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The power and purpose of knowing your customers

September 5, 2017 - 6 Comments

“What got us here won’t get us there… I want to have design leading the way. A lot more user research. A lot more mockups.”
– Matt Mullenweg

At WordCamp US 2016, Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word outlined a vision for WordPress being design-led. Since then, WooCommerce has doubled down on our efforts to follow suit.

From growing our one-person design team to five (and still hiring!) to talking more to our customers — hearing what’s most important to them, and how eCommerce fits into their lives – we’re just getting started on our journey to make this transition, and we’re learning a lot!

Our hope is that you can take some of the lessons we’re learning and apply them to your business, no matter how big or small.

It’s never too soon or too late to start talking to your customers, understanding who they are, and how they made their way to you today.

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Start your new store quickly with PayPal Business in a Box

May 1, 2017 - 9 Comments

It’s National Small Business Week here in the United States, a seven day period where we celebrate small businesses and all they do. Over half of Americans own or work for a small business, and about two thirds of the country’s new jobs come from them every year.

This week is a reminder for us that there’s more work to be done to support small businesses. Having a free, open-source platform and hundreds of extensions and integrations is definitely a step in the right direction. But we’re always looking for ways to do more for you and your business.

With that in goal mind, today we’re happy to announce PayPal Business in a Box, a brand new program from PayPal that’s designed to help small business owners quickly start or grow an online store.

Read on to learn what Business in a Box is, what’s included in the “box,” and how it can help you get your own small business up and running.

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How to unlock the power of WooCommerce on mobile

April 18, 2017 - 9 Comments

As manufacturers pack more power into mobile devices — and they become readily available worldwide — our tendency to use them for everything possible has risen dramatically.

Why pick up a laptop or sit in front of a desktop computer if you can accomplish the same task on your cell phone? Larger screen sizes and improved hardware mean they’re just as easy to use for games, research, note taking… and shopping online.

But a consumer viewing your store from their phone is much different than them buying from it. An iAquire and SurveyMonkey study found that 40% of mobile users will leave a website and go back to their search results if the first site they visit isn’t mobile-friendly.

Imagine reducing your bounce rate by 40%. Now imagine what keeping more of those visitors on your store might do for your sales.

If your WooCommerce-powered store isn’t accommodating to mobile visitors, you’re leaving money on the table. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to improve your store — without undergoing a costly redesign — that will help you keep more shoppers on your store, plus potentially improve the number of purchases they make.

Let’s take a look at how you can unlock WooCommerce’s hidden power for mobile shoppers using built-in design options, ideal payment gateways, and a few amazing extensions.

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Best practices for reviews with WooCommerce

April 13, 2017 - 6 Comments

Potential customers consider a lot of factors before making a purchase, from the visual appeal of a product to its cost to your store’s shipping speed and fees. And if they’ve never purchased from you before, they probably also read reviews — both about you and the item they’re considering.

According to a customer service survey sponsored by Zendesk, 88% of shoppers in the United States make their purchasing decision based, in part, on reviews:

Both positive and negative reviews have a big impact on whether or not shoppers make a purchase. (Image source: Zendesk)

Both positive and negative reviews can help someone make a decision, with positive feedback making a slightly bigger dent (90% vs 86%).

What does this mean for you? Something big: reviews can make a serious impact on your sales. The more you have, the better a shopper can evaluate a product. And better evaluations mean more purchases and less returns.

Collecting feedback is crucial for your WooCommerce store, and there are some optimal ways to do it. And once you have reviews aplenty, there are some amazing ways to use them, some of which go well beyond the product page.

Let’s take a look at some best practices for collecting and using your reviews with WooCommerce, whether you’re new to selling online or an eCommerce expert.

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How to take payments without accepting credit cards

March 28, 2017 - 9 Comments

When you find something online you want to buy, you probably plan on making your purchase with a debit or credit card. Plastic is the preferred method for most of us — it’s convenient, it’s safe, and it’s lightning fast.

But what if the store you’re buying from doesn’t accept credit cards? What do you do then?

Surprisingly, many stores outside of the United States look at taking credit cards as optional, if not something to avoid entirely.

On top of this, plenty of consumers worldwide don’t have credit cards — or even refuse to use them online.

