Shopify doesn’t just make it easy for brands to take their products online, but also make their first and ongoing sales. With thousands of apps in the Shopify App Store, a merchant can find a solution to address any challenge. Right from sourcing new products to marketing and driving repeat purchases, there’s more than one app available to them. Simply put, it’s getting overwhelming for Shopify store owners to even decide what app they need to grow their business. In this article, we’re sharing the five best Shopify apps for 2019 that is sure to skyrocket your sales and revenue.
Cart abandonment is a term used in eCommerce to describe the situation that customers add products to their online cart or even begin the checkout process, but leave the site before finishing their purchase. Many customers who visit your dropshipping store on Shopify or WooCommerce or other ecommerce platforms abandon their carts before finishing their purchase. The average abandonment rate is 68%, based on data compiled from 33 different studies on shopping cart abandonment. Cart abandonment is one of the most crucial problems for dropshipping businesses to overcome. And it is as critical as driving traffic to your store by word-of-mouth marketing, SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, or design an attract site by choosing the wonderful themes. There are a number of simple things you can do to keep your abandoned cart rates down. The article will introduce 10 ways to reduce your store’s cart abandonment.
1. Offer Multiple Payment Options
There is data from column five that 56% of online customers prefer to see a variety of payment options at checkout. It is important to know about payment gateway and your buyer persona to choose a variety of popular payment options. The basic cards include Visa, Mastercard, American Express, PayPal, etc. And mobile payment systems such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet are becoming increasingly popular, particularly among younger demographics. Try to offer payment options as many as possible for customers to choose.
2. Build Trust In The Buying Process
Trust is really important when customers make a purchase on your dropshipping store. And customers hand over their personal and financial information for trust and want more reassurance that their data is secure. Many customers abandon their carts because trust logos were missing. Make sure you show the trust logos that are recognizable and commonplace such as Verisign, PayPal Verified, etc well-known security logos. In addition, don’t forget to have a valid SSL certificate. If it’s out of date or improperly installed, your customers will see a warning message in their browser that the connection may not be secure.
3. Optimize Your Page Load Times
There is a data from Visual Website Optimizer that ecommerce shopping cart conversion rates drop 7% for every one-second delay in your page loading. Thus it is necessary to optimize your pages load times and try to make it as fast as possible. For example, your checkout pages should be as optimized as possible to avoid the situation that its slow load beg impatient customers to take their shopping elsewhere. In addition, your images should balance quality and speed. And you can also limit the use of ad network trackers, poorly implemented tags, social plugins and other bloat to optimize your page load times.
4. Reduce Shipping Price Shock
Many customers abandon their shopping carts because of expensive shipping costs. Make sure your shipping costs are transparent while the customer is browsing through your products. You need to set proper shipping rate for your dropshipping store and offer free shipping is a good idea. And free shipping is not free. Add shipping costs to the price of a product and use free shipping as one of the main selling points. Offering free shipping is one of the highest-recommended ecommerce marketing strategies. Customers may add more items to their shopping cart for free shipping and may accept a slower shipping option for it is free.
5. Reinforce The Benefits Throughout Checkout
You need to reinforce the benefits throughout checkout to motivate your customers’ desire to purchase. The benefits throughout checkout also optimize the customer experience. If you use “You’re purchasing this...” instead of “Order Summary” above the product image at the checkout, you’ll reinforce customers’ decision to buy and subtly impacts their perception of ownership. And you can show the free shipping message throughout checkout.
6. Make Navigation From Shop To Cart Convenient
Many customers abandon carts because of overly complex navigation. The easier you make navigation, the more likely customers are to stick with it and actually check out. There are a few ways that can help you make navigation easy.
Identify the drop offs from the customer flow report and fix them.
Create a seamless shopping experience for your customers. Don’t make them click the back button after adding a product to the cart.
Keep the cart visible on every page so your customers can easily return to your cart to complete the checkout at their convenience.
7. Use Cart Abandonment Emails
You can use cart abandonment emails when customers leave the website without finishing their purchase. And you can use a series of more than 1 email to persistently follow up customers until the cart is recovered. Many customers abandon their cart unintentionally due to external incidents such as site crashes, slow load speed or site timeout. In these situations, cart abandonment emails are effective in the sales funnel because they remind and lead customers back to the site to finish their purchase. In addition, you can offer a discount or free shipping code as an incentive to the customers who abandon their carts.
8. Add Social Proof
Social proof showcases how your products have helped others to alleviate the concern that they may regret buying the products. You can add social proof to your store in some different ways.
Follow up with customers and ask them to write a product review.
Feature reviews on product pages and list testimonials on other landing pages of your site.
Add applications like Notify to your store to show customers who else is purchasing your products.
9. Use Remarketing
Some abandonment can’t be prevented, but you can use the remarketing technique to retarget cookies visitors who previously visited your website, with ads services. Retargeting helps you increase your brand awareness and convert visitors into paying customers. And doing social retargeting on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin generates better engagement and results because people can like, share and discuss on the ads post. Present dynamic ads to those customers who abandon carts based on the products they viewed to try and win them back.
10. Identify Leaks In Your Funnel
It is necessary to draw out an as detailed conversion funnel from traffic to successful payment as possible so that you can know the process and identify leaks. You can examine the visitor flow and conversion pathways in Google Analytics to identify leaks in your conversion funnel. This can show you bottlenecks on product pages and the points where your traffic is dropping off before making it to the cart. Then you can target those pages to see what improvements need to be made to improve the user experience.
When you start a dropshipping business and open a store on Shopify, WooCommerce, or other ecommerce platforms, you need to know about the payment gateway and choose your store’s payment gateways to make transactions. The payment gateway integrated into your store is how people securely transfer money from their account to yours. Without a payment gateway integration, the customers won’t be able to pay for the services or products they are buying online. There are many different payment gateway options available. And with the right payment gateway, you can make it easy for customers to pay for your products. The article will introduce how to choose the right payment gateway and what are the best payment gateways for dropshipping store.
