Now that more businesses are trying to get their products and services online, the need for Ecommerce is greater than ever. That means it’s a GREAT time to learn how to build online stores for your clients. This does however come with a big challenge…quoting an Ecommerce project.

The biggest problems I’ve run into when developing Ecommerce projects was due to not effectively getting all of the details of an online store figured out (and accounted for) in the proposal phase. I want to help you with that so I’m going to dish out the most important things to figure out and factor into your proposals when quoting an Ecommerce project.

Some important things to note:

  • All these points can be questions you pose to your potential client AND can be deliverables in your proposal
  • This can go along with your standard website quote as either a separate line item section
  • I use WooCommerce but these will apply to any ECommerce solution, like EDD, Shopify, etc

Without ado, here are my Top 10 Tips for Quoting an Ecommerce Project:

  1. Number of products and variations of each product – sometimes you can get into trouble if a client says they only have 15 products but you find out the variations are extremely complex. Can turn into triple the work that way.
  2. Number of product categories – you’ll be creating pages likely for each category or at least several sections with the different category options)
  3. Shipping settings – you’ll want to make sure you know where they’re shipping, if it’s just certain states or globally.
  4. Tax settings – similar to shipping, you’ll want to know of any special tax settings depending on their products and where they ship.
  5. Payment gateways – need to find out what payment gateways they plan to use. I always try to sell Woo clients on just Paypal and Stripe but some have gateways already set up that need to be integrated
  6. Order fulfillment – need to find out who’s actually going to be fulfilling the orders. If it’s them or if they use a 3rd party fulfillment service for actually receiving and sending the orders.
  7. Special integrations – it’s good to find out if they plan to integrate any sort of packing slips, wholesale order system or things that happen AFTER the sale before shipping
  8. CRM integration – another important aspect is figuring out if they already have a CRM like Mailchimp or Active Campaign set up or if you’ll need to assist with that. Big part of WooCommerce as they need to have an active and updated database. And sometimes that’s integrated with the online store.
  9. Additional add-ons – always good to find out if they’ll want any time of functionality like advanced discounts, pre-orders, subscriptions, etc that might require additional plugin purchases if it’s not standard with WooCommerce. I show some good add-on options in my course.
  10. Client training – probably don’t need to explain this but make sure you’re covered for training them with updating and managing products and orders.

Those are the 10 main areas I’ve found most important to account for when quoting Ecommerce projects.

Links mentioned:

Did I miss any links that I mentioned in the episode? Let me know! Drop a comment below.

Hope these tips have helped and if so, be sure to leave a comment below! Or if you’ve experienced some other ares to be really valuable to figure out during this stage, let me and others know by leaving a comment below!

Full Transcription for Episode #032

Josh 0:02
Welcome to Episode 32. In this one, I’m going to give you some tips for quoting an e commerce project. This is more important and timely than ever right now. Because right as we’re in the middle of this, whenever you want to call it Coronavirus, COVID-19 crisis and side note, I know you’re sick of hearing about it just like I am. But the fact is more businesses are trying to get their products and services online now more than ever, which means the need for e commerce development is also greater than ever, this is really good news for you as web designers, because there’s a lot of opportunity here.

Josh 0:55
Now the trick is though, with E commerce, I’ve found one of the most difficult aspects of it is the proposal in the quoting stage. Reason being is because there’s just so many areas to consider and aspects that go into an E commerce project. I’ve found that and I’ll just be completely transparent with you. I’ve had some ecommerce projects that have gone great, and we’ve gone really well. And I’ve had some that have been, we’ll call them very good lessons learned. And the majority of those problems stemmed from the quoting phase because I didn’t get all the information that I needed. And I didn’t really guide my client to figure out all these little things that can stack up in an E commerce project. And it can be very costly. And it can be you know, just there’s a lot of problems that can occur if you don’t have a really good quote in place for an e commerce project.

Josh 1:48
So I wanted to put these points together for you, we’re actually going to cover 10 tips, 10 areas, that of things that you can put into your quotes and your proposals for E commerce projects. This actually stemmed from a question in my Divi web designers Facebook group, so if you didn’t know, I have a Facebook group that is a Divi support group. And I’ll make sure that’s linked below in the show notes of this episode. So I encourage you to join that if you’re using Divi. But someone was asking about some additional areas because it was her first time doing an E commerce project a quote. And she asked about what areas you might consider adding in to like a questionnaire or the quoting process. And I gave this gal these 10 tips that I employ and all of our E commerce quotes. And so I wanted to share them with you.

Josh 2:35
So we’re going to cover these 10 areas. And there’s a couple points I want to make before we dive in. Number one, these are things that you can actually ask your clients. So these are potentially questions that you can either put into a questionnaire or you can just email your clients and get answers to. But these are also deliverable. So these are things that you can literally put as line items in your proposal and fill in with additional details if you want. And we’ll talk about how to do that moving forward here. But I just wanted to make sure you know, each one of these 10 points are questions and deliverables that you can both both ask your clients and put into your proposal.