Today we’re going to look at a few ways that your WooCommerce store can accept payments without getting credit cards involved. We’ll also talk about why these alternative payment methods are so important, and how they could boost your sales (or keep shoppers from walking away).

Let’s dive right in!

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How Cured creates personal connections between customers and food

March 22, 2017 - 1 Comment

Venture to either end of Pearl Street in downtown Boulder, Colorado and you’ll find one half of the same treat: Cured, a shop that has set its focus on “preserving a personal connection to food” through the sale of fine meats, cheeses, wine, and other unique grocery items.

Opened in 2011 by Will and Coral Frischkorn, a former competitive cyclist and graphic designer respectively, Cured has grown from a single store to a multi-channel business. Their team of 24 now operates two physical locations, an online store, and even offers catering plus courier delivery to hungry locals looking for same-day snacks or party supplies.

Meet Will and Coral, the proud owners of Cured, who were kind enough to share their story with us.

We sat down for a chat with Will and Coral about how they’ve grown from a single store to a veritable meet-and-cheese empire, and their story is truly inspiring. Have a read to learn about how Cured began, how they successfully began selling online with WooCommerce and Square, and what it’s like to run a business as busy as theirs.

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Apple Pay is now available for WooCommerce

March 16, 2017 - 44 Comments

WooCommerce has an ideas board, perhaps you’ve seen it – and today we’re pleased to announce that one of the most requested ideas to date is here.

Apple Pay is now available for WooCommerce stores accepting payments with Stripe. Once a store activates Apple Pay, customers will have a much faster and easier way to pay that is shown to boost conversions. Now that’s something!

We’re also proud to be the first open source platform to integrate with Apple Pay. Open source is the default for us, but it’s exciting to continue that level of openness with such an important payment solution.

Read on for more about Apple Pay for WooCommerce, how to activate it, and why it exactly as awesome as you may already suspect.

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Top extensions for physical goods stores

February 8, 2017 - 13 Comments

We’ve written in the past about how WooCommerce can be used for unique store setups — memberships, nonprofitssubscriptions and more. But a lot of you choose Woo because it’s a great platform for a simple store selling physical goods.

WooCommerce gives you a fantastic way to start selling and shipping your products fast, no matter what you sell or where you want to sell them. Sometimes, though, you might need a few more tools to take your store to the next level.

In this post, we’ve collected some of our favorite extensions for stores specializing in physical goods. Have a look and see if you find a new favorite!

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How to build your WooCommerce store to last

January 13, 2017 - 21 Comments

Once you’ve made the decision to build a store with WooCommerce, you don’t want anything to slow you down.

If your store isn’t built with longevity in mind, however, you could run into trouble as time goes on. You might see product pages load slowly, extensions stop functioning, or even encounter serious issues like data loss or security breaches.

These are all issues that will ultimately lead to one thing: a decline in — or complete loss of  — paying customers.

To keep your WooCommerce store profitable, you need to build it with long-term stability, safety, and performance in mind. Let’s take a look at how you can build a WooCommerce store that will last for months, years, and beyond.

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Ways to create ongoing relationships with your customers

January 11, 2017 - 12 Comments

Your store would be nowhere without your customers. They determine which products sell, how much money you make, and how successful you’ll ultimately become.

If you want your store to be more successful — and to make more money — you should start thinking about building relationships. Creating and nurturing long-lasting relationships can lead to higher sales, better shopper satisfaction, and the acquisition of even more loyal customers.

Let’s take a look at a few ways you can start building solid customer relationships. We’ll also explain the ways these connections will benefit you in the long term, even if you sell products shoppers will only buy once and hopefully never purchase again.

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What you can learn from Woo’s holiday sales

December 9, 2016 - 12 Comments

We run a couple of major holiday sales on WooCommerce.com each year, including Hallowoon, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. The challenge as each one comes around is: how do we keep running them bigger, better, and fresher?

This year we tried a few new things that increased conversions. We learned a lot from these experiences, and decided to write about them as we thought you might be able to learn from them as well.

Read on for some key questions to ask before running a sale, tips on creating a positive sale experience, and what there is to be learnt from Woo’s holiday sales.

