The news from Matt Mullenweg – co-founder of WordPress – came as a bit of a surprise yesterday evening. His company has acquired WooCommerce and WooThemes. What does this mean for WooCommerce and WordPress?
The blogs and the press agree on one thing; The acquisition of WooCommerce makes sense from a strategic point of view. Especially considering that the free shop system is developing very successfully. According to the statistics, up to 30 percent of all online shops worldwide use WooCommerce. That would make it not only the most successful open source solution, but also the world’s leading e-commerce platform.
Not for nothing did Matt Mullenweg tweet this graph yesterday as he announced his decision:
— Matt Mullenweg (@photomatt) 19. May 2015
Among others, mashable.com immediately began to speculate what this news means for the CMS market. The magazine quoted the WordPress co-founder and WordPress.com boss as saying,
“The ultimate goal is to make it as easy to create your own storefront as it currently is to create your own website or blog with WordPress.”
Matt shared a similar thought in his video announcement of the acquisition. A few thoughts on this:
- Firstly, the acquisition of WooCommerce is of course exciting for WordPress.com in terms of a cloud solution. It makes sense to establish a strong competitor for Shopify and other rental solutions in the field of Software as a Service (SaaS). There is a lot of noise being made in the market, as Shopify’s plan to go public demonstrates. The move from Automattic is certainly a response to this success.
- Will WooCommerce become a service platform in the purest sense? Perhaps with outsourced shops without their own hosting, as is very popular in the US? That would also change the e-commerce landscape in this country.
- However, not all shops can, or indeed want to switch to a cloud-based service. Just think about the more complex WooCommerce shops or the special legal requirements in particular countries, such as Germany and Austria. There is even some controversy surrounding the data protection legislation of such services.
- So the question is, what does the future hold for WooCommerce not only as a WordPress plugin, but also for self-hosted shops (wordpress.org)? Although the two systems are already well integrated, there is still room for improvement. For example, as regards the issue of multilingual online shops. Is a more intensive gearing conceivable in this situation, or maybe even a pre-supplied version of WooCommerce which can simply be “switched” into a blog?
- Developers, such as ourselves here at MarketPress, are excited to see what future versions of WooCommerce hold. Recently, the often last-minute changes to WooCommerce have not only delighted external plugin developers and theme developers.
All in all, it is good news. Suffice to say WooCommerce should enjoy a significant rise in popularity, as was the case with WordPress. If it is not the SaaS solution which comes to the fore, the newly emerging community will also benefit.
What is your opinion on the purchase of WooCommerce? Do you see it as a positive development or are you skeptical? What do you expect from the interaction between WooCommerce and WordPress(.com)? The comments are open.
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