We’re more than half-way into the first month of the year and I still have to make a list of goals (resolutions) for the year. I typically also create a checklist of things I want to do in the year. If you’re a store owner, you’ve probably thought about things you want from your business and online store this year. If you’re struggling for ideas, here is a list of 8 basic things you can put on your store checklist for the year.

Store checklist: 1. SEO

There are a number of ways you can improve your store’s search rankings (or search engine optimization). This ranges from having an SSL certificate to ensuring you fill out meta descriptions and fields on your pages, posts, and products.

You can use free plugins like Yoast SEO to guide you on how to improve SEO for specific pages and posts. If you haven’t been doing this regularly, it may be a bit tedious in the beginning, but gets easier if you make a habit of it when creating new content.

You can learn more about store SEO and WooCommerce product SEO in previous posts.

Store checklist: 2. Store blog

WordPress is built with blogging as its core. You can use your store blog to not only improve SEO through regular posting, but also create useful content for your customers and potential customers. Maintaining a blog about your products and industry topics can help establish your brand as an authority in your market.

You can start with topics like explaining use-cases for your products, customer stories, how-to articles for your products, store announcements, and more. Learn more about blogging in this post.

Store checklist: 3. Digital/virtual products

Digital or virtual products are typically easier to manage since you don’t have to keep track of inventory or shipping. If you sell physical products on your store, you can complement these with paid or free digital products for your customers. These can be as simple as gift cards for your store, eBooks, or subscription- or member-based tutorials.

I go over how to sell digital products in a previous post.

Store checklist: 4. Email marketing

Emails are still one of the highest ROI marketing channels available for online stores. Even before you start writing emails, create a newsletter form on your store so that you can start building your mailing list. You can then enhance and create lifecycle email campaigns to engage customers on an ongoing basis. Here is an article on how to use email marketing for WordPress stores.

Store checklist: 5. Social selling

Even though email is a higher ROI channel, having a presence and selling on social media is important for stores as customers spend time on these platforms as well. Social posts are easier to share, are easy to engage with, and are highly visible. Learn more about steps to improve your social presence.

Store checklist: 6. Product recommendations

Add Amazon-style product recommendations on your store to show customers related products, upsells, cross-sells, and product bundles. This makes it easier for customers to see other products they may be interested in, and can help increase the average order value for your store. You can add sections on product pages, and on emails to customers even after they’ve purchased on your store.

Store checklist: 7. Customer service

As your store grows, so will the demands on your customer support teams. You will not only have to engage with more customers, but also be present and have a plan for where your customers engage with you. This can get overwhelming. Here are a series of articles on improving and managing customer service for online stores.

Store checklist: 8. Phone support

There are pros and cons to offering phone support for your customers. Pros including quicker resolution to simple problems without a lot of email back-and-forth, and a more personal experience for your customers interacting with your brand. However, the cons are greater resources dedicated to phone support, and poor customer experience for complex problems that may not be solved over the phone. Take a look at our post about phone support and when it may be suitable.

eCommerce store checklist: Summary

Just like New Year’s resolutions we use in our personal lives, you probably have goals and things you want to improve on your eCommerce store. You can use this list as a guide for some essential things you can implement to enhance your store.

Are there other things you’d add to this list? What are areas of focus for your online store this year? Please tell us in the comments below.

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Posted by Jai Sangha

Jai is a regular contributor to Sell with WP, and helps merchants improve their WordPress eCommerce businesses with plugin reviews, marketing or customer service tips, and tutorials.

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