So, you set up your WordPress website, and it’s looking great! Now, for you next move, you want to open an online shop and get your business up and running. For this, there is no better choice than WordpPress’s most popular e-commerce plugin, WooCommerce. But, if you want to take full advantage of of this awesome service, make sure you read this complete guide first!
What are the basics of WooCommerce?
According to BuiltWith, WooCommerce powers around 3.3 million or 22% of all e-commerce websites in the world.
What makes WooCommerce so popular is that it is an open-source plugin easy to install, working on an already successful and widely adopted open-source CMS like WordPress. An added benefit of WooCommerce is that other plugins have been built on top of WooCommerce that further enhance your webshop’s features. Some of these plugins are good for selling digital goods like ebooks and music. Some work well with physical goods like clothes and shoes. Either way, you have full control over your store.
When is WooCommerce used?
We’ve already established that WooCommerce is more than capable of handling any type of physical or digital products. The plugin provides you with variations setups for colors or sizes, even download functions for the online products you sell.
However, that’s not all. WooCommerce allows you to configure your shipping options, such as delivery in one specific country or worldwide. What’s even more exciting, is that the plugin also supports dropshipping. If you don’t know what that is yet, dropshipping is a business model where stock is purchased only after a sale is made. In other words, you list goods on your website, but you do now stock them. When your client places an order, only then you buy the stock and ship it directly to the customer. This strategy bypasses you, the dropshipper, so you avoid risks like overstocking, and you save money on storage.
Needless to say, you have plenty of payment methods such as credit cards, PayPal, bank transfers and cash that you can choose from. All these options work with payment gateways like Stripe, Authorize.net, Amazon Payments and more. Last but not least, WooCommerce provides you with detailed reporting so you always keep up to date on your online business’ performance.
How do I setup WooCommerce?
Alright! Let’s move on to setting WooCommerce up. Step one, go to Plugins, then Add New and search for WooCommerce in the search bar. Step two, install and activate the plugin. By now you have two new tabs on your side menu called WooCommerce and Products.
The first tab – “WooCommerce”- is your Command Center. This is where you see all the orders coming through your store. Aside from that, this is where you create discount coupons, monitor the performance of your store with in-depth reports, and/or update various WooCommerce settings.
The second tab – “Products” – is where all your fantastic products and their respective categories go.
Before you start filling too much in these two tabs, you will need to start with the basic information an e-commerce store requires in order to operate:
- Your physical address, currency, and type of products
- Payment method/s
- Shipping details
How to start adding products to WooCommerce?
If you have followed the above setup, you should have your WooCommerce installation configured by now. However, creating an awesome webshop comes down to product presentation, especially since your online customers cannot physically interact with your store.
That is why it’s important to provide a number of pictures, a long and a short description of the item which explains all the features and attributes of the item. So let’s take a look at how to add your first product through the WooCommerce plugin. The first thing to fill is your product title. This is where you have to provide the name of your product and maybe some of its features, such as color. Onto the next one, we have our main body; this is where the magic happens.
Try to be as specific as possible, especially with details like product dimensions, weight, special features, and so on. Last comes the short description. Now, if the long description is where the magic happens, the short description is reality and, if you are not careful, you might get punched in the face. Basically, in this section, you try to describe the product in a few words whilst creating the need to buy this product.
What else can I customize with WooCommerce?
Oh boy, where do we start. Let’s just say that there are many ways to customize your WooCommerce site, but here are a few of the most important and most requested ones:
Subscriptions help with anything between recurring payments, recurring orders, publications and everything in between. Even if your orders happen only monthly or yearly, they still fall under the recurring subscription category. This means that this type of plugin will work for you, making subscriptions easy for both you and your customers.
Aside from that, WooCommerce can also synchronize with other payment platform for an even better customer experience. If one of your customers cancels their subscription with a payment platform provider, the subscription also cancels on your platform. How convenient is that? Not only that this is an incentive for you customers, but is easier for you too, and hassle-free. Win-win.
You can integrate Amazon’s API into WooCommerce and feature their products on your webshop, in a seemless, noninvasive way. Your customers won’t knwo the products come from Amazon until the checkout. The API integration also allows you to show Amazon reviews, use buying recommendation. In other words, the API allows you to use Amazon’s entire sales power on your e-commerce store.
The beauty of this API is that it allows you to keep your core functionalities. For example, you keep a promotional page and blog separately, as you use the Amazon integration to gain experience as an online retailer. You don’t need to worry about stock, production, or payments.
You may already know that you can use the Groups plugin to configure levels for your users’ memberships. But, if you use this plugin with WooCommerce, you enable paid memberships. Add a subscriptions plugin to that combination, and you get paid recurring memberships. No worries, no hassle and easy.
No matter which Groups or Memberships plugins you use, they all provide you with what you need. Groups with memberships billed and paid regularly translate into loyal consumers.
