Step-by-step Guide on How to Set Up a WooCommerce Store

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Have you ever wondered if your experience being a popular blogger can be turned into another stable opportunity? Are you that type of content creator who loves to feature the best products on your blog, and you just can’t get enough of them that you want to share it to the world. WooCommerce might be a platform worth trying for you.

WooCommerce is an online selling platform developed by WordPress wherein you can create a storefront on your blogsite. Once you have this, you can also upload product listings and initiate promotional content and product bundles. Mind you, WooCommerce is a full-fledged online selling platform with many shipping options and payment methods to accommodate your vast, growing customer base.

Probably, by now, you’re wondering how you can get a jumpstart on selling. We’re happy to tell you, though, that we will walk you through the easy as 1-2-3 steps that you should take so you can begin your journey toward online selling.

In this article, we will outline the process on how to setup WooCommerce on your website.

Choose your hosting

WooCommerce is a pretty versatile platform. You can use it as a plugin on your existing WordPress website. You attach the whole store system to your existing site wherein you already built traffic and a loyal viewer base. From there, you can now launch your online store in the same address and with the same content.

In addition to that, WordPress and WooCommerce have also partnered with other hosting companies who offer pre-installs of WordPress, WooCommerce, the storefront theme and other features pertaining to e-commerce matters, such as a dedicated IP and SSL certificate to keep your store safe and secure.

Some of the sites that offer this include Bluehost, SiteGround and WordPress.com, and sites open for multiple hosting such as Pressable.

Whichever site you choose as a launching pad of your storefront, it is probably best if you are familiar and have a level of mastery in managing your site so you would know the nitty-gritty of integrating your WooCommerce store into the website. But if you’re unsure if your hosting site would work, it is best to stick with the tried and tested. We recommend, in that case, that you build your storefront with a WordPress account as it is more intuitive to integrate WooCommerce that way.

Install WordPress

Think of your WordPress account as the base and foundation of your towering WooCommerce storefront. When you have mastery of WordPress management, WooCommerce will come off as no hassle to you. You will most likely get hold of the reins almost instantly. The fact that the same people develop WooCommerce and WordPress makes integration easier and more stable.

To begin managing your WooCommerce, you have to install the WordPress management software platform. Many of the hosting companies that are widely used can install the WordPress platform with just one click. You can look for this on your dashboard, or ask customer support for your site if it’s not readily visible to you. 

In the event that is not available at your hosting site, you may need to head to the WordPress website to look for detailed instructions on how to install the platform.

Create your WooCommerce account

After installing the WordPress software onto your site, you can now move forward to creating your very own WooCommerce account. When your website is already set and running, that is the time to activate the WooCommerce functionality to begin decorating and filling your storefront with products.

There are currently three available ways to do this:

  • Create a free WooCommerce.com account
    • Sign-up for an account on WordPress.com and WooCommerce.com
    • Select from:
      • A pre-installed solution with a trusted host
      • Auto-installing WooCommerce if you have a WordPress site already
      • Download the zip file and do it yourself
  • Download and install the WooCommerce plugin
    • Download the plugin
    • Go to your website
    • Go to: Dashboard > Plugins > Add New > Upload
    • Select the downloaded plugin
    • Install
    • Activate
  • Install the WooCommerce plugin via your website
    • Go to your website
    • Go to: Dashboard > Plugins > Add New > Search Plugins
    • Search for “WooCommerce”
    • Install
    • Activate

When you finish these steps, you will be prompted to proceed to the Setup Wizard. This is where all the customizable magic happens. From here on, you have the reins to direct what you want for your site from a variety of options. In this next part, we will be listing down some of the best features that can be accessed through the WooCommerce Setup Wizard.

The Setup Wizard

The Setup Wizard is your trusty friend. Imagine going through an intake interview with a service provider and you get to discuss your business, your immediate needs, and what you need to take it a step further ahead. That’s exactly the feel the Setup Wizard will give you. This also makes the WooCommerce storefront more adaptive to seller goals and an optimized customer experience because you adjust how it looks based on your selling and marketing strategy. There are different sections that you have to fulfill within the Setup Wizard to get you truly ready for selling.

The Store Profiler

The Store Profiler will first ask you for the location of your business. In case you are setting up a storefront for the client, you would have to input the accurate location of the center of operations. You will fill in the details on the Store Address field in Settings, which you can edit later on should changes arise.

A pop-up will then appear to ask your permission on the sharing of non-sensitive data. This data gathering will be used by WooCommerce to improve its interface, user experience and develop the platform to suit better seller needs. You can participate by clicking “Yes, count me in,” or you can skip and opt out by clicking “No.”

