The WooCommerce Blog

Tips, tricks and eCommerce inspiration from WooCommerce experts.

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Take payments anywhere with Square for WooCommerce

July 26, 2016 - 1 Comment

TL;DR: Square for WooCommerce has arrived — purchase the extension here and let us know your thoughts. Enjoy!

Our most requested integration is now available! With Square for WooCommerce, you can take payments online or offline through the same solution, keep your inventory updated, and sync product changes between WooCommerce and Square.

Read on to learn more about what’s available in this new extension, how it works, and how Square can benefit your store.

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How eCommerce was a game changer for an entrepreneurial Lithuanian mum

July 25, 2016 - Leave a comment

They say you can’t have it all. Between building a career, staying fit, nurturing your family, advancing in knowledge, exploring the world and all of the things the world has to offer, one couldn’t be blamed for waving the white flag of surrender.

Mini Learners is a refreshing exception to the adage.

Read on to learn how Egle, an entrepreneurial mother of two, transitioned from a 9-5pm office job and long commute to working from home, and how eCommerce was the game changer in her pursuit of happiness and starting her own business.

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The entrepreneurial Egle at work on MiniLearners.com.

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The basic pages a home goods store needs to succeed

July 21, 2016 - Leave a comment

A person’s home is a very personal thing — it’s where someone spends much of their time, meets with friends and family, and makes memories that will last for many years. So it only makes sense that decorating this home is a personal activity.

When a shopper comes to your furniture, wall decor, or home goods store in search of an addition to their home, they’re embarking on a process that probably feels very personal to them, and far more important than buying groceries or perhaps even clothing. If this feeling isn’t acknowledged, you’re likely to lose more customers than you gain.

One of the ways that you can better support the customers who are going through this personal journey is with strong on-site content. This content is most helpful when it takes the form of pages designed to make the purchasing process easier.

Let’s go over some of the basic pages you should consider adding to a home goods site, what purpose they serve in a customer’s journey, and how you can execute on them expertly.

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The importance of keeping your store updated

July 19, 2016 - 8 Comments

If the sight of the “updates available” notification in your WordPress dashboard fills you with a sense of dread, you’re not alone.

"Not again..."
“Not again…”

Updating your WordPress plugins and themes or WooCommerce and its extensions can sometimes be an easy process — just a few seconds of waiting and you’re set. But it can also involve backups, testing, additional updates, and even support requests. Basically, the hassles no one likes.

But avoiding or putting off these occasional hassles can put your site at risk, and even potentially affect your customers. So while you may not always like to go through the process of keeping your WooCommerce store 100% updated, there are many reasons to do it.

Let’s take a look at why it’s important to update your store in a timely manner, starting with some background on why we update WooCommerce and its extensions in the first place.

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4 ways to add physical goods to your store

July 15, 2016 - 11 Comments

If you don’t already sell physical products, adding them to your existing online store can present a fantastic opportunity to grow your revenue — and your relationship with your customers.

With limited time, resources, and budget, however, adding physical goods might sound like a good idea, but seem difficult to actually accomplish. Not everyone can store physical stock, rent a warehouse, or juggle the logistics of shipping.

So what’s a store owner to do? Start at square one: add simple physical products that compliment your existing business and don’t require you to drastically alter your store to sell.

Whether that’s through small treats for customers or dropshipping goods, there are a few ways to go about this without breaking the bank. Let’s take a look at some of them.

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How to automate your subscriptions site (and save hours)

July 13, 2016 - 1 Comment

Running a subscriptions-based business, or simply adding subscriptions to your existing online store, can result in some amazing things — higher revenue, happier customers, and a unique value proposition that helps you stand out in your industry.

Less amazing than the results, though? All the time you’ll need to spend making those things happen. Curating products for subscriptions can be time-consuming enough, not to mention the time it takes to engage with new and existing subscribers, manage renewals, print shipping labels, send orders out, improve your plans to gain more subscribers…

Phew. It’s tiring just reading that.

Before you convince yourself it’s too much work to run a subscriptions site or expand your existing subscriptions business, you should know that there’s a simple way to dramatically cut back on the amount of time you have to invest in it: automation.

