An In-Depth Overview of WooCommerce
In e-commerce, choosing the correct platform to power your store is a challenging decision to make because there are so many options available. Whichever one you choose, it must be robust and feature-rich, so where should you start?
You’re in luck if you use WordPress. WooCommerce is one of the many tools you can use to create an online store using the platform, and we’re big supporters of it.
Throughout this essay, we’ll explain what WooCommerce is, how it’s changed through time, and what it can accomplish. When you are ready, we will walk you through the basics of setting it up.
What is WooCommerce ?
WooCommerce is an e-commerce platform built on WordPress’s Content Management System (CMS). Instead of creating an entirely new platform, WooCommerce just adds the functionality that allows you to sell items online. Best of all, it comes in the form of a lightweight plugin, so configuring it should be straightforward for experienced WordPress users (more on that later).
According to Statista, the market share of main e-commerce software platforms and technologies worldwide as of April 2021 – WooCommerce ranks second with 23.43 percent.
WooCommerce was acquired by Automattic — the same team that created WordPress – solidifying its position in the community. The plugin is ideal for first-time online store owners as well as organizations with more stringent criteria. You can add or delete sophisticated features as needed while avoiding bloat thanks to its extension system.
Simply explained, extensions are to WooCommerce what plugins are to WordPress. There aren’t as many of them, but they’re usually of great quality and come with extensive documentation.
WooCommerce stores come in a variety of sizes and shapes. From selling coffee online to more complicated capabilities such as online subscriptions, there is something for everyone.
Overall, there isn’t much you can’t do with WooCommerce when it comes to creating an online business. Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals, let’s go over the plugin’s essential features before taking it for a spin together.
An in-depth look at the WooCommerce plugin
As a powerful WordPress plugin, WooCommerce makes it possible for you to build up an online store using WordPress. In addition to shopping carts and payment gateways, it has a streamlined checkout procedure. Additional features include tax management and an extensive extension system.
Best of all, WooCommerce is an open-source platform that is constantly being improved by hundreds of developers. Because of this, it’s likely to get better with the passage of time.
Key Features Aspects
- On top of WordPress, this plugin allows you to create an online store.
- You can sell both physical and digital things in your online store.
- Choose from a variety of payment gateways to receive your payment.
- The platform’s functions can be extended by using extensions.
- Different delivery alternatives can be integrated using extensions.
- Add taxes to your prices automatically.
The Fundamentals of WooCommerce
The first thing to grasp is how WooCommerce functions on a broad, fundamental level. It’s a plugin for WordPress. To begin with, it is not a stand-alone site builder. It is, instead, an open-source WordPress plugin. This implies that, rather than signing up for a single hosting-to-checkout platform, WooCommerce functions as a third-party integration within the larger WordPress framework.
It’s Flexible and adaptive
But, because it works with both real and digital commodities, what you can create with it is very remarkable.
You may also sell things with numerous variations and customizations, as well as provide quick access to digital objects through download. WooCommerce may also be used in conjunction with an affiliate marketing strategy.
You Can Use It For Free, But You’ll Need Paid Add-Ons
For the time being, the main WooCommerce plugin is completely free to use. Users may install plugins and other add-ons to the platform for more functionality and flexibility, many of which are not free.
However, when an online business grows, such plugins are frequently required to improve the e-commerce experience for customers (and the shop owner), therefore additional expenditures must be considered.
Pre-built WooCommerce-enabled website?
In addition to the growing market of extensions and plugins for WooCommerce, the WordPress developer community has welcomed the plugin by actively developing numerous WooCommerce-compatible themes. The WooCommerce market offers, when combined, may assist clients in creating a WordPress-based e-commerce site that can compete with any of the big players in the digital marketplace.
Tools and Templates for Sitebuilders
Keep in mind that WooCommerce is not a site builder in and of itself. That example, unlike hosted e-commerce systems like Shopify, WooCommerce does not allow you to design or style a website on its own. However, numerous developers provide both free and paid WordPress themes that are particularly designed to connect and play well with WooCommerce, its extensions, and accompanying plugins.
