WooSesh kicked off this week with a keynote from WooCommerce CEO Paul Maiorana, outlining the current state of the ecosystem. According to Builtwith, more than 3.4 million of his websites use WooCommerce, including his 25% of the top 1 million online stores. It is by far the most popular solution among WordPress sites with ecommerce, taking his 93% of the market share.
Maiorana highlighted some of the industry-wide trends that will take shape in 2023. WooCommerce merchants are uncertain about the economy, some optimistic, others not believing it will improve anytime soon. Although growth has slowed since the 2021 pandemic’s rapid acceleration into his e-commerce, Maiorana said revenue is projected to rise steadily through his 2025.
The WooCommerce core is going through a transformation as the new admin is fully integrated and the cart and checkout blocks are now part of the core (beta). The plugin is now more block friendly with over 40 blocks available. WooCommerce has seen a 319% increase in the use of block themes and aims to bring full compatibility with block-based themes out of the box.
The market for hosted WooCommerce products is heating up
One of the biggest announcements at the event was that WooCommerce is working with hosting partners to develop its own hosted turnkey solution. WordPress.com plans to pilot the product first in February 2023. Maiorana said the goal of the solution is to improve onboarding and retention by:
- WooCommerce pre-installed, activated and hosted
- A prepackaged set of essential plugins
- Simplified onboarding that works with partner systems to improve conversions
- Competitive monthly rates to reduce churn
- Co-marketing and revenue sharing with hosts
WooCommerce’s hosting solution puts it in direct competition with other hosts who have recently launched their own offerings.
In November 2021, GoDaddy acquired Pagely with the intention of rolling out a new SaaS WooCommerce product. Pagely has combined payment processor Poynt, which it acquired in 2020, with popular WooCommerce plugin developer SkyVerge to create an integrated solution. Last month, GoDaddy launched an open access preview of its managed WooCommerce store for US-based customers.
GoDaddy’s solution features the ability to sync across marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Google, Walmart, Etsy and YouTube, with a single dashboard to manage payment processing, marketing, shipping and inventory . Integrates with GoDaddy Payments and charges a transaction fee of 2.3% + 30¢ for both online and in-person transactions. Hosted WooCommerce Preview plans range from $99.99/month to $249.99/month.
At WooSesh today, Beka Rice, senior director of product management at GoDaddy, gave an overview of multichannel and omnichannel sales for ecommerce merchants in a presentation. Enabling multi-channel store management, he seems to be one of GoDaddy’s main selling points for the product.
Bluehost is another recent contender in the managed WooCommerce hosting space, having launched a product last month. In March, Bluehost’s parent company, Newfold Digital, acquired YITH, a WordPress plugin company with over 100 WooCommerce extensions. Bluehost’s managed WooCommerce package includes a curated set of YITH plugins that help merchants extend their stores to offer gift cards, reservations and appointments, wishlists, product filtering, and more.
Bluehost offers two plans. For the first year, with annual billing, customers pay $9.95/month for simple stores and $12.95/month for sales in various marketplaces. Customers on the more expensive