Being able to sell items directly from your website is great for business as it means that you can operate 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. You can even make money while you sleep! Which is a helping hand every business owner needs. It’s a great achievement when PayPal dings to says that you have new funds!
Traditionally used for selling products, you can use eCommerce to sell eBooks, course places, seats at events, gift vouchers and programs. Anything that can be packaged up can be sold as a product. So you will need some set parameters for these in the first instance. Set pricing for example and something which could be bought from a ‘virtual shelf’. Virtual products such as eBooks are uploaded to your web server so can be downloaded when purchased.
WooCommerce is the key to making your WordPress website into an eCommerce dream solution. You’ll need a few other tech bits to make it work in it’s entirety, but looking at WooCommerce is a good place to start. WooCommerce is a free plugin to have and can easily be uploaded to your WordPress website.
Here are a few more aspects that you will need to make your website go all eCommerce!
Your Website’s Theme
First up is a WooCommerce friendly ‘Theme’. My preference for this is Divi from Elegant Themes. Technically not a theme in the traditional sense, Divi is a framework which allows (me to build) custom themes for business / brands and the like. Divi works really well with Divi and presents an online store really well.
Images for products display really well within the native WooCommerce product settings. Make sure that the Product Featured Image and the Product Gallery Images are all set to a square canvas to allow for new scrolling.
Widgets and Other Shop Bits
Divi also allows for all of the gadgets involved (especially with WooCommerce) to be added, such as secondary and footer menus for shopping cart button and shortcut to Terms and Conditions + sidebars for shopping widgets, and product suggestions, plus their modules if these are needed on a page. The possibilities are quite wide as far as design is concerned.
PayPal which is the Money side
You will need PayPal for the money side of the website to work, so that you can get paid. Customers money is also secure through PayPal. Make sure you set up a business PayPal account which is linked to a debit / credit card. You will ‘lose’ 2.6% ish of each transaction that goes through the website due to Paypal fees, so mark up. You can also claim back the fees as a business expense. You will need you PayPal related email address to put into the Checkout Settings of WooCommerce. Shipping can be set up. Flat rate or variable depending. Again payments for shipping are taken through PayPal.
Terms & Conditions for Distance Selling
A Terms and Conditions page is next. I’ve got a handy guide to this on the blog. Copy your own business information into this and then link the page into WooCommerce Checkout so that people can view these when they do Check Out. This covers you for distance selling regulations.
SSL Certificate for eCommerce
Almost lastly, you will need a SSL Certificate from your website host. This covers the security layer of customer details that you will take on the website upon checkout. These details are captured for shipping purposes (postage) and then emailed to you by WooCommerce. Customer details appear as Orders in your WordPress Dashboard. You can mark as Complete when you have shipped.
Yoast SEO Plugin for WooCommerce
Lastly and once all of your products have been set up, the shop page populated with them (and all of the detail that go with that) you will need to get them ready for Google Search (SEO / Search Engine Optimisation), to help with this process you will need to optimise products for SEO. To do this, and if it’s not already on your website, download and activate Yoast SEO Plugin. Each product can then have a keyword assigned to it. Simples.
There are a lot more steps involved than what I’ve highlighted but this gives you a top line look and hopefully enough to make a getting started check list out of.
For more information on all things WooCommerce and set up, please take a look at and download my handy eCommerce Glossary. No sign up required.
If you like what you have read, or are abit confused, or now need some tea and cake – Then get in touch! Use the Contact Me form on this website and I’ll get right back to you!