Do you want to start an online store and wondering whether to set it up with WooCommerce or other eCommerce platforms?
Setting up an eCommerce store has never been this easier – all thanks to WooCommerce.
In this detailed guide, we will show you how to start an online store or a shop with the most customizable eCommerce software known as WooCommerce. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- What is WooCommerce?
- Creating an Online Marketplace with WooCommerce
- Customize and extend your WooCommerce store
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is an open-source operating system that powers your online store. Backed by WordPress core, which is the most used content managing system for building websites, it allows you to run your shop side by side.
WooCommerce is the simplest and most popular way to build an eCommerce store. It allows you to set up a simple and also robust online store.
You can use WooCommerce to sell anything sellable, ranging from either physical (shippable) goods to digital (downloadable) products, and also subscription services.
Benefits of Using WooCommerce
- Flexibility: This allows you total control over your website and online store.
- Easy setup and customization: You don’t need to be an expert developer to launch a store.
- Compatible with most WordPress website plugins, add-ons, and CRM apps.
- Allows you to add new products and manage your store anywhere with the mobile app.
- Scalability: You can grow and manage your online store business with ease and without borders.
How to set up an Online Store Using WooCommerce
WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress. So if you want to create your eCommerce store with WooCommerce, you’ll first need to install and set up WordPress. Here are the steps to take to launch your online store;
- Purchase a WordPress or a WooCommerce hosting plan and a domain name: We recommend these hosting providers;
- Kinsta – perfect for medium and high-volume eCommerce sellers.
- Bluehost – best WooCommerce hosting platform both for simple and robust stores.
- WP Engine – offers scalable plans for startups and large enterprises.
- Ensure WordPress is installed after you purchase your hosting plans.
- Install the WooCommerce plugin in the WordPress repository.
- Pick either a free or premium WooCommerce theme and customize your shop’s design.
- Add all the necessary pages such as Home, About, Contact, Payment gateways, and so on.
1. Install WooCommerce To Start An Online Store
It’s pretty easy to install the WooCommerce plugin with a few clicks. Once you log in, head over straight to your WordPress admin dashboard>>Plugin>>Add Plugin, search for the WooCommerce plugin and then click Install Now and Activate.
After that, visit the WooCommerce settings to add your store location, which is your country, choose countries where you want to sell your products and services to, plus some other few pieces of stuff.
2. Add Payment Gateways To Your WooCommerce Online Store
Still right in the WooCommerce settings section is where you’ll configure your favorite payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, Checks, and Pay on Delivery options. Choose your preferred payment option.
WooCommerce enables you to use different types of payment gateways depending on where your store is located. The default payment gateway options which come with the WooCommerce plugin are Direct Bank Transfer, PayPal Standard, Pay on Delivery, and Checks (or sometimes pronounced as Cheques).
All these payment methods can be configured based on users’ needs, while more can be added and activated right from the WordPress repository where hundreds of thousands of plugins reside. There is always a plugin suitable for your need once you search for it.
3. Set your Shipping Zones with WooCommerce Shipping
For your customers to be able to purchase your products from anywhere, you will need to ensure some attributes such as taxes, shipping service providers, destination prices are set up.
These zones’ setup depends on whether you sell products at both local and international levels. Once you decide on where to sell your products, you will have an idea of how much to set for shipping zones, shipping delivery service providers, and more. You can skip this part and visit it later if it’s not decided yet.
4. Add your products to your WooCommerce store
Once your store is fully activated and relevant pages set up, it’s time to start adding products. Like we said earlier, WooCommerce allows you to sell both downloadable products and physical products.
Additionally, you can sell membership subscriptions and online courses alongside other popular learning management plugins and add-ons such as MemberPress, and LearnDash. (You can read up on that later here). Let’s get you focused on completing your WooCommerce store setup.
Add your first few products by visiting the Add Product in the WooCommerce settings area. Familiarize yourself with the writing elements, customize your title, and product content. Once that’s done, then add your product pictures and hit the Publish button somewhere at the top. Do that also for as many products as you want to onboard.
Ensure you constantly check the front end of your site to see how they look. If you’re not okay with some settings, feel free to go back and click the Edit button to do some adjustments.
5. Choose a Customisable WooCommerce Theme
The type of WooCommerce theme you choose will also determine how each product page on your store appears after adding them. This stage can be time-consuming, but it is worth it. You’d want your make sure everything looks perfect before you start to invite your friends and families to your online store or drive traffic to it.
The attention your WooCommerce store needs at this juncture is crucial. Don’t be in such a haste to install any theme. Take your time out to do plenty of theme research so you can get the best features out of it.
These types of WordPress themes are perfect for simultaneous blogging and online selling activities. You may also want to explore the Envato Market for a wide array of responsive eCommerce themes.
Creating an Online Marketplace with WooCommerce
Did you know you can also build your own Amazon, Jumia, Esty, Clickbank-like site using WooCommerce? Yes, you can, and it’s easy to set up. Building a WooCommerce -based multi-vendor store is easy.
An online marketplace is a collection of independent stores from various merchants. Having a multi-vendor marketplace website allows you to let other interested sellers sell their products and services on your website while you charge them a small fee per sale.
WooCommerce helps you achieve this in such an easy way without knowing or writing any code. With WooCommerce, you can easily create multi-vendor marketplace websites like:
- An electronic marketplace store
- An online grocery shop
- A fashion clothing marketplace website
- Or a multi-purpose eCommerce website
Are you ready to build your dream marketplace? Some WordPress plugins help you set up your WooCommerce marketplace with a few clicks of buttons. We will only recommend two simply because of their packages.