How To Choose The Right Payment Gateway
You should consider the following to choose the right payment gateway:
1. Supported by your e-commerce platform
There are different payment gateways available based on the different encommerce platforms where you open a store. If you use Shopify, then you’ll need a gateway that integrates with that specific platform.
You can check which payment gateways your e-commerce platform works with. Just enter to the platform's official extension catalog or documentation and look into the “payments” section.
There are the lists of payment gateways available on some top ecommerce platforms:
2. Check security
The security of the network can avoid your customers worrying that their financial information and ensure your customers that financial will information remains secure when purchasing from your store. To make sure that your payment gateway is secure, always check that they are PCI compliant. It is critical when accepting credit cards online.
There is the short list of payment gateway security layers:
①Every payment gateway has high-level encryption (SSL encryption 128 Bit encrypted) to avoid all types of breaches.
②The second layer of security is the digital signature. Even if a hacker got your ID your account is still safe with digital signatures.
③After digital signature comes the Dynamic IPs, if your account is used from another IP address then it will be denied.
3. Attention to the fees
Make sure to carefully check the fee structure with your gateway before you commit to it long term.
Most commonly, there are three components of the final price tag:
Set-up cost: varies from $0 - $250.
Monthly cost: $10 - $50.
Transaction fees: Usually, it's $0.00 - $0.25 + 1% - 5% per each transaction. You have to pay both the fixed fee and the percentage of the transaction.
In addition, there may be other fees, such as chargeback fees, payment processing fees, termination fees, etc.
The following are the fees that you can make yourself aware of:
Monthly statement fee
Minimum monthly fee
How much you pay to transfer the money from the merchant account to your regular bank account.
If you want to receive the money before the standard credit card deadline.
If you have a high-risk business, processors may ask for an initial warranty.
4. Good customer experience
It is necessary to provide a good and convenient shopping experience for customers. Avoid too many steps, too much time, or too much personal information in case your customer abandon the purchase. Try to look for a payment gateway that allows you to accept all major credit and debit cards, as well as being integrated with all major shopping carts. What’s more, the payment gateway should be optimized for mobile users as well.
5. Use more than one payment gateway
You should use more than one payment gateway to make it easier for customers and give everyone other options. More options will translate to more convenience for the customer and less friction at checkout. Paypal is a necessary payment gateway for it is available in most countries around the world which allows you to sell internationally. And you should know your target audiences’ preference about the payment methods and see if the payment gateway support them. Each payment gateway supports a different set of payment methods.
6. Choose providers with good reputations
Payment processing is critical to your business. It is a good idea to work with a provider who has an overall good reputation in the industry. In general, as long as you pick a large payment gateway and processor that has been in the market for a while, it will be okay. Be careful that some payment providers have had problems with outages. And some have a reputation in some circles for blocking merchants' money without due cause.
7. Available support
Check if the provider offers live technical support, at least within standard working hours. Thus you can quickly resolve any technical problems. Most payment gateways will not support processing transactions related to high-risk business. Gambling, adult content, travel, tobacco, debt collection, electronic cigarettes, credit repair, MLM are high-risk business. In such cases, you'll need to choose a provider that specializes in so-called “high-risk” payment processing.
Best Payment Gateways For Dropshipping Stores
PayPal is one of the most commonly used payment gateway for dropshipping stores. It has worldwide acceptance in more than 200 countries. There is no doubt that it can be a profitable addition to the main payment gateway. It will bring more customers to the site. What’s more, if the main payment gateway goes down due to some technical issues, PayPal can act as a backup. It supports all prominent credit cards, such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Citibank, and more.
Stripe is available in 34 countries. And it gives you complete control over the checkout experience and this makes it popular. It is quite popular among the American and Canadian dropshippers. And it also not charging you the monthly fee. What’s more, it has many useful and powerful features, from in-store payments to comprehensive security and an in-depth dashboard. In addition, it accepts quite a few different payment options, including multiple eWallets. However, it doesn’t accept PayPal and you can use multiple different payment gateways to solve the problem. And it is made specifically for developers that it is difficult to handle.
Authorize.net is currently available in more than 33 countries. It is one of the oldest and most trusted payment gateways available for credit card users. Actually, it supports all major credit cards – including MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Diner’s Club, Discover, and JCB. It also supports digital payment services like Apple Pay, PayPal and Visa Checkout. What’s more, it features multiple extensions for easy integration with WooCommerce stores. And it also has the lowest transaction fee or 2.90 + $0.30 for ecommerce and dropshipping stores.
2Checkout is a great option for dropshippers with a multinational presence. It operates in more than 87 countries worldwide across 15 languages. It is one of the best credit card gateways and supports all major credit cards such as Mastercard, Visa, Diners Club, American Express and others. And it is available in many third world countries, where it is used in combination with another payment gateway.
5. Shopify Payments
Shopify has partnered with Stripe to offer their own in-built payment gateway for Shopify users. It is hands down the best payment gateway for Shopify and available in 11 countries. Shopify Payments is already integrated with your store and it is extremely easy to set up and use. If you use Shopify payments on Shopify, Shopify will not charge you a small fee each transaction and only charge the regular transaction fee of payment gateways. However, there is a long list of exclusions for types of stores they don’t accept. And if you don’t use Shopify, then you can’t use Shopify Payments.
You may face some unique challenges when running a dropshipping store on Shopify or WooCommerce or other ecommerce platforms. And you may be worried about long shipping times, bad products, unreliable suppliers, etc. However, there is still something that you can control when you run a dropshipping business, such as product description, product photography. Product photography can make a lasting impression on customers and make you more competitive than your competitors. And great product photography isn’t easy to achieve. It is a good idea to take your own product photographs rather than use supplier photographs or steal them from another seller. So how to stand out your product photograph? The article will introduce key factors for great product photographs and give 7 product photography tips for your dropshipping store.