What is WooCommerce Storefront, and how does it work?
Storefront, a free WordPress theme from WooCommerce, is meant to connect tightly with the WooCommerce core plugin, improve speed and site performance, and avoid theme/plugin conflicts.
You may either utilize the storefront as is, with default settings, or you can change it. You may also pick and install a Storefront child theme to further customize your e-commerce site’s look and feel.
Pre-Built Store Websites (WooCommerce Themes)
You may discover hundreds of e-commerce themes on the official WordPress site if you’re searching for a larger selection of themes for your business. You may pick from a variety of free and premium themes that are suited for e-commerce sites.
Features to be considered when choosing your WooCommerce Theme:
Speed, SEO, Support
Most themes include SEO capabilities to ensure that your consumers can find your business during their internet search, depending on the theme you choose. These WordPress themes are optimized for WooCommerce e-commerce sites, and the majority of them are mobile-friendly.
When you buy a theme from the official WordPress website, you also get access to the support forum. Some themes provide comprehensive documentation to walk you through the installation procedure.
Themes are also accessible from sites such as Themeforest, which has hundreds of themes. To boost conversions, themes are tuned for faster load times. Some will also provide hosting and setup services.
Although the WooCommerce plugin is free, running an online business is not without expenses. If you want your store to prosper, you will need to pay for appropriate hosting with solid security procedures and fast loading speeds. Second, if WooCommerce owners wish to add extensions to their stores, the prices can quickly build up – and in most cases, they are not cheap.
How to Install and Configure the WooCommerce Plugin
Installing the WooCommerce plugin is similar to installing any other plugin. Navigate to Plugins > Add New on your WordPress dashboard. On the following screen, type “WooCommerce” into the search area and wait for the results. Unless we messed up the spelling, it should be the first option. Install Now and then Activate are the two options. You can also go to MichaelTai.Co for WordPress and WooCommerce related plugins.
When you click the activation link, WooCommerce will take you through its setup wizard. You may always configure your store manually, but if this is your first time using the platform, we recommend following the wizard. Let’s have a look at it together by clicking on Let’s Go.
To begin, WooCommerce will generate the four pages that serve as the foundation of your store. The shop itself, a cart, the payment procedure, and a personalized account page for users are all included. Check out the details on each page in the WooCommerce wizard before clicking Continue.
We now have to fill in some details. This section contains numerous fields, but we are only interested in two of them: store location and currency. The rest of the options below are basically up to personal preference. Change them as needed and press the Continue button once more.
The next step is to configure your shipping and taxes. Choose whether or not your store will ship goods and whether or not you will charge sales tax. If this is the case, you will be given the choice of include tax in your prices or adding it afterward.
All that remains is to decide how you want to charge your store’s clients. WooCommerce is pre-configured with support for two main payment gateways: PayPal and Stripe.
Stripe Provides a Smooth Checkout Experience
Instead of sending consumers to the payment gateway’s website, the Stripe Plugin for WooCommerce allows you to take payments directly in your store. According to WooCommerce, keeping consumers on your store’s page during the checkout process has been found to boost conversion rates.
Stripe is easy to set up and there are no startup fees. It enables you to take several types of credit card payments in hundreds of different currencies. Stripe is not accessible in every region, however, WooCommerce connects with other popular payment providers.
PayPal is a well-known payment method.
PayPal is integrated into WooCommerce. The extension is free and allows merchants in and outside of the United States to take all major debit and credit cards.
You can also get compensated in a variety of currencies. Customers do not require a PayPal account because all payments are processed through PayPal’s servers; this option provides you and your customers with a high level of security.
Stores in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Japan can also take payments using Square. It, like the other solutions we’ve discussed, is PCI-compliant, which means it fulfills the industry’s card data security standards.
You will not have to wait long to be paid because funds are deposited within one to two days.