Thanks to a few handy integrations and extensions that work with WooCommerce, plus Zapier’s added support for WooCommerce Subscriptions, it’s easier than ever to automate communication, order processing, and subscription management for your site. By setting up just one or two automations, you can save yourself hours of time, not to mention countless headaches and (perhaps most importantly) money.

Let’s take a look at a few ways you can automate a site with WooCommerce Subscriptions to make your life a whole lot easier.

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From lemonade and river rocks to energy bars: the Ally’s Bar story

July 12, 2016 - Leave a comment

Many of us have fond memories of our earliest entrepreneurial efforts. Toffee apples sold to stoic neighbours, lemonade stands, school bake sales, or 1c per hungry snail from the rose garden.

Whether to keep us out of mischief or earn precious savings towards a life changing item (for me it was a Barbie microwave and rollerskating troll), learning to earn at a young age lights a certain type of spark.

For some, it lights a fire. An energy bar fire.

In Ally Stacher’s case, the same entrepreneurial spirit that inspired pop-up lemonade stands, gathering buckets of garden apples, and the gathering and selling of truckloads of river rocks to pay for weekly school snacks led to Allysbar.com.

Ally's Bar

Read on for the story of what might well be the world’s first sweet potato energy bar (gluten and GMO free, naturally), and how Gabe and Kacey of LongTailCreative built the colorful, customer-friendly store that Ally uses to run her online business.

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The pages an online food store needs to excel

July 7, 2016 - 2 Comments

Selling food online — especially fresh or frozen items — is a bit of a new concept. Even as other industries embraced the concept of eCommerce with open arms, food sellers hesitated, and with good reason: there were some crucial logistics to figure out first.

Fortunately, shipping food isn’t a foreign concept any longer — it’s now easier than ever to pack up and ship out fresh, frozen, bottled, and packaged treats of all kinds. So the battle has become convincing shoppers that it’s worth buying edible goods online instead of in a local store.

One way you can convince shoppers to take the plunge is with pages that educate them on your products, their benefits, and what your company is capable of. These pages allow potential customers to gain confidence prior to making a purchase, and decrease the chance that they’ll walk away from your store empty-handed.

Let’s have a look at some of the most important pages an online food store can have, and how they’ll help you find success.

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How to decide where to spend your first $50 on marketing

July 6, 2016 - 21 Comments

If you build it, will they come? Not without marketing they won’t.

New online stores often face the same dilemma: they desperately need marketing to increase awareness of their products or services, but have a tight budget with which to do so. Some form of marketing is necessary for even the newest of stores, but finding the right balance between “effective” and “cost-effective” can be tricky.

If you’re building or have built your store with WooCommerce and are aiming to start marketing on a budget, we’re here to help. Here’s how you can decide which marketing activity to invest in first — and how to spend just $50 to get started.

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Winning others over: announcing WooCommerce.com

July 3, 2016 - 49 Comments

Today marks an important milestone for our team: WooCommerce finally has its own home.

We’ve moved our site over from WooThemes.com to WooCommerce.com to provide focus for our team, clarity for our customers and to reflect what has become Woo’s core business.

Read on to learn some of the history behind WooCommerce and what motivated this change in our site.

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Must-have pages for online fashion stores

July 1, 2016 - Leave a comment

Building an epic fashion brand starts with, as you’d no doubt guess, epic products. There’s no fashion-savvy shopper alive who would settle for “decent-looking” shirts or jewelry that “sort of” holds up and wears well.

Building the epic store to match this brand and its products, though — that’s another thing altogether. No matter how incredible your clothing, jewelry, eyewear, or accessories are, a mediocre-looking and poorly constructed online store will drive more shoppers away than it will draw them in.

The components that go into your fashion store’s website have a bigger impact on your success than you might expect. One of those components is the pages you create to hold and convey information to potential customers — for example, details on your shipping times, the history of your company, how to get in touch with you, and so on. And it’s your duty as a store owner to be sure you’re not missing any of these crucial pages.

Today we’re going to take a look at some of the pages we think are must-haves for online fashion stores on their way to building an epic online presence. Whether you’re building a new store or doing a checkup on your current one, keep reading to find out which pages are crucial for you.