Both of them are exceptionally good, having positive reviews, massive download rates. They are free to start. The best multi-vendor marketplace plugins for WordPress are – Dokan Multivendor and WCFM Marketplace.
1. WCFM Marketplace
WCFM Marketplace software is an open-source multi-vendor solution that helps you save hundreds of work hours while creating an online marketplace.
The plugin, (which currently boasts over 30K downloads in the WordPress repository plus 4.9 five-star reviews) is a complete marketplace solution for WooCommerce. WCFM modules simplify building a marketplace website by turning WooCommerce into a multi-vendor website like eBay, Etsy, or Amazon.
Each vendor can sell their products while you keep control of the website as the marketplace owner. You can choose your business model, over 100+ payment methods, product types, and more.
You can start creating your marketplace dream with WCFM right away! Registration is free but comes with limited features. While you can upgrade to premium features as your site grows.
Dokan is another powerful marketing software that can also help you launch your online marketplace with ease, and also allows vendors on your eCommerce site to sell either or both physical and digital goods. Presently, Dokan is being used on over 50k WooCommerce sites powered by WordPress, with over 4.5 user-star ratings.
Dokan’s powerful features include:
- Front-end manager for vendors with rich sales-earning reports, analytics.
- Hundreds of WooCommerce-supported payment gateways to use.
- Multilingual ready.
- Customer support friendly and much more.
Dokan’s free features can get you started in no time. Once you download and install Dokan, configure the plugin to your taste. Then, start inviting vendors to sign up and list their products.
Extending the functionalities of your WooCommerce store
Now that you have gotten your online store set up with WooCommerce, you may want to garnish your store with other additional functionalities that will make it stand out from your competitors.
These functionalities can be achieved with plugins and addons. Let’s say, for example, you want to create some customized product pages for some of your latest products or new arrivals, you will be needing any of the popular page builders to do the job for you.
Most of these plugins are free to use. But as time goes on, you will need to activate the premium features to get the best out of them for your WooCommerce store if you want your eCommerce business to blossom.
We shall be highlighting some essential WooCommerce plugins below you need to boost the functionalities of your online store.
This essential plugin deals with cart abandonment, on-site retargeting, and many more. We consider the OptinMonster tool one of the must-haves because it’s a multipurpose plugin needed for the growth of general online businesses. With some of its outstanding features, you can use the popups to announce product arrivals, new launches, free shipping offers, and lots more.
OptinMonster features for WooCommerce stores include
- Increases conversion rates with floating bars, headers, and other Geo-targeted popups.
- Allows you to grow your email lists with ease with popular email integration apps.
- Reduces cart abandonment by converting website visitors and subscribers to customers.
- Optinmonster enables you to learn and apply more features with its free courses.
For WordPress websites and online store owners, you can register an account on the OptinMonster site and activate the plugin. Also, you can use OptinMonster to grow your social media businesses on Facebook and so on.
2. WooCommerce Product Slider
WooCommerce Product Slider is a user-friendly carousel slider tool for WooCommerce products in your store. Your visitors and customers want to see most of your offerings without scrolling down. It makes them quickly choose their favorites and so on.
WooCommerce Product Slider Features
- Create unlimited product sliders and display them using shortcodes.
- Allow slider auto-play, rewind and loop, stop on hover, and many more.
- Allows you to hide ‘Out of Stock’ products and showcase featured products.
- Responsive, mobile-ready, and friendly,
- Friendly customer support
The plugin is available for free download with limited features. You can unlock more features to boost sales, for example, enabling Top Rated Products, Best Selling Products, Recently Viewed Products, and many more with the WooCommerce Product Slider premium addon. Ready to boost your WooCommerce store sales?
Jetpack is an essential WordPress plugin that provides data analysis and other valuable metric insights for your WooCommerce store. You will need this feature to know how your online shop is fairing, for instance, where your visitors are coming from, what products are being viewed and clicked more, and so on.
Also, Jetpack helps secure your online store from potential malware anti-spam, and threats. It is equipped with security features to prevent brute force attacks and more.
Other Jetpack features include:
- Regular downtime monitoring and scanning
- Authenticated customer logins
- Real-time backups of sales data etc
- Shows real-time stats on the dashboard
- Optimizes speed performance
Jetpack for WooCommerce and WordPress is free to use. Visit your WordPress dashboard admin and navigate to add a new plugin area to search for Jetpack to download, install and activate.
FAQs On How To Start An Online Store With WooCommerce
Our final thoughts on How To start an Online store with WooCommerce
Anything is sellable online with the most customizing eCommerce platform called WooCommerce. Be it products or services to subscriptions, appointment bookings, events and management, and so much more.
WooCoomerce is easy to use for single products and can be used to create large marketplace independent stores to make more money from vendors or merchants.
You don’t need to be a programmer to set up a fully functioning online store. If you already own a WordPress site and you thought of starting an online shop as well, add the WooCommerce plugin from the repository and begin your eCommerce journey.
Once your store is finally up and running, visit the WooCommerce Marketplace to browse additional extensions for the customization of your eCommerce store. The Marketplace has got both free and premium extensions.
Start selling online today with the most easy-to-use and customizable eCommerce platform – WooCommerce.
PS: Perhaps you don’t have all the time in the world to start building an eCommerce store from scratch with WooCommerce, you can always hire us for a quick full setup.
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