The ultimate guide to building a profitable WooCommerce store

Oct. 13, 2020

https://www.precisefunnels.com/The ultimate guide to building a profitable WooCommerce store

Hey, and welcome to my complete guide on how to build a PROFITABLE WooCommerce store.

Let me just kick things off with something potentially discouraging, yet totally realistic for a huge majority of entrepreneurs who don't take the time to learn the ropes.

You see, the cold hard truth is this:

IMPORTANT: Until you learn how to set things up correctly, there's a very good chance you'll end up LOSING MONEY with your (first) WooCommerce shop!

And it will happen because of any combination of reasons I'm about to reveal in this guide.

So, if you're serious about beating that proverbial "snowball's chance in hell" of ever making millions online - or at least take a realistic shot at earning a decent living from your WooCommerce website...

Then pay close attention as you read this guide all the way through.

But before we dive in, here's a short roadmap of everything you can expect to learn from this guide (use it to quickly navigate through this guide):

Become profitable

In the broadest sense, there are literally only two things you can ever do to make your WooCommerce shop profitable:

  1. DRIVE DOWN YOUR COSTS - Mostly, this comes down to learning how to pay less for advertising, so you can afford to bring a lots of visitors to your shop every day. But even more importantly, you'll need to select products that will actually be interesting enough AND be able to buy/manufacture those products at a price that will leave enough room for profits.
  2. DRIVE UP YOUR SALES - This comes down to a hugely overlooked, yet extremely critical factor: optimizing the front end AND THE BACK END of your WooCoomerce store. If I had to name just two reasons why most entrepreneurs never make any profit, then selecting the WRONG product and never setting up the invisible "back end" of their online stores would deinitely be it.

In other words, your goal is to reduce the cost of attracting fresh eyeballs to your WooCommerce shop and optimize it to turn more and more of those visitors into raving fans and lifelong customers of your business.

And once you can do that, once your costs (of products and marketing) become LOWER than the sales you're making, then there's only one thing left to do...

You need to SCALE your WooCommerce store until it starts bringing in more money than you'll ever care to spend.

Simple, right?

The devil, my friend, is in the details. So let's dive a bit deeper into those.

The perfect products

Take it from someone who's been there before.

I have personally wasted YEARS trying to promote and sell a "bad" product.

The product wasn't a scam or a rip off, it just had a few crippling disabilities I was totally unaware of as a complete newbie.

In other words, if I could go back in time with the knowledge and experience I have today, I would NEVER have picked that particular product.

So in order to help you avoid making the same mistake, I really need to stress this:

IMPORTANT: Selecting the right products for your WooCommerce store is absolutely vital for your success.

Here are a couple of qualities you should look for in a "perfect" product:

The price sweet spot

When it comes to setting the price tag for any of your products, you have to find the sweet spot:

On one hand, the price can't be too high or it will be a much tougher sell than some low(er) cost product.

But on the other hand, the price can't be too low, because...

Even though low prices might make it a bit easier on you to sell a huge number of products, such products could also make it incredibly hard for you to make any meaningful profits.

And there's another limitation.

Most of the time, you probably won't be able to charge a whole lot more for your product than what your competitors can.

But you also won't be able to charge a lot less, because suspiciously low prices can make your product look "cheap" and of questionable quality/origin.

If you're looking for a rough figure, I'd look for products you can sell in or close to the $30-$60 price range.

However, the final sales price of your product(s) is only one piece of the puzzle...

Profit margins

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine was (quite successfully) selling phone cases through his online shop.

His final price tags for the cases was between $10-$20, which can be a bit low when it comes to most products, BUT...

He was buying those phone cases at 50c-60c apiece. (He could score such a low price because he was importing them in bulk).

So without any advertising or shipping costs, the profit margins on those phone cases could be as high as 95%!

This is an extreme case and let me just tell you right off the bat that you're VERY UNLIKELY to sell products at a 90%+ profit margins.

So here's the important takeaway:

>ou MUST find products that leave enough room for profits between the price you pay for the product and the price you can sell it at.

A rule of thumb you can go by, is that you need to be able to sell a product at AT LEAST a 30% profit margin.

Though, the cheaper the product the higher your profit margin will need to be.

Let's move on to another expensive mistake I made with the first product I chose to sell.

Repeat orders

Another type of products you should definitely consider are repeat order products.

Just think about it.

If you're actually good enough to convince your customer to buy a product from you, then this is what will happen with most products...

That same customer, no matter how satisfied with the product you've just sold him, may not ever feel the need to buy anything else from you.

You'll be left with having to hustle hard to convince him to buy something else from you, or you'll simply have to work on attracting new visitors to your store.

But here's the magic that happens when you're selling repeat-order products- for example, a monthly or even weekly delivery of dog food (or anything else people regularly come back for):

Your customer will keep paying you for the same product or service you're providing them with for months, possibly even years in the future.

