Setting up your WooCommerce Store

This is a series of videos to walk you through things to consider when implementing WooCommerce on your site. 

This does not cover EVERY feature WooCommerce has but covers the ones I am frequently asked about based on my experience with teacherpreneurs. If you have an additional feature you want, feel free to ask about it!

Watch the videos and fill out the form next to the videos.  If you have any other questions, there is a place on the form to add your thoughts!

Note: Some of these links are affiliate links.  You may find my full disclosure policy here. This page is best viewed on a computer.  

Looking for how to upload products to your store? See that information here!

Introduction

I’m excited for you to try out WooCommerce!  I have two stores on WooCommerce – one for my music ed store and one for my graphics store!

I have learned a lot over the past few years and I look forward to sharing that knowledge with you!

Grab a notebook and a pen. You might want to take notes about some decisions you will need to make.  These don’t have to be permanent decisions – you can always come back and add stuff or change things, but if we can do it right from the start it will be a win for all!

FORM QUESTIONS: Fill out your name and email address on the right.

Delivering Files to Customers

Let’s discuss how your customers will receive their products.

When customers purchase from your Woocommerce store, they will be sent a link via email to download.  In addition, there will be buttons on their “my account” page to download items.

Some people choose to store their files directly on their website.  I do not recommend this for a couple of reasons.

  1. It makes it harder to update products.  Every time you update you will have to come back and re-set the download link.  Time-consuming!  
  2. Having all these large files on the website server can really drag your site down over time.  Most people forget to delete the old file when uploading the new.
  3. You will have to pay your host for the server space for all these files.

 

Instead, I recommend using cloud storage, specifically Dropbox.  You will need to upgrade to Dropbox Pro as the free Dropbox sometimes will restrict the number of times a customer can download a product.  Not good!  Some features Dropbox offers:

  1. You can do selective sync on your computer.  This means your files can live in the cloud.  You don’t HAVE to use up space on your computer.
  2. You can set the Dropbox link to automatically download for the customer.  Customers get confused when they click “download” and a new browser window opens.
  3. You can link to a Dropbox folder.  At any time you can change the contents of the folder and the link contents will automatically update.  You will still want to let your customer know you updated the information, but you will not have to re-do the link in Woocommerce.

 

If you are a big Google Drive, Drive, or Amazon S3 fan, you CAN use these to host your products but you lose some of the features Dropbox offers.

Here is my take on Dropbox:

FORM ACTIONS: How will you deliver files to customers?

Cost: The cost of your storage system (Dropbox runs about $100/year).

Payment Methods

Let’s discuss which payment methods you will take.

On my website, I take Paypal and Stripe.  I traditionally get equal purchases with Paypal and Stripe.  Paypal payments are sent to your Paypal account.  I highly recommend you have separate business and personal Paypal accounts.

Stripe takes credit cards directly and then deposits your money directly into your checking account.  Again, I recommend you have a separate business checking account.

Both payment gateways take about 3% commission.

 

Why do you need both? 

Some people do not realize you don’t have to have Paypal to checkout with a credit card.  It is easier to offer a non-Paypal option than to answer question after question about payments.

 

What about Purchase Orders?

I take purchase orders via email AND via direct upload with WooCommerce!

Note: This is what works for me.  Should you desire additional payment methods such as Google Pay, Android Pay, Venmo, etc.  feel free to contact me.

FORM QUESTIONS: What payment methods will you take?

COST: Square and Paypal are free to use but require a 3% commission on sales.  The Purchase Order gateway plugin is about $100 (one-time fee).

Sales Tax, GST, VAT

Let’s talk for just a minute about the dreaded Sales Tax issue.   First, let me give the usual disclaimer that I am not a tax professional and this should not be taken as legal or accounting advice. 

I also live in Georgia (USA) – your state or country may have different rules!  In addition, the courts are currently changing laws on taxation of digital downloads.  This is my interpretation of the law as it stands.

General Information

  • You will need to research every country to find out about taxes that need to be paid for that country.

 

Country-Specific (Note: Subject to change at any time and my interpretation of the law).

