WooCommerce Shopping Cart for WordPress

If you’re looking to sell products on your website and need a simple e-commerce solution, WooCommerce could be for you. You may have not heard of Woo Commerce for small businesses but for larger businesses, the past 18 months Magento has been the buzz word for fully featured, open source e-commerce solutions.  However, anyone who has ever dealt with Magento will know it is a beast, both in its web server requirements and configuration/setup options. As such, is is not always the best option for small businesses looking to sell only a handful of products online. Enter the easy life according to WooCommerce.

How Does WooCommerce Work?

Very easily! WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress, so if you’re already up and running with a WordPress website, it’s a straightforward process to install the WooCommerce plugin. The product catalogue, payment gateways, cart settings etc. are all managed from the WordPress admin area via an aesthetically pleasing and well laid out admin panel. Basic products can be manually setup within minutes, or there is also a CSV import option to quickly import your products.  This option requires the use of an extension called ‘WooCommerce CVS Import Suite. Paypal is included and there are other payment gateway options available. Setting up Paypal can be done in minutes, without fuss.

You can watch the WooCommerce introductory video on Vimeo.

Extensions

Those looking to add extra functionality can explore a range of extensions to add functionality in the areas of:

  • Payment gateways (various banks and gateways)
  • Shipping options
  • Subscriptions

Products

WooCommerce handles physical, digital and virtual products:

  • Physical – anything in the real world from shoes to cameras.
  • Digital – media files of any type including audio, video, images etc. Want to start your own online record store, or sell your digital artwork???
  • Virtual – website pages. Perfect for membership sites selling premium on page content.

Marketing

Compared to other e-commerce solutions WooCommerce does come across a little light on in the marketing and promotions area, when compared to a CMS such as Magento. Some of the nice features are flash sales and coupons, customer reviews and automated cross-sell and up-sells. I’d expect marketing and promotions will be a key area that extension developers will focus on in the near future.

To Wrap Up

From my recent experience with WooCommerce, the plugin really does live it to the motto ‘e-commerce doesn’t need to be complicated’. From installation to setting up products and configuring payment gateways, if you’re happy to keep it simple, WooCommerce will oblige and you’ll be up and running in no time at all.