Build Your WordPress E-Commerce Business with Ecwid

Build Your WordPress E-Commerce Business with Ecwid

WordPress is a free open source content management system (CMS) for applications, blogs and websites. It was launched in 2003 and has become exceedingly popular among businesses and developers worldwide as it empowers users to deploy numerous plug-ins, themes and widgets to create custom websites.

Today, WordPress remains the CMS of choice for almost 75 million websites and is used by many globally recognized brands, including:

  • Sony Music
  • TechCrunch
  • The San Francisco Examiner
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Fortune
  • New York Times

WordPress also serves as a top choice for small businesses, i.e. companies that lack the time and resources of a major brand.

With WordPress, small businesses can leverage a free, state-of-the-art CMS that boasts an intuitive interface, making it fast and simple to add blogs, images, pages and more. WordPress even empowers small businesses to sell just about anything online — something that is exceedingly important in today’s rapidly evolving digital marketplace.

With tools like Ecwid and integrated WordPress themes, it’s easier than ever for any business, regardless of size, to offer its products and services to a global audience. And with the combination of WordPress and Ecwid, even small business owners can launch stunning, user-friendly e-commerce websites quickly and effortlessly.

Why Is WordPress So Popular?

Many businesses trust WordPress, which is reflected in recent data from business-to-business (B2B) social network Alignable.

An Alignable survey of 6,000 small business owners conducted during the second half of 2015 examined the Net Promoter Score (NPS) of numerous world-renowned brands to gauge their customer loyalty levels. Ultimately, the survey showed WordPress ranked first among trusted websites with an NPS of 73  an indication that many companies are drawn to WordPress over other open source website builders.

“WordPress proves ‘free’ doesn’t always mean ‘junk,’” Alignable wrote in its report.

Furthermore, WordPress boasts many key benefits over its chief rivals, including:

  • No hidden fees — WordPress is free, and you can download the CMS without having to worry about the hidden costs sometimes associated with other website builders. Plus, WordPress boasts countless complimentary templates and themes that you can use immediately after downloading.
  • Beginner-friendly design — WordPress offers many plug-ins that are easy to deploy. And with the CMS’ beginner-friendly design, you’ll be able to launch a high-quality website quickly.
  • Immense capabilities — Companies frequently choose WordPress because the CMS gives them the ability to implement customizable, secure, user-friendly websites that fulfill their business and customer requests consistently.
  • Designed for mobile devices — With the rising demand for state-of-the-art smartphones, tablets and smartwatches, WordPress empowers you to create a website that supports the latest mobile technologies.
  • Expert support is readily available — Looking for expert insights into WordPress? A large community of WordPress users is at your disposal that is happy to help you build the perfect website for your business.

Don’t expect the demand for WordPress developers to slow down any time soon, either. In fact, the demand for high-quality WordPress themes and plug-ins is driving the CMS’ popularity. For instance, consider several recent stats that highlight WordPress’ popularity:

  • SketchThemes reported that WordPress was the most requested skill in the world in 2014.
  • More than 243,000 WordPress projects have been completed on Freelancer.com as of January 2015. The total value of these projects exceeds $60.5 million.
  • A survey of WordPress developers revealed that 25 percent of participants said they make their living from WordPress. Also, more than 90 percent said they use WordPress to build more than one site.

WordPress controls roughly 68 percent of the open source CMS tools market. It also releases regular updates and continues to work with users to provide them with outstanding support.

How Can My Business Take Advantage of WordPress?

In the recent past, developing a website often proved to be a costly, time-consuming process. This endeavor may have required your business to employ on-site or third-party web developers who would spend hours, days or even weeks learning about your company, its offerings and its clientele. And only after a long period of expensive, time-intensive trial-and-error testing would you be able to deploy your new website. In addition, there would be no guarantees that your new website would garner widespread traffic from consumers or remain glitch-free for years to come.

But then came WordPress, a CMS that simplified the process of creating a custom website. Since its inception, WordPress has streamlined the process of website development for many companies worldwide. And now, WordPress guarantees just about any business owner can launch a new site in only minutes.

Web Hosting and WordPress: Getting Started

Typically, using a web hosting company enables you to set up a WordPress site in just minutes, and some of the top WordPress hosting providers include:

  • Bluehost — One of the 20 largest web hosts, Bluehost creates servers “to run WordPress like a dream.” Bluehost offers one-click WordPress installation as well as 24/7 customer support and a money-back guarantee, making it a popular option for small businesses.
  • HostGator — With a free website builder, drag-and-drop website building tool and over 4,500 templates at your disposal, HostGator empowers you to establish your ideal WordPress site quickly.
  • Web Hosting Hub — More than 40,000 customers trust Web Hosting Hub, as this web hosting company offers one-click installs, unlimited disk space and bandwidth and other features that have helped set it apart from other WordPress web hosting providers.
  • InMotion Hosting — A great option for WordPress beginners, InMotion Hosting offers many industry-leading WordPress hosting plans that enable you to get WordPress installed automatically when you sign up.

