When E-Commerce Needs Are Complex, Woocommerce May Not Be The Best

Kumar Gauraw

Woocommerce has certainly become a de facto shopping cart solution for WordPress powered websites. The implementation is easy, the plugin itself is free and it is maintained.
Its popularity is so high that so many popular themes are coming with many Woocommerce file templates bundled with the theme package. I have helped many of my clients with Woocommerce implementation on their websites.

However, the moment you realize that you need a little more than what comes bundled with the free Woocommerce plugin, you need to start spending money. The more you ask, the more you pay.

For example,

  1. If you need to add a few features to your products which customers could choose at the time of adding to their cart, you’ll need to spend $79.
  2. If you need to add any payment gateway other than PayPal standard, you pay at least $49 per gateway.
  3. If you want to collect recurring payments, probably you want to add Woocommerce Subscriptions extension which will cost you at least $199 per site.

Now, these are just a few examples of how you can easily end up spending thousands of dollars if your shopping cart requirements are just a little demanding.

And by the way, after paying all the money to add all these extensions, you may still not get all the features you need and, therefore, you will need to spend additional money on customizing e-commerce behavior to meet your needs.

Let me share with you some of the challenges we faced while working with Woocommerce Subscriptions which is such a highly priced item.

Problems With Woocommerce

It is a great plugin if you are selling T-shirts. However, if you are a service company or you are a membership website, you may not want to display a product page. Instead, you might want to create customized sales pages for each of your products and link them with Woocommerce to make your Β shopping cart work.

Well, Woocommerce needs you to create a product for everything you are selling. I have no problem in doing that. However, there is no setting anywhere in the plugin to hide that Woocommerce product page from being displayed.

It would have been nicer if Woocommerce allowed each product to be linked to a custom sales page so it would take people to that page when people click on the product name from the shopping cart. But, it won’t let you do that. Instead, it shows your customer a standard page which may be completely inappropriate, depending on the type of business.

To solve the problem, you need to get some custom work done. It is a problem that people with less technical background will struggle to solve and probably give up.

Problems With Woocommerce Subscriptions

When you pay $200 for this plugin, knowing that it is by Woothemes and actively maintained, you expect it be a fully functional subscription plugin with all the basic features included. But, you will be surprised to know that it lacks some of the basic features that you don’t even think of until you face the challenge.

For example, just to list a couple of problems:

  1. Woocommerce subscriptions does not allow subscribers to renew until their subscriptions expire. That means, his subscriber has to wait for his/her subscription to fully expire before he/she can renew. If you settle with this, I think it is a great way to lose some subscribers. Don’t you think?
  2. With products that require shipping, you might want to mark the order completed automatically. However, there is no way for you to get Woocommerce to automatically mark the order as complete. Instead, it sends all orders for manual review.

Imagine you got started with Woocommerce because you thought they are the best for every e-commerce need (well, they might be if all others are worse.)

However, these are pretty basic issues and I am sure a lot of people would have faced this challenge. I am surprised to see that Woothemes has not been able to come up with a solution to these issues so far.

My Team Created Two Plugins For Woocommerce

As you might have noticed already, I know of these problems because my clients have faced this and the Krishna World Wide Team created a few new plugins and some custom code for our clients to resolve some of these issues.

I am so very proud of my team members for not giving up and creating awesome plugins to solve each of these problems.

Now, we are in the process of packaging these plugins in the marketplace so that others who have been facing similar challenges might benefit from our work. I will write a separate post to announce the launch of a set of new WordPress plugins from Krishna World Wide very soon.

Is There A Better Shopping Cart For WordPress?

I do not exactly know the answer to this question. I posted a similar question in some of the forums and I have not received any satisfying answer yet.

So, this question is for you too. Do you know of a better shopping cart solution for WordPress which is well supported, has all the features of Woocommerce and doesn’t have all the problems of Woocommerce?

I look forward to your answers because this will help me enhance my knowledge and that in turn may help many other people who will come to me for this recommendation.

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and your experiences with shopping carts on WordPress platform.

Kumar Gauraw

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Kumar Gauraw is a Personal Branding & Social Media strategist helping entrepreneurs and skilled professionals achieve personal and professional success by developing leadership and leveraging the power of the Internet, Blogging and Social Media.

12 Awesome Thoughts So Far, Add Yours Now...

  1. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar,

    That was surely a detailed and informative post about ecommerce and woocommerce πŸ™‚

    Honestly speaking, I’ve yet to venture into this field as the need of selling anything as yet hasn’t arisen so far. But I am surely going to be bookmarking this post and come back to later, as and when required because you never know when you need such kind of information. I liked the information shared here, and congratulations on your team doing so well with creating the plugin, which would surely help many who face such issues.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead πŸ™‚
    Harleena Singh Recently Posted: 10 Proven Ways to Create a Social Media Plan for BloggersMy Profile

    • Twitter:
      Hi Harleena,

      I know you have yet not started selling anything online. However, don’t you sell writing services?

