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How to Use WooCommerce to Build Your Online Store [Beginners Guide]

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But you already know all that from our WooCommerce review.

However, the idea of setting up a WooCommerce store, uploading products, and promoting it is daunting, especially for beginners.

Thus, I thought of compiling a complete tutorial on “how to use WooCommerce” to show our readers—using WooCommerce is far less daunting than they assume.

So, let’s get started.

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is a free platform to make online stores to sell products and services. Initially, it was developed as a WordPress extension.

WordPress users can install the WooCommerce plugin and use it to sell online products.

Though WooCommerce is free software, you need some paid WooCommerce extensions to customize your store, like themes, plugins, etc.

For that, you can claim WooCommerce discount codes.  

WooCommerce market share

Is WooCommerce Good for Beginners?

Absolutely! WooCommerce is the easiest eCommerce development platform.

If you are comfortable with WordPress, go to Plugins> Add New > WooCommerce > Follow the Setup Wizard—and your online store is ready.

In addition, many great alternatives to WooCommerce are available in the market. But none of them are as good as WooCommerce. Let’s take examples:

  • Shopify fees increase with your sales.
  • BigCommerce is suitable for a brand with a significant following in the market.
  • MemberPress is only good at selling digital products with a subscription model.
  • WPForms makes it challenging to handle complex sale processes like taxes.

Do You Need a WordPress Site to Use WooCommerce?

The straightforward answer is—no. You need a WordPress site to use WooCommerce because WooCommerce is a WP plugin.

WooCommerce is an independent software, but all its plugins are developed on WordPress codes. So, it is limited to using WooCommerce without a WordPress.com site.

Prerequisites to Use a WooCommerce Store

Before digging deeper into how to use WooCommerce, let’s gather up a few things:

  • A good hosting account. Always select a good host for this platform because you will load many products, images, and other content on your site. In addition, an excellent hosting server can ensure that your customers get an exceptional experience and that your site won’t crash under pressure.
  • Domain name. A unique, relatable, and catchy domain name is a must to get your store found on the internet. Your website domain name reflects your brand identity so take your time to pick a good name.
  • An SSL certificate. Since people will share their confidential data and payment details on your site, get an SSL certificate to accept digital payments and provide security to your customers.
  • Select a theme. WooCommerce store themes are a big part of UX. So, browse around and look for available WooCommerce themes, or you can hire a professional to customize a theme based on your brand value.

How to Use WooCommerce: Step-by-Step Guide

Using WooCommerce is divided into three stages: Setting up WooCommerce, Uploading Products, and Promoting your store.

Here’s how all three stages work:

Stage l. Setting Up a WooCommerce Store

Assuming that you already have a hosting account with the WordPress installed on it, follow these steps to set up WooCommerce:

Step 1. Install a WooCommerce Plugin

Log into your WordPress dashboard > Plugins> Add New > Search for WooCommerce.

install WooCommerce

Click on Install Now button and follow the on-screen instructions to activate the plugin.

Step 2. Follow the WooCommerce Setup Wizard

You can skip this step if you don’t want to set your store’s key settings.

But I’ll suggest going through these initial steps to optimize your store.

The initial WooCommerce setup looks as follows:

Let’s see how to configure all settings:

WooCommerce setup wizard
  • Store details: Add basic information about your store in the relevant fields like address, city, etc.
  • Industry: Choose your store industry from the given list of options.
  • Product type: Define what type of products you plan to sell—physical or digital. Premium users can also select memberships, bundles, or even customized products.
  • Business details: Next, add your business information. For example, how many products to display or if you are also selling on another platform.
  • Theme: For starters, you can go for a basic WooCommerce theme. But, gradually, I recommend you customize your WooCommerce theme to give a distinctive look to your store.
  • Payment & Shipping: You can define payment and shipping settings now or later after uploading the products. It’s your choice.
  • Install the Jetpack plugin (optional): Jetpack is a WP plugin offering security, analytical and other features to support your eCommerce store. It is optional to get this plugin.

Stage ll. Upload and Manage Products

Now that your WooCommerce store is set up, you can start uploading your products. Here’s how you can do that:

Step 3. Upload a Product

You can click on the link at the end of the WooCommerce setup wizard to upload your products. If you wish to upload products later, go to Products > Add New.

add products to WooCommerce

You can now see a similar WordPress content editor to upload your product details.