Key Factors For Great Product Photographs
High-quality means high resolution and clean background. It is a good idea to keep all images the same size with a square shape and no less than 1000 pixels, 1600 is better. Thus, they will look much better on collection and product pages. In addition, you’d better use plain and white backgrounds which allow your products to shine and be the center of attention.
You need to show the product at multiple angles or even use 360-degree photographs. This can get your customers closer to the experience of actually seeing the product in real life and they are more likely to buy it. Furthermore, get some focused shots of the product for customers care about detail parts they use every day. And if you use models or contextual backgrounds, try to make them relevant to the interests or your best customers.
Product Photography Tips For Your Dropshipping Store
1. Setup your lighting
Many photographers consider that the most important part of product shots is the lighting. Photography is nothing without light. And you can make a camera look more respectable with the right lighting.
It’s good to start off using natural light which is soft, always available, predictable and easy to work with. Just pick your biggest north-facing window, put a table next to it and play around with how the light hits your product. You can also use flashes and constant lighting which is trickier and more costly. And when it comes to using the camera’s built-in flash and a flash diffuser, it is good to have a diffuser. The diffuser helps create a more natural light look. Avoid using different types of light in an image. And don’t forget that the distance of the light plays a role with closer light leading to a harder light look.
2. Attention to the background
There are many different ways to achieve great shots and each has its own challenges and benefits. You can have a standard white background for your product photos. A plain white background works well for standard product photos. You can also use bokeh which is a blur effect done by a specific type of lens to create cool backgrounds for your products. What’s more, you can also use backgrounds with patterns that complement the product. Just according to personal preference and what works for your particular products to choose the way.
In addition, consider the colors in your product to make sure that there is color contrast between your product and background. It's also a good idea to Google for the same item to see what professionals are doing with their stock photos. You can also use color psychology to capture the right emotions for your products. Most electronics like desktops, phones, and tablets are shot with a sleek black background because black symbolizes sophistication and security.
3. Make your photos accurate and plentiful
Depends on the type of product, most products need to have several photos from multiple angles and situations to make your photos accurate and plentiful. And grabbing multiple angles can be done in two ways. One is to move the product itself around the staging environment. The other is to take the camera off the tripod to move around yourself. It is a good idea to do both and see how they come out. What’s more, it is necessary to include close-up shots. Customers prefer to see the texture and the little details that make up your product. And if your product is available in several different colors, showcase the full spectrum of product colors. If you sell jewelry or a product with fine details, using a macro setting on your camera to capture the little details.
4. Use a Tripod
It is necessary to use a tripod when shooting a lot of products all at once. A tripod has many benefits. It can keep the camera steady which can make your photographs sharp and keep the camera in the same exact position so your angle will stay the same for every image. What’s more, it can free up your hands so that you can reposition your products to take different angles.
5. Edit your photographs
The post-production work is just as important as the process of taking a photograph. You need to use image-editing software like Photoshop, Lightroom, Windows Live Photo Gallery or Picasa to edit and enhance your photographs after you’ve shot your product photography. For example, you may need to do some form of editing, such as adding effects, cropping, enhancing color, retouching, or removing the background from an image, etc. You should also be true to the product and show it how it is. Just adjust the color balance of the photo to ensure that the colors in the photo match those in real life, and only tweak the brightness and contrast to give it a more professional look.
6. Be consistent
It is important to keep in mind that your product photography should be consistent. Make sure all of your images follow the same look. And creating a product photograph template is an easy and efficient way to make your product photographs be consistent. You can start by choosing a size you’ll use across your dropshipping store. It can be anywhere between 1200px and 1600px on the longest side which is large enough for an effective zoom function and to use across social media.
7. Show crowdsourced photography
Incentivize your first few customers to provide photo reviews of their purchase. There is a state from review software company Yotpo that casual style photos from customers can actually increase customers conversions by up to 25%. They give customers a better way to showcase the features that are important to them. In addition, user-generated photos create a more engaging conversation around your product and help potential customers imagine it as their own.
When you start a dropshipping business and open a store on Shopify or WooCommerce or other ecommerce platforms, you will add many products on your store, absolutely with the product description. The product description is the marketing copy that explains what a product is and why it’s worth purchasing to customers. And it is one of the most important aspects that will affect the product’s conversion. 87% of consumers rate product content extremely or very important when deciding to buy. If your product descriptions are both informative and persuasive, the customer will be encouraged to buy. Furthermore, Write powerful product descriptions is really high-return and low investment. The article will introduce 9 ways to write powerful product descriptions that sell.
1. Define Your Target Audiences
Define your target audiences because the best product descriptions address your target audience directly and personally. To define your target audiences, you need to understand your buyer persona, which will help you know the features that are most valuable to your customers. What’s more, the buyer persona can give you an indication of which words might sell better for your target audience. A buyer persona is a break down of the characteristics of your potential customers. And it is necessary for you to know some information about your target audiences, such as location, age, gender, interests, education level, income level, and language.
In addition, ask yourself the following questions to understand your target audiences.
Who are my target audiences? What’s their situation?
Why do they want to buy my product? What needs do product meet or pain points do product reduce?
Why would they prefer your products instead of your competitor’s products?
What features or benefits would interest this person the most?
Are there any words or phrases that they use to describe your products?
What objection would prevent them from buying your product?
Remember to target only 1 kind of audience with each product description in case you might fail to achieve some meaningful results.
2. Entice With Product Benefits
Different from product features, which are a factual statement about the product that provides technical information, product benefits show how the product can improve the buyer’s life. Buyers are interested in product benefits rather than product features. Thus you need to highlight the benefits of each feature on your product description to convince your target audiences that it will improve their lives in obvious, measurable ways. Be sure to list the features that will appeal to your target audiences. And for every feature that you list, figure out how this will directly benefit the buyers. This will help you write more persuasive product descriptions and more quickly.
