A Step-by-Step Guide on How To Start an Online Store with WooCommerce

In the world of retail, online shopping has quickly become one of the most important methods of expanding a business. More and more people buy online nowadays, some people even buy exclusively online.

Are you interested in starting your own online store? That’s great! This guide features tips and tricks about WooCommerce and setting up a page, so you can start selling today. Whether you want to start a business or expand your local business into the online space, this guide will help you out!  

By 2023, eCommerce is expected to account for 22% of global sales. However, according to Visual Objects, despite the rapidly growing importance of eCommerce, more than one-third of small businesses in America still don’t have a website.  

With our guide on how to set up WooCommerce, you’ll be able to create a professional eCommerce business that generates leads and improves your conversion rate. 

Here’s what we’ll cover today:

  • An introduction to WooCommerce and why it’s a great eCommerce platform
  • A step-by-step guide on how to start an online store and how to set up WooCommerce
  • Tips on growing your business once you have WooCommerce set up

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress websites, meaning you need to build a website on WordPress first. WooCommerce adds more functionality to your website, such as add-to-cart and check-out options to turn your site into an online store. 

As of 2021, roughly 75 million websites use WordPress, and almost four million use the WooCommerce plugin. With WooCommerce setup, you’ll be able to create a transactional online business where you can upload and sell products. 

Why should you choose WooCommerce for your online store?

In 2020, a study revealed that online businesses were more resilient to the changing economic landscape caused by the pandemic. So, if you don’t have an online presence for your business, now is a good time to consider creating one.

Before we get into how to create an online store and how to set up WooCommerce, here are a few reasons why WooCommerce is a great choice for your online shop.

1: WooCommerce integrates with WordPress and WordPress plugins. WordPress is an excellent website building platform. With WooCommerce, you’ll have access to everything it has to offer.

2: You can sell almost anything with WooCommerce. WooCommerce is extremely versatile. You can sell physical products like clothing or makeup or services like in-person appointments. 

3: You’ll have access to WooCommerce’s intelligent analytics. In order to grow your business, you should keep track of metrics, such as conversions, clicks, and visitor demographics. WooCommerce offers exceptional analytics so you can keep on top of your metrics.

4: WooCommerce is scalable. As your business grows, WooCommerce will always be able to keep up and support you.

5: The WooCommerce content management system (CMS) is second to none. The user-friendly, intuitive WooCommerce CMS makes running your online store straightforward and quick.

6: WooCommerce has multiple features that make selling products online easy. WooCommerce has loads of great features and add-ons, so every type of online store can thrive and offer its users a customized online shopping experience.

7: WooCommerce has a strong community of users. You can rest assured that the plugin will get continuous support, because it has such a large user base. Furthermore, you can find learnings from many other successful stores to help you take your store to the next level.

Ready to get WooCommerce set up on your WordPress website and start selling? Keep reading for a step-by-step guide on how to start an online store and how to set up WooCommerce. 

How To Open an Online Store Step by Step

  1. Find a host
  2. Set up WordPress
  3. Set up WooCommerce
  4. Choose a website theme
  5. Add products to your online WooCommerce store
  6. Create an effective sales funnel
  7. Use extensions to improve your website
How To Open an Online Store with WooCommerce

Find a Host

To figure out how to create an online store with WordPress and WooCommerce functionality, you’ll need to choose a host first. 

Bluehost is one of the best-known WordPress hosts on the web. In fact, WordPress officially recommends you choose us. We offer an easy step-by-step setup with WordPress, a free domain name for the first year, and 24/7 customer support. 

Discover more about our hosting packages to get started.

Learn How To Set Up WordPress

Once you’ve chosen a host, it’s time to set up WordPress as your website building platform. 

With Bluehost, we offer automatic WordPress installation. All you need to do is log in to your Bluehost account and choose Log into WordPress under the My Sites tab. Then, click Create Site to start building.

Learn How To Set Up WordPress

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If you use another website host, you may need to install WordPress manually. Every website host has a slightly different setup, so we recommend getting in touch with your host’s customer service to find out more about installing WordPress. 

Keep in mind, you can always migrate your WordPress website from your current host to Bluehost.

Learn How To Set Up WooCommerce

Once you’ve set up WordPress, you’ll need to install the WooCommerce plugin. This will enable you to post products and accept customer payments. 

Here’s a quick guide to WooCommerce setup using Bluehost:

1: Open your WordPress dashboard

2: Select the Plugins tab.

3: You’ll see the WordPress Plugin Directory. Find WooCommerce and select it.

4: WooCommerce will install. When it’s finished, click Activate.

5: You’ll then see WooCommerce in your active plugins list. Congratulations! You’ve got WooCommerce set up.

After you’ve installed and activated WooCommerce, you’ll have access to all of the plugin’s functions. You can now: 

  • Build website pages 
  • List products 
  • Set up payment methods 

Choose a Website Theme

Choosing a theme or template is a good first step when building your online store. Customize the color scheme and your page set up to give visitors an idea of what your brand is about.  

