WooCommerce – The Great Leap Forward
What is WooCommerce?
Woocommerce is an open source e-commerce plugin designed for the WordPress CMS (Content Management System) which started late 2011. Woocommerce works seamlessly with WordPress and offers rich and reliable online shop functionality.
The great benefit of Woocommerce is that is free and is packed full of features, but also through paid for extensions there are a lot of advanced shopping features that become available which are handy to small business. These features would typically cost in thousands of dollars but are often between $50-$100 making it very affordable. Here are some of the key features of standard WooCommerce:
You can sell anything from WooCommerce from flowers, food items to industrial machinery. You can even sell digital products like MP3 music, video files, ebooks and PDF’s and other digital resources.
WooCommerce has plenty of payment options available from direct debit, Paypal and credit cards through a 3rd party payment gateway of your choosing. At Northern Beaches Websites we can provide advice on which 3rd party payment gateway to choose as this is dependant on how much product you intend to sell. You can accept MasterCard and VISA. There are other payment options available as well like cash on delivery and payment on pick up making WooCommerce a flexible shopping system for all kinds of small-medium businesses. Using Mijireh you don’t even need to get an SSL certificate and worry about security. Mijireh is a service that allows you to connect your payment gateway to it and it then does a page slurp of your shopping checkout page (which basically copies your websites HTML and CSS) and replicates your page, however the page is actually hosted on Mijireh’s SSL secure website and transactions take place there. Mijireh charges a small fee for this security service and is beneficial for people selling a few expensive items. If however you are selling many cheap items (or just many items) we would recommend an SSL certificate which is an encrypted connection between your website and the payment gateway.
Once again there are many shipping options available to online shop owners from personal/local delivery, Australia Post live shipping calculator (which calculates shipping based on the number of items and their size and weight) or FedEx/UPS for international delivery. We also have calculators available for Smart Send and Fastway couriers. This can all be setup based on customers delivery postcodes.
With WooCommerce it’s easy to keep track of your current inventory levels. There are setting available to you for how you want to show inventory to customers, and you can even allow customers to buy products on back order. Whether you allow discounts, coupons, multiple quantities, product configurations, rest assured you will have complete control of your inventory. Through its easy user interface you can replenish stocked items with just a click!
It’s important with ecommerce solutions that you are getting measurable data on your results so you can make informed decisions on what’s working and what needs improvement. You can very easily track orders and keep a good overview on sales results and reviews all in the one interface. Through more advanced options you can even assess the profitability of your online store by entering COGS (cost of goods sold). You can also export your sales and orders into a CSV format so you can incorporate your online shop data into existing ERP or MRP systems like MYOB, Excel, QuickBooks, Reckon, Manusoft, Greentree, Netsuite, Syspro, SAP, SAP Business One and much much more!
There are many ways to market your products through WooCommerce. With the primary means being discounts. There are so many options available with coupons from usage limits, expiry dates, discounts on certain products or product categories, whether to include shipping or not and user restrictions. You can also sell digital gift certificate on your online store.
WooCommerce is a trusted and reliable ecommerce platform used by thousands of companies across the would, in fact if you want a number at the time of writing 259,383 stores or 12.72% of all ecommerce websites. It’s easy to setup GST and other tax rules like tax inclusive or exclusive products. You also have options of how you want to display tax information to customers. Tax calculations work seamlessly in the background so you can focus on running your small business.