If your organization wants a flexible, intuitive and effective way to present your products – and the story behind them, WooCommerce is the best alternative by far, according to Kristian Sveholm, general manager of ePilot.
The greatest benefit of WooCommerce, compared to other webshop platforms is in fact the tight link to WordPress, and the ability to create marketing and editorial content in sales processing.
The e-commerce specialist ePilot offers advice and operational assistance on online stores, and works together with Dekode on several online stores for NGOs. General manager at ePilot, Kristian Sveholm, believes that organizations can benefit greatly by combining the WordPress platform with the WooCommerce online store.
– You get optimal interaction and can link a lot of editorial content on your web pages to products in the online store. For many organizations, the online store is also partly about activities on national initiatives, sales of membership and symbolic products, says Sveholm.
It’s quite valuable, according to Sveholm:
— We have seen this in action for several projects. With strategic layering of communication, the online store revenue has more than doubled, even without making changes to the marketing budget.
The online store must be expedient. What you communicate about the products should be closely linked to what the organization is about, its core business.Kristian Sveholm, ePilot
WooCommerce is simple and effective
– When you go into further development of the online store and add functionality and plug-ins, my experience is that WooCommerce is way simpler and more cost-effective than other solutions. I’ve worked with several different platforms, and most of them are complicated systems. If you don’t have a major development budget, you should probably expect a lot of bugs with several other systems, says Sveholm.
He also emphasizes that WooCommerce is easily comprehensible and fast to work with for editors. It is both intuitive in terms of prices and content, and offers excellent measuring tools for statistics. Its flexibility allows you to set up ad hoc projects on your own – as the Church’s City Mission did with the Orange Scarf campaign. In their online store you may not only read about the campaign itself – you get to buy yarn, read recipes and buy several types of campaign merch.
When the products are not the core business
According to Sveholm, you have to think a little further than just the products you are planning to sell in your online store. You must first define why you should have an online store, and what you should offer.
This has been particularly important for organizations and foundations where the store is not the core business, but rather part of many activities:
– The strategy is to be able to define who we are, what we are. The online store must be expedient. What you communicate about the products should be closely linked to what the organization is about, its core business. This is important for the cost of the project, longevity and expectation management, says Sveholm.
WooCommerce differs from other solutions in that you get to benefit from WordPress’ publishing, according to Sveholm. You’ll be able to work more with the visual presentation of what you are going to sell AND convey to a greater extent
– I think it’s important having the opportunity to work with more of the visuals elements when you communicate your product catalouge. Especially when it’s about products that have a background story and you wish to emphasize what the customer is actually buying rather than just the product itself, says Sveholm, and refers to the Church City mission (Kirkens Bymisjon) online store.
The Church City mission has workshops as a work initiative. At the workshop they produce crafts with the online store as a point of sale. In other words, the organization is not only selling the products itself, it also sells a daily livelihood for people who find themselves out of the ordinary labor market.
– There are work measures in various branches of care: Drugs, the elderly, psychiatry – the online store will be the only workplace for those who, for one reason or another, have fallen outside the ordinary labor market. The purpose – the core business – is to provide work. As long as the online store keeps selling, jobs will be created, says Sveholm.
Sveholm also refers to The Norwegian Sea Rescue Society (Redningsselskapet) online store. Many of the articles are linked to specific products, such as life jackets and other essential products for safe water travelling.
In other words, the online store offers security products related to RS’s core business: Saving lives. The product range will increase customer safety and simplify the rescue crew’s work and everyday life. All profits from the online store go directly to the organization’s humanitarian work.
A couple of example pages from this webshop could be:
WooCommerce is suitable for fundraising
According to Sveholm, WooCommerce and fundraising are a good match: You are rigged for scaling and needs, and you’re also able to work editorially with the dissemination of what you want to sell.
– A big advantage of WordPress and WooCommerce is how to work with images, text and content. You can communicate and customize the content exactly as you want and see fit. In this type of online store for organizations, you communicate in different ways than you do in a standard online store with products. You can easily explain and communicate that customers support a cause by shopping in the online store, says Sveholm.
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