WooCommerce is one of the most popular solutions for creating an eCommerce site out there. According to Statista, it is the leading eCommerce software platform with an overall market share of 39%.
So if you are wondering what is WooCommerce and whether you should use this or not, this article is especially for you.
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that adds eCommerce functionalities to new or existing websites.
The first version of WooCommerce was launched in 2011 and became extremely popular. In only 2 years, it achieved the 1 million downloads mark, and in 2014 it hit the 4 million downloads mark. The reason it became so popular is that WooCommerce is,
- Free just like WordPress
- Open source
Seeing its popularity, Automatic, the mother company of WordPress, acquired WooCommerce in 2015. Till now, WooCommerce has over 5 million+ active installations. It has certainly become the driving force behind numerous eCommerce sites.
Many users feel intimidated by the idea of setting up WooCommerce and starting their own eCommerce store. But don’t worry today we will go deep and learn what is WooCommerce, what is WooCommerce used for, what are its features, extensions, pros/cons, and more.
Let’s get started.
What is WooCommerce and How Does It Work?
WooCommerce provides basic store functionality right out of the box, with a free plugin available in the WordPress repository, or you can install the plugin from the WordPress dashboard.
As it is built on top of WordPress, you will also benefit from all the powerful features of WordPress. Other than WordPress, let’s see what features, extensions, and shortcodes WooCommerce provides us in this detailed WooCommerce overview. Here’s what we are going to cover-
- Types of Products You Can Sell With WooCommerce
- WooCommerce Shortcodes
- Benefits of WooCommerce
- Disadvantages of WooCommerce
Let’s get into details,
Powerful Features of WooCommmerce
What distinguishes WooCommerce from other platforms is the features it offers. Let’s have a look.
Seamless WordPress Integration & Open Source Platform
This goes without a doubt that the major USP of WooCommerce is the fact that it’s built on WordPress, the most popular CMS in the world. As a result, the principles that are useful for WordPress also work the same way for WooCommerce. And we all know how easy it’s to use WordPress, don’t we? This integration with WordPress makes the job of a website owner much easier.
And just like WordPress, it is an open-source platform. That means it is entirely managed in GitHub. The code is for everyone to see and any WordPress development company can easily collaborate and build a robust platform that powers millions of e-commerce stores.
WooCommerce is Flexible
You can sell any kind of product using WooCommerce. Whether it is physical products, virtual products, or even affiliate/external products, you can sell them all using WooCommerce. The platform gives flexibility to all merchants to customize and sell all kinds of products.
Also, you can use a plugin like Dokan Multivendor to turn your WooCommerce single store into a multivendor marketplace.
Moreover, you don’t have to be very knowledgeable to customize WooCommerce. You can edit any part of your website – from the product page to the order confirmation page.
Simple & Easy to Use
You can easily set up a professional online store using WooCommerce. The robust order tracking and customer engagement tools allow for doing all sorts of things – like managing orders, updating delivery status, offering discounts, and much more. In short, WooCommerce comes with everything that is needed in a professional e-commerce store.
The main thing is, that it is very simple and easy to use.
In-Built Payment Processing
Along with providing integration with numerous popular payment gateways, WooCommerce makes it easy to set up payments as well. The in-built payment gateways allow users to process payments through Stripe, Paypal, Cash on Delivery, Bank transfers, and Checks.
Huge Collection of Necessary Extensions
When you are building and running an eCommerce store, you need much more than just a website and products. You also need to set up payments, shipping, marketing, accounting, and a whole lot of other things. WooCommerce comes with a wide variety of extensions that make all functions much easier. The extensions library consists of more than 400 extensions.
Extensive Theme Options
WooCommerce supports WordPress and therefore supports all WordPress themes. That is why business owners can customize their stores using the various themes from the WordPress repository. Also, to set yourself apart, you can customize the theme per your requirements.
Smooth Integration with Marketing & Analytics Tools
Keeping track of your sales, and marketing campaigns is important so that you don’t do something wrong. WooCommerce has integration with platforms such as Google Analytics, Google Shopping, Facebook, Mailchimp, etc. This allows you to track all the reports of your sales and campaigns with a few clicks.
Built-in Blogging Feature
WooCommerce not only allows you to sell your products but also lets you publish your content and blogs to showcase your brand to the world. So, you don’t have to create a separate blog for it as it’s just right there in WordPress. Also, it provides integration with popular Search Engine Optimization tools like Rank Math, Yoast SEO, etc. So that you can easily rank your content higher in the search engines.
WooCommerce comes with in-depth documentation that features every hook, filter, API endpoint, major release, etc. This way, you’ll have all the information you need to customize your store the way you want it.