3. Highlight The Experience Of Using The Product
The best way to sell any product to your target audiences is to make them imagine they’re already using it. This can elicit emotions and increase their desire to purchase the product. To let them imagine themselves already having and using your product successfully, you need to do the following things.
Use words like “imagine”, “picture yourself”.
Explain how the buyers will feel when using the product.
Use future and present tenses to let your buyers feel like they have bought your product already.
Let buyers imagine their current needs being met by using your product.
Use sensory language and words to integrate the five senses into the writing (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell)
4. Define Your Tone
Your tone can differentiate you from your competitors. And it gives audiences a strong impression of your organization's culture and personality. To define your tone, consider what you are and what you're not. In addition, your product description should be something that you will say to your friend about the product. It is a good idea to use the natural tone that you will use in a real conversation help your target audiences connect with your brand. And use a consistent tone that matches the brand that builds trust with the target audiences and makes certain brands much more memorable than thousands of others on Shopify.
5. Make it Easy to Scan
Try to make it easy for customers to scan to reduce the possibility to lose a potential customer. They may have no time or patience to read everything carefully. In fact, they have short attention spans and read-only about 16% of what’s on the page. To make your product descriptions easy to scan, you can take advantage of bullet points, short paragraphs made up of just a few sentences each, lots of white space, and different size fonts. So writing your product descriptions, there are some things to focus on.
Entice your web visitor with headlines.
Use easy-to-scan bullet points.
Include plenty of white space.
Increase your font size to promote readability.
6. Use Powerful Words
Use power words that naturally elicit an emotional response in audiences and convince your target audiences to take the leap and make the purchase, thus increase sales. There is a list of powerful words in the image below. When you need descriptive words in your product descriptions, use these powerful words instead of words like “nice” or “high-quality”. Thus, you are subtly convincing your target audiences that your products are exciting, impressive, and worth the purchase.
7. Cut Through Rational Barriers With Mini-stories
Cut through rational barriers with mini-stories and your target audiences will forget that they are being sold to. Including mini-stories in your product descriptions can lower rational barriers against persuasion techniques.
When it comes to telling a story in your product description, try to ask yourself these questions:
Who originally made this product?
What inspired creating the product?
How was the product tested?
What obstacles did you need to overcome to develop the product?
How would this product look at the buyer’s day-to-day life?
8. Optimize for Search Engines
You should optimize your product descriptions for search engines. SEO is the easiest way to attract potential customers to your page and make your product easier to be found. Begin optimization with keywords. Keywords are usually the search term that customers use to find the product that they need. And place keywords in your product descriptions. For a better idea of keywords, you can also make use of keywords generator, such as Google Keyword Planner. In addition, you can optimize your product images by using your key phrase in the file name, image description, and alt tag.
9. Use Good Images
You need to have quality images to go with your product descriptions. Because 63% of customers think that a product image is more important than the description or even the reviews. Be sure to provide quality photos of your product. Quality photos will show the customer all of the key features and benefits of your product. They will also allow the customers to imagine having the products in their life.
There are many ecommerce platforms and WooCommerce is the second-best ecommerce platforms following Shopify. Many people who start a dropshipping business choose WooCommerce to open a store. WooCommerce has many advantages among the ecommerce platforms. It doesn’t come with a recurring fee or additional costs such as the transaction charges every time the customer buys from you. Furthermore, getting it to work is simple and you without any coding skills can add and configure it on your site all by yourself. In addition, you have more flexibility and full control of your store because it is set on WordPress. Due to this you can customize or tailor the store in ways other platforms can’t offer. So how to open a dropshipping store on WooCommerce? The article will introduce the 6 steps to open a dropshipping store on WooCommerce.
1. Get Domain, Hosting, And SSL
To open your store, you need to get a domain name, web hosting, and an SSL certificate. It is necessary to choose and buy a domain name which is your website’s address on the internet. And knowing how to choose a domain will help you. Next, you need to buy a web hosting where your website lives on the internet. It allows you to store all your website content and make it accessible for any Internet user. Then, make sure that you get an SSL certificate so that you can accept credit card payments on your website. It adds a special security layer on your website thus you can accept sensitive information such as credit card numbers and other personal information.
You can buy a domain name from Namecheap and go for Bluehost to buy a web hosting. Namecheap also provides web hosting and setting up a WordPress site on it is as easy as pie. Bluehost is an official WordPress and WooCommerce recommended hosting provider and take care of your site’s maintenance, updates, and security with SSL. And you can get started for $19.95 / month basically. You can also buy a domain name from other registers and use other web hosts such as SiteGround, Hostgator, WP engine. But be sure that you go for a reputable hosting company to avoid hosting-related problems such as downtimes, poor security, and low resources.
2. Setting Up WordPress
Set up WordPress using your preferred web hosting provider and your domain name. First, download the latest version of WordPress, and upload it to your web server. Next, you can fill some information in settings, including setting up your WordPress site title and description and change your WordPress Address and Site Address to use https instead of http.
3. Setting Up WooCommerce Store
Then you need to launch the WooCommerce setup wizard on your WordPress admin pages. Next, you can set up a few things include page, store locale, shipping &tax, payment. Just confirm and fill relevant information and click continue button on every step.
WooCommerce has few essential pages for cart, account, shop, and checkout and needs to be filled with where your store is located and which currency and unit measures to use. And you can choose whether to shipping physical goods or not. You also need to answer the tax question so that WooCommerce can help you automatically calculate and add taxes to your prices. In addition, you need to choose a payment method for your online store among PayPal, PayPal Standard, and Stripe payment gateways. Using the PayPal Standard is the easiest way to accept payment. Actually, there are many other payment methods available for WooCommerce that you can install later if you need.
4. Add And Manage Products
You can visit Products » Add New page to add a new product. In specific, you can fill a title, detailed description, and short description, product-related information like pricing, inventory, shipping, linked products, etc. Pay special attention to writing catchy product descriptions and choosing good-looking images. Furthermore, you can choose a product category and add the main product image and a product gallery. Proper product categories and taps help to make it easier for your clients to navigate the store and make a purchase decision. It also helps to achieve good results SEO. Don’t forget to click on the Publish button to make it live on your website. And you need to repeat the process to add more products. If you have lots of products to add, you will need to spend lots of time to do the repeat things. However, if you have corporate with CJDropshipping, you will be able to sync products from CJDropshipping to your store in one button.
