Welcome back to WooWeekly, your weekly appointment with WooCommerce tutorials, tips and updates handpicked for you so that you can learn something new.
We’re now at issue #400! Today we have some special WooCommerce content, interviews and offers for all 16,253 WooWeekly subscribers – here’s to another 400 issues! Enjoy 🙂
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1. State of the Woo 2022
To celebrate WooWeekly #400, the whole WooCommerce community had their say on the current State of the Woo. Here’s what they shared (a TLDR first, and the full interview below that).
WooCommerce is becoming easier for new users, while simultaneously becoming more scalable for developers. ~ Matt Mullenweg, Automattic
The state of WooCommerce is rapidly evolving in two areas, much like WordPress did in its early days. WooCommerce is becoming easier and more accessible for new users, while simultaneously becoming more flexible, powerful, and scalable for developers. Each side complements the other.
If i had to pick one point for improvement, that’d be better mobile UX. ~ Dave Loodts, Woofers
If i had to pick one point for improvement it’s better experience on mobile. In particular the quantity selector on the product page. How old-school can it be that mobile buyers click on a quantity field and an Android/Ios popup opens up. You won’t see this kind of behavior on a Shopify store. A better UX-experience would be to have “plus-minus” buttons.
In this Gutenberg era, we create and visually build sites in a desktop-environment; but the reality for shops is that the majority of buyers are mobile buyers. Just floating the right side under the left side is not always a good mobile UX experience. For example the WooCommerce Product Blocks; the product image is always on top. Is that really okay on mobile? Why not image left and title/price on the right side? A good exercise would be to look at the Amazons of this world; that kind of shops that have Conversion Experts running and designing it. You can learn a ton of it, how they switch from desktop to mobile.
There is this book called “Mobile First”; on how to think about Mobile Users first, and second desktop users. But still; “we” don’t really follow that rule. And to be more baffled about this, that book is written in the year 2011 – a decade ago. So, yes. Much improvement in that matter, but i’m also aware it’s hard to switch this in an Open Source environment. But please make it a rule for every new block or feature, bringing on the best mobile UX possible.
There are constant issues with caching. There should be a good solution for WooCommerce. ~ Aleksandar Vucenovic, SweetCode
What would I fix in WooCommerce? Speed of loading, front-end and back-end. As you know, this is especially a problem for WPML users.
And what also goes into that are those constant issues with caching. There should be a good solution for WooCommerce. I far too often have run into caching issues, on top of speed issues.
The future of WooCommerce checkout is window-based. ~ David Mainayar, PeachPay
I think the future of WooCommerce checkout is window-based. By window checkout, I mean an iframe accessible from product pages, the cart page, etc. No redirect to checkout page necessary. So far, the only window-based checkout solutions I know of are PeachPay & Fast Cart (by Barn2). If window checkouts prove to be stable enough for most WooCommerce use cases, then I think they will kill the checkout page.
Another important factor in the adoption of window checkouts is configurability. Toward that end, PeachPay has a built-in field editor, upsell funnel builder, multilingual/multicurrency options, and advanced JS/CSS section. That being said, in the meantime, I think window checkouts serve as the express checkout option. Supplementary to the checkout page, which can be enhanced with Checkout X, CheckoutWC, Flux Checkout, Cartflows, etc. Maybe even with Gutenberg checkout & cart blocks, although the blocks are arguably not modular enough yet.
Adjacent to checkout is payments. It’s important that new payment methods can easily be added and removed. Stability is taken for granted, although not a guarantee… as merchants using PayPal or WooCommerce Payments have probably experienced. Nonetheless, I think the future of payments in WooCommerce obviously bodes very very well for WooCommerce Payments because of all the growth channels available to the WooCommerce team.
The official Stripe plugin has also been removed from the payment set-up page in light of the fact that WooCommerce Payments is really just Stripe. It seems that WooCommerce Payments is an important priority for the WooCommerce team, which is obviously juggling a lot and facing a bit of an existential crisis in the face of Shopify, which still seems insurmountable.
