We all know WordPress as a CMS but WP also offers other services like WooCommerce, an open source WordPress-based e-commerce platform, which powers more than 30% of all online stores.
Since it’s operated by WordPress, you can get access to a wide variety of themes, plugins and much more. By using WooCommerce, you can sell any product without paying any transaction fee to the WP and WooCommerce also calculates all the taxes that are required to pay by the customer. While you can pretty much change or customize everything in WooCommerce.
WooCommerce also has the ability to create new accounts for customers or customers can use guest login, tracking orders, keeping track of your inventory, stocks, check out details, notifications, emails etc., it has also the capability of accepting all types of payments from different types of payment gateways.
WooCommerce recommends SiteGround, where the baseline StartUp plan gets you 10GB of web space, unlimited email accounts and databases, a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate and data centers on three continents. At a reasonable price of £2.75 ($3.85) a month.
On top of that, you have the complete control over customization.
Now that we know what WooCommerce (WC) is let us see, how to set up one. Obviously you need to create a new WordPress account or use the existing one. Later WooCommerce asks you to fill and opt all types of formal services that you need, including the method of download.
You can also get a hosted WooCommerce account with pre-installed WooCommerce and hosting. You can refer to SiteGround’s WooCommerce plan for further details.
Creating Your Store
WooCommerce is based on WordPress, so when you first login into the WooCommerce account, you will be given same instructions, demos similar to WordPress later you will be given a plain theme, which can be easily changed.
Go to your WordPress dashboard, which will contain WooCommerce menu with the setup wizard.
Wizard is used to set up the WooCommerce, and you will be required to fill all the details like your currency, types of payment gateways that you will accept and some other formal details including shipping and tax rules and much more.
For automatic tax calculation and services, you need to download the specified plugins by WooCommerce.
It’s Time to Design Your Store.
You can customize the theme, page layouts etc., with the help WooCommerce. You can add some CSS to your site if you want.
By using an import tool you can import product catalogs from other platforms in the form of source code in CSV format, up to 128 MB. Of course, you can physically edit or add new products to your store with ease, since it’s done by WordPress editor. You can also add all sorts of media to your store. You can also throw in some YouTube links as well.
WooCommerce may not offer as many features as BigCommerce, but still, it’s more efficient for small stores and for basic stores.
Setting shipping requires a lot of work. It totally depends on which service you want to choose, or which services that is available in your regions.
WooCommerce combined with WordPress is pretty easy to do, but beginners might find it a little bit hard.
Running Your Business
Now that we have created a store, let’s see how to maintain it. WooCommerce is pretty capable and is adaptable to all sorts of situations. It keeps track of your inventory, if items are out of stock then it will hide those items. Give notifications about the stock. You can also add a new admin or multiple admins, with a different scope of control.
Since you already have a WordPress account, you can use that to blog and advertise your store.
Add-ons are not always free in WooCommerce, but you can use these to notify your customers, about new stock via SMS or you can also add a live chat to your store.
Support is not that great. It may take a while before your issue is resolved.
In conclusion, WooCommerce is a smart choice for experienced users while novices may find it a little bit hard to use WooCommerce.