‘eCommerce is a powerful means to connect the unconnected to the global trade.’ – Arancha Gonzalez
The growing market for eCommerce portals has brought to fore a range of eCommerce platforms such as WordPress, Magento, Shopify, Opencart, BigCommerce etc. Among these, WordPress stands out as the dominant CMS platform to build eCommerce stores as evident from its commanding 59.4% market share globally (Source: W3techs.) And riding on the popularity of WordPress, its plugin WooCommerce is wooed by developers as a means to build attractive, feature rich and secure eCommerce stores. This has been amply proved by WooCommerce’s healthy 42% share of the global online store market (Source: Built With.) In fact, among the various WordPress plugins too, WooCommerce holds a commanding 94.3% market share (Source: Built With.) Let us find out why WooCommerce development services have become much sought after in the industry.
Advantages of using WooCommerce
Open Source: Since both WordPress and its plugin WooCommerce are open source, they are available free of cost. This brings down the cost of developing an online store for any business. Thus, should you want to build an online store as per your business requirements with plenty of features and functionalities at cost effective rates, WooCommerce is there for you.
Customizable: WooCommerce provides a range of themes and plugins (free and paid) to build as well as customize the look and functionality of your online store. You can choose from hundreds of themes that matches your business closely. Further, you can customize the selected theme as per your specific requirements. This allows you to fully transform the look and feel of your online store suitable to the specific niche thereby making it appear distinct from its competitors. The same way, you can customize the functionality of a plugin and make it work the way you want it to deliver the desired result.
Easy to use: Since WooCommerce is a plugin of the world’s most popular CMS platform, WordPress, you can easily build an eCommerce website development store to manage both products and content in a seamless manner especially at the backend. The many product attributes and tags make it easy for the customers to search for products. Also, WooCommerce offers plenty of built-in features or extensions to enhance the usability, functionality and performance of your online store. It allows unlimited modifications, customizations and addition of products as per the changing customer preferences and market dynamics.
Plugins: WooCommerce provides numerous plugins or extensions (free and paid) to add a slew of features and functionalities to your online store. For example, you can use specific plugins to make your online store multilingual, multi currency and multi vendor. Also, add-ons like PayPal, Amazon Payments & Authorize.Net can give the users multiple payment options with credit and debit cards, net banking or even cash on delivery. So, be it adding or facilitating payments, subscriptions, marketing, shipping, or accounting, the extensions come handy for the developers.
Mcommerce: WooCommerce provides a number of REST APIs to enable the mCommerce application to fetch data from the database as per the customer request. These REST APIs, on their part, return specific sets of data (as queried by the customer) in both JSON and XML formats for the mCommerce app to display the same.
Analytics: WooCommerce offers many plugins for analytics to help you measure the metrics such as sales, number of visitors per page, number and type of products sold etc. The plugins named Metorik, Advanced WooCommerce Reporting, Divvit, can help you generate customized reports to analyse shopping and checkout behaviour of customers, the sale of products, and tax and refund among others. The analytics plugins can help you set your business goals and plan the way to achieve them.
Secure: With the increasing threat of viruses, trojans, malware and ransomware affecting the eCommerce portals, securing the portal has become a crying need. This is where WooCommerce can be of help thanks to its regular security updates.
Community Support: WooCommerce is backed by a large number of developers who keep it updated on a regular basis. The developers help in adding new features and removing bugs from the plugin thereby enhancing its capability.
Disadvantages of using WooCommerce
If WooCommerce has become the most popular medium to build eCommerce stores, it is plagued with some issues as well.
Version updates: Both WordPress and WooCommerce provide periodic updates in view of the emerging threats from malware as well as to address the changing market dynamics. However, it may so happen that some of the plugins used in your store are not updated to the latest WP-WC version. This can give rise to compatibility issues thereby adversely impacting your site’s usability, functionality and performance.
Cost can be a factor: Even though WooCommerce plugin along with its many features comes free, businesses may have to opt for the premium (paid) extensions to address their specific requirements. For example, requirements like sign up for subscription products, booking services by customers, personalizing the product screen with images and texts etc would require the purchase of paid plugin licence, which can add to the development or maintenance cost.
Mcommerce: If WooCommerce can facilitate the building of mCommerce stores, it can leave some issues to be sorted out when it comes to creating or customizing the APIs.
- Developers need to understand the table structure and relationship of the database
- Since WooCommerce and other WordPress plugins use shortcodes to store data, one needs to parse the codes to fetch and process the data
For any additional data requirement not supported by the plugin, one needs to create custom tables, respective APIs and dashboard pages with custom UI/UX to let admin manage those data.
WooCommerce is a dynamic and feature rich WordPress based plugin that has been readily accepted by the industry to built customizable eCommerce stores. Its host of features, themes, and add-ons can outweigh some of the cons. WooCommerce gives you the flexibility to develop a robust, secure and customizable eCommerce store all by yourself. However, you can always hire experienced WooCommerce developers to build such a store and reach out to your customers effectively.