We go more in-depth with WooCommerce, from initial set-up to more details of what you can do with WooCommerce.
Once you install WooCommerce and activate it on your website, you’ll be directed to the Welcome page. This will prompt you to configure the basic settings you’ll need for WooCommerce to work on your site. It will also give you an option to configure at another time if you’re not ready to install it.
If you proceed with the configuration, you’ll be directed to the page setup. WooCommerce will create four pages for you, namely: Shop, Cart, Checkout, and My account. These pages will be necessary for your website to function as an online shop.
Continuing to the next step, you’ll need to set where your store location is. It will store the currency you’ll be using, and if you will be charging sales tax.
Next is the shipping. Enable this setting if you ship physical products. It’s quite handy as you can print labels directly from your WooCommerce dashboard. For physical products, you’ll need to choose the weight and dimension units you’ll be using when indicating the measurements of your products.
The fourth step will be payments. Select the payment method/s that you’ll be using for your shop. There are more than enough options for you to use, including cash on delivery and debit or credit cards.
WooCommerce also offers their free Storefront WordPress theme. It’s maintained by WooCommerce and it works seamlessly with their e-commerce plugin. Of course, this is an optional installation and skipping this step is possible.
When the theme option step is done, you may now start with creating products on your website.
Additional menus will be available on your WordPress Dashboard. You can view the orders that were placed by your customers, create coupons, adjust settings, etc. that you’ll find on the WooCommerce menu. On the Products menu, you’ll be able to view all your products, add new products, and more.
First-off, we’ll go into creating new products. When you add new products, the screen looks very much like creating new posts. You add a name of your product on the title, your product’s description area, product categories, and more.
On the lower portion, you have your Product data where you can indicate if your product is a virtual product, and if your product is downloadable (it can be both a virtual product and a downloadable product). Of course, you’ll want to indicate the price of the products you’re selling. You can indicate the price and select a date to schedule when the sale price will show on your store. You can add Product tags to show the product you’re creating. On the product I’m trying to add, I can add the color of the shirt as a tag. Next, there’s the product short description where you can add a brief write-up of the product you’re selling. Then, you add the product image that you want to show as default for this product. For multiple photos of a product, just add the other photos on the Product Gallery.
If you’ve entered the information you’d like to make available on the product, you can go on and publish the product.
You still have other options available in adding a product. You can add information about the inventory of the product where you can indicate the SKU of the product, allow WooCommerce to manage your stock, set the stock status of the product, and limit buyers to only one purchase of this item per order.
For physical products, you can indicate the weight, dimensions, and shipping class for a product. This would be easier for your customers to see how big your product is. It can be indicative for your shipping options.
There’s an option to upsell or cross-sell products. Upsells are products that you’d want to recommend to customers to take. Products that you should upsell are those products that are more profitable (e.g. a more premium quality version of the same product). Cross-sells are those products you’d want to suggest when this current product is on your shopper’s cart (e.g. sunglasses that will go well with the sweater I’m selling).
There’s also the attributes where you can define the additional information you need for a product. For example, for the sweater I’m selling, I’d need to provide the size options. You can do this by adding attributes. The attributes added will show as an additional information for the product that will be found when the product is published.
On the advanced tab, you have the option to add a Purchase note which an optional note that can be sent to your customer upon purchasing the product. The Menu Order allows you to customize where this product will be on the list if there are multiple products on a shopping cart. Leave this at 0 value if you don’t need to sequence orders.
Once your product is published, you can view your product and see the format you’ve entered from creating your product. We’ve also created a sample sale product with a limited stock.
Adding more products available on your online shop will look better. If you’ve set a product on sale, the original and sale price will show for the product. It will also have a “Sale!” banner below the name of the product.
When a customer orders a product, your customer will receive an e-mail notification with the order receipt and the details of the order. You’ll get a notification on your WordPress dashboard where you can see how many orders you have from your online shop. With my sample, someone ordered the hoodie that was on sale. I’ve found a counter badge on my orders under WooCommerce, and I can also see on my dashboard that I have an order for processing.
When you view an order, you’ll find the order number listed, who ordered the product, the e-mail address used, and the payment method under the total amount.
When you view an order by opening the Order Number, you’ll find the order details. The address and contact details of your customer can be found within the order. You also have Order status on the general details so that you can update the movement of your customer’s order. There’s also the order notes where updates can be shown.
