11 surprising things WooCommerce can do
WordPress is known for being quite multifunctional but WooCommerce, in a similar way, can be used in other ways that are more than simply an online store.
WooCommerce is excellent in powering ecommerce stores built with the WordPress content management system however it is not only a store. It is quite an adaptable plugin which can be used for a variety of other applications.
The central reason that WooCommerce can support additional uses is a result of its built-in payment engine which other plugins can hook into. So you don’t need to actually sell products to use this engine and its payment methods.
Altering WooCommerce for other uses is done by adding plugins or extensions. Below are some alternative uses for WooCommerce and the plugins we would suggest to achieve the functionality.
Whether it relates to hotel rooms, tickets or shows, a bookings plugin can be added to allow users to select a date and time that they want to make a booking through the site.
The WooCommerce Bookings plugin gives you complete control over the calendar to avoid overbooking or no shows. It also allows customers to check availability prior to booking. This plugin also handles invoicing using the WooCommerce payment options.
Subscriptions most commonly cater for recurring payments. The plugin works best for the sale of newspapers, online access, products. It integrates with a number of common gateways. Where a customer decides to cancel their subscription, it is mirrored in your online store also.
A sale may be weekly, monthly or yearly. So long as it is a recurring payment, this plugin will do the job.
WordPress has a solid Groups plugin which can manage different membership levels. If this is used in tandem with the Groups for Woocommerce plugin, you will be able to sell memberships. If you are wanting to also add the above subscriptions plugin, these memberships could be set to recurring.
Study groups often use paid memberships. This works by giving a user premium access only after they pay the membership fee. When used in conjunction with the subscriptions plugin, the author is able to generate recurring income from the group.
WooCommerce has a free plugin that can connect right into your Facebook store. This gives you the opportunity to create a store on your Facebook page and to have your inventory synced between your store and your page. This also includes the Facebook ads extension and you can use this to retarget your visitors on Facebook if you install the Facebook Pixel.
Set up is quite basic. After installation, you are prompted through a series of steps. Your Facebook Pixel is created then and there.
Simply by adding a few additional functions to WooCommerce your site gets the ability to function quite similarly to eBay. You can run auctions for one or more products and it also includes a bid history and countdown timer.
The winning bidder is able to pay immediately through WooCommerce. There is a section called “My Auctions” so a bidder can monitor their activity.
At first glance, this plugin merely looks like a way of notifying a drop shipping company of incoming orders. Under this setup, you can sell products as your own products from within your own store. When an order is made, an email is sent to the supplier.
The plugin goes a little further, though, and provides for status updated. It obviously needs some cooperation from the supplier for it to be managed effectively though if they are reliable in maintaining the status then there is limited time required to manage orders. This plugin also calculates the amount of money that is owed to the supplier.
This plugin uses Amazon’s API to completely integrate its products into your online store in a way that visitors would be oblivious to the fact that the data actually originates from Amazon. You can pull across the Amazon reviews and also the Frequently Bought Together recommendations. The only point a user is taken to Amazon is to checkout.
As it is simply a plugin, you can still use WordPress as normal. By using this plugin you can gain experience in operating an online store without needing to fuss over stock and payments.
There may be instances where you don’t want to sell a product immediately but would like to have a quote sent through to you first. This might be the case when a customer wants to order in bulk. Instead of relying on email or phone to navigate through the quote, you could introduce this plugin which adds extra fields to the product page.
It still remains that you will need to follow up the customer but it removes the difficulty of discussing large and diverse orders over the phone.
Paid job listings
The Paid Job Listings plugin needs the WP Job Manager plugin to function. It gives the opportunity to sell job listings to recruiters looking for candidates.
This plugin offers the ability to run your own job board at very minimal cost all the while retaining the usability of WooCommerce.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
When building a relationship with your customer base, it’s important to have a customer relationship management system to handle communications and orders. Keeping in contact is just as important as receiving the order. So is maintaining your relationship to promote repeat purchases.
This plugin can act as a standalone CRM and there is no need to sell anything from your store.
Point of sale (POS)
This POS plugin showcases the tremendous adaptability of WooCommerce and its capability to handle sales related functions. When this plugin is in use, you can sell identical stock in your online store and in your physical store. It manages inventory so that you can monitor stock levels and set notifications as required. It’s possibly to run this at multiple stores and have the data sync across the installations.
The plugin is compatible with retail peripherals such as barcode scanners and payment gateways. You can also manage customers through this plugin.
As highlighted above, WooCommerce is much more than just an online store. It can adapt to serve functions.
Published on Wednesday, 8 May 2019 under eCommerce.