You will then be prompted to select the industry where you operate so that WooCommerce can categorize, bring up suggestions and optimize your site to suit the particular matters to address based on industry. If the checklist does not reflect your specific industry, you may input it on the Other field.

Afterward, you will be prompted to select product types. You can choose between physical products, digital downloads, subscriptions and a bunch of other products. The menu will also provide you info on additional charges that come with selling other types of products such as memberships to a club, or customizable bundles. You can choose a paid product type, and check them out later in the wizard process.

You will then be asked more about info on your business. Here, you may tell WooCommerce about your business size, whether or not you have physical stores and your estimated annual revenue. This information will be used to tailor your storefront experience based on your needs.

Suggestions will also come up on the business features, both free and paid, that you can install on your WooCommerce storefront to optimize and scale your business. Some of these include:

WooCommerce Payments – an integrated tool that lets you collect payments, track cash flow, and manage recurring revenue directly from your store’s dashboard.

WooCommerce Shipping – which lets you print USPS and DHL labels straight from your WooCommerce dashboard and save on shipping.

WooCommerce Tax – which provides you with automatic calculations on sales tax that are to be collected for WooCommerce orders – by city, country, or state – at checkout.

Jetpack – easy-to-use security and backup for your store to protect you and your customers in case of downtime and other issues.

MailPoet – an automated email marketing tool to help your business grow through promotional campaigns, and other similar efforts

Google Listings and Ads – allows you to migrate product listings and promotional materials to any Google Platform such as Search, YouTube, Gmail etc.

All of these features vary in availability depending on your store’s country and existing support in your region. You can easily activate and deactivate these outside of the Setup Wizard to reflect necessary adjustments on your business strategy.

Choose your theme

If you already have a theme within your WordPress site, you may opt to continue with this existing one. But if you want to change it up, you can choose between a variety of free and paid options. And if you’re a bit of a web developer yourself, you can upload your own theme. But nothing’s permanent but change, so you can freely switch from one theme to another as your strategies dictate.

Add products

When adding products to your store (because of course, what is a store without products?), you can choose between manually adding, importing a .csv file, migrating using a Cart2Cart extension from another storefront. You also have the option to import sample data to see how it looks on your product listings.

Personalize your store

No one wants their store to look like everything else. WooCommerce lets you tweak the visuals and functionalities of your site to reflect how you want your brand to be seen by the world. To get a feel of how it would like before the proper launch, you may want to try out importing sample products just to test the overall look and functionality of the site. A homepage or landing page will then be automatically created.

You then upload a store logo and a store notice to introduce your store to the world.

Set up shipping

First step in shipping setup is to confirm location, if you haven’t done that yet. With setting up shipping costs, it can vary for each country, depending on your domestic and international shipping plans. If your store is based in the US, you may avail of the WooCommerce shipping plugin which lets you print shipping labels right in the comfort of your own home. 

Set up tax

For tax options, you have WooCommerce Tax, Avalara, manual setup of taxes, or the option to not charge sales tax. If you select WooCommerce Tax (make sure you also have JetPack installed for that added layer of security on financial information), you can easily connect to WordPress.com and see your tax calculations. 

Avalara can be accessed via woocommerce.com. Avalara is a flexible option for tax calculation and is widely available in almost every country. Access more information here.

Manual setup of taxes can be done through the Settings panel of your WooCommerce dashboard.

Set up payments

You have to select at least one, but you can also choose a combination of payment methods, both offline and online, for your WooCommerce store. Payment extensions come free of charge and are easy to install.

There are a variety of payment providers available also such as WooCommerce Payments, Stripe and Paypal, in all of which the Setup Wizard will walk you through information and input and authentication to start your payment handling right away.

WooCommerce Payments is currently available in 15+ countries, while you can avail of Stripe or Paypal if your country unfortunately does not support WooCommerce Payments at the moment. There are also partnerships with other local payment providers in countries of operations so make sure to check out what suits you best. Major banks and credit card providers are supported by these payment providers so no need to worry much about diversity and inclusivity.

Other offline payment options such as cash on delivery and direct bank transfer can also be added through the Payments portal on your WooCommerce.

Set up marketing tools

MailPoet, Google Listings and Ads, Creative Mail, and MailChimp are some of the search engine and email marketing options that are readily available for installation within the WooCommerce interface. You have the option to customize, and even automate marketing materials to make sure that more people know about your brand and offerings.

The wizard lives

The magic of the Setup Wizard is not a one-time chance. Should you decide that your business needs a revamp, or you want some changes to your brand, or you sorely need a relaunch, you can access the Setup Wizard again through the Settings panel on your WooCommerce dashboard and revel again in its heaps of wondrous help to bringing out the best for your WooCommerce storefront.

All right, now we leave you to the Setup Wizard, and we hope you have a good time. Good luck to your magical site-building!

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