Josh 3:13
So one thing I do want to encourage you to do is at the end of this episode, if you found these to be really helpful, make sure you go to the show notes for this episode, you can just go to Josh slash 032. And that will take you to the show notes. And you can actually copy and paste all these and use them however you’d like. Now one thing I wanted to mention as well is that this can also be a separate line item in your quote. So this will be something that’s separate from your standard web website development line item in your however you do a proposal or a quote. So for those of you who have been through my web design business course, you’ve seen what my proposals look like. And just as kind of an FYI, I generally have like a line item that says website build or website redesign depending on the case. And then there’s a list of deliverables. Now I don’t go too extravagant, I try to keep it fairly simple.

Josh 4:04
So my under my client understands what we’re doing. But I do use those as items as like deliverables. And it also covers our butts as well. So it’s easy for the client to understand. And then we make sure we cover our butt as the designer that says, hey, here’s exactly what we’re going to do. So when it comes to the WooCommerce side of things I view these things should really be separate. It should almost be a separate line item for your E commerce development. And then all these things you can basically put under your your your WooCommerce or e commerce development. And these can be line items that you’ll fill out with more detail. So just wanted to make sure you knew that these, again are questions but they can also be in the proposal and they should be potentially separate from the website build because you might be doing e commerce as a part of a build for 10 or 15 page site for example.

Josh 4:53
Now the last thing I want to mention before we dive into these is I use WooCommerce I use WooCommerce and Divi they work great. Together, but these points are not specific to WooCommerce. These will apply if you’re using any e commerce solution if you’re using add, which is easy digital downloads for WordPress, or if you’re not even using WordPress, maybe you’re using Shopify or something, these are going to work for you and they’re going to be really beneficial. These are universal global things that will work through any e commerce bill. So with that in mind, I do want to mention that I do have a WooCommerce Divi beginners course. So if you’re new, and you want to start doing e commerce builds, or maybe you’ve dabbled in it, but you really want to take it to that next level, my course will help you from point A to point B, get ready to start building awesome online stores WooCommerce in Divi, so if you’re interested in that, be sure to check out the link in the show notes for this episode, because I’m going to give you guys a special discount off the course it’ll just be on this page for the show notes.

Josh 5:53
Again, just go to I really want to help you guys in every way, with this opportunity to build e commerce projects. Now without further ado, let’s get into these 10 points. Again, these are the most important factors that are questions but also deliverable items when you’re quoting these e commerce projects. And we’re going to start out number one with figuring out the number of products. And here’s the big point, the most important thing, the variations of each product product. So where I did get into trouble, in a couple e commerce bills that we’ve done, is I asked about the number of products. So I asked the client, hey, how many products are you going to have in this site. And if they say, maybe 15 products, I’m like, oh, that doesn’t sound bad. Only 15 products shouldn’t be you know, shouldn’t take too much time.

Josh 6:44
But come to find out. If the client had different variations of the product and variations, if you’re brand new to e commerce, what a variation is, would be maybe a different size, maybe a different color, maybe a different style, or a different type of that product. Well, that product can easily turn into five or 10 or 20 versions of the product, all in one main product. So for example, if they have 15 products, and they’re all shirts, let’s say one shirt has three different colors, and it also has five different sizes, and then maybe a couple different styles. Well, that one product could technically be right there 30 to 40 variations of that product. And I often view a variation of a product as its own separate product, because you have to manage all these different variations. If this client is selling 15 different shirts, but they’re all different sizes and colors, chances are, you’re going to have to manage the stock of all these different variations.

Josh 7:47
So each variation is going to be kind of its own product, it’s going to have its own stock, it’s going to have its own pricing often. So you really want to consider not only the number of products, but the variation of each product. So we are wrapping up a big ecommerce project right now it’s been the biggest one we’ve ever done. There’s I’m laughing, kind of in a sarcastic way, because I thought this is the exact problem that I was I was talking about, I essentially quoted this for 100 products, Well, turns out, it was more like over 200 with the different variations. So we really had to work with this client. And it’s taken way longer than we thought because of the issue with the number of products versus the variation. So we had to kind of find a happy medium, to where we had some products that have variations, but most of them are just their own product. And now we have technically over 200 products on this site that we’re about to launch with. So very, very important right out of the get go that you asked about the number of products and then more importantly, the variation.

