The WooCommerce Blog

Tips, tricks and eCommerce inspiration from WooCommerce experts.

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WooCommerce 2.6 has shipping zones (and more!)

June 14, 2016 - 93 Comments

TL;DR: New features are available for WooCommerce – update via your WordPress Dashboard. To make the process as smooth as possible, view our documentation on how to updatemake a backup, update your extensions and finally update WooCommerce.

If you’re a developer looking for technical details, read the release post on the Develop WooCommerce blog here.

It’s been a few months since our last major update, and in that time, we’ve been working on a veritable smorgasbord of improvements to WooCommerce. For 2.6, we’ve:

  • Added shipping zones
  • Improved the cart experience
  • Created a new My Account area design
  • Added new options for filtering products
  • Made updates to the payment options available through the onboarding wizard
  • Thrown in some goodies for developers, including a new payment tokenization and the alignment of our API with the WordPress REST API

That’s a lot of stuff for you to explore in the release of Zipping Zebra, so let’s dig into the details.

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How to package your products online

June 10, 2016 - 4 Comments

When we talk about “packaging a product,” your mind likely drifts to thoughts of corrugated cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, and tape — that is, physical packaging. But have you given any thought to how you package your products online?

For some store owners, they display and sell their products simply. Their goods are sold independently of one another, and it’s up to the shopper to pick out the pieces they want to coordinate with, or even the parts that might be needed to make that core item work.

But this can create some problems. What if a shopper forgets the brackets they need to hang a shelf? Additionally, this simple setup doesn’t leave any room for marketing — say, suggesting like items that should be sold together, or even creating goodwill by throwing in freebies or gifts.

It’s worth giving some thought to this topic — whether you should only offer independently sold single goods, or items that are offered as part of a bundle, chain, or other package. Proper packaging, as you’ll learn, can not only increase your sales, but also decrease customer frustration and make your store easier to use.

Let’s have a look at five ways you can package your products online and take your pages from simple to systematic.

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The first 5 things you should customize in WooCommerce

June 7, 2016 - 4 Comments

Starting a WooCommerce store? You’ve got a lot to consider, from what you plan on selling to how you’re going to market it.

Deciding what to start with first is tricky. As you’re setting up your store, you have a lot of decisions to make, and likely not a lot of time to make them in. You may wonder what you should set up or customize first to make the rest of the process as smooth as possible.

To help you properly prioritize, we’ve put together this short list of the first few things you should customize in WooCommerce. These items will get you started on the right foot and ensure you have the groundwork covered before you add products or set up marketing methods.

Let’s take a look at the first five things that should be customized on any new WooCommerce site, plus some helpful articles that will give you a deeper dive into getting these aspects right as you work on building your store.

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How to run a top-notch home goods store with WooCommerce

June 2, 2016 - 7 Comments

We’ve all heard it before: “there’s no place like home.” “Home” means something different to all of us; to some of you store owners, it’s more than a place to rest — it’s also your business.

If you’re selling furniture, wall decor, or other interior or exterior accessories with WooCommerce — or planning to start — there are a few specific tips you should follow to set your store apart from the rest. You already know your products are the cream of the crop, so your store’s design and customer experience should be just as great.

From a business-defining homepage to filtering options to powerful extensions, here’s how you can take any WooCommerce-powered home goods store to the next level, and expertly show your shoppers the potential for beautiful homes filled with your products.

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How your industry should affect your store’s homepage customizations

May 31, 2016 - 1 Comment

What does your store’s homepage say about you?

From the very first moment a visitor sets eyes on that page, they’re developing an impression of you, your products, and your company. They’re deciding, often in just a few seconds, if you can meet their needs… or if they would be better off spending their time looking elsewhere.

There’s no perfect way for a store’s homepage to say “we have what you are looking for.” Rather, stores should aim to customize their experience based on what works for the customers shopping in their industry. This can lead to a much better experience for everyone — shoppers and store owner alike.

Let’s explore why it’s worth taking your industry into consideration when you’re adding or customizing elements on your store’s homepage, and look at a few popular types of stores to see what they’ve done to speak specifically to their customers.