You can start adding the following product details:

  • Product Title: Give your products a self-explanatory and exciting title to motivate buyers to click on your product.
  • Product Description: You will need to write an engaging product description to explain your product details and motivate shoppers to purchase. Ensure to add keywords and relevant backlinks to create SEO-optimized product descriptions.
  • Select Your Product Type: Choose your product type based on what you are selling. WooCommerce supports four default product types—Simple, Grouped, External or affiliate, and Variable. There are also options for Virtual and Downloadable products.
  • Upload Images: If you sell physical products, add clear images. You can use professional photographers to click high-quality product images.

If you still need to configure payment or shipping details or want to set separate details for every product, you do that now.

Go to WooCommerce > Home > Click on ‘Set up payments/Set up shipping.’ You can also configure the tax settings the same.

On the left pane, you see a few other options you can configure per your need, like Inventory, Attributes, etc.

At this stage, your primary WooCommerce store is ready to use. But, I suggest again going to WooCommerce > Settings to ensure all your store settings are well-configured.

Step 4. Manage Your Products

Once you have added a few products to your store, you can manage them under the Product tab.

You can view your product pages listed like a regular blog post on the All Product screen. You can also see each product category, attribute, and other details.

You can edit, delete or take other bulk actions to manage your products.

Step 5. Customize Your WooCommerce Store

By now, you have a basic WooCommerce store. But unfortunately, basic will not attract customers, rank your store on search engines or generate revenue.

You need to customize your online store to make it visual-rich and easy to use. For that, there are several WooCommerce default settings, like:

  • Orders to view your recent purchases.
  • Coupons to create discount coupon codes.
  • Reports to view charts and graphs to analyze your sales, shipping costs, etc.
  • Accounts & Privacy to control various aspects of the customer experience like guest accounts, etc
  • Email to manage all email interactions with customers.

These are still basic settings to customize your digital store. Then, you can customize your online store to the next level using powerful plugins.

Some of the great plugins to customize WooCommerce stores are:

  • WPForms to build custom forms, surveys, manage customer logins, and more.
  • AIOSEO helps to optimize your website with the proper WooCommerce SEO settings.
  • FunnelKit is helpful to the sales funnel and customizes your checkout process for customers.
  • AffiliateWP allows you to create an affiliate program in your store.
  • TrustPulse is the tool for social proof and creates FOMO among potential buyers.
  • MonsterInsights integrates with Google Analytics to provide insights into your user’s behavior, product performance, etc.

Stage III. Promote Your WooCommerce Store

This is the final stage in the how-to-use WooCommerce tutorial. Now that you have a custom WooCommerce store, you need to promote it so that more people can buy from your store.

There is no limit on digital marketing strategies you can use to promote your WooCommerce store. But you can start with the following marketing tactics:

Build an email list

The average rate of return on email marketing is 36%. It means for every dollar that you spend on email marketing; you generate $36 in return.

Therefore, you must first collect your potential buyers’ email addresses. It can help you launch successful email marketing campaigns later on.

You can send a series of emails to your potential customers to convert them. You can also send custom deals or festival offers to them.

To build your email list, create a pop-up on your website where users can enter their email addresses to subscribe to your newsletters.

Blogging

Blogging is the best marketing strategy to educate prospects and rank on search engines. Based on your targeted customers’ pain points, you can produce engaging blogs and publish them on your website.

For example, Loreal, a leading beauty brand, uses blogs to share makeup and beauty tips with users. It helps them to engage, educate and retain their potential customers.

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Alt text: L’Oréal blog

It can also help you rank your website on some competitive keywords. You can also try just blogging to attract traffic from third-party websites.

Social media marketing

Do you know 80% of shoppers use social media to research or order things? Therefore, you must use social media marketing to expand your online store’s reach.

Today, there is no limitation on social media networks. You can select the right social media channel to promote your store based on your product’s nature.

For example, physical product store owners can use Instagram or Pinterest to share attractive images of their products. On the contrary, software or subscription-based product owners can use Linkedin or Twitter to promote their solutions.

Other Helpful Tutorials

Congratulations, you have successfully walked through three stages of using the WooCommerce store. But, we won’t leave you here. Instead, we have some other helpful tutorials that can help you create a better digital store:

How to Use WooCommerce: Bottom Line

WooCommerce is an amazing platform to start selling your products online. No matter your product type, you can sell it through this platform.

As you have seen, using WooCommerce is easier than you assumed. With basic WordPress knowledge and some advanced plugins, you can start your digital store in no time.

We hope this “how to use WooCommerce” guide has provided you with everything you were looking for. But, if there is something else you would like to know, refer to our other tutorials, or you can comment in the below section. We are always happy to hear from our readers’ community.

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