Josh 8:53
So if they say they have 10 products, but each product has a variation, and there’s going to be maybe three on average, then you’re actually going to have I would build quote out for 30 variation products. So keep that in mind. Figure out the products figure out the amount of variations. It doesn’t have to be exact, but you just want to get a really good ballpark and you want to make sure your client knows this. These are things that you can tell your clients say that listen, even though you only have 10 products, if each one of them has three different colors, that’s technically actually like 30 products. So make sure this and all the points we talked about moving forward, you relate to your clients as well. This is going to help you make you look like an expert, it’s gonna make you more valuable to sell products and the variations of each product. Make sure you cover your butt there and your client understands that as well.

Josh 9:40
Number two is the amount of product categories. This can be controlled in a variety of different ways. And since I use WooCommerce, and Divi I’m going to talk about my experience with those. Although different e commerce solutions like easy digital downloads and Shopify, most all those solutions have a way to create A different categories of projects or products. This is important because no matter the amount of products, you’re more than likely going to be organizing them in different categories. And different categories are going to be used for different shop pages, you’ll probably have like a master shop page, but you may have secondary pages. So if your client has product lines of will stick with T shirts, but then maybe they have mugs and some other additional products, then you may have like four or five different categories. So this is really important to figure out.

Josh 10:34
It’s also good for your client to think about this too, because you may have certain categories that are upsells, and down sales towards each other. So for example, with WooCommerce, and Divi at the bottom of each product, you can put a little section that has like related products. So that’s a great upsell. And this all stems from figuring out the categories or how many categories you’re going to have. Because you’re likely going to build pages for different categories. And you’re potentially going to want to put them in sidebars and checkout pages and things like that. So really important to figure out the number of product categories, because a lot of times, a client may say, Hey, I, you know, just want to sell a few products. And I want you know, it’s gonna be like a five page site.

Josh 11:15
Well, the fact is, a five page site for any e commerce project is very rare. In fact, I view all the products as pages themselves. So you’re likely going to have you’re going to do an e commerce project is likely going to be at least 30 to 40 pages right out of the get go if they have a handful of products, because each products gonna be its own page, each variation needs to be attributed in there, then you’re going to have all of your additional pages like check out my account privacy policy, there’s a lot of different pages in there that you need to account for. And then since we’re talking about product categories, those are going to be their own additional pages as well. So you may have product category pays for t shirts, maybe one for mugs, etc. So number two, make sure you figure out how many categories they’re going to have as well. Number three shipping settings, it’s probably pretty obvious, you want to figure out some shipping settings.

Josh 12:11
But you also want to figure out where this client is going to ship their product if they have an actual physical product. Now, if your client has just downloadable products, that’s not as difficult to deal with, because you generally don’t need to worry about shipping or often tax settings. But more often than not, if you’re going to be working with e commerce clients, you’re going to be dealing with shipping setting. So this is one thing I neglected to figure out early on, in my days of doing e commerce projects. And I got into a little bit of trouble. And I got into a lot of wasted time on my end and some costly experiences. Because I had to figure out all these additional shipping settings that we didn’t figure out till the end of the project. I was like, Oh crap, you know, the products are ready, but I didn’t I didn’t even ask about shipping, like, are you shipping these just in Ohio, which is where I’m at? Or are you going nationwide? Are you going to ship outside of the country, that’s a whole different ballgame.

Josh 13:04
So you want to figure out where your client is going to ship. That’s number three. Now there’s a lot of different ways to actually set these up. Particularly with WooCommerce, you can do a variety of different shipping methods. And that’s not really what this is about. I talk about that more on my WooCommerce Divi beginners course we looked into that. But there are a variety of ways you can set up different setup, different ship shipping methods, if I could talk, excuse me.

Josh 13:29
So number three, make sure you figure out the shipping settings. And really, I mean, from the quoting perspective, that can be as easy as figuring out where your client wants to ship. And then in your proposal, you could just say shipping settings. And then you could say, ship to you know, settings set up for nationwide shipping, or three state shipping, or whatever the case may be, or just once you know, shipping in Ohio, for example. So shipping settings, number three, number four tax settings. Doesn’t that just sound fun. I’ll be honest, this is the worst part of WooCommerce is these couple things. I’m going over the shipping settings in the tax settings, but they’re really, really important. So it’s tough to really nail down tax settings in this type of format. Because taxes are different depending on what state you’re in, what you’re selling, what country you’re in. So depending on this site, and what they’re selling taxes are going to look different.

Josh 14:23
Now. with WooCommerce, you can usually just set a tax setting. So like I have one client here in Central Ohio, who just ships to Ohio. And it’s pretty easy. We just have the standard Ohio tax added to each one of the products not a big deal. But if you’re shipping to different states in different geographic locations that can be a little more tricky, not the end of the world. But it can just be something that you want to account for. So when it comes to tax settings, this is kind of an addition to the shipping but you do want to make sure you account for some time to figure that out and then you want to talk to your client to see if they have any idea of adding additional taxes to their stuff, or they just need to make sure it’s regulated with whatever state they’re in or whatever country. So number four, make sure you consider your tax settings. Again, ask about if they want to include tax, you know what the taxes are going to be. And then you can use that as a line item, every single one of these should be both a question and a line item in your proposal, number four tax settings.