  • Every person is supposed to pay VAT (sales tax) on everything sold to the European Union.  For that reason, I do not currently sell directly to the European Union.

 

  • Japan
    • Consumption Tax (Sales Tax) must be paid when your shipped hard goods pass through customs in Japan unless their value is under 10,000 Yen (approximately $90).  Import Duties are paid at floating rates depending on your shipped items.
    • No digital items or consumption tax is owed if 12-month sales are less than $90,000 to Japan.
  • Australia
    • Generally, there is no requirement to pay duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) on imported goods valued at or below $750, except for alcohol and/or tobacco products.
    • No GST on Digital Goods is charged as long as your annual sales remain under $54,600/year.
  • Canada
    • Under the provisions of the Postal Imports Remission Order, if someone mails you an item worth CAN$20 or less, there is no duty or tax payable. If the item is worth more than CAN$20, you must pay the applicable duty, the GST or HST, and any PST on the item’s full value.
    • Canadian business owners with gross revenue of less than $30,000 CAD per year don’t have to register to collect and remit GST or HST. The same small supplier exception applies to U.S. sellers who ship less than $30,000 of orders into Canada.
    • If your business will collect over $30,000 in revenue a year in Canada, you’ll be required to charge and remit GST/HST.  Until then, you do not have to collect taxes for Canada.

 

The United States

  • You must pay sales tax for the states you have a current “Sales Tax Nexus.”  Each state defines this differently, but as a quick definition – basically, the state you live in, any state you have a physical store in, any state you do significant sales in (Economic Nexus), and any state you keep inventory in.
  • Read more about the Economic Nexus here.   In short, if you do significant sales in a single state (lowest threshold was $10,000 or 200 transactions), you have an economic nexus in that state.  Kansas is the only state with no nexus. You technically owe sales tax for every sale made in Kansas.

 

CHARGING SALES TAX:

WooCommerce very easily sets you up to charge sales tax for FREE in one state (the state you live in).  You are in charge of remitting the taxes, but Woo Services will take care of sales tax for one state.

If you need to charge multiple states you will need to sign up for a service like Avalara or TaxJar (what I currently use).  In some cases you can also pay for them to remit the tax for you.

FORM QUESTIONS:

  • Do you plan to charge sales tax at this time? (Some choose not to and implement this later if their store is successful).
  • Where do you have a Sales Tax Nexus?
  • How will you collect these taxes?
  • How will you calculate the tax rate?
  • Which countries do you want to sell to?

 

COST:

Avalara and TaxJar are both paid services.  WooCommerce Tax is free, but you are in charge of remitting taxes to the state.  If you are charging sales tax to ONE state, then you can use the WooCommerce Tax plugin (free).  If you are remitting to multiple states, you will need to upgrade to Avalara or TaxJar

Sidebars

Sidebars are managed under Appearance, Widgets.  Most themes allow you to create one default sidebar.  Most themes also allow you to turn off the sidebar if desired.

We can use a free plugin to make new sidebars specific to different areas on your site (i.e. blog vs. shop page).  Watch the video for a quick overview.

 

Visit https://pitchpublications.com/shop to see my latest sidebar.  I often change my mind about what I want there.  

 

FORM QUESTIONS: Do you want custom sidebars? If so, what elements do you want in the WooCommerce sidebar?

 

COSTS: There could be costs depending on your desired features but the options in the video are free.

Custom Tabs

WooCommerce displays product information in tabs, like a file folder system.  The information you can put in these tabs is limited unless you install a custom plugin.

I use a plugin to provide a space to put my FAQs, Reward Points, and Preview (the most important part!).

Watch the video to learn more.

Note: I mention the plugin is paid in the video but the one I use now is Free!

FORM QUESTIONS: Do you want custom tabs?  What tabs would you like?

 

COSTS: Custom tabs is free! In the video I said tabs was a paid plugin, but the initial version you need is free. FAQs plugins run about $40 and Reward Points plugins run about $50.

