How To Use WordPress For e-Commerce Website
How often do you shop online? Once a month? Twice a month? Or on every other day? Most consumers like to shop online as it saves them time and efforts and why not? When you can get everything right at your doorstep, You just have to step towards the door, jokes apart, e-Commerce is associated with buying and selling commodities through the internet.
The worldwide expansion of the internet has resulted in the transition of transactions and trade i.e. they embraced the online mode unlike the Silk route or any Colonial trade methodologies. E-Commerce makes use of regular technological maintenance to ensure the smooth functioning of the online store like purchasing, delivering products, monetary transactions to name a few. Therefore, making it one of the faster-growing sector and within a short span of time, it has been evolved as the next big thing. E-commerce is growing at an enormous rate and has developed as worldwide B2C e-commerce sales and as of now powers more than 45% of the entire web.
Per Statista, in 2013 41.3% of global internet users had purchased products online. In 2017, this figure is expected to grow to 46.4%. In 2016, total retail sales across the globe will reach 22.049 trillion, 6% up from the previous year.it has been estimated that sales will touch 27 trillion in 2020. If you’re still not fascinated by these figures, then these upcoming facts will surely do.
- E-commerce is the only Trillion Dollar Market projected to grow at double digits.
- As of December 2015, there are 3.26 billion internet users, that’s over 40% of the world population.
- In 2015, 64% of all in-store sales or sales to the tune of 2.2 trillion were influenced by the internet.
- Digital interactions influenced retail sales to the tune of 2.2 trillion in 2015.
- Wi-fi and mobile-connected devices will generate 68% of all internet traffic by 2017.
- By 2107, there will be more internet traffic than all prior internet years combined.
There are several different types of e-commerce, for example, B2B (business to business), B2C (business to customer) and C2C (consumer to consumer) and you depending on the business objectives these are defined. Moreover, mobile commerce in the shape of buying/selling commodities via the mobile app is also on the rise, giving rise to mobile app development services.
Enough of e-commerce facts, right? Digital payment gateways, mobile commerce growth, digital wallets etc. are some of the aspects of e-commerce development and more and more organization are inclining towards e-commerce development and web development services to use each and every channel for taking their business to a whole new level. There are certain Content Management System (CMS) available and WordPress is the most popular and widely used platform for developing e-commerce sites. Though, it started as a blogging platform but soon gained popularity due to its rich features and functionality. Being free and open source are just the add-on.
So, let’s get in-depth of how you can use WordPress for e-commerce websites.
Here, I’ll be discussing how you can develop a WordPress website with WooCommerce although, the steps are quite similar but I’ll get in detail so save you some time and efforts.
Log in to your WordPress admin account and go to Plugins -> Add new and search for WP e-commerce and simply install and activate WooCommerce by Woo themes.
After installing it, you’ll be asked to install it with a wizard to take care of the default settings.
After this, there will be some generic steps like terms and conditions page, setting up the location, Page setup etc. So, that you can customize it later.
Not going into much detail, you can set general setting and get started and can skip steps and can later customize it accordingly. Now, you need to integrate payment gateways. You could use Paypal, Strip so that you could start with something. The Payment gateway is necessary as consumers can easily pay through them.
Now that WooCommerce is installed – you’re ready to begin to work with your e-commerce site. Return to your WordPress Dashboard and head to a New Product page and product. Explore more option, if possible.
Your next step is ensuring that your URL structure is correct and your WordPress theme is compatible with your site’s functionality.
In addition, there are some 3rd party plugins and extensions that you can integrate with WooCommerce.
But that doesn’t give you the privilege of using as many plugins as possible. You should know when and where to stop and if possible, avoid plugins for small functionality.
You can’t take the advantage of these plugins unless your sites’ analytic tracking is setup correctly and is compatible with it. You can use Google Analytics for analyzing your e-Commerce. You can mark up your e-Commerce site with specialized features like analyzing the site performance, Search Engine Optimization etc. and can add other seamless attributes.
To see which plugins you can sync with your e-Commerce site, simply click on Add New Plugins and search for WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration as this provides the integration between Google Analytics and WooCommerce plugin. The same process can be followed for installing other plugins.
Setup Your Online Store
The benefit of the combo of WordPress and WooCommerce is the efficient setup of permanent links (permalinks). As e-Commerce sites have lots of pages and there are hundreds of thousands of ways of displaying products, therefore, they can generate inefficient and unproductive URLs for the site and can affect your search engine ranking.
Though, the default setting is generally the best but, I like to confirm them before to General settings or anything design related. To start, simply go to the WooCommerce link on the Dashboard -> WooCommerce -> Settings-> Products.
WooCommerce needs a product archive page that’s going to display all the products and has a standard WordPress page for this archive. By default, it’s your Shop page and can edit it. Just go to Pages -> All Pages and create a new page. You can name it accordingly. You can even this page your landing page i.e. Homepage, just go to the main Settings -> make the page your Homepage. After confirming that page, click the link to look at your Product Permalinks.
This Homepage allows you to set your WordPress permalinks and the product permalinks. When initially setting up WordPress, you should have enabled permalinks.
These permalinks are structured so they never conflict with other categories in your e-Commerce site.for example, if you have a specific product category for shirts, then by default it will be displayed as
– site.come / product category / shirts
Your site has been setup and is ready for running up. You can navigate to the new Products link in the WordPress Dashboard and can see how the URLs look before proceeding further.
General Store Settings
Under the WooCommerce link in the Dashboard menu, navigate to Settings and look at the General tab. The first thing to note is all the default settings. You’ll have set up most in the wizard, but most are set by WooCommerce. They may or may not be right for your store. But either way, you’ll need to click through each section and subsection to check on them.
Setup Product Pages
Your theme, design, layout of the product pages will enhance your e-Commerce site. You can easily customize these themes and pages accordingly, helping with search engine optimization.
You can have product pages for displaying the products and reviews below the product description.
You can create separate product category page add their description, details etc. So, that users can see the products’ measurement, details related to it and the price. Just like every e-Commerce nowadays has.
The last but not the least, you must give your users the Payment Gateways so that they can buy products from your site. If you love the look of the control that WooCommerce gives you and is a good fit for your online store.
Everything is perfect as long as it’s functional. You’ve to add a payment gateway so that users can click the “buy” button and get it instantly.
You’re now ready to have your own e-Commerce site with all the functionality as that of elite ones. If you have any suggestion or query, feel free to ask.
Emily Smith is an ed-tech enthusiast and has been associated with CWS Technology as a writer for more than 7 Years. CWS is the leading IT solutions and services company offering its expertise in HTML to WordPress service, PSD to WordPress, custom android app development and much more. Emily has a passion for writing on emerging technologies like application management outsourcing, consulting, system integration etc.