After WooCommerce stepped in the market, it took all the spotlight, and it’s still shining with a promising future. This is a WooCommerce tutorial for the people from all walks of life. No-brainers to creative nerds, this post is for everyone who is thriving for success.
The number of people who shop online is growing every day. And that helped to extend the idea of eCommerce business. Whatever the options available, when it comes to choosing the right platforms, the best options are limited.
The world is revolving around WordPress. You can justify the statement if you see that WordPress is playing a role as the center of the web. For those who are curious, 34% of websites are powered by WordPress, whereas it contains 60% of the CMS market. (Source)
WooCommerce is a WordPress-based platform, and it becomes indispensable for making an online venture. From all the other competitors, WooCommerce holds the major share, and it’s becoming popular with an eccentric rate.
In this tutorial, we are going to discover all about WooCommerce: what is it, why you need it, and how you can proceed with it. Before diving into the deep, we’ll warn you this is a long post, but it’s worth your time. 🙂
What we’ll cover in this post:
- What is WooCommerce?
- Why WooCommerce?
- What to consider
- What you can do
- Pros and Cons
- Fun Facts
- The future of WooCommerce
- Do you need it?
- How to get started?
- Adding and managing products
- Customize your store
- Tools for your store
- Tips to get more attraction
- Final Words
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin for eCommerce. But it’s more than a plugin – a comprehensive platform that empowers merchants to kick-start their online ventures right away. Because of the simplicity and easy to install, the plugin gained quick popularity and made itself to the top of the industry.
With 72 million downloads and 4+ million active installs, WooCommerce is one of the most popular plugins of all time. You can make this tool more efficient with the hundreds of plugins and add-ons made for it. The base of the software is also highly strong that covers all essential eCommerce features.
Likewise, WooCommerce is built on top of WordPress. Hence, it shares all the features that made the parent so famous. WooCommerce follows the easy customization options of WordPress. And, if you’re in search of the right opportunity to set up an online shop, WooCommerce is the ideal solution. ⬆️
This is a fundamental question, and although the answer is obvious, we’ll try to figure out some reasons which can fill up our rational needs. There is a ton of advantages, but we’re going to touch only the cardinal ones. Let’s see why WooCommerce is so popular to build online ventures.
Free of Cost: The first and the most significant feature of WooCommerce is it’s free.
Open Source: WooCommerce is an open-source tool which means you can edit and modify the code at your will.
Highly Secure: Out of the question, WooCommerce is secure enough to keep your store safe and protected.
Trusted Brand: With over a million people’s trust, WooCommerce made itself one of the most trusted brands worldwide.
User-friendly: An ordinary guy can set up their store and manage it comfortably without needing a developer’s hand.
Plugins: A bunch of plugins made for WooCommerce will accompany you throughout the journey to extend the power of WooCommerce.
Custom Appearance: You can change the look of your store any time as precisely the way you want it using a WordPress theme.
From the Popular Parent: Yes, WooCommerce is the child of the owner of WordPress — Automattic, which is a symbol of significance.
Mobile-adaptive: People love to browse from mobile devices, and WooCommerce is ready to view from any screen. ⬆️
What to consider before choosing an eCommerce platform
Many things can impact on your decision when choosing a platform to build your online business. Whether it’s WordPress or not, you have to look out for the fundamental considerations mentioned below.
Cost: Learn how your plugin (or tool) costs. Different platforms have various plans based on many criteria.
Appearance: Does the plugin support your existing WordPress theme? If it acts differently, then your design may become a disaster.
Responsiveness: Is your platform mobile-friendly? Remember, a remarkable number of customers will come via mobile browsers.
Easy Customization: While managing your store, you might not be in the position of hiring a developer. Consider the ease of use of the plugin.
Search: One of the vital parts of an online store is its search option. Make sure the platform offers a robust built-in search for the shoppers.
Payment System: There are payment gateways and payment processors. Look out for the maximum freedom with your chosen platform.
Shipping: Delivering the products to a customer’s address is equally important, and you have to keep a system for that with setting up the charges.
Integration: Throughout your journey, you might need to attach other services for better customer experience. Can you integrate systems like CRM or booking?
