If you’re looking to create an e-commerce website you may have heard of WooCommerce for WordPress. But what is WooCommerce? Simply put, WooCommerce is a plugin that transforms WordPress into the most widely used, flexible and cost-effective e-commerce platform in the world.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open source content management system used by millions of websites. It’s the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world and a great platform to build all kinds of websites. With WordPress we can create anything from business sites, blogs, apps and e-commerce. WordPress is well suited for both end users and developers.
Introducing WooCommerce: The best e-commerce plugin for WordPress
WooCommerce powers over 28% of the top 1 million online shopping websites worldwide. It is a plugin that brings e-commerce functionality to WordPress. The popularity and widespread use of WooCommerce means it is a well-tested and stable platform. It also means that almost any issue you face will have already been encountered by others – and help is easily available.
You can use almost any of your favourite WordPress plugins for your WooCommerce store, including caching, image optimisation, website security, and other handy tools.
Design for WooCommerce: Custom theme design and development
Specialised designers and developers can create fully custom themes to match your business brand and e-commerce needs. This could range from small tweaks to a base template, to fully custom build with unique functionality.
A WooCommerce powered online shop also retains all the elements of the regular WordPress website. This allows you to have your company website pages align perfectly with the look and feel of your online shop and enjoy the powerful blogging tools native to WordPress.
Selling Products and Managing Inventory
You can sell anything with WooCommerce. WooCommerce has inbuilt support for all kinds of physical and virtual products, including different product options such as size and colour. Inventory is managed within the backend admin system and product data could be linked to external systems for easier management.
Payments and Shipping
Customers can pay with any supported payment gateway. Most major credit/debit card and mobile payment gateways already offer a WooCommerce plugin. This makes it simple to integrate secure online payments with your website. Shipping options can be automatically calculated based on country, region, product weight.
Payment and shipping providers will differ by your country and region, but there is almost always a range of options.
Shop and Order Management
Your team can manage everything through the online admin interface. Staff can be assigned roles to enable them to manage orders, products, or regular website content through the online admin panel accessible from anywhere – including on mobile.
WooCommerce will send order emails for the team and customers. It can also generate pick lists and packing slips. Customers can create an account and manage their own data.
WooCommerce vs Shopify
There are pros and cons to each platform, but the strongest argument for using WooCommerce is that you will completely own your data and be independent from any single developer or provider. You are free to move your WooCommerce site to a different host, or use any capable web developer. But with Shopify you are tied to their platform and limited to the options they offer.
Users within Cambodia have an additional reason to use WooCommerce over Shopify. Currently Shopify doesn’t support any payment gateways in Cambodia such as ABA PayWay or the Mastercard MIGS gateways offered by Acleda and other banks. Generally WooCommerce can be a lot more flexible with different payment and shipping options, but you might need a developer to help.
Some other great things about WooCommerce:
Full control of your data
Unlike hosted platforms, with a custom WooCommerce shop you have full control over the database, code, where you host, and what development team you use.
You can integrate with external marketing services such as MailChimp to collect and use customer email addresses.
Mobile app integration
Your WooCommerce shop can be integrated with a fully featured mobile app through the powerful programming API.
Integrate with 3rd party accounting apps
Billing can be seamlessly synchronised with external apps such as Xero, Quickbooks and any others with supported extensions.
There is a lot more you can do with WooCommerce depending on your business. If this has inspired you to get started with a WooCommerce e-commerce website then just get in touch. I’d be happy to talk about your website development needs.