Starting your first WordPress business website sure is an exciting venture, whether you are providing quality services or selling exceptional products. You may have wonderful ideas and plans regarding website features and functionalities that you want to apply to your WordPress website. However, everything may go down the drain without sufficient planning and excellent execution, and implementing all of these immediately in the early stages of your startup online business may have negative impacts on your budget, time, and effort.
Enter the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) model, a technique wherein a new product or website is developed with features just enough to satisfy its early adopters. The complete set of product or website features and functionalities are only created and released after thorough processing of valuable and valid feedback from the initial users. Here are some of the characteristics of an MVP model:
– It is valuable on the onset that people are willing to invest on it initially
– It has promising future benefits that allows it to retain early adopters
– It has a feedback loop that ensures updates and developments
An example is a screenshot below where all stages of mobility is viable as it has wheels which can transport you from one point to another. The startup stage is a skateboard and then moving through different stages up until the car is reached.
Let’s take a scenario wherein you are planning to launch a WordPress eCommerce for your startup online business:
Let’s say you want to sell creative, unique, and environment-friendly bags and accessories. You have a list of ideas of how your website design should look like as well as site features that you want to include such as the following:
– Cloud hosting solution
– Xero integration to manage your finance
– Shipping integration
– Blog / Videos
– Social media Marketing
– WordPress SEO
– Email marketing
– Social media login
– Payment options
– Email newsletter subscription
– Stock management
– Layout and functionality customisation
Looking at those list of exciting features above can be tempting to include everything in early stage of your WordPress eCommerce so now we are going to dissect and identify which features can go on each stage.
Note: This is just an example scenario and it should not be part of your business plan.
Stage 1 – Brand Awareness
Aside from having the basic online shop functionalities that allowing users from searching to ordering a product, you have decided to include an email newsletter subscription for marketing purposes and social media login for easier checkout. You also included social media marketing for brand awareness purposes.
Stage 2 – Get Initial Feedback from Users
After getting feedback from your customers and capturing email addresses, you can move to the next stage where you can start publishing useful blog and video contents using email marketing best practices.
Based on customer’s feedback, you also need to expand your payment options aside from Paypal as there is a high demand for Visa, Apple Pay and Debit.
Stage 3 – WordPress SEO
You have gathered data and have a better understanding of your target market and it is now the time to move on to the next stage where your WordPress eCommerce needs to rank up on Google search engine, increase engagement and orders. In order to achieve it, you have decided to invest in marketing and WordPress SEO by improving your organic search ranking, giving away coupons, discounts and perhaps free shipping on bulk orders.
Stage 4 – 3rd Party App Integration
By now you have established a foothold in the market. Some manual works needs to be automated and this include managing your stocks, payments, GST, invoices, etc… This is the stage where you need to invest in software integration.
Stage 5 – WordPress eCommerce Enhancement
At this stage, you need to invest in cloud hosting to give the best shopping experience for your users with site speed. This is also the stage where you can improve the site layout and build custom functionalities that reflects to your products and customer’s need.
The timeline for each stage varies depending on your budget, time and effort that you need to implement it. Prioritise each task based on your immediate needs. When you reached the stage 5, it doesn’t end there. You need to continue to innovate and improve the website as web technology evolves very quickly and need to make sure that you are catching up. Customer demands changes over time and you are expected to be on top of it.