I look forward to seeing WooCommerce Payments provide more value beyond just easier dispute management and a neat payments dashboard. I think the hosts will soon be applying more pressure on WooCommerce to expand the feature-set of WooCommerce Payments by coming out with payment solutions of their own a là GoDaddy Payments, which will fold neatly into their SaaS offerings. Of all these hosts, it seems that GoDaddy is the furthest along with their payment solution (it’s available on the WP.org repository) and I hear they are making good progress on their SaaS due to the good stewardship of the Skyverge team.
I would be happy to see support for multi-currency built-in directly in the core. ~ Diego Zanella, Aelia
Two key aspects I would like to see improved:
- Code: support for multi-currency configurations by WooCommerce extensions. Although that’s my core business, I would be happy to see such an important feature built-in directly in the core, as I’ve been suggesting since 2013.
- Management: better support, both from the customer and from the support team perspective. I prepared a draft for a talk on this subject, but it wasn’t selected for any event, so I didn’t complete it.
We definitely need to have a WooCommerce conference (back). ~ Rodolfo Melogli, Business Bloomer
I mentioned a few weeks back that there was basically no coverage of WooCommerce during the entire WCEU 2022. That’s a pity, as the ecommerce market completely exploded in 2020-2021 and I was very surprised about that.
But maybe, that’s the right thing to do? See, WooCommerce has become so big that maybe it needs its own conference (back). WooConf has taken place three times over the years in San Francisco (2014), Austin (2016), and Seattle (2017) but then it was cancelled. Which is a pity, because we need to talk about WooCommerce. And in person, now that we can. And often.
I never attended WooConf, but from what I know one year it was a developer-only conference, another year it was for store owners, while I don’t know anything about the third one. Overall, they were events with approximately 300-400 people, a similar size to local WordCamps.
Local meetups are great but it’s very difficult to reach a decent number of attendees. It’s already difficult with WordPress, so with WooCommerce is even harder.
Instead of giving the money to Meetup LLC for hundreds of worldwide meetups that can barely reach 10 attendees per event, why don’t you save $240/year/meetup, and organize a proper WooConf at least once/year with those savings? $24,000 (supposing there are 100 meetup groups) could help put up a great conference.
The default checkout is lacking in this modern age. It is not optimized for conversions and does not encourage potential customers to finalize their purchases. ~ James Kemp, IconicWP
The one thing I would fix in WooCommerce today is the checkout experience. The default checkout is lacking in this modern age. It is not optimized for conversions and does not encourage potential customers to finalize their purchases.
This is precisely why I developed Iconic’s Flux Checkout plugin. You can visually reduce the number of fields at checkout and guide potential customers through the process with minimal effort. Flux is wholly optimized for checkout conversions and our new “Modern” theme takes that one step further with a stunning design and UX.
If I could change one thing, I would significantly simplify the WooCommerce back-end experience. ~ Dan Knauss, Post Status
WooCommerce, like WordPress, has an admin interface focused on a huge array of options for the administrator or site builder — what they can do. It is not focused on how decisions made here directly impact what customers do — or don’t do.
If I could change one thing, I would significantly simplify the WooCommerce back-end experience according to the “decisions not options” philosophy. The first time a site builder logs into a new site, their experience should be focused on creating the best possible customer experience with the fewest possible choices.
For example, via wizards and a simplified interface emphasizing the impact of back-end settings on front-end experience, new site owners would learn not just how to build their site but how to empathize with their customers and understand the sales funnels from the customer’s standpoint. Checkout and email notification settings would be prominent as key customer contact points to personalize and optimize sales. This wouldn’t have to be an enormous change — at a minimum, it means emphasizing the decisions that will have the highest impact on customer experience and sales.
The official WooCommerce documentation is lacking, and I have to rely on third party sites just to know what hooks are available. ~ Michelle Eaton
The biggest thing in WooCommerce I would fix is probably core documentation. The official WooCommerce documentation is lacking, and I have to rely on third party sites just to know what hooks are available. Some of the pages even result in 404, or haven’t been updated in years. The paid plugins that WooCommerce sells stay more up to date, but the core plugin documentation gets forgotten.
