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A crisis is not only a bad time when people are suffering and business growth is stalled or starts going in reverse. A crisis also creates new opportunities. One of the economic sectors that the current COVID-19 pandemic is likely to boost rather than kill is e-commerce.
The reason should be obvious. With half the world in lockdown, online purchases are for many people the only way to obtain the products or services they need. Therefore, launching an e-commerce business under these circumstances is a potentially lucrative undertaking.
Once a decision to start an online enterprise has been made, the next important step is to choose a suitable platform to conduct all business operations. There is no shortage of options these days.
However, if you own a site based on WordPress (WP), a popular content management system (CMS), you may look no further, since it provides a ready-made e-commerce solution that you can simply plug into your WP site and start selling away. This is WooCommerce. Let’s talk about it today.
WHAT IS WOOCOMMERCE?
This is just a WP plugin but what a plugin! Any entrepreneur can add WooCommerce to their existing WP site without spending a dime in order to turn it into a full-scale Internet store.
WooCommerce is mainly targeted at small and midsize retailing businesses. Rolling out an online store with WooCommerce is amazingly easy and requires no before-launch expenses.
WooCommerce mirrors its “parent system,” WP, in its flexibility and versatility. By adding additional features to WooCommerce, merchants can achieve advanced functionality to cover every business aspect, starting from payment and ending with customer support. Have a look at some great examples of WooCommerce sites.
Its capabilities make WooCommerce a decent market player that is in many aspects more efficient than the majority of its competitors. This is why WooCommerce currently holds the title of the leading e-commerce platform in the world, according to the data on builtwith.com:
So, what do online merchants get when they decide to integrate WooCommerce into their WordPress sites? Below, we’ve listed the main benefits of WooCommerce for anyone who has made up their mind to sell goods or services on the Internet through this plugin.
WHAT CAN ONLINE BUSINESS OWNERS EXPECT FROM THE WORLD’S LEADING E-COMMERCE PLATFORM?
#1: No Upfront Expenses
Learning about a robust software solution at a $0 price, any online entrepreneur will likely raise their thumb. WooCommerce is exactly a system like that. A non-professional can launch a new store in a matter of hours with no additional fees to be paid.
WooCommerce is incredibly flexible, just like WP itself. This concerns both appearance and functionality.
Give a new face to your WooCommerce store easily by going to the WP official directory and selecting a theme to your liking there. All WP themes are perfectly suited for WooCommerce.
Then, tweak the theme you’ve chosen to suit your taste and meet your specific needs. You can also make use of the extension called WooCommerce Product Blocks. It enables you to select and display products in different categories on all pages of your site (not only product pages). The categories include hand-picked products, new products, on sale products, and others.
PSD2HTML can also craft a custom WooCommerce theme for your store to reflect your brand specifics. You will be able to modify it wherever you want by changing the code. This is something no ready-made solution can offer you: you can only change images, text, and the layout of a theme like that.
Have no design yet? We can prepare it based on your ideas.
A basic WooCommerce store has enough features to run an online store successfully. However, to include some custom or advanced functions, it requires external solutions or plugins. In this respect, WP site owners are lucky again because they can use WP plugins along with those crafted specifically for WooCommerce.
WooCommerce extensions cater for almost any business function, such as store management, marketing, or shipping. Some are quite expensive, for example, WooCommerce Bookings ($249), while others are completely free, like Amazon Pay.
There are several downsides to using plugins, though:
- You have to update them regularly in order to avoid security issues.
- A large number of extensions can cause a slowdown in your store operation because they consume a lot of memory
- Since you have no access to the underlying code of a plugin, you depend on its creator. If they decide to discontinue supporting the plugin but it’s essential for your business, you are in trouble.
So, however useful plugins can be, take them with caution. Fortunately, WooCommerce comes with a REST API. It allows developers to integrate any external service with the store as well as to retrieve and manipulate the store’s data from anywhere in the world. It also enables easy scaling, so WooCommerce is good for sites of any size, including enterprise solutions.
