Creating any eCommerce website is bound to be a long journey. You have to think about so many things and bring them together into one place. What if you could get or find a complete solution which provides all of these things in one simple package? Sound too good to be true? Actually there are several packages which offer complete eCommerce solutions. In today’s post, I will discuss one such solution in particular – WooCommerce.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is probably the most popular eCommerce solution for WordPress. At the most basic level, WooCommerce is actually a WordPress plugin. The free plugin is provided with all the primary features that are required for creating an eCommerce website using WordPress. You can also include additional features by purchasing premium extensions.
Why Choose WooCommerce?
WooCommerce comes with lots of powerful options to build a perfect eCommerce website. I will try to focus on some of the most important features of WooCommerce below.
You can sell any type of product without any limitations. Besides the regular physical products, WooCommerce allows you to sell virtual products, digital downloads and affiliated products too.
Easy Payment Methods
By default, WooCommerce comes bundled with three payment methods – PayPal, BACS and Cash on Delivery. By purchasing premium add-ons, you can easily add additional payment methods.
Flexible Shipping Options
WooCommerce allows you to offer multiple shipping options to your customers. You can offer free shipping, flat rate shipping or customized shipping solutions for exclusive products.
Simple Inventory Tracking
The simple and intuitive inventory tracking system of WooCommerce will let you keep track of your existing inventory and manage various products easily. It is also possible to allow other people to manage the inventory handling tasks.
Versatile Marketing Options
WooCommerce provides its users with various ways to attract new customers and to keep the existing customers engaged. You can offer discount coupons, free shipping and/or limit specific products to a group of users only.
Convenient Tax Calculation
Handling the taxation issues is one of the most important and most boring tasks for an eCommerce business. However, the simple, powerful tax calculation engine of WooCommerce will offer you some convenience in this regard.
One of the main reasons behind the huge popularity of WooCommerce is its large inventory of extensions. By using these extensions, it is possible to take your eCommerce store to the next level. One of the most popular extensions is ‘WooCommerce Booking (http://www.woothemes.com/products/woocommerce-bookings/)’. If you offer professional service online, this extension could be an excellent tool for managing your appointments. Another popular extension is WooCommerce Subscriptions (http://www.woothemes.com/products/woocommerce-subscriptions/). If your product or service requires recurring payments, this is the solution for you. Other popular extensions include Product Bundles (http://www.woothemes.com/products/product-bundles/), Smart Coupons (http://www.woothemes.com/products/smart-coupons/), Shipment Tracking (http://www.woothemes.com/products/shipment-tracking/), WooCommerce Wishlist (http://www.woothemes.com/products/woocommerce-wishlists/) etc.
How to use WooCommerce
In order to use WooCommerce, you have to download and install it from WordPress plugin repository (https://wordpress.org/plugins/woocommerce/). Once you have installed and activated it, the next step is to configure the system and add products. As both of these are lengthy, time consuming processes, I won’t discuss them in this article. However, if you want a getting started guide from me, please let me know by leaving a comment below. In the meantime, you can check out the WooCommerce 101 Video Tutorials (https://support.woothemes.com/hc/en-us/articles/203252645-WooCommerce-101-Video-Tutorials-Build-your-store-from-start-to-sale-) and the official getting started guide (https://support.woothemes.com/hc/en-us/sections/200430377-Getting-Started).
Another important thing is to choose the right theme for your WooCommerce website. To find out the perfect themes, you can check this article in aThemes (http://athemes.com/collections/free-woocommerce-wordpress-themes/) or this one in Elegant Themes (http://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/resources/15-of-the-most-stunning-woocommerce-themes-in-2015). Woo Themes has also developed an exclusive theme for WooCommerce (http://www.woothemes.com/product-category/themes/woocommerce/).
If you are new to the eCommerce world, WooCommerce could be a lifesaver for you. The simple and easy user interface of the plugin will let you build your online store step by step. Let me know what you think about WooCommerce by leaving a comment. And if you already have some experience with it, don’t forget to share your opinions with us.