Until fairly recently it was a real challenge to convert great shop ideas into digital reality. Custom-built e-commerce solutions were the only way to go, with the consequent time and cost factors a consideration that may have put many potential online shop owners off the idea in the end.
But times have changed, as platforms like WooCommerce have given pretty much anyone a cost-effective, integrated, fast-to-market and feature-laden solution for online shopping.
What is WooCommerce?
Simply put, it’s a free e-commerce plug-in designed to integrate into WordPress websites to turn them into online shopping sites. Because the platform itself is free it gives business owners access to a range of features without having the expense of a set up cost or ongoing running costs.
What features does WooCommerce offer?
WooCommerce is feature-laden and designed to give you all the functions you need to operate an online shop from end-to-end including:
· The ability to set up new products and categories quickly and easily
· Easy set-up of various payment types including credit cards, BACS, cash on delivery, cheques and subscriptions (recurring payments)
· Easy integration with global payment gateways such as Stripe, PayPal, Square, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay and others
· Easy set-up of pricing, discounts, special offers etc.
· International capability with multiple language options and regional currencies for pricing depending on a customer’s location
· Automated tax calculations
· Live shipping rates integrated into customer-facing pricing for items
· Customizable templates that integrate easily with your WordPress themes to match your products and brand
· Inventory management
· Integration with ERP and accounting tools like Xero, Salesforce, Quickbooks etc.
· Integration with CRM tools like HubSpot to help with marketing, consumer insights, re-marketing, etc.
· Integration with customer communication tools like MailChimp
· Integration with marketing tools and platforms like Google Shopping
· Integrated SEO and Analytics
How well supported is WooCommerce?
As with WordPress there is a large and growing group of developers and a community of users that is constantly reviewing the platform, making improvements and updates if and when necessary, and offering plenty of support to new users.
How secure is WooCommerce?
Extremely secure, to put it succinctly. WooCommerce offers tools like Jetpack to add on-top security including authenticated customer logins, spam and brute force attacks, backup support, reporting and more.
Are there any other costs to consider?
Whilst WooCommerce itself is free there may be costs for third-party applications for payments on WooCommerce (and other) websites – for example, Stripe, Apply Pay, PayPal etc. charge a ‘per transaction’ fee.
You will also have the usual hosting costs associated with having a website.
Find out more about our options for WordPress and WooCommerce websites for cost-effective online shops. Call us today on 01223 550800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.