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Crossing borders: trips, tricks & extensions for international stores

June 29, 2016 - 7 Comments

Most new WooCommerce stores start out selling and shipping to their immediate surroundings — the same state, country, or another familiar area. But there comes a time for many store owners when they start thinking about venturing out a little further.

Selling internationally can be immensely rewarding, but there’s a lot to consider before you start doing it. There’s the logistics of shipping, the tax implications, whether or not all of your products can even be made available internationally due to licensing or usage restrictions, and let’s not even get started on the cost of all this.

In short: it takes a lot of work to cross those borders and reach those customers.

But if there’s a clamor for your products in distant countries, you know full well that there’s money to be made and customers to be satisfied. So we’ve put together this list of tips, tricks, and some helpful WooCommerce extensions that will make the process of internationalization a little less challenging — whether you’re selling twenty products or twenty thousand.

Let’s dive in and look at what you should do before you flip the switch and start shipping overseas.

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What you should know about VAT and selling internationally

June 28, 2016 - 8 Comments

Today’s post comes to us from Jennifer Sokolowsky at Avalara. AvaTax for WooCommerce is a seamless integration for Avalara’s tax calculation services. Automatically calculate tax rates, submit documents to Avalara for transactions, and enable address validation at checkout for supported countries. Give it a try today to get tax right no matter where you’re selling.

International markets can offer big opportunities for store owners. Selling across borders can offer growth potential when local sales have plateaued, as well as a way to get an edge on competitors. It can also offer a way to diversify your business.

However, selling internationally can be more complicated than doing business domestically. One of the major considerations to keep in mind is how to deal with taxes — specifically VAT.

Here’s what you should know about the value added tax (or VAT), when and where it applies, and how you can make sure you get VAT right when you begin selling internationally.

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Tips for customizing your subscription site’s homepage

June 23, 2016 - 6 Comments

If your business is based on the subscription model, or you offer subscriptions on your store, this is a reality you already know: the path to acquiring a subscriber is a long and tedious one.

Shoppers can take a long time to make up their minds about spending money, but that goes double for an investment over many weeks or months. The task of convincing someone that they need your product or service on a recurring basis isn’t easy, either — even if it’s something they really enjoy, like chocolate or coffee.

So what’s a subscriptions site to do if they want to shorten this path to acquisition? For starters: take a long, hard look at your store’s homepage and the role it’s playing in convincing potential subscribers to sign up.

Your homepage is the first thing most potential customers see, after all. And if it’s not making a compelling enough argument about the benefits of your products, a subscription model, or your company, you can kiss the promise of recurring revenue goodbye.

Let’s explore some of the best practices you should follow for customizing the homepage of a subscription site, and discuss how they can ultimately help you secure more subscribers.

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10 surprising things you can do with WooCommerce

June 22, 2016 - 6 Comments

Just starting out with WooCommerce? Or are you a seasoned pro?

Regardless of your level of experience with WooCommerce or eCommerce in general, its potential may surprise you. There are hidden features in the core plugin that may come in handy, powerful options enabled via extensions, and unrecognized productivity hacks you can try out to make your day easier.

The beauty of WooCommerce is that its potential for growth and expansion enables you — either as a store owner or developer — to build amazing things. And the more you know about the platform’s capabilities, the more you can create with it!

Our aim today is to give both you newbies and pros a look at 10 things you might not have known you could accomplish with WooCommerce. From on-page features to automation, here are a few tips and tricks you’ll love to be “in the know” about.

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5 types of products you can sell with WooCommerce

June 21, 2016 - 6 Comments

When you think of an online store, the mental image that first springs to mind is likely a traditional model — that is, selling and shipping a selection of physical goods to customers.

But that’s not all you can do.

With WooCommerce, there is so much more you can accomplish with a single online store. You don’t have to limit yourself to physical goods alone — you can sell digital products, your time, access to events, and so much more.

Let’s have a look at the five types of products that you can sell with WooCommerce, and why you should consider adding another type of item to your store, no matter what your specialty. We’ll also give you some amazing examples of stores already selling these products, both in a traditional way and in ways you might not expect.

Ready to expand your horizons? Keep reading.

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