For those businesses using WordPress to power their websites, an alternative to the traditional eCommerce platform is available. WooCommerce does what much of the eCommerce market is responsible for, but with a different operating methodology and pricing structure. Depending on your business needs and the type of website you currently run, WooCommerce could be the answer to you shopping cart needs.
The biggest difference between WooCommerce and traditional eCommerce platforms is also one of WooCommerce’s major touchstones. It operates completely differently than much of the pack. Where competing eCommerce providers work as separate web hosting carts with associated tools, WooCommerce acts specifically as a plugin to WordPress that can be incorporated into any WordPress site or theme. The familiarity will be a blessing to many users.
Especially those accustomed to WordPress design, users will notice that functionality is a keystone to the applications. WooCommerce is no different. There is a widget available for nearly every need and an easy way to make anything work. As with traditional WordPress sites, the process of building sites and using tools is a relatively easy one. You’ll be able to integrate with any number of third party developers, from bit-coin to Instagram. The options mark a strong foundation for WooCommerce.
A few caveats to an otherwise glowing review. First, pricing is very different with WooCommerce. Instead of specifically laid out, tiered plans, the WooCommerce plugin itself is free. As far as initial commitments are concerned, this is a gold star. There is a catch though. Costs will arise as you choose which widgets and add-ons you’ll be utilizing. This is a positive and negative. The initial free offer is attractive, but beware of what your business needs are and where the associated costs will come from before you choose to go with WooCommerce over a traditional eCommerce platform. The costs are everywhere. Even templates, which are top of the line attractive, create add-ons after the initial few free options. Our review process found that growing costs were a major turn-off to customers. At the same time though, the vast options were a huge positive.
Second, as much of the platform acts differently than the industry standard, be aware that customer service does as well. It isn’t that customer service is poor with WooCommerce. It’s more that it doesn’t exist in a traditional sense. There isn’t a specific support team. Instead you’ll be directed to appropriate forums. A number to call is available, but it uses traditional office hours – based in South Africa. That being said, tutorials, forums, and web resources are often times enough to solve most technical issues. The main point here is to know the forward thinking needs of your business with respect to customer support.
All in all, WooCommerce offers up a powerful and adaptive eCommerce plugin that seamlessly integrates with WordPress. It’s free to download, but add-on costs can add up to a lot. Keep in mind that non-traditional support with no 24-hour phone and chat features is also a negative, but many resources are available to ease the transition and answer potential questions. If that concluding paragraph seems like a lot, that’s because there is a lot to take in with WooCommerce. It can be the perfect answer to shopping cart needs for WordPress users. But a lot of “ifs” are inherent in the decision making process.
WooCommerce can be the perfect answer to shopping cart needs for WordPress users. But a lot of “ifs” are inherent in the decision making process, and make this a solution that fits a specific user base.
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