You may have heard people mention “Woocommerce” or “E-commerce” in relation to websites and website development, to understand one you must understand both so below I’ll break both down and explain when they become necessary.
Firstly, to understand Woocommerce or any other E-commerce platforms and plug-ins, you need to know what E-commerce actually means. This is quite simple and straightforward; E-commerce refers to any and all commercial transactions conducted electronically on the internet. So, if you go onto a website that sells products online and you throw some items into the “cart”, link your card up and the website then takes payments from your account through the website and orders whatever it is you purchased. This is essentially what is referred to as E-commerce. A good example of this would be Takealot.com although there are many websites that make use of this function.
A Plug-in is a prewritten application for a website that effectively does exactly what it sounds like. It can be added to your website (Plugged in) adding additional functionality without having to write the actual code yourself. For example, if you wanted to add a calendar page to your website, showing events your company is hosting, when sales will be starting or even to allow website visitors to book appointments or accommodation, you could find and add a plug-in to your website that would suit your needs without having to actually code the calendar to the website yourself.
WooCommerce on the other hand refers to one of if not the most popular forms of E-commerce “Plug-ins”, it allows you to add, edit and manage items of stock or services to your website. With WooCommerce you can set the prices of items, amount of available stock as well as make and manage parameters for sales of these items eg. 20% off all items under the category of “Socks”. It is an efficient and fairly easy to learn process although the integration of it to your website can take some time. It currently powers over 99% of WordPress e-commerce websites in the US, Canada, and the UK. There is no limit the amount of stock you can list on your website through WooCommerce and this allows you to grow your stock and services as your company grows without having to worry about hitting a limit, making it perfect for any business, from a home bakery to a large scale supplier. WooCommerce also allows integration with PayFast, Paypal and a variety of different payment gateways allowing your customers to pay for their purchases in whatever way they prefer ultimately making your website more accessible.
Some additional features include:
- Geo-Location and Automatic Taxes – WooCommerce gives you the option to turn on geolocation and automatic taxes, so your shop will display the correct price including taxes to your customers, no matter where they are located.
- Customizable Checkout Process – Completely control the checkout process from start to finish. You can choose to sell to specific countries or worldwide, set your checkout flow URLs, enable/disable guest checkout, and force secure checkout.
- Default Currency – A wide variety of available currencies allows you to choose the currency you wish to use for your store.
- Product Types – WooCommerce allows you to set your “Product type” to anything you could think of, meaning there is no chance it won’t cover whatever it is your company offers even if it is your own one-of-a-kind product
- Inventory – WooCommerce allows you to control Stock levels, backorders, hiding out of stock inventory, email notifications when an item’s stock level is low or sold out, and more, all to help you streamline and simplify product management!
The above are just a few features WooCommerce can provide for your website, if you would like to know more, are interested in integrating WooCommerce into your website or even building an E-commerce website from scratch, get in touch with us here and we will set about getting you moving in whichever direction you want.