WooSesh is a virtual conference for WooCommerce that this fall took place between October 11-13 and offered no less than 25 sessions and a workshop.
This edition of WooSesh offered a good range of sessions where both the small shop owner and the large web agency could take part in interesting presentations, with topics such as conversion optimization, e-commerce performance and the future of WooCommerce. Something for everyone, quite simply.
All talks can be accessed free of charge for a short period of time and thereafter at any time as a member of WPSessions.
(Some stats from WooSesh are specific to the US market)
WooSesh kicked off with a Keynote by WooCommerce CEO Paul Maiorana. Paul talked a bit about something that probably didn’t pass anyone by during the pandemic, namely that e-commerce developed and changed gears at breakneck speed. However, we are now seeing a slowdown where some trade is returning to what was normal before COVID.
However, e-commerce still looks set to rise steadily until at least 2025. Above all, you can see that B2B trade is increasing sharply and that many B2B companies are planning to invest in e-commerce during the year.
With an unstable economy, many merchants are naturally uncertain about what the future looks like, many are investing in payment solutions that offer invoices (or buy now, pay later) to compensate for the declining purchasing power of customers.
Greater focus is also placed on simpler marketing and SEO as a cheap way to reach customers.
WooCommerce in numbers
What’s a Keynote without numbers for what the market looks like for WooCommerce?
More than 3.4 million sites currently use WooCommerce, including 25% of the top 1 million stores. 93% of all eCommerce sites running WordPress use WooCommerce. WooCommerce has now been downloaded more than 160 million times in total.
The WooCommerce marketplace currently offers more than 848 products. More than 60 languages are supported.
Upcoming news for WooCommerce
Automattic is working on several new functions and improvements for WooCommerce, some of which we will be released during the fall.
Gutenberg and block editing are becoming an increasingly integrated part of WordPress and bit by bit the same applies to WooCommerce. Darren Ethier talked about all the exciting news that is being worked on when it comes to block editing and FSE (full site editing) in his presentation “The Future of Personalizing Your Storefront”.
For some parts of WooCommerce, the block editor has already been introduced. Darren also talked more about how development is going and how FSE is also the goal for a standardized editing process in WooCommerce. We will see an expansion of block editing in 2023.
In a survey from last year that Woo conducted, 35% of merchants answered that they were considering cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. With that, WooCommerce will adopt better support for cryptocurrencies with its own category and more in the WooCommerce marketplace.
With the rise of social e-commerce, integrations have also been created for platforms such as Pinterest and TikTok.
One of the big news presented by Paul Maiorana in this keynote was Woo hosting. They are currently developing a turnkey solution for WooCommerce together with their hosting partners. This will be a hosted version of WooCommerce, much like WordPress.com VIP. More information about this will be presented in 2023.
WooSesh offered several interesting sessions from the 24 speakers. Here are some of the insights, tips and discussions we attended.
Flash Sale – Not just Black Friday
Kim Coleman had an interesting presentation on how to use sales all year round without making it a losing business or devaluing your products. She believes that as long as you dare to test different types of offers that suit your customers and plan this for the whole year (especially when you have dips in sales) you can get both satisfied customers and make a profit from it. Kim’s key points to consider:
- Don’t try to oversell once or twice a year when competition is at its highest (eg Black Friday)
- Run sales when it suits your business (low revenue months)
- Don’t have sales too often
- Sales events don’t have to be price reductions, dare to try other concepts
Kim indirectly answered a question that might come up when talking about sales. Namely that you may not have the margins to have several sales and that you only bet on Black Friday.
For one thing, it doesn’t have to be sales with price reductions, even though that might be what drives the most sales. But it can also be other types of events. If price reductions are the driving force, Kim suggested increasing the price to be able to carry out a sale.
This was probably the thing that created the most questions during WooSesh, most likely because this is something that might work to do in the US, in Europe and Sweden we have rules around pricing and sales. Not least with the EU’s new directive for price information.
Automation can be a real sales boost with relatively small funds even when talking about offers. Nirav Mehta talked about one of the tools, Offermative, you can use in WooCommerce to easily create upsells in the checkout, offers or other marketing automation.
For marketing, there is a lot on the horizon to think about. Third-party cookies will soon be a thing of the past when it comes to marketing. Apple has introduced strict new rules on what data is available, Google is about to abandon cookies in favour of new technologies for third-party data.
It is a change that can be quite complex depending on how this data was used in the past. Ali Flowers had an interesting session about this during WooSesh. You will find her answer in the playbook Customer-First Marketing: The new brand playbook for the privacy-first era.
Monitoring your website in different layers becomes more important the bigger you are.
In Daniel Espinoza’s session “Monitoring Your WooCommerce Store to Avert Disaster!” Daniel talked about the importance of monitoring your website to minimize the risk of outages.
You can actually start as a small e-retailer with simpler monitoring of your website with, for example, UptimeRobot or similar services. But as you grow, you also want to add several layers of monitoring. It is, for example, about also monitoring so that you do not introduce code that makes the page unusable in any way, but also monitoring for your checkout solution so that visitors can actually complete their purchase. An example of a checkout monitoring tool is Monitorific.
It’s one of the many benefits of management at Angry Creative where we have standardized monitoring in place to avoid unpleasant surprises.
An inspiring way to manage and display product variations in WooCommerce
On the second day, Krissie VandeNoord presented a very interesting case for how to let customers customize products in WooCommerce.
During a pandemic, it is very difficult to be able to offer your customers showroom demonstrations and with that, Krissie’s team came to the conclusion that they needed to find new ways to be able to display and offer customization of products.
They created a unique experience in WooCommerce for the Canadian furniture company Geovin, where customers can customize several hundred variations of furniture with the help of 3D rendering.
This solution was created by integrating ShapeDiver into WooCommerce.
These are just a few of the sessions we could see during WooSesh. We received many good tips and interesting solutions, but above all, we gained more insight into the future development of WooCommerce.
If you want to see any of the sessions that were shown on WooSesh, you can become a member of WPSessions.
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