WooCommerce for Freelancers & Agencies: Who does the Shop System Make Sense for?

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WooCommerce Agency
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You offer services for WordPress? Then you won't be able to get past WooCommerce. The growing shopping market is an opportunity for all freelancers and agencies that operate in the open source environment. Let's take a look at new possibilities and new business models for your organization.

There are already numerous providers on the market who set up or administer online shops. But only a few of them have experienced developers in their ranks who are actually familiar with it WooCommerce- this is your chance. Are you from the WordPress community? And have already worked in this community for a few years? These are the best prerequisites for adding online shops to your portfolio.

Note: You haven't worked with WooCommerce yet? Then first read our two articles about the advantages and disadvantages and for Cost calculation for the shop system .

WooCommerce: The shop system is enjoying growth

Shop owners repeatedly report that it is anything but easy to find good service providers and external staff. Developers for WordPress and WooCommerceare in demand. The corresponding knowledge can therefore be acquired well and with realistic hourly rates market. But you should not underestimate the effort for setting up and maintaining a webshop.

Behind inconspicuous sub-menu items in the backend of WooCommerce hide functions that quickly cause hardly noticeable errors. For example, for an incorrect calculation of taxes. If WooCommerce and its Pluginsnot properly configured, then the individual components play off against each other. Some link tips for this later.

Control options from WooCommerce
Many are already WooCommerceoverwhelmed with the control options of

My recommendation: First set one or more own WooCommerce-shops - no matter if you actually sell the products contained in them or if it is only a demo. The peculiarities of WooCommerce you get to know best in the actual application. If you don't know the underlying processes, then you can't develop any Pluginsor Themesfor the shop system.

Tip: Our tools for freelancers and agencies help you to keep track of the development process. Among other things with an easy to use staging, Backups without Pluginand free WooCommerce hosting.

The next step would then be: First take over the maintenance of a smaller WooCommerce Shop - including the maintenance of products. This way you can quickly learn more about related functions such as order processing, shipping, payment or checkout.

Create products in WooCommerce
With a little practice very easy: Create products in WooCommerce

Whichever way you choose: First, find out where your strengths WordPress lieWooCommerce. Are you the typical administrator? Do you prefer to develop? Do you love web design? Or do you see yourself in the planning role of project management? In the shopping environment there is sometimes little overlap between these tasks. Because each one of them quickly becomes very complex. In eCommerce experts are in demand, less generalists. Your customers will quickly notice whether you put your heart and soul into the job or not.

WooCommerce for Freelancers & Agencies: Who does the Shop System Make Sense for?

Requirements for service providers

The operation of an online shop requires technical knowledge, but also know-how in the areas

  • Online and tax law
  • Logistics, accounting
  • Usability (user-friendliness) and Web Design
  • Online and content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO)performance measurement via Google Analytics and similar tools
  • Dissemination in social networks

Your customers will therefore confront you with very different questions. Think carefully in advance about which of the above packages you can provide yourself, and on which you honestly prefer to work together with other professionals.

Below you will find some areas in which you can work with WooCommerceus. You do not develop, but run an online shop yourself? Then use the listing to find out more about the quality of your service providers.

maintenance of WooCommerce

Most shop owners initially take over the maintenance of their portal themselves. But many are quickly overwhelmed by this when

  • The online shop is run parallel to a retail shop, which demands the full attention of the owners
  • No technical understanding is available - whether in dealing with WordPress and WooCommerceor in general
  • The shop is growing fast, many goods have to be entered and updated at the same time, orders are getting out of hand (see our Tips for high-performance WooCommerce hosting)

In all these cases, operators are grateful for a service provider who takes over all or part of the administrative activities. Usually the billing on the clockbut a fixed monthly flat rate is also conceivable.

WooCommerce gratis Hosting

The former option is very convenient for your customers: High payments are only due when there is a lot of work to be done, which is ideally reflected in higher sales. With the flat rate, you as a service provider should specify in writing exactly which task packages are included and which are not.

Tip: Do not accept an order without written contract. Clarify important questions regarding the scope of your work, the rights of use, but also liability. Your maintenance can lead to a breakdown of the shop without this being foreseeable - for example when updating from WooCommerceor a central Plugins. And that quickly becomes very expensive. Have every contract checked legally by a law firm.