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Best practices for displaying your product variations

May 27, 2016 - Leave a comment

Some stores sell products that are straightforward — a shopper views it, likes it, and adds it to their cart. But for many of you WooCommerce store owners, your customers will be asked to make choices before that “add to cart” button can be clicked.

Whether these choices are simple color selections or multiple options for size and shape depends on what you sell. The one thing that won’t change is your use of product variations to make viewing and selecting the right options an simple task.

Setting up your variations is the easy part. Making those variations easy to view, browse, and buy — that’s where you might need a helping hand.

Let’s take a look at some of the best practices out there for displaying variable products on your online store, all of which will ultimately help you meet your #1 goal of selling more products.

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The benefits of Jetpack for your WooCommerce store

May 26, 2016 - 9 Comments

Jetpack is one of the most versatile free plugins available for WordPress. Its built-in offerings range from statistics to a content delivery network to automatic social sharing of new posts, and much more.

If you’ve used WordPress for a while or are familiar with it outside of the realm of your online store, chances are you’ve had an encounter or two with this powerful plugin. But have you tried using it in combination with WooCommerce?

In combination with WooCommerce, Jetpack can bring store owners easily-integrated attack protection, downtime alerts, content sharing, and a slew of other features designed to make your life easier. It’s the equivalent of strapping a rocket to your store — but a lightweight one. 😉

Let’s explore why we think Jetpack is well worth your while, and how it can help you soar to new heights. We’ll start with a quick overview of why we here at Woo use it, and recently hooked into it for our alpha release of WooCommerce Connect.

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How to prepare your WooCommerce store for any release

May 25, 2016 - 21 Comments

With the release of WooCommerce 2.6 on the horizon, we imagine you’re all excited to explore the newest features available for running your online store. And a bit apprehensive, perhaps, to go through the update process once more.

The beauty of the open source world of WordPress development is that it allows virtually anyone to create virtually anything for this platform we call home. The downside is that it’s nearly impossible to predict what will happen when you put any given combination of those thousands upon thousands of creations in different environments under different circumstances.

We pride ourselves on thoroughly testing WooCommerce and its extensions, but the unfortunate reality is this: conflicts still happen. That’s why we recommend being prepared in advance for releases and major updates, so in the event of an issue, you can roll right back.

“But how do you get prepared?” We’re so happy you asked. Here’s how to efficiently set up backups and testing for your WooCommerce store so you’re ready for anything.

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5 ways to take payments for your products with WooCommerce

May 20, 2016 - 4 Comments

With traditional eCommerce, the exchange of money and goods is simple: a customer pays, and the store owner ships. Easy, right?

But this doesn’t have to be the only way you accept payments for the products you sell online. Taking immediate payments might not work if you want to offer pre-orders. And taking only one payment won’t be suitable for customers who want to order something via subscription.

If you’re only accepting payments for your products the “traditional” way, you might want to consider expanding your options. Here are five ways to take payments with WooCommerce, and how to add them to your store.

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How customer expectations should impact your shipping options

May 18, 2016 - 1 Comment

Are you considering your customers’ wants and needs when choosing the available shipping options for your store?

We’ve spoken before about how important it is to consider your customers when setting up your store’s navigation, writing copy, and creating a return policy. But when it comes to shipping, you might do (or have done) what you think is best, never realizing there’s a mismatch present.

Spending just a few minutes thinking about your customers’ expectations can help you pick the right shipping methods, speeds, and options the first time — or, if your store’s been up and running a while, just in time to keep all your interested shoppers from walking away.

Here’s why you should keep your potential customers in mind when it comes to shipping, and how to best consider their expectations as you’re setting up your options.

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How blogging can help your online fashion business grow

May 17, 2016 - 6 Comments

There are plenty of ways that a clothing or fashion business can be marketed online. Social media is a popular choice, and we’ve also talked about how coupons, discounts, or even giveaways can lead to increased popularity.

If you’ve tried a few marketing methods and aren’t yet seeing the increase in reach or sales that you’re hoping for, here’s another option to consider: blogging.

