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- Posted: January 2, 2018
- Category: E-commerce
Is WooCommerce a Good Fit For Your Ecommerce Business?
WooCommerce as a Good Fit For Your Ecommerce Business: When ecommerce is a major part of your sales margin, choosing the right platform can make all the difference.
The reality is, there are a lot of good services out there. You can see what I’ve said in previous posts about Magento; the major players for large-scale stores. But in this industry it’s less about one platform being better than the others and more about choosing the one platform that will be the best fit for you and your business.
With a wide array of choices, it can be tough to navigate the options and choose what is best for you. Hopefully these posts will help you as you do some research. In that process, WooCommerce is definitely worth a look. Currently WooCommerce powers more than 30% of online stores, so they have certainly been satisfying the needs of large chunk of consumers.
Here is what you need to know about WooCommerce when considering an ecommerce platform.
WooCommerce offers some great benefits. In fact, they have too many to mention in one post, so I will just highlight some of the most notable:
Easy WordPress Compatibility
Actually, it’s important to note that WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin. Thus, in order to use it, you either have to have an existing WordPress site or have it installed in a subdirectory.
If you already use WordPress, then using WooCommerce is a breeze. Simply install the plugin and follow their step-by-step setup instructions. If you are an experienced developer they have an option to skip the steps and set things up manually. Once installation is complete, all you need to do to get your store ready is add the products and descriptions. If you’re already comfortable with WordPress this will be easy for you since adding products is done in the same way that posts and pages are added. The process is straightforward and you can be ready to process sales before the end of the day.
WooCommerce: Singular Dashboard
In addition to simple setup, another huge advantage with WooCommerce is that the site and store are all managed in one dashboard. You can write a blog post, switch to product updating and back to your site easily, a feature that makes edits and updates convenient and isn’t available on other platforms.
WooCommerce is completely free to install and use. Because of this it’s an excellent choice for small business working with a tight budget and for businesses that have the need to sell some products on the side but not as their main source of revenue.
If you want people to be able to find your products without searching your shop in particular, then you need to optimize your product pages to appear in search engines. In the same way that the WordPress editor makes it easy to edit content, URLs, meta descriptions, alt tags, and more, WooCommerce helps you optimize your pages without the need for any coding knowledge. Granted, you will still need to write your own copy, which may require some research on maximizing keywords, but arranging things exactly where you need them to be is a hassle-free process.
Disadvantages of WooCommerce
As I mentioned, there is no one perfect platform. When making a final decision, it’s also important to be aware of the drawbacks. So here is what you need to know:
It Isn’t Supported by Every Theme
There is no doubt that WooCommerce is easy to install on your WordPress site, but you may find that it isn’t compatible with your existing theme. So you may find yourself needing to change the look of your entire site. If you’re happy with what you already have, then this can be irritating.
Requires Paid Extensions
Although the plugin itself is free, many of the extensions require additional payment. This doesn’t only apply to special features but also to some of the essential ones like PayPal for example. Non-essential but incredibly useful extensions also require payment. This includes, inventory management, marketing, subscriptions, and reporting. So although WooCommerce is free, running an effective site will still have a cost involved.
Because WooCommerce is not a stand-alone product, the functionality isn’t as advanced as some other platform options available. It doesn’t support multiple languages or currencies and only allows a single storefront, so it’s not a good choice if you’re hoping to sell internationally. Additionally, the free reporting and analytics features are weak. So if you want more sophisticated options for these areas, you’ll have to pay for them.
No Maintenance Support
The platform is relatively easy to use with good step-by-step instructions, but if you run into a problem your on your own. Managing orders and maintaining your storefront is entirely up to you and your team. This challenge isn’t unique to WooCommerce, but it’s important to know. As updates are released and you make changes to your store, something can always go wrong, if you don’t know anything about coding, you will likely find yourself in need of a developer to help fix the issue.
So What’s the Verdict?
If you’re running a small business and don’t have aspirations to expand in the near future, or if you just have a few products to sell along with your existing WordPress site, then WooCommerce is an excellent choice. It’s easy and convenient and inexpensive. That being said, if you’ve got thousands of products, or are hoping to expand into a large-scale shop, it won’t have the functions you need.
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