As the eCommerce industry is growing, more people are striving to carve a niche for themselves by opening up their own online retail stores. Because of the increasing craze of selling products or services online, you can find keywords like “how to start an online store”, “how to start an online clothing boutique”, “how to make an online store”, “create online store free”, etc having very high search volumes.
Here we come with simple yet effective steps that will help you to create a fully functional WordPress online store. WordPress is one of the most used Content Management Systems, which is easy-to-use, secure and reliable. Plug-In architecture and a template system are the two excellent features that are available in WordPress. Many other features including this make WordPress very easy and useful to create an online store.
Considering its better functionality and remarkable outcomes, most of the people who are thinking of building a shop online, prefer WordPress for creating their eCommerce websites. In this article, we have also discussed how a developer can incorporate eCommerce features into their WordPress theme.
Table of contents:Setting up WordPress Store General Presentation E-Commerce Store Settings Admin Shipping Payments Options Checkout Creating Product Groups and Categories Choose Compatible and Attractive WordPress theme Extending Your WordPress Online Store
Setting up WordPress Store
If you want to fasten your development process, it is must that you set up WordPress on your localhost. You do not require any FTP program to upload the files to the server, once you have set this. For those who are using Windows or Linux, they can use xampp while for the mac users, mamp will work.
To install WordPress Locally on Your Mac with MAMP, you just have to use one of the remarkable themes for WordPress. Here, I am using jQ.
It is advisable to install a WordPress eCommerce plugin from official plug-ins repository or from its official website. Once the installation process gets completed, you will find a tab named Products below the comments tab.
You need to start from the settings option and after that, you will have to add some products for setting up your demo store.
This tab is available under the settings tab. Click on the ‘General’ option and set your target markets, location and currency in which you want to trade your products/services. You can also find the option for setting up an additional tax that will be charged on your product price.
After the general tab, you will find a presentation tab that shows how you want to display your products in your store. A gold cart with more options is also offered by WordPress.
If you can find some options disabled in the settings, don’t need to be worried about that as it’s a premium version with more features. There is nothing wrong with the installation method or with server permissions. This option works only with the Gold Cart.
There are some options that can be easily understood. You can also select button types or breadcrumbs, product ratings, etc. according to your requirements. Display packaging and postage mean you want to display the shipping charges on your product pages or not.
With the product setting option, you can easily customize the layout of your product pages. You can also choose different layouts (with gold cart) and various themes to display the products in more appropriate ways.
As WordPress eCommerce has three built-in themes, among all, the third one seems best to display your products. With Shopping cart settings, you can simply show the cart, wherever you want. It has a collection of options from widgets to manual insertion of a template tag.
Moreover, the Sliding cart helps your customers to add or remove the products from the shopping cart using buttons +/-.
E-Commerce Store Settings
You can give thumbnail and description at the time of creating product groups. Moreover, one can also select parameters to display products on product pages. It is available in the Product Group settings option.
You also have the option of choosing pagination as Thumbnails. In case, you enabled this option, you will see your products divided into different pages just like WordPress pagination.
In the Admin option, you can set up digital goodies store. You can also find the option to set the time of downloading a specific file. If you want to lock the download for some specific region, you can also do that with the options available in the admin tab.
Additionally, one can also set default email addresses for sending various notifications to the customers and for their own records.Option for writing custom messages is also available that can be sent on different occasions and also to the admin of the eCommerce store.
Finally, you can give links to different pages. After changing the permalink structure, you have to place page links.
All shipping options can be set up here. You will find different shipping schemes such as weight rate and flat rate. The shipping charges can be automatically calculated by using this plugin and will be added to the user’s product’s price.
WordPress eCommerce has in support of ShipWire, which is one of the reputed order fulfillment companies. With this, you can also develop some kind of conditions/layers.
Payment Gateways is one of the most essential parts of any eCommerce store, so it is very important to take care of it. Paypal and google checkout are two Payment Gateways that offered by WordPress eCommerce. Moreover, you can also use online transactions to your bank account or money orders to set up the Manual Gateway Payment/Test.
You can also import data of your previously added products as a CSV file using the import tab.
Setting up the checkout form is the last step of setting a WordPress eCommerce website. It is advisable to implement the restriction of registration before checking out. You need to check “Anyone can register” box in settings if you want to activate this option.
Creating Product Groups and Categories
Here, we will show you one example of creating an online clothing boutique, where different brands of t-shirts are sold. Now, just remember to divide t-shirts into different colors, sizes, brand and sex groups. Then, move towards to create sub-groups to manage things more efficiently. Demo Example is given below:
Let’s start by adding it one-by-one. Go to Products>Categories. In the first step, you need to add a new group and make categories in it. It is very easy like creating categories for WordPress. Take products as categories and “categories” as sub-categories.
After that, you have to select t-shirts from the drop-down menu and add them to the appropriate sub-categories. Adding categories make you confuse, however you have to take care while adding. Ensure to remove 2 dummy categories “brands” and “categories”.
After creating categories, let’s move towards products.
Develop first Product with WordPress and WP eCommerce
Go to Products>Products and add products. Here, you will find a WYSIWYG editor that looks like a WordPress post editor, where you can add details of your products.
SKU stands for the Stock Keeping Unit that identifies specific products like every post in WordPress has a unique ID. Here, we are going to show the procedure for adding a t-Shirt.
You can also select inventory for keeping the store’s record. Additionally, you can upload your product’s image as well.
Now, it’s time to add some widgets to your WordPress theme. For that, you have to follow the given process: Appearance> Widgets. Add your product groups and shopping cart widget to the sidebar as it will give an attractive look to your eCommerce store. Check out how it looks.
If you want, you can also use the products page as the home page. For setting, you just have to go to WordPress reading settings. Other than this, you can use wp-hide-post to hide some pages, so no one can access order pages and shopping cart pages directly.
Choose Compatible and Attractive WordPress theme
The external layout of any website decides the real feel of that website. Choosing a great theme that invites the online surfers to become buyers is very important. You can either go for selection from the thousands of free eCommerce templates available online with required customization. Secondly, you can get design your own layout from scratch according to your specific needs.
Extending Your WordPress Online Store
Collection of premium and community WordPress plugins are available to enhance WordPress functionality. You can explore the web to find out some more remarkable plugins for your eCommerce site. Finally, it is easy for startups to go for basic eCommerce development.
But after that, if you plan for extending your store for thousands of products, according to prevailing needs, you will have to go for some highly skilled web design and development company that will help you face your customization needs.