      Probably that is a good service to automate where people could pay you online for articles without waiting for you to send bills offline πŸ™‚


  2. Joel Cole

    WooC has worked out well for my clients. They buy the extensions they need and pass on those they don’t want. If they have a particularly onerous shipping problem they plunk down the $199 for Table Rate Shipping and since they don’t need membership (And I have no clients that do run membership programs) they don’t need to pay for that extension.

    Guess what, Open Cart will nick you for the extensions. So will Magenta. And the entry cost is pretty beneficial for Woo.

    WooC also has the added advantage of being pretty easy to learn. I haven’t found another ecommerce solution with a learning curve that’s any where near as low. I don’t know about your clients but mine don’t have the resouces or the time to deal with some high fallutin’ ecommerce program. WooCommerce works just fine for me.

  3. Twitter:
    Dear Mr. Kumar,

    As your blog tag-line says itself: “Challenging Complacency” – your team is following same. Nothing just inspired by you and your guidance.

    Krishna Worldwide Team Rocks! πŸ™‚

    Thank you!
    Rishabh Recently Posted: Two ways of being richMy Profile

    • Twitter:
      Indeed Rishabh! It has been a great run this year. We made some progress and we are now accelerating the growth!
      Keep up the great work!

  4. Hi Gauraw,
    I am first time on this site and feel so glad to read this an interesting post. πŸ™‚
    I am php developer and i used to work on so many e – commerce site. and now i am woking on one of woocommerce site and i face same problem that you have mentioned above.I got an idea from this blog.
    Thanks for sharing…..

  5. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar,

    I know of none.

    You see, the Woocommerce plugin has become so popular that many who have installed it have simply ‘managed’ it and prayed for things to get better. Personally the news that your team has developed some solutions by way of plugins is quite refreshing.

    On some of my blogs, I offer products for sale – both physical and digital. Sadly, when I attempted Woocommerce, integration with a payment processor was a challnege and everything else that could go wrong went wrong.

    I simply quietly uninstalled the whole package and went manual (since my sites do not handle an intimidating volume of orders yet).

    When your plugins become public, I may consider the option again.

    Make the day great!

    Akaahan Terungwa Recently Posted: 5 Factors That Will Make Your Online Business Succeed – Or Crash!My Profile

  6. Jatinder

    Woocommerce rocks the business world easily and effectively. Still, there are lots of problems, but we got a lot of benefits and features in your business to achieve success in it. And the plug-ins created by your team is really beneficial for ecommerce business owner. As my opinion, the Woocommerce is a better shopping cart for the popular blogging platform, WordPress.

  7. Twitter:
    Hey Kumar
    Long time since i was here. Apologies, have been quite busy with new projects, customers etc.
    But it is great to know about the limitations with WooCommerce because just the other day I was discussing it as an option to a customer, and have not used it much so do not have the same deep experience like you.
    Thanks for going to all that detail, and sharing it with us. Now I know who to ask, if I have problems :>
    Take care
    Ashley Faulkes Recently Posted: A Focus on New Social Media CampaignsMy Profile

  8. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar,

    I know WooCommerce is very popular, but I don’t use it, myself.

    I have a WP membership site with a membership plugin that pretty much handles everything for my purpose. I understand, though, that when you have multiple products and you want to sell them all through a central site, you really need a solution like WooCommerce.

    I have heard it’s relatively simple, but I say “relatively” because I’m not at all technical and personally, wouldn’t want to attempt it. But I do see great value in the plugin you’ve developed. I wish you the best with it, and I know for a fact that you’re support will be second to none. If I were using Woo, I wouldn’t hesitate to add the plugin.

    Best to you, Kumar.
    Donna Merrill Recently Posted: Learn To Blog The Right WayMy Profile

  9. I have known a lot of online business owners use Woocommerce and they are pretty satisfied with it. So, on the question about the best ecommerce tool? That can solve it.

  10. Twitter:
    Very Good and clean article on Woocomemrce. Though the things has been changed. If you see the Woocommerce past, present and future, you will see that, as like as wordpress woocommerce is the unbitten with any shopping cart Plugin. Because now you can create Multi vendor store, Retailers store etc.

    BTW though old but it help me to learn something new. Thanks for the awesome article.
    Sam R Recently Posted: Take Your WordPress Website To Next Level With wooCommerce DevelopmentMy Profile

Please Note: My goal is to host interesting conversations with caring, honest, and respectful people. Therefore, I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic.