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Understanding Your WooCommerce Data Through the Art of Segmenting

March 1, 2018 - 7 Comments

You generate more data the longer you run a store, but when you’re first opening shop and finding your feet, you have very little of it: no orders, no customers — just infinite potential. As your business grows and orders begin to come in, the amount of data you’re handling daily increases exponentially.

Those first five, ten, perhaps even one hundred orders are easy to handle — you could probably remember each and every customer and order off the top of your head! But analyzing your store’s data from memory doesn’t really scale.

I have a saying that applies not just to the eCommerce world but also any problem you run into while running a business:

The first step to making anything better is understanding it.

I want to talk about understanding your WooCommerce data through the art of segmenting. Once you have a handle on data segmentation, you’ll start to see your store and its customers in a completely different light. These revelations can be used for acting on your data, whether it’s figuring out which products need to be restocked or proactively finding orders that need your attention.

We’ll start with the basics of segmenting and why it’s important, then move on to how to get started and whether Metorik might be a good addition to your store.

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Migrating Yoast.com’s webshop from EDD to WooCommerce

February 27, 2018 - 12 Comments

At Yoast, we optimize every aspect of websites’ performance. Our goal is to make the web a better place by making websites more usable, easier to navigate, faster, and more reliable.

In September 2017 we migrated our webshop from Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) to WooCommerce — it’s where we sell all the tools, products, and content available on yoast.com. In this post I’ll explain why we did it, what we built, and what the benefits will be for us and for our users in the future. WooCommerce has provided us the technical foundation to build on for years to come.

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How to succeed with WooCommerce Subscriptions: Technical Tips Learned from 15,000 Stores

February 22, 2018 - 10 Comments

You’ve decided to take the leap. You or your client is going to start an online business.

You’ve chosen WooCommerce and WordPress to power your store. You’re planning to include a subscriptions component to sell more with less work.

You’ve made some great decisions already, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy!

WooCommerce Subscriptions now powers recurring payments for more than 15,000 stores. Over the last five years, as part of the team developing the software, I’ve learned a lot about subscriptions from a technical perspective and want to share these lessons.

Taking 10 minutes to read this article, then acting on its recommendations could give you a return of weeks and thousands of dollars in savings.

I’m going to focus on three important areas:

  • Choosing a host
  • Choosing a payment gateway and extension
  • Being discerning with code you run on your site

Let’s first look at why this information matters.

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The WooCommerce Seller’s Guide to Resale Certificates

February 15, 2018 - 2 Comments

As an online seller, chances are you buy the products you sell from a wholesaler or other supplier. Or, if you’re a crafter or manufacturer, you most likely buy the component parts of your products somewhere.

The good news is that, in the U.S., you can buy products or component parts you intend to use for resale without paying sales tax. You can do this by presenting a resale certificate – also known as a “reseller’s permit” or, more broadly, an “exemption certificate” – to your vendor.

The slightly less good news is U.S. sales tax is governed at the state level, and that means rules and laws on using resale certificates vary from state to state. However, there are some general rules of thumb when it comes to using resale certificates, and we pulled together state-by-state guides to using resale certificates in the 45 U.S. states and Washington D.C. that have a sales tax.

Let’s dig in!

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Developer’s Cheat Sheet: 5 Sales Tax Questions to Ask WooCommerce Clients

February 13, 2018 - 1 Comment

You’re a WooCommerce store developer with a lot on your plate. The last thing you need are sales tax questions or omissions – an often-forgotten but vital aspect of a website throwing off your development timeline. That’s why we put together the last cheat sheet you’ll ever need for helping clients set up sales tax on their online store.

5 Sales Tax Questions to Ask Clients

There are five essential questions to ask clients before setting up sales tax collection in their WooCommerce store. We’ll go over each one and why you need to know the answer to best provide a full-service sales tax setup.