Inventory: For physical products, this is a crucial point. If a product is out of stock, both the owner and the buyer need to know it.
Reporting: If you live in the dark about your sales and data, you can’t fix the issues and set up new plans for improvement.
Affiliate Management: To grow bigger with your business, you need to connect with affiliate marketers, and your plugin must support with tracking sales and management.
Scalability: In the beginning, you might not guess the sales of products, but when it becomes enormous, can the platform handle it? ⬆️
What you can do
With WooCommerce, one can create an online store which is ready to sell products and receive payments. There’s no limitation to the range of products or services you want to sell. From clothing store to music audio, online photography course to headphone store – do whatever you want.
As you can sell anything via the online store built with WooCommerce, it’s mostly famous for selling physical products. Of course, you’ll see a lot of digital services are running on WooCommerce like reservations, appointments, subscription, etc. You need to configure the system, that’s it.
Above all, shops for clothes, shoes, jewelry, well WooCommerce is the shelter for these types of products. In short, we can say that the potentials of WooCommerce are unlimited. No matter you want to sell coffee or juice packs, web hostings or digital arts, WooCommerce is the most diverse platform. ⬆️
Pros and Cons
Like any other product in the world, WooCommerce also has its advantages and disadvantages. You should at least have a quick look to know the platform you’re going to work with. The better you understand the software, the more benefits you will achieve.
- Free and open source
- Easy to manage
- No technical knowledge required
- Themes are available to modify the look
- Plugins to extend the functionality
- Analytics can help you understand your industry better
- 2800+ 5-star ratings
- The community is pretty big
- It updates regularly with new features
- Plugins cost money alongside annual license update
- It requires WooCommerce-ready theme
- The official support is not enough
- Frequent updates create conflicts with other plugins
- Training required for advanced modifications
- Cannot use without WordPress ⬆️
Among all the online stores, WooCommerce empowers 28% of them while 2.9 million websites are built with WooCommerce. In the neck to neck comparison, WooCommerce holds 93.72% market share.
Moreover, WooCommerce has 72 million all-time downloads which is growing every day, undoubtedly. According to wordpress.org, WooCommerce has 4+ million active installs and it’s one of the most downloaded plugins.
People are also too involved with this famous platform. 6k+ plugins which are built for WooCommerce prove that point. 3,330 reviews and 2830 5-star reviews also show the signal of eternal popularity. ⬆️
The future of WooCommerce
WooCommerce will continue to grow incessantly, and we don’t think this is just a mere prediction. The whole ecosystem tells us that this platform is the present and will be the future of eCommerce industry. All those themes, plugins, experts, and other services prove how big the community is.
Bear in mind that, WooCommerce is the property of Automattic, the owner of WordPress. From there, we can expect more exciting changes will come in the future. Besides all, business owners can integrate WooCommerce to WordPress.com. If it happens, then a new market will open with significant potential.
On a bad day, the downloads of WooCommerce on wp.org gets down to 30-40k (which is an impossible dream for most of the plugins to achieve on their best of days!) It merely proves more people are joining the hub and the family’s getting wider. The open-source functionality welcomes the developers to contribute more.
We believe, after considering the growth and success, WooCommerce will come with more strength in the future. There’s no chance of vanishing it in recent years, at least we see none. ⬆️
Do you need it?
WooCommerce has its competitors, and they are not bad, after all. What we can say is you know your need. Based on your requirements, you can check out all the solutions and decide which one seems best for you.
As you have read the features of WooCommerce above, you know why we chose it. Now, look everything explained here in this guide and see if they can give the answers to your question. Before doing that, note down what you want.
There are a lot of things to consider before choosing eCommerce software. It includes documentation, support, themes, add-ons, community, and resources. The more things are attached to a selected tool, the more comfortable you will feel.
Before coming to an end, keep in mind that WooCommerce holds the largest market share in WordPress reign. Surprisingly, in non-WordPress eCommerce solutions, WooCommerce also stood out of all. ⬆️
How to get started?
First off, go to your WordPress dashboard and hover the Plugins. Click Add New from the dropdown list.
It will take you to the WordPress directory of plugins where all the amazing plugins are available free.
