WooCommerce, the most popular (and our favorite) e-commerce plugin for WordPress has been acquired by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com as well as major contributions to the self-hosted open source version, which we use as a platform for much of our development (including this website).
We think WooCommerce is the best e-commerce choice for WordPress, period.
However… WordPress is not always your best choice for e-commerce.
The entire 55-person Woo team will join Automattic. According to a blog post by CEO and cofounder Matt Mullenweg, this will bring Automattic’s total headcount to 370 people, distributed across 43 countries.
This is awesome news because it means long-term support and investment for one of Wordpress’ weakest points, e-commerce, as well as stronger positioning against the Squarespaces and Wixes of the world.
Can you tell we’re fans of WordPress and its flexible platform?? 😉
So why might Automattic snatch up an e-commerce plugin? Because it’s what the people want.
“I remember a few years ago I was at [a WordPress conference],” says WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg in a video announcing the acquisition. “Someone stood up in the Q&A and asked me ‘When are you going to make it as easy to publish stores online as you’ve made it to publish websites?’… and there was spontaneous applause from the audience. People loved this idea.”
If e-commerce is the next step for WordPress, this acquisition helps them make a massive splash into those waters: WooCommerce already powers roughly WordPress-based 600,000 storefronts.
So what is WooCommerce?
Put simply, it turns WordPress into a store — and since it’s built by a team that once focused on making WordPress themes, it does so while feeling pretty natural within WordPress.
Adding products is made to feel just like adding a new blog post. Want to take payments? It comes with PayPal support out-of-the-box. Want to use Stripe/Amazon Payments/etc. instead? Just grab one of their extensions. Coupon codes? It’ll do it. And it’ll help with shipping logistics. And inventory management. And analytics. If it’s a key part of running a store, they’ve built it out.
What would a VAR or MSP do with e-commerce anyway?
While you shouldn’t expect to sell complex service engagements or expensive products to new contacts on your website, why not offer some self-service add-on and upgrade options for your existing customer base?
Here are some ideas:
- Sell additional end-points to existing MSP clients
- Sell retainers / credits for products and services. Office a bulk discount or use coupons.
- Ever get those end of year extra budget customers? Let them buy credits on your site!
- Offer training? Sell it on your site! (hint, some of our customers are doing this now!)