This means recurring business, profits and brand exposure for you, as long as your customer still needs the product (and doesn't become disappointed with it along the way).

There's a lot more to product selection and I won't go into more details here. But if you follow just these three core rules, you'll already be WAY ahead of the curve.

Now, let's take a look at how you can (and by that I mean you NEED to) optimize the front end of your store.

The front end

Provided they didn't totally miss the mark with product selection, a lot of rookie WooCommerce shop owners make the mistake of starting out with a poorly designed front end.

This could mean any thing from bad product photos, poor product mix, lack of vital information (refund policy, etc.), or any other issues that can cause unnecessary friction in the checkout process (which naturally, leads to lower sales).

But when it comes to WooCommerce, you're in luck.

Because out of the box, WooCommerce offers a nice and professional outlook and checkout flow, even with some pretty basic themes and settings.

So let's take a look at some of the things you'd do well to take care off on your WooCommerce store's front end.

Content and design

The content of your online shop includes everything that's visible to all of your store's visitors:

The home page, the category pages, the product pages, checkout pages, the terms and privacy policy, and whatever other content pages you might decide to put on your WooCommerce store.

Another hugely important factor here is the design that NEEDS to give your online store that professional and niche-friendly look.

Now, unless you can afford a professional web designer and a web developer to have a custom theme built for you, you'll have to go with one of the free or paid looking WooCommerce themes.

(If you're just starting out without a budget, you can relax. Even the free themes will be professional enough for you to get the ball rolling.)

Another hugely important factor are the product photos or videos. You could offer your visitors an otherwise awesome product they'd be extremely satisfied with...

But if all they see are some dark, unclear and low quality photos of said product, that's a virtual guarantee that your sales will be way below their true potential.

Then there's the optional, but useful technical details you can take care of: SEO, page loading speed, remarketing pixels, etc.

But I can't go into more details here, so let's just take a look at another important part of front end optimization that newbie WooCommerce store owners place large hopes in...

Extensions and plugins

There are lots of different WooCommerce extensions and plugins you can install from the WooCommerce Extensions Store.

Some of those plugins are free a lot of them are not, but a huge majority of them were designed for just one purpose...

To add some sales on top of the sales you're already making in your WooCommerce store (or at least to help you run your online business with much less hassle).

And this is very important - these extensions can actually help you make a lot of extra sales (the good ones will more than pay for themselves).

But you can't really count on extensions and plugins to "save" an otherwise poorly designed and optimized WooCommerce shop.

So unless everything else is properly taken care of - the products, the front end, the back end and proper traffic - then plugins most likely won't be ablte to turn your online shop profitable.

But once you do set up the foundations correctly, throwing in a couple of extensions will deliver a nice boost of your sales.

On to another highly profitable, yet widely overlooked (probably because it's literally invisible) part of your successful WooCommerce store.

The back end

No matter how deep your competitors dig, they may never truly discover the full scope of a well-designed back end.

In other words, the back end of your WooCommerce shop will include all the stuff that you can set up to work in the "behind the scenes".

All the back end stuff will keep boosting your sales long AFTER your visitor has already left your store and/or bought a product from you.

I call this the invisible part of your online shop, because most of your store visitors will not notice any of this back end stuff even exists, no matter how much time they spend clicking through your store.

So let's take a look at some examples.

Remarketing

Remarketing is a heavily underutilized method you can use to convince the visitors that have already shown interest in some of the products in your products - but then left for whatever reason - to come back and buy the product(s) they've shown an interest in.

How does remarketing work?

Once a visitor visits a certain product page on your website, you can automatically leave a "tracking cookie" on his computer.

And because of that cookie, whenever that visitor goes to Facebook, YouTube, googles something or visits some other random website, you can show him the ads for the same product he was checking out on your WooCommerce store earlier.

And the effect remarketing can have on your visitor can be quite impressive.

Because very soon after they were checking out a certain product on your shop, they're suddenly seeing that same product all over the Internet.

Not only does this remind them they should come back and order the product they were interested in, they're also thinking that your product and your store must be quite popular and successful since they're being advertised all over the Internet.

And while you still have to pay for those remarketing ads, they're practically guaranteed to work a lot better on people you're remarketing to, than on people who've never visited your WooCommerce shop before.

But here's an even better and more powerful way to boost your sales without spending any extra money on advertising...

Email marketing

Email marketing is hands down the most underutilized, yet extremely powerful method of increasing your sales.

The bloggers know this strategy because when it's properly set up, it can easily double, triple or even quadruple your sales (I know this from personal experience).

Just think about this for a while...

As soon as you offer something of value to your visitors - discounts, special deals, free guides, etc. - so that they subscribe to your mailing list, most of them will stay on that list for months if not years to come.

This means that you only had to pay for advertising once, but you can then email your subscribers over and over again and literally keep doing so for years to come.