Wishlists

I LOVE creating wishlists on websites! And I do come back to buy! (I’m looking at you, Amazon Wishlist!).  I highly suggest having a wishlist plugin on your e-commerce site. I use the free plugin.  There is a premium version available but the free version works for my needs.

Take a look at the video for more information: (note: the plugin is FREE, not paid).

 

QUESTIONS FOR YOU: Do you want to use the wishlist plugin?

 

COSTS: Free for the basic features seen in the video.

Reward Points

Reward Points are a great way to 1) make a sale and 2) bring people back after purchasing!  I set up a simple 5% rewards system for my buyers to have.  I can also manually  (and sometimes automatically) give reward points for customer service, great feedback, social sharing, etc.

I use Sumo Reward Points (About $55/lifetime).   WooCommerce has an official plugin here that is $129/year.

Take a look at this video:

QUESTIONS FOR YOU:  Do you want a reward system in place?  If so, which plugin would you like to use?

COSTS: Between $55 (one time) and $130 (yearly).

FAQs

I use WooCommerce Product FAQ Manager (about $35/lifetime). Store questions can drive me nuts sometimes!  Often it is in the description itself, but people skim.  Fact of life.

If you can go ahead and add a FAQ section on each product, then perhaps it will save you time in the long run.  I also put a place directly on the product for people to ask questions.  This is tied into my FAQ section so if it is a question that would apply to all, I can add it to the product very easily.

Watch the video for more information.

QUESTIONS FOR YOU:

  • Do you want the FAQ plugin?
  • If so, do you want the question add-on?
  • Do you want a store FAQ page?

 

COSTS: The cost is between $35 – $40 for the plugin.

Bundles

I don’t know about you, but I can’t resist a discounted up-sell! Buy shirts AND shorts for $10 instead of each for $8 and I’m sold!  Same works for digital products.  The plugin, WooCommerce Bundles, ($49/year) makes this possible.  Plus, you don’t have to update the Bundle separately!

Watch the video for more information:

QUESTIONS FOR YOU:

  • Do you want a bundle plugin?
  • If so, which one?

 

COSTS:  $50/yearly

Dynamic Pricing

I don’t know about you, but I can’t resist a discounted up-sell! Buy 3 shirts for $15 instead of 2 for $12 and I’m sold!  Same works for digital products. The plugin, WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing ($51/lifetime) makes this possible.  There is also an official WooCommerce plugin available ($129/year).

Check out the video for more information:

 

 

QUESTIONS FOR YOU: Do you want a discount plugin?  If so, which plugin?

COSTS: Around $51/lifetime to $130/year.

Abandoned Cart Emails

Have you ever shopped somewhere, added something to your cart, but then you were distracted and never checked out?  Then maybe a day later the company emails you about what is in your cart.  This is called abandoned cart marketing.  The idea is people who have added something to the cart are pretty hot leads and might just need a push to come back and buy your product!

Check out the video for more information:

 

 

QUESTIONS FOR YOU: Do you want AutomateWoo for abandoned carts?

COSTS: $100/year.

Shipping

If you do not have hard goods and do not plan on shipping anything, you can completely skip this part.

The following advice is for people shipping from the US. Let me know if you shipping from another country.

Shipping goods can be complicated. There are many different options on which service to go with and how to charge it. If you have a different situation than outlined below, note it and we can discuss the best way to achieve your goal.

Shipping is basically broken down to:

  1. How much and how to charge your customer.
  2. Packaging for your items.
  3. Which carrier are you shipping with?
  4. Buying Labels.
  5. Printing Labels.
  6. Tracking Shipping.

