Online stores and shops have gained a significant audience in the last few years. More and more people prefer buying items online to purchasing them from retail stores. Due to the pandemic, online shopping has become a top choice for thousands of people.
As a consequence, many people want to start an online store. However, the thing that is stopping them is the process. Creating a store in online mode can be challenging if you are not tech-savvy, but not anymore. With WooCommerce in the business, you can quickly start an online store without extra steps. It is the largest e-commerce platform globally and has successfully created various professional companies with improved conversion rates.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce refers to an e-commerce plugin (pieces of software performing various functions) for the websites of WordPress. To start an online store signifies that you will need to establish your website on WordPress, and the primary part of WooCommerce is to add various functionalities to your website.
As per the statistics of 2021, there are around 75 million websites in WordPress, and approximately 4 million use the WooCommerce plugin. WooCommerce helps create an online business that supports the selling of products and the transactions related to them.
How to kickstart an online store using WooCommerce?
For starting an online store with WooCommerce, you will need to follow specific vital steps. Only installing WooCommerce will not help you in setting up your store online. You will need to select your target audience, design a good website, and do many other things.
Find an audience and choose products
Before starting setting up an online store, you will need to understand the wants of your target audience. Identify the right audience by taking your time. After the identification process is over, comprehend their needs. Learn about their desires based on your products. If you are planning to start an online store of garments, you must realise your audience’s desires related to garments. The more and better you understand them, the better your customer satisfaction level will be.
After deciding your target audience, the next step is to choose the exact product you wish to sell. You can choose different kinds of products, like
Under handcrafted products, you can sell jewellery items, decors, food, clothing, etc. These products are ideal for those who are crafty and want to start their business with a low start-up cost. It gives you complete control over your business; however, the capitalisation on success is comparatively lower.
Under this type, products like ebooks, online courses, memberships, music, etc., are available. They do not require a physical format and are scalable. Similar to handcrafted products, these also have a low start-up cost and minimal production costs.
Manufactured products involve a high start-up cost and include dinnerware, electronics, garments, makeup, etc. These are manufactured and stored by a party and sold and shipped by you. It is ideal for those not particularly significant at manufacturing or creating products themselves.
Under services, the items available for sale include tasks that are performed and do not have a physical component. The services can be performed virtually or in person, depending on your and your client’s preference.
Choose a host
Before creating an online store with the help of WooCommerce, you will initially need to select a host. Host refers to the place where your website resides. It preserves every document and file related to your website and presents them in front of users worldwide. The security and speed of the website are also heavily impacted by the host; therefore, the choice must be of high quality.
Set up WordPress
After selecting the host, you need to set up the building platform of your website, i.e., WordPress. It can be accessed by any technically experienced person and is relatively easy to set up. You will first need to install WordPress and then contact the customer service of your chosen host for the setup.
Many hosting providers have a straightforward one-step installation for WordPress, whereas certain providers offer pre-installed WordPress. Therefore, even if you have initially chosen a different host for your website, you can later change it as per your preference.
Set up WooCommerce
As mentioned before, WooCommerce provides your website with various functional tools like payment collection, adding products, creating customer accounts, etc. The implementation is entirely free, and you can extend it along with the growth of your business. It is a plugin for WordPress, and for its installation, you will need to perform specific steps.
Step 1: Open the dashboard of WordPress and click on the option “Plugins”.
Step 2: A plugin directory will appear. From there, search for the option of “WooCommerce” and install it.
Step 3: WooCommerce will be installed and after the installation, click on the option of “Activate”.
Step 4: Now, you have WooCommerce in your plugin directory. For further guidance, you can take help from the setup wizard.
Select a theme
After the installation of WordPress and WooCommerce is completed, you will need to choose a template or theme that defines the layout of your website. You will access thousands of colour schemes and themes under both paid and free sections. You can even customise a colour scheme for your page that will suit the idea of your website. Make sure your website stands out on every device of every size for better customer reach.
Add products and create a landing page.
Add the products you have chosen for your website and build up the actual website pages. Give excess attention to your website’s landing pages since your customers will get access to these pages first. You must highlight your best products and motivate your customers to gain more intel regarding your store on your landing page.
The page must be interactive and should successfully raise curiosity among those currently viewing the page.
- Create the product pages
Don’t forget that creating the landing page is not the only important thing. Product pages are equally important since they present the listing of products available on your website. The product page must contain an accurate description of your products, the price of your product, and, if possible, an image of the product.
After creating a useful and engaging product page, add the listing of products to the product dashboard. By doing so, your customers will benefit from filtering through them based on their categories. You can even create a link between similar or related products for easier search.
Select a payment gateway
Payment gateway refers to the process of transferring payments secured by credit cards to your bank account. With the help of WooCommerce, you will get access to more than a dozen payment gateway options making the setup process more accessible and hassle-free. Consider the requirements of your store and only then finalise the payment gateway.
Ship your products
After setting up your website, it’s finally time to ship orders. Therefore, you need to determine the process of shipping. However, before getting down to that, figure out your inventory planning. There are various processes under inventory management, and you can choose any one of them. The processes include:
One of the ideal options is to store your products at your house or business area, and it is a very cheap option and is preferable for new businesses.
Dropshipping refers to the storing of products with a third party. Under this management method, you can keep your products with another individual who will have the authority to manufacture and ship them to your customers. It is affordable and accessible, but you will not have complete control over your storage.
One of the most common inventory management processes includes traditional warehousing. Under this process, you can store your products in a specific storage unit or warehouse. It is more expensive than the other two processes but gives you more control and space.
Finally, decide upon your shipping method. Choose a way to ensure your products’ safety and deliver them correctly to your customers. The weight of the product, its size, the delivery time, and many other important factors must be considered when deciding on the shipping method. However, apart from shipping, give extra attention to your packaging and make sure that it is properly packed with protection.
Do you want to Start an Online Store with WooCommerce?
Selecting WooCommerce for starting an online store is the ideal option since you get access to all the platform’s functional tools. It is versatile and supports the selling of different products and services, and WooCommerce allows scalability and ensures that it grows and develops on par with your business. Therefore, if you want your store to grow, opt for WooCommerce.