With over 51 million downloads and counting, WooCommerce is one of the most popular choices when it comes to eCommerce platforms.
If you’re considering using WooCommerce as the eCommerce platform for your store, then you probably want to know: What exactly does this platform have to offer? What can I do on WooCommerce? And what can I not do on WooCommerce?
In this blog post, we set out to answer those questions…
What You CAN Do on WooCommerce
It would take much more than a blog post to share everything that you can do on WooCommerce. What you can’t do on WooCommerce Core (WooCommerce minus the extensions), you can often do using one of the platform’s many extensions. But we won’t bore you by stating the obvious…here are a few perhaps surprising things that you can do on WooCommerce.
Fix problems yourself
Because WooCommerce is open-source, you (or your eCommerce web design agency) can fix any bugs or issues that arise yourself, rather than waiting for the WooCommerce team to fix them for you. Of course, any changes that are made will need to be reviewed by WooCommerce’s lead development team before they are actually implemented. But you at least have the freedom to initiate those changes.
Let users filter products
Your users are picky. Many times, they know what they’re looking for. And they’re not going to settle for just anything. If you can help your users find what they are looking for quickly, you’re much more likely to close those sales.
Luckily, with WooCommerce, you can do that, by letting your users filter products by features (like color or size) or even by rankings. So if one of your users is looking for black, size small t-shirts with exclusively 5-star rankings, they can do that.
All you have to do is add the layered navigation widget to your store (no plugin download required), and voilà! Your users can find what they are looking for much more easily.
Disable reviews for certain products
On that note, there might be certain products that, for whatever reason, you don’t want to display reviews for. WooCommerce lets you disallow reviews on certain (or all of your) products.
All you have to do is find the product that you want to disallow reviews for, click “Advanced,” and then deselect the “Enable reviews” option.
Mix and Match Products
You want your customers to buy as much as possible from your store. The WooCommerce extension, Mix and Match Products, encourages your customers to do just that.
With Mix and Match Products, you can offer your customers the option to buy a certain number of items in bulk, while giving them the freedom to choose the products they want. So both parties win! You have the flexibility to set the number of products, the pricing (which can be static or based on the item) and shipping options (which can be shipped altogether, shipped separately or even not shipped at all).
What You CAN’T Do on WooCommerce
Okay, so now you know: You can do a lot on WooCommerce. But what are the limitations of WooCommerce? What can’t you do?
I spoke with our Lead Web Developer, Caleb Stauffer, to get a better idea of that. Here’s what he said you can’t do on WooCommerce (unless you go custom):
Add a discount to the entire store
Let’s say you want to give your customers 20% off your entire store, but don’t want your users to have to enter a coupon code in order to get that discount. Unfortunately, this type of thing isn’t possible with WooCommerce, since there is no direct discount API (Application Programming Interface).
But if you work with developers (like ours at eScale), then they can find a way around this issue by either applying a coupon code automatically to each cart or adjusting the product prices temporarily.
Dynamic Pricing (depending on what you need)
The Dynamic Pricing extension allows you to set pricing rules “based on products, order totals, roles and product categories,” according to WooCommerce. Let me start off by saying that there is so much that you can do with this extension, like “orders pricing,” which is pricing based on the cart total…or “categories pricing,” which, you guessed it, is pricing based on the product category.
But there are some things that this extension can not do, like discounting every other product. By default, the Dynamic Pricing plugin discounts the cheapest items in the cart, so if you want to discount the next cheapest item in the cart, this cannot be done via the plugin. For example, one of our clients wanted to discount the next cheapest item (rather than the cheapest item) in each customer’s cart. But we were unable to do this through an extension, so instead, we had to create something custom that would allow us to do that.
Dynamic Pricing also can’t perform complex bulk discount algorithms. For instance, let’s say that you have a product that costs $20, and you want to offer your customers four products for $69, seven for $119, 10 for $169 and 14 for $238. In other words, you want to reward your customers the more they buy. This type of thing isn’t possible with the Dynamic Pricing plugin either.
Dynamic Pricing works great if you have fairly simple pricing rules that you want to set. But if you want to set more complicated pricing rules, then you’ll most likely need to create something custom within WooCommerce (we can help with that!).
Truth be told, there is so much more that you can do on WooCommerce than you can’t do.
But if your needs are very specific, you might encounter some roadblocks in the development process. The good news is that whatever can’t be done via WooCommerce Core and its many plugins can be done via custom development. When you go custom, the options truly are limitless.
Interesting in building a custom WooCommerce site from scratch—or optimizing your current one? Get in touch. We’d love to help.