Josh 15:23
Now number five payment gateways, with WooCommerce. And most other e commerce platforms. Luckily, it’s fairly easy to connect payment gateways and payment gateways are going to be the merchant account where the money actually goes, because WooCommerce in these other platforms, they don’t go directly to your bank, they need to go to a payment gateway, and then that goes to your bank or your clients bank. So this is going going going to include PayPal stripe, there’s a handful of other ones, you want to find out where your client is ready to accept the money app. And you also want to figure out what you your client or you want to offer your customers for payment options. So PayPal and stripe are the average. That’s what I have on my site at Josh when somebody purchases a course or a product, you can either pay for or through PayPal, or a credit card, which goes through stripe. But there are a bunch of other payment gateway platforms out there.

Josh 16:21
And this is another area that I had to live and learn experience. Because a while back one of my best clients still a great a client to this day they did events that they charged for. And in the proposal, I just put set up payment gateway. Well, I didn’t even consider that they had another payment gateway set up, I just figured it would be through PayPal or stripe. Well, they already had a third party payment gateway, I don’t even remember what it was called. But we had to integrate that with WooCommerce. Now, it wasn’t that bad. They had a plug in that ended up working. But it did take some some magic to get that to line up and integrate perfectly with their system. So it ended up costing me a little bit there. Because I really didn’t ask them what their payment gateways were what they were expecting to get their money through. So that’s a big one, we got it worked out. But it was a little costly for me.

Josh 17:13
So don’t let that happen to you. Make sure you ask about what payment gateways they want. And then also if they need them set up. So if you’re working with a new client, sometimes they have no concept of this stuff. They’re just like, hey, I want to you know, I saw this Wix commercial. And I just want to set up an online store, I want to get paid. Well, that sounds great. That sounds really easy. But there’s a lot of development that happens, even though a lot of this stuff is fairly plug and play. And you can turn things on and just put the right credentials and API keys in once you get PayPal set up and their stripe account. But the fact is, they still need to set this stuff up.

Josh 17:47
So you need to ask about that. And if they say oh, I had no idea that I needed to set up some of this stuff, then you can just tell them, Well, hey, just set up a PayPal business account. And then set up a stripe account, make sure your bank account is connected with each, then we can go in and integrate it and make sure everything’s working and it’ll be good to go. So the big point is when it comes to the quoting aspect of all this, make sure you ask about those payment gateways and figure out where that money needs to go, you know, I’m saying So, number five, figure out those payment gateways and account for some extra time. With setting those up, I’ll tell you that right now, add a handful of extra hours in your proposal for setting those up. because inevitably, you’re going to have some delays, and you’re going to need to do some testing and all that good stuff. Keep that in mind.

Josh 18:31
Number six order fulfillment. Now, this may sound like a foreign term if you’re new to ecommerce. But what I’m talking about here is if a customer or if your client is actually shipping something, you need to figure out who is fulfilling those orders. So when let’s say again, going back to the T shirt company example, someone’s going to buy a T shirt, who is actually going to fulfill that order, who is going to get online and mark the order complete? Who is going to actually ship that to that customer. That’s something that needs to be considered in the quoting process. Now, one thing that’s pretty cool nowadays is there are these third party fulfillment services. I have a handful of clients who use these there’s one that’s called XPS shipper, which is pretty cool, which basically what that means is my clients are going through them for the order fulfillment.

Josh 19:28
So all we need to do, as most of those have a plug in at least that works with WooCommerce. So when somebody places an order on the website, and it goes through WooCommerce will automatically gets filtered into XPS shipper or whatever it is, and then they print out the packing slip, they actually do the order fulfill for order fulfillment, fulfillment scuze me and then they just charge my customer, you know, a percentage or whatever. So those are pretty cool. I would encourage you to use those as much as possible. I’ll list out a couple that I know of in the show notes for this page.

Josh 20:04
But there are I forget what the other one is XPS shipper. I have a couple clients that use that one, there’s another one that’s based here in the USA, that’s pretty cool. But I would encourage your clients to use those, even though they take another percentage off the sale of the product, they will save a lot of time and then your customer isn’t, or your client is the one who’s actually you know, stocking the garage up with product, and then they’re shipping it out. Now, inevitably, that’s the case with some clients. But doing some sort of third party order fulfillment service is a great way to go. But again, it needs to go back to figuring out how to quote that and propose that. So make sure number six, you figure out the order fulfillment, ask your client because this is another area A lot of times clients don’t even think about they’re like, Oh crap, I didn’t even think about actually shipping this stuff like, do I need to buy all my product and then do I need to create a packing slip, these are things that your client needs to think about.