On the other hand, you may want to set up WordPress on your own. And in this scenario, WordPress recommends users follow these steps:

  1. Ensure that you and your web host have the minimum requirements (PHP version 5.6 and greater and MySQL version 5.6 or MariaDB version 5.6 or greater) to run WordPress.
  2. Download the latest version of WordPress.
  3. Unzip the downloaded WordPress file to a folder on your computer’s hard drive.
  4. Create a secure password for your WordPress Secret Key.

Easy enough, right? With WordPress, you’re guaranteed to enjoy a simple yet intuitive user experience.

However, it also is important to note that working with a web hosting company may help you take your WordPress experience to the next level.

For instance, web hosting companies offer a number of benefits, including:

  • Reliable Servers — As a business owner, you’ll want to ensure that visitors can check out your site from any location, at any time. And with a web hosting provider, you’ll be able to work with a company that leverages reliable servers, reducing the risk of downtime that could prove to be extremely costly.
  • Additional Features — Although WordPress delivers a variety of free features to users, web hosting providers often go one step further. These providers commonly offer free email systems, search engine optimization (SEO) support and other unique features that can help you increase web traffic and improve your WordPress site’s performance.
  • Flexible Pricing — Small business owners may struggle due to tight budgets. Fortunately, many web hosting providers offer flexible pricing, empowering you to select a plan that suits your company’s needs and won’t break your business’ budget, either.

Regardless of whether you work with a web hosting company or create your WordPress site on your own, WordPress strives to make it easy to design your own online store.

WordPress and E-Commerce: From Offline to Online: E-Commerce Is the Way of the Future

The days of brick-and-mortar stores are dwindling, due in part to the rise of e-commerce. And when it comes to providing a dependable online shopping experience, only the best will suffice for both businesses and consumers.

A May 2016 survey of financial data for retailers conducted by retail advisory firm HRC Advisory indicated operating earnings as a percent of sales had declined by up to 25 percent due to an increasing shift from in-store to online purchases. Also, HRC Advisory noted that merchants who can deliver engaging online shopping experiences put themselves in a great position to capitalize on a growing e-commerce market.

“Retailers need to recalibrate and fine-tune their economic business models to reflect today’s new variable cost-oriented online model. Those who can engage customers and meet their heightened expectations, while offering complete visibility of inventory availability, can be lucrative in reducing markdowns and improving inventory productivity,” HRC Advisory CEO Antony Karabus said in a prepared statement.

There is rising demand for better online shopping experiences, and retailers that are able to connect with consumers via digital channels could gain a competitive advantage over their rivals.

How to Turn Your Website into an E-Commerce Store

So, how do you make your WordPress website into an e-commerce site? With WordPress themes and widgets like Ecwid, e-commerce merchants are better equipped to convert their website into an e-commerce site in order to deliver fast, secure shopping experiences every day. This CMS offers many benefits for companies that want to sell products and services online, including:

  • Comprehensive security plug-ins — WordPress security plug-ins empower you to bolster your website’s security. And since WordPress offers top-notch security plug-ins for free, you can download these best-in-class plug-ins at any time.
  • Secure passwords — Simple passwords are no longer sufficient to secure information online. Fortunately, you can require online shoppers to use passwords that feature a mix of letters, numbers and special characters to provide improved security.
  • Fast and secure — SSL certificates, or an HTTPS URL, guarantee the data transferred on your site remains secure and encrypted. And with WordPress, you can enjoy “really simple SSL” that enables SSL with one click.
  • Collaboration with an industry-leading e-commerce platform — Did you know that WordPress.com partnered with Ecwid, a leading e-commerce solutions provider for small business merchants? WordPress.com trusted Ecwid to be one of only three e-commerce platforms on their hosted version, and, using the downloadable version, you can set up a store and start selling your products and services online immediately.

Using WordPress Themes to Sell Online

Let’s not forget about the wide range of WordPress e-commerce site themes that are available, either. These themes ensure you can showcase your business’ personality in a fun, engaging way. Moreover, selecting the right WordPress theme can help you drive consumers to your business’ e-commerce site consistently.

