Things to Know About Your New WooCommerce Site

So you’ve decided to join the online marketplace! Welcome, you smart businessperson, you. And luckily for you, PayGo has teamed up with WooCommerce for your online shopping cart solution. And if you don’t know a whole lot about WooCommerce, that’s okay (because we totally knew everything about it and didn’t have to google it like mad after the introduction meeting, that’s for darn sure… and that’s our story and we’re sticking to it). So here are some things to know about your WooCommerce site!

It’s Free

One of the greatest things about WooCommerce is that it’s open source, which means that you don’t have to license anything and it’s free to use. Installation of the storefront is simple, too (but if you don’t want to mess with it, PayGo can help). This also means that any information that you upload belongs to you, and not some other hosting company.

It Has Lots of Extensions

We’ve covered this before, but it bears repeating: WooCommerce has a ton of business-type extensions that will help you keep your store organized and moving like a well-oiled river (I may have mixed a metaphor there, but you know what I mean). Check them out!

It Also Works with WordPress (And Their Extensions)

It only makes sense that the most popular open source site builder would team up with an open source shopping cart. Why is that so great, you may ask? Because WordPress’s thousands of extensions will work with WooCommerce, too!

WooCommerce Works Right Out of the Box

Your WooCommerce site page comes pre-loaded with a ton of stuff you need. It has built-in payment gateways such as PayPal, BACS and cash on delivery (and if you want more, like Amazon Pay, you can easily add them). It also has the ability to calculate your shipping costs, tax rates, and online stock numbers and availability.

Want more information? Check out WooCommerce’s Core Features page! And if you’re ready to get started, you can chat with us online, email us at consultant@paygopos.com or call a PayGo Consultant at 866-545-7047 ext. 1.

PayGo is a solution provider for independent retailers based in Rochester, Minnesota. Our primary focus is on point of sale / retail management software. We also offer a Merchant Account integration, a WooCommerce integration, Digital Marketing Services, and more.

13 Things That Only Crafters Understand

We’re just a bit different.

1. We see the potential in everything.

There’s no such thing as junk. There are only projects waiting for inspiration.

2. Things don’t always work out as planned.

But sometimes, they work out better than we planned.

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3. The smell of a craft store is practically a drug.

It’s what heaven must smell like…

via someecards

4. No one really understands what we do.

It’s because we do everything, TBH.

5. Sometimes it requires a bit of deception.

Worth it.

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6. It’s a great stress reliever.

Crafting

7. We tend to hurt ourselves a lot.

It’s all part of the process.

8. Glitter has become a part of daily life.

It’s everywhere. It’s on our faces and under our fingernails and occasionally in our food.

9. Pinterest has stolen way too much of our time.

I can neither confirm nor deny that I’ve spent entire weekends at the bottom of a Pinterest hole.

 www.shareyourcrafts.net

10. There’s never enough time in the day (or week, or year).

Join the Queen & Co Facebook page for lots of fun scrapbook jokes, craft jokes, rubber stamp jokes and DIY jokes. We celebrate the funny side of crafting!

11. Our homes are littered with half-finished projects.

I’ll finish them one day… maybe…

12. There’s never enough space.

You can craft or you can have extra room, but you cannot have both.

Image result for memes crafts

13. Every moment we aren’t crafting feels like a waste.

And remember…

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pssst… want more like this? Check out our Pinterest page!
PayGo is a solution provider for independent retailers based in Rochester, Minnesota. Our primary focus is on point of sale / retail management software. We also offer a Merchant Account integration, a WooCommerce integration, Digital Marketing Services, and more.

You Need These (FREE!) WooCommerce Extensions For Your Site. Here’s Why:

By now, you probably know all about PayGo’s integration with WooCommerce. And you’ve heard all about how great and easy working with WooCommerce is, and how PayGo can even help with setting it up for you. But just like peanut butter needs chocolate and French fries need malt vinegar (I apologize for nothing!), WooCommerce needs extensions. Oh sure, they work fine without, but that extra zing makes things… better. With that in mind, here are some excellent (and free!) WooCommerce extensions that will make your site a bit more delicious.

