Searching for a free, self-hosted and open source shopping system, we will find names like Magento, oscommerce or OpenCart. Can the free WordPress plugin WooCommerce compete? Or is it made for small shops only?
We can answer this question from different points of view:
- How expensive are installation and maintenance?
- How active is the software development?
- Can I meet all legal requirements?
- Which payment gateways can I use?
We will answer these questions in future posts. Today, we want to know if anybody actually has tried to use WooCommerce for a shop with many products. I have set up a survey about that question some weeks ago.
I shared the survey on Twitter, and @WooThemes re-shared it, so it reached a wider audience. Result: 37 participants and more than 850 views. The high number of non-voters speaks for a high interest on this topic.
There were 7 selection options, I haven chosen smaller steps for the lower levels. Because for me, a shop with more than 250 different products is a large shop.
The surprising results
Honestly, I guessed that about 75% would vote for less than 100 products. But the evaluation shows an other result:
- Most participants (57%) use their shop for more than 100 products.
- 40% offer more than 250 products.
- And 11% of all voters uses WooCommerce for shops with more than 1000 products.
Of course, I searched for WooCommerce in the wild and found some small shops and a Case-Study-Site at WooThemes. But also a reeeeeeeeeeeally huge one: With more than 25.000 articles in the range of products, the online record store www.soulbrother.com should be one of the largest.
For me, the allure of WooCommerce is the simplicity of extending your existing WordPress by installing the plugin. You stay in your well known back-end, and the usability stays the same. It stays intuitive, because WooCommerce is build very similar to WordPress itself. And the initialization is surprisingly low, compared to shop systems à la Magento or Oxid. So it is perfect as a online business presence with integrated shop.
In the future we are planning to collect and show you some well done WooCommerce shops. If you find one or built one by yourself, send me a message!
And if you have any (WooCommerce) topics we should take a look on: send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will try to write something about it.