WooCommerce Ecommerce Plugin Review
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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
Bad WooCommerce Features
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
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-
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View the master list of our ecommerce platform comparison to make the most informed choice when choosing your ecommerce platform software.
- Miva Merchant Review
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- Volusion Review
- Yahoo! Stores Review
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- Bigcommerce Review
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- Magento Go Review
- 3dcart Review
- Amazon Webstores Review
- CS-Cart Review
- Magento Community Review
- Zen Cart Review
- OpenCart Review
- osCommerce Review
- Magento Enterprise Review
- VirtueMart Review
- Nexternal Review
- Demandware Review
- IBM WebSphere Commerce Review
- Hybris Review
- X-Cart Review
- AmeriCommerce Review
- Ubercart Review
*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.