Now type WooCommerce in the search box from the top right corner. By the time, you should notice that WooCommerce plugin has appeared on the result down. Click the Install Now button.
Keep patience, It may take a few seconds.
After the installation gets completed, there will be a new button that says Activate. The plugin won’t start working until the activation, so click the button, as well.
Now both the installation and activation have been completed, so move forward to the next step.
When the plugin is activated, you’ll see a form which has multiple steps, and you need to fill them out to complete the primary installation.
Similarly, there will appear two new tabs on the WordPress dashboard: WooCommerce and Products. Technically speaking, WooCommerce is the place from where you’ll control everything – orders, payments, and all.
However, you can do a ton of other things on this tab, such as creating new coupons, monitoring the reports, and modifying the settings.
Now come to the second tab. Under the Products tab, you will add your products and organize them based on various categories.
To start with WooCommerce, fill out the form below with the information asked in six categories.
- Store setup
- Ready! ⬆️
Step 1 – Store setup: Store location, address, and currency
Give your store location, detailed address, and the currency you’re going to accept in the following fields. After filling in all the boxes, click Let’s go! button from the bottom.
Step 2 – Setting up the payment methods
This is where you’re going to set up your favorite payment methods. Currently, there are three methods available for payment: Stripe, PayPal, and offline. Stripe and PayPal both have their separate benefits and minuses. Read our article to know more about Stripe vs. PayPal – who’s the winner?
If you plan to collect offline payments, activate this option, and it will come with multiple choices.
Cheque payments: Accept bank cheques as a method of payment while customers are choosing offline payments.
Bank Transfer (BACS) payments: You should activate this option for accepting BACS payment.
Cash on delivery: It’s a simple option that allows customers to pay after receiving the products.
After turning on one or more methods, click the Continue button to proceed to the next step. ⬆️
Step 3 – Setting up the shipping details
After deciding the payment methods, it’s time to jump into the next important part: configuring the way of delivering the products.
WooCommerce, by default, divided the Shipping Zones into two parts – one for the UK only and the other for the rest of the world.
No matter which location you’re choosing, select Flat Rate with a fixed cost or Free Shipping.
You can also choose from Kilograms, Grams, Pounds, and Ounces for weight measurement. And select Meters, Centimeters, Millimeters, Inches, and Yards for product dimensions. ⬆️
Step 4 – WooCommerce recommendations
The next step comes afterward is optional, yet it might need your attention to follow through. These are the recommendations made by WooCommerce and the plugins and themes you find there can improve your user experience.
Step 5 – Activate
In addition to the recommended products, this particular section will ask you to activate Jetpack, one of the most trusted plugins. Well, if you’re already a WordPress user, there’s a chance that you have this plugin installed on your website.
Jetpack has a variety of functions like providing security to your store, getting store stats, store monitoring, and promotions. You can skip this step anyway. ⬆️
Step 6 – You’re good to go!
If you followed the steps correctly, you’d be now on this page. Here you’ll see some of the additional links to learn and customize your store. You can also enter your email address in the top subscription box.
Here the basic WooCommerce plugin tutorial setup ends.
As you have embarked on the new journey, now you have to carry it on. What you need to do is start adding products to your shop so that it becomes a great place for the customers.
To know how to add products read the next section. Hold tight! ⬆️
How to add and manage products
We hope you have already installed and configured the WooCommerce plugin successfully. Otherwise, if you didn’t complete the setup, nothing to worry. You can always have a chance to fill out them later from the dashboard.
Now, look at the most significant part of the plugin: the presentation of your store. It’s evenly essential to beautify the store since customers can’t have a chance to check out the product physically.
You have to take the initiatives to convince the customers with the feel of the product visually. To achieve that you need to provide some good product pictures along with a brief description that tells about the item. ⬆️
Step A – Add contents for the products
We’ll now walk you through the process of adding your first product to your store. Go to Products tab from your WP dashboard and click on the Add New button.
It will take you to the Add New Product page, a similar interface to the WordPress Post page.
This particular page has three distinct parts to add the contents.
The first and crucial part is the product title. Don’t just leave it with the simple product name. You can add some short features to it, like size and color.
Have you noticed how Amazon display the title?