Typical packages for content or technical maintenance are for example

  • The creation of products or the Import this from external databases, including quality control andtrolley
  • The Optimization of product images for the online shop
  • Selection of suitable Pluginsfor new functions
  • Update of WordPress , WooCommerce, existing Pluginsand the Themes
  • Review of existing and new functions in current versions of WooCommerce, Troubleshooting of incompatibilities
  • Further development of the web design or the WooCommerce-Themes
  • Continuous updates, restore of backups in case of error

With all these tasks you will quickly be confronted with questions that go beyond technical issues. For example, on the topic of online law ("Is the proposed plugin GDPR-compliant?", "What exactly must the product page look like to avoid warnings?") or search engine optimization. Either you educate yourself here or you work together with suitable experts. Clarify here too the question of who is liable for what in which case.

Development of plugins

Developing Pluginsfor WordPress requires some experience. This WooCommerceis even more the case for us. Because the little helpers quickly dig deep into the logic of the shop system. One faulty line of code and the checkout does not work as desired. Or even worse: fees and taxes are not calculated completely. If such errors are only discovered after a certain amount of time, and this is certainly the case from time to time in practice, then the shop owners have a lot of work to do.

Developers therefore WooCommerceneed a deeper understanding of disciplines such as accounting, tax law or logistics - depending on the solutions you are planning. Your customers rightly expect your product to be not only technically perfect, but also perfect in terms of content. If you find it difficult to get used to the world of eCommerce, you should better look for another field of application.

But now for the chances of WooCommerce-Plugins. These are quite promising. Depending on the area of application, the market may not be as large as it is for Plugins is the case for WordPress himself. You can calculate with the following advantages:

  • The extensions can usually be sold at a higher price than WordPress -Plugins.
  • Shop owners earn money with their portals. That is why they invest more. In general, the share of professional operators is significantly higher than in the environment of classic bloggers.
  • They often have no technical expertise. This means that they need tools even for manageable use cases and do not develop them themselves.
  • Security and consistency is particularly important to the operators of a webshop. Therefore, license agreements often remain in place for many years.

Thinning for example WordPress.org after Pluginsfor WooCommerce. The download numbers show you quickly which topics are particularly popular with users.

Tip: Read the corresponding support forums at the same time. So you can see how complex the queries are depending on the topic - and how much effort you would have to put in. This information must be included in your overall calculation and pricing.

Tools with added value or a unique selling proposition are typically found in the following areas:

  • The connection to payment or logistics service providers that operate in a local market and have high or growing access rates there
  • Interfaces to systems such as accounting, merchandise management, analytics or CRM
  • extensions to new legal bases such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)which is especially important for webshops
  • Functions that are only required in certain target countries
  • Advanced marketing tools from the areas of newsletter, cross-selling or SEO for WooCommerce

Finally, look at the tools for which there is a Pro version. Because users are not willing to spend money for every purpose. This way you can roughly calculate what the market chances for your Pluginidea are. Besides, it does no harm to use the Roadmap from WooCommerce to have yourself on the screen:

The developer blog of WooCommerce
The developer blog of WooCommerceregularly reports about upcoming innovations

It makes little sense to develop a component that ends up in the core of the shop system a little later. Unless you develop them further for a specific sub-target market.

Development of themes

The same applies here as for the Plugins. You'll barely make it from the start, a WooCommerce-Theme that is becoming very popular. It can be more purposeful if you move into niches. For example, with a mainTheme and associated child-Themes for individual markets (one for food shops, one for online pharmacies, one for craftsmen, etc.).

However, research in advance how large the respective market is. An example: If online pharmacies are heavily regulated in your country, it makes no sense to offer products for this target group. Portals like ThemeForest .net are well suited to finding out general sales figures for individual divisions. You can also use the support questions to find out which countries the users mainly come from.

WooCommerce Themes at ThemeForest
The sales figures of the most successful WooCommerce-Themes to ThemeForest

In practice, the following points have proven to be successful:

  • Offer Themesthat are WooCommercedesigned for throughout. All-rounder templates usually come off worse here.
  • Find out which services the shop system does not offer in the standard system that your can Themeintercept. For example special subpages for showcases of artists and creative people.
  • Test target groups or markets that do not belong to the classic shops, but which nevertheless WooCommercesell products and services. The competition there may be less intense. For example event agencies, trainers, market and trading places or subscription models.
  • Put special emphasis on a user-friendly design of the product pages as well as on the topic Performance. Many classic shopsThemes do not really do well here.
  • Take care with the documentation of the Theme. it is your figurehead and tells a lot about the quality of your work.

