WooCommerce Ecommerce Plugin Review

woocommerce-review-logoInterested in creating or transferring your online store? This WooCommerce review will help you learn the fundamentals as well as your fit with the WordPress ecommerce plug-in.

Curious about how other ecommerce solutions measure up? Check out reviews of other top ecommerce platforms here.

WooCommerce Review: What kind of merchant should use the WooCommerce plugin?

Launched in 2011, WooCommerce is an ecommerce plug-in for the WordPress content management system (CMS) that has gained immense popularity in just a couple of years. In 3 years, it already has 2.3 million downloads, and to put that in perspective, PrestaShop, which doesn’t require a CMS, has 3.4 million in 7 years.

Right off the bat, an online retailer needs to know 2 important things about WooCommerce.

  • WooCommerce is a shopping cart plugin, NOT an ecommerce platform. This means that retailers who are considering using WooCommerce must first have a WordPress website.  If you’re unfamiliar with WordPress, it’s a quickly evolving content management system (a.k.a. “sophisticated superblog” in Layman’s terms). The CPC Strategy blog is a WordPress site, and the likes of Van Heusen and IZOD rely on WordPress to run their retail site as well. If you already have a WordPress site, great.  If not, transferring to WordPress just for its WooCommerce plugin may not be worth it.
  • WooCommerce is very basic. Most features that would come standard with premium, established ecommerce solutions like Volusion, Magento, or Shopify are available for purchase as extensions. I think of WooCommerce as blank iPhone, whereas a PrestaShop or Magento Community is a blank Android. Another bad analogy on my end, but hopefully you get the idea.

WooCommerce is FREE and is available to download immediately. As far as pricing goes, the WooCommerce plug-in itself is completely free to download. Extensions, as we mentioned before, will be required and will run you extra cash, and you’ll also need to have a configured WordPress site, hosting package, and SSL in place before you can start selling.

Ideal for: Small-size retailers

Good WooCommerce Features

Ecommerce Platform Comparison: WooCommerce FeaturesFeature Grade
Free to download and features a large extension store, prices ranging from $29 to $200 ; functions that will need to be purchased include subscriptions, product CSV importing, table rate shipping, Instagram integration, conditional content, and wholesale pricingB
Extremely user-friendly - setup requires no programming knowledge and the interface is modern and intuitiveA+
Offers a one-page checkout processA
Built-in coupons, sales pricing, up-selling, and cross-selling functionalityB-
Extensive theme/template store - all themes are open-source and require basic coding knowledge to customizeB+

Bad WooCommerce Features

Ecommerce Platform Comparison: WooCommerce FeaturesFeature Grade
Product upload is manual so if you have a lot of products, you will need to purchase a bulk product import extension (which runs about $199)C-
Lacks sophisticated marketing and reporting solutions needed for high-traffic storesD+
Requires WordPress as the backbone of your store, which can be buggyC

There’s little documentation on WooCommerce’s built-in feature set (there’s not much), but here’s a rough outline.

Exporting Your Product Data Feed from WooCommerce to Google Shopping

You’ll need to download a plugin to create a feed and integrate your store with the Google Merchant Center. Check this one out.

Notable WooCommerce Stores

Recon Instruments

Ten Dollar Signs

WooCommerce Review: Bottom Line

I’m a fan of WooCommerce. I think it’s the ideal solution for small retailers (from just starting out to roughly $500k/year), and prior experience with WordPress is of course a huge plus. WooCommerce is one of the few solutions out there that really simplifies the ecommerce aspect of a website for the layperson and packages site management in a highly intuitive and simple user-interface.

That said, a medium-sized retailer (1-5MM/year) is better served with a solution that offers more analytical/reporting data and has higher-level marketing functionality.

Ecommerce Platform Comparison Grade: B-

How do you think this shopping cart stacks up against the rest? Have your voice be heard and your opinion known!  Email jon@cpcstrategy.com and request to have your experience be part of this WooCommerce Review.

View the master list of our ecommerce platform comparison to make the most informed choice when choosing your ecommerce platform software.

*Note: Grades are subjectively based on analysis and comparison to other ecommerce platforms, based on availability, significance, and functionality of the platform feature and overall value.

Looking to transfer stores in 2014? Reserve your copy of the Ecommerce Platform Migration Guidebook below.

 

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About the AuthorJon Gregoire is the Director of Demand Generation at CPC Strategy. Jon heads up email marketing, content strategy, co-marketing, and revenue cycle efficiency. A UC San Diego grad, Jon is a Chicago native and full-time San Diego tourist. He enjoys Bear Grylls-like backpacking trips, archery, weekend getaways in Southern California, watching his beloved Chicago Bears, and bidaily coffee consumption. Want to pitch a story? Reach out directly at jon(at)cpcstrategy.com. See all posts by this author here.