Getting started with WooCommerce is quick and easy, but that does not mean one should rush in too quickly. There are many important considerations to make before setting up your store. While many of these points can be decided when you arrive at them, it is often wise to have a solid plan before undertaking any project.
What is your market?
What items are you going to be selling in your store? Are you selling physical goods (clothing, textiles, food, etc.), or digital goods (eBooks, apps, games, etc.).
Before you begin your WooCommerce enterprise make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to sell and who you are selling to.
Location, Location, and Location
As with any business, success with WooCommerce depends on location — not only your location but the location of your customers. Are you solely online? Or, do you have a brick and mortar store? Are you shipping products internationally? Will you offer local delivery and/or in-store pickup?
Bear in mind that shipping costs are not calculated solely by weight but by volume as well. Are you shipping large products or heavy products? It would be wise to measure your product dimensions and use a shipping calculator to get some preliminary cost figures.
All of this will be explored in more depth in our full shipping guide.
Also be aware that different locations require different tax setups. Be aware of where you're selling your products, any applicable taxes, and when or where taxes are exempt.
Inventory and Backups
WooCommerce uses a database to store all the critical data for your site. This includes all of your products and sales; so it is important to run regular backups of your of your site files and databases.
The kind of backups and the frequency of backups depends on your needs, but regardless of how large or small your store is backups are critical. A loss of data could amount to a loss of sales and incorrect inventory.
Coupons and Discounts
WooCommerce allows you to offer a wide array of varying discounts and coupons to customers.
While these discounts and special offers can encourage sales, it is wise to account for these in advance. You will want to make sure to give enough discounts to entice customers but not enough to start cutting into profits.
Customer Relations and Security
What kind of relationship are you going to have with your customers? Are you going to give customers the option to create accounts? Or, will they always log in as a guest?
You must choose whether or not you are going to save sensitive customer information like credit card numbers. Storing this information can save your customer time and they will be more likely to use your store if the sales path is quick and easy (Think Amazon.)
However, this means the responsibility is yours to make sure your customer's information is safe. The necessity of a secure store environment is critical to gaining your customer's trust. You will need to start thinking about PCI Compliance, an industry standard for security.
If you don't want or need the option of storing private information you can always provide a Paypal or similar payment gateway for your customer; this will give your customer the option of paying through a third party.
As you grow better acquainted with WooCommerce in the ensuing tutorials you will come across plenty of resources and options for further development.
The most important consideration to be made in advance is your business plan. Below are some important bullet points.
- Know your market
- Determine your location (if you don't have it already)
- Decide how you will relate to your customer
Congratulations! If you have considered the above options carefully, you're ready to begin with WooCommerce.