Hi everyone! Welcome to our 95th podcast! Today we are talking about the future of ecommerce as we interview special guest, Brent Shepherd. Brent is an Australian living in the US who specialises in Woocommerce and building Woocommerce products with his company Prospress.
What is Woocommerce?
It is a WordPress plugin which lets you run an online store on your website. The fundamental difference between Woocommerce and platforms such as Shopify is that you host it on your own website, but on Shopify it is like renting the space on someone else’s platform.
Pros and Cons
You will probably need someone to help you manage Woocommerce on your website who knows what they’re doing. This could be a pro or a con depending on how well they understand your needs.
What are people doing well?
- Choosing a high-quality host – this is important to get right! Cheap hosting will usually restrict the things you can do and share resources with other sites.
- Using staging environments and cloning sites so that issues can be diagnosed without losing your site.
- Keeping it simple and not going too crazy with what’s installed on their website.
- Using subscriptions – memberships through to consumables. Small batch or boutique foods are popular, or even toothbrushes with a social entrepreneurship aspect (such as Smile For The People).
Biggest changes in Ecommerce
- Currencies such as Bitcoin
- Taking online stores into bricks and mortar also. Square is one example.
Trends in Ecommerce
- It’s all about mobile right now – mobile is huge and only growing in terms of how people are purchasing and interacting online.
- Digital currency such as Bitcoin removing geographical boundaries for currencies.
- Drones deliveries of physical goods.
Brent’s top Woocommerce extensions
- Stripe as a payment gateway.
- Shipping – Australia Post, Stamps.com
- Woocommerce Bookings.
- Events Calendar Pro with WooTickets extension
- Woocommerce Subscriptions
- Preorders Extension – good to gauge interest before launching.
- There are a number of gateways that are compatible, but Brent recommends Stripe or Braintree.
WooCommerce is Brent’s hobby and profession.
He founded Prospress (pronounced “prosperous”), a company dedicated to building WooCommerce products, including WooCommerce Subscriptions – the most popular extension in the official WooCommerce extension marketplace.
Brent also provided technical review for the first ever WooCommerce book: “Building E-Commerce Solutions with WooCommerce” and has given presentations on WooCommerce in Orlando, Phoenix, Sydney and San Francisco. He also helps organise the WooCommerce meetup in his new home of San Francisco, though he’s originally from Rockhampton, Central Queensland.