Second to that, I would say adding more features either to core or Automattic/WooCommerce maintained free plugins. I develop WooCommerce sites, so I can write the plugins my clients need if something doesn’t exist, but there are some features that should be standard in eCommerce that WooCommerce just doesn’t have out of the gate.
Adding a tracking number or link to an order should really be part of core, integrated into plugins like WooShipping, with it’s own order status and email template. There isn’t a plugin that does the job well without advertising other services, and I would wager that the majority of eCommerce sites need a feature like this.
They don’t need to add every possible ecommerce option, I just think there’s some gaps in the basics. Tracking, Variation Swatches, Table Rate Shipping, a “Catalog Mode” – customization that I find myself adding over and over again to almost every store I work with.
It is almost impossible to present a mobile responsive single-column WooCommerce order email just like Shopify ~ Tommy Nguyen, YayCommerce
One of the most sought-after features that I got from my own clients is dedicated email template for mobile devices.
So far it is almost impossible to present a mobile responsive single-column table for WooCommerce Order details, Billing, Shipping address, etc. just like how the default email templates were sent by Shopify.
If I had a magic wand to change one thing in Woo, I would use it to improve our documentation. ~ Stephanie Pi, Automattic
If I had a magic wand to change one thing in Woo, I would use it to improve our documentation. I know I’m not alone here.
In 2021, there was a great deal of work that has been done to this end, namely at the end of 2020 when the existing developer portal was introduced as a way to improve discoverability.
There’s still so much we can do to improve the quality of our existing guides, searchability, and learning materials. My personal goal within WooCommerce is to push these issues to the forefront and get my hands dirty in improving documentation little by little.
The one thing that I would fix is the checkout form. Different countries have different requirements (B2B, B2C, VAT, receipt vs invoice) – this task is too important to be left out the core. ~ Daniele Besana, WP-OK
We manage hundreds of sites that we haven’t built. This means we’re seeing all sort of configurations and mix of plugins used. When it comes to WooCommerce, the ONE thing that I would fix is the checkout form.
We work mainly with Italian merchants, but many e-commerce also sell abroad and different countries have different requirements when it comes to data collected (think about b2b, b2c, VAT, receipt vs invoice…). While there are a plethora of plugins adding these features to WooCommerce – mostly doing an excellent job! – this task is too important to be left out the core.
We regularly see checkout processes that break because of changes introduced in WC or plugins, or as side-effect of aggressive caching options. Every time this happens, store owners lose sales and faith in their sites!
I would add features to WooCommerce core, to make it out-of-the box a solution for sellers dealing with real-life scenarios. For the democratization of e-commerce!
I’d like to see a dedicated performance team that would be 100% focused on releasing WooCommerce performance updates. ~ Maarten Belmans, Studio Wombat
There is more than 1 thing I would change! But if I have to pick just 1; launch a dedicated performance team (much like WP has now) that would be 100% focused on releasing performance updates in the hope this speeds up development on important issues such as custom tables & variations performance.
In an ideal world, they would also help move WooCommerce away from jQuery (I’m dreaming now!) which would be a large project due to backward compatibility.
If I could change one thing, it would be to make shipping charges much easier to set up. ~ Michelle Frechette, StellarWP
I love WooCommerce – it’s a great way to display products and services, and so robust in features. It also has an amazing ecosystem of its own within WordPress that’s quite impressive.
If I could change one thing, it would be to make shipping charges much easier to set up. It’s the biggest headache when customers can choose multiple items in a store. It’s also why I’ve always suggested one-price-shipping to all of my personal web clients.
Setting up and managing large WooCommerce stores could certainly be easier. ~ Marcus Burnette, GoDaddy
WooCommerce is far and away the best eCommerce platform for WordPress (if not for the web in general). From the open-source nature of being able to contribute directly to the flexibility to develop on top of the platform, WooCommerce allows site builders and developers the ability to create just about any kind of store you need. Whether you want to create a multi-vendor marketplace, an online learning academy, sell physical goods, or any other kind of online commerce business, WooCommerce has you covered!
