Word Press’ WooCommerce plug-in was launched in late 2011 so users can add a shop to their WordPress websites. Today WooCommerce supports a growing percentage of eCommerce stores claiming to be the most popular WordPress eCommerce plug-in offered for WordPress. Downloads are exponentially increasing since their launched in 2011, and in just the first 3 years WooCommerce reported 2.3 million downloads. That number is now around 3.2 million downloads.
WooCommerce provides a great user experience and great features for online startups without costing a fortune. As eCommerce specialists, we at ATAK Interactive wanted to introduce WordPress’ WooCommerce plug-in to you. In addition, share the main reasons to go or not go with the WooCommerce plug-in for you eCommerce business/startup.
WooCommerce is a Plug In
Let’s begin. Before digging more into WooCommerce, there is one important concept to understand: WooCommerce is not a standalone eCommerce platform. WooCommerce is an eCommerce plug-in for the Word Press Content Management Platform only. If your site is not built on WordPress you cannot use this plug-in.
WooCommerce is 100% Free
Yes, just like almost every other open-source platform, WooCommerce is free to download, install, configure, and use, which is why it’s great for eCommerce start-ups, especially those that don’t have a high budget. WooCommerce offers great tools and features for online merchants to sell easily and more innovatively. Whether it’s t-shirts, records or music files, selling on WooCommerce makes this all possible. The only cost would be to develop your web store, which can’t be done without a professional web developer. The plug-in must be installed, skinned to your design and configured to take payments while charging the right amounts for tax, shipping, handling, etc. If you have any ideas about an eCommerce business please give ATAK Interactive a call or send us e-mail; 1-855-472-1892 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a free website consultation.
WordPress is a Solid Platform
The biggest advantage of the WooCommerce plug-in is that if you already have a website built in WordPress, you most likely will not have to start a site rebuild from scratch to add an ecommerce component to your website. Building on top of a platform like WordPress is also an advantage because you can still use the many other great tools and specs that come with WordPress.. As WordPress was first built as a blog platform, one can have a great blog on the site to grow your online exposure faster and be reputable in terms of Search Engine Optimization. There are also Search Engine Optimization plug-ins that will help when adding new pages. WordPress is also known as the most user-friendly content management system out there; so we feel it is fair enough to say its specs will definitely help your online store grow faster because your administration experience will be rather efficient and easy to manage. Adding the WooCommerce plug-in is just one of the many useful tools one can add to a website that is on the WordPress platform.
WooCommerce is Customizable
Currently, users are able to download and use 39 different mostly free WooCommerce themes for their online stores. In addition to that there are many other theme options on www.themeforest.com for WooCommerce stores. Regardless from the available themes, you can also customize your online store to make it unique for your brand/business. WooCommerce allows developers design flexibility.
Includes Most Everything You Need Out of the Box
Just because WooCommerce is free doesn’t mean it’s not a professional solution for eCommerce stores; it really is. WooCommerce has almost everything a startup needs out of the box to start and operate a successful online store. To give a few examples, WooCommerce comes with tools for tracking order and customer engagement tools, order status check, tax settings, inventory management, shipping options, coupon codes, etc. Most startups and small stores will have everything needed in the default WooCommerce plug-in. ATAK can customize WooCommerce when needed to achieve some special results.
Let us Manage Expectations a Little
Of course, WooCommerce also has some features that online merchants should take into account before downloading the plug-in. Nothing is perfect. First thing, because it is a standalone plug-in for WordPress; it could have some bugs that come with it. WooCommerce will offer updates and patches for bugs so usually the problems do not last long.
Second, for high traffic online stores, reporting and marketing features aren’t as sophisticated as the Magento platform. As the business grows and certain things are needed, one may outgrow WooCommerce but that would be a good thing (meaning you are making money). Successful stores should consider that WooCommerce may not be the long term solution. Last but not least, product importing (mass upload) is manual with the default WooCommerce build so if your store is going to have a lot of products, there should be a consideration to buy WooCommerce enhancements such as the “product importer” for $199. Otherwise, adding a lot of products can take a longer time to upload than eCommerce platforms that allow mass imports at default.
As eCommerce specialists, our team at ATAK Interactive highly recommends WooCommerce for online start-up businesses so that they can get their feet wet and get a proof of concept. We mentioned that WooCommerce, the plug-in, is free to download but you still need to invest some money for your online store development to make every part of your website perfect. In the long run if you want to increase your product line and you have advanced requirements then you may outgrow WooCommerce, and in those cases ATAK recommends Magento, which is also free to download but more complex to build out. If you want to know more about the Magento features please check: Why Magento Is The Best eCommerce Platform?