WooCommerce is undoubtedly one of the most popular eCommerce platforms currently available. It will help you create an eCommerce store without a huge financial investment. If you already have a WordPress site, you can make it an eCommerce store using WooCommerce for free. In this article, we will discuss how to download WooCommerce and set up your own eCommerce store without hassles.
As you know, WooCommerce is a free plugin for WordPress, and if you have a WordPress site already set up, things will be quite easy for you. However, if you don’t have a WordPress website already, it is better you check out this beginners’ guide on How to get started with WordPress.
How to download WooCommerce?
You can download WooCommerce from the WordPress repository as well as from the WooCommerce website. It is a good idea to register on the WooCommerce website, as you will get access to a large number of free and paid extensions.
You can install WooCommerce by choosing it in the Plugins section of your WordPress website. Or, you can install the downloaded zip file by clicking the Upload Plugin button.
Once you install the plugin, you need to Activate it as well.
When you first install WooCommerce on your website, you will see a Setup Wizard that will guide you through the configuration. This will enable you to have all the basic settings in place, so that you can start selling your products really fast.
Here, we will quickly take you through the setup wizard, and describe the important steps involved.
The first screen will be the address details. You have to enter the address where your shop is based. You need to enter the street address, and choose the country, city and zip code. Here you can also specify if you are building the store for a client.
If you don’t want to go ahead with the Setup wizard, you can skip it, and configure the settings under WooCommerce > Settings.
When you click the Continue button, you will see a popup that asks if you want to be part of the usage tracking program that will help in improvements to the platform. Click the Continue button leaving the checkbox empty, if you don’t want to participate in the usage tracking program.
In the next step, you can specify the industry you are focusing on. Choose at least one, and click the Continue button. If your industry is not listed, you can click other and specify the industry you are part of.
Type of products
Next is an important aspect of your business – what type of products are you intending to sell? WooCommerce, by default, lets you sell physical, digital, virtual and affiliate products. In addition, you can create special product types like Subscriptions, Memberships, Composte products, etc. by choosing to purchase a plugin from this step itself. You can choose either ‘Physical products’ or ‘Downloads’ and click the Continue button. If needed, you can purchase a product type plugin later from the WooCommerce marketplace.
In the next step, you need to give some basic details about your business. This is primarily to understand if you already have a business, or just getting started. Based on the information you provide here, WooCommerce will customize your experience with the platform.
You will also find an option to enable three marketing plugins here. These are free and will help you with advertising, email marketing and social media marketing. If required, you can enable them, or go ahead without them.
You can upgrade your theme if required in the next step. If you are already using a theme, and are happy with it, no need to update the theme at this step. However, if you need a new theme, you can choose one of the free or premium options.
Jetpack and WooCommerce services
The setup wizard also gives you an option to enable Jetpack and WooCommerce services. Enabling these will help you with better store management, automated tax calculations, shipping assistance and better security. Check out Jetpack for more details. You can click either ‘Yes please’ or ‘No thanks’.
So, you have set up your basic store profile now. Now you can continue with the next steps of the store setup.
Next step is to add products. You can do it in three ways.
- Add products manually.
If you have only a few products to add, you can choose the manual option. Here, you will see a familiar WordPress editor, where you can add a title, description, price, categories, etc., of a product and then publish it.
Or, you can choose to import a large number of products together using a CSV file. For this, you need to click the Import option, which will take you to the CSV importer. Here, specify the file path, and then map the different columns in the CSV file to the corresponding WooCommerce product fields.
If you already have another store, which you want to migrate to WooCommerce platform, you can choose the migrate option. This will take you to a cart migration solution called Cart2Cart.
The next step determines how you will be accepting payments on your store.
There are two offline options – Cash on Delivery and Direct bank transfer. You can simply keep the buttons enabled for them to be available in the checkout page. Here, you will find a few online payment options as well to let you accept payments through credit/debit cards and other wallets. You can set up one of these options according to your requirement. The Store Setup wizard has WooCommerce Payments, Stripe and PayPal Checkout. You can either set them up right away, or install them later. There are several other payment extensions that you can install later according to your location and customers.
WooCommerce offers automated tax calculations through Jetpack and WooCommerce services. You can either enable these, or choose to ‘Set up tax rates manually’.
If you choose to add tax rates manually, you can add a new row and enter the relevant details and rate. You can also import the tax rates using a CSV file.
Shipping is quite a complicated aspect of an online store selling physical products. You need to determine the shipping costs based on your store location and target markets. In the store setup, you can set some basic rates if your concerns are simple. You can add a shipping rate for the country your store is based on, and another rate for the rest of the world.
If you want to set up shipping rates comprehensively, you can check out some of the below articles.
- How to set up WooCommerce flat rate shipping?
- How to set up WooCommerce free shipping?
- Best WooCommerce shipping plugins.
Here, you can also manage some basic personalization. There are three options:
- Custom homepage.
- Upload logo.
- Configure store notice.
Once you complete all these steps, you will be able to start selling on your website. When customers visit your site, they will be able to choose a product, make payment and checkout.
Once an order is placed, you will find details in the ‘Orders’ section.
From the Reports section, you can access reports specific to Sales figures by products, category, date, etc.
One of the basic marketing strategies you will find out of the box with WooCommerce will be Coupons.
This is the basic process to download WooCommerce and set up your WordPress eCommerce store. You can check out the numerous extensions to add features and functionality to your store.