Most of our clients while starting out with their WooCommerce stores, have this question in their minds. Can they actually make money from their WooCommerce site, and what are the most effective ways to do that?
You can make money from your WooCommerce site but it does not happen overnight. It needs persistent work in the right direction for quite a while. If you effectively drive the right traffic to your site, or to a funnel that’s optimized for conversion, you will start making money sooner than later.
Making money from your online store needs you to understand how to generate targeted traffic, (whether organic or paid) and drive it to your site. You also need to know how to create the right offer on your site that converts this traffic.
In Order to make money from your WooCommerce store, you first need to learn how to generate traffic. The shortest way to generate traffic is through paid advertising. Online ads are broadly classified into two types, search engine ads, and Social Media ads.
Search Engine ads are the ads that appear at the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) when you search for a product (i.e. you ‘Google’ a product). In order to run profitable Google ads (or other Search Engine ads) you need to learn how to optimize your ads with time. If the quality score of your ads account is good enough, you will get a low cost per click (CPC) which increases the likelihood of you making a profit.
Social media ads appear on your feed when you are browsing your social media. Most traffic from social media is generated from impulsive clicks from users who cannot resist themselves clicking an attractive ad on their feed.
Once you get a click on your ad, you need to drive the traffic into your sales funnel. In most simple terms, a sales funnel is a series of your offerings that you present to your customer one by one and expect to enhance the total value earned per customer.
For example, if you are selling photography equipment, you can first offer them a $50 tripod. Once a customer makes a purchase, the very next moment you offer them $200 lighting set. Next, you offer them a $500 camera and finally a $2000 photography course.
Sales funnels are amazing online selling tools, which may sound overwhelming at first, but it is actually very simple. You just want to increase the average order size (revenue) per customer to maximize the profit since every customer has come to you at a cost (that you paid for running ads).
If you are starting out, you might want to use paid ads to make some quick initial sales, but the downside to ads is that it stops bringing you traffic the moment you stop spending money on them. Building an organic online presence, on the other hand, is a more permanent route and brings better returns in the long run.
Growing organically involves working on your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so that it naturally appears on search results without paid ads. It can also mean growing your brand’s overall authority, such as building a followership on social media or subscriptions to your blogs.
Organic growth is like working out to get in shape. It takes some time to build up but retains for some time even if you stop working on it. Paid traffic on the other hand is putting on a rented and expensive body suit. It can instantly make you look good but stops working the moment you stop renting the suit.
Once you have the traffic coming on your WooCommerce site, your earnings depend on how your offerings on your site. With WooCommerce, you can sell physical products, digital products, services, and subscriptions to make money.
One of the ways to sell physical products is dropshipping, where you do not own the product or its inventory, but rather get it shipped from the manufacturer once you receive the order. You can create the product page on your WooCommerce store like any regular product, except for the fact that you don’t really have the product in your physical store, (or your garage, in case you are like most start-ups).
A popular way to run a dropshipping business is by scoring products from Chinese manufacturers. Ali Express (aliexpress.com) is a website from which you can order the product and directly input your customers’ addresses and get it delivered to them.
After starting with dropshipping and once you start getting some orders, you might consider buying some inventory. You can now operate your business in a wholesale model, i.e. you can buy some inventory in bulk and store it at your place. Alibaba (alibaba.com) is a subsidiary of Aliexpress and is a great place to make bulk purchases.
In case you are not ready to sell your own products, you can try the affiliate marketing business model. Here you sell the products of another business that you are affiliated with. In WooCommerce, you can create great product pages and mention all the details of the products, except for the fact that these pages are linked to another website that owns those products. If a customer clicks on your link and buys these products, you make an affiliate commission.
An effective way to improve your sales on WooCommerce is to create your brand personality and make it visible on your site. Your customers should be able to connect with your brand and that will keep them coming back to you.
You should add a page like ‘Our Story’ or ‘About Us’ on your site and tell a genuine brand story that resonates with your target customers. Your brand colors and voice tone should be consistent throughout your website.
Another handy trick to make your customers come back to your site is to use enable a wishlist, referral bonuses, and customer loyalty discounts. These will build a long-term relationship with your customers.
You can also add a chatbot to your website so that your current and potential customers can feel connected with you. In case you are still a small business and are not inclined to invest in chatbots, you can add a WhatsApp icon and connect it to your personal WhatsApp number. This will enable your customers to directly interact with you can get quick responses to their queries.
You should always be on your toes, researching the most effective marketing methods that are working at the moment. The Sales Funnel model explained above has been quite popular and effective for the past couple of years, soon some other methodology might be in and take over. For example, you should immediately start researching what impact ChatGPT and other AI tools might have on marketing in your industry in the coming years.
According to the online data tracking platform Little Data, the average revenue per customer for WooCommerce stores is US$ 105. Anything above US$721 puts you in the top 10%, while anything below US$ 41 means you are in the bottom 20%. An average WooCommerce business should have this number between US$ 55 and US$ 320.
(Source: Little Data)
Having said that, the average revenue per customer depends on the niche in which your online business operates. For example, the average order value for multi-brand retail was $124 as per July 2022 data. For high-value products like jewelry, this number goes to $204, while for furniture, this number stands at $63o
WooCommerce is a powerful platform for building all kinds of online businesses, be it eCommerce or otherwise. If you use the right marketing channels and stay persistent on the right path, you can definitely earn money and can even build a stable business.