Do you want to start an eCommerce business using WooCommerce? Need a WooCommerce tutorial that’s easy to follow for non-techy users? If so, you’re in the right place.
WooCommerce is the world’s most popular eCommerce platform. It is super-flexible, cost-effective, and easy to manage even for beginners.
However, many beginners feel a bit intimidated by the idea of setting up WooCommerce themselves. Most users struggle to find out how to get started with WooCommerce and what’s the proper way to setup WooCommerce.
In this ultimate WooCommerce tutorial, we will guide you through how to set up WooCommerce with step by step instructions. We will also share WooCommerce resources like best WooCommerce themes, WooCommerce SEO tips, and other useful resources to help you grow your store.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is a free eCommerce software that makes it easy for selling products and services online. Over the years, it has become the most popular eCommerce platform in the world used by millions of small and large businesses (online stores).
WooCommerce is developed as an extension of WordPress which is the most popular website builder on the market. This allows users to build an eCommerce website from scratch or add shopping cart functionality to an existing website.
As an open-source software, WooCommerce is free to download and use. However, while the WooCommerce software is free, you still need a domain name and web hosting service to setup a website, which costs money.
What Do You Need to Make a WooCommerce Store?
You will need the following three items to make a WooCommerce website from scratch.
- A WordPress hosting account. This is where all your website files will be stored.
- A domain name. This is your website’s address on the internet e.g. wpbeginner.com
- A SSL Certificate to securely accept online payments
The above items are not free and cost money. Often beginners ask, if WooCommerce is free, then why do I need to pay for these things.
Well, you need to pay for these three things to build any type of website (not just WooCommerce).
The overall cost of your online store (WooCommerce pricing) will depend on which services you choose to purchase for your website. You can easily control the costs by only purchasing what you actually need.
Remember, you can add other things later as your business starts making money.
Getting Started with WooCommerce
Now before we install WooCommerce, let’s first set up basic WordPress settings.
Go to Settings page in the WordPress admin area and change your website’s title and optionally provide a tagline (description).
Next, you need to review the website admin email address. This email address is where you will receive WooCommerce notifications and password reset requests so make sure that it is correct.
After that, scroll down a little and select the timezone settings for your website.
Now, you can review all the settings once again and click on the Save changes button to save them.
Once done, you’re now ready to install WooCommerce.
How to Properly Install and Setup WooCommerce
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, so the installation process is similar to any other WordPress plugin. You can follow our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
Simply visit Plugins » Add New page in your WordPress admin and search for WooCommerce. WordPress will now show plugin search results. You need to click on the ‘Install now’ button next to WooCommerce.
WordPress will now grab the plugin files and install WooCommerce for you. Once finished, you need to click on the ‘Activate’ button to start using it.
After activation, WooCommerce will launch the WooCommerce setup wizard.
First, you will need to select your store location, currency, and what type of products you want to sell.
After that, click on the let’s go button to continue.
In the next step, you will be asked to choose a payment method. By default, WooCommerce supports PayPal and Stripe payment gateways.
You can click the toggle to enable these payment methods and provide your email address to set them up.
Alternately, you can turn them both off and set them later by visiting the WooCommerce » Settings page and switching to the Payments tab.
Next, you will be asked to set up shipping. You can select free shipping or add flat shipping cost for different zones.
Click on the continue button to move along.
Now you will be asked to install recommended services for WooCommerce. We recommend you to uncheck all of them and install them later when you actually need them.
Next, you will be asked to install the JetPack plugin. You can simply scroll down to the bottom and select Skip this step. There are better and more powerful alternatives that we will discuss later.
WooCommerce setup wizard will now save all your settings, and your store is now ready to start selling.
Adding Products in WooCommerce
WooCommerce makes it really easy to add products to your store.
Simply go to Products » Add New page to add your first product.
First, you need to provide a title for your product and then a detailed description.
After that, click on the ‘Add new product category’ link in the right column. You can create a new category for the product you are adding.
Categories allow your customers to easily browse products on your website.
After that, you need to scroll down a little to the ‘Product Data’ box. This is where you will select the product type, add product pricing, shipping, and other information.
Next, you will see a product short description box. This description will be used on different product pages on your website. You need to add a catchy and informative short description that helps you get more clicks.
Nothing makes a product page more useful than product images. WooCommerce makes it super simple to add product images and even product image galleries to go along with each product.
First, you need to add the main product image. This will be the main product image that’s used on the shop pages across your store.
Below that you can add multiple images to create a product image gallery.
Now review all the product information that you have added so far. If everything looks alright, then you are ready to make this product live on your store.
Click on the Publish button at the top right box on the screen to publish your product.
You can now repeat the process to add more products to your website.
Choosing a WooCommerce Template & Theme
There are thousands of online stores competing to sell similar products. Choosing a professional design for your store makes a big difference in how customers see your brand.
