One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding online businesses particularly ecommerce is that it enables you to earn loads of money passively without requiring too much of support & supervision; just like a plane takes off and then the pilot puts it on the autopilot mode. If you are about to start an ecommerce business fancying that it minds; then I am sorry but you are being delusional. Just like any brick and mortar store; an ecommerce store demands constant supervision, time, efforts and reinvestment to scale it up and make it successful. Otherwise, dozens of ecommerce stores are pouring into the internet everyday and if your website fails to adapt to the changing dynamics; it will simply get lost and crippled amidst the fierce competition.
The factors that contribute to making an ecommerce website a remarkable success, in the long run, are many. It involves a lot of work as you must always be adding new products, features, fixing bugs and execute the necessary marketing activities. Above all, the site’s security will always remain a headache as hacking, and cybersecurity breaches are the biggest threat to any online store. For any online retailer, there is nothing more frightening than the damage done by hackers. Once they manage to penetrate, they can destroy all the records, steal sensitive information, and most importantly, they simply ruin your customer reputation.
The Beginners Guide to keep a WooCommerce store secure and successful
For a beginner who is not very techy; running an online store smoothly with continued revenue streams may appear to be a daunting task. However, if your web development platform is WooCommerce; there is a lot less to worry as the plugin employs a team of experts who continuously work on improving the security measure and also ensure that the plugin is up to date and meets the growing demands of online buyers.
However, if you want to keep your WordPress WooCommerce site safe, secure and successful, you will also need to take some essential security measures as well as implement new strategies to improve the website experience for your customers. As a beginner in the industry, you might find yourself at the crossroads principally deciding what areas to focus for a more secure and rich experience.
Here are some tips to keep your WooCommerce site secure and successful;
1. Choose a Reliable Web Hosting
The problem with most of the store owners is that they often undermine the importance of reliable web hosting. For them, it is something not to worry about. If you think choosing an unreliable and sloppy hosting will not have a negative effect on your website’s user experience, think again. Identify your hosting needs and carefully pick the right hosting solution, otherwise, you may end up in scenarios where your website may go down for hours and you endup losing a number of prospective customers.
In addition to that, a reliable hosting also keeps a backup data to a remote server. So if your website faces hacking attempts or in any case, the things go south, you can always restore it within minutes. Moreover, they will also assist you with technical support, maintenance and security issue 24 hours a day.
2. Enable HTTPS on your website
When it comes to the battle against spam, HTTPS is the ultimate missile in your arsenal. It secures the communication between a browser and a website by deploying one or two security protocols. These protocols basically encrypt communications so that customer’s credit card information and other important credentials remain secure from the perverts. Customers are concerned about their privacy, information and security more than anything else. For a website which is not HTTPS secured, google chrome will categorically label it as unsecure, warning users not trust to that website with any sensitive information.
The benefits of HTTPS are not just limited to security; there are many more layers to it. HTTPS also improves search engine rankings as well as improve website loading speed on mobile phones as AMP requires SSL to process quick page loading speed. All in all; HTTPS is a sales booster and is now a mandatory feature for a safe, secure and hassle-free shopping experience.
3. Get the Right WooCommerce Security Extensions
The best thing about WooCommerce is its open source nature, meaning that the code is freely available for anyone to view, modify, and contribute towards. Moreover, there are plenty of free and paid WooCommerce plugins created by third parties that you can integrate to add a good amount of juice to your website. There are dozens of security extensions at WordPress plugin directory, CodeCanyon, the WooCommerce marketplace that can help you protect your website against spam and malicious attacks.
One such innovative extension is WooCommerce Geolocation Plugin; an IP based filter extension that allows you to ban users by countries or focus a targeted community. It helps you create rules for restricting users of a specific country or region of the entire website or selected pages. Furthermore; you can also control displaying products, categories, and CMS pages to selected countries. You can also check for other extensions and pick the one you think is the perfect match for your business.
4. Personalize Your Store for your customers
For any online business to succeed, personalization and localization is extremely critical let alone an ecommerce store. We are living in the age of hyper-personalized web experience and an ecommerce store cannot afford to treat its customers like clones. We know that personalized emails produce transaction rates and revenues than generic non-personalized messages. The same goes for an eCommerce store; studies indicate that by providing a personalized experience to customers, an ecommerce store can increase its sales by 7.8% over a short span of time.
- With WooCommerce; there are dozens of things that you can do to provide a personalized experience to your customers. Some of them are;
- Feed personalized content to your customers. You can use WooCommerce tools such as wordlift and kindered posts that can help you make your website content more targeted, useful and personalized.
- Capitalize on cutting edge technologies such as AI and ML to drive user data and craft a unique user experience for each customer.
- Empower your customers by giving them, control over the process, such as pick their own delivery date, purchase in local currency and shop by brands.
Making your ecommerce store secure and successful is not an overnight job. It demands extensive research, analysis, and attention to every detail is very important. The best thing about WooCommerce is that you can start a full-fledged store and customize it all by yourself without requiring any help from a web development agency. However, with a progressive approach, you can take things a lot further and make your WooCommerce store experience safe and enjoyable for your customers.
Asad is a digital marketing strategist having more than 8 years of experience in eCommerce industry. Currently he is working for GO-Gulf – a website design Dubai company, where he has worked on several SEO projects, user experience and increasing eCommerce stores conversions. You can reach him on LinkedIn.