The original What’s New with Woo (WNWW) is a monthly newsletter from the Woo team that features a number of short updates on the WooCommerce product and ecosystem.
To help spread the word, we’re launching a new blog series that expands on the newsletter content, giving readers more information and context on the shared updates.
The monthly newsletter isn’t going anywhere, so if you’d like to receive updates in your inbox, you can subscribe to What’s New With Woo here.
In this first post, we’ll do a recap of the highlights from the past several months.
So, what’s new with Woo?
WooCommerce Payments is now WooPayments
WooPayments is still the same seamless payments experience, with a new name as part of recent brand updates — and with the latest expansion it’s now available to stores in 38 countries.
In May, we introduced Woo Express, a quick-to-launch version of WooCommerce that bundles must-have extensions and includes hosting from WordPress. Woo launched this offering because it offers the best combination of what is typically an A or B choice: software as a service (SaaS) or standalone open source. SaaS options are your subscription websites, like Shopify or Wix. Open-source options, like WordPress with WooCommerce, are free to use and yours to own.
Woo Express is a subscription version of the WooCommerce you know and love — but unlike traditional SaaS offerings, it’s just as flexible and customizable as the open-source original. To simplify the store startup process, Woo Express comes bundled with a set of extensions to help you publish products and make your first sale, all included in the subscription cost.
With Woo Express, you also have the option of test driving software with a 14-day free trial. To learn more about what’s different with Woo Express, read through this blog post. To get started today, sign up for a Woo Express free trial.
Meet the Woo AI Product Assistant
New in Woo Express is the Woo AI Product Assistant. This artificial intelligence tool helps you create professional product titles and descriptions quickly by generating options from your own prompts.
The goal of the Woo AI Product Assistant is to remove barriers for everyone that wants to start and run a business — and AI does that by making it possible for everyone to write crisp product copy quickly at no additional cost.
As an open-source company that gives you the most freedom and ownership of your business, we also believe merchants belong in the driver’s seat — always. An AI tool can help you generate copy, but it can’t replace your expertise, and you’ll always own what’s written on your site.
WooExpert Awards, Europe and Americas 2023
At WordCamp Europe and WordCamp U.S. 2023, Woo presented awards to outstanding WooExperts in a number of categories. WooExperts are a vetted and verified group of full-service agencies that support Woo merchants through site development, management, and overall WooCommerce optimization.
European award winners:
- The Newcomer Award: NIU/9H
- The Open Source Champion Award: Neuralab
- The Customer Experience Award: ITQ Digital
- The Top Performer Award: WD Market
- The Innovator Award: Inpsyde
Award winners from the Americas:
- The Newcomer Award: Zao
- The Open Source Champion Award: WPSpins
- The Agency Excellence Award: FirstTracks Marketing
- The Top Agency Award: Bright Vessel
- The Innovator Award: Kelp
You can read more about the award-winning agencies in this blog post. Or, if you’re looking for help with building or customizing your store, you can hire one of our trusted WooExpert agencies to complete your project.
Meet Zao, a Silver certified WooExpert agency
Zao has worked with open-source ecommerce platforms since 2005 and offers extensive technical services to all levels of Woo merchants. Whether you’re migrating to WooCommerce, launching a new store, improving your site performance, or running a technical audit, Zao has the expertise to achieve your vision.
Zao’s clientele are varied, with featured projects including:
- Chia.com, of Chia Pet fame
- Dinner then Dessert, a cooking blog from private chef, Sabrina Snyder
- Square Baby, a whole food nutrition option for babies and toddlers
- Liquid Web, a fully managed web hosting service
WordCamp Europe and U.S. 2023
In June, the WordPress community came together in Athens, Greece, for one of the three flagship WordCamp events (the other two flagship events are in Asia and the U.S.). The U.S. event was held at the end of August in National Harbor, Maryland.
WordCamps are informal, community-organized events featuring lots of presentations, workshops, and opportunities to connect with people from all corners of the WordPress ecosystem.
Woo hosted a booth on days one and two of WordCamps Europe and U.S. for attendees to experience. At both WordCamps, visitors were able to demo Woo In-Person Payments or Tap to Pay on iPhone as a way to obtain swag from the booth.