Josh 20:56
So just by asking these 10 questions, you’re going to look like an expert, and you’re going to look like you’re super prepared. And they’re going to know that you’re worth every penny they’re paying you and you can charge more pennies because you’re prepared. So number six, figure out who’s gonna do the order fulfillment. Number seven, figure out any special integrations. And what I mean by that is if they want to do any sort of like packing slip design, or if they want to do a wholesale order system, which means like the client I just mentioned, this big project that we’re wrapping up, she is actually selling products, she’s not selling her own products. She’s kind of a mediator, she’s selling products that are set up by other companies. So she’s kind of the middleman, they, these companies sell their products in a variety of different websites, and one of them is hers. But the trick is, is we had to like align and figure out when an order comes to WooCommerce how it goes to their system.

Josh 21:55
So we had to customize it, it did get a little intricate. If you’re brand new to WooCommerce. One important thing is to figure this out, because that kind of thing is something that’s fairly advanced, I really wouldn’t recommend doing that for your first ecommerce project. Luckily, I have enough contacts to where we were able to get some third party development and get it worked out. But it was one of those things that was a little costly. Because I did not consider that in this proposal. This was a proposal I did last year. And it was a living learn. So these are things that I basically Wish I could have told myself as early as just a few months ago.

Josh 22:28
So you need to make sure you figure out those special integrations, ask your client, do you guys want to have any sort of special packing slips? Are there any, you know, like these orders, are they going to another company to fulfill them, any special integrations need to be asked about and then considered. And then at that point, you can put it in your proposal. And you may say, you know, we could do this, but it’s going to require some third party development. So that may be outside of this proposal. Again, you want to cover your butt. So number seven special integrations, make sure you get those figured out.

Josh 23:00
Number eight, CRM integration, which means where are all of the information of your customers going to go? Do they have what’s pretty much any e commerce store needs to have some sort of CRM, which is your email newsletter, or email capture system, that’s going to be your MailChimp, Active Campaign Constant Contact, wherever your customer information is gonna go to make sure you have their email list, or their email information and everything. And the cool thing about like MailChimp, for example, is with MailChimp, you can create what’s called segment what’s called segments. And you can email certain segments, depending on what they ordered with WooCommerce. Really, really cool, I talked about this more in my course. But there’s a handy plugin, all you have to do is activate it. And then automatically when orders come through, their email is going to get into the database of MailChimp.

Josh 23:51
And then you can you know, if you have an update on a product or a new product that’s similar, you can email just that segment of clients. So it’s really, really cool. But the big thing is, you want to make sure that your client is prepared for this as well. We had to do that going back to this new, this new big project we’re about to launch. I asked her about this, and she didn’t even think about it. In the early days. She was like, Oh, I didn’t even think about like, you know, having their email in a database. Aside from just in the website. Yeah, you want to have a CRM set up for all that information to go to. So you can really build out and properly connect with them and keep that relationship going to do newsletters to do updates. To do product stuff. You really want to have recurring customers, you don’t want somebody to buy and then just disappear and not capture their information.

Josh 24:35
So I mean, you can do that in the website, but what a pain they have to go through every order and look up the profile and the email. That’s for the birds. Let’s do it good. Let’s do it right let’s set up MailChimp or something to where a CRM is going to capture that information. So make sure you talk about that with your clients. Ask them about it. A lot of times they’ll already have a database set up like one of my clients had Constant Contact already set up so we just got a plug in the integrated with That. And that’s all we had to do fairly simple on our part. Now it can get advanced. And if you do any really advanced email integration, I would make sure you bill for that separately, or make that a separate line item again, if they expect you to not only set up their webstore, but you know, set up all their segments, and they’re tagging and all that stuff, you want to make sure that you’re being compensated for that. So this is, this is why doing an e commerce project. Sometimes it sounds super simple air quotes, with five products. Well, actually, every single one of these things I’m talking about is involved in those, again, air quotes, simple products are simple sites. Even with just a handful of product, even if it’s just one product, all this stuff still applies. And it’s all really important. So number eight, make sure you figure out any CRM integration.

Josh 25:48
Number nine, really, really, really important one, talk about any additional add ons. These could be things like additional functionality for discounts. That might be something like pre orders or a subscription based product. If it’s not something that’s actually shipped, maybe it’s a subscription or a membership. I want to talk about all that stuff. And you want to figure out what additional plugins might be needed to add on. So WooCommerce out of the box is fairly simple. It’s done like that for a reason. And side note, if you’re new to Divi WordPress and WooCommerce WooCommerce is free. It’s amazing. You can so WordPress is free WooCommerce is free. Divi is super low cost, like way more low cost than I would charge if I was in control of Elegant Themes and Divi.

