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Lesson 1 – Online Store Site Organization

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In this first lesson of our Build an Online Store Using Shopp we focus on the site organization of an online store. We begin by discussing why good site organization matters and how to achieve it for stores of varying sizes. Then we cover the WordPress and Shopp tools that we’ll be using to organize the site. After which we discuss a couple of approaches to organizing an ecommerce site and then specifically how we will organize the site we’re creating for Mental Management Products. We finish the lesson by showing you how to install Shopp.

Course Description – Watch the Video

  • 6 week course

    • Inspiration
    • Course syllabus
    • Questions on facebook, forum
    • Questions format – text and screenr
    • Webinar format – 90 minutes of presentation with 30 minutes of Q&A
  • What we’re learning – we are creating an online store that sells books, CDs, DVDs and downloadable files

    • The products need to be able to be shipped worldwide and shipping needs to be calculated automatically
    • The products have various formats
    • We need to charge sales tax in some jurisdictions
    • With a specific set of tools
      • WordPress
      • Thesis
      • Shopp
      • Amazon S3
    • Why these tools?
      • Because Shopp meets all of the business requirements
      • Because I’ve tested them together and they work
      • Because both Shopp and Thesis are highly customizable in a similar fashion
      • Because Shopp has a business model that is likely to survive for the long haul.
  • Who is this class for?

    • Anyone who wants to learn the nuts and bolts of setting up an online store using WordPress
    • Beginning to advanced students
    • If you’re advanced – you’ll have to endure some basic instruction
    • If you’re a beginner – hang in there, ask questions, call me on the phone, skype me, email me.
  • Why am I teaching this?

    • Because I love it!
    • We’re at the beginning of the democratization of instruction
      • Inexpensive, high speed broadband
      • Inexpensive video creation tools
      • WordPress
    • The current paradigm has education centered in institutions.
      • This limits access for participants
      • This limits access to teachers
    • The new paradigm allows for the development of knowledge communities like this one where anyone can teach and anyone can learn.
  • What can you do for ME?

    • Ask questions during the Q&A sessions about your site,  Shopp, or WordPress
    • Tell us what you’re doing with your site
    • Ask questions about the materials on Facebook
    • If you are getting value out of this then pass it on

Ecommerce Site Organization: General Concepts – Watch the Video

  • Why Good Site Organization Matters

    • Make it easy for customers to find your site
    • Make it easy for customers to find the right product on your site
  • Small Store – 1 to 10 products

    • For example –
    • The store doesn’t control the organization of the site
  • Medium Simple Store – 10 to 100 products

    • Simple set of categories
      • each category is a single level
      • each product fits into one category
    • For example –
      • A category for Onsies, Tshirts & Romper
      • These could be subcategories of “personalized clothing”
    • Customers browse by category
    • Main catalog page should be a product category page
    • The store should have a fast and simple drill down
  • Medium Complex Store – 50 to 100+ products

    • Hierarchical product categories
      • each category can have multiple sub-categories
      • each product can fit into multiple categories
    • For example
      • she has 3 main categories
      • each category with multiple subcategories
    • Main page is a department directory
    • Each department has a category directory
    • Each category displays the products
  • Large Store – 100+ products

    • Hierarchical product categories
    • Lots of product categories and sub-categories
    • Multiple department levels

Organizing a WordPress Ecommerce Site with Shopp: The Tools – Watch the Video

  • WordPress Default Tools

    • Content types
      • Pages
      • Posts
      • Archive Pages
    • Organizational Elements
      • Categories
      • Tags
  • WordPress Custom Tools

    • Custom post types
    • Custom taxonomies
  • Shopp’s Tools

    • Content Types
      • Products – a custom type
      • The next version creates a custom post type called product
    • Organizational Elements
      • Product Categories – hierarchical
      • Product tags – non hierarchical

Two Approaches to Organizing an Ecommerce Site with WordPress and Shopp – Watch the Video

  • Two Scenarios

    • Shopp Centric
      • Use Shopp for Catalog, Organization and Transaction processing
      • Use all of the Shopp features
    • WordPress Centric
      • Use WordPress for catalog & organization
      • Use Shopp for Transaction processing
  • The Shopp Centric Approach

    • The benefits of a Shopp centric approach
      • Easy
      • Use of Shopp specific widgets
      • Simple product navigation
      • A single point of data entry
    • The disadvantages
      • Proprietary – all data is saved in  the database in a way that is only accessible via the plugin
      • No control over SEO – it happens automatically
      • No control over product display order
      • Difficult to integrate social networking
  • The WordPress Centric Approach

    • The benefits of a WordPress centric approach
      • Not proprietary – you can switch plugins without losing data
      • More control over SEO – especially if you are using the Thesis theme
      • More ways to organize
      • Control over product display order
      • Easily integrate social networking
    • The disadvantages
      • It’s more work
      • Can’t use most Shopp widgets
      • Need to install and configure additional plugins to replace Shopp widgets
      • Additional product navigation required
      • Multiple data entry points
  • We will be using the WordPress Centric Approach

Organization of the Mental Management Products – Watch the Video

  • Our products – Primarily education materials

    • Products specific to a single sport
    • Products applicable to all sports
    • Products with multiple formats
      • Hard cover
      • Paperback
      • Audio CD
      • Video DVD
      • Downloadable audio
      • Downloadable eBook
    • Products as bundles
  • The principle organization will be by Activity

    • Product categories will be by activity
    • Product categories will not be hierarchical
    • We’ll only use one organizing element – product category
    • The various formats will be product variations rather than individual products

Mental Management Store Site Organization – Watch the Video

  • The Home Page – a landing page

    • Featured products
    • Specials
    • Testimonials
    • Social networking
  • Individual Product Pages

    • Custom post type called mms-products
    • Custom taxonomy called mms-product-category
  • Catalog Pages

    • Department page will be a page that shows the various activities
    • Each product category will be a taxonomy archive page
  • Transaction Pages

    • shopping cart
    • checkout
    • my account
  • Promotional Pages

    • testimonials
  • Administrative Pages

    • help/support
    • about
    • contact
    • policies
  • The Blog

    • Traditional blog – with success stories, product announcements, etc
    • Categories will be by topic
    • May or may not use tags

Install Shopp – Watch the Video

  • Purchase and download from
  • Install the plugin
  • Introductory Screen
  • Activate the product
  • Shopp Resources

    • Support site
    • Support documents
    • Support forum

This Week’s Questions and Answers – Watch the Video

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