What I’m trying to say is, free extensions are nearly as good as fries.

Payment Gateways

Popular Extensions: Pay with AmazonStripe for WooCommerce

These extensions allow your customers to pay through their existing accounts on other big-name sites. The main advantage here is that your customers already trust these other sites with their payment information, and since their info is already probably saved with their account, no one has to get up and walk all the way across the room to get their card out of their wallet (an action that has killed entirely too many online sales in my home). But where is PayPal, you may ask? Well, it’s built in!

International Shoppers

Popular Extensions: WooCommerce Currency Switcher, WooCommerce Multilingual, WooCommerce EU VAT Compliance, Weight/Country Shipping for WooCommerce

No one wants to be excluded, and that includes your shoppers. These extensions accommodate your international customers by giving them the ability to translate your site to their language or pay easily with their own national currency. And then when they’re done, you can easily figure out VAT and shipping costs to their country!

Site Appearance

Popular Extensions: WooCommerce Product Slider, WooCommerce Smart Sale BadgeYITH WooCommerce Zoom Manager

These extensions improve the functionality of your site for your users. the WooCommerce Product Slider adds the ability for your customers to scroll horizontally through your products (kind of like an image carousel), the Smart Sale badge shows your customers how much of a deal they’re getting and the Zoom Manager allows your shoppers to zoom in on your product images.

Behind the Scenes

Popular Extensions: WooCommerce Customizer, Google Analytics, Jetpack

Last but not least, WooCommerce has tons of extensions that’ll make your job much easier. From SEO help to customizability, there’s nothing that these extensions can’t tackle for you.

Want even more free plugins to peruse? Check out WooCommerce’s Free Extensions page!

PayGo is a solution provider for independent retailers based in Rochester, Minnesota. Our primary focus is on point of sale / retail management software. We also offer a Merchant Account integration, a WooCommerce integration, Digital Marketing Services, and more.

Are You Missing Out On Big Business Because of Poor Data Mining?

You may know your customers pretty well. Maybe your kids go to school with their kids, maybe you live next door to some of them, or maybe they’re on your synchronized skydiving team. You probably feel like you have a pretty good bead on what they’re looking for, in your store and elsewhere.

…or do you?

*dramatic sting*

The thing is, your customers may be giving you tons of important information every day that you aren’t utilizing. Every person who walks into your store or buys something from your site is telling you things that you need to know about keeping your business thriving. It’s just a matter of figuring out what information you’re looking for, and how to get it, and that “what and how” is through data mining.

No canaries needed!

Basket Analysis

The place to start your mining is through basket analysis. This does exactly what it says on the box; meaning, you take a look at what your customers are buying and draw conclusions from it. This may seem pretty obvious, but there are a lot of things that basket analysis can tell you that you may not have thought about.

Sometimes there are patterns emerging that you may not have noticed – for instance, are your customers buying certain products together? Are they buying a certain item more at different times of day or seasons of the year? What are customers coming back to buy consistently, and how can you use that information to track what kinds of complimentary items that they might want to buy as well? There could be an untapped market niche there that you haven’t thought about filling. Basket analysis can also show you when customers seem to be cooling on your wares, and that information can lead you to figuring out what you need to do to retain flagging shoppers.

So how might you find this information? Through reports! PayGo’s Reports feature contains an almost dizzying array of information about sales in your store, where you can search by any kind of parameters your heart may desire.

 

Shopper Demographics

This is a pretty basic one, but there may be more information there than you know. People love to talk about themselves, so something as basic as a customer survey could end up being a goldmine for your business. It’s always important to know things like your clientele’s general age, interests and so forth, but don’t be afraid to be direct. Your customers want you to succeed, and they may have some great ideas about inventory, as well as any directions your shop can go in. You could do an in-store survey as well as a survey on your social media sites or via e-mail campaigns.

There’s more than just surveys, though. Your customers give you and your employees lots of important information about themselves and their shopping habits while they’re in your store. PayGo’s Customer Entry System (CRM) was built so you have a place to record all of that information, along with your customer’s email address, phone numbers and any other information that might be important for marketing, inventory or customer outreach purposes.

