E-commerce (electronic commerce) refers to buying or selling of products on online platforms. E-commerce is based on technologies like mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automatic data collection systems.

Typical e-commerce transactions include the acquisition of online books (such as Amazon) and music purchases (music download within the type of digital distribution like iTunes Store), and to a less extent, customized/personalized online liquor store inventory services. Three areas of e-commerce are: online retailing, electronic markets, and online auctions. E-commerce is supported by electronic business.

E-commerce businesses also can employ some or all of the followings:

Online retail sales direct to consumers via websites and mobile apps, and conversational commerce via live chats, chatbots, and voice assistants.
Participating in online marketplaces, which process third-party business-to-consumer (B2C) or consumer-to-consumer (C2C) sales.
Business-to-business (B2B) buying and selling.
Gathering and using demographic data through web contacts and social media.
Business-to-business (B2B) electronic data interchange.
Marketing to prospective and existing customers by e-mail or fax (for example, with newsletters)
Engaging in launching new products and services.
Online financial exchanges for currency exchanges or trading purposes.

Plan your site

Your products: sort of products & their attributes: Variations, size, weight, categories, images or other assets.
Requirements: POS, drop ship, billing or accounting software integrations.
Payment processing: PayPal, stripe, PCI compliance.
Shipping & Tax: Shipping companies, rates, packaging.
Sitemap: Including non-product pages and sections.

Why such a lot planning?

First time e-commerce site owners, and even people coming from managed e-commerce services like shopify & etsy will underestimate the quantity of labor involved.
Helps you more accurately scope project.
Gives client a far better understanding of the work on their end.
Find issues & requirements early.
Forces/Helps clients to work out their business processes.

Plan your products

Types of products: Digital, physical, drop-ship; shirt, mug, blanket etc.
Attributes/Variations: Your product options; colours, sizes, custom text; size and weight, price variations.
Assets: What they’re , and the way will you produce them: images, PDFs, videos etc.

Plan requirements

Integrations: Existing or planned third-party services site must integrate with: POS, billing, tax, shipping.
Existing content: Migrations: Are the products currently in another system and can got to be exported/imported? Formats: CSV, XML, …manual?

Plan payment processing

Requirements: Off-site payment OK? Take credit cards, check/COD, PayPal, other? got to process on-site??
Company: PayPal, Stripe, Square, Authorize.net?
PCI compliance: Complex third-party certification that your payment process is secure.

Plan shipping & tax

Map the complete shipping process: what is going to the owner’s full process be for shipping: map it start to end .
Options & integrations: International? USPS, FedEx, UPS? Drop-ship, invoicing integration.
Calculate costs: This part is more complex than it seems!! 1, 2, 3 items? Surcharges? Free add-on’s? Flat rate?

Plan sitemap

Map out all pages and sections: Terms & conditions, return policy, sizing chart, about me, contact.
Product categories: (An attribute is usually not a category)


Configuring woo commerce, adding functionality & integrations
The woo commerce wizard guides you thru some basic store setup:

Creates shop pages (shop, cart, checkout, my account)
Defines locale (business origin, currency, units)
Sets up tax.
Identifies payment processor.

Product attributes

A way to group products for sort and filter.
Set attributes globally or at individual product level.
Allow variations on a product, with control over prices, stock, image and more for every variation.
Basically a category but not a category.

Shipping zones & classes

It can get super complex.
Set shipping classes to use to product groups.
Depending on complexity of shipping needs, you’ll got to extend woo.
Shipping tables plugin may be a standard for many sites who don’t use flat rate.
Jetpack offers live shipping rates and printing.
This woocommerce guide to shipping for little business is great.

Taxes and tax classes

Jetpack offers taxjar calculator that automates taxes and filing.
I am not a lawyer and doubtless neither are you. Recommend consulting with a tax professional or an accountant on their best options, plus any applicable laws to their state, country or business.

Payment gateway

Take transactions off of your site and onto a 3rd party.
Otherwise you want to undergo PCI compliance, which may be costly and tons of labor .
Choose supported existing merchant account, deposit, integration needs, sorts of payments offered, and price of transactions and services.
Do your research.

Design or pick a topic supported your content and functionality needs

Woocommerce works with any theme.
WC templates render inside the content, so product layouts will work on all themes.
Automatically enables lightbox and zoom.
Declare woocommerce support in your theme to make WC overrides to content, layout and functionality.
Reviews rather than comments.
Custom product views and widgets.

Add products

Edit product page.
Uses basic editor adds another stuff.
Product type
Price & tax level
Shipping specifications
Linked products
Attributes & variations

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