Next comes the body where you’re going to put out the main attraction. When writing in this part, be clear and as descriptive as possible. People need to know more about the product’s features, such as its weight, structures, and other mentionable things.
There’s a short description section at the bottom. You shouldn’t leave it blank because this text will appear after the title and it’s evenly important.
Now come to the section that exists in the middle. Here, you will provide all the information about the products. First, mention the price. Want to show it in your favorite currency? Go to the setting in WooCommerce and change the currency from Currency options under the General tab. ⬆️
Step B – How to setup product category
When you make plans for your eCommerce store, it’s the best practice to write down the product categories. This way, you can cover all the categories you intend to add your shop and missing no one.
Go to Products tab from the left panel and click Categories.
a. Name: Write the name of your category
b. Slug: The URL of the category (if you leave blank then the category name will be added as the slug)
c. Parent category: If you want to create any sub category, then choose a category first from the list. For instance, Men’s fashion is a category, and Men’s T-Shirt is a subcategory.
d. Description: Shortly describe what’s your category about (it’s usually for search engines)
e. Thumbnail: A small image that appears on the category list which reflects the nature of products (not necessary but it helps your managers)
f. Add new category: Click this button finally, and you’re done ⬆️
Step C – Add featured image and gallery
The best way to give your users the feel of the products is by showing them some visuals. In that case, adding high quality and more explicit images is a fantastic thing to convince them.
While adding a product, click Set product image under Product image from the right sidebar. After adding the featured image, you can add more images to create a gallery that will look more convincing.
Step D – Customize product type and relevant information
In the previous steps, we have discussed how to add product-related contents, how to add a new category and the process of adding images. It’s time to update product information that will help users find the right thing they’re looking for.
Right below the main body of the product description, you can add loads of information that mirror the original product.
i. Simple product: It’s a product what you are going to sell in your store. In this section, you can add its price and stock information.
ii. Grouped product: This is a collection of simple products.
iii. External/Affiliate product: You will choose this option if you’re not the original creator of the product. In other words, you’re selling it as a third-party or affiliate. When people click on the relevant links, they will get redirected to the actual store.
iv: Variable product: If you sell other variations of a particular product like shoes with different sizes. However, a simple product is the right selection for beginners. You can always explore more in your journey. ⬆️
Step E – Setting price, stock, and shipping
In WooCommerce, you have two options while setting up the product price. The first one is the original price what can also be known as the regular or standard price. The other price is to set a discount price on a specific product.
Of course, you can set the sale price for a particular day(s). Once you set the main price, you can schedule a discount price for a limited time. Giving you an example, the regular price of a product is $100. You can set 20% off only for today.
To manage the inventory, first, define the SKU, which is a short form of Stock Keeping Unit. It’s a unique identifier which refers to the amount of stock for the products you keep in your store.
The next part is setting the status of stock, which comes in three phases: In Stock, Out of Stock, and On Backorder.
Let’s fill out the next section (Shipping) with the weight and dimensions of the product. If your product is intangible and has no physical attribute, then select Virtual option from the top boxes. The shipping tab will disappear afterward. ⬆️
Step F – Setting upsells and cross-sells
WooCommerce will also allow you to set a product for upsells or cross-sells. What are they?
Upsell: This is an incredible sales technique to boost your revenue because you’re suggesting the related products via upsells. You can promote more profitable products to get attention from your customers.
Cross-sell: The objective of the Cross-sell is offering complementary products during the checkout. You heard it right. When people go to the cart to check out the Cross-sell allows them to see more products to insert into the cart. ⬆️
How to customize the store
You have known it earlier in this post how to configure a WooCommerce store. Although the discussion was elaborate, there are a ton of other options to personalize. And, you will get all of them in the WooCommerce tab.
Here, you can play with a myriad of features from viewing orders and reports to setting coupons and discounts. We’ll try not to reiterate the process we have explained before. Hence, we’ll focus only those aspects left untouched. ⬆️
From all the dropdown items, Orders come first. It indicates how many purchases are occurring in your store.
If you sell digital products such as plugins or downloadable files, there’s nothing to do here. You can only view then how many copies have downloaded and how much you have earned.
On the other hand, if your store offers physical goods, then you have things to do here. One important thing, first of all, you have to do is ship that product.
