Plugins To Get Your Online Shop Up and Running
For the most part, you can set up shop and start selling with WooCommerce in a relatively short amount of time.
What I’m about to share isn’t my way of telling you how you should do it. There are actually many different platforms out there with built-in features that allow you to start selling products online rather quickly. I just prefer the flexibility and customization that comes with WordPress.
Below is a basic overview of the tools I use to make things run a little more smoothly.
I use this plugin to send the tracking number once the order has been completed. I don’t think you can do this without a plugin, but I’ve seen people copy and paste the tracking number in the “Note” section, which works. With this plugin, the customer can just click on a link and it will redirect them to the shipping details on the USPS (United States Postal Service) site or whatever carrier you use to ship. You have the ability to select multiple carriers as well.
If you want to include packing lists or invoices, then this plugin will do the job. The free version is all you need if you don’t want to customize anything. I use the default layout with my logo. It’s not really necessary if you don’t care about this type of stuff.
This plugin allows you to customize your WooCommerce template emails. The default templates are kind of plain, so if you want some additional styling, then this will help without doing any coding. Although there are only a few templates to choose from, you also have the ability to add custom CSS to get the look you want. It’s simple and works.
By default, Woocommerce comes with PayPal. I accept both PayPal and credit cards. This plugin will allow you to process credit card payments with a Stripe account (which is free to sign up, but you pay a small percentage per transaction). The terms are very similar to PayPal. This route is a simpler alternative to setting up a merchant account through a bank. You will need to have an SSL Certificate to secure your data when you process credit cards through your site (the URL changes from http to https). Make sure you set that up with your host provider. The setup is pretty easy to follow. Just read the instructions as you go.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one place to process your orders and handle shipping, then Shipstation can do just that. It can integrate with almost every platform and it automatically imports your order details. You can also get a Stamps.com account or link an existing one when you sign up.
This piece of software alone can probably replace all of the above plugins listed, but it comes with a slightly higher monthly price tag. So far, I can only justify it if I’m having a high volume of orders every month, but I wanted to give you the option to choose depending on your situation.
Shipping and Supplies
For shipping, I use Stamps.com. If you’re shipping internationally, the forms for customs will automatically be generated for you when you plug in all the information. Shipping in the U.S. is pretty straight forward. The online prices are cheaper than if you go to the post office. I use these inkjet/laser jet shipping labels. I’ve also heard good things about Endicia.
For shipping supplies, I use Uline.com. They virtually have everything you need.
I get my stickers made through StickerMule.com. They are weatherproof and made of durable vinyl.
Hopefully this was helpful to you. I know this was a lot and I’m sure you have questions. I plan to write more about the process of selling physical products in the future.
In case I missed something or if you have a specific question, let me know by selecting “Blog post Feedback” from the dropdown menu on the contact page.