Josh 26:39
But all that stuff is very low cost or free now where WooCommerce makes its money is its add ons. And I will tell you this, heed my advice on this one friends, if you’re doing e commerce projects, and you’re going to do add ons, do premium ones, there are some good free WordPress plugins and WooCommerce plugins, I do use a lot of free ones. And I have a whole list of those in my in my WooCommerce course, the ones that I trust at least. But if it ever comes to a point where it’s like, okay, should I try out this free one? Or should I just bite the bullet and go with this premium one, always go with the premium one. For a variety different reasons, the free ones will often have conflicts. If you’re new to WordPress, you’re going to find out very soon that the biggest issue with WordPress and any themes or plugins is that there’s often conflicts if a plugin is outdated, or it doesn’t work with a new version of WooCommerce.

Josh 27:32
And if you’re relying on a cheap free plug or cheap, or free plugin, a lot of times as authors aren’t keeping it up to date. So it can be really vulnerable. And you don’t want your plugins to break particularly when e commerce is involved. You don’t want to have order stop working for your client and then call you a freak out because you had a cheap plugin that wasn’t working. Now, of course, I would never experienced anything like that. I would never add a free or cheap plugin that broke a site. No, yes, of course I have. That is a big lesson learned. So it’s always worthwhile investing in add on now, you don’t need to pay for the add on yourself. This is the big thing, the reason you want to ask about it and figure it out first is you’ll let your client know, hey, we may you know if you want advance discounts, like really advanced discounts.

Josh 28:19
Like for example, one of my clients is in the manufacturing space, they have a very robust store, I actually took over this this site with this advanced store. And they wanted to do discounts depending on the amount of quantity of these products that people selected. So they might say, okay, you know, it’s 999 for up to 50, and then over 50 to 100, it’s 899, and then 100 to 200, at 699, you know, etc. So they add these advanced discounts. And we had to get a premium plugin on that, but I let them know, like, we could do that. But it’s gonna take some, you know, this premium plugin, and we’re gonna have to format it and set it up. But I think it’s like 89 bucks a year or something like that. And you do that through your WooCommerce account. So it’s pretty cool when you add these subscriptions. Either you Well, you could buy them and then charge your client. But I will say that becomes kind of a pain when it comes to renewals because a lot of these add ons are billed annually.

Josh 29:18
So what I would recommend doing is have your client purchase those because then they’ll handle the subscriptions, all you have to do is get the download and set it up. So just an FYI, I would recommend doing that when you purchase premium add ons, but either way, make sure you find out what kind of additional functionality they’re looking for. And make sure you just let them know and it can be it can be in the line item in your proposal it can say, you know these things either will require additional plug in at this cost or they might require and I will tell you this on every WooCommerce quote, I always say additional functionality may require additional premium add ons. It just depends so I always kind of cover my butt there that way when we’re building out a website for e commerce and the client wants something robust. And I say, yeah, we could do that. But we didn’t cover that, or we do this is where we need to add an add on, they’re prepared for Okay, I might need to invest an additional cost. But I’m telling you guys, it’ll be well worth it. There are some good free plugins out there. But I always recommend doing the premium version.

Josh 30.19
And one real quick thing before we move on to the final point, I always recommend investing in the WooCommerce specific add ons. Reason being is because you always know, they’re going to play nicely with WooCommerce itself. So WooCommerce updates, and generally all of the plugins that are built by WooCommerce, they’re going to play nice, and you want your stuff to play nice. So number nine, additional add ons, make sure you try to find out ideally what your client is interested in. And then just let them know, in the future, if they want some more robust functionality, it may require an additional add on that’s premium.

Josh 30:40
And then finally, this leads us to perhaps the most important one of all, and that is training. Yes, most people I’ve found most designers, this is where they get into the most costly and frustrating aspect of e commerce, because they build these beautiful sites and get it all set up. And a lot of these tutorials online that talk about how to build an online site, none of them ever talk about the training aspect. And this is one thing I try to separate my content from a lot of these other people is because I’ve had a decade of experience with real clients. And I will tell you that training is a large aspect and a huge time suck. So you need to make sure that you get compensated for that. So training should absolutely be a part of your quote. Now, this may look different depending on the size of the store, depending on how many projects you have.

Josh 31:48
So you know, it could be something that could be as simple as doing a training video that they can refer back to. But either way, you’re probably going to want to have monthly time carved out each month for questions and stuff like that. Because a lot of times one thing to consider is when a client hires you to build out their site, they’re also hiring you to figure all this out for them. And they’re also hiring you essentially without knowing to train them on how to use this new system. So you can’t just build a huge ecommerce site and just turn it over to your client say, Hey, good luck, have fun. No, you need to guide them on how everything is set up, how the products are set up how to manage the orders that are coming in how to you know, there’s a lot of other areas here that you need to compensate for be compensated for. And it all goes back to training.