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How to best suggest additional products to your shoppers

November 23, 2016 - 20 Comments

Once a shopper has decided on a product and added it to their cart, their first thought is going to be “great, now I’m ready to check out!”

At this same stage, your first thought might be “wait, don’t go yet! You haven’t even seen all my stuff yet!”

Motivating customers to purchase additional products is a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. WooCommerce’s many solutions for suggesting, upselling, and bundling products together make it easy to show shoppers what else they should consider — and help you make more from every sale.

Let’s explore three of the best ways that you can add on to your customers’ purchases, from cross-sells to groups to bundles.

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The importance of accessibility for your online store

November 15, 2016 - 33 Comments

Everyone who shops online does so a little differently. We make decisions at our own pace, use different devices, and interact with stores in ways that feel most comfortable to us.

For some shoppers, the process of viewing or buying a product is vastly different than you might expect. Their internet connection may be slow due to living in a developing country, they may rely on a screen reader due to visual impairment, or they may navigate with a keyboard due to the inability to reliably use a mouse.

These differences create the need to design and maintain a store that is accessible for everyone. That’s the goal of accessibility for eCommerce: creating an online store that everyone can use, no matter their age, skill level, location, or presence of a disability.

Today we’re going to take a look why you should make your WooCommerce store more accessible, and some resources you can use to improve its design and functionality for all your shoppers.

Ready to learn? Let’s start with a closer look at what we mean when we talk about accessibility.

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3 WooCommerce stores with awesome product customizations

November 11, 2016 - 11 Comments

You want, we’re sure, every customer who purchases a product from your store to have an enjoyable shopping experience. You want to avoid broken links, slow pages, and abandoned carts.

The stakes get even higher for the shoppers who aren’t just browsing, but are creating the products they plan to purchase. Custom-created or personalized products can increase sales dramatically, but with their presence comes a need for product pages that go above and beyond the standard image gallery and add to cart button.

Whether you’re already selling products with optional personalization or are considering adding some custom creations for your store, we thought a little inspiration might prove useful. And, thanks to the WooCommerce Showcase, inspiration is never hard to find.

Here’s a look at three stores with some amazing customization options on their product pages, plus tips and extensions that will help you pull this off on your own store.

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A developer’s checklist to optimizing your store for the holidays

November 4, 2016 - 6 Comments

Holiday Tips 2016

The holiday season is the most important time of year for store owners. Retailers acquire between 29% and 59% more customers during the holiday months, which makes this season a make-or-break period for you or your client’s overall sales.

It’s essential to ensure that your site can handle the increase in traffic and new orders. As an on-demand WooExpert, we have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to poorly optimized sites during the holiday season… and we want to help you avoid the latter two.

There is no simple cure-all solution, but we’ve assembled a short list of proactive improvements you can make to your store right now now. The more people that hit your site, the more noticeable the effect of these optimizations will be.

Let’s get started.

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Post-purchase emails to send to holiday customers

November 3, 2016 - 6 Comments

mailer-thin

Today’s guest post comes to us from Danny Wong at Conversio (formerly Receiptful). Conversio is a marketing platform that allows you to supercharge customer interactions and maximize your customer lifetime value — give it a try this holiday season for amazing emails and more. Take it away, Danny!

If there’s any time of the year to pull out all the stops, it’s the always exciting holiday shopping season. Online purchases for holiday gifts are rising exponentially, as more consumers begin to recognize the futility of sitting in traffic, fighting for parking, and waiting in long checkout lines at physical stores.

In 2015, eCommerce holiday spending grew to $70 billion, and it seems a foregone conclusion that online sales will continue to account for an increasing percentage of all holiday consumer transactions.

comScore’s 2015 holiday spending estimates.
comScore’s 2015 holiday spending estimates.

As a store owner, your job is just getting started when the customer completes the checkout process. The post-purchase period is an opportune time to further engage your customers and work on building a strong relationship that will lead to repeat purchases.

Post-purchase email marketing is crucial to accomplishing this, and your strategy for creating these emails should be given as much attention as your pre-sale marketing tactics.

Let’s take a look at some post-purchase emails you should aim to send this holiday season, and why they’re such an important part of your holiday marketing strategy.

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