So you’ve installed it but now you need to know how to use WooCommerce. It would seem that today is your lucky day because that’s exactly what this post is all about.
I’m going to show you around WooCommerce first, so you can see where to find reports, orders, how to create coupons etc. I’ll then go into how to create new products and how to make it as easy as possible for users to search your shop.
Finding your way around WooCommerce
Before we get stuck into creating products, I thought we’d take a short tour of WooCommerce.
After you install WooCommerce you’ll notice two extra menu options in the WordPress main menu on the left hand side of your screen. These are WooCommerce and Products.
No prizes for guessing that the Products menu option has a sub-menu of options related to creating and managing products. The WooCommerce option has a sub-menu of more general settings.
That’s where we’re going to head first.
Clicking orders will take you to a screen that lists all your, wait for it, orders – who knew? 😀
It’s a pretty standard WordPress screen. It lists all your orders along with the date and status.
Status can be anything from completed, on-hold, pending payment or processing.
A nice little feature on this screen is that you can preview individual orders too by clicking the icon that looks like an eye.
If you’re running a promotion or want to offer discounts to certain people, a coupon is probably what you’re after.
When you click coupons you’ll find a list of any coupons that you’ve already published.
Clicking the Add New button at the top of the screen will take you to a form to create a new one.
Literally all the options that you could possibly want (well for me anyway) are covered. This list is just an example of the kinds of options you have to set.
- Discount type – percentage, fixed cart discount and fixed product discount
- Free shipping
- Expiration date
- Maximum and minimum spends
- Whether it can be used with other coupons
- Exclude sale items
- Usage limit per coupon
- Usage limit per user
Reports is a handy screen where you can view reports based on different criteria. So you can view reports about orders, customers and stock over any period of time.
Orders reports show gross sales, net sales refunded orders etc. which is really useful information especially in the early days of your shop.
Customers gives you the option to view your customer list for a period of time as well as the number of registered customer sales vs. guest sales.
Stock gives you the option to view any products you have low stock levels of, those that are out of stock and your most stocked products. This is a report that’s probably going to be more relevant for people who sell physical products through their WooCommerce shop.
The settings menu option takes you to the general settings area of your WooCommerce shop. A lot of the options that you can change here will be ones you set up using the wizard after you installed WooCommerce for the first time.
So things like store address, shipping locations, currency options and that kind of stuff.
There’s a Products tab too where you can set settings related to your products like which page should act as your cart page (WooCommerce adds one by default when you install it).
Here you can also set weight and dimensions units and whether you want to enable reviews, product ratings and all that jazz.
The email tab is an important one too. Here you can personalise your emails to match your branding.
Status probably won’t be of huge interest unless you’re looking for something tech specific. It lists what version of WordPress, php and all that kind of stuff your site is using.
The Tools tab has buttons that will help you clean up things from your database as well as update your database too.
So now we get to the stuff you really came for.
So clicking on Products > All Products will show you a list of products, in the same way that you’d view a list of your blog posts or site pages.
Adding new products
Right at the top of the Products screen you’ll see an ‘Add New’ button which will take you to the ‘Add New Product’ screen.
Here you’ll see a screen almost identical to the classic WordPress page and post editor.
At the top there’s a text box to enter the product name and then below a bigger text area for you to add more detail including text and images.
You can also set a product image, which is basically acts like a featured image would do on a blog post. You’ll also be able to add other images to the product gallery too.
Something I think is really handy is that if you have Yoast SEO installed, if you don’t you really should, it will help you optimise your product for SEO in the same way it would have done for a blog post.
Product categories, tags and attributes
Just as you would have for your blog posts and pages you can add categories and tags to your products to help visitors filter your products to find what they want quickly and easily. Attributes take this one step further.
Categories will help you group your products and so help sign post shoppers to the right group of products and tags take that even further by helping shoppers pick out the details in your products.
For example if you had a clothing shop you might have a t-shirt and jumper categories. You could then take it further by adding tags to each product such as character or even Disney.
If you’re not familiar with categories and tags, check out WP Beginner where they explain the difference really well.
Attributes are another good way to add even more detail to your product listing and so help people search your products.
Attributes for a clothing shop would be things like colour and size. I don’t know about you but when I’m shopping online for clothes, very often I’ll filter by size, to make sure that if I do see something I like, that it’s going to be in stock in my size.
Integration with other plugins
What’s really cool about WooCommerce is that there are loads of other plugins that integrate with it.
For example, I have the WordPress Editorial calendar plugin installed on this site.
And it’s added a Calendar menu item to the WooCommerce Products menu on the left hand panel. It’s probably not going to be the most useful feature, but if you are planning to launch several products over a period of time, you can schedule them to be published on certain dates, as you would a blog post or page, and get a visual representation of what’s going live when.
This is just one integration with other plugins that I’ve seen, but there are loads more like OptinMonster, Mailchimp and more.
How to use WooCommerce – verdict
As you can see from this post, if you can create a blog post in WordPress you can use WooCommerce.
The familiar interface is one of WooCommerce’s big advantages. Although it may not be quite such an advantage as more users start using Gutenberg, the new WordPress block editor.