Products Sorting & Rating
WooCommerce allows your customer to sort and filter the products by their popularity, size, rating, price, or any other thing related to your products. Not only that, but you can also show customer ratings and feedback directly on the product pages, with a “verified customer” mark.
Also, WooCommerce allows you to list unlimited products and upload unlimited product photos.
Popular Extensions of WooCommerce Plugin
In order to extend the eCommerce store’s functionalities, WooCommerce offers some additional extensions. Here is the list of popular extensions of WooCommerce,
|Stripe||Stripe payment gateway. Integrates Stripe payment gateway to any WooCommerce store.|
|Checkout manager||This WooCommerce checkout manager allows you to add checkboxes, input forms, color pickers, and more to your checkout page, or edit and rearrange them using WooCommerce Checkout Manager.|
|Smart Coupons||This is helpful for applying discounts, gift certificates, and supporting any type of coupon in your WooCommerce store.|
|WooCommerce Subscriptions||With WooCommerce Subscriptions, you can sell recurring subscription-based products in your store, which makes it much easier to set up a residual-based business.|
|Simple Auctions||This adds comprehensive online auction functionality to your WooCommerce store with just a few clicks.|
|WooCommerce Bookings||This allows customers to book appointments, make reservations, or rent equipment without leaving your site.|
|Min/Max Quantities||Adds minimum and maximum quantity rules for products, orders, and categories|
|Automatewoo||Marketing automation for WooCommerce stores|
|WooCommerce Shipping||Print USPS and DHL labels straight from your WooCommerce dashboard and save on shipping|
|Table Rate Shipping||Define multiple shipping rates based on location, price, weight, etc|
|Mailchimp for WooCommerce||Connect your WooCommerce store with Mailchimp to access the powerful features of Mailchimp to drive more sales.|
|HubSpot for WooCommerce||The HubSpot for WooCommerce extension is the easiest way to integrate your WooCommerce store with HubSpot. HubSpot offers a full stack of software for marketing, sales, and customer service, with a completely free CRM at its core.|
|Google Listing and Ads||Connect your store with Google free listing and ads and reach millions of engaged shoppers through this extension|
|Product Recommendations||Offer smarter upsells, cross-sells, and “frequently bought together” recommendations. Measure their impact with in-depth analytics.|
|Product Add-ons||Offers add-ons like gift wrapping or other special options for your products|
|WooCommerce Google Analytics||Connect your WooCommece store to Google Analytics and understand how your audience interacts with your store|
|Jetpack||Security, performance, and marketing tools made for WooCommerce stores by WordPress experts. Get started with basic security and speed.|
|WooCommerce Payments||The only payment solution fully integrated with Woo. Accept credit/debit cards & local payment options with no setup or monthly fees.|
|Mailpoet||Connect to Mailpoet and promote your business, sell more products, and enhance your customer service.|
Types of Products You Can Sell With WooCommerce
As WooCommerce is a flexible platform, you can sell anything online. Physical products like jewelry, clothes, books, technologies, etc to digital products like PDFs, music, making bookings, appointments, reservations, and providing services, everything is possible with WooCommerce.
If you have a hotel, you can easily create a website where you can use WooCommerce to let people reserve rooms and pay for the booking fee.
So if you are selling anything and ready to accept payment, then you can easily use WooCommerce.
Pros and Cons of WooCommerce
Pros of WooCommerce
Next in this what is WooCommerce discussion, we will talk about the advantages of WooCommerce.
- Easy to Install and Setup
- Equipped with most of the features needed to run an online store
- Sell any products or service
- Add products attributes, tags, and categories
- Filter products by type of product, star rating, overall popularity, and more
- Integrate multiple payment providers like PayPal, Stripe, and credit cards
- Customize the layout using themes
- Extend the functionality of your store using plugins.
- The platform is flexible and scalable. That means you can customize your store to fit all your needs
- Friendly user interface
- Mobile responsive
- Supports multiple payment gateways.
- Guest checkout without account creation
- Force secure checkout
- Add unlimited products to the store
- Add unlimited product types, variations
- Multiple shipping options
- Highly secure platform
- Easy tax management and more.
Cons of WooCommerce
Along with many advantages, there are some disadvantages as well. Including,
- It’s WordPress reliant
- It’s resource-intensive
- It requires some technical knowledge
- The platform has a steep learning curve
- It has a lot of features
- Doesn’t have built-in themes.
Famous Brands Using WooCommerce
To further prove that WooCommerce is popular for creating eCommerce stores, here are some famous brands that have used WooCommerce to create their websites.
Who doesn’t know about Clickbank? They are a global internet retailer providing different types of products. They also allow other people especially manufacturers to sell their own products and market people to promote them.
