WooCommerce, the leading e-commerce platform for WordPress sites, shows no signs of slowing down.
Powering over 3.4 million online stores already, WooCommerce has ambitious plans to expand its reach even further.
In a recent interview with Search Engine Journal, WooCommerce CEO Paul Maiorana revealed upcoming improvements focused on performance, payments, product management, and site design.
Despite challenges in the rapidly changing e-commerce industry, Maiorana remains committed to WooCommerce’s central mission of democratizing online commerce.
The company aims to power 10-15% of all websites globally – eventually.
Leveraging Existing Platforms For Rapid Growth
As WordPress has grown, so too has WooCommerce.
An open-source e-commerce platform built on the platform, WooCommerce has benefited tremendously from the widespread adoption of WordPress.
Maiorana points out that one of the advantages of using WooCommerce with WordPress is that it allows businesses to adapt and change their websites to meet new needs without switching to a new platform – creating .
That creates flexibility to evolve a WooCommerce site within WordPress as it grows.
“With WooCommerce, you can sell anything,” Maiorana notes. “You could build an auction-style site … or run a crowdfunding type of site.”
The Power Of Community
With WordPress powering just under half of all websites, the vast community is a critical driver of growth for WooCommerce.
“WordPress powers 43% of sites on the internet and has broad awareness. Essentially, everybody’s used [it] at some point in their lives.”
Integrating seamlessly into WordPress sites provides WooCommerce access to a massive base of potential customers needing an e-commerce solution.
“As people come into the ecosystem, WooCommerce is the most popular ecommerce solution.”
Simplicity & Flexibility Propel Growth
A core factor in WooCommerce’s success is its blend of simplicity and flexibility, making it easy to set up an online store using WordPress – quickly.
At the same time, WooCommerce offers abundant customization options to meet the needs of larger enterprises.
“You can’t outgrow WooCommerce or WordPress,” Maiorana shares.
A Unified Ecommerce Experience
In response to the demand for a more streamlined ecommerce solution, WooCommerce launched WooExpress, which provides a turnkey solution.
“What we’ve done with WooExpress is essentially to take all of our capabilities in the WooCommerce ecosystem,” Maiorana explains, “and bring those all together into a complete pre-configured package with hosting integrated.” The platform has seen demand that has “blown away our expectations,” according to Maiorana.
When asked about future developments and improvements, Maiorana shared a robust roadmap.
The company is focusing on performance and scalability, new checkout interfaces, and introducing a new product editing interface.
Additionally, WooCommerce is adopting the Gutenberg project from WordPress, which provides a visual editing experience for websites.
On future developments, Maiorana shares:
“One of the beauties of working in an open source company is that we work in public, right? So we keep very few things close to our vest, and we have to; it forces us to operate in a very transparent way.”
WooCommerce Enterprise, AI, and Machine Learning
Touching upon the company’s services for larger-scale businesses, Maiorana shared more around the recent launch of WooCommerce Enterprise, which offers stores at scale, just to have a much tighter white-glove support relationship with us.”
To that end, the company is also adapting to the rise of AI and machine learning, with newly-unveiled AI features to assist in product editing; e.g., generating product titles, descriptions, and SEO content.
And, Maiorana adds, “We’ve got a lot that we’re looking at internally, as well.”
Maiorana also mentioned using AI in customer support responses, leveraging tools like DocSpot from the broader WordPress ecosystem to ensure efficient response times.
Future Challenges & Visions
The rapidly changing ecommerce industry presents a significant challenge for WooCommerce: a phenomenon Maiorana acknowledges. However the company is preparing to meet these challenges by staying close to customers and understanding their needs.
“The biggest challenge is that it’s a fast-changing industry. It was already growing quickly pre-COVID,” he explains, “but COVID upended a lot of historical trends, and consumers’ buying patterns have changed dramatically.
As for the future, Maiorana re-affirmed WooCommerce’s mission of democratizing publishing and commerce.
The company aims to increase the percentage of websites powered by WooCommerce, currently at 8.7%, and continue to engage the developer community in its ecosystem.
Takeaways For Marketers & Business Owners
The rise of WooCommerce underscores the power of simplicity, community, and adaptability.
As for what marketers and business owners can do with Maiorana’s observations, the conversation presented some key practical insights:
- Leverage existing platforms and communities – and cultivate new ones.
- Design intuitive solutions that scale.
- Scale with your customers.
- Stay true to your core mission, no matter how much you grow.
With ambitious plans for the future, WooCommerce exemplifies how embracing openness and democratization can enable explosive growth.
Featured Image: photosince/Shutterstock