Last week I spoke about Creating an online shopping mall for WordPress. Here, we mainly discussed and reviewed aspects such as the various users in an online shopping mall for WordPress, their interaction with the system and with each other and the benefits of the system to you as a website owner as well as end users.
While, an online shopping mall for WordPress can potentially go on to become an extremely extensive and strong system that has immense opportunity for mall owners, store owners and end users alike it is important that it should be built right. It should have the right mix of features to make it useful for all the users involved. So, today I am going to discuss in detail the various features that can be incorporated in an online shopping mall for WordPress.
Features to include in an online shopping mall for WordPress
1. Application Form for Store Registration
- The most primary feature that will be needed in an online shopping mall for WordPress would be an application form for store registration. User’s who want to be converted into store owners will use this application form. The application form will incorporate the store creation process which would include providing required information, choosing the required subscription plan and making an initial payment. Once the application form has been completed and submitted a store will then be created in the online mall.
- The application form can then be created using Gravity Forms for WordPress. You can use the Gravity Form to Word AutoFill Solution incase you need to send a copy of the completed form to the store owner who has just completed the registration process.
2. eCommerce Store Pages
- Once the store owner has successfully registered a store on the online shopping mall an e Commerce website will then be created. This website will be built on WooCommerce, one of the most used eCommerce platforms in the world.
- Additionally, the store owner will also get access to other accessory functionalities that might be provided by the store owner on the multisite. Access to these functionalities can be based on the subscription plan that has been selected by the store owner.
3. Display Stores in Website
- The one thing that is common among all online users is that they have become extremely impatient and so as the mall owner it must be your constant effort to make the system simple for users. Users will always keep coming back to a website which they deem easy to use.
- One aspect where an opportunity can be created to make the system elementary is the search process. An option to search for stores in an online shopping mall for WordPress based on the store names would be beneficial especially for customers and mall owners as they would now be able to search for stores easily instead of scanning the entire list manually.
- Another option that can be provided is to search for stores based on it’s registration date. This feature would be categorically useful for mall owners and store owner. Mall owners can drive a search without actually having to login to the dashboard. Whereas store owners can search for their competitors to make important marketing and sales decisions.
4. Supplementary Pages
- The shop page is the most essential page for an eCommerce store. However having said that it is also important that an eCommerce store should have other pages such as About Us, Contact, Support etc the usefulness of which cannot be denied from an end users perspective.
- Hence, a store owner should be provided with these pages at the time of store creation. The store owner should also be provided to customize the content on these pages from the back end as per his requirement.
- Furthermore store owners can be allowed to create pages from the backend without having to contact the mall owner.
5. Custom URLS for Individual Stores
- A possibility should be provided to the store owner to specify a custom URL at the time of e Commerce store creation. A custom URL would provide the store owner with an opportunity to to create an individual identity while remaining a part of the online shopping mall for WordPress
- This feature can be provided to the store owner as optional feature and can be be provided as part of an advanced subscription plan.
6. Store Activation Option
- There could be a scenario wherein the store owner might want to activate the website only after the the entire website has been set up. Hence, the store owner should be provided with an option to activate the store as per his requirement.
7. Store Closed Option
- You might have surely seen ‘Store Closed’ signs at malls. There could be a number of reasons for the store owner to make use of this sign. It could either be the store is under maintenance or it could be closed for a few days due to holiday season. Similarly, it might sometime be required for an online store to remain closed too. In such a situation the store owner should be provided with an option to do so.
- The store owner can be provided with a custom made plugin to provide this feature. The plugin should provide the store owner with a simpel on/off option to keep the store closed as per requirement. However, while the store will be closed for users to make purchases it will be fully functional in the backend.
- The customer can additionally be provided with an enquiry form along with the store closed message for any enquiries that he might want to make. Remember, do not shut out customers completely ever!!
8. Localization Ready
- Unlike a traditional shopping mall which might be located in a place which speaks one language it might be easier for customers to find their way around the mall. However, when the same concept goes online you are essentially dealing with store owners who might belong to any of the 196 countries in the world catering to customers speaking in various possible.
- In such a case the store owner should be given an option to localize the website to a language of his choice. Using this localization feature the store owner can capture a customer base from a particular region thereby improving sales and cater to a vast group of customers.
9. Global Shop Page
- So, up until now we have mostly spoken about features which will turn out to be favourable to store owners. And it makes sense, after all your clients will be the store owners. However, the entire point of an online shopping mall for WordPress is to improve online shopping experience for customers and provide diverse products under one roof.
- In that direction one absolutely incredible to have in an online shopping mall for WordPress would be a global shop page. This feature would fetch products from all the stores in the online shopping mall for WordPress and display them on a single shop page.
- Now when a end user selects a product from the shop page he will be taken to the product page of that particular store.
- So, in spite of the fact that development process for this feature would involve tremendous effort it would definitely be worth every bit the effort and it would provide an extraordinary customer experience.
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