Ecommerce on WordPress: A Beginner’s Guide to WooCommerce
With the advent of cyberspace, brick-and-mortar commerce is rapidly molding into e-commerce as more & more retailers see the untapped potential in having an online presence.
But as businesses move online, they need to understand a customer’s need to navigate your site easily with visually appealing design, security, and a great set of features. A publishing platform like WordPress meets these needs, and luckily it comes with thousands of plugins to choose from, one of them being WooCommerce for e-businesses.
Holding a market share of 28.24%, WooCommerce by WordPress continues to grow at an exponential rate, serving small businesses to big corporations.
What Is Woocommerce?
Woocommerce is a WordPress plugin used by e-commerce platforms to run online stores for selling services and products. Currently, it has over 5 million active installations, making it the most popular open-source platform for e-businesses worldwide.
It makes it easy to manage & design your e-store by equipping you with several inventory management functions & many themes to choose from. You can request a quote here for different services.
NOTE: Though it does prove to be cost-efficient and accessible to many, it is still tough to develop and maintain. Luckily, that’s where Corporates Hi-Tech comes into play to provide you with WooCommerce development solutions.
Woocommerce Features & Plugins
Woocommerce comes with a vast range of features & useful plugins; some of the vital ones are listed as under:
- Products can be filtered out by the prices, bestselling categories, or new arrivals & categorized.
- The number of products shown per page is customizable, though the default display of 16 products per page is ideal for small businesses.
- The grouped product feature lets you add different variations of the same product (colors, sizes, etc.)
- Based on the geolocation of customers, you can choose to add free shipping
Advanced Inventory Management
Whether you want to keep track of all transaction records, calculations of taxes according to the location of customers & unstable product pricing, or providing the latest stats & data, this plugin is intelligently designed for stock product management (though inventory management services make this task easier).
One benefit of this plugin powered by WordPress is that you can embed products & many customized featured or “widgets” to your page with no trouble using shortcodes, saving your time without going into hefty long coding practices, a useful facility.
Large Product Database & Integration with DHL eCommerce
DHL eCommerce is a global product shipping service based in Germany. By integrating with the DHL e-commerce plugin, you can use WooCommerce to keep track of bulk product orders (even 50k or more products). In addition to that, this plugin is also aimed at allowing you to print DHL labels for your products, order tracking codes for each, email support & also offer advanced services at a discount.
NOTE: Although, we suggest you talk to the experts here at Corporate Hi-tech to truly make capital out of shipping integration procedures. Take a quick walkthrough of all our features.
WooCommerce Google Analytics
This free extension integrated with WooCommerce provides site stats such as traffic-driving factors, transactions, impressions, and other valuable data to pave the way for further growth of your e-business.
Email Marketing Integration
It comes with the option of Mailchimp integration, helping you to achieve your marketing goals effortlessly by building a “Mailchimp audience”, keeping track of their latest activities to lay out a roadmap for the growth of your business. With this widget, you can carry out personalized marketing campaigns and keep paving the way to generate leads.
Another email marketing widget you can connect with Mailchimp is Newsletter Subscription, which makes it easy for your buyers to subscribe to your daily newsletters about new product arrivals, discounts, promo codes, etc.
WooCommerce vs. Shopify: How do both compare?
Let’s weigh up both of these well-known e-commerce platforms.
Launch & Adaptability: Setting up WooCommerce is more hands-on than Shopify and if you’re not so tech-savvy, it would require a helping hand from expert developers for you to get started & keep up with security threats & updates.
It is self-hosted, so giving you more control for customization, hundreds of thousands of (free & paid) themes or plugins to choose from & leaving more space for growth.
Pricing: Though the pricing for getting access to advanced functionalities based on your necessities & budget will vary after launching its plugin, the only allotted payment after free of cost installation will be for the domain available & a myriad of hosting services with different set prices. You also would also eventually need to pay for an SSL certificate to avoid security threats.
Its perks compared to Shopify’s monthly payments? Every purchase you make is one-time.
Payment Gateway: With a long list of both popular (& not so popular) international and regional payment gateways, WooCommerce supports them all. Some well-known ones it boasts about include Paypal, Stripe, etc. But it does have an exhaustive configuration process, for which we suggest you get in touch with the experts at Corporate Hi-Tech.
Launch & Adaptability: Since it’s a platform of its own, setting up your site is as easy as just clicking start and entering your store name with your product details.
It will also take care of your Shopify store for regular updates & handling of security. For further assistance for its community of sellers, it has started its own Shopify Partner Program to help connect its storekeepers to experts that’ll assist with boosting their growth, develop & draft the perfect design for their shops.
In terms of Shopify themes & extensions provided called “apps”, you don’t have a lot of options, as they come in a fixed amount provided by Shopify (unlike Woocommerce, where beautiful themes & custom plugins are constantly being uploaded by its own WordPress community)
Shopify Pricing Plans: Starting at 29$ a month for the basic plan, along with a 14-day free trial, Shopify makes the taking off process for your e-business quite easy. Though, to display & access basic functionalities (e.g. testimonials for products, checkout optimization, etc.) for your platform, you have to buy their apps.
Check out all their pricing plans and features here.
Payment Gateway: Due to it being a platform of its own and not just a plugin, Shopify comes with its own easy to configure payment gateway. One downside is that, although it does offer payment methods from outsiders, it will charge you for it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why did Lemonstand Close?
Closed in 2019, Lemonstand was a widely used eCommerce platform. The rationale backing this step is believed to be unknown, but it appears that it took a huge hit after not being able to keep up with competitors.
Though you can sync your data and migrate to substitute platforms with high functionality, some of the top names you should consider are WooCommerce, Shopify, or Magneto.
What WooCommerce Plugins Do I Need?
With a multitude of WordPress plugins offering advanced functionalities, some of the basic ones that you’ll need for optimizing your shop’s performance are listed as under:
- PDF Invoices & Packing Slips – For sending invoices to customers
- Google Analytics Integration – For tracking your site’s performance
- LiveChat – Chat option for your customers
- Direct Checkout – Make your checkout process less complicated
- ELEX Woocommerce DHL Express – For tracking real-time rates and estimated delivery