And it's true. You can take my car, my house and most of the other stuff I have. You can wipe my bank accounts and take all my cash.

But as soon as I can get to a computer so I can send out a special offer to my email list, I'll soon be able to earn enough money to get back on track.

Never underestimate the long term earing power of email marketing.

At least for the time being, email marketing is still THE KING of online marketing. So stay ahead of everybody else and learn how to use this wonderfully profitable tool alongside your WooCommerce store as well.

Ok, so let's say that you've selected the perfect product(s) and that you've optimized both the front end AND the (usually neglected) back end of your online shop...

Now it's time to bring as many eyeballs as possible to your mean online marketing machine.

Bring traffic

You see, when it comes to attracting people to just about any kind of a website - so not just your WooCommerce shop, but your blog, your Facebook fan page, etc. - you can try to attract some people for free, or simply pay for traffic.

So ultimately, your choice comes down to:

The so-called "on foot" promotion which has a seemingly awesome benefit of being free, but has a HUGE downside I'll tell you about in a minute.

OR

The paid advertising, which has a major disadvatnage of not being free, but is usually the only viable option - if you're entering the ecommerce business to not only survive, but to actually MAKE A KILLING.

Here's what happened when I was faced with the same choice just a couple of short years ago:

Free traffic

When I started my first online business a couple of years ago, I made a rookie mistake of focusing way too much on trying to get free (SEO) traffic to my website.

How did I do it?

By writing lots and lots of content and hustling hard to promote that content on other sites - just so Google would eventually start liking my website and bring eyeballs to my site without me having to pay for it.

It took me a long time, but eventually I became really good at it. So I started getting quite amazing results. But looking back now, I will say this:

IMPORTANT: Whatever you do, don't rely just on free (SEO) traffic for your online business.

Why?

First of all, there's no such thing as free traffic.

Unless you're willing to pretend that investing countless hours of your own time - and potentially having to burn through your savings for months before you start earning any serious money - doesn't count.

And second of all, if you can't make a profit with your WooCommerce shop with paid traffic, then there's something seriously wrong with your product(s), your front end, or your back end.

Which means, that instead of massively scaling your business with paid advertising, you could waste a lot of time struggling to bring more free traffic to your "broken" online shop.

And don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you shouldn't try to optimize your store to possibly attract some SEO traffic as well.

I'm just saying that unless your shop is profitable enough so you can afford to pay for advertising, you'll actually be facing a snowball's chance in hell of ever making it big with free traffic alone.

With that out of the way, let's take a closer look at some paid traffic sources.

Because of the crippling disabilities of free traffic - mostly the fact that it can take forever to build and is NOT easily scalable - a huge majority of shop owners opt for paid traffic instead.

And they're right to try and do so.

Investing a few hundreds of dollars (or even just tens of dollars in some cases) is a fast and reliable way to test your WooCommerce shop.

And it WILL take a couple of these tests before you know how to bring in the right traffic, how to offer the right type of products and how to properly optimize the front and the back end of your WooCommerce store - to a point where you can actually make sizable profits.

But I can basically guarantee this the rewards will come MONTHS, IF NOT YEARS SOONER, than if you tried to do the same with free traffic alone.

And once you have a profitable store on your hands - all you have to do is scale your business to massive levels of revenue!

With that out of the way, there are literally hundreds of different channels you can get paid traffic from.

But these days, most WooCommerce shop owners seem to be attracting people to their stores via Facebook ads, Google Adwords or Instagram influencers.

Time to wrap this article thing up with...

Actionable takeaways

I wrote this guide to building a profitable WooCommerce store to give you a very rough idea about how the whole process looks like.

So here's a short recap of everything that you'll have to do to make your online store not only profitable, but a raging success:

  • First, you'll need to research and pick products for your store that your visitors will actually care about - to a point where they actually open their wallets to you. Selecting the wrong types of products can mean the difference between failing to ever reach profitability and a smooth and easy ride with only minor tweaks and adjustments to your WooCommerce shop.
  • Second, you'll need to make your front end (the visible part of your shop) attractive enough - with awesome design, product photos and a high-converting checkout process.
  • Third, unless you really nail it with your products, you'll need to use remarketing and email marketing to reach profitability by boost the sales in the back end of your store (the invisible part). In any case, a well-optimized back end can easily DOUBLE or TRIPLE the sales you'd be making without it, so neglect it at your own expense.
  • Fourth, once everything else is properly set up, you'll need to bring in the right kind of people - ones that will be so interested in your products that they'll actually start placing orders. The difference between investing a few hundred dollars into paid ads and trying to attract free traffic to your WooCommerce store can literally mean months, if not years of hard work to reach the same levels. So start with at least some paid traffic, if you can.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rok Sprogar

Hi, I'm .

I'm the guy behind all the useful and actionable ecommerce advice you can find on PreciseFunnels.com.