Blog

26 Sep 18

What Ecommerce Possibilities Can WooCommerce Open Up For You

Irwin Hau | Web Development

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is a plug-in created by the corporate faction of WordPress that allows you to start selling products or services on your WordPress site. It is the most well-designed & most popular plug-in for an ecommerce WordPress site. With hundreds of extensions and plug-ins available to customise WooCommerce, it is the most flexible ecommerce software available on the market. WooCommerce currently powers 42% of the entire internet’s online stores. It also boasts a dedicated community of developers to ensure it grows in functionality and usability following the success of its launch in 2011.

Why should you use WooCommerce?

Capabilities

  • Sell products & services
  • Manage inventory & shipping
  • Take secure payments
  • Sort out taxes

Specific features 

  • Add unlimited products & imagesAdd categories, tags & attributes
  • Display product ratings & reviews
  • Customise store location
  • Product sorting/filtering abilities
  • Geo-location auto detects customer addresses to simplify shipping & tax calculations
  • Multiple payment options (Stripe, PayPal, credit cards, Direct Bank Transfer, Checks or Cash on delivery)
  • Management of order with refunds, customer accounts & guest checkout
  • Adjustable shipping rates & taxes
  • Stock-levels control
  • Mobile friendly structure
  • Free facebook ad & facebook stores extension

What about the competition?

Of course, it wouldn’t be a well-informed business decision if you don’t consider the other options available on the market. The other infamous competitor is none other than Shopify. There are certainly many similarities in what these two can offer but WooCommerce definitely wins in the customisability and flexibility game.

Whilst Shopify tries to offer a simple out-of-the-box solution with a seemingly cheaper cost that covers ‘everything’, it inevitably also means that the flexibility to grow and increase functionality is a little more limited. It offers a subscription-based service with a few tiers to choose from depending on your business size and needs (Lite, Basic, Shopify, Advanced Shopify).

With its one package solution, Shopify includes hosting, a sub domain, a free SSL certificate and unlimited file storage, covering this in the ongoing subscription cost. In comparison, WooCommerce is a free plug-in with its base features, but the costs come in through its third-party extensions and plug-ins which supersize its power and ability to scale with the needs of your business. The necessary costs include hosting, domain & an SSL certificate which WooCommerce leaves up to you to choose – can vary in cost depending on the hosting providers & SSL companies that are right for you. Additional extensions such as SEO and payment gateways can really amp up the power of your shop, with one-time payments that will provide fruit for your company tree later down the track.

Another huge difference between the developmental growth of WooCommerce in comparison to Shopify is that it is an open source software, which allows third-party developers to play with the code to create various extensions and plugins to meet the growing needs of online shop owners. This means the freedom to modify your WooCommerce store is infinitely larger, with the sky as the limit. Shopify is a closed platform which means you can only change it to the extent that Shopify’s team has specified. Whilst the support for Shopify is tied down to their email channels, chat and phone support due to their cordoned-off code, the support for WooCommerce not only involves online ticketed support, forum support but there are plenty of blogs online generated from the frenzy of hard-working and passionate developers.

This brings us to another difference where WooCommerce yet again trumps Shopify; whilst Shopify offers around 50 store designs, this pales in comparison to the thousands available through WordPress.Whilst there may be a variety of themes you can choose from, to be honest, with everyone picking the most popular aesthetic, websites can end up looking the same same, with your shop no longer standing out from the crowd. The users that fell into this trap later complained that their website no longer felt unique as they could see the same theme splashed on other competitor sites. Themes that have been built with WooCommerce in mind from the beginning and are custom will ultimately always come out with the better hand; when you customise your design to present your product, no template can beat that.

How we can help

Simple isn’t always good. In this way, the complexity of WooCommerce comes naturally in its ability to morph and grow to become a tailor-made solution to establish your online store aspirations. Understandably, there may be a bit more confusion in setting this up and configuring the back-end, as it requires a certain degree of comfort in handling web.

With an experienced developer, there are a myriad of ways to expand the functionality of WooCommerce via themes, plugins, extensions and editing the original code so that the shop can match your branding and the user experience matches your target market to ultimately convert with your product’s potential.

Being specialists in web and with a heart to help and share, our developers are well-versed in these matters to lend a hand. just give us a call today on 9912 6403 and let us know how we can help or answer your questions.