Picking an eCommerce platform nowadays is not as easy as it might seem. There are quite a lot of different platforms today. Recent research shows that each year there are actually thousands new platforms launched. This could easily confuse online retailers and other customers who wants to pick an eCommerce platform, from hosted ones, like Shopify, to self-hosted ones, like Magento or WooCommerce. That last platform – WooCommerce – is the topic of this article.
In its core, WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress – the most popular content management system. This plugin is both free and open-source, and it is widely considered to be one of the most popular eCommerce tools. Part of its popularity comes from its usability – WooCommerce is highly customizable and easy to install. That’s one of the reasons there are thousands of companies specializing on providing WooCommerce development services in some way – because there’s a demand for it. Some reports say that a quarter of total eCommerce sales volume comes through WooCommerce. Aside from the fact that it’s both extensible and flexible as a platform – WooCommerce also features a great number of both free and paid add-ons and themes, like shipping preferences, delivery status updates, order tracking capability and others. With all that capability it is quite possible to turn a normal WordPress website into a thriving online store with a lot of useful and convenient shopping features.
One of the prominent WooCommerce features is its interface which is widely acknowledged for being both user-friendly and deeply customizable. Despite its availability and user-friendliness, WooCommerce also has quite an array of powerful development tools to ease developers’ struggle with making their website both feature-full and easy to use. One more benefit of working with WooCommerce is its community – providing WooCommerce development services now is considered a pretty good job in the overall marketplace and there are numerous agencies out there that can help with any and all problems imaginable. This same service is also quite attractive for entrepreneurs with its wide variety of built-in analytic tools and services. One such panel – plugged in via administrative toolkit – can easily provide statistics about order numbers, customer numbers and others, both via usual text form and via all kinds of graphical presentation. That same service is able to provide sufficient info about customer behavior to help with business coordination according to that collected data. On the other side usual users are provided with easy access to any kind of operation, from shopping to order processing and paying.
WooCommerce is created and maintained via Rest API, the one that is considered to be both the most flexible and the most development friendly API there is. It allows for all kinds of customizations and a myriad of plugins to fulfill customers every whim. That same API supports all kinds of websites and platforms, including platform migration, allowing WooCommerce and the sites it’s working with to be accessible almost anywhere, no matter the platform or the device the customer is using. The very definition of worry-less affiliate marketing.
Another layer of WooCommerce usefulness is what expert developers and companies are able to do with it – it is quite simply an astonishing variety of services, including content management systems, blogs integration, social networking support and even the ability to book tickets to a movie! This platform is supporting a great number of both currencies and languages, too. One other thing that is included in the “package” that is WooCommerce is the built-in inventory management system, that can be used by anyone, from a professional technician to a person with little to no prior technical experience with such services. Third-party inventory management is also supported by WooCommerce service. The integrated SEO feature – the courtesy of WordPress, the one that WooCommerce development inherited this feature from – is one more instrument for increasing customer satisfaction by plugging in search engine optimization into the core website design.
It is quite unfair to say that both WooCommerce plugin and WooCommerce custom development is only suitable for large businesses. This same service is working quite well with both startups and smaller businesses with a host of features including product reviews, reward points, bundles of products, email marketing, discount coupons and codes and a number of others. It’s basically the same as with the development companies themselves – it’s quite easy to find a small WooCommerce development company or service nowadays, not all of them has to be big or house a hundred of personnel people under the same company’s banner.
Now we’re going to list a number of WooCommerce features that are mandatory for a commercial site to succeed. A part of them were already discussed, but some of them were not. We’ll go through them one by one:
- A support for PayPal Standard, Mijireh Checkout and a number of other value-added payment applications;
- A variety of offline gateways, including BACS (Bankers Automated Clearing Services), cash-on-delivery and payments with cheques;
- Shipping options, from default to coupon-driven free and flat rate;
- Delivery options, including local, regional and/or international shipment with the usage of multi-location delivery and pick-up;
- Plethora of widgets, including cross-sales and up-selling ones;
- Google Analytics built-in support;
- Coupon support, including their redemption and purchases that are shared, with options like Share Your Cart or similar ones;
- Email auto-responder for email follow-ups;
- A number of functions that are interacted with on a daily basis, including order management, inventory management and a number of others;
- Unimaginable number of extensions and/or addons for almost any situation and preference.
This is not the full list of the required services, obviously. But since WooCommerce is so flexible and adaptable – any user is free to add any number of additions, including widgets and extensions, to maximize both functionality and user-friendliness of said customers’ website or service. Also you can always hire a WooCommerce development company that would provide you with all those features and customize them for your liking.
Despite the fact that WooCommerce is quite a young plugin – it is still one of the best choices for developers looking for a plugin with open-source code.
WooCommerce is worth considering as an eCommerce platform if the customer wants an e-store with the following features:
- Superb solutions, both in front and back end departments;
- Easily accessible analytics and almost no limits in regards to growth potential;
- A design that’s both simple, professional-looking and user-friendly to boot;
- Extremely high flexibility, customizability and scalability;
- Smart dashboard that allows easy and complete website monitoring;
- Complete control over every piece of customer’s website data;
- A website that works with a variety of devices, including different screen sizes, different OS and/or different browsers;
- Both Marketing and SEO integration as the base features of the platform.
WooCommerce is undoubtedly an attractive option when considering an eCommerce platform. Let’s go with slightly more detail through some of the reasons why WooCommerce is a good choice:
- The price. Most of eCommerce platforms have a price, and it is quite a big price more often than not. This is not the case with WooCommerce, because it’s a free platform. Also worth noting is the fact that the availability of WooCommerce as a platform doesn’t mean that it’s bad or mediocre or isn’t suitable for professional work – this belief was proven wrong multiple times and is completely false.
- Customer engagement tracking. With WooCommerce owners can easily work with open and past orders, apply discounts, change delivery status and a lot more.
- User-friendliness. One of the most useful benefits of WooCommerce is the fact that it’s really easy to work with. To install WooCommerce plugin you only need access to the wordpress.org website. Nothing more is required. The setup process is as easy as it gets, and that install speed allows to change any parameters or any product within minutes – which is incredibly fast as it is.
- Payment methods. Most of the eCommerce platforms are quite limited in regards to their payment method support. Or something that’s even worse – they suggest you use an advanced, more expensive plan to get more payment methods. This is not the case with WooCommerce, which supports a variety of different payment methods, and you don’t need to pay more to use them, or to pay at all.
- Customer support. One of the main reasons why WooCommerce is so popular is its reliability. The platform’s developers have an incredibly long record of being both professional and efficient with customer support.
- Popularity. Due to the fact that WooCommerce is that big of a deal – you don’t have to look too far to find a WooCommerce development service. No matter if it’s special online marketplaces you’re looking at – like Upwork or any similar ones – or it’s the usual internet search – there are quite literally thousands of developers currently working with this platform. And that goes not only for individual developers – there are a great deal of companies that provide the same WooCommerce development services on a bigger scale than individual developers.