 

1. How much to charge your customer.

You can do a variety of options but the ones most used are:

  1. Flat rate – charge one flat fee per order or per item. This flat fee could differ for the continental US, HI/AK, and international. I recommend flat rate shipping for one or two products for ease of use. Flat rate shipping is set up with either 1) a base rate, 2) per item price (plus base rate if desired), or 3) percentage of order amount (plus base rate if desired).
  2. Table rate shipping – This is a way to specify if x condition exists, charge y amount. You can have an unlimited number of conditions. This is useful for when you have thresholds that would bump your shipping costs (i.e. buy 5 of one item and charge one price, buy 6 or more and charge another). This is a stepping stone between options A and C. This is a good option if you want to charge by item weight. (There are free (https://wordpress.org/plugins/woocommerce-easy-table-rate-shipping/) and paid options (here: https://codecanyon.net/item/table-rate-shipping-for-woocommerce/3796656 and https://woocommerce.com/products/table-rate-shipping/)).
  3. Live shipping calculation – you tell WooCommerce the weight of your products and connect to a shipping service. When someone adds items to the cart, it automatically calculates the price by connecting to the live service. You would tell WooCommerce the weight and dimensions of your product and the service uses this information to calculate rates. This is the most accurate but also the most costly (as far as plugins.)
  4. Free shipping – this one is easiest to implement. Offer (and advertise!) free shipping to your customers, but roll the cost of shipping into your items’ price(s).

2. Packaging for your items.

If you have one item I suggest choosing an envelope or box and sticking to just using that particular packaging for ease in calculations. I found a set of packing envelopes from Amazon that I could buy reasonably in bulk. I pass that charge onto my customers (it comes out to about $.15/envelope). This is a situation where using leftover amazon packaging is not the best option.

 

 

3. Which carrier are you shipping with

If you have one or two products, live in the US, and are shipping from home, I suggest using USPS. It is much easier to stick your item in the mailbox. If you would like to discuss other options, let me know. If you are an international (to me) client, let me know and I can help research the best option for your country.

 

4. Buying labels

When I first began shipping items, I manually purchased labels. The customer bought my item, I then went to USPS.com and manually entered information and then hand wrote out the information and attached postage. I highly recommend you did NOT do this because I began to resent getting orders (and clearly getting orders is the goal of offering a product for sale!). Instead, we want to find a way to automate the purchase of labels

 

5. Printing labels

Most paid shipping options offer an option to print a pre-filled shipping label. I combine this with labels such as this: https://amzn.to/2V1pJvi  in order to make it super easy peel n stick. As mentioned in item 4, I used to handwrite labels but now I have them automatically printed and it has saved me so much time. ***

*** I actually also bought a completely separate printer for printing labels. This way I could just keep my custom labels in printer B and use printer A with regular paper. (I kept printing out visuals on my custom label paper – oops.)

6. Tracking Shipping

My goods are extremely lightweight so I ship first class (basically a stamp) so I do not track shipping.  However every now and then a shipment is lost and I have no way to prove it wasn’t my fault.  If you do tracking shipping that solves the problem.

 

Video to watch:

 

SHIPPING QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

  1. What are you shipping?
  2. What do you need to charge for shipping? (I can then help figure out what you need to charge and ship).
  3. What carrier will you use?
  4. Work on getting your package and item weight and dimensions.

Miscellaneous Items

Here are additional WooCommerce plugins and features I will set up for you unless you tell me otherwise.  They are free to use.  If you have no need for the plugin, don’t have it installed!

Standard on Most Installs

  • Embed Any Document I use this to embed my pdf preview from dropbox.
  • WooCommerce Sequential Order Numbers FREEMakes the order numbers sequential.  It just helps me keep the orders straight.  Otherwise, you will get order #139304AF494.
  • WooCommerce PDF Invoices & Packing Slips FREE – Create, print & email PDF invoices & packing slips for WooCommerce orders.  It automatically sends an invoice to your customer.

Other Features

  • WooCommerce – MailerLite – FREE Official MailerLite integration for WooCommerce.  If you are using a different email provider let me know and I’ll look into connections for that provider.
  • WooCommerce – Convertkit – FREE – Tags the people who purchase from your website.
  • WooCommerce – Mailchimp – FREE – Tags the people who purchase from your website.
  • Facebook for WooCommerce – FREE – Grow your business on Facebook! Use this official plugin to help sell more of your products using Facebook. It connects your products with Facebook.  Note that digital items are not currently allowed on Facebook.

Next Steps

Submit your form and I will get back to you with pricing!  You are under no obligation to move forward.

WooCommerce Options

Fill out this form as you go or at the end of the training!

FAQs