5. Choose A Theme
Themes control how your WordPress sites look to the users when they visit it. And they also control how your products are displayed on the WooCommerce store. There are a huge variety of paid and free themes available. And you can see them on WooCommerce Theme Store page. The most popular theme offered by WooCommerce is Storefront with 3411784 downloads so far. It is free, intuitive, flexible, responsive, and fully localized that make Storefront so popular.
If you want to get a theme from an independent developer, be sure that it is:
Easy to use and navigate for store visitors
Responsive, good-looking and functional on any type of devices (mobile phone, laptops, PCs, tablets, smartphones, etc.)
Suitable for your dropshipping store structure and niche
Support options for when you need help
And you can refer to how to select a Shopify theme for your dropshipping store, there is some common consideration between different ecommerce platforms to choose a theme.
6. Use Plugins And Extensions
To further customize, you can use plugins and extensions to add new features to your website. There are over 46,000 WordPress plugins available. Some features aren’t built into WooCommerce. For example, follow up with the buyers who didn’t complete the purchase, offer dynamic pricing and coupons, enable customers to calculate shipping costs before placing an order. For these, you need to use free or premium WooCommerce plugins.
To handle cart abandonment and recover the potential revenue loss from cart abandonment, you can use Abandoned Cart Lite for WooCommerce or WooCommerce Recover Abandoned Cart. Most niches offer customers lots of options. And to add advanced product filtering like colors, sizes, materials, brands and more, you can use WooCommerce Products Filter (WOOF) or WooCommerce Products Filter. In addition, to control shipping, pricing, and discounts, you can use WooCommerce Extended Coupon Features, WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing & Discount Rule, or WooCommerce Advanced Shipping. Try to find the proper plugins that you need according to your demand on the feature.
If you start a dropshipping business and open an ecommerce store, then you’re going to need a payment gateway. Payment gateways play an important role in the online payment processing system. And if you use the wrong gateway to accept payments from your customers, you will make your entire payment process on a downward spiral. Without a payment gateway, you won’t be able to securely charge your customers. And a payment gateway can also provide you with security, reliability, dependability. The article will introduce everything about payment gateway, including what is a payment gateway, how do payment gateways work, its features, limitations and types, top payment gateways, as well as how to pick the right payment gateway.
What Is A Payment Gateway
A payment gateway is a merchant service provided by an e-commerce application service provider. It can not only be provided by banks to their customers but also can be provided by specialized financial service providers as separate services, such as payment service providers. Payment gateway is similar to a POS terminal found in many retail establishments. Besides, it authorizes electronic credit card and Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments to provide seamless payment processing for businesses. Furthermore, it facilitates payment transactions through the transmission of information between a payment portal, such as a mobile phone, a website, or interactive voice response service, and a front-end processor or receiving bank. Payment gateways encrypt and store sensitive data to ensure that confidential information is safe when processing payments.
And there are three main elements of a payment processing system, including Payment Gateways, Payment Processors and Merchant Accounts. What are the key differences between them? There is a summary:
1. Payment gateway
Connects your eCommerce store to the payment processor and sends a transaction request to the payment processor.
2. Payment processor
Processes the request from the gateway and executes it. Take the money from the customer and deposit it in your merchant account or an account managed by a third-party.
3. Merchant account
It is where the funds get deposited after a successful transaction. There is no doubt that it is optional and you don't need to have one as an eCommerce business.
How Do Payment Gateways Work
The payment gateway process follows six steps which take only a couple seconds.
1. Customer places an order and enters their payment information on your online store.
2. Payment gateway sent encrypted information to the payment processor, which actually processes the transaction.
3. Processor routes the transaction data to the credit card association.
4. The Processor sends an “approved” or “declined” response back to the payment gateway.
5. Transaction becomes authorized and the issuing bank then transmits the authorization back to the parties in the payment processing system.
6. Take between 24 to 48 hours for the funds to be available in your account.
Payment Gateway Features
In addition to processing online payments, payment gateways also have other features:
1. Payment Information Storage
Payment gateways can store the encrypted payment information securely. Thus the customers don’t need to constantly rewrite their information.
All payment gateways encrypt sensitive payment information before they transmit it to the processing bank.
3. Virtual Terminal
A virtual terminal is a browser-based version of a physical credit card terminal which allows you to input a customer’s credit card information. It can process the transaction directly through your computer’s web browser, even use a mobile device through an online web form. Processing rates will always drop when the card is present.
Payment gateways can integrate with other tools, such as accounting software like Quickbooks, shopping platforms like Shopify.
5. Recurring Billing
Subscription-based pricing is becoming popular payment gateway increasingly. The subscription provides a recurring billing feature that you can automate this process.
6. API Tools and Developer Information
Most payment gateways give you the chance to customize it to fit your specific needs on the technical side.
7. PCI Compliance
Payment gateways are PCI compliant so that you can accept payments securely and avoid costly fines.
Limitations of Payment Gateways
1. Gateways rarely accept all types of cards or payments
Many payment gateway providers like to advertise the universality of their gateways. However, the truth is that gateways rarely accept all types of cards or payments. And they won’t highlight when they can’t accept payments from specific card issuers and processing portals.
2. Gateways may be not optional for international customers
Different countries may have different popular payment gateways. If you look to capture broad international customers, you need to make sure your payment gateway can handle it.
3. Security flaws
A high-quality payment gateway is secure generally. However, there are some security vulnerabilities that you need to keep in mind.
TLS encryption helps most payment gateways process privileged data, such as card information. But once the data is on the server, the server remains a risk.