Josh 32:39
So a couple of different ways you can do this, what I do is, and I talk about this well in a couple different free blog posts, but extensively in my web design business course. Because the methods I outlined that are the same here, it training just depends on the client, and it depends on the project. So more often than not, I will do a training video, one video, sometimes I’ll separate it if it’s really long. But usually with like WooCommerce I’ll do one video that shows them how their products are set up, how can they how they can adjust them, how they can manage stock, how they can add new categories, you know, most things like shipping and tax and payment gateways, order fulfillment, all that is set up by us. But sometimes I’ll cover that just so they can see where things are, they need to make an adjustment.

Josh 33:26
Although we’re you know, every ecommerce project that we do has to be on our monthly plan for at least a year. So we’re going to handle that kind of stuff, most clients will just email us with a question. But I do have some clients that are very hands on and they’re running their store, which is really, really cool, it’s a great place to be in really cool for me to to see them run with it and to see them make the money. Because if they’re making money, it shows that you’re valuable. And that’s going to help you in the long run. So there’s different levels of training, but either way, I would do a custom training video for that website. And then you can just give them like an outline of like the last video I did for this B big e commerce project. I did a video that was about 20 minutes. And then I just outlined where each sex or each segment of the video was. So it was like, You know what, in one minute in it’s talking about products, three minutes, and it’s talking about categories, five minutes, and it’s talking about variations versus attributes. Those are the kinds of things you just want to kind of outline to give your client excuse me a good frame of reference for that video.

Josh 34:28
So that can be a big one. Now you may do in person training, or training through like a zoom call or something and that’s great. However, the problem with that in any type of web design training is it’s one and done. I learned this years ago where like once I got sites set up whether it was ecommerce or not. If I had a client updating their site, I would meet with them. I walk them through everything. And you can probably guess what happens a week later. They’re calling me or emailing me asking me the same questions. over and over and over again, because they didn’t remember.

Josh 35:02
So this is where make sure you just do a video, do a training video, even if you’re not, you don’t even have to be on camera, you can just do a screen share, it’ll help you get better at communicating. And the really cool thing is once you start doing things that are repeated or similar, you can potentially make like a client Resources tab, which is what I have on my site, with just basic videos explaining the basic things that you do across all your sites. Now, you could do this with WooCommerce, you could just have basic product displays. And you know, you could talk about how to change things. However, I think it’s worthwhile and valuable to do a custom video for every WooCommerce project. Because it’s you know, a store is very custom, a store is very intricate, as far as like, and it’s personal, it’s unique to whatever they’re selling. So I would just bite the bullet, do training video for every ecommerce project you do. But make sure you put it in your proposal when you quote out for it.

Josh 35:58
So if you think you’re going to have five hours in training, you’re probably gonna have a little more with editing and stuff like that. So I would make it more like seven hours. And just think about that if your hourly rate is 25, then whatever seven times 25 is make that kind of a line item in your proposal or just factor it in. So make sure you consider training because again, a lot of web designers get themselves in trouble because they set up this beautiful site. But then they realize all they did was just watch this YouTube tutorial on how to build a WooCommerce site, and they never even factored in training. So training is a big aspect of it. And remember, this client is going to be with you for a long time. If you built them a store unless they don’t like it and decide to redesign A year later, they’re going to be you know your client for a very long time. So you want to make sure they’re empowered, you want to make sure you train them.

Josh 36:48
And again a variety of different ways you can do that. If you’re using Divi side note, what I do is I use the plugin Divi dashboard, welcome by Divi life, I’ll link to that in the show notes as well. And then you can create a video and create a custom page for the WordPress dashboard. And you can do their training there a variety of different ways you could use loom and just do a series of videos and send them But either way, I would make sure they have resources that they can refer back to. So make sure you can factor in training and figure out also when it comes to training, you want to figure out is it one client that’s doing the maintenance and updates of the site and running the store? Or are they going to have an admin or they’re going to be multiple people, which is really where having a video that somebody can refer back to really, really crucial. So there you go, number 10 was training.

Josh 37:35
So there you go, guys, those are my 10 really important areas for quoting an e commerce project. Let’s review real quick. Number one, identify the number of products and the variations of each product, I again, kind of view every variation as a product itself. So a 10 product cycle easily turned into 30 4050. There’s different variations. Number two, make sure you figure out the amount of categories of products are going to have because those are all going to be their own pages. And they’re going to be all kinds of places throughout the site. Number three is to make sure you factor in shipping settings, you want to figure out where they’re going to ship to, you don’t want to just figure you know, you don’t want to figure that every project is going to be a simple ship shipping setting. You want to make sure you figure that out and make sure your client thinks about that as well.

