A member who plans to create an online store to sell jewelry wants advice on integrating WP eStore with her blog. She also wonders if WP eStore is a good solution for selling her products and wonders if a simple PayPal “buy now” button would be sufficient. I discuss integrating WP eStore, and then the capabilities of the plugin.
Rick: Okay so we are going to start here today and I have a couple of questions. The first one is from Patricia. And Patricia, I’d like to unmute your microphone so that you can sort of expand on this conversation here a bit but she asks, “I would like to talk about the best way to integrate WP eStore and blog, how to use blogs to promote store products.” I unmuted the wrong microphone. Here we go, Patricia, are you there with us?
Patricia: Yes, hi I’m here.
Rick: Hi, great. So can you tell me what you mean by that?
Patricia: I mean that a very short introduction… I am making jewelry… female jewelry and so far, I am selling it through galleries and gift stores. I have quite a few accounts into the retail world but I would like to expand by doing my own retail online of different line of product. And I don’t want to go in things like (1.32) I’d like to have my own and I think that… and I have started a blog. I’m also attending a class about blogging more… technically like you but more about you know, how to going people to your blog blah blahblah… something with (1.55). And I don’t see in my… I’d like to open a store using WP eStore and I have looked at all your tutorial and I did the Twitter and stuff like that and it looked like it’s going to fit what I am doing. But I don’t know how to integrate it with my blog so that my blog can come at my store like… is it in a special area of my website? Are the 2 going together? And also, sometimes I’m wondering is WP eStore the best solution and not just put some buy me PayPal button on my post.
Rick: Yeah, well, okay so in terms of integrating the WP eStore with your blog, the method that I teach in the lessons has the blog posts and the product posts intertwined. They’re all blog posts and then what we do is we exclude the product post from the blog display. So if you go to the blog page, you don’t see the product post. You only see the blog posts. And you know, I began that…creating that lesson series a year ago before custom post types was really available and I’m planning on adding a 2nd permutation to that by using custom post types for products and then letting the blog just be a blog. And you have both of those choices you know, whether or not you combine them together or whether you separate them. It’s a little easier to combine them together you know, because you can rely very heavily then on the sort of the standard WordPress categories and tags and the ways that WordPress displays that. So it’s simpler to use them in combination. Now the reason why I teach WP eStore rather than some other product is because WP eStore will link a product to a post or a page which is… what I think you need for search engine optimization.
You know, many of the ecommerce plugins create their own database entries for everything and all of the information is contained inside of that database. And then it could be difficult to index that content or for Google to find it and display it. And so, the nice thing about using WP eStore is that they’re automatically linked to a post or the facility to linking it to a post is great so you can have a nice, long description as a blog post and then it shows up in search engine optimization or it shows up in Google’s index. Now the difference between just having a straight buy now button and then having WP eStore would be that you have a fairly easy way of creating a product catalog. You know, you can display… if you have 100 products and they’re grouped in different categories, you can display all of those product categories as you know, it’s sort of a nice compact style. And so if you were doing just PayPal buy now buttons, you have to do some custom programming in order to make it look like that or in order to make it work that way. It’s certainly possible not to use a buy now button rather than WP eStore but you know, there’s a lot of functionality in WP eStore that you don’t get if you just use a buy now button.
Patricia: It sounds like I’m going to check WP eStore from what you said so…
Rick: Well and the latest version of WP eStore has the facility for having multiple product images associated with the product. And so, for you know, something like jewelry, I mean I don’t know if you want more than one photo of the product or not. But if you did, WP eStore has a nice little method of including multiple images which is easy enough to do in a post as well but if you want somebody who liked to hover over a catalog item and see the various images before they go to the post, WP eStore has that facility now. And I guess one other thing you might consider is that WP eStore integrates nicely with an affiliate plugin and will automatically assign an affiliate commission. And so, one way you may consider marketing your site is by you know, offering an affiliate commission to people who send sales to your site and WP eStore automatically integrates with an affiliate program.
Patricia: That’s a great idea. I like that.
Rick: Yeah, it’s a very common practice on the net right now. You know, if you purchase WP eStore off of the link on my website for example, WP eStore pays me something like… I don’t know… $12 or something like that. You know, because they are paying me an affiliate commission for people who purchased their product off of my site. And I have just set up my own affiliate program which you can you know, if you’re logged in, you’ll see the little affiliate thing in the navigation bar which didn’t use to be there. And this has changed you know, make money if you click on that. It takes you over to my affiliate area where you can sign up and become one of my affiliates and get paid you know, for people that come from your site to my site. And so, it’s definitely a system…a good system for marketing a site and marketing a product and it’s very, very common. So it’s just another thing you can do with WP eStore.
Patricia: Okay yes. Okay, you solved it. Absolutely. I’m going to work on that then and take that. Now that I feel that this is the solution for me.
Rick: You know, it’s an easy solution to implement too. I mean, I think that’s the other thing is that some of the other…there’s one other plugin that I liked to use sometimes for clients and it’s a shop plugin. But it’s quite a bit more complex to use than WP eStore is and I mean, it really… I think it’s a nice, simple plugin that has a lot of power to it. And I’m going to be doing some updated videos here very soon, probably next week, I’ll do one live session on… either that or I’ll schedule a seminar on upgraded version of WP eStore and talk about some of the new features and stuff like that. I think it’s a good choice.
Patricia: Okay, okay. Sounds right, I’m going to do that. Thank you very much.
Rick: Okay, you’re welcome Patricia. Thank you for participating.