Want to turn your WordPress site into an additional revenue stream? It’s an aim for many aspiring bloggers, and the impact of Covid-19 on the world has increased the amount of people wanting to sell online. Whether that’s by selling their own products or services, or their blog has become popular enough to generate ad revenue. Additionally, Covid has motivated many users to support small businesses both locally and online.
Whatever your situation is, the best way to turn your WordPress site into an eCommerce store is by using WooCommerce. Turning your WordPress site into an eCommerce store doesn’t have to be as stressful or require as much technical expertise as you might think. You just need to do your research first, which we’ve summarised for you in this article. Let’s begin your WooCommerce journey.
Why Choose WooCommerce?
All the reasons why you should use WooCommerce to turn your WordPress site into a functional eCommerce store.
Extension Variety: WooCommerce has a large variety of extensions for any business need, whether that be accounting, shipping, marketing, SEO and much more.
Payment Gateway Options: The payment gateways you offer make your checkout process smoother, a wider amount of users will trust your store and it will reduce latency times. WooCommerce offers integration with popular payment gateways such as Paypal, Amazon Pay, Stripe as well as more localized gateways like Eway and Klarna.
Familiarity: Assuming you’re a WordPress user, you will already be familiar with configuring your new store
Thorough Documentation: WooCommerce ensures upgrading your WordPress site isn’t a technical headache. They have clear documentation that suits all levels of expertise, just ensure you take your time!
Cost-effective: Getting started and creating a basic eCommerce store with WooCommerce is affordable, as WooCommerce is a free plugin. Costs can vary depending on the extensions you need to use. Taking into account basic setup costs like domain registration and hosting plus essential marketing extensions, most beginners can get their store up and running for well under $1000 (USD).
Setup a WooCommerce Store on Your WordPress Site
Installation and Activation
Simply go to your WordPress Plugins and search for WooCommerce. If you’re already a WordPress user, starting WooCommerce is simple. If you already have your own WordPress site, you should already set up hosting, and have chosen a theme.
To activate your WooCommerce plugin, you will first have to make a free account on woocommerce.com. Download WooCommerce, go to your WordPress dashboard, navigate using Dashboard>Plugins>Add New>Upload. Select your WooCommerce plugin, press install, after installation you will be asked to activate.
When activating you will be asked to follow a Setup Wizard, this is strongly recommended, especially if you’re a beginner. The Setup Wizard will automatically set up essential eCommerce pages in your store, such as your cart, checkout, account and shop page.
Setup Your Product/Service Categories
Again, if you’ve already created pages or posts using your WordPress dashboard, creating product categories is similar with a few extra steps to set up pricing and images.
To add a product, go to WooCommerce>Products>Add product.
Ensure you write a clear and informative product description. The more information you can give the better, especially if you’re selling something where measurements are important, stating the certain size, length or width.
If you’re only selling a few products, you may not need to worry about creating categories. But, if categories will simplify navigation for your users, it’s best to implement them. You may want to categorize products by price, type or size. Certain products will need certain types of categories; for example, if you’re selling greeting cards you might want to categorize by holidays.
To add a product, go to Products>Categories. By default your storefront will play any created product categories on your main page. It’s good to have a clear understanding of what your product categories will be first before adding all your products, this will leave less clean up for later on.
Shipping: Fulfillment and Orders
You need to decide how you’re going to get your products to your customers. Take into account what your products actually are, ask yourself the following questions.
- How fragile are your products?
- How heavy are your products?
- What are the dimensions of your products?
The answer to these questions are important to know, particularly dimensions and weight will help you calculate an accurate order price.
Consider Customizing Your WordPress Theme
To launch your store, choose a theme that ensures a smooth user experience, but don’t worry about doing anything too fancy. However, to separate your store from other startups or small businesses, keep in mind that theme customization is an effective way to do it.
Your theme is how your store looks and now that you are a functional eCommerce store, your theme also represents how your products are displayed. Therefore, your theme needs to be quality, there are plenty of free and premium themes you may want to upgrade to. Your other option once you have a theme you’re happy with is to hire WooCommerce developers to customize the theme itself.
Quality theme customization costs, there’s no way of getting around that. But, you can find cost-effective services if you’re patient. There are plenty of development companies with WooCommerce experts that won’t put your business under just for a high converting theme.
Better Your WooCommerce Store with Plugins
For the most part, your online store is ready. At this point it’s technically functional, but you still need other usual store features that will be beneficial to your users. There are some obvious features you need like contact forms, while sliders or galleries are more stylistic choices that can improve user experience.
There are tens of thousands of plugins to choose from, and many of them are free! Here’s five of plugins every WooCommerce startup should install:
MonsterInsights: A free Google Analytics plugin. It’s great for eCommerce beginners who often find it difficult to make sense of Analytics reports. MonsterInsights simplifies information and displays it in your WordPress dashboard so you can easily optimize your product pages.
WP Forms: A basic drop and drag form builder. The free version of WP Forms allows you to create simple forms with all the necessary elements. Upgrade to the pro version as your store grows.
TrustPulse: A social proof plugin that helps your store establish trust. TrustPulse provides your users with real notifications that show other people have purchased your products. Make use of their two week free trial, while their basic version will cost you $40 per year.
Constant Contact: This is one of the top email marketing services for WooCommerce stores. It is both beginner friendly and will allow you to build a clear email list for a range of niches. The first month is free, signing up for 6 months will cost you $90.
WooCommerce Customizer: Customization made easy. This plugin allows you to customize your site without needing technical expertise. Easily customize button text, fields, labels and heading text.
These are just a few quality but basic plugins most WooCommerce stores will need during the early stages. As your store grows, it’s likely you will find that some of your plugins have limitations or lack certain features that your store needs. You may also want a custom theme, or a customized checkout. Below, we’ve listed a few places to get developers for WooCommerce.
A development company based in Atlanta, Georgia, FluidRank’s primary focus is eCommerce development. They’ll surely be able to get you anything you need for your WooCommerce to shine.
This global development company can customize WooCommerce or Shopify checkouts. They can handle any theme customization, CRM integration, or custom development needs you have.
If you’re looking to hire individual developers instead of a development firm, Freelancer is a good place to start looking for WooCommerce developers. You can find pretty much any skillset you need here.
That’s all, your WooCommerce journey starts here. We’ve gone through how to set up WooCommerce on your WordPress site, the basics you need to create a functional eCommerce store and user experience and finally some plugin and then considerations you could do immediately and should do as your store grows. It’s up to you, depending on how much time you have to invest in your store, your budget and how fast you want your store to grow. All the best!