Also, you can see the status of your order as completed, processing, and many more. ⬆️
WooCommerce has several useful options for adding new coupons to your eCommerce store. In the Coupon tab, you can select Create your first coupon to access the editing screen:
Now, you’re in the second tab, which is Coupons. WooCommerce will give you multiple opportunities to add new coupons to encourage your customers to purchase from your shop.
If you click on the Coupons tab, you can see a big button that reads Create your first coupon. Click on that button and see what happens.
Add a discount code and description to activate the coupon. Next, you can edit the basic information of the coupons. First, select the Discount type, such as percentage discount, fixed cart discount, or fixed product discount.
What’s the coupon’s value, free shipping or not, coupon expiry date – you can also add this information here.
Usage Restrictions come next with other corresponding settings. You can bind your customers to spend a minimum or a maximum value to get the coupon validated. If you don’t want to make this coupon connected with others, check the box that reads Individual use only.
If you check Exclude sale items, then Coupon will not work on the items that are on sale. Coupons will work only if
Furthermore, you can apply coupons to particular products as well as you can eliminate some products from the list.
Additionally, you can rule out coupons to specific Product categories and exclude some categories, as well.
Lastly, you can proscribe some email addresses from using the coupon codes. Other than specifying the addresses, you are allowed to apply the extension, such as “gmail.com.”
Usage limits, the last tab of the Coupons section, allow you to set the usage limit per coupon and per customer. You can keep it as the default Unlimited usage, if you don’t think otherwise.
Now, hit the publish button from the right side and make the coupon active. It’s time to let the customers know about the exciting offers they should try. Use a promotional strategy to spread the word. ⬆️
You can see a full-range report on your sales as WooCommerce enables you to do that. The built-in tracking system will organize the reports from different angles. Going in the Reports tab, you can view a lot of details presented with charts and graphs.
Besides seeing the reports for the last seven days, current month, last month, or the full year, you can also export the CSV file for further offline analysis. In addition to the time-wise segmentation, there are other categories based on sales. All the transactions are also divided by date, product, category, coupons, and downloads.
The Customers sub-tab is to help you understand customer’s behaviors over that particular time duration.
Finally, you can check out the inventory via the Stock report. This sub-tab will exhibit you products with three different signals: Low in stock, Out of stock, and Most stocked. ⬆️
The subsequent tab is Settings, and we’re not going talk about it here because we have already discussed it in the beginning. For your reference, you can follow this link to recap the settings once again.
We’re in the Status section now. Have a quick look at this part. It’s the place where you can see all the back-end information on your website: site address, WooCommerce version, language, server info, and lots more.
It is a developer thing and better if you ignore it for now. They need to know about this information if they’re ever entitled to make any change to your store.
The Tools button comes next with a lot of options that will clear your site. By clicking the respective buttons, you will be able to clear the caches based on different variables.
Similarly, you can create default WooCommerce pages, update the database, and reset everything.
Then comes the Logs tab which is responsible for keeping the records of all logs occurring in your store. Sometimes your site may experience a fatal error, and you can see the record in this tab. While debugging, developers can get help from the records.
Don’t worry about the next tab, which says Scheduled actions. It’s for developers which provides background processing solutions. As there’s nothing to bother right now, we’re moving to the next step. ⬆️
WordPress was able to build up its colossal reign because of the contribution made by the community involved with this famous CMS. You can add thousands of functionality to your website from tons of WordPress themes and plugins.
Most of these plugins and themes are user-generated, and you can access them whenever you need. Both free and premium versions are available in the market. It depends on your need, whether to go for paid or free option.
Since WooCommerce is based on WordPress, the benefits of plugins and themes can be applied here, as well. Although on a small scale, the tools built for WooCommerce have a significant impact on making the platform extendable.
In the Extensions tab, you can find tools suggested by WooCommerce to take your store to another level. By the way, there are no bindings to use them only. You can install plugins at your will from the Plugins of your WordPress dashboard.
WPPayForm is a Stripe payment plugin which is ready to make the payment system smoother for your WordPress shops. With the free version, you can enjoy the Stripe service, whereas the premium option will allow you to integrate PayPal as well. ⬆️
Tools for your store
To level up your store you need to integrate some tools. Budgets and preferences are different for every person. Some might invest in the early phase of the business where others would want to see the flow.
