Do you want to start an eCommerce 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 set up an online store or shop with the most customisable eCommerce platform or software known as WooCommerce.
Table of Contents
- What is 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 run your shop side by side.
WooCommerce is the most simplest and popular way to build an eCommerce store. You can use WooCommerce to sell anything sell-able ranging from either physical (shippable) goods to digital (downloadable) products, and also subscription services. WooCommerce allows you to setup a simple and also robust online store.
Benefits of WooCommerce
- 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
- Allows you to add new products and manage your store anywhere with the mobile app
How to set up a WooCommerce Store
WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress. So if you want to create your own 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 the these hosting providers;
- 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
It’s pretty to install the WooCommerce plugin with few clicks. Once you login, head over straight to your WordPress admin dashboard>>Plugin>>Add Plugin and 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 plus some other few stuffs.
2. Add your Payment Gateways
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.
WooCommerce enables you to use different types of payment gateways depending on where your store is located. The default payment gateway options that come with the WooCommerce plugin are Direct Bank Transfer, PayPal Standard, Pay on Delivery and Checks (or sometimes pronounced as Cheques).
All of these payment methods can be configured based on user’s needs, while more can be added and activated right from the WordPress repository where hundreds of thousands plugins reside. There is always a plugin suitable for your need once you search for it.
3. Set your Shipping Zones with WooCommerce Shipping
In order 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 or international level. Once you decide on where to sell your products, you will have an idea on 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 setup, then it’s time to start adding products. Like we said earlier, WooCommerce allows you to sell both digital downloadable products and physical products. You can sell membership subscriptions and online courses alongside with other popular plugins and extensions such as MemberPress, and LearnDash. We shall talk about that extensively in another article. 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 and 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 pages on your store appears after adding them. This stage can be time consuming but it’s 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 kind of theme. Take your time out to do plenty of theme research so you can get the best features out of it.
Take a look at our recommended WooCommerce themes perfect for your WooCommerce store. Also there are some good WordPress themes that come the WooCommerce template installed such as Astra and Hello Elementor. These types of WordPress themes are perfect for simultaneous blogging and online selling activities. You may also want to explore the Envato Market for wide array of responsive eCommerce themes.
Extend the functionalities of your WooCommerce store
Now that you have gotten your WooCommerce store fully setup, you may want to garnish your store with other additional functionalities that will make it standout from your that of your competitors. these fuctionalieites can be achieved with plugin extensions and addons.
Let’s say for an example, you want to create some customized product pages for some of your latest products or new arrivals, of which you will be needing any of the popular page builders like Elementor Pro, Divi, Beaver Builder and SeedProd to easily do the job for you.
Most of these plugins are free to use. But as time goes on, you will need to also activate the premium features so as to get the best out of them for your WooCommerce store if you really 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 as one of the must-haves because it’s a multipurpose plugin needed for the growth of general online businesses. With some of it’s 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.
- Enables you to learn and apply more features with it’s free courses.
For WordPress website owners, you can download the free OptinMonster plugin from the WordPress repository, after download it will prompt you to register an account. You can also register an account on OptinMonster main site if you want to use it for 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 wants 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 and 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 such as 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 in terms of where your visitors are coming from, what products are being viewed and clicked the more and so on.
Jetpack also helps secure your online store from potential malwares 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 dashboard
- Optimizes speed performance
Jetpack for WooCommerce and WordPress is free to use. Visit your WordPress dashboard admin and navigate to add new plugin area to search for Jetpack to download, install and activate.
Our final thoughts on starting an eCommerce store with WooCommerce
Everything can be sold online with the most customizing eCommerce platform called WooCommerce. Be it products or services to subscriptions, appointment bookings, events and managements and so much more.
WooCoomerce is easy to use for single products and as well can be to create large stores with several extensions in it’s marketplace. No single line of code is required for setting up. If you’re already own a WordPress site and you thought of selling online as well, you can add the WooCommerce plugin from the repository and begin setup.
Once your store is finally setup, you can visit the WooCommerce Marketplace to browse additional extensions to use 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 customisable 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 quick full setup.
Subscribe to our newsletter below for more eCommerce How-To posts.