As a digital agency, we pride ourselves on our flexibility and adaptability – whatever our clients need, we deliver. If there’s a will, there’s a way! But that’s not to say we won’t try and nudge them in a different direction, especially if we feel that they’re going to benefit more from an alternative solution.
According to BuiltWith, as it stands, approximately 41% of all online stores are powered by WooCommerce. That’s an incredibly impressive feat when you consider that it’s ‘biggest’ and most popular competitors are Shopify (sitting at just 6%) and Magento (sitting at 4%). So what is it about WooCommerce that makes it so popular?
If you take a look at this post, where we discussed Content Management Systems, we run through the things you’ll need to consider prior to making your decision, going into detail about WordPress – our preferred CMS as an agency.
Naturally, when an eCommerce plugin is built specifically for (and from the foundations of) WordPress, you can almost guarantee that it’ll be a dream to work with. Being part of WordPress, a lot of the points from our CMS post will also apply here, but coming strictly from an eCommerce/product standpoint, here are four of the biggest drawcards to working with WooCommerce:
One of the points we touched on when choosing a CMS was scalability – ensuring you’re considering your business goals for the long term, and that whichever platform you begin working with can cater to where you see your business growing.
Wordpress came on top with that one, and similarly, WooCommerce caters to businesses selling hundreds of products to millions of products seamlessly – no matter the size of your business, WooCommerce can scale to suit.
WooCommerce have dedicated support teams to assist with whatever business owners need. On top of being completely open source (meaning that it grows from the community and contributors), you’ll never be left in the dark, without answers. There have been over 7 million downloads to date, and over 350 contributors. Easy!
As a well supported WordPress plugin, it fits seamlessly into a lot of existing themes, as well as custom themes built by agencies, just like us! But, design aside, there are more than 300 extensions that can be integrated into WooCommerce to enhance the store. And the best thing? The majority of these extensions are relatively simple to get up and running… and if not? Good thing there’s such great support!
Unlike a lot of other platforms in the market, WooCommerce is free – you’re not required to pay for a subscription to get it up and running, and there are no hidden start-up fees!
Once you begin integrating some of the more powerful functions, you might be required to pay for some of the extensions required (such as built-in bookings and order status control), but in the grand scheme of things, those costs are minimal compared to ongoing subscription-based memberships.
It’s not often that you come across a platform which is as great for a developer to work with as it is for a user. And there has to be a reason that 41% of online stores are built with WooCommerce, right? (We just gave you four of the major ones!)
Despite our bias, there are absolutely situations where using WooCommerce might be less appropriate, but wherever possible, we do our best to navigate our clients to what we believe will work best for them – considering flexibility, stability and all costs involved.