There are thousands of WooCommerce templates and themes available on the market. While you can use WooCommerce with any WordPress theme, we recommend choosing a WooCommerce-ready theme.
These themes are made specifically for WooCommerce websites, and they will help you make more sales on your website.
Since there are thousands of paid and free WooCommerce themes on the market, this abundance of choices can make it difficult for beginners to choose the perfect design.
To make this easier, we have hand-picked the best WooCommerce ready themes that you can use. All of these are mobile-friendly and highly optimized for SEO and performance.
- Astra – One of the top WooCommerce ready WordPress themes on the market. Astra comes with full WooCommerce support, built-in templates for product and shop pages, and dozens of 1-click ready-made websites.
- Ocean WP – One of the most easily customizable theme for WooCommerce users.
- Shoppe – A modern and highly customizable WooCommerce theme. It comes with its own page builder allowing you to easily create landing pages for your products and campaigns.
- Outfitter Pro – A modern, hip, and clean WooCommerce theme made specifically for clothing brands and stores.
What to look for in a WooCommerce theme?
Looking at all these professionally made WooCommerce themes, you may be wondering how to choose the right theme for your business?
Following are just some basic tips that you can use as a guideline.
- Strive for simplicity in design. A simple and clean design helps customers focus on what’s important and improves conversions
- Test your selected theme on mobile. Most users access the internet from mobile devices so make sure that the theme you are choosing looks great on smaller screens.
- Only download themes from WordPress.org themes directory or reliable commercial theme shops. Themes from unreliable sources may have hidden malware which could ruin your business.
- Check reviews and ratings to avoid any red flags
Installing WooCommerce Extensions and Add-ons
The real power of WooCommerce comes from powerful extensions and add-ons. These add-ons work exactly like a WordPress plugin, and you can install them like you would install any other WordPress plugin.
There are thousands of plugins available for both WooCommerce and WordPress. You can use them to create contact forms, make landing pages, add pricing tables, gift cards, and more.
Here are our top picks for must-have WooCommerce plugins for any eCommerce store.
- WPForms – Allows you to easily create contact forms, customer surveys, customer login forms, and more.
- MonsterInsights – Allows you to install Google Analytics and track your top products, categories, and landing pages. See where your customers are coming from and what they do on your website.
- TrustPulse – Allows you to utilize the power of social proof and fomo to instantly win customer trust and generate more sales
- BeaverBuilder – It is the best drag and drop page builder plugin for WooCommerce. It allows you to easily create beautiful landing pages to promote products, marketing campaigns, sale events, and more.
- RafflePress – Helps you run viral giveaway campaigns to promote your WooCommerce store.
Resources to Grow WooCommerce Store
Now that your WooCommerce store is up and running, it is time to start promoting your WooCommerce store and grow your business.
Here are some resources that will help you learn WooCommerce and grow your online store like an experienced pro.
1. Start an Email List
More than 90% of people visiting your WooCommerce store will leave without making a purchase. Losing these users is like losing money.
This is why building an email list is extremely important for online store owners.
Email list allows you to give customers a chance to stay in touch with you without buying anything. This opens a direct line of communication between you and the customers, so you can then try and convince them to make a purchase.
See our guide on how to properly start an email newsletter for your WooCommerce store for details and step by step instructions.
The good part is that WooCommerce integrates with all major email marketing services in the world including Constant Contact, SendinBlue, Drip, and thousands more.
2. Generate More Leads
Each user who subscribes to your email list is a potential lead / customer. This is why its best practice to offer website visitors multiple options to join your email list. This practice is called lead generation.
Most store owners make the mistake of only adding a basic email signup form to their store which hurts your overall conversion.
This is where OptinMonster can help. It is the best lead generation software in the world that allows you to easily convert abandoning website visitors into email subscribers and then paying customers.
3. Track WooCommerce Users
Ecommerce stores need marketing data to make informed decisions. This data includes where your visitors are coming from, which products are popular, which products are not doing so well, and more.
These insights help you make data-driven decisions and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
MonsterInsights helps you easily make sense of all this data using Google Analytics. It comes with the enhanced eCommerce tracking which helps you unlock a treasure trove of helpful data with just a few clicks.
4. Learn WooCommerce SEO
SEO or Search Engine Optimization helps you get more visitors from search engines to your WooCommerce store.
WooCommerce itself is very SEO friendly out of the box, but there is so much more you can do.
5. Recover Abandoned Cart Sales
Once a customer adds a product to their cart, there is 60-80% chance that they will leave it without completing the purchase. That’s an average from all eCommerce websites, so it could be even higher.
Many eCommerce site owners don’t pay attention to this metric from the beginning and that’s pretty much leaving money on the table.
We have compiled a cheatsheet to easily recover WooCommerce abandoned cart sales. This will give you a good head start and will help improve your overall sales.
Hopefully, these resources will help you improve your WooCommerce store and grow your business.