Here’s a closer look at five popular WordPress e-commerce site themes that every business owner needs to know about:

  • Uncode — Uncode ranks among the top-selling creative themes of all time, and perhaps it’s easy to understand why. It boasts a state-of-the-art Visual Composer, a warm, inviting look and feel and many deluxe features that make it a favorite for businesses across multiple industries.
  • Divi — With 18 pre-made layouts available, Divi empowers you to speed up the development of your e-commerce site. Divi also features the awe-inspiring Divi Builder, which ensures you can deliver a dynamic website without having to worry about coding.
  • Atelier — A minimalist’s dream come true, Atelier enables you to provide a user-controlled shopping experience like no other. This theme allows you to create a responsive e-commerce site that enables consumers to browse your selection on any desktop computer or mobile device instantly.
  • North — For a bright, engaging e-commerce site, you simply cannot go wrong with North. This colorful theme features a unique full-screen layout that offers incredible flexibility for all users.
  • The Retailer — Fast, reliable and effective, The Retailer delivers a proven choice for e-commerce sites. It even offers step-by-step guides that simplify the process of building your own e-commerce site and ensure you can make the most of your site’s performance.

When it comes to creating your own WordPress e-commerce site, there is no shortage of wonderful themes available. And with added support from Ecwid, you’ll be able to optimize your site and maximize your interactions with consumers as well.

How to Sell Online with Ecwid

Established in 2009, Ecwid serves as an “add-on store builder” for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). They support over 1 million online merchants in 170 countries, providing users with the flexibility to manage web stores on mobile devices, social networks and websites.

Ecwid also works with WordPress and many leading website builders, web hosting companies and service providers who resell and offer Ecwid as an e-commerce solution. Ecwid API provides developers with the opportunity to address the needs of thousands of online merchants worldwide, too.

Ecwid also has programs in place to encourage new theme developers to build Ecwid into their themes and to enable developers to build apps that support the needs of Ecwid merchants around the world.

Ecwid provides an easy solution for theme developers to extend their reach by adding a very popular e-commerce solution to their theme. Ecwid merchants frequently contribute new ideas for the platform, and with the Ecwid API, developers can work to address these requests and reach hundreds of thousands of new potential customers at the same time.

The Ecwid API has been created from the ground up and empowers users in a number of ways, including:

  • Simple user interface (UI) — Helps you easily manage all of your online store’s data.
  • Ecwid control panel — Ensures you can add pages to your e-commerce site without delay.
  • Custom Ecwid storefronts — Allows you to create unique Ecwid storefronts on the fly.

This API is proven to make e-commerce site development “a piece of cake, and includes an in-depth Knowledge Base.”

The Ecwid Knowledge Base helps users:

  • Set up assistance — You can schedule an appointment with the Concierge Onboarding team, which will deliver an overview of your Ecwid store and respond to your queries free of charge.
  • Ensure you’re ready to sell — Thanks to the onboarding checklist, you can make sure your e-commerce site looks and performs great before you launch it.
  • Receive professional services — From do-it-yourself (DIY) training sessions to a “Health Check” service, they offer everything you’ll need to help your e-commerce site succeed.

Plus, Ecwid now offers a POS-to-online option, which gives retailers with cloud-based point of sale (POS) systems the ability to instantly publish products on the web and sell easily in-store and online.

With Ecwid POS, retailers can leverage their preferred POS system and web presence. It empowers online merchants to create an online store from their POS inventory in one click and manage both their online and offline commerce from a central location.

Also, when a sale is made either online or in-person, Ecwid POS data is updated and synchronized automatically, providing seamless integration between online and in-store sales. That way, if a customer buys a product online or offline, a merchant’s catalog, inventory and customer and transaction information always remain in sync.

When it comes to building an e-commerce site, it is crucial to work with an industry leader with a huge customer base. And with Ecwid, you can reap the benefits of a best-in-class e-commerce expert that will work with you to build the best e-commerce site possible for your business.

Start Selling Online with Ecwid and WordPress

Ecwid supports small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) as they enter the e-commerce space, helping thousands of online merchants promote and sell their offerings online without having to worry about the headaches commonly associated with providing products and services over the Internet. Thus, Ecwid has become a proven leader in the e-commerce space and constantly strives to help SMBs grow their brands in a highly competitive global marketplace.

Choose Ecwid for all of your WordPress e-commerce needs, and you can enjoy top-of-the-line assistance as you work toward building a successful global brand. And over an extended period of time, Ecwid will work with you to ensure you can launch a dazzling WordPress e-commerce site, sell your products and services online and promote your global brand digitally.