Case Studies

Case studies may seem like the sort of thing that only big businesses use, but they’re important for businesses of all sizes. Simply put, a case study takes a typical shopper/user/demographic and asks them detailed questions pertaining to your store. For instance, if you wanted to expand into a new product line, you could do a case study on a few typical customers and ask about what kinds of things they would like to see in any store, where they typically do their shopping, what kind of price points they would like to see, and so on.

PayGo is a solution provider for independent retailers based in Rochester, Minnesota. Our primary focus is on point of sale / retail management software. We also offer a Merchant Account integration, a WooCommerce integration, Digital Marketing Services, and more.

PayGo Independence Sale Ends Friday, July 7th

We’re celebrating Independence at PayGo through Friday, July 7th!

That’s right! The fireworks are still happening at PayGo. Well, to be honest, the sale is.
Fireworks
In honor of 7/4, pay only 74% of list price* to get started with PayGo Software (including the super popular PayGoCart) &
PayGo Projects (including our Marketing Services).

Contact our team by e-mailing consultant@paygopos.com to save 26%. Offer expires on July 7th. *Does not apply to monthly fees.

PayGo is a solution provider for independent retailers based in Rochester, Minnesota. Our primary focus is on point of sale / retail management software. We also offer a Merchant Account integration, a WooCommerce integration, Digital Marketing Services, and more.

How WooCommerce Will Help You Win Shoppers on the World Wide Web

Way back in April, we teamed up with WooCommerce for our online shopping cart solution.

It seems like only a few short months ago… we’ve all grown so much since then.

We all know that WooCommerce is super popular, extremely flexible and entirely open-source. Which is great for you and for us. What about your customers?

Great news! It Woos Them!

Many of them are loving it! After all, online shopping isn’t going away. In fact, 51% of Americans prefer to do their shopping online and 96% of all Americans have bought something online (80% of which have done so in the past month). The Youths – Millennials, Gen Xers and so on – make up the most of it (and if you want to get in on that cash, here’s how to market to them). Retail trends are indicating that these shoppers are looking for high-quality, small and independent retailers to buy from.

The average online shopper cares more about shipping time and cost than the interface of your shopping cart. Yet, online shoppers value simple. If your online shopping experience is difficult, it can discourage them from shopping with you. Enter WooCommerce to Woo them into staying with the shopping experience you provide. WooCommerce works hard behind the scenes to make things easier for you and your customers. How? We’re so glad you asked…

The How of Woo

Aha!

WooCommerce provides shopping cart solutions for about 28% of all online stores, so they’ve got a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t (and they’re a small business, which PayGo loves!). They have a slew of plugins and extensions created specifically for you to keep your customers happy and coming back, and to make your job easier. You can get a plugin for anything from marketing to customer tracking to event scheduling. And while your shoppers probably aren’t going to pay attention to what shopping cart your store uses, they will appreciate its simple, no-fuss checkout process, because people love when things are easy.

PayGoCart with WooCommerce is the solution you need to get your shop online and into the future. What do you do if you don’t know where to start setting up your cart? Luckily, PayGo can set up your WooCommerce site for you so you don’t have to take time out of your busy day to tinker with a computer. Just ask!

PayGo is a solution provider for independent retailers based in Rochester, Minnesota. Our primary focus is on point of sale / retail management software. We also offer a Merchant Account integration, a WooCommerce integration, Digital Marketing Services, and more.

Marketing Monday – SEO Part 4 – Tools

Marketing Monday is a weekly-ish feature that is both about marketing and on Mondays, because we’re clever like that.

Welcome back to our SEO series! Today is part four: SEO Tools. If you wanna catch up on all of the gripping, compelling and edge-of-your-seat SEO analysis, you can check out Part 1: Keywords, Part 2: Search Engines, and Part 3: Ethics . Now that you’re all caught up, lets get this finale rolling!

So did you know you don’t have to dive into this whole SEO pool without any water-wings or floaties or even a lone dollar store pool noodle?

…probably should have mentioned that sooner.