Partner Highlight: TikTok Shoppable Posts
New from the TikTok for WooCommerce extension comes the ability to connect shoppable posts to your Woo store to sync your product catalog, set up TikTok Pixel tracking, and build ad campaigns right from your Woo dashboard.
Social commerce is the fastest-growing trend in ecommerce and can introduce your brand to tons of new customers. Creating shoppable posts — where customers can buy from you on their social platform of choice — provide an easier path to purchase. Social commerce also builds brand recognition, fosters trust, and provides additional data on your audience’s interests and buying behaviors.
New on the blog: Guides and best practices for new store owners
You might have noticed that we’ve been publishing lots of in-depth articles focused on starting a new business with WooCommerce. This content is in guide format and is written to help new store owners launch their businesses confidently with WooCommerce or Woo Express.
If you’ve signed up for a Woo Express free trial but aren’t sure about your next step, check out some of our recent posts, including:
- How to Write an Online Business Plan in 2023
- What Are the Best Products to Sell Online In 2023?
- How to Sell Online — Your All-in-One Guide
- How to Build Winning Product Pages
- How to Choose an Effective Logo for your Ecommerce Business
New in the Marketplace
In-Person Payments in the U.S., U.K., and Canada with WooPayments
Tap to Pay on WooPayments is now available on iPhone and Android in the U.S.! We’re also expanding the locations in which WooPayments card readers are available, with the WisePad 3 available in Canada and the U.K. To use Woo In-Person Payments, you’ll need WooPayments and the Woo Mobile App.
Selling in person is becoming increasingly hybrid with ecommerce. Having an omnichannel presence and offering buyers a seamless experience between online and offline channels is key in this new hybrid age. In addition, even traditional in-person verticals, such as restaurants, are starting to sell merchandise online.
WooCommerce is staying ahead of these retail trends by expanding our In-Person Payments offerings and moving into new geographic locations. To make our In-Person Payments even better, we recently launched barcode scanning, a feature highly requested by our sellers who use In-Person Payments.
Buy now, pay later feature integrated with WooPayments
Now, leading buy now, pay later (BNPL) providers Affirm and Afterpay are integrated directly into WooPayments, so merchants can quickly add these services to their store. Added in WooPayments version 6.1, this feature allows your customers to pay for orders over time, using a series of payments. For example, a customer could pay for a $2,000 USD product in four installments of $500. You, the merchant, would still receive the full amount immediately, minus fees of course.
BNPL services are used by a variety of businesses to increase conversion, increase average order value, and reach new customers. The BNPL providers underwrite customers, manage the installments, and collect payments, so you can focus on your own business.
Last on our list, a speedround overview of other product updates and media mentions:
- MailPoet: Measuring campaign performance can increase the value of your emails and help you send effective campaigns. MailPoet has added detailed analytics to its email automations, so you can evaluate what’s working and bring in more revenue.
- SearchEngineJournal: “With WooCommerce, you can sell anything.” Our CEO, Paul Maiorana, stopped by SearchEngineJournal to chat about upcoming advances and share insights on how store owners can reliably scale with Woo.
- Custom Pricing: Sell through old inventory and discover how much shoppers want to pay by allowing customers to name their own price. Custom Pricing makes it simple to conduct research — and collect donations without needing a separate fundraising system.
- YouTube Playlists and Product Gallery Videos: Looking to make the most of your product videos? Put your demos front and center with featured videos on product pages and the ability to add full YouTube playlists to your galleries.
- TikTok Shop: In July, we introduced TikTok Shop, a new in-app shopping experience open to Woo merchants. Integrate your store with TikTok and make products available for TikTok users to purchase without leaving the app.
- Zapier: New in June, Zapier’s Update Product Stock Quantity action allows users to edit the number of existing products or variations by SKU or ID. There are improved Authentication Dialogue instructions and dependencies too. Speed up your processes — let Zapier do the work for you.
- Zendesk: Also new in June, you can connect your store to Zendesk and allow customers to create support requests and interact – without leaving your site. Admins can check tickets and assign orders from their Woo dashboard. Up your support game today.
Until next time
Thanks for reading this first iteration of the What’s New with Woo blog series! We’ll be back before you know it with the next round of updates. Do you have any questions about the highlighted updates? Let us know in the comments.