Restaurants, hotels, concert tickets. What do all these have in common? Yup, bookings. Booking plugins have calendars for you users where they select a time and date for their booking. Aside from that, you control the bookings, avoiding mishaps. For example, you set parameters and prevent doubling your bookings, and your customers can check availability beforehand.
On top of that, the plugin automates invoices, so it sends them for you to complete transactions. One thing less to worry about for you, hence more time for planning and optimizing your business.
How do I boost my sales with WooCommerce?
You set up your webshop, added products and extensions that make your online store stand out. Now what? Well, you need to get going and start SELLING! Here are a few ways to boost your sales with WooCommerce:
More than ninety percent of online shoppers base their purchasing decisions on recommendations, not adverts. In this situation, using a third party like TrustPulse is crucial. Now, TrustPulse is not really a plugin, but it uses real activity from real people to increase your conversions by up to 15%. TrustPulse shows small notifications of real-time activity other users have taken on your online store. So, it helps you leverage social proof and build trust with visitors. Key features are:
- Real-time event tracking for purchases, demo registrations, email signups, and more
- Smart targeting to boost conversions using advanced targeting rules and timing controls
- Notifications that show user activity over a period of time
- Flexible design options to match your site’s branding
- Actionable analytics to get the stats you need to boost conversions
- Easy setup on any website with no coding needed
WooCommerce Products Slider
Adding a product carousel is an easy way to make shoppers engaged on your site immediately as they land on your page. WooCommerce Products Slider is customizable to make sure that every important product is on target. Shoppers can view images and product information and can add products to their cart right from the carousel. Key features are:
- Fully responsive and mobile ready
- Unlimited number of slides
- Hide products that are out of stock
- Extensive customization options
WooCommerce Image Zoom
Since shoppers can’t physically pick up your products to get a close look, they’re going to want to be able to see larger images. With WooCommerce Image Zoom you can give them the larger images they want to explore your products without slowing down your website with giant images. Shoppers are happy and your site still loads quickly. Key features are:
- 4 types of zoom
- Customizable zoom lens and zoom window size
- Remove zoom for a specific product or category
WooCommerce Currency Switcher
There will be times when a consumer wants to buys something using a different currency than what you have available. WooCommerce Currency Switcher is the perfect solution for this. The Currency Switched allows your consumers to convert their shopping into heir own country’s currency. You may not think this is a big thing, but it counts a lot for your consumers. It adds transparency and trust, resulting in a happy customer.
But, Hey! Why not go the extra mile and give some of your customers abroad free shipping. With this free WooCommerce plugin, decide on minimum amounts that entitle your client to free shipping. Key features for this plugin are:
- Shortcode to easily add the widget to your site
- Currency can be changed automatically based on shopper’s location
- 3 available widgets: currency switcher, currency converter, and currency rates
The WooCommerce Multilingual plugin allows you to translate your shop into any language you want. Hence, you shoppers always feel welcomed and comfortable. More importantly, they see descriptions, feaures and other important details in their preffered language, thus creating trust. Libratone used this tactic to grow their email list 400%! Key features are:
- Translation management for products, categories, and attributes
- Keep the same language throughout the checkout process
- Send emails to clients and admins in their language
The WooCommerce Waitlist allows you customers to keep an eye on things they want, but are not ready to but yet. Also, it gets you the email address of an engaged shopper so you can do follow-ups and special promotions. You can use a waitlist to build hype about a new product by having shoppers join the waitlist and get notified when the product finally launches. To take that a step further, you can use the waitlist to create exclusivity around a product launch. For instance, you could give shoppers the opportunity to sign up for the waitlist for a certain amount of time. In exchange, they would be able to purchase the product BEFORE the actual launch date.
There are many ways to use waitlists to boost interest in your products and keep shoppers engaged, track demand for out of stock items and send emails once the item is back in stock. The key features are:
- Notify customers via email when their waitlisted product is available for purchase
- Enable or disable guest users
- Track customer list, products needed, and quantity
WooCommerce Checkout Manager
You surely got the idea by now. Customer experience is everything and the more you plan, the better for you. Our final step for this complete guide to WooCommerce is the checkout experience. Not only that you customers will appreciate a smooth transition to checkout, but you get the chance to gain extra knowledge about them that will help you in the future. A good example here is the WooCommerce Checkout Manager plugin that allows you to customized every checkout based on your user. In other words, your checkout forms are tailored specifically so you get the most out of your consumer, while they are not required to fill in information that is not relevant for them.woo
Reorder, rename, hide, and extend checkout fields in Billing, Shipping, and Additional sections on your cart page and checkout page. Key features are:
- Add, remove, and make fields required
- Create conditional fields
- Keep field information for customers
Building your own custom webshop is not for everyone, but if you do the work, great rewards awaits you. Rather than relying on third-party platforms like Amazon or Alibaba taking a cut, you get to keep all the revenue to yourself. Besides, building your own webshop gives you complete freedom to choose what features to install and how your products should be presented online. Naturally, if you are considering building your very own WooCommerce webshop, don’t hesitate to reach out to Wiredelta.