SEO is big business due to the unexpected popularity of the internet and how it allows people to call upon all of the known information in the universe as well as any adorable cat picture their heart may desire in under three seconds while waiting for their bus or using the restroom (who would have guessed people would like that?!), so naturally, there are hundreds of companies looking to cash in on it.

Here are a few of the more popular tools you can use to make your SEO work a bit easier.

Google: It goes without saying that the best search engine has the best SEO analytics (but we said it anyways). Google Analytics will show you everything you didn’t know you wanted to know about your website’s performance. It’ll tell you what pages on your site perform best and how to fix up the ones that aren’t making the grade. It’ll also tell you about who is visiting your site, where they visited from, and how they ended up there, along with loads more in-depth information that there isn’t enough space to go into here.

Moz: This is a big one. They do both marketing analytics and inbound marketing (which is an unnecessarily jargon-y way to say that they tell you what you’re doing wrong and then help you to do it right). Their business model is based mainly on inbound marketing, which means they focus on cultivating a company-consumer relationship. Use this one to show your customers how much you love them.

And it’s far healthier and less creepy than conventional methods.

SearchMetrics: this is an organization that likes to focus more on automating the SEO process, which means less time spent on working on your search engine visibility and more time spent on the actual reason you got into business. It also focuses more on hard data, which seems to be working as they’ve won several awards for their software.

Yoast SEO: Yoast is a WordPress plugin that will tell you what your content needs to improve SEO with a simple checklist. And while it is the bane of my professional life and the source of more obscene exclamations out of me than during my years working in a factory, every World Cup since 2002, and that one time I tried to learn how to knit, it’s an invaluable tool for getting the most out of your content. It focuses on both keyword saturation and readability, and shows areas for improvement with a simple red-yellow-green color code and corresponding explanations. And it’s also available as an extension for WooCommerce!

Like this, but it makes you want to throw your computer into a pit of fire. In a good way.

Wanna know more more about SEO and spend hours on Pinterest? Check out our SEO board!

Want to see more Marketing Monday posts? Click here!

Did you know that PayGo has an integration with WooCommerce? You can learn all about it by visiting PayGoCart. We are also able to help you reach your potential and existing customers with our Marketing Services. Email consultant@paygopos.com for a marketing consultation.

PayGo is a solution provider for independent retailers based in Rochester, Minnesota. Our primary focus is on point of sale / retail management software. We also offer a Merchant Account integration, a WooCommerce integration, Digital Marketing Services, and more.

This One is for All of You Superheroes

Here at PayGo, we like to talk about what we’re doing. And even though we’ve been busy with our Knowledgebase gremlins, our WooCommerce integration, and all of our other updates, and assorted magic and technological witchery (that’s what happens in those tech meetings, right? The programmers keep telling me no and to stop burning sage outside of their offices, but I know what I saw, Ethan), we want to take a moment to talk about you.

Yes you, dear reader and amazing independent retailer!

While other people were content to join up and follow someone else’s vision, you knew you had something great in your brain that the world needed. And even though it was tough, and the hours were long, and things didn’t always work out as planned, you achieved your dream!

But we know that independent work is a hard and often thankless job. We started out small too, after all. We’ve walked that road and we’re proud that you’ve entrusted us to walk along with you. Since you don’t hear it enough, we want you to know how important you are.

Let us count the ways!

1. You’ve given your community a place of their own.

I spent several memorable years working at an art gallery/gift shop here in small-town Minnesota. For every new exhibit, event and shipment, we would see a parade of regulars walk through to see what we were up to. When asked, our regulars would talk about how they loved to come in and see the new art, to catch up with the employees and each other, and to buy gifts for their friends and family that were more “personal” and special than getting something anyone could pick up at a chain store. Our artists were all local, and we had a personal relationship with all of them. They loved being able to sell their art, something that was so important to them, to the people that they lived and worked with. We would have gallery receptions and events where our artists would meet our customers, so they could forge new relationships with each other. That one small store gave far more back to the community than any giant blocky building full of impersonal goods ever could.

I’m sure this is a familiar story, though, because you see the same thing every day in your stores. You’ve created something that you love, and much like pet hair or the flu, the love that you put into your work spreads to everyone you come near.