That being said, its power and versatility comes at the cost of simplicity. By its nature, WooCommerce is designed for scale (there are simpler ways to sell a product or two with WordPress).
Setting up – and managing – large WooCommerce stores could certainly be easier. For small stores, the on-boarding wizard helps set up some general store settings, but how should shipping settings be configured? What about tax collection? What are my payment acceptance options – and how do I know which one is best for my store? How do I sell my products on social media and third-party marketplaces? How do I handle cart abandonment? What if I also have a brick-and-mortar store to keep in sync?
These questions (and many others) need answers for stores to grow and sell at scale and I’d love to see WooCommerce, the plugin, help answer them along the way at setup and as sales increase.
If your shop has a sizable amount of bounced traffic, setting up sitewide sales should be much easier. ~ Kim Coleman, Sitewide Sales
Should ecommerce sites be so focused on Black Friday sales? Don’t overlook Black Friday. Every downside of running sales – from training your customers to wait for deals to making your product cheap – all of these downsides are mitigated during the Black Friday through Cyber Monday weekend.
But while I believe Black Friday is an important sales season, know that you have a constant flow of customers waiting to purchase your product. If your shop has a sizable amount of bounced traffic, whether that’s from cart abandonment on your checkout page or a high bounce rate on single product page, you should be running more sitewide sales.
If you’re like me, when you think of something you want to buy, you don’t want to wait. If I’m able to locate a comparable product from a competitor at a lower price or even just a sale price, that’s a pretty compelling offer. Compelling enough that I might sacrifice a few features just to save and get the thing right now.
So you gotta run more sitewide sales. At PMPro, we’ve settled into running 4 sales a year. Black Friday plus three other sales per year. For subscription sites, we recommend people use sales to create even more revenue. If you look at your 2021 sales data, find the slower months and run your sales in those periods. This evens out your expected revenue for this year and for many years to come.
For physical product sites or services, try the same approach. Even if you won’t see the recurring revenue more even, you will have bolstered that slower period for this coming year alone. Or, choose another seasonal period to leverage for your sitewide sale event. For example, coaching and courses are particularly suited to offer promotions at the turn of the new year. This is a time when the mindset of their customer is focused on personal growth or change. Find a reason to run a sitewide sale in the period people are already considering your product.
A straightforward discount isn’t going to lose you money – it is the key to winning the conversion, standing out from competitors, and saving the sale.
Merchants are leaving a ton of money on the table; there is a need for email campaigns such as abandoned cart, win-back, review reminders and post-purchase upsells. ~ Dave Rodenbaugh, Recapture
Is cart abandonment recovery still a big thing with WooCommerce? Yes, it is now, it will be in the future, and it will always be a thing for every single store.
Whether you’re on WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento or BigCommerce, we see all of these platforms have the exact same issue. And with abandoned cart rates at 68% across all verticals on average, you basically are leaving a ton of money on the table.
Abandoned cart emails will typically boost your store’s revenue and that’s based on years of data that we have collected at Recapture. Cart recovery typically comes with a three email follow-up campaign and I have seen hundreds upon hundreds of merchants who are leaving, you know, a variety of emails untouched and therefore are leaving a ton of money on the table, whether it’s abandoned carts, win-backs, review reminders or post-purchase upsells.
All of these things are part of a series of campaigns that any ecommerce store should be sending as it grows; the absolute bare minimum for any store is to have abandoned cart email campaigns: they are going to keep you from losing money that you could otherwise get.
TLDR: checkout, mobile, performance, email marketing, back-end and documentation. There is still a lot of work to do if we want to compete with the likes of Shopify.
2. Special WooCommerce Discounts
It’s WooWeekly #400, so why not giving away some discounts? Here’s a quick list for you – please note most offers are only valid until the second-last week of July 2022.
