead and developed them with WooCommerce in mind, offering seamless integrations with the plugin.
We’ve developed several themes in this way to make building WooCommerce sites as simple as can be for individual store owners and developers alike. Here are a few examples:
3. Optimize site speed
Site speed is an issue every site owner should be concerned about, but store owners should especially take notice of how well their sites are performing. Ecommerce sites tend to take longer to load than typical sites due to how much is going on each page.
A slow site is one of the worst user-friendly mistakes you can make as a customer likely won’t stick around if he can’t access your site quickly and efficiently. This goes double for new customers who aren’t familiar with your brand.
4. Make your site mobile-friendly
It’s 2016 or later if you’re reading this post in the future. Having a mobile-friendly site is no longer a choice. It’s a requirement. More than half of Google searches are now occurring on mobile devices, meaning it’s highly possible your customers are viewing your store on a mobile device more often than not.
Make sure you’re using a WooCommerce theme that has a responsive design. All of our themes meet this requirement, so there’s no need to worry.
5. Offer multiple payment gateways
Payment gateways are great for small ecommerce stores. It allows them to accept payments from customers without having to store and encrypt their customers’ payment details. PayPal and other popular payment gateways come with WooCommerce, but check out our guide on WordPress ecommerce payment plugins if you’d like to see what your other options are.
6. Showcase your best-selling products on the homepage
Browsing through a shop’s best-selling or top-rated products is a simple way for customers to shop for products they know other customers are interested in or love, which takes the guesswork out of shopping.
7. Use WooCommerce extensions
WooCommerce extensions extend the functionality of the WooCommerce plugin. For example, if you want to give your customers shipping quotes, install these extensions:
United States Postal Service
You can also allow your customers to customize your products with the Product Add-Ons extension. Check out the WooCommerce Extensions section of WooThemes’ website to view all 360+ available extensions.
8. Make it easy for customers to share your products
There are times when customers find products they love so much, they can’t wait to show what they found with their friends or followers. Placing social media share buttons on your product pages makes it easy for customers to share your products, which also makes it easy for you to attract new customers.
Use the WooCommerce Social Media Share Buttons plugin by Toastie Studio to accomplish this easily.
9. Allow customers to create wishlists
There will be times when customers find products in your store they either can’t afford or don’t need at the moment. Allowing them to add these products to their very own wishlists is a simple way to ensure they come back to purchase products they were interested in but couldn’t purchase at the time.
There are a number of different ways you can do this in WooCommerce, but some of the easiest ways include using these plugins:
YITH WooCommerce Wishlist (free)
WooCommerce Wishlists (premium)
10. Give customers opportunities to ask questions on product pages
One final way you can make your WooCommerce shop user-friendly is by adding a section on each product page where customers can ask questions about the product at hand. Again, there are a number of different ways you can do this, but here are a couple of suggestions:
Product Enquiry for WooCommerce (free)
Product Enquiry Form (premium)
Source: 10 Ways to Make an Ecommerce Site User Friendly | TeslaThemes