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The basic pages every electronics store needs

August 25, 2016 - Leave a comment

Selling electronics online is fun, you have to admit. Adding the newest and best technology to your store and watching customers scoop it up, thinking about what they’re going to accomplish with it, imagining their happy faces when they open the box — how can you not grin at that?

Still, it’s a challenge to get your store to the point where you’re selling to enough of those happy customers. There are a lot of things you can do to market your electronics or spread the word about your shop, but sometimes it all comes down to adding more helpful content.

There are a few basic pages that you can add to your consumer electronics store to drive more interest, increase purchases, and boost customer happiness. You might already have some of these pages, in fact! But some of them might be brand new to you, and worth pulling into your lineup.

Let’s take a look at the pages we recommend for electronics stores, and how a few real WooCommerce stores are using them in awesome and interesting ways.

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Why stores running on WordPress are winning

August 22, 2016 - 20 Comments

According to the most recent report from BuiltWith, 39% of all eCommerce sites are powered by WooCommerce and WordPress — over 1.5 million active stores. Add in the usage of additional eCommerce platforms powered by WordPress and the CMS’s own 17.6 million live sites (over 26% of the entire internet!), and, well… that’s a lot of sites.

Developers and store builders don’t just choose to work with WordPress because it’s free (although it is) or because “everyone else is using it” (although they are). There are some pretty convincing reasons why WordPress has climbed to the top of the charts, and why WooCommerce has soared in popularity right along with it.

Stores backed by WordPress have multiple advantages over those on other platforms. And these advantages allow them to work faster, spend less money, and ultimately become more successful than their counterparts.

Let’s take a look at a few convincing reasons why shops running on WordPress have a competitive edge — and why you should join their ranks, if you’re not already among them. 🙂

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How Woo uses content as part of the sales process

August 16, 2016 - 8 Comments

There are a ton of ways your store to convince shoppers to make a purchase. Well-rounded product pages, quality copywriting, targeted social media advertising, emails — they’ll all get the job done.

But some of your potential customers might not be ready to make a commitment. They might be new to your products or services, or learning what separates your store from another. And that’s why educational content is an awesome addition, because it allows shoppers to learn about you in a natural way, and at their own pace.

At WooCommerce, we’ve ramped up the creation of content, its promotion, and its usage in our marketing over the last 15 months. It’s become a critical part of our sales process, and something that we can no longer imagine operating without.

Today I’ll be pulling back the curtain to give you a behind-the-scenes look at how we produce and use our content with sales in mind, all so you can take away some ideas and inspiration for the content on your store.

If you’re interested in seeing how a business like ours uses content marketing, keep reading!

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How to take payments with WooCommerce – affordably

August 11, 2016 - 25 Comments

Building a store can get costly. Even the most experienced developers can find themselves overspending — a premium theme here, a cool-sounding extension there, and suddenly you’ve blown the budget.

The ability to accept payments is one of those things you almost have to spend part of your budget on. But there’s no reason you should have to waste all your money on preparing to take credit cards online, or cash from local shoppers.

There are multiple ways to take payments from your customers without spending a fortune on setup or monthly fees. From built-in processors to optional extensions, there’s a fitting solution for every budget-conscious store builder that won’t waste your money — or your time, for that matter.

Let’s explore a few ways you can take payments with WooCommerce… and do so affordably. But first, we’ll take a closer look at what it really costs to take credit card payments, and why a “cheap” payment gateway may not be as good as it sounds.

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Why you should use SKUs in your store

August 9, 2016 - 21 Comments

Using item numbers or stock keeping units — better known as SKUs — might seem unnecessary for your store. Stop us if any of this sounds familiar:

“My store’s really small, so I don’t need SKUs — I know everything by sight.”

“I don’t sell to anyone other than my customers, so why would I need item numbers?”

“My products don’t have any variations, so SKUs aren’t required.”

These are valid objections… sort of. But they’re also excuses that could hinder your relationship with partners, cause logistical issues for for your store, or — worst of all — keep you from reaching your full sales potential.

No matter the size of your store, what you sell, or who it is you sell it to, you should absolutely be using SKUs. After all, WooCommerce makes it so quick to add them that you don’t really have an excuse… but we understand that you might need a little more convincing. 😉

Here are five reasons why SKUs are useful for eCommerce.

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Tips for offline stores taking their products online

August 5, 2016 - 4 Comments

Starting a retail store is hard. You’ve got to have the right products, the right location, and the right staff to make it work. Miss the mark on any one of these aspects and you’re bound to struggle.

If you’ve already got a successful store, nobody can blame you for feeling like you can do anything. Or wanting, perhaps, to take over the world a little bit. Extending your reach only seems natural — once you know you can run one store, why not two?

The next natural step for you entrepreneurial brick and mortar shop owners is often a move to an online store. And while a smart move, it’s one that should be made with caution. Taking an offline store online can be hugely beneficial, but there are a few things you need to think about and plan before you set anything up.

If you’re thinking about adding an online store into the mix, whether you’ve been in the retail business for a few months or many long years, read over these tips and steps to take first.

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How to optimize all your eCommerce landing pages

August 3, 2016 - 13 Comments

When you hear the phrase “landing page,” you probably think of a dedicated page on a website. Or you might even think of your store’s homepage.

Most marketing blogs suggest that you use dedicated landing pages to show new visitors marketing messages, or offer a specific audience a deal or pitch crafted just for them. And sure, for some sites, this is an effective strategy — but it’s different in the world of eCommerce.

When you run an online store, landing pages aren’t limited to just a few select spots. The reality is that almost every page on your store can be a landing page, under the right circumstances.

With this in mind, your goal shouldn’t be to set up special pitches or deals limited to certain visitors. You should optimize all of your pages in the same way so that no matter where a shopper arrives, they’ll get the right message.

Let’s take a look at what your landing pages actually are, and how you can make them work harder for you.

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What to consider when taking an online store offline

July 29, 2016 - Leave a comment

If you’ve found success selling your products or services online, you’ve probably given some thought to expanding offline — that is, opening a brick and mortar store.

Switching from a solely online business to a multi-channel merchant is difficult, though. And the harsh reality is that not everyone has the time or resources necessary to do it well… or at all.

If you’re seriously thinking about taking your WooCommerce store offline, there are a couple important things to consider before taking the big leap. If you can sort these factors out beforehand, it’ll give you a better chance of success.

From location to staffing to all things payment-related, here’s the full list of what you should be thinking about before you grow your presence into the “real world.”

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Take payments anywhere with Square for WooCommerce

July 26, 2016 - 67 Comments

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

Important note: at the moment, the extension is only supported in the US and Canada.

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 - 2 Comments

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.

The entrepreneurial Egle at work on

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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 - 13 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 - 2 Comments

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

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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