When you flag the Order status as completed, this will be reflected on the order and an e-mail notification will be sent to your customer that the order has been completed.
With the orders received from your WordPress website, you’ll be able to see the report showing the order details for the last 7 days (as a default). You can also view the number of orders for the last month, for this month, or even a custom sales date. You also have the option to view the sale by date, by product, by categories, or by coupons. In this way, you’ll be able to see where you’re most profitable and you’ll be able to market your products based on the report you can find directly on WordPress.
WooCommerce also provides you the option to create coupons. Just navigate to WooCommerce, then select Coupons. Then select Coupons on the upper left portion of the screen.
You’ll then enter the coupon code that you want your buyers to use. You’ll also have the option to add a description for your code. Next, you’ll need to select the discount type. There are three options for the discounts, namely: Percentage discount, Fixed cart discount, and Fixed product discount. There’s also an option to specify the coupon amount that you’ll give as a discount to your customers. You can allow free shipping for the coupon you’re creating as well and set the expiry date of your coupon.
Next would be the usage restriction. You can control where your coupon can be used. This can be applicable only for the specific product that you have, or only allow the coupon to be used with a minimum purchase. You can even limit how many times an e-mail address can be used by a purchase. There are more than enough restrictions that you can set for your coupons.
Next of course, you would have the usage limits. You can allow your customers to use the coupon without limit. If you’ve specified a product on the Usage restriction, you can also set the maximum use to a specific item by entering an amount on the “Limit usage to X items”. There’s the usage limit per coupon that can be set based on how many customers used the coupon. We also have the option to limit the usage of the coupon on a per user basis which would lessen the abuse of a coupon if needed.
The last topic I’ll include here is the payment methods. Currently, I’ve only allowed cash on delivery to receive payments. A PayPal account for example, would be a better option for your customers since PayPal assures protection for the buyer. So, to add a payment method, navigate to WooCommerce, then select Settings. You’ll then find tabs on the upper portion of the settings. Just select Checkout to view the settings.
If, for example, I want to activate my PayPal account, I’ll just select PayPal from the Checkout options to see the settings I can do to link my PayPal account. To activate accepting PayPal payments, just check the Enable PayPal Standard. Notice as well that aside from paying via PayPal, you’ll also give the option to accept payments via credit card if you choose to activate PayPal. Naturally, you’ll receive the payment on your PayPal account. Enter the e-mail address you use for your PayPal account to take payments. There are two other settings that are optional, namely PayPal sandbox and Debug log. You can enable PayPal sandbox to test payments, which would deduct a certain amount on a customer’s account to see if the account that was entered is valid. It will of course, be credited back to your customer once confirmed by PayPal that the account is working. You can also enable the Debug log to record events from PayPal, e.g. receiving IPN requests.
There’s also an advanced settings where you can set the Receiver email of the payments. This is only if the e-mail address you’ve used on the PayPal email differs from your main PayPal account, then do enter your main PayPal account here. You can use the PayPal identity token to allow payments to be verified without the need for the IPN. This can be activated on your PayPal’s settings (you can hover your mouse on the icon to see more info). The Invoice prefix is the initial characters that you want to reflect on your PayPal invoice. This can be alphanumeric, but do make sure that this is unique since PayPal does not allow orders with the same invoice number. The Shipping details can be selected if you use the shipping labels while the activating the Address override prevents the address information from being changed in PayPal. The Payment action would give the option to receive funds immediately (by selecting the Capture option) or you can set your PayPal to only authorize payments. The Page style option would give you a choice to select the layout of the checkout screen and the Image URL option would allow you to indicate the link of your shop’s logo to reflect on the PayPal checkout page.
The last option you have for PayPal is the API credentials. As much as we want to avoid it, you would need to process refunds when necessary. API credentials allow you to enter the API username, password, and signature to be able to process refunds to your customers directly on PayPal. You can open the link for the PayPal API Credentials to see how you can do the set-up on your PayPal account.
That concludes my in-depth review of WooCommerce. With all of the things mentioned here, you can already successfully use WooCommerce without a hitch. This could already get your online shop running without getting into the nitty-gritty of the WooCommerce settings.
Product photos used from Unsplash: