In the past decades, companies have expanded their businesses online, birthing the e-commerce industry. One of the most popular tools to transform an existing website into an e-commerce is through WooCommerce. But how does WooCommerce work? We’ll tell you all about it in this article.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce was founded to transform pre-existing WordPress websites into full functioning e-commerce, while maintaining WordPress’s standard capabilities.
WordPress is a famous website marker for any and all purposes. Totaling over 455 million websites, 35% of all websites in the world use WordPress.
To start off with, WordPress is already a great place for business websites.
You can start and run a WordPress website for free. While WordPress offers paid plans, the software can be utilized and tried out for free.
Easy to Use
WordPress’s interface is beginner-friendly. To create a basic website requires no need for coding. However, you can always hire a web agency to help you with your WordPress website development, too.
Easily download, incorporate, and use videos, images, and audio files on pages and posts.
Given its SEO built-in features, WordPress websites are SEO-friendly.
Theme layouts are compatible beyond desktops interfaces. The design appears nicely on tablets and smartphones, too.
Content Creation Friendly
Because the function is built based off WordPress’, content implementation is easy to construct.
From digital projects to content-based subscription, and from physical products to event bookings, WooCommerce enables users to sell whatever their company wishes to.
Business owners and developers from all over the world use WooCommerce.
Sucuri regularly audits the software to ensure proper regulation of the security measures in place.
Includes optional external resources and tools. The flexibility and variety in plugins and extensions allow for businesses to meet their time-sensitive needs on their own accord.
WooCommerce versus Shopify
Shopify takes care of the security and web hosting for all websites. Within the e-commerce niche, their system is extremely compatible with dropshipping businesses. Their interface enables a very easy process to set up the website, given that no basic coding is needed. A store can be up and running immediately.
They also provide multichannel integration and 24/7 customer service. They allow for a 2-week trial to play around with their software.
Given its simplicity, there isn’t as much room to customize the website, in retrospect to WooCommerce.
Produced by outsourced designers, Shopify provides pre-designed, formatted, aesthetic themes, produced by outsourced designers. Depending on the theme, the colors, fonts, image placements, banner sizes can generally be customized.
Within the restricted format, the organization of the general layouts can also be adjusted. The prices of themes range from being free to premium costs as high as $180.
Software, hosting, and subdomain all come in one deal, with Shopify’s basic plan, which totals to $29. The SSL certificate is even free! The top-level domain costs at a fixed price of $9.
In addition to the basic plan, the total list of fixed monthly plans with its features are:
- Lite ($9): While it does not allow for an online store, the Lite plan does provide a buy button on non-Shopify websites. It even extends to in-person sales, with its app and card reader.
- Basic Shopify ($29): Comes everything previously mentioned: online store, built-in theme editor, SSL certificate, and insights such as finance, acquisition, behavior, and marketing reports
- Shopify ($79): In addition to the features in the basic plan, there’s also professional Shopify admin reports about the store’s consumer trends
- Advanced Shopify ($299): Expanding on the Shopify plan, this plan offers the lowest transaction fees, custom reports, advanced consumer reports, and a calculated carrier shipping feature
While pricing is consistent, it may increase based on add-on apps and transactional fees, where they charge a low fee for each sale.
In addition to being accustomed to WordPress’s system, there is complete freedom in customizing the website to the business’s liking. Because it is self-hosted software, coding can be tailored to greater lengths.
Companies have to externally source out security, maintenance, and web hosting.
Additionally, technical coding expertise is required to fully take advantage of the customization freedom.
Given its fundamental limitations as a plugin, WooCommerce doesn’t provide separate design and themes like Shopify does. Instead, the design options offered on WordPress can be used.
There are also completely separate themes made and designed exclusively for the plug-in.
In regard to design prices, it ranges from being free, with the basic Storefront theme, to as high as $119. There are fixed theme packages. Please note that this is what would be provided; web developers can redesign and customize the page.
While the software is free, it does not come with hosting, subdomain, SSL certificates, and top level domain. This would mean the company needs to account for any of those associated external costs. More work equals more time needed to lay the foundation of the website. With the need for more team members, such as web developers, it can be more costly in that regard.
As earlier mentioned, costs can increase, depending on the plug-ins, themes, and transactional fees. Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce costs includes web hosting.
How Does WooCommerce Work?
In addition to benefits, there are also certain WooCommerce features that separates itself from other software.
- Open development: Collaborate with other developers on the fundamental WooCommerce software itself to help improve it for existing and future users
- Web development: Program with AJAX endpoints and webhooks
- Tools: Uses REST API (Representational State Transfer
Application Programming Interface) as the main managing structure for orders and products
- Documentation: All coding edits are documented
Creating a Store
- Themes: Businesses can choose from a huge selection of WordPress themes to fit their branding needs.
- Blogging: As mentioned earlier, WooCommerce is very content creation friendly. One of the perks is blogging, which is really useful in building and even marketing a brand.
- Embedment shortcodes: Create shortcuts to ease the process of viewing and buying a product for customers. For example, spotlight products within blog posts or transform a landing page into a checkout page.
- Tags: Adding metadata can optimize SEO but it also helps customers find their products more easily. By accessing products by a keyword, such as color or size, product listings can be narrowed down to what consumers are specifically looking for.
- Reviews: Displays customer feedback, with verification.
- Customizable location: Set relevant measurements, based on the location, to account for location-specific currency, language, and measurement units.
- Unlimited images: As a part of WordPress’s multimedia support, the e-commerce can display as much photos as it wishes.
WooCommerce WordPress Plugin
WPBeginner, is a free WordPress support resource. In their list of the 32 Best WooCommerce plugins, the following rank as the top five:
Specializes in showing “social proof” of customer interactions in hopes of increasing a trustworthy branding. In addition to their evident increased overall site conversion rates, there is also no coding required to optimize their service.
As another conversion tool, their software focuses on generating leads and sales. They are known for timely adjustments based on consumer behavior. On the product display pages, Optinmonster also displays visual features, like a timer and subscriber information.
As a Google Analytics plugin, it tracks e-commerce performance, without the need to code anything. Then, MonsterInsights digests the analytics and then displays the real-time insights within WordPress, with next steps. It also tracks the performance of ads and affiliate links.
Known for being beginner friendly, Constant Contact is an email marketing service. They provide email templates, and businesses can opt into creating their own emailing lists and personalized email messages.
- Advanced Coupons: Optimize coupon offers based on the market with the Advanced Coupon plug-in. Their coupon features include BOGO deals, loyalty programs, real-time cart condition updates, shipping discounts, and more. You can set up coupons to either be manually or automatically applied when someone adds products to their cart.
In a separate article, WPBeginner also cites the five best WordPress e-commerce plugins.
Besides WooCommerce, which ranks as first place, and Shopify, which ranks at fifth place, WPBeginner referenced:
- BigCommerce: An e-commerce platform that also integrates well with WordPress. This plug-in embeds products, creates pages like accounts and carts, and extends to other sales channels like Instagram and Amazon. With its enterprise grade security and high performance, BigCommerce enables websites to be scalable. They also provide their own themes. Unlike Shopify and WooCommerce, BigCommerce does not charge a transaction fee per sale.
- Easy Digital Downloads: As implied in the name, Easy Digital Downloads specializes in digital downloads, such as ebooks and PDF files. The plug-in proves resources for themes and support forums, videos, chat room, and tutorials. Other notable features include: unlimited file downloads, file access control (where only authorized customers can access the files), REST API, and integration with other services such as Dropbox, Mailchimp, and Slack.
- Memberpass: As a membership plugin, Memberpass manages and tracks membership-based subscriptions, like pay-per-view content. There is access control for digital content, such as posts, digital files, videos, communities, etc. The plug-in also integrates with third parties like Mailchimp and PayPal.
Hopefully, now you know all about how WooCommerce works. For help with using WooCommerce for your business, contact SEO Design Chicago today!