Discussion: Elements of a Successful WooCommerce Website

This summer, I sat down with some other WordPress experts to discuss the components of a successful WooCommerce website on the WP-Tonic podcast.

The other panel members were Morten Rand-Hendriksen of Lynda.com, Scott Buscemi of Luminary Web Strategies, Sallie Goetch of WP Fangirl, and Jonathan Denwood of WP-Tonic.

One of the recurring themes was that you have to drive traffic to your site, and you must have a marketing plan, especially for a brand new site.

So often, there is a “build it and they will come” mentality when it comes to marketing a website, and the same is true for e-commerce websites.

One that stuck with me is that as complex as the technical aspects of e-commerce are, we often neglect to know what the story of our product is, or who it’s for. Determining whether we have an audience or market for our products should be step one, before we sink tons of money into a website.

The main discussion about planning a successful WooCommerce site begins at about the 27:30 mark in the podcast.


Morten Rand-Hendriksen makes a great point at about half an hour in, that running an e-commerce store is just like running a brick-and-mortar store. We need to do all the things we normally would do, like market research, marketing, and promotion. Too often, people expect the website to promote itself, simply because it’s on the internet, and that doesn’t happen.

There’s another great point at about the 40 minute mark that says, not every issue is a technical issue. As web developers, we want to think everything is about technology, when oftentimes, we just don’t know our audience as well as we think we do, or we don’t know how to reach our ideal audience. Sallie Goetch points out that if we know our audience, we will succeed.

Towards the end of the podcast, we admit that WooCommerce is very powerful, but it also requires a lot of technical know-how to set it up correctly. Many business owners think that an e-commerce website is a do-it-yourself job on the level of a five-page brochure website. They may not realize the level of complexity that e-commerce sites have. Not to mention the legal responsibilities and tax codes that come with online sales.

These are reasons you should turn to a WooCommerce consultant. E-commerce sites are full-blown web applications, and having someone help you with them will save you countless hours of hassle, and help you turn a profit much easier than you would on your own.

There is even more discussion about what makes an e-commerce site successful on the YouTube video.

If you want to hear more of the WP-Tonic podcast, feel free to subscribe on iTunes or your preferred podcast service. I am the regular co-host, along with Jonathan Denwood, and we are publishing podcast episodes twice a week. If you have a business website running on WordPress, or if you run a WordPress business, we do one spotlight guest interview and one round table show each, every week. New podcast episodes are published on Wednesday and Saturday each week.