In general, you Themeneed as many unique selling propositions as possible, while at the same time targeting as wide a market as possible. Then the marketing will be much easier for you.

Note: You should create your own portal where you market your products - whether you are Themesdeveloping Pluginsor not. However, it takes time for your customers to get to know it. Especially in the beginning you can use additional marketplaces for sales like ThemeForest , codecanyon.net use.

Online marketing for WooCommerce

Webshops sometimes need different Online Marketing measures than classic portals. This starts with the SEO optimization of product pages and ends with services such as Google or Facebook shopping. Search engines, for example, usually have specific rules for the listing of webshops. Subscribe to the Webmaster Head Office Blog from Google. He gives you first-hand tips on what is important when optimizing websites and shops:

Webmaster Head Office Blog
SEO tips from the Webmaster Central Blog

WooCommerce SEO is still a small niche, but that could change as the awareness level increases. In addition, there are countless small webshops that are only gradually becoming more professional. These have not yet recognized the need for optimization. But with increasing shop competition such an optimization is inevitable.

An online marketing package for WooCommercecould include classic SEO measures, such as

  • Optimization of product and category pages
  • Development of a target-oriented category and keyword structure
  • Avoidance of Duplicate Content
  • Correct technical distinction of multilingual shops
  • Increase loading speed etc.

This also includes the rather complex setup and maintenance of associated SEO plugins for WordPress and WooCommerce, for example, of Yoast WooCommerceSEO. See also our E-Book about Page Speed & Performance. In it, you will learn which optimisation measures ensure a faster WooCommerce Shop.

Takeover of complete shop projects

Of course you can also offer all the services described above in one. Main target groups are then:

  • Companies that focus on sales but not on technical operations
  • Classic shops that want to generate additional sales, but do not have the necessary expertise or time to do so
  • Classic portals that are already WordPress working with and need an additional sales channel (e.g. for e-books or webinars)

To be fair, however, you only offer such complete packages in an agency, not as a lone fighter. And this only if you have specialized employees for web design, development, analytics, performance, SEO etc. in your team.

As already mentioned, the individual disciplines have become so complex that it is impossible to unite them in one person. Many companies have had bad experiences with agencies. Above all because they promise things that they cannot keep in retrospect. Experienced customers prefer to name their strengths and call in specialists for everything else.

In general, it will make it easier for you to get started if you network well in good time with other freelancers or agencies that operate in the environment of WordPress andWooCommerce.

Note

The WooCommercescene is still under construction. Besides, it's not quite as open as you're WordPress used to. But if you join forces with others, you can gradually take on more comprehensive projects. Also the common acquisition is easier in a team.

Important sources and notes on the community

So far, interested people are organizing themselves for WooCommercein the WordPress community. Central contact points for this are the larger WordCamps and local user meetings called WP Meetups. Many of these meetings are held at meetup.com published - there you can search for suitable events in your region. A contact point for German language meetings is wpmeetups.com:

wpmeetups.com Community
User meetings in your city on wpmeetups.com

In the meantime, the first meetings are also being WooCommerceadvertised purely for tender. See the corresponding section on WooCommerce.com.

In the following you will find the most important sources around the leading shop system - divided into international sites as well as references for the German speaking market.

Tip: Also subscribe to our blog. There we will regularly report about all new developments for WooCommerce. Follow it via Twitter, Facebook , or subscribe to our Newsletter.

International portals and forums

Officials sites from WooCommerce

Other sources

WooCommerce for freelancers and agencies

Portals and forums for Germany, Austria and Switzerland

You can WooCommerce find more tips in our 70 sites e-book WooCommerce for professionals: online shops with WordPress. The book is aimed not only at freelancers, agencies and WP professionals but also beginners.

We are looking forward to meeting you at a WordCamp - regularly RAIDBOXES sponsors camps and meetups in the German speaking area. You have further questions about WooCommerce? Then please use the comment function.

And now good luck with your WooShops!

Picture: Marvin Meyer | Unsplash

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