Mobile payment issues
You may control most of the security in a transaction, but you still can’t control who has access to a customer's mobile device.
It reads passwords and infiltrates user accounts. And it can still send apparently real transactions through secure payment gateways, even if the transactions themselves are fraudulent.
3 Types of Payment Gateways
When the gateway takes a customer to a PayPal or other payment page to handle the complete transaction, it becomes a “Redirect”. It is simple for the retailer. A small business can use a redirect-gateway to incorporate the convenience and security of a major platform such as PayPal. However, the process also means less control for the merchant.
2. Checkout on site, payment off-site
Likes Stripe’s payment gateway, the front-end checkout will happen on your site. And the payment processing occurs through Stripe’s back end. It also has advantage of simplicity. However, you can’t control the user’s entire experience through the payment gateway which will make you at the mercy of the quality of the offsite gateway and its quirks
3. On-site payments
On-site payments make the checkout and payment processing on behalf of the customer all work through your system. Large-scale businesses tend to use it and will have more control and more responsibility. When you handle your payments on-site, it’s necessary that you understand your options and responsibilities.
5 Top Payment Gateways
There are the top 5 payment gateways in the market:
Shopify is one of the best platforms for starting a dropshipping store. You can receive access to nice design tools, over 2000 apps with dozens of dropshipping apps, and payment processing settings that help you secure your transactions and expedite the checkout process from it. Using apps that make your operations efficient is a way to offset the cost of products as well as growing sales. These tools can also save you time and money by freeing up countless hours and allow you to focus on your online store. The article will introduce how to choose Shopify apps for your dropshipping store and 11 top apps that cover your marketing, store design, etc.
How to Choose
There are 5 steps to choose Shopify apps:
You can filter the available apps by category that covers marketing, sales, shipping, etc, and collections that include launching your shop, growing your business, managing a POS, etc, and also by price, just according to your goal and feature demand. Thus you have a list of apps to compare and choose.
2.Check Review Scores
It is useful to filter the Shopify apps by their review scores. Look for apps that have a large volume of high scores across a consistent length of time. Both quality and quantity are important for the reason that apps with a small number of high scoring reviews may not accurately reflect the apps’ capabilities. Don’t purchase an expensive app with several similar reviews which may be left by the developer’s friends and family.
3.Request For A Live Demo
Many popular apps provide a link to request for a live demo where you can check out how the app functions in real-time. If it’s a front-end app, this will help you better envision how the app will look like on your store. And otherwise it’s a back-end app, this will help you how the app will speed up and improve your processes.
4.Research The Support
Different apps provide varying levels of support, from the community help to email or phone support, which will show under the “support” section. You should research the level of support of your list apps to find out the apps that provide good support. It is a good idea to refer to the reviews to check out whether the support provided is accessible, timely and reliable or not as well as how accessible support is for any given app integration.
5.Check The Last Updated Time
Recent updates indicate that the app is working to adding more features and improving your experience. Don’t choose an app that hasn’t been updating its features.
11 Top Apps
1.PushOwl Web Push Notifications
PushOwl Web Push Notifications help you push notifications about new products, new blog post or special promotions on the websites to your customers. Thus can help boost sales on your store. To reduce mobile issues and to keep the focus getting clicks for notifications, you need to make sure that there aren’t any other pop-ups on your webpage.
2.Free Shipping Bar by Hextom
Free shipping bar allows you to show the free shipping offer in the different website pages which is fully customizable. And it shows progressive messages when customers put more items in their shopping carts. There is no doubt that it makes customers see the shipping details easily to help ease them into a purchase. For it is clear and visible, it allows viewers to get access to shipping information without having to go through the checkout process. It also likely helps lower abandoned carts.
3.Ads by Varinode
Ads by Varinode is a free Ad exchange catered specifically towards the eCommerce vertical. It helps share traffic with other stores, and reach new customers interested in your products. With this powerful and efficient sales channel, you can acquire new targeted traffic, and increase sales for your store. And the app is completely free and can save your marketing spend.
4.Loox ‑ Photo Reviews
Loox allows you to get those photo reviews that you can host on any page of your stores, such as below the product that is being shown in the pictures, or even a dedicated review page. You can send automatic emails to ask your customers for reviews. In return for those reviews, offer discounts any time the photos are submitted. According to Loox, products that included photo reviews increased conversions by up to 91%.
5.Shogun Themes and Page Builder
Shogun can customize landing pages, home page, product pages, blog pages, thank you page, collection pages, sliders, tabs, and video backgrounds. And theme editor enables sections anywhere for total control of page layout. You can also get custom page performance analytics and AB testing for sales funnels, add to cart, countdowns, upsells & more. It is trusted by over 10K stores including the top brands on Shopify like K-Swiss, Leesa Mattresses, Chubbies Shorts and MVMT Watches.
6.Judge.me Product Reviews
Judge.me helps you collect and display reviews about your products and Shopify store. This increases your conversion rate, organic traffic, and buyer engagement by leveraging your user-generated content. It has an unlimited forever-free plan with no limit on orders or requests while also provides paid features such as photo reviews, facebook social push, etc.
7.BEST Currency Converter
The app can convert the price automatically based on your customers' location which creates a pleasant and easy shopping experience for your customers. You can have it run only in the background. Your customers will still see the converted prices without seeing the currency converter. There are 3 different currency converter themes for you to choose to have a beautiful design.
8.AfterShip - Track & Notify
AfterShip is a shipping app that allows you to track all of your shipments in one place and generate a tracking page for each shipment which later can be customized by including your store URL, brand logo, and even Instagram pictures. Thus your customers will have all the information they need about your delivery.
9.Smile: Rewards & Loyalty
Smile offers three rewards program, including loyalty points program, referral program, VIP program with both free and paid features. It gives you an easy way to encourage the behavior that builds emotional connections and customer loyalty. Furthermore, Smile lets you issue reward points based on creating accounts, sharing products on social media, following your brand, and so on.
