I have been on the online merchant for many years now. In fact, I have been selling things online since about 1994 or so. I stepped up big time in about 2002 or so with selling online, and have been going full steam ahead ever since. I currently have 15 different websites that are selling one type of product or another.
Because I have so much experience with eCommerce, I have a lot of different experiences with online shopping carts! Believe it or not, when I first started selling online, it was not easy to accept payments, in fact, in those days it was a matter of people emailing me a check before I would ship their item to them! There was no Paypal or any other real payment gateway available back in those days!
In around 97 or 98, I got active on eBay, and at that time there was Paypal that you could use for accepting payment. It was still quite unsophisticated, though… but it worked and really sped up the payment process.
Later, in 2001 or so, I started what became my premier eCommerce site, WowPhilippines. I was using Paypal’s latest and greatest website payment system – the Paypal Shopping Cart. The Paypal Shopping Cart was an improved shopping experience that Paypal came up with that was a smoother flow and the ability for people to buy multiple items in a “shopping cart” and check out one time. It was pretty good, for back in the day. Although it still exists today, it is not widely used, especially by “sophisticated” merchants.
After some time of using the Paypal Shopping Cart, I decided that it was time for me to move on to a much better shopping cart system. I shopped around looking for something that had a lot more features, was easy for customers to use, and would take my online store up to the next level. That was probably in 2004 or so, as I recall. I settled on OSCommerce, a free, open source shopping cart system.
I used OSC for probably about 7 years or so, and it really did serve me well. But, as time went by, OSC became jumbled with so much code from the Open Source community, and it was just a bear to manage. It was cumbersome for the customer and also cumbersome for the administrator and store employees to operate. The time had come for me to move on.
About 3 years ago, I decided to move my eCommerce websites to WordPress. The shopping cart part of the equation, I chose to use a plugin called “WP eStore”. It is a great plugin shopping cart for downloadable products (eBooks and such). I liked it a lot, and because I was so enamored with it, I figured out a way to make it work fairly well with physical products in addition to downloadable electronic products.
After a couple years, though, I started getting a few customer complaints with different things about the shopping cart. I don’t like getting complaints, but I didn’t let these few complaints bother me. Until recently.
A few weeks ago, I started wanting to step up and get my eCommerce store back up to a higher level of sales, and better customer satisfaction with the shopping cart. I started researching and looking for a better shopping cart. I did still want to use WordPress for the website, so that helped focus my search to a shopping cart that would be compatible with WP.
My research all led me to WooCommerce, the eCommerce plugin from WooThemes. I basically already knew that WooCommerce is the leader for doing eCommerce on WordPress, and the more I looked into it and started testing it, the more I liked it. About the only thing that bothered me was that I didn’t really want to use a WooTheme theme on the site. I have been a long time user of StudioPress themes, especially their Genesis Theme Framework in conjunction with a Genesis child theme. I love using Genesis, but Genesis themes were not compatible with WooCommerce.
Or so I thought.
Turns out that there is a plugin called Genesis Connect for WooCommerce. It is a WordPress plugin that makes Genesis themes work with WooCommerce. With the plugin and a small amount of tweaking, I got everything working just the way that I wanted! I am truly loving WooCommerce so far. I feel that it is the best Shopping Cart that I have ever used on any of my eCommerce stores so far. The features are great, and I am getting a lot of compliments from customers who are loving it too!
I am thinking…
In fact, I am loving WooCommerce so much that I am thinking of moving all of my online stores to Woo. It is that good, that smooth, that seamless. I have tested it with downloadable products and it is great for that as well! I am expecting that within 4 to 6 months, I will have all of my shopping carts using Woo, it is that good!
So, if you are thinking of using WooCommerce, or searching for shopping cart software, I highly recommend WooCommerce! Give it a shot, I bet you will like it too!