1995: Thursday 27 April 1995, the purchase of a book by Paul Stanfield, Product Manager for CompuServe UK, from W H Smith's shop within CompuServe's UK Shopping Centre is the UK's first national online shopping service secure transaction. The shopping service at launch featured W H Smith, Tesco, Virgin Megastores/Our Price, Great Universal Stores (GUS), Interflora, Dixons Retail, Past Times, PC World (retailer) and Innovations.
E-commerce brings convenience for customers as they do not have to leave home and only need to browse website online, especially for buying the products which are not sold in nearby shops. It could help customers buy wider range of products and save customers’ time. Consumers also gain power through online shopping. They are able to research products and compare prices among retailers. Also, online shopping often provides sales promotion or discounts code, thus it is more price effective for customers. Moreover, e-commerce provides products’ detailed information; even the in-store staff cannot offer such detailed explanation. Customers can also review and track the order history online.
Websites such as Squarespace and WordPress offer mobile-friendly, ready-to-go e-commerce templates that help you get a store up and running quickly. As a shop owner, you will need a way to collect credit card payments from consumers online. PayPal, Square and Google Wallet are all popular ways of accepting and managing online payments. You can also sell your merchandise through online giants like Amazon.
Shopping carts — are the most basic features but also the most critical, since they are the interface between the company and its customers. The first thing that customers will use to buy online is a shopping cart, and they usually do not care how it works and what’s needed to keep it safe. The essential characteristic of shopping cart software is ease of use. Buyers want the ability to perform transactions fast, so the user interface of a shopping cart needs to be extremely easy to use.
Using Magento is not for everyone, especially if the store owner is not a programmer, or doesn't have a team of programmers working on his or her team. And then there's the price tag; the basic version is free, but getting an enterprise version means you'll need to shell out at least $20,000/year. If you don't have programmers on staff, be prepared to invest in third-party programming costs as well.
But wait, there’s more! There are also loads of plugins available for WooCommerce. Adding even more features to your e-commerce site will be just a matter of choice. You can import products from your Amazon shop to your website, allow users to track their shipping from your online store, add social coupons… and a lot more. You can find plugins on CodeCanyon, our marketplace for all things code. And make sure you check out our post 10 Plugins for Extending WooCommerce or the tutorial 20 Useful WordPress e-Commerce Plugins Available on CodeCanyon to get an idea of what you can do with these extensions.
Bluehost makes it easy to get started with WooCommerce web hosting. Simply choose the hosting plan that is right for your website needs, and then create or add your existing domain. We will automatically install WooCommerce on top of your WordPress website while also providing a free WooCommerce SSL to keep your site and transactions secure. Setup takes only a few minutes and then you can begin selecting a theme for your online store. Shortly after you've selected a WooCommerce theme, you can begin adding your products and payment information.