Stop selling on Facebook. Make a highly social WordPress ecommerce store

I’m Sammy, owner of http://hellokittyvietnam.com. I was invited by the ThemeLead team to share my experience of changing from Facebook as my retail store to my current WordPress powered website. First to say, I’m not good at technology. I barely know how to code and what I think I’m only good at is sales and marketing. With the help of ThemeLead team, I become more familiar with WordPress system and am wow at endless possibilities this CMS can provide. The title of the article may be too general, yet I want to tell you my joyful process of gradually adapting to my new website and good bye to Facebook. In particular, I will tell you how to share your products to social networks automatically from WordPress. If you want to know more about what WordPress can do and what I can advise, the ThemeLead team and I will organize the “WordPress Anything” session on the Theme Lead fan page this weekend. Follow their page and arrange your time to visit. More details will be updated there or you can subscribe to get updated.

Why I stopped selling on Facebook

So, let’s turn back to my story. I started selling Hello Kitty stuffs on my Facebook page since middle of 2013 and now it has more than 107,000 loyal fans. It was an amazing tool to initiate sales and interact with the customers. However as Facebook news feed has become more and more crowded with ads, group conversations, etc. I decided to be more independent from my endless Facebook chat and comment list. Finally, when Facebook changed their algorithm to reduce reach of posts from pages as well as change the fan page interface, which made message inbox totally a pitfall, I decided to move out. It doesn’t mean I stop interacting with my fans, I interact with them in a more scientific way.

The number 1 question was finding a platform that allows me to discuss with my fans on Facebook, who are lazy to move out of their timeline and used to be spoil with direct answers for whatever they want to ask. The number 2 issue is that I want to expand my shop popularity from Facebook to external sources with little discrepancy in terms of cost from Facebook ad campaigns (have to note that Pinterest & Twitter Ads are not available in my country). And the most important question that the platform has to solve is to update my new products in an easiest and fastest way on the platform itself and my Facebook fan pages because I don’t have time to handle both.

Why I choose WordPress as the CMS for my shop

So the third question is what we will talk about today. I did tried to use Facebook shop solution of Ecwid, Shopify or Enomall, which helped to pull my images on Facebook to hosted website and created a Tab on my Facebook fan page that my fans can click to and make orders on the page at the same time. However it didn’t work out. Facebookers seems to focus on no other places than the timeline. They barely go further to discover my shiny Shop tab no matter how hard I have yielded at them. Later on, I found that the approach is wrong. What they did is try to facilitate and keep the fans on Facebook while what I need is that fans move out of Facebook and complete the order themselves,  hence I can record the orders and manage my sale process systematically. With the assistance from ThemeLead team, I built my WordPress site on my own in 5 days thanks to Woocommerce and with the Publicize plugin from Jetpack, I can create content that will be shared or scheduled to share automatically on Facebook, Google +, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Path.

How you can make your WordPress ecommerce store more viral

In terms of product sharing, you have to do a little twist. Although Automatic has guidance on their site, I found it confusing because as I said from the beginning, I’m just a tech dummy. My steps are as following, and you can contribute better method if you know.
Step 1: Go to your post.php file and copy the below code:

add_action('init', 'my_custom_init');
function my_custom_init() {
add_post_type_support( 'product', 'publicize' );
}

Here product is the Custom Post type name, which exists when you install Woocommerce. Save it.

Then you can go to your dashboard and find the Plugins >>> Install Plugins >>> Edit “Jetpack by WordPress.com” or find the jetpack/modules/publicize.php file and add the same code aforementioned then save file. The result shall be like this.

jetpack-product

Jetpack’s Publicize settings on My product page

 

jetpack-product-facebook

The post created on my feeds after publishing

You can add new register custom post types such as events in the same manner with the below code:

// Register Custom Post Type
function custom_post_type() {
$labels = array( 'name' => _x( 'Products', 'Post Type General Name', 'text_domain' ), );
$args = array( 'label' => __( 'product', 'text_domain' ), 'supports' => array( 'title', 'editor', 'publicize', 'wpcom-markdown' ), ); register_post_type( 'product', $args ); }
// Hook into the 'init' action add_action( 'init', 'custom_post_type', 0 );

If you are afraid that the post reach of sharing from WordPress will be less than sharing on Facebook directly because it’s considered as link, I can suggest some of great plugins of WordPress to share photo and custom post that will have the same reach. Moreover, the change of process has to come with change in mindset, the time you spend on caring customers will be exchanged with more time for yourself, wider popularity and more freedom. Now I can try campaigns such as coupon codes, free shipping, or happy hours which I couldnt do before. It’s your turn to set up a WordPress store now and I would suggest ThemeLead Team to help you with their new & amazing multipurpose theme with great sample Shop pages, which I will use for my new lingeries brand.

Do you agree or disagree? Don’t forget that the ThemeLead team and I will organize the “WordPress Anything” session on the Theme Lead fan page this weekend. Follow their page and arrange your time to visit. More details will be updated there or you can subscribe to get updated.

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