You’re providing a personal touch to your shoppers.

Way too many years ago, I used to work near a small, locally-owned teriyaki joint. The food was pretty similar to other teriyaki places, but I kept coming back for the people. It was owned by a sweet old lady and staffed by a bunch of employees who would run out of the kitchen to greet me every day, and they all knew exactly how I liked my chicken bowl. They knew what all of their locals liked, and for that reason, their dining room was always packed full.

When you love what you sell and what you do, your employees do too. They care about your success, and they care about the customers that come into your store. They know your products and where they came from, and they love giving that information to your shoppers. And without the impersonal rules and regulations and rigid structures that big national chains hang over their heads, employees feel a bit freer to really connect with their customers. And your customers will remember that.

Sweet, delicious customer service.

Independent and local business owners are basically superheroes.

We’ve all seen the movies every summer for the past (refuses to admit age) years where some spectacularly Spandexed superhero spends their time and trust funds saving and protecting the city and the people that they love. Everyone wants to be super, but you’ve already put in the work. According to a study done in Chicago, $68 for every $100 spent at a local business stays in the community, compared to a paltry $43 for a chain. And even better, every $100 spent at a local or independent business generates $45 of secondary spending within the community, as compared to $14 with chains. So you may not be defeating nefarious villains named after multi-appendaged deep sea creatures or abrasive carpet cleaners (unless that’s one of your hobbies), but you’re doing a lot of good for your community. And with far less collateral damage!

…probably.

So cheers to you, visionaries! Cheers to your tireless work and your sleepless nights! Cheers to your love, your accomplishments and your accolades! Cheers to your wonderful work for your community, for your employees and for the world! Cheers to every moment of chaos, every quirk of fate, and every little amazing moment that reminds you why you do what you do!

And thank you from the bottom of our hearts that you’ve made us part of your journey.

PayGo is a solution provider for independent retailers based in Rochester, Minnesota. Our primary focus is on point of sale / retail management software. We also offer a Merchant Account integration, a WooCommerce integration, Digital Marketing Services, and more.

This Is How PayGo Can Help You With Your Store’s Marketing Efforts

Does the ever-faster evolving retail marketplace make you feel as if you’re a passenger on Willy Wonka’s boat at that moment when he starts singing?

There’s no earthly way of knowing which direction we are going. There’s no knowing where we’re rowing or which way the river’s flowing. Is it raining? Is it snowing? Is a hurricane a-blowing?

We sent out a survey earlier this year. Our customers responded overwhelmingly that marketing is one of their biggest challenges. We’re pretty passionate about helping independent retailers. After all, our business is based off providing solutions to meet the needs of retailers. So, we pulled our marketing, sales, and development teams together to create solutions to help our customers adapt and overcome their marketing challenges.

Make Marketing and Sales Wins in 3 Great Ways with a Little Help from PayGo:

  • PayGoCart with WooCommerce! You can now let potential customers know what’s available in your store live using the most popular e-commerce platform. Using PayGo’s Long Description to your advantage, you can improve your SEO without a lot of extra steps too.
  • Marketing tips and tricks. Have you seen our super helpful SEO & Social Media posts? We’re doing our best to post them every Monday. Video tutorials will be coming soon.
  • Digital Marketing Services! Let us know what your current challenges are and we will help you devise a plan to overcome them.

Our view: We’re all in this Wonka, er…Wonky retail world together. The more we row together, the better off we’ll all be in this constantly evolving economy. Well, so long as we’re rowing in the right direction. The right direction is where data and research becomes everybody’s trusted marketplace friend.

3 Marketing Ideas

These ideas were inspired, in part, by reading, Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday.

1. Figure out what products and experiences will make your customers happy.

How? Ask them. We did via the survey. At first, there was concern that customers would not respond. We pushed forward and sent the survey out anyway. We received a 10% response rate. While the response amount wasn’t mind-blowing, respondents did offer us a glimpse of what we could do to make and keep our customers happy. To everyone who has filled out the survey so far, Thank You! If you’re a customer who hasn’t had the chance to fill out our survey yet, please take a moment to by clicking here. We do heart data around here.

