If you are looking to create a professional online store that has everything you need to run your eCommerce business, then you have to consider WooCommerce. Not only is this free WordPress plugin simple to install and set up, its longstanding position as the number one eCommerce tool means there are a vast array of themes and function-enhancing add-ons to go with it. Here, we’ll look at why WooCommerce is the ideal way to create your online store.
An overview of WooCommerce
Essentially, WooCommerce is a plugin which transforms a standard WordPress website into a fully functional eCommerce store. Installation takes a couple of clicks and from there you can get straight to the job of setting up your store and adding your products. You can use WooCommerce to sell anything, including physical goods, digital products, bookings and reservations.
Setting up WooCommerce is designed to be easy. It is owned by Automatic, the same company that owns WordPress.com and it has the same user-friendly approach. There is a wide range of excellent themes and a constantly growing list of plugins that provide an extensive library of additional features for your online store. What’s more, its massive popularity means there are lots of companies offering Woo-specific services and tools for things like marketing optimisation and web development. It’s also mobile-friendly, enabling you to sell straight to the growing number of mobile purchasers.
The WordPress connection
WordPress has long been the world’s favourite platform for building websites, with 35% of all sites using it. Free to use and with thousands of free themes and tens of thousands of plugins, it offers website owners the most comprehensive set of website building tools in existence. It doesn’t, however, come with built-in eCommerce functionality, simply because the majority of websites don’t need it. WooCommerce provides that functionality and this gives online retailers the advantages of both WordPress and WooCommerce when creating their stores.
Aside from its easy installation and wizard-assisted setup, and the availability of add-ons and store specific themes, WooCommerce provides a range of other useful benefits.
Making selling a breeze
Selling products with WooCommerce couldn’t be easier. Not only can you customise the layout and design of your store; you can create your own product categories and use product tags for customers to search by. Product searches can even be filtered, making it easier for customers to find what they are looking for.
There’s no limit to the number of products you can sell and you are able to offer endless product variations including sizes and weights, colours and age ranges. You can also use WooCommerce to offer discounts on specific items.
When it comes to the individual product pages, you are able to provide all the information you want to your customers. You can include pricing, descriptions, specifications, serial numbers, reviews and ratings, multiple product images and videos. You can even have zoom in or full-page images if needed.
Check out the checkout
WooCommerce’s ability to integrate with different payment gateways means customers can have a range of payment options, such as credit and bank cards or PayPal and Stripe. They can also make purchases as guests or by creating user accounts and they can even leave product reviews and ratings to help other customers.
When it comes to the actual checkout process, WooCommerce can automatically add the right shipping fee for the product and address, and it can use geolocation to add the right taxes for international sales. You are able to provide a range of different shipping options too, e.g. collect at store, first-class mail, next day delivery, etc.
While the out of the box version of WooCommerce will undertake basic inventory tasks, such as notifying you when stock levels are low, there are inventory management extensions that go a whole lot further and help automate the process. These can ensure that you aren’t selling out of stock products and that stock levels are updated immediately after a sale takes place. They also help ensure that dispatch takes place according to plan and that products go to the right address.
The hosting consideration
If you are setting up any kind of eCommerce store, it is important to think of your hosting requirements. Large numbers of products and product images mean you will need considerably more storage than the average business website. Similarly, if you have a lot of visitors landing on lots of product pages, you will also need unlimited bandwidth and more processing capacity to handle all those browser requests in order to ensure your site can cope with demand. The last thing you need is for it to crash at your busiest time.
The WordPress – WooCommerce partnership is the ideal solution for building fully functional and professional online stores. Free and easy to use and packed to the brim with features, they are used the world over by brands large and small. Provided you have the right hosting, they can ensure your online shop has everything it needs for a successful launch.
WHUK’s range of hosting solutions cater for the needs of all online stores, big or small. Visit our homepage to find out more.