What is WooCommerce?WooCommerce is a plugin for websites powered by the world-leading WordPress CMS. It transforms any WordPress website into a fully fledged eCommerce system. You can add products, structure them into categories, list them on your website, take orders, and receive payments online. While WooCommerce is best known for customer-facing B2C websites, it's also very popular for B2B wholesale stores. The reasons to use WooCommerce are similar for both types of website. However, B2B and wholesale sites have their own unique challenges that WooCommerce can help with.
Reason #1 - Popularity
WooCommerce powers nearly 2 million websites, and its market share is growing daily. Its sheer popularity makes it a powerful contender for any type of online store, including B2B. In general, I wouldn't advise choosing a product just because it's the most popular. However, there are lots of ways you can benefit from WooCommerce's popularity:
- Huge ecosystem - As WooCommerce has grown into the market leader, a powerful ecosystem has evolved around it. For example, you can choose from hundreds of WooCommerce-specific products and services. This includes themes and plugins, WooCommerce-specific hosting and maintenance services, and even performance optimization exclusively for WooCommerce sites.
- Robust and fully tested - No matter how well tested a software program is, you can almost guarantee that once it's released into the real world, people will start finding bugs. With a WooCommerce wholesale website, you can be sure that thousands of people are using the same features as you - in every possible combination. This means that they've already reported most of the issues, creating a solid foundation for your B2B website. With small or niche eCommerce platforms, there are fewer users and you'll often be the first to discover a particular bug. No one wants that!
- Expert support - If you choose a smaller provider, there's always a risk that it will cease to exist, or you'll struggle to find anyone to support your website. This will never happen with a WooCommerce B2B store. There are plenty of online resources to help you build your own website without any technical know-how. There's also a huge global industry of WooCommerce specialists to develop and support your store. You'll never be left alone with a WooCommerce wholesale website.
Reason #2 - Fully FeaturedDon't be put off by the fact that WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin. It's probably the most sophisticated eCommerce platform on the market. It comes pre-built with most of the features you'll need for your wholesale store. For example, you can do all of these things with a WooCommerce B2B wholesale store:
- Add an unlimited number of products.
- Organize your products into an unlimited number of categories and sub-categories.
- Take payment online via PayPal, Apruve, or credit/debit card. Alternatively, use offline payment options such as cheque, cash on delivery, or invoice.
- Configure your store's tax settings, including adding different rates for different products or countries.
- Charge shipping costs, including different postage for different zip codes, areas or countries.
- Receive new order notifications.
- View sales reports and other statistics about your wholesale store's performance.
- Your B2B customers can view products, add to the cart, checkout and pay online, and create user accounts.
Reason #3 - Easy to Extend
WooCommerce itself is very fully-featured, and you can choose from 100's of add-on plugins to add even more features. Some of these are dedicated WooCommerce wholesale plugins, and others are general WooCommerce plugins that work well for B2B. These are the most common reasons for extending a B2B WooCommerce wholesale store:
- Wholesale-friendly layout - You may wish to replace the default product layout with a B2B-friendly wholesale order form or product table view. This lists products in a compact tabular layout, making it easy for B2B customers to select multiple products and purchase quickly. Fortunately, there are plugins available to create a WooCommerce order form or product table layout.
- Hide your wholesale store - Most B2B eCommerce websites are hidden from public view. This is important if you need to prevent the public from seeing your confidential wholesale prices. You can add plugins to create password protected wholesale categories which are hidden from the B2C parts of your website, or even to hide your entire WooCommerce store.
- Increase conversion rates - Have you read our article 6 Steps To Increase ECommerce Website Conversion Rate With Personalization? With a WooCommerce wholesale website, there are plenty of off-the-shelf options to achieve most of these tips. For example, there are extensions to increase sales through personalized product recommendations.
Reason #4 - Free of ChargeDid I mention that WordPress and WooCommerce are 100% free to use? The only costs for your WooCommerce wholesale site are the domain name, web hosting, and payment provider fees if you decide to take payments online. You don't have to pay anyone a percentage of each sale. You can choose to pay a WordPress developer to build your website or add custom features, but this isn't essential. There are hundred's of free WooCommerce themes and add-on plugins that you can use to design and extend your WooCommerce B2B store. Unlike hosted eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, you own all the data on your WooCommerce wholesale website. You can choose your own hosting at a price that's right for you. You're not dependent on anyone else.
Reason #5 - It Grows with your BusinessWhen you build a wholesale website for your B2B business, it's important to consider the future as well as your short-term needs. It's always a shame to build a website and have to replace it as your business changes. A WooCommerce website is suitable for wholesale stores of all shapes and sizes. There's no limit to the number of products you can have. Some WooCommerce websites report having over a million products! WooCommerce is so flexible that you can update your website as often as you like. If your company decides to rebrand, you can switch themes without changing the eCommerce side of your store. If you need extra features, then you can add them using off-the-shelf or bespoke plugins. It's much more cost-effective because you never have to start from scratch or migrate to another platform.
Create Your WooCommerce Wholesale Store Today
There are lots of reasons why WooCommerce is an excellent choice for a B2B or wholesale website. To get started with your B2B website, head over to wordpress.org and start creating your website today. Or if you prefer, employ one of the thousands of WooCommerce experts to build your wholesale site for you.