2. Generate content and get press coverage.

Write blog posts about popular topics that relate to the products in your store and then post about them on social media. Doing so may lead to press coverage. Reach out to local reporters.  Before starting at PayGo, I wrote the weekly What’s in Store column for the Post Bulletin. The stores who received the most coverage in my column were the ones that posted on social media and/or those who contacted me. I didn’t have time to call those not making my job easy.

3. Host in-store and/or online events.

You could invite your e-mail to a special pre-sale event. Do you need help building your e-mail marketing campaign? We can help with that.

There is much to learn about marketing and only so much time in each day. Do you have questions about how to better market your retail business? Feel free to send questions to melissa@paygopos.com or give a call to our sales team at 866.545.7047 ext. 1.

PayGo is a solution provider for independent retailers based in Rochester, Minnesota. Our primary focus is on point of sale / retail management software. We also offer a Merchant Account integration, a WooCommerce integration, Digital Marketing Services, and more.

Marketing Monday – SEO Part 3 – Ethics and Hats

Marketing Monday is our weekly-ish feature on how to become a marketing ninja warrior. Sword not included.

Welcome back to the exciting and fast-paced world of Search Engine Optimization strategies! We have arrived at part three of our four-part series on SEO (it’s almost over, I promise!), and if you need to play catch up, you can see Part 1 on keywords here, and Part 2 on search engines over here.

If you’ve done any SEO research on your own, you’ve probably noticed a weird amount of hat talk. And with the exception of olde-timey haberdashers, you probably have no idea why hats would play into SEO. Luckily for us (and unluckily for aforementioned haberdashers), it has less to do with headwear and more to do with ethics.

Fancy and well-dressed ethics, but ethics nonetheless.

There are two generally recognized approaches you can take to ethical search engine optimization: White Hat and Black Hat SEO.

White Hat SEO

White hat SEO is the softer, gentler, and almost downright cuddly angle to take when working on your content and SEO efforts.

D’awww….

The focus of white hat SEO is to provide real quality content for your readers, viewers and clients. This tactic focuses more on the people who are looking at your sites, and less on the algorithms that got them there. Some marks of white hat SEO are relevant backlinks (links that other sites use to direct to yours) and long-form, high-quality content. Good white hat SEO can also be spotted by a well-organized and cohesive site. But most importantly, it has relevant keywords and phrases that occur naturally and aren’t shoehorned into the content.

Black Hat SEO

Black hat SEO is the SEO equivalent of that one friend you had in college who liked to argue about rules to the professor in order to get a higher grade on the midterm. The focus of black hat SEO is to bump itself to the top of search results by any means necessary. Instead of focusing on the end user, black hat SEO focuses on the “machine” side of search engines to drive page clicks. It relies heavily on spam, tons of automated and low-quality backlinks, and “scraping,” or stealing, content from other sites, some of which may not be relevant to the site in question. Black hat SEO can also use dirty tricks like posting hidden text that the reader can’t see but search engines can, spamming comment sections with backlinks, or “parasite hosting,” which is when a spammer hosts their website on someone else’s server without permission.

There are consequences for black hat SEO-ers, naturally. Search engines don’t like to be played like that, so they’ve developed tools to track down and ban sites that abuse their algorithms and break their rules.

How can I be sure that I’m not accidentally doing anything that a search engine would ban?

It can be easy to accidentally break the rules sometimes, and no one wants to be caught and penalized for something they didn’t know they were doing wrong. Which is why there are lots of tools and tips out there that will help you be sure that you’re abiding by rules and optimizing your searches as thoroughly as possible. We’ll be covering some of the most popular tools next week in SEO Part 4: Wait, You Mean I Could Have Had Help This Whole Time?!

Still kind of confused about SEO? Want some tips and tricks? Check out our SEO board on Pinterest!

Want to see more Marketing Monday posts? Click here!

PayGo is a solution provider for independent retailers based in Rochester, Minnesota. Our primary focus is on point of sale / retail management software. We also offer a Merchant Account integration, a WooCommerce integration, Digital Marketing Services, and more.