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Building an Omnichannel Business with WooCommerce and Square

February 8, 2018 - 16 Comments

In a survey of 1,164 U.S. business owners by Mercury Analytics last year, 42 percent stated that they take credit cards online, while 76 percent reported that they accepted credit card sales in person. In the blend of online and brick-and-mortar sales, what is the state and stance of your business? Perhaps you’re thinking of making a leap from digital to physical (or the reverse) and are weighing your options.

Let’s dive into how to build an omnichannel business and, in particular, how to do it with WooCommerce and Square.

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Use AMP to Make Your WordPress Site Load Faster

February 7, 2018 - 18 Comments

It’s no secret that as a retailer, your mobile strategy has become more and more important to staying competitive. As much as 50% of eCommerce transactions come from mobile today. In the holiday season of 2017, mobile purchases (tablet + smartphone) set a new holiday record, generating 47% of visits and 33% of revenue.

Despite the quantity of mobile traffic, over 75% of sites take over 10 seconds to load on a 3G connection. A slow loading site results in content shifting around on the page as users are reading or interacting. Buttons are unresponsive resulting in seemingly broken pages and frustrated users. And worst of all, sometimes the page times out, leaving your customers in the no-man’s land of loading spinners.

Slow Loading Gif

It’s no wonder that 53% of mobile site visitors leave after 3 seconds. And this affects your bottom line – we’ve seen that just a one-second delay in load time can lead to a 7% decrease in conversions. As a customer, it’s easy to complain about a slow site, but as a retailer, creating a fast and functional mobile site often takes a lot of effort and requires constant updating.

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Understanding Automation for eCommerce Stores

February 6, 2018 - 1 Comment

“Automation” gets thrown around like a dirty word when used in relation to your business:

  • “I don’t want to automate customer service, I hate not talking to a real person.”
  • “I don’t want to automate emails, they’ll lose their personal feel.”
  • “I won’t automate these fulfillment workflows, I want to be sure they’re accurate.”

Too often, we equate automation with call menus — “press 4 if you want me to repeat these options…” — which can be frustrating to work with as a customer. But automation doesn’t have to be synonymous with poor quality and impersonality. It is an investment: automating parts of your business is a way for you to purchase attention, so you can focus on other parts of your company.

As a business owner, maximizing your time spent on innovation or high-impact tasks helps you dedicate time to improvement and growth. Most merchants need to focus on a niche or USP to compete in eCommerce, and hone in on building a brand around what makes them unique. Automating lower priority tasks means you and the people who work for you can spend your time focusing on the things that will really help you compete.

As a shop admin (or a developer helping shop admins!) there are several opportunities for automation to consider, and some strategies to uncover those opportunities.

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WooCommerce Design, Shipping, Payments, and Troubleshooting FAQs

February 2, 2018 - 6 Comments

Over in WooCommerce Customer Support, we get a pretty good overview of what people struggle with when getting started with WooCommerce based on recurring questions we receive.

We put our heads together and bundled these questions about WooCommerce into four topics: Design, shipping, payments, and troubleshooting.

Read on to fast-track your WooCommerce learning with our top 10 FAQs and their answers.

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What’s new in WooCommerce 3.3: Revamped Orders screen, shop display improvements, and stock management improvements.

January 30, 2018 - 60 Comments

Since our last minor release in October, we’ve been working on a variety of improvements to WooCommerce:

  • Redesigned Orders screen for easier order management.
  • Simpler and more intuitive stock management.
  • Image sizing and theme compatibility improvements.
  • Shop customization features.

To ensure this update is stable, we’ve been doing plenty of testing and QA on our side with an extended beta period, increased unit and integration test coverage, compatibility testing with our extensions, working with customers to do managed updates, and running 3.3 on WooCommerce.com.

WooCommerce 3.3 is a minor release, meaning it should be fully backwards compatible with all WooCommerce releases since 3.0. However, it’s still considered best practice, and recommended, to backup before updating.

