WooCommerce: Introduction

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Creating an e-commerce website can be a daunting journey. Imagine if it were nothing more than a matter of few clicks. Thanks to WooCommerce, this is now possible. 

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin which helps you create, manage, measure and maintain an online store without any fuss or getting your hands dirty with code (not to mention code nerds can do a lot with its API).

WooCommerce.

WooCommerce is a free and open source WordPress plugin that provides an ultimate solution to all e-commerce businesses. 

Launched in September 2011 by WooThemes, WooCommerce now powers thousands of eCommerce websites worldwide and is contributing its major share in promoting the e-commerce industry. It lets you sell anything you want online with ease. According to some stats from Wikipedia

WooCommerce has been adopted by over 171,000 online retailers. It is used by a number of high-traffic websites, among them are Internet Systems Consortium and Small Press Expo. For the week of Sep 23rd 2013, Quantcast data collated by BuiltWith Trends indicated that WooCommerce ran on 2.93% of the top 10K sites, 3.4% of the top 100K sites, and 5.65% of the top million sites.

Why Use WooCommerce For Your Online Store?


Free and Open Source 

One of the most distinguishing features of WooCommerce is that it is free and open source. Being an open source platform, developers can introduce new features and fixes at any time. 

They can build their own themes and extensions for it. This is indeed a good deal for all those with limited capital. The features are extremely versatile and flexible, letting you sell online easily and in innovative ways.

User-Friendly Experience 

WooCommerce was built by WooThemes. A lot of experimentation and implementation led to the present state where it offers the most optimized solution free of cost. Even if you do not know much about the technical side of things, you can still enjoy a lot of flexibility in selling your products with WooCommerce. Merchants can categorize their products according to sale prices, independent attributes, etc. You can sell a physical, virtual, downloadable, or even an affiliate/external product with this very plugin.

To add ease to the user experience, the layout is very simple, and page settings can be completed without any hassle. You can monitor the activities of customers in detail, such as leads, conversions, signups, order tracking, etc. 

Similarly, customers can track their past orders and can check status updates about the delivery of their purchased items. WooCommerce also offers different shipping options and tax settings. All these features have a great impact on your customers and the factor of clickability gets significantly increased. As the marketers say, more clicks, more leads, more sales.

Easy Customization

WooCommerce works well not only with WooThemes but also with any other WordPress theme. ThemeForest has a complete section for themes that support WooCommerce. It adds a value proposition and makes the customization process very easy. It offers numerous shortcodes and widgets with which you can give the best personalized look to your website. WooCommerce offers detailed documentation in this matter, which I will be taking up in the future posts.

Personalized Approach

WooCommerce is not only about setting up your own web store. It is a complete platform. This plugin allows your customers to maintain their personalized dashboards, where they can not only keep a profile, but also get a sneak peek at status updates for their recent orders.

If you run a professional website and want to integrate a web store, then you can do it easily with WooCommerce. This is the beauty of WooCommerce: you can get everything in one place, without disturbing other CMS features.

Easy to Track Analytics

One of the key benefits of WooCommerce is its ability to track customers’ behavior, predict trends, and analyze your marketing efforts accurately and comprehensively. Figures and stats like total sales, sales by date, average order total, individual customer statistics, reviews, stock levels and the overall web store performance come in handy. All these are beautifully displayed via graphs, pie charts, bar charts, etc.

Integrated Social Features

The cost-per-like (or CPL) can be fairly reduced through well-integrated social features which encourage people to share your product over their social profiles. At least for social-location-mobile, WooCommerce is way too beneficial where your cost for native advertisement gets reduced.

Secure

WordPress is a secure platform. It powers more than 22% of the Internet. Any security bugs are patched right away, and security updates are pushed worldwide before responsible disclosure of bugs. WooCommerce is updated on a regular basis, which addresses any security concerns whatsoever.

Extending Functionality

Feature extension is one of the coolest features when it comes to WordPress and WooCommerce. There are loads of free and premium extensions available.

These extensions enhance the ability of this plugin in respect to accounting, payment gateways, marketing, reporting and so on. There is a complete section at CodeCanyon full of such plugins.

Support

Another major concern which threatens an e-merchant is this: What will happen if they get stuck with their site? WooCommerce offers support in the form of chat forums, video tutorials, etc., where the technicians are ready to resolve issues. There is a big chunk of developers out there in the market who tend to support this plugin on a monthly basis. When I started freelancing, some of the very first clients I helped were those who wanted me to manage their WooCommerce-based online stores.

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