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What Is WooCommerce and How Does It Work?

March 3, 2021 Published by

online shop on tablet

Ecommerce platforms like Shopify and Magento have made building and running an online store more accessible than ever. These platforms compete and differentiate themselves by offering useful functions like the ability to customize an online store’s theme, list products, create an efficient checkout system, and even track performance through advanced analytics features. However, one of the most popular platforms, WooCommerce, sets itself apart with an interesting quirk:

It isn’t a standalone platform, it’s a WordPress plugin. Today, we’ll explain what WooCommerce is and how it helps turn any WordPress site into a formidable ecommerce store.

What Is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is a plug-in that turns any existing WordPress site into a fully functioning ecommerce website in minutes. When this plug-in launched in 2011, WooCommerce became the most popular solution for aspiring ecommerce merchants looking to launch an online store.

In 2015, the owners of WordPress acquired WooCommerce, and the plugin has continued to grow impressively since. Over 99% of WordPress online stores are powered by WooCommerce.

How Does WooCommerce Work?

WooCommerce gives you basic store functionality from the get-go, with the free plugin available on the PlugIn Repository, or straight from your WordPress dashboard. Hundreds of additional extensions exist, but it offers amazing functions even in its standard form.

Here are a few:

Simple Installation, Setup and Integration

WooCommerce is incredibly simple and quick to set up. Installation is very easy as you only have to search for it in your WordPress dashboard, install it, and activate it with a few clicks. Once you’ve set it up, you can customize the appearance of your site by selecting the Storefront theme you want to use.

Customizable Shopping Cart

One of WooCommerce’s most helpful features is its customizable checkout process. You can tailor any aspect of it to your liking from the Payment Gateway to Checkout URLs:

  • Flexible Payment Gateway – WooCommerce’s payment gateways are flexible allowing you to accept cash on delivery, PayPal, checks, bank transfers and more.
  • Default Currency – Choose from a wide range of currencies to accept for your store.
  • Geo-Location and Automatic Taxes – This plug-in allows you to turn on geolocation and automatic taxes, which means your shop will feature the correct price including taxes to your customers according to their location.

Easy Tax Management

The process of building and running your online store can be exciting. However, no matter how successful your store is, everyone has to file their taxes eventually. Fortunately, WooCommerce makes tax management easier by handling taxes on sales. Major tax rate calculation, custom tax rates, and geo-location tax rates are just a few helpful functions available. You can even define tax rates and control the tax rate assigned to your shipping costs.  

Is WooCommerce Worth It?

WooCommerce may be a plug-in, but it is packed with helpful features that have helped many business owners build successful online stores. Compare it to other ecommerce platform builders in its class and see how it may help achieve your business goals.