We recommend viewing our documentation on how to updatemaking a backup, updating extensions, and finally updating WooCommerce via WP Admin.

Here are some more details about what’s new in 3.3

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Best Practices for Displaying Your Product Variations

January 27, 2018 - 1 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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Extending CRUD Data Stores in WooCommerce

January 25, 2018 - 5 Comments

Have you heard about CRUD? In programming it stands for Create, Read, Update, and Delete, basic operations we all perform with our data. With WooCommerce, that includes products, orders, customers, coupons, and other data stored in your database.

Recent changes to WooCommerce relating to CRUD mean that the platform is on its way to being more scalable. Note: This post does get technical and assumes a certain comfort level with PHP code.

Audio-learner? The points in this post are from my talk at WooConf 2017.

 

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The Features Every Great Product Page Should Have

January 21, 2018 - 6 Comments

Whether or not an online store is successful depends on dozens, if not hundreds of individual factors. Success requires that magic mixture of quality products, smart timing, effective calls to action, prominence in search engines, and so on and so forth.

One of the many factors — or, more accurately, one spot that collects many of these factors — is the product page. These pages can literally make or break an online store. If they’re great, they can boost your sales; if they’re subpar, well… you can guess the rest.

Detailed, convincing, and entertaining product pages are necessary if you want your online store to thrive. But making these pages requires much more than a few photos and a line or two of text.

Today, we’ll explain what all these necessary factors are, with some choice examples from WooCommerce shops. We’ll also offer you a checklist to help you get them all in place on your own site, time and time again.

Ready to learn? Let’s jump right in.

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How Saying “No” Wins More Work

January 19, 2018 - 14 Comments

Winning more work is what every company wants. They want to stop wasting time on proposals that don’t put money in the bank.

Unfortunately, far too many freelancers and agencies enter talks with a prospect from the wrong angle. They default to saying yes, and only bother with anything getting close to a no when pressed hard.

Your prospects can see this. They hear yes from everyone about every idea, and they know you’re saying yes to win work. That’s not what awesome clients want. They want someone who will tell them the boundaries of their project inside the budget they have.

This post is going to look at the way you should be using no to show your expertise and win more work. Some prospects will drop out part way through the process, but they were unlikely to be awesome clients anyway, so you just saved yourself time writing a proposal that would have been declined.

When you use no to set boundaries with prospects about how to work with you, and what you can do for them, they’ll respect you for the professional you are.

This is part of a series of posts highlighting talks from WooConf. Watch the video or keep scrolling to read the points below.

 

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The Most Important Features of an eCommerce Site’s Design

January 18, 2018 - 11 Comments

You have a plan to sell online. You’ve decided what you’re going to sell, you’ve decided to use WooCommerce, and now you need to design your store.

This stage can be difficult. Finding that perfect theme, or even selecting a designer who understands your goals, can eat up time you don’t have. And if you’ve never sold online before, you might feel as if you’re searching for something that just “looks nice,” without having a solid grasp on what’s really important.

To help you understand what’s crucial and what’s not, you should know what the most important features of a store’s design actually are. This will help you separate the designs that “look nice” from those that perform well.

Let’s take a look at the most important features of your WooCommerce store’s design so you can get started on that next crucial stage.

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Optimizing the Checkout Flow with WooCommerce

January 18, 2018 - 6 Comments

Everything you do on your store leads your shoppers to one final, critical experience: the checkout. And this final experience is so important, yet so sensitive, that one wrong move could send those potential sales down the drain.

It’s crucial to get your store’s checkout “flow” — the transition between one field or page to another, from the start to the finish — as smooth as possible to avoid losing sales. The default WooCommerce checkout goes a long way toward making this happen, but depending on your store, industry, or products, there’s still more that could be done to make the process simple and pain-free.

Let’s take a look at how you can optimize the checkout experience for your shoppers, from removing excess fields to opening terms & condition links in new tabs.

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