Josh 38:21
Number four, think about your tax settings. Is it just the standard tax for a state or a country? Or are they shipping elsewhere, that may factor into the tax settings, your client needs to think about that as well, particularly if they want to add tax. Number five is payment gateways figure out where your client wants to receive their payments. And when in doubt, go with PayPal and stripe. That’s what I do. That’s the best way to go. But a lot of times people have their own merchant providers. Luckily, most of those integrate with WooCommerce and other platforms pretty nicely. Number six is order fulfillment again, who’s going to be fulfilling those orders? Is it going to be your client out of their garage? Or are they using a third party service. I’ll link to a couple below in the show notes for this one of ones that I’ve worked with are pretty cool.

Josh 39:05
Number seven ship or special integrations, remember packing slips, wholesale orders, things like that. Any exagray excuse me extra integrations, you really want to factor those in and make sure your client is thinking about that stuff. Number eight is to make sure you ask about the CRM integration if they’re using MailChimp or constant contact and to get that set up to manage customers information and segments and things like that. Number nine was additional add ons. Again, my recommendation is to always go premium over free, more reliable, it’s worth every penny and work nicely, less conflicts with updates and things like that. And then finally, number 10. Like we just talked about training, make sure you really figure out how you’re going to train who you’re going to train. You want to empower your client for the long run. You don’t want them you don’t want to turn a store over to them and then be super confused. Particularly when it’s live. You don’t want them to be confused and messing stuff up. While they’re getting orders coming in. You want them to be Be prepared and powered. And you want them to be a client for life.

Josh 40:03
So there you go, guys, those are my 10 tips for helping you quote an e commerce project. I sincerely hope these helped you out. These are all things that man I wish Josh a few years ago would have known and thought about. And again, I put these all in more detail in my WooCommerce Divi course, so you know, the opportunity is ripe. It is right now, where people are really interested in putting all their products and services online. So there is a big need for e commerce. Just because we’re in this pandemic, crisis time does not mean that your business has to be suffering, you can actually hate to say capitalize on the opportunity, but you absolutely can. So one thing to consider, and again, I do have a WooCommerce Divi beginners course, even if you’re already familiar, and you want to take things to the next level. And these are the kinds of things you haven’t thought about, I go into a lot more detail in the course. And I would love to help you get your crap together. So you’re ready to start selling ecommerce projects, I’m telling you, that’s where some good money is. And you’ll make some clients for life. And if you can help your clients make money that’ll make you look really good.

Josh 41:06
So make sure you check that out, I will have a special discount for you on the show notes for this page, Josh slash 03 to check that out. And one thing I wanted to mention too, on that one, I am going to be updating that course soon with some additional modules. I’m actually gonna take everything we’re talking about in this episode, and I’m gonna, I think I’m going to do like a downloadable quote that will show you some live coding and it’s gonna be inside that course so you can lock in access now it’s all still relevant, and then you’ll get the updates when I update the course here. Divi also just recently came out with some WooCommerce modules where you can really customize the look of the products in Divi which is super cool. More on that later, but I am gonna update the course with that as well. So just an FYI.

Josh 41:48
So there you go, guys, hope you enjoyed this episode. Let me know if it helps leave a comment on the show notes. Or send me a note hope this one helps you out. Again, these attempt things that have been really beneficial. For me Just a reminder, these are questions and deliverable items that can be on your proposal. Cheers to you guys for getting into WooCommerce and helping your clients out during this time to make sure you get their products and services online. Who knew I was going to be rhyming this episode. Alright guys hope this helps catch you on the next one.


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“I recently received a commission to create a website for a client that included an online shop. This meant, of course, using WooCommerce which I knew nothing about. So, I joined this course to learn as much as I could about WooCommerce in the minimum amount of time, learning from Josh’s mistakes as well as his triumphs. This course is just right. It gives you the MAXIMUM amount of information in the MINIMUM amount of time and is UNMISSABLE if you wish to learn everything you need to know to create a good-looking and well-designed shop.

Highly recommended!”

James F.

“Excellent course! Good solid information. Josh gives a clear overview of WooCommerce and shares his own experience working with WooCommerce websites, and shows examples! The whole course is enjoyable because Josh explains the information as it relates to what works, and what doesn’t work. WooCommerce is an extensive plugin with a lot of details.

This course shows how Divi integrates with WooCommerce. As a Divi Website Consultant and Designer, I have clients who want to sell products, offer classes, sell a book, and anything else relating to E-commerce. It’s not that simple, but with this course, it’s a whole lot more simple. WooCommerce is essential for a website owner wanting to sell products, or services, on their website.

After taking the Divi/WooCommerce for Beginners course, I am now confident about setting up WooCommerce for clients. This isn’t a”drip-style,” course, thank goodness, had enough of those. It’s real time learning. Cannot thank you enough Josh!”

Joan M.

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