Creating high quality, engaging content can have benefits ranging from better awareness of your brand all the way up to an increase in sales. And consider this: one study showed that businesses with active blogs received approximately 55% more visitors to their website than those without.

If you aren’t already blogging as a way to grow your online fashion business, now is the time to start. Today we’ll share with you why this marketing method is a perfect fit for your store, how you can get your own blog up and running, and some tips to keep in mind as you create your content.

Let’s get started!

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7 options for sales built into WooCommerce

May 10, 2016 - 7 Comments

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: your customers love a good sale. For some shoppers, there’s nothing more motivating than a coupon code, discount, or order shipped free of charge.

Chances are, you already knew this. But what you might not have known was that right out of the proverbial box, WooCommerce has the ability to offer all of these promotions — and then some — to your customers. And all without purchasing or adding a single additional extension.

Here are seven ways you can attract and delight shoppers with sales using options baked right into WooCommerce.

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Welcome Storefront 2.0: mobile design updates, typography refresh & more

May 9, 2016 - 31 Comments

TL;DR: Storefront version 2.0 has arrived – upgrade via your WordPress dashboard or try it for the first time by downloading a copy here. Enjoy!

If you’re using our Storefront theme for WooCommerce, you’ll be excited to learn that version 2.0 has just become available for download. If you’re not using Storefront already, now would be a great time to take a look at our flagship WooCommerce theme!

Storefront 2.0 is a major release and brings various new features including a greatly improved handheld experience, a refreshed design, a new product section on the homepage, full compatibility with the upcoming WooCommerce 2.6 and more!

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Here’s a closer look at what we’ve added to this update.

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Why finding a niche is the key to small business success

May 5, 2016 - 6 Comments

More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and every year since 1963 the United States has celebrated National Small Business Week to recognize their critical contribution to the economy. This week we’re celebrating small businesses by offering some advice to help them succeed.

Go out and get it!
Go out and get it!

There are quite a few common mistakes that new small businesses make; the tips offered by the businesses earlier this week covered much of them (for example, don’t think small, don’t waste time on things you’re not great at, make your store fast and beautiful). But there was one tip we felt was missing.

Many small businesses start out trying to be the best at everything — that is, be the best clothing store online, or the world’s greatest home decor shop. And the truth is that it’s almost impossible to do this. Not that we’re trying to dash your hopes, only being realistic.

The key to small business success is finding and choosing a niche. By doing that, you can avoid one of the most common mistakes business owners make: of going too broad with their store’s products and market appeal.

Let’s dive a little deeper into this subject and talk about why you should have a niche, how it can help you succeed, and how to pick one (if you haven’t already).

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It’s here: a simpler way to connect services to your store without leaving WooCommerce

May 4, 2016 - 26 Comments

TL;DR: We’re building a way to connect services to WooCommerce that makes use of hosted components to simplify the process and create a better experience.

If you’d like to get involved in testing, join us now.

If you want to know more, read on or check out our post on the developer blog.

A few weeks ago at WooConf, Matt Mullenweg gave a sneak peek at a project we’ve been excitedly working on. Now, we’re ready to share it with the world.

woocommerce connect

WooCommerce Connect is a big part of our vision for the future of WooCommerce. Right now, Connect has just started alpha testing as a feature extension. If all goes well, we hope to make it part of WooCommerce core and available to everyone.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into what we’re trying to accomplish with Connect, how it all works, where the feature currently stands and how you can get involved.

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Practical tips from small business owners using WooCommerce

May 3, 2016 - 10 Comments

More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and every year since 1963 the United States has celebrated National Small Business Week to recognize their critical contribution to the economy. This week we’re celebrating some of the small businesses that include WooCommerce as part of their toolkit.

We love small businesses and we cannot lie.

Something else making a significant contribution to the economy: eCommerce. On Cyber Monday alone last year, the world spent over $3 billion online! Digging out a piece of that pie isn’t always a sure thing though, especially with all the competition.

We asked the WooCommerce community to share their top eCommerce small business tips and they delivered. Read on for our favorites and some learnings you can borrow.

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