Online shopping trend has catapulted to immense heights since its inception. There are many industry giants and eCommerce businesses like Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, Flipkart and many more, but there is no need for you to be overwhelmed by their presence. You can build your own presence and E-Commerce by launching your online store with WooCommerce and WordPress.
There is a lot yet to be discovered in this eCommerce market and your startup can become the next big name in this industry. You can either have a large online store with everything to sell in it or you can specialize in limited number of products like electronics, books or furniture making a good name in that sector and then move on to bigger stakes.
The decision of how to run your business is up to you. I am here just to guide you and make the technical know-how easy for you.
You have decided to jump into the exciting business of eCommerce, so here are some basic facts just to set things in perspective for you.
- In the year 2017, around 55% of shopping across the world was done online via a website or mobile app.
- 70% of these orders were done using mobile devices like Smartphones and tablets.
- 90% of the shoppers online are influenced by social media posts and advertisements.
(Source: E Fundamental)
These facts give you a clear picture of where eCommerce industry is standing at present and what its future entails. These numbers are already high according to global and are on a colossal rise.
Develop your Online Store with WooCommerce and WordPress :
Making websites using self-hosted platforms like WordPress is really advisable for new startups. It’s an affordable option to build your initial website as it can handle all the functions of your fully functioning online store without breaking a sweat. Also, it provides many customizable options in designs and features that you can select from.
WooCommerce is a plugin used to add features related to eCommerce into an online store website. It’s an open source platform which is used to design your site features and pages that are necessary for the working of your eCommerce website. It is considered by far the best free solution to boost your eCommerce website features. This plugin is made in such a way that it can be easily embedded in your pre-existing website codes without any glitch or errors. They are designed solely to increase the functionality of your online store website.
Benefits of building an online store with WooCommerce:
- It’s free so you don’t need to pay anything for these plugins.
- WooCommerce development is the most versatile and feature rich option in plugins.
- It’s open source, which makes it highly customizable for individual needs.
- The setup is fast and easy to work with so you don’t need a developer to install it.
- You don’t need to make any change to your existing website design or functions. WooCommerce plugin is compatible with all current themes of WordPress.
An online store with WooCommerce, but what type ?
If you choose WooCommerce development, you can have an online store that can sell anything and everything whether it is physical products like shoes, clothes, electronics, etc. or digital products like software, eBooks, Operating systems, etc.
Other than products you can also sell services, subscriptions and bookings and any other things that you practically can. Anything that can be sold physically in a shop is possible to be sold on an online store with WooCommerce.
How To Set Up Your Online store with WooCommerce and WordPress ?
I will help you understand systematically how to create your own online store using WordPress and WooCommerce development plugin. There are many detailed steps to be taken into account which are not possible to be explained in one single blog so here you will be guided in a basic manner which will not create any confusion in your mind and show you the simplest way to create your own eCommerce website.
Steps To Build Your eCommerce Website:
1. Domain Name And Web Hosting on WooCommerce
Domain name is the name that you buy preceding to the domain which would make it a web address. It is your website’s unique address on the web that gives the customers an exact idea of what to search to get to your website. The name of your store is followed by .co or .com or any other domain.
There are two basic ways to get a domain name and web hosting. Either you go for dedicated hosting or shared hosting. Both these options have their own merits and selection should be done according to your preference and which supports your business model.
Going with dedicated hosting is a costly but very rewarding decision. If you opt for WPEngine they will cost you $29/month but they will give you fully managed servers that are only dedicated to your website with 24/7 ticketed support and daily backup of your website and many more features. As dedicated hosting will give you full server to use, you need to purchase your own domain name from registrars like GoDaddy, RedServerHost, SiteGround, etc.
While, if your budget is low then you can opt for shared hosting. In shared hosting, a server is shared among different websites. So, your online store won’t be the online user of that server but you would have to share the resources and space with other websites. This is a feasible option for you when you’ve just begun and net traffic would be low in the beginning but as your user base grows you need to shift to a dedicated hosting.
As shared hosting uses a single server for multiple websites the domain name is not for you to be purchased, it is given to you by the hosting server.
2. Install WordPress
It isn’t as difficult as it may seem. You need to go to your host user panel where for the first time you need to give a confirmation to the hosting service by clicking the confirmation link sent to you on your registered email address.
Once you’ve entered the user panel scroll down until you see “Install WordPress” button. Click that button and follow the instructions given to you thereafter. The entire process is quite simple and explained in detailed steps.
Now you will be getting a blank website. You can view the website by simply going to your domain name. Login yourself as admin on the website by going to the login screen.
3. Install WooCommerce Plugin
You have already finished half of the work to open your online store with WooCommerce. Now to install the E-Commerce’s platform plugin, just go to the WordPress dashboard, then select “Plugins” and select “Add New”. Type “woocommerce” in the search field at the top right corner of the window. The first result would be the WooCommerce plugin.
There would be an install button adjoined to the plugin result. Click the “Install now” button. After a few seconds, the text on the button will change to “Activate”; Click the “Activate” button.
Everything from here on is a piece of cake. A small pop-up window will ask you to continue, press on the “Let’s Go!” button to continue.
There are some really important pages to be created to, make your website function properly. All of these things will be done by the WooCommerce wizard, you just need to press continue to create each of these pages.
The pages that need to be created are:
- Shop, where your products will be displayed.
- Cart, where the customers will add all the products they select to buy.
- Checkout, where the customers select the delivery and payment method.
- My Account, this would be a personalized page for each registered user, where they can monitor activities and make a faster purchase by giving in basic information once. So that they don’t need to fill out all the information for each separate order.
This ends the installation part of WooCommerce plugin. Now next you need to decide a personalized theme for your website.
4. Select a Theme fitting your Online Store
Selecting a unique theme according to your taste and the design that symbolizes your company morale and principle is very necessary to create a unique identity. For startups who don’t have that much amount of money to spend on personalized design, WordPress gives customized variances in design and color combination for your website.
You can also select a theme which is built with WooCommerce plugin in mind so it would work seamlessly. There is a chance that you already have a theme before adding the WooCommerce plugin. You don’t need to worry as WooCommerce plugins are generally compatible with all the themes but still you can easily adjust the look of your website in accordance with this plugin.
5. Add Products on your Online Shop
We’ve reached the final step of officially launching your online store with WooCommerce. The most basic thing to have in an online store is the products that it sells. So now we add products to your website.
Go to your dashboard and select “Products”. Further, press on the “Add Product” option. The next window you will see is the content editing screen. Here you fill all the details about the product that you are adding to your website.
WooCommerce Online Store Extensions:
There are many extensions that you can add with WooCommerce plugin. All these extensions are very useful as they increase the functioning of your website and they are very easy to install. The most favorite extensions are the once either made or approved by the WooCommerce team. Some of these officially approved extensions are payment gateways, shipping extensions, booking extensions, accounting extensions, etc.
It’s not necessary to have all these extensions and your website will work more than fine without them, but if you still want these extensions without paying extra money, there are many extensions that you can download in the free category.
WooCommerce development has brought a lot on the plate for WordPress users. You can easily launch your online store with WooCommerce plugin and WordPress with fewer resources and achieve your startup dream.