Swell Loyalty & Rewards
10.Omnisend Email Marketing & SMS
Omnisend Email Marketing & SMS can handle all your marketing activities across multiple channels in one platform, not just email marketing. It connects your e-commerce business with potential and existing customers across multiple channels: email, SMS, Facebook, Google, and others. With powerful, actionable data and personalization, you can reach more customers in smarter ways on more channels and sell more.
11.Plug in SEO
Plug in SEO helps you find, troubleshoot, and fix search engine optimization (SEO) issues so you can get more web traffic to your online store. It provides free features such as unlimited SEO, Blog, Speed problems checks, fixes instructions & code, automatic email alerts, and email help & support. If you need additional features like structured data, powerful SEO control, you need to pay for $20 per month.
To refer to more details about the apps above, please enter into the Shopify App Store and search it.
And if you just want to refer to the best free Shopify apps, please enter into , a blog on Shopify office website to introduce the best 25 free Shopify apps.
When you start out with your business, you do everything by yourself. However, you will start getting overwhelmed as your business grow and it will be time to consider hiring a virtual assistant to help you get the job done. Then you will be able to spend your time focusing on the things that help grow your business more.
There are a large number of virtual assistants working for dropshipping in the Philippines and people from the Philippines are awesome to work with. Hiring Drop Shipping Freelancers in the Philippines is also quite affordable as compared to a full-time employee and you can save up to 50% in business cost. The article will introduce what is a virtual assistant, why to hire a virtual assistant and how to hire a virtual assistant as well as 5 best places to find virtual assistants in the Philippines.
Virtual assistants (VA) are generally self-employed professionals who can help you with your day to day tasks on your online store remotely from a home office. A virtual assistant can work independently on a wide range of tasks, such as competitor or product research, customer service requests, video edit, data entry, store management, and other financial tasks. And while they aren't permanent employees, they offer an affordable way to get ongoing help running your business without any of the additional expenses of hiring a full-time person. There are two types of the virtual assistant, the general virtual assistant who can take on the daily tasks and processes and the specialized assistant who has a very specific skill set and is better suited for owning or overseeing a very specific process in your business.
Benefits of Hiring Virtual Assistant
Free up your precious time
As your business begins to grow, if you hire degree qualified virtual assistants from places like the Philippines, you don’t need to to be wasting your time or energy on things that don’t demand your attention. Virtual assistants will do a variety of tasks for you and you will have more time to focus on the necessary tasks which will help you to grow your business, activities that add significantly more value to your business and the more important aspects of running a business. You will also have personal time to have a work-life balance.
Save your business money
For virtual assistant can work remotely from a home office, you don’t need to rent a physical office which can be quite expensive. This enables you to start building your team while keeping your expenses low. With the exception of a few software tools for communicating and managing your virtual staff, the primary cost of hiring virtual staff is the amount you pay for their time. And the salary of virtual assistants is quietly affordable for they are paid by hours. Furthermore, their hourly rate may be significantly lower than what a local employee would cost you. A Virtual Assistant in the Philippines will typically cost less than half of what a Virtual Assistant in North America costs for the same tasks and responsibilities. You can pay them as little as $3 an hour to do the tasks for you.
How to Hire a Virtual Assistant
Here are 4 steps you can follow to hire a Virtual Assistant:
Step 1: Document the tasks before you outsource it
You should start by making a list of all the tasks and processes that you plan to delegate to your Virtual Assistant and creating guidelines for them to follow. One of the keys to effective delegation is anticipating common obstacles and offering advice on the best course of action to take. Write these out as conditional rules: "IF X happens, THEN do Y". You should also consider the tools and platforms you use throughout the process. If you’re hiring a Specialized Virtual Assistant, you can directly document the outcomes you want them to accomplish.
Step 2: Write a job description online
After you list the tasks to delegate, you'll need to write a job description that can attract someone with the skills and qualities you need to be responsible for these tasks. Then you post it online and start accepting applications.
Your job description should include:
Background information about your business, such as the scale of your business, your industry, what you sell, and who your customers are.
A specific list of the tasks, duties, and responsibilities they'll be performing for you.
The apps, tools, or software they'll be using.
Past education, experiences that will make them successful.
The keywords that prospective hires might be searching for, such as "customer service".
Step3: Review applications & schedule interviews
Once you've posted your job description, you can reach out to prospects or invite virtual assistants to apply to your job posting. You can also review the applications. Then schedule video interviews with the top 5-10 candidates that come through the application. As you interview each candidate, try to understand their values, goals, strengths, experiences, and how they work. Then choose the top 3 candidates to give them a task to complete as a test. Pick a type of task that would be a part of their regular responsibilities that the result will help you determine who the top candidate is.
Step4: Hire your virtual assistant
Choose the best candidate for the job to hire, and start them off on a trial period. And have them sign a formal Service Agreement to avoid any discrepancies in the future.
5 Best Places To Find Virtual Assistants
For most start-up businesses, hiring a virtual assistant from a trusted resource is the best way to go. Many studies show that the Philippines have surpassed India when it comes to outsourcing recently. The Philippines is a great place to find virtual assistants and freelancers with good to excellent spoken and written English language skills. And more and more businesses, regardless of the size, are hiring virtual assistants from the Philippines due to cheaper labor cost and higher work ethics.
Here are the best 5 places to find the right virtual assistants:
Upwork is one of the most popular and trusted freelance job websites. It has a good number of freelance virtual assistants, based on requirements and tasks and you’ll definitely find a great variety of virtual assistants here who are specialized in various different fields. Upwork’s platform is good for tracking ongoing work performed but it comes with sometimes annoying fees. The current fee structure requires you to pay 2.57% of the billed hours.
2. Virtual Staff Finder
Virtual Staff Finder was founded by Chris Ducker in 2010. It works like a recruitment service for you where they match your requirements to a qualified virtual assistant from the Philippines. You will be charged a one time fee of $495 upon signing up for the service. And they will help you find three qualified candidates according to your job description document. You will be free from the worries of the hiring process.