- Recapture, the abandoned cart and email marketing solution for WooCommerce, is offering 60 days trial (instead of 15): https://recapture.io/woo-weekly-special
- Sitewide Sales, the easy 1-page sales settings plugin by the PMPro folks, is offering 60 days trial (instead of 30): https://www.strangerstudios.com/wooweekly
- WC Vendors, the WooCommerce marketplace plugin, is offering 15% off your first year’s subscription with coupon WCWKLY22: https://www.wcvendors.com
- Pixel Manager for WooCommerce, the plugin that simplifies the tracking of pixels for most platforms, is offering a 20% discount on first payments and renewals with coupon BB400: https://woocommerce.com/products/pixel-manager-pro-for-woocommerce
- YayCommerce is offering 20% off YayMail & YayMail Addons (WooCommerce email customizer) with coupon WOOWEEKLY20BB and 30% off YaySwatches (variation swatches) and YayPricing (dynamic pricing) with coupon WOOWEEKLY30BB: https://yaycommerce.com/
Don’t forget you can also join us all at Bloomer Armada for 365 days of WooCommerce perks; one of them features discounts on WooCommerce online courses, plugins (WooCommerce, YITH, Aelia, Iconic, Booster, etc.), themes and more.
THANK YOU, ORCHESTRA SPONSOR!
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3. Brand New WooCommerce Tips
As usual, there is no WooWeekly issue without WooCommerce tips, snippets and tutorials. This is usually at number 1, but for this special issue we had a lot of important things to say first. Enjoy!
What if you use custom order statuses, or what if you wish to change Stripe orders to “completed”, BACS orders to “pending” and PayPal orders to “on-hold”? Thankfully, this is super easy with a handy PHP snippet. ~ Rodolfo Melogli, Business Bloomer
There are dozens of WooCommerce endpoints, especially for the Checkout and My Account page. It’s difficult to remember all the different URLs, so here comes wc_get_endpoint_url to the rescue. ~ Rodolfo Melogli, Post Status
In this post, we’ll look at how you can benefit from automating different types of ecommerce emails and how to set up email automation for WooCommerce. ~ Bradley Taylor, GoDaddy
Indirectly related to WooCommerce… pricing can be one of the trickiest elements of launching a new course online because it is a balance of finding that sweet spot of providing value to your target audience at a price they’re willing to pay. ~ Carrie Cousins, Learndash
4. David’s WooCommerce Highlights
Here are a few notes written by David of PeachPay, WooWeekly co-author.
AnnexCore -> CoSpark
Platinum WooCommerce partner AnnexCore has just rebranded to CoSpark. After a decade of exclusively WooCommerce-related web development experience, CoSpark has become one of the most renowned development agencies in the space. Their rebranding is a commitment to their desire to “reinvent the traditional agency-client relationship” through four pillars: collaboration, innovation, transparency, and lean thinking.
WordCamp Europe Finale
In the last of the Do the Woo podcast episodes recorded at WCEU, co-host Carl Alexander chats with Bōggie Yanishen at the Pagely booth. Hear all about what brings folks to WordPress & WooCommerce through this pair’s lenses.
Just yesterday, LearnDash Cloud was released, a hosted WP solution for course creators. In case you use LearnDash in conjunction with Woo, this may be of interest to you. It seems the trend of product developers getting into hosting is continuing.
5. ICYMI: WooCommerce Articles
We’ve already seen how to rename the “Place Order” button on the WooCommerce Checkout page, but today I want to find a way to rename it dynamically and conditionally i.e. based on the payment gateway that is selected while checking out. ~ Rodolfo Melogli, Business Bloomer
This article shows the top solutions that make uploading images for products for customers a breeze and enhance their customization abilities. But before we get into them, let’s look at more benefits of offering this capability in your store and how it affects your business bottom line. ~ Rodolfo Melogli, Business Bloomer
What if I wanted to show 5 columns of products on large desktops, 4 columns on desktops, 3 on tablets and 2 on smaller devices? Well, this “dynamic” behavior is – this time around – managed by CSS. Let’s see how it’s done! ~ Rodolfo Melogli, Business Bloomer
In this article, we introduce you to the WooCommerce custom order tables – what is it, the new tables added to the structure, and how they can benefit your WooCommerce store. Let’s begin! ~ David Mainayar, Business Bloomer
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