Clickbank is one of the world’s top-ranking eCommerce sites. You would be amazed to know that they are using WooCommerce as their eCommerce solution and handling a large number of customers every day with ease.
If you are looking for amazing daily gift ideas and cool stories around the world, then you can entertain yourself with Awesome Inventions. They provide cool gadgets. You can buy your dream gadgets, toys, wearables, outdoor items, and beverages from here, and don’t be surprised to know that they are also using WooCommerce. Awesome, right?
The Spectator Magazine Shop
The oldest magazine in the English language that is being published continuously is The Spectator Shop. Although they are one of the largest online magazine stores around the world, they are using WooCommerce to power up its online shop. They have a strong customer base.
Another online resource provider is WorthPoint. They also use WooCommerce to manage more than 300 million items! You can explore their collection from different auction houses and online marketplaces all around the world.
One of the largest online bookstores, BookRiot is powering its eCommerce business using WordPress and WooCommerce. Just like WorthPoint, they are managing thousands of digital products and successfully running their business.
WooCommerce and WordPress are both free. While this can represent considerable savings, when it comes to WooCommerce pricing, there are still some costs involved in launching a new store.
|WooCommerce Cost||Estimated Cost (Mid-range site)|
|Theme||Free for a basic WooCommerce theme|
|Extensions||Transaction fees dependent on sales volume|
|Approximate Annual Total||$300+|
WooCommerce vs Shopify vs Magento vs BigCommerce- A Short Comparison
Other than WooCommerce, there are other industry giants who are famous for creating eCommerce platforms. Here is a short comparison between them so you can get a more concrete idea about them and their differences.
|Scalability||Preferred by small to medium business||Medium to big business||Medium to big business||Small to medium business|
|Learning Curve||Simple to grasp but technical knowledge required||Need to explore the documentation in order to learn the process||Technical skill required||Technical skill required|
|Security Certificate (SSL)||Configured manually||SSL by default||Configured manually||SSL by default|
|SEO tools||Many plugins available||Moderate tools available||Not too many tools available||A few tools are available|
How to Install WooCommerce Properly
Installing WooCommerce is easy as installing any other WordPress plugin. If you have already installed WordPress on your site, you can easily install WooCommerce from your WordPress dashboard with a few clicks. Or you can download the zip file from WordPress.org and upload the file to install the plugin.
Login to your WordPress dashboard and go to Plugins–> Add New. In the search box type WooCommerce. Then just install and activate the plugin.
Next, you need to complete the setup wizard where you need to provide necessary information like store details, industry details, product types, themes, etc.
If you want to how to customize WooCommerce then you can refer to our guide to WooCommerce customization, where we have discussed at length what you need to do after installing WooCommerce.
Shortcodes are tiny pieces of code that perform specific actions on your site.
WooCommerce shortcodes are small snippets of code that you can place in your Woocommerce pages and templates to show specific values from the database. There are hundreds of use cases using shortcodes. They are WordPress-wide features and have the same format.
WooCommerce provides various shortcodes. For example, you can use the “[woocommerce_my_account]” shortcode to add the account page for every user. Users can view their information, orders list, and previews orders from other shops.
If you use the “[woocommerce_cart]”, it will add the cart functionality to WooCommerce and it will display all the products users have added to their cart.
“[woocommerce_order_tracking]” Shortcode creates an order tracking page for the customers. So, they can view the current status of their orders.
Similarly, you will find several WooCommerce shortcodes that will help you maintain your online store functionalities.
FAQ(s) on WooCommerce
What is WooCommerce used for?
WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that is used to create an eCommerce site. WooCommerce is fully compatible with the functions on your WordPress site. It means you can have a WordPress ecommerce site with products, a shopping cart, and checkout options.
What is the difference between WooCommerce and WordPress?
WooCommerce is built on top of WordPress and inherits all of its features. However, there are some key differences between the two: WordPress is a CMS while WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin.
Who should use WooCommerce?
A business owner who wants to start an eCommerce store can use WooCommerce.
Can WooCommerce be used with any website?
The simple answer is no.WooCommerce software and its plugin are built on WordPress coding; therefore, it is limited to only working with WordPress websites or accounts.
Learn about WooCommerce and Create the Perfect eCommerce Store You Need
If you have an eCommerce store built with WooCommerce then learning about what is WooCommerce will certainly help. the main purpose of our guide was to educate you about WooCommerce and to give you the right idea about WooCommerce and what WooCommerce is all about.
If we have to summarize, then we can tell you that WooCommerce is fast, powerful, and reliable to create an eCommerce store. Most features are free and you can easily extend its features by adding necessary extensions.
And if you are looking to create the ultimate eCommerce site, then you can refer to our guide to creating an eCommerce website for free.