This Friday, as we await the highly anticipated full release of WordPress 3.5, our thoughts turn to the growing number of individuals and companies who are utilizing their templates for the purpose of online retail. Only a few years ago, programming a website to act as a commercial online point of sale would have been next to impossible without advanced knowledge of coding and/or a solid development team in your pocket. Yet, thanks to the innovations that have been made and incorporated into premium templates by over a dozen companies, relative WordPress beginners can market and sell their products online in more ways than ever.
When we say Online Retail, we’re referring to e-Commerce. No longer do you have to be part of a corporate mass merchandise firm like Amazon to get your products out to a large audience. There are plenty of premium downloads available on today’s market that let you insert content quickly and get a site up and running in a matter of minutes rather than weeks/months.
How Do Online Retail Themes Work?
In order to make a large amount of sales online, you’re going to need a greater amount of functionality than you would from just a normal WP blog template. This is due to the fact that online shoppers expect a pleasant experience from the first moment they “step foot” into your virtual store until the final checkout.
When we take a look at Cloth by Color Labs, we see a fully responsive theme that will automatically adjust the content (i.e. your product list) to fit the screen of mobile device and tablet computer users. This consideration alone can often “make or break” a premium template due to how quickly some smart phone users will exit a site if they’re forced to “pinch” and “thumb-scroll” their way through a non-responsive design.
Cloth works off of the Backbone Framework, and is compatible with popular e-Commerce plugins such as WooCommerce, Jigoshop and WP E-Commerce. This allows the theme to outline a large amount of merchandise and organize it into categories that can be browsed by the front-end customer.
WooCommerce Management System
Up until September of this year, WooCommerce was known as a plugin which came included in a number of online retail themes offered by WooThemes. In an effort to revamp its image, the company decided to switch to a new management system; incorporating WooCommerce into all its future downloads. This in turn has turned WooThemes into the “go-to” locale for those looking to set up a shopping hub.
The ability to use a new theme that you have downloaded for a number of private and commercial purposes (such as photography showcasing, a news feed or magazine site, blog, etc.) along with having a complete, working, and malleable platform to sell just about anything can provide WordPress users with a significant advantage over those who are still going the traditional route.
WooCommerce implements payment gateways that let your customers securely buy products from your site through a major credit card and/or PayPal with minimum hassle. The system also comes with a fully customizable back-end in order to ensure you have just the right look and feel for the specific merchandise you’re marketing, plus dashboard widgets that give customers one-click methods for purchasing items and adding them to their virtual Shopping Cart.
It’s hard to visualize how advanced premium themes will be in just a few short years, but you can likely successfully wager that enhancements will include even more catering to the mobile device market while adding easier ways to organize page layouts when it comes to giving virtual shoppers a place they can call home. One thing appears certain: the online retail WordPress theme market is here to stay.