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Introduction to WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a plugin that provides an ecommerce platform for WordPress sites. It’s product organisation and shopping cart capabilities have evolved over almost a decade of use and have made it the logical choice for any WordPress project that needs the capability to manage and showcase a set of physical or virtual products. Its success, like that of WordPress, has driven the development of many additional extensions allowing it to be adapted to a wide variety of contexts.

As you would expect, the emphasis of functionality is on transactional sales with many payment processing and shipping integrations but the core toolset is valuable in many situations where the initial goal is to manage product-type content.

The large number of web stores already running on WooCommerce means that most problems associated with developing and running an ecommerce site have been solved time and time again and this enables rapid development for all but the most unusual of projects.

Key Features

WooCommerce comes with everything that you need to manage products, orders, sales and customers:

  • Customer order management
  • Inventory management and stock levels
  • Product variations (i.e. colours, sizes)
  • Coupons and discounts
  • Built-in payment processing
  • Shipping and postage
  • Reporting dashboard

Why is it a good choice?

The maturity of the WooCommerce Platform has equipped it to deal with a wide variety of sales models, this means that you can leverage it to sell your product the way that works best for you rather than having to jump through any hoops. The size of the existing install base also provides a high level of confidence in the security and compliance of the order and payment processing components.

In the relatively unlikely case that the precise functionality that is needed for a specific project isn’t already available the open nature of WooCommerce makes it relatively straight forward to develop custom functionality. The platform also benefits from an extensive library of themes which can really cut down the time it takes to perfect the look and feel of your product catalogue, cart and checkout process.

Companies such as New Zealand All Blacks, AeroPress, Weber and Singer all use WooCommerce

Who is using WooCommerce?

WooCommerce identify their typical user as a small or medium sized business. The vast majority of ecommerce sites implemented on WooCommerce fit this customer profile.

Use cases vary from straight-forward product catalogue management to much more complex subscription and booking scenarios with new customers driving the development of new features and capabilities.

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