It’s true that to leverage the full power of REST API, you need to hire professional WordPress development team. However, the benefits you get in this case outweigh the expenses you have to incur. You’ll have a fast, reliable, and secure store since you own the code and don’t have to depend on a third party.
The Widest Assortment of Goods and Services
No matter what niche you are in, you can use WooCommerce to sell all your stuff. Vacuum cleaners? Pet grooming services? Audiobooks? You can sell everything through a WooCommerce-powered store regardless of its form: virtual, digital, or physical.
#3: Perfect Security
Sadly enough, the popularity of WP has another, not-so-pleasant facet. This CMS is a top favorite among cybercriminals of all sorts trying to get hold of user data. Small and midsize companies are particularly valuable to such attacks.
The consequences of hackers’ exploits for e-commerce businesses can be truly disastrous. Knowing this, the WooCommerce team updates the system frequently to eliminate any security loopholes immediately.
In addition, WooCommerce is in cooperation with a number of the world’s top specialists in Internet security. This includes experts in WP security specifically, such as Sucuri.
WooCommerce store owners can benefit greatly from the Cloudproxy Firewall that this leading online security company offers. The entire traffic to your site goes through this firewall, sifting out “bad guys” and letting through law-abiding users only. This also contributes to an increase in your website speed.
Although the Sucuri service doesn’t come with WooCommerce by default and requires integration with a site on a paid basis, it provides an extra security layer essential for any e-commerce enterprise.
Another of WooCommerce’s advantages from the security perspective is that all your store’s data is yours only, and no one can use it except you. You can do whatever you want with your data, for example, migrate it to another CMS. This is a weak point with hosted platforms, where you risk losing your data when something goes wrong on the provider’s side.
#4: WooCommerce Offers All the Features That an Online Store Is Supposed to Have
Above all, though, WooCommerce is the world’s leader in e-commerce platforms because it offers what a top-class online store should. Just a few features to illustrate:
Want to learn what products your customers purchase from you more often or to see how many laptops or monitors they bought in April? WooCommerce provides all the useful analytics functionality by default in one centralized location. If you find these tools insufficient, you can always add external tools to your store through plugins or REST API.
WooCommerce has a broad range of options when it comes to shipping. For example, you can use the geolocation feature to identify a customer’s address. This will help you determine a more precise shipping rate and tax deduction.
You can also let your customers decide how they want their goods to be delivered to them: collect them locally or use a shipment service. In addition, you can either come up with a flat shipping rate or determine individual rates for shipping certain categories of products.
Taking payment from your WooCommerce store customers is a simple matter since it can integrate with more than a hundred payment systems such as PayPal. Other payment options like Cash on Delivery or Direct Bank Transfer are also available.
Selling on Numerous Marketplaces
Through the Cadisto application, WooCommerce store owners can extend their reach to almost every corner of the globe by selling their goods through a great number of marketplaces to which eBay and Amazon provide access.
The list goes on. We would have to need a few more pages to describe all the features of WooCommerce. For more details, visit their website.
Launching an online store these days is a very promising business because the number of online shoppers has increased tremendously over the last month or so and is likely to continue growing.
Among the various e-commerce platforms the market currently offers, WooCommerce leads the pack. The main benefit of this plugin is that it’s based on WordPress. Thus, merchants can take advantage of the features that this leading content management system provides and of WooCommerce-specific functionality at the same time.
WooCommerce is a secure and flexible platform that requires no upfront investments to set up, even by people without a technical background. It also has all the characteristics of a good online store, such as analytics, integration with payment gateways, shipping options, and others.
The PSD2HTML developers are experts in WooCommerce. We can completely customize a WooCommerce store to match your brand identity and meet your unique needs. Plugins, themes, security and performance optimization: we can help you make your online business grow and prosper. Tell us what you need, and we’ll get it done.