Other payment methods
If you wish to take a different approach, you can accept cheques, bank transfers, and even cash on delivery. We’ve already set up pages, payments, shipping, and taxes, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting your store up and running.
Collection of Applicable Taxes in a Proper Manner
The appropriate collection of relevant taxes is a major source of worry for e-commerce site operators.
The site owner has a lot of discretion over how this is executed thanks to WooCommerce. You may customize the settings so that tax is computed based on the delivery address, the billing address, or the location of your business.
WooCommerce allows you to choose whether to show product prices inclusive of tax in your nation, which means that all product prices will include the base tax price in your region.
Want to give Discounts and coupons?
WooCommerce also gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to giving coupons and discounts.
In addition to limiting the goods and product categories that may be used, you can limit the use of coupons to a minimum purchase quantity, exclude items that have already been lowered in price, and even prohibit the use of specific email addresses.
Shipping options are pretty typical, with free, flat-rate, and real-time cost calculation options available.
If you want, you can limit your shipping options regionally.
Automate Customer Follow-Up Emails
In the Emails section, you may edit and tweak all of the emails that your consumers may get during the purchase process on your site.
You may customize every email generated by WooCommerce, including the copy and graphic aspects.
WooCommerce Extensions & Plugins Increase the Functionality of Your Store
The above-mentioned parameters are what you receive with the basic plugin. You may extend the functionality of your site by selecting and installing the appropriate plugins from WooCommerce’s extensions store.
While you can start selling from your WooCommerce store for free, investing in a few critical plugins can increase the functionality of your store.
Plugins from official WooCommerce Extension Store
There are over 400 plugins to choose from and counting.
Plugins for practically every function are available, as are features meant to improve the aesthetic of your business, increase conversions by monitoring consumer behavior on your site, and assist you in improving your marketing efforts with email campaigns and special offers.
What can these plugins do?
WooCommerce extensions and plugins, both free and paid, allow you to add functionality such as:
- Reservations for appointments (Bookings are needed by a variety of small businesses including fitness training, plumbing, and home services, counseling, barbershops, salons, business consulting, and more.)
- Your website’s membership-only areas (This could be part of your upsell strategy.)
- Subscriptions for digital or physical items that are renewed on a regular basis (Subscriptions could include things like home maintenance services, financial newsletters, or software subscriptions.)
- Tracking of shipments
- Discounts for large quantities
- Square can be used to accept payments in person.
- Make store credit coupons
- Gift cards are available.
- Gifting Subscriptions (making it easy for customers to purchase subscriptions for others)
- Event ticket sales must be managed.
- Manage and keep track of EU VAT rules.
Migrating from Shopify
Some hosting providers will assist you in migrating your site if you are currently utilizing Shopify to operate your e-commerce store.
Cart2Cart: Transfer Your Shopify Store to WooCommerce
You might alternatively use a service such as Cart2Cart. Cart2Cart allows you to export your whole Shopify site to WooCommerce, including your products and customer orders.
Cart2Cart provides two options for completing the migration.
- You can either follow the step-by-step directions in their setup wizard or
- Have them complete the process for you.
Customer Service and WooCommerce Documentation
Pat yourself on the back and then go put up your first product. Then, look through the rest of WooCommerce’s rich documentation to learn how to configure even more complex features.
WooCommerce provides rich documentation for users that covers the fundamentals of using the plugin.
Installation, initial configuration, adding products, setting up the checkout process, managing shipping options, and other topics are covered.
WooCommerce’s stated purpose is to assist users in assisting themselves wherever feasible, thus in addition to the enormous video collection and documentation it provides, it also sets out a simple troubleshooting approach to help discover the origin of a problem and find the most likely remedy.
The choice of an e-commerce platform is based on a variety of variables. Even though it isn’t an easy choice, WordPress users can avoid a lot of headaches by opting for this option. When it comes to online stores of any kind, WooCommerce is a solid choice, in our opinion.