Choosing and customizing a theme that fits with your brand is relatively simple if you use WooCommerce. The default WooCommerce theme is called Storefront. You can install it for free in the WordPress Theme Directory.   

WooCommerce theme

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Storefront is a great option for most businesses — it’s a clean, professional theme that fits with just about every type of brand.

If you want a different look, you can also purchase premium WooCommerce themes. Premium themes allow you to further customize the look and feel of your store, making it stand out even more. Or you could hire an external designer. And Bluehost also offers a premium theme marketplace for our users.  

Add Product Pages to Your Online WooCommerce Store

Once you’ve got WooCommerce set up on your WordPress dashboard and you’ve chosen a template, you can start building the actual pages that will make up your website.

Landing Pages

Landing pages will be a key element of your online store. These are the pages that visitors will “land” on when they find your website through an organic Google search or through online advertisement.  

On landing pages, you should: 

  • Highlight your best products 
  • Optimize for relevant keywords 
  • Encourage new visitors to learn more about your store 

It’s important to note that a landing page isn’t the same as a homepage. Your homepage can be a landing page, but other pages can also act as landing pages. Let’s say you have a tea store in Berlin. When someone searches for “tea store in Berlin”, they may find your store homepage on the search result page and use that link to get to your website. Someone could also search for “high-quality earl grey Berlin” and find your earl grey tea product page. If they click on that link to get to your website, your earl grey product page is then considered a “landing page”.

Product Listings and Product Pages

Product pages are among the most important aspects of any eCommerce website. These pages are for displaying and listing your products. 

WooCommerce provides easy product page templates where you can customize features such as:

  • Price 
  • Product photo 
  • Product description

Once you’re happy with your product page template, you can add all your products to the Products dashboard. This dashboard allows you to: 

  • Filter by product category and customizable tags 
  • Enter inventory and shipping information
  • Link certain products together 

Managing your products in this dashboard is quick and easy. Whenever you have a new product, you can quickly add it to your list, and it will instantly appear on your website. If you want to make changes to a specific product, you won’t have to make complicated changes to a webpage — simply edit the settings in your dashboard. 

WordPress Dashboard

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Shopping Cart and Checkout

You’ll also be able to create high-quality shopping carts and checkout pages with WooCommerce.  

In the Payments extension dashboard, you can quickly access information about purchases and returns and update factors such as shipping costs.

Tips To Grow Your Online Store With WooCommerce

Now that we’ve covered how to start an online store and how to set up WooCommerce, let’s discuss how to use the plugin. 

Once your WooCommerce website is set up with products and payment options, you can focus on your digital marketing strategy. An eCommerce website gives you a great opportunity to increase your conversions and introduce a whole new group of customers to your brand. 

Here are a few tips on how you can get the most out of your WooCommerce website and start seeing results fast.

Create an Effective Sales Funnel

When you start an online store, you should focus on building a business plan that prioritizes using an effective sales funnel. This way, you’ll be able to guide users through your website from homepage to checkout.   

1: Use SEO (search engine optimization) keyword research and social media marketing to reach your target audience and improve your incoming organic traffic. 

2: Use opt-ins to generate an email list of leads.

3: Implement automated email marketing to contact potential customers at key points in the buyer journey.

4: Follow up with customers to encourage brand loyalty. 

5: Consider online ads (social media and search ads) to drive paid traffic to your website. This can be helpful if you’ve just started your online store and want your product to reach people quickly. 

Use Extensions to Improve Your Website

WooCommerce comes with a wide range of extension options that can help you to further customize your online store. 

Here are just a few examples of great WooCommerce extensions you can try.

1: Increase your available payment methods. The Payments extension makes it easy to offer a range of payment gateways at checkout, including credit card payments, PayPal, and Stripe.

2: Increase average order value by creating product kits. With the Composite Products extension, you’ll be able to create customizable product sets to encourage your customers to spend a little more each time they visit your website.

3: Let customers make bookings and appointments. With the WooCommerce Bookings extension, you can let customers book appointments or make reservations. 

Final thoughts

We hope you found our guide on how to start an online store helpful. Starting a brand new WooCommerce store can be overwhelming — and that’s where we come in. 

Bluehost is recommended by WordPress as the best web host. When you choose Bluehost, you’ll be able to start building a professional WordPress eCommerce store within minutes. We can help you install WordPress and set up WooCommerce in no time.  

Plus, with our 24/7 customer support, store owners won’t have to worry about navigating a new platform on their own. We’re here to help.
Check out our WooCommerce hosting plans to get started today.

Tiffani Anderson
Tiffani Anderson |
Tiffani is the Content and Social Marketing Manager for the Bluehost brand. She has a passion for creating engaging content, SEO and social media!

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