3. Task Bullet
Task Bullet has offices based in California, USA, and Manila, the Philippines. And it utilizes Filipino professionals to help your business with tasks. It claims to always have job openings for virtual assistants. They include part-time, full-time and project-based. Task bullet will assign you to customers based on your skills.
4. Hubstaff Talent
Hubstaff Talent connects virtual assistants and clients with efficiency and finesse. It’s a free directory for companies looking for remote talent across the globe. This free platform displays a candidate’s hourly rate, skills, experience, availability, resume, and languages spoken. Virtual assistants also have the option to add a short “about” description to provide more information. You can search a talent through Hubstaff talent by filter or keywords.
Online jobs.ph founded by John Jonas is a huge database of Filipino virtual assistants and a great place to find ongoing virtual assistants who will be undertaking customer service, product description writing or other content creation. You can also find freelancers for a range of web development work. It started as a simple job board for friends and grew into a huge network matching talented virtual assistants to remote jobs from all over the world.
Shopify provides staff accounts and the number of available staff accounts varies according to your plan. Staff accounts are useful and will help to determine what your virtual assistants can and can’t do as well as restrict access to many things.
When you open a dropshipping store on Shopify, you need to find the best Shopify theme for your store. Research shows that 70% of people don’t trust poorly designed websites. A poorly designed store will turn your prospective customers off at first glance. Your website theme will lay down the foundation of how people will perceive you.
To select the best Shopify theme, you should have a knowledge of what aspects you should consider when choosing a theme for Shopify dropshipping stores as well as the best Shopify themes for dropshipping that are available online.
What to Consider to Select a Shopify Theme
1. Loading Speed
The best Shopify themes for dropshipping should be light and compact thus should be optimized to maintain the overall page load speed which greatly contributes to Google SEO ranking and customer retention on your site in the long run. The lighter your Shopify theme is, the more focus there will be on improving the customer’s experience on your website which, in turn, will improve conversion rates. The faster your online store loads, the better it will be for you and your dropshipping business. Visitors don’t like to wait for sites to load and on average, they’ll wait 3 seconds and then click away if the site doesn’t load. So try to avoid Shopify website templates which have a lot of clumsy elements like busy loaders, unnecessary animations, or fancy scrollers.
2. Mobile Friendly Theme
More than 50% of sales on Shopify stores happen on Mobile devices since the advent of the smartphone. If your Shopify theme is mobile-friendly, it’s going to provide a better overall user experience for all of your website visitors. It is necessary to check the look of your Shopify theme on both your smartphone and your tablet before you launch your store to the public to make sure there are no glitches if and when used on different devices. The free Shopify themes are already optimized to be used on both desktop and mobile platforms which means less work for you and a better experience for your customers.
3. Your Budget, Experience and Other Resources
When selecting a Shopify theme, it’s important to gauge how many resources you are able to invest in your store image design. If you are tight on budget, or reluctant to splash the cash, or lack of design experience, choose a Shopify Theme that’s simple, easy to edit and comes with support and documentation you can use for any troubleshooting down the line. There are plenty of free Shopify themes that are designed to convert even if they’re simple in design.
If you don’t have experience customizing themes, consider steering clear of any especially complicated themes. For instance, if you don’t have the resources to design beautiful banners, just look for those Shopify themes which put the focus on products instead.
In opposite, you can check if the theme offers a high degree of customization. It is always desirable to have a certain degree of customization in your own hands when you are running your own dropshipping store. Things like custom plugins, customization, and pre-built addons make the themes more powerful and let you tailor your dropshipping store for your customers.
4. Updates and Support
Your business is going to be hosted on the internet, which is constantly evolving and changing. Thus, select a Shopify theme which has ongoing updates and offers support in case you find yourself stuck in a situation. While looking for a Shopify theme, be sure to also check for the relevant support and documentation that comes with every theme on the Shopify Theme Store or other third-party developers and ensure that your theme has regular updates and new features.
Many Shopify themes also include reviews from other merchants. These reviews can be useful to check out to see if there are any bugs or issues that other merchants encounter after installing the theme. Another thing to pay attention to is the customer support team and how they handle queries and complaints. If they are prompt and offer solutions to others, it might be a good choice of theme to go with.
5. View Your Products
When you’re browsing through the different Shopify themes, you can check what your products will look like with your new theme before you download the theme to your store so that it helps you mitigate any mismatched themes with your branding. When creating Shopify themes, the designers use high-definition, aesthetically appealing and color coordinated images to make their designs stand out in the Shopify theme store. However, it may not look the same when you install the Shopify theme into your own store. If you don’t currently have high-quality product images, it’s better to avoid Shopify themes which feature large product image sections.
6. Aesthetically Appealing Design
People pay a great deal of attention to how the site looks and if you are just starting out, the user interface greatly matters. It is safe by using a simple design which is often best for converting potential customers and some of the best Shopify themes are familiar and intuitive for your customer. Select an aesthetically appealing theme with a minimalist, simple and functional interface for your customers.
Elements of a Good Shopify Theme
A good Shopify theme should include some of the following elements:
A “featured products” section
A way to mark products that are on sale
A search bar or an easy way includes tabs, hamburger menus or drop-down tables for visitors to browse items
A clear and easy to find shopping cart icon
Link out to other relevant pages of the website or feature other products that are relevant to the visitor’s search
Other features can also enhance your sites look and feel, but remember not to overwhelm your visitor.
Best Shopify Themes for Dropshipping
The best Shopify theme for your business could end up being totally different from the theme that a store which focuses on another niche would use. The best Shopify theme is one that suits your business’ aesthetics, without breaking the bank.
Here’s the list of some of the places where you can find the best Shopify themes:
The Official Marketplace
Shopify Store for themes: https://themes.shopify.com/
Theme Forest: https://themeforest.net/category/ecommerce/shopify
Template Monster: https://www.templatemonster.com/shopify-themes.php#gref