Running an e-commerce store could be highly tasking if you have to deal with multiple platforms/apps to manage individually. That is why one should consider automated plugins that can handle multiple tasks at one go to run your store. WooCommerce is one option to look for. So, what is WooCommerce plugin? How does it work? What are the different features and services offered by WooCommerce? In this WooCommerce Plugin review, you will find answers to these questions and many more.
So, if you are looking to start an online store, or are already selling products online, then read on to know more about WooCommerce.
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WooCommerce Plugin Review: What is WooCommerce plugin?
WooCommerce is an e-commerce plugin that can easily integrate with your WordPress website/store.
It allows you to turn your WordPress website into a fully functioning online store with features like selling physical or digital products, managing inventory, taking payments, shipping orders, and more.
WooCommerce plugin was first introduced in 2011 by developers Mike Jolley and James Koster associated with a developing platform called Automattic.
WooCommerce is an ideal source for many small and medium-sized businesses. It has members in more than 30 countries. The plugin is used by 29% of a million online stores which is a gigantic achievement.
How does WooCommerce work?
WooCommerce works by adding an e-commerce functionality plugin to your WordPress website. It is an open-source plugin so you can use it free of cost as an owner. Just create your WooCommerce account, download and install the plugin to your WordPress website.
If you are a beginner looking to set up a new store then, check the WooCommerce guidelines on setting up a new store.
WooCommerce is also available as a free plugin with many hosting service providers. One of them is Bluehost. So, if your website is running on any of the hosting service providers that also offer WooCommerce then you can directly install it for free.
Once installed, you can start using the WooCommerce features that include adding a shopping cart, checkout process, payment gateway, and support. WooCommerce also allows you to manage your inventory, track orders, and more.
WooCommerce comes with a lot of features out of the box. Here are some of the most important ones:
Store design – The official WooCommerce theme is Shopify Storefront which is completely free to use. The theme design is ideal for new users since it works with WooCommerce extensions and upgrades. This can be further modified using paid extensions.
Overall, WooCommerce offers more than 40 themes to design your store. Most of them are paid themes that can cost an extra $$$ but give you more flexibility and design options.
Product management – WooCommerce makes it easy to add, edit, and manage your products. You can also set up product variations, add images and galleries, control stock levels, set up digital downloads, and more.
You can also take help from some third-party apps/plugins to enhance the product management features. You can save time and effort by combining the correct plugins to automate tax calculations, obtain real-time shipping rates, and locate the greatest shippers available.
Payment gateway integration – WooCommerce integrates well with many payments gateways out of the box. This means you can accept payments via credit card, PayPal, Apple Pay, bank transfer, and more.
You can easily integrate with your choice of payment gateway in case you don’t like using WooCommerce payment options. There are a couple of free integrations related to POS (Point of Sales) too such as Square and PayPal Zettle available to accept the payments.
Shipping integration – WooCommerce can automatically calculate shipping rates from major carriers like USPS, UPS, and FedEx. You can also set up a flat rate, local pickup shipping methods, or offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount.
What’s more is, WooCommerce allows grouping of products and prints labels using USPS and DHL mainly for US customers.
Tax management – WooCommerce can help you automatically calculate and collect taxes for your online store. It supports over 20 countries and can handle complex tax rules like multiple rates based on location or product type.
Coupons and discounts – WooCommerce lets you offer coupons and discounts to encourage customers to buy from your store. You can create coupon codes, set expiration dates, offer free shipping, and more.
You can set a fixed price for each product, or offer discounts with coupon codes. You can also offer shipping options and taxes for your products.
Reporting – WooCommerce comes with built-in reporting tools so you can track your sales, customers, inventory, taxes, and more. This information can help you make better decisions for your business.
WooCommerce is a free plugin with several paid add-ons to extend its functionality. The core plugin is available on WordPress.org, and the add-ons can be purchased from WooCommerce.com.
The cost of using WooCommerce will depend on the add-ons you need for your store. Prices range from $49 to $249 per year, with discounts available for multi-year and lifetime licenses.
In addition to the cost of the plugin itself, you’ll also need to pay for hosting, a domain name, and other necessary eCommerce tools like a payment gateway and shipping calculator.
Can you make money with the WooCommerce plugin?
WooCommerce plugin is like an all-in-one tool to set up your online store. Using it would save you lots of costs incurred on integrating with third-party apps related to payments, shipping, tax calculations, etc.
If you can use the WooCommerce features effectively there are chances to make 4-5 figures monthly income from your e-commerce store. WooCommerce integration feature is another useful factor that allows selling on multiple platforms which can further increase your earnings.
So yes, you can make money with WooCommerce but it largely depends on your selling skills, e-commerce experience, and store management expertise.
Success strategies and tips for using WooCommerce
Here are some success strategies and tips for using WooCommerce:
Start with a simple setup: When first starting out with WooCommerce, it’s best to keep things simple. Add a few products and run through the checkout process. Once you’re comfortable with the basics, you can start adding more products and features.
Choose the right hosting: WooCommerce can be resource-intensive, so it’s important to choose a good hosting provider. We recommend using a managed WordPress hosting provider like WP Engine or Bluehost.
Pick the right theme: Your WooCommerce store will need a theme that is compatible with WooCommerce and supports all of the features you need. We recommend using a theme from WooThemes or Genesis.
Install the right plugins: In order to add extra features to your WooCommerce store, you’ll need to install plugins. Be sure to only install plugins that are compatible with WooCommerce and that you really need.
- It is free to use – The core plugin is available for free on WordPress.org, and there are no transaction fees like you might find with other eCommerce platforms.
- WooCommerce is flexible – WooCommerce can be used for a wide range of online stores, from small businesses to large enterprises. It’s also easy to customize WooCommerce to fit your specific needs. There are a number of extensions and themes available for WooCommerce, allowing you to customize your store further.
- Multiple integrations: WooCommerce integrates well with WordPress, providing a seamless experience. You can work with multiple online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy, etc. by easily syncing your products.
- Mobile app – You can install the WooCommerce app for Android or iOS and use it to keep track of and administer your e-commerce site on the move. The program may also be used to manage several shops at once.
- Support & guidance – Because WooCommerce is so popular, there’s a large community of developers and designers who can help you with your store. Users can also take guidance from extensive documentation and support forums provided by WooCommerce.
- Complexity – Thanks to WooCommerce flexibility, it can be complex to set up and manage. You might need to hire a developer or designer to help you with your store. There is also a bit of a learning curve associated with WooCommerce, owing to its complexity compared to other e-commerce solutions.
- Slow response – WooCommerce can be slow to load, due to additional coding or if you have a lot of products and customers using your store. This can be frustrating for visitors to your site and could hurt your sales.
- Can be expensive – While WooCommerce itself is free, you’ll need to pay for add-ons, hosting, and other necessary eCommerce tools. This can add up quickly, especially if you’re just starting out.
Conclusion: Is the WooCommerce plugin recommended?
WooCommerce is a great platform for selling online. It’s free to use, easy to set up, and has a wide range of features.
The platform offers flexibility, and convenience to design your store with ease, provides many valuable features free of cost, and even has a mobile app to run the business on the go.
However, it does have a few drawbacks, such as its learning curve and the fact that it requires a WordPress website. You may have to shell out extra money for paid apps as most of its add-ons carry basic features.
WooCommerce is recommended if you’re willing to put in the time to learn how it works and ready to bear some extra cost.
However, if you want an all-inclusive package of setting up and running your e-store smoothly then there are many alternatives such as BigCommerce, Shopify, etc. These are relatively expensive but will save lots of hidden costs that are associated with WooCommerce.