Let’s start with a fact. When it comes to e-commerce plugins for WordPress, WooCommerce is definitely the world’s most popular. There’s no doubt about it, since it powers about 30% of all online stores out there. That’s huge! And if you wonder where all this success comes from, we’ll let Tuts+ instructor Rachel McCollin answer for us in her course A Beginner’s Guide to Using WooCommerce:
Imagine an ecommerce platform that allows customer service reps to have a single view of a customer across all channels, a centralized order and inventory management system that can efficiently fulfill orders from all your sales channels, including brick and mortar stores, or utilize a customer's order history data to provide personalized and relevant offers. The possibilities brought to light with the advent of a complete ecommerce platform for business optimization and improved efficiencies as well as deepened customer engagement and satisfaction are limited only by one's creativity.
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 is conducted using a variety of applications, such as email, online catalogs and shopping carts, EDI, the File Transfer Protocol, web services, and mobile devices. This includes business-to-business activities and outreach, such as using email for unsolicited ads -- usually viewed as spam -- to consumers and other business prospects, as well as sending out e-newsletters to subscribers and SMS -- short message service -- texts to mobile devices. More companies now try to entice consumers directly online, using tools such as digital coupons, social media marketing and targeted advertisements.
Electronic commerce, or e-commerce, (also written as eCommerce) is a type of business model, or segment of a larger business model, that enables a firm or individual to conduct business over an electronic network, typically the internet. Electronic commerce operates in all four of the major market segments: business to business, business to consumer, consumer to consumer, and consumer to business. It can be thought of as a more advanced form of mail-order purchasing through a catalog. Almost any product or service can be offered via ecommerce, from books and music to financial services and plane tickets.
All you have to do is click on the gateway you want to add, and you’ll be sent to its official extension page. There you can choose which type of license you want to use and download the files you’ll need to set it up. Keep in mind that not all WooCommerce extensions are free, so you’ll want to focus only on the payment gateways you think your customer base will actually use.
The benefits of e-commerce include its around-the-clock availability, the speed of access, the wide availability of goods and services for the consumer, easy accessibility, and international reach. Its perceived downsides include sometimes limited customer service, consumers not being able to see or touch a product prior to purchase, and the wait time for product shipping.
Bigcommerce also has a nice library of themes for you, divided into multiple categories, and all of them responsive and fully customizable. They were developed to establish a more modern, fluid user experience, utilizing cool new merchandising features for categorization and differently sized catalogs. There are both free and paid options available, and I have to say that those free ones really are attractive-looking.