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Styling, Lighting, and Camera Settings for eCommerce Photography

June 15, 2018 - 12 Comments

When shoot day arrives, there are a few steps you need to keep in mind when it comes to styling, lighting, and camera settings.

Styling and backdrop

Traditional product images are shot with a seamless white or neutral backdrop. This simplifies the editing process and gives the product a clean and focused appearance.

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Getting Started with eCommerce Product Photography

June 14, 2018 - 7 Comments

Have you ever found yourself browsing an online store because a beautiful image showed up in your Twitter feed? Welcome to the power of eCommerce product photography!

If you’re launching a WooCommerce store, photos are one of your most impactful sales tools.

Good eCommerce photography attracts the right customers, tells a story, and lifts the overall quality of a store. Bad eCommerce photography can erode trust, turn customers off, and even be misleading, causing returns and hurting your bottom line.

What if you know nothing about product photography?

Then you’re in the right place — learn how to plan a photo shoot and get publish-ready photos.

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How Two Insect-loving Entrepreneurs Built a Business on Bugs

June 12, 2018 - 6 Comments

Neil Whippey and Shami Radia, the founders of Eat Grub, are on a mission to “change the way the West eats”. With their successful eCommerce business, this London-based duo is promoting insects as a sustainable and nutritious source of food – one delicious snack at a time.

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Fresh Bytes: Healthy Foods and Craft Drinks from Seven Online Stores

April 5, 2018 - 9 Comments

The search for healthy food is no piece of cake.

It’s easy to get trapped, bouncing between grocery stores with tiny “Health Food” sections (what exactly is the rest of the store offering?) and stopping at multiple, specialized shops along the way, possibly never really finding what you want.

Around the world, healthy food store owners strike out with a vision of helping their clientele eat better. But it can be hard to make an impact — and a profit — selling specialized products in a small location.

That’s where WooCommerce swoops in to make a connection. You might think that it would be tough for stores with perishable goods to tap into eCommerce, but here are seven fresh and engaging retailers that have found success in this growing segment of the market.

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How to Set Up a Coming Soon Page for WooCommerce

April 3, 2018 - 4 Comments

So you’ve made the decision to launch a new store using WooCommerce. The first few things you’ll do are choose a hosting solution and order your new domain name, then you can get started on setting everything up, and getting ready for launch.

But wait! What if someone visits your site while you’re working on it?

Welcome to to the useful world of Coming Soon or pre-launch landing pages. Let’s take a look at why it’s a good idea to set one up and how to add one to your store for free.

An example of a Coming Soon page used by Barleyandhops.co.za
An example of a Coming Soon page used by Barleyandhops.co.za pre launch

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10 Ways to Make Your Next WooCommerce Sale

March 29, 2018 - 7 Comments

Every new shop builder has the same goal: to make money from their eCommerce site. However, the first few transactions can sometimes be the most difficult to make since these are the sales that put your strategy, your store, and your patience to the test.

Luckily, the early days of any business offer the perfect opportunity to listen, learn, and experiment with different sales tactics. To help you get started, we’ve compiled ten ways to make your next sale with WooCommerce that will help you now and throughout the lifetime of your online store.

Let’s put some wind in your sales.

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Tips to Optimize Post-Purchase Experience for WooCommerce

March 8, 2018 - 15 Comments

One of the single best ways to create repeat customers for your eCommerce store on WooCommerce, or any eCommerce platform, is to give them an effective post-purchase experience. After all, retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one.

Let’s explore four ways to keep your customers engaged post-purchase.

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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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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 - 2 Comments

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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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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The Most Important Features of an eCommerce Site’s Design

January 18, 2018 - 12 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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How Passion and Innovation Became a Profitable Business and Online Store

January 11, 2018 - 6 Comments

It’s a one-of-a-kind tool that Drake producer, Noah “40” Shebib, raves about and Diplo can’t live without.

Fans of Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, Kanye West, Coldplay, and Justin Bieber have already heard Output’s work, whether they know it or not.

So what is Output? Think innovative software and tools created for musicians, composers, producers, and sound designers across all genres. The user base is large, and their products are so pervasive that it’s hard to believe the company is only four years old.

It all started because composer and music producer Gregg Lehrman wanted a reverse-sound engine he could use in his own musical compositions.

We sat down with Gregg, founder and CEO of Output, to discover how he turned his passion project into a thriving company that is simultaneously punching well above its weight and revolutionizing the recording industry.

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How to Price Your WooCommerce Projects

January 4, 2018 - 7 Comments

Everything starts with the story you’re telling.

One of the most overlooked aspects of pricing is the fact that it never happens in a vacuum. Pricing is always contextual. And to that end, the context for a WooCommerce project isn’t just the work that needs to be done. It’s about the customer, how they define success, the freelancer or agency doing the work, and their experience. Context drives the pricing discussion.

And context is driven by the story you’re telling.

Stories can take a lot of forms, but just imagine the following three opening lines:

  1. I’m so excited to finally work on an eCommerce project.
  2. If this project is anything like the last 40 I’ve worked on, we could be done in 8 weeks.
  3. We have a team of 30 people we bring onto every project. We’re excited to get started.

Each statement tells us something different. In one case, we’re aware that the person will be learning on the job. In another, we know about experience and even some sense of timeline (and maybe cost). And in the last statement we might feel extra confident or extra worried, depending on whether we think we need 30 people on the project – a small store might freak out, and an enterprise organization may feel thrilled.

Use the first meeting to anchor context

When we meet with a prospect, we get the chance to create a first impression or reinforce what they may have already heard about us. That first phone call or meeting allows us to make sure that we set the right context.

  • We can reinforce our experience by telling stories of past projects.
  • We can build trust by predicting common challenges and how we overcome them.
  • We can shape our conversation by hearing what they think are success criteria.

And when it comes to pricing, there’s one other thing we can do. We can create some price anchors by articulating various projects of different complexities (features, sizes, etc.) and the prices associated with each.

As we do that, we’re helping them get grounded in the context of what it might cost to work with us, and it helps set some of their expectations.

The bottom line is that the better you get at listening, the better you’ll get at knowing which stories to tell, which projects to highlight, which risks to articulate and mitigate, and which price points to anchor to.

This is what separates folks that are great at pricing discussions and those who are just getting started. Thankfully, it’s something that you can practice and get good at.

Below we’ll look at several factors that go into the pricing calculus and ways you can use this information to help you in initial and further pricing discussions.

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