In my business, December is often a slow month. Many of my clients are either too busy selling to think much about marketing or are focused on taking a much needed rest from their usual business pace. The result is I often find larger than usual blocks of time in my schedule for projects that have been on my backburner. This year, I had a chance to update the online store for The Practical Herbalist.
Our previous store was a freebie I installed quickly earlier in the year to handle sale of back episodes of Real Herbalism Radio, The Practical Herbalist’s bi-weekly podcast. At the time, it was a simple, cheap solution that worked then. Honestly, though, it didn’t provide the functionality I really wanted.
The Practical Herbalist’s new online store uses WooCommerce, a full-featured, out of the box solution for WordPress. What I like about WooCommerce is that its product listings are easy to create, much like creating a post or page in WordPress. That means I’ll be able to get my partners in herbalism (Candace and Sue) or my graphic design intern to add the rest of the podcasts and even a selection of herbal products to the store over the first few weeks of 2016. It doesn’t take any special design knowledge or expertise beyond what they’ve already got–the skills they need are the same as those they already use to create posts for The Practical Herbalist, Real Herbalism Radio, and Practical Herbalist Press websites.
Beyond the ease with which we can add items to our new WooCommerce store, I love that WooCommerce offers customer payment through Paypal with no strings attached. When they’re ready, I can potentially add further payment options using paid-for plugins, but the basics WooCommerce provides are perfect for The Practical Herbalist’s current needs.
I think the best part about this particular project was that I was able to keep it pretty cheap. WooCommerce itself is free. That’s a major bonus in my book. Since I’m co-owner of The Practical Herbalist Group, LLC, I’m not getting paid directly for the handful of hours it took for me to install the store and train my partners. Still, since we already had text and images, knew what the prices would be, and had our products ready to go, the installation was super easy. Had I billed The Practical Herbalist for the work, I would have charged under $400, probably closer to $300, for the whole shabang. That’s not a bad price tag for opening the door to another revenue stream.
If you’ve been thinking about adding an online store to your website, I’d love to lend a hand. Call me today for a free consultation.
The Practical Herbalist
Candace Hunter and Sue Sierralupe