WooCommerce Weekly Review #3: Donations in the Shop, Content Inclusion and Design Inspiration

A WooCommerce shop can now be used for doing good. And there are plenty of ideas around for optimizing content on product level. Find out more about these and other topics in our Weekly Review.

Buy & Donate – with WooCommerce

More and more online shops offer their customers the option to “round up” the content of their shopping carts, i.e. the total purchase price. The difference will then be donated to some social institution or a cause associated with the product. As an online shop operator, you can show social commitment, do something to help the environment (to make up for the carbon footprint in shipping), or support local initiatives in the countries of origin of your products.

The plugin YITH Donations for WooCommerce was designed for exactly this type of scenario. The shop-integrated donation option can be adjusted to your requirements in a variety of ways:

  • You can specify a minimum/maximum amount
  • The layout can be adapted with a few mouse clicks
  • So can its placement in the theme or in the purchase process
  • The donation can be controlled on product level (for individual products)
  • You can even add a mandatory donation for individual products – e.g. free trial products
Online shop donation
A simple donation option

You can read about the full functional scope of the free and fee-based plugin versions here or have a look at the demo here.

Role-based content assignment in the shop

Nicola Mustone – the WooCommerce “Support Ninja” at Automattic – describes two exciting functions for the WooCommerce plugin in his blog. The first allows a role-based showing of hiding of individual fields in the checkout process. The associated filter for functions.php is described here. The approach does require the (fee-based) Checkout Field Editor plugin, but he also mentions a solution without this additional tool.

The second tutorial explains how virtually any role-based content can be added to the checkout process. There a plenty of possible use case scenarios:

  • Existing customers could receive a free eBook or another gift
  • You can recommend other additional products to newcomers than to established customers
  • Include premium content or services in the subscription model
  • More customized advertising of vouchers
  • and lots more.

The blog by Nicola is recommended reading for all those regularly working with WooCommerce. He regularly writes about smart and easy to implement plugins.

Equipping WordPress Themes with a Shopping Cart

You found this excellent theme, but it is not optimized for WooCommerce? You still want to use it for your online shop? If you have WooCommerce installed, then all you actually need to do is implement a shopping cart (aside from the optimized visualization of product information, which some WooCommerce themes also apply).

You can, of course, manually add a shopping cart to a theme. The WordPress plugin WP Menu Cart, on the other hand, is just perfect for those of you, who haven’t got the programming knowledge or just need a quick solution. It automatically integrates the shopping cart functionality in the navigation of your theme.

Shopping cart function
Simple but efficient: The integrated shopping cart (Screenshot © WP Overnight)

This plugin, by the way, not only works with WooCommerce – it can also be used for WP-Ecommerce, Easy Digital Downloads (EDD), Eshop and Jigoshop. The free version offers options for adapting the appearance and the functionality of the cart.

New WooThemes Showcase

WooThemes have revamped their Showcase of WooCommerce themes and customer projects, and have added plenty of new examples. The result is a treasure trove with plenty of inspiration for (future) shop operators. The portal answers questions like:

  • Which design is appropriate for which use case and what type of product range
  • What should a user-friendly and mobile optimized design look like
  • Which elements, descriptive texts and service offers do other eCommerce founders rely on
  • What plugins are on offer to adapt WooCommerce to specific requirements
woocommerce design
A great variety of shops for inspiration

You can therefore have a look at all the basic design variations on offer before beginning with the plans for your web shop or relaunch project. The more precise your ideas about the future design, the easier life will be for your service providers and webdesigners.

Tip: In this blog post, the WooThemes team offers interesting insights into the idea behind their Showcase, and what their criteria are for adding specific themes. Here you can find some more inspiring layouts, some of those are German online shops.

What else went on …

  • A diagram visualizes what shop visitors find important in a mobile-optimized design.
  • In his company blog, Christian Heutger of PSW Group analyses the types of businesses and use cases, for which WooCommerce is particularly well suited.
  • This WooThemes post shows you how to entice your customers into donations when online shopping if you took on board the first tip in this Weekly Review.
  • WPKube offers some info on some general options you have to convert initially cancelled purchases into successful sales after all. The options described will, however, have to be adapted to the local legal framework (keyword “privacy”).

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Editor at MarketPress. Passionate blogger, corporate blog expert and book author (e.g. "Blog Boosting"). Co-organizer of WP Camp Berlin.

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