Why you should consider WooCommerce for your enterprise
From SMEs to large-scale ecommerce enterprises, WordPress’ commerce focused plugin, WooCommerce, is built for digital longevity. If you’re undecided on whether it’s the best platform for your business, this post should help. We’re going to walk you through the key factors that make WooCommerce a great platform for enterprises, and what those factors mean for your business.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that operates on WordPress’ open source framework. The plugin provides all the elements needed for a successful ecommerce solution. The open source framework means that WordPress’ core code is available to everyone, so developers can edit, modify and build upon this code in any way they see fit. This allows businesses to build a completely unique solution, tailored to their brand.
WordPress has a ‘DIY’ reputation, but don’t underestimate it’s potential for enterprise-level businesses. Due to the open source framework and additional plugins, customisations and features, enterprises can create robust solutions on this platform with ultimate control. Whilst most of the features on WooCommerce are free, there are paid themes and functionality that enhance your store’s digital experience. It can also accommodate multilingual sites, multi-regional content and microsites, so if you have complex requirements, there’s a solution for you with WooCommerce.
With large-scale businesses, news outlets, governments and countries using WordPress, it’s no wonder that WooCommerce has enterprise-level users. UK-specific websites like Superdrug's Health Clinics, Three Pay as You Go Rewards and Greene King all use WooCommerce for their digital stores. It’s clear that WooCommerce is not just a DIY platform for SMEs. It can handle the demands of enterprises, delivering all the functionality required to successfully sustain a large-scale business.
WooCommerce is flexible & scalable
Scalability is one of the most important factors in an ecommerce platform for enterprises. The ability to grow any area of the store when needed, and the flexibility to do this efficiently is vital. WooCommerce seamlessly handles this, without impacting performance or reliability in the process. WordPress’ open source framework gives businesses the ability to control all elements of their ecommerce site. Design, security and functionality can be amended and modified to suit.
WooCommerce’s commitment to supporting business growth doesn’t stop there. It provides out of the box functionality to support the sales of physical goods, digital products, memberships and subscriptions, or all of these monetisation models at the same time. For example, if you’re selling physical goods, but there’s a plan to add digital products to your catalogue, this could easily be accommodated. Equally, if your business model is centered around subscriptions but you want to add memberships to the packages, that could be included. WooCommerce allows your business to scale without the worry of out-growing the platform. In contrast, platforms such as Shopify lack flexibility which means you can quickly outgrow them. But your WooCommerce store can accommodate strategy change and business growth.
Lightweight for performance
All ecommerce stores need to be accessible, fast and reliable; users expect no less. If they find themselves waiting a few seconds for a page to load, they’ll take their business elsewhere. Portent found that “website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time”. For this reason, when you first create your WooCommerce store, you start with the bare bones. WooCommerce doesn’t provide a pre-built site with all the bells and whistles installed, weighing down the site with unnecessary code. Instead, it’s a blank page, so you can build your store from the ground up.
WooCommerce’s lightweight approach keeps your site streamlined, using only the necessary code to deliver high performance from the off. Plugins, integrations and customisations also maintain the lightweight style as, in theory, you’ll only ever use what you need. This should reduce the likelihood of code bloat and slow page speeds. For enterprises, this lightweight code also means your site can handle large amounts of products and data without drastically slowing page load speed.
WooCommerce is SEO friendly
Regardless of business size, sitting on page one of the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) is the goal when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). The higher up you feature in the SERPs, the more relevant traffic you’ll receive. As an enterprise, it’s important you have the right SEO foundations in place to ensure your content is dispersed correctly throughout the search engines. WordPress and WooCommerce make this process easy.
With plugins like Yoast SEO, your team will have the necessary tools to lay a solid foundation for effective optimisation. Yoast SEO is a reputable plugin, with an estimated 7.9 million sites using it. With SEO best practices constantly evolving, adding title tags and product descriptions alone isn’t enough to increase your store’s SERPs positions. For this reason, Yoast SEO’s ever-present functionality is a winner for busy teams who are spinning several marketing plates. Regularly reviewing Yoast SEO’s suggestions means your team can proactively improve on-site SEO.
REST APIs for scalability
Representational State Transfer (REST) APIs allow developers to access and use site data outside of the WordPress interface. They exchange information between two systems, and in a REST APIs case, that system can be outside of WordPress and WooCommerce. With this functionality, your development team could create a new customised front-end, an app for wearable tech or a solution for the Internet of Things (IoT), like a smart fridge.
Without the need for a web interface, you have the opportunity to scale your store to be used on the latest technology, with the latest technology. Whatever the end goal, with REST APIs your WooCommerce store’s data and content can be dispersed in any medium that suits your business.
As WooCommerce uses WordPress’ platform, it’s at the mercy of WordPress’ security measures. Thankfully, WordPress is a secure CMS that benefits from further user controls, allowing you to make it even safer. WordPress releases major updates around two to three times a year. These, along with minor updates throughout the year, ensure the platform is running at peak security so your store and your customers can trust the platform.
Many reported security issues come from site management, such as not using the latest version of WordPress or updating plugins regularly. Keeping WordPress’ core updated is important, but you can also add extra layers of security by using plugins. There are a number of plugins that help you to increase security, scan for malware and review suspicious behaviour. If you’re curious about the overall security of WordPress, we’ve created a WordPress Security Guide that reveals the answer and provides site-side and server-side recommendations.
Considerations when choosing WooCommerce
Enterprise-grade site hosting
Signing up to enterprise-grade site hosting will ensure your security is in top form from the get-go. You can expect to receive additional security measures, automatic backups, malware scans and other metrics from a comprehensive hosting package. You’ll also benefit from an added safety net as major hosting companies should have contingency plans in the event of a breach.
Experienced WordPress developers
Regardless of business size, we’d always suggest consulting an experienced developer when setting up an ecommerce store for the first time. Liaising with in-house expertise, or hiring an experienced WordPress development agency, can reduce project delays and ensure your store is set up for optimal performance, security and reliability. Taking the time to get the foundations right the first time round will save headaches, and money, further down the line.
WooCommerce is a winner for enterprises
With the option to scale your site whenever you need, it’s a versatile platform to aid digital growth. It’s vast array of integrations, user friendly back end and lightweight code give it the green light for any businesses that want to create a bespoke, easy-to-use, reliable store.
Building an ecommerce store can become a monster project if not managed correctly. If you need support with an upcoming ecommerce project, or your in-house team needs support with the creation of your digital store, get in touch and our team will be happy to help. As an experienced WordPress development agency, we’ve been creating intuitive digital solutions that give businesses a digital step-up since 2009.