A lot of tools are available in the market that has all the power to make your store more dynamic and multi-verse. Those who can’t afford to purchase all tools right away can go for the basic option.
Your customers should feel at home while they’re in your shop. Through Live Chat, you’re making sure they can get help right when it’s needed. WP Live Chat Support is the best plugin out there if you don’t want to pay for any paid chat program. Eventually, you have to switch to a paid option.
Reaching more people can increase the chance of getting more sales. Connecting the targeted people, without any doubt, brings benefits and you can crack that thing very easily. For email marketing, there are many options available but we suggest MailChimp because they offer 2000 free subscribers.
A shop can’t be completed without a robust payment system. WPPayForm allows you to set up the payment system in a way that it can accomplish all your needs. You can accept credit cards, Visa, MasterCard, and more. Moving forward, the premium version offers PayPal and better features.
Ninja Tables – WooCommerce Product Table
Ninja Tables is a WordPress table builder plugin and it has a plethora of amazing features for bloggers and entrepreneurs. You can create beautiful product tables with Ninja Tables. But if you are a WooCommerce user, you can easily integrate Ninja Tables and display products in a modern, enticing table. ⬆️
Tips to get more attraction
Well, this a WooCommerce 101 tutorial. We don’t want to discuss all things in-details instead of giving some hints. But we’ll break down the topics and make new blog posts around those ideas. Therefore, here are some quick tips we’d like to mention for your head start.
Blogging: Nothing could be sweeter than getting organic search traffic. Blogging can perform that task efficiently. Keep a dedicated blog section on your eCommerce website and write blog posts regularly. No need to penetrate for longer blog posts. Choose a useful topic and write it down.
Social media marketing: Overlooking social media for marketing can be the biggest imprudence you have ever taken. Although Facebook Ads are more profitable yet we suggest you go for organic posting. When you’ll be able to spend there are many ways to spend and get benefited from social channels.
Guest posting: It’s not near enough to open up a store and do nothing. People need to know about your shop. One of the great options to attract more customers is guest blogging. When you will write other blogs about your shop, you’re opening doors for the readers of that blog.
List building: Having more (interested) people in your email list means you can send them offers every now and then. Whenever you start a new deal you have got the chance to reach out those people who subscribed to get the update from your site. Leveraging email marketing is a smart decision.
Other channels: Unorthodox methods can be beneficial as well if you try them correctly. You can participate in marketing forums to talk about your products. There are many Facebook groups where you can share your promotions, deals, and special services. Think out of the box and you can achieve a great amount of profit from your shop.
Collaboration: In many ways, you can build relationships with other business owners and expand your venture. Let the bloggers know about your awesome store and give them lucrative offers (affiliate or discount). They will then mention you in their blog posts for their readers. Also, you can collaborate with other store owners to help each other. ⬆️
First of all, you know now what WooCommerce is? Here’s the recap:
WooCommerce is the most famous and most reliable eCommerce solution to build an online store. It’s built on WordPress so you can infuse the power of plugins and themes to strengthen the tool.
We have intentionally escaped some of the fundamentals with WooCommerce because they are the rudimentary tasks. However, we’re simply going to mention the steps here.
- Buy a domain for your store and a hosting package to run the site
- Install WordPress and select a WooCommerce-friendly theme
- Install WooCommerce and customize it with your information
- You can increase the power of WooCommerce with extensions
We hope, this WooCommerce tutorial helps you to kick-start your business what you have been dreaming for. Now you know it’s not rocket science and you can start right away without asking anybody’s help.
WooCommerce, without any doubt, is the most beneficial eCommerce platform on the earth. To reveal the actual strength of this phenomenal plugin, you have to dig deeper into the plugin’s inside.
By the bolster of WooCommerce, you can establish from a small to a giant company. Don’t ever underestimate the hidden power of WooCommerce. It only needs to be discovered what exiting options it holds.
From here, your next step would be setting up a store following this guide. Besides, you have to keep exploring the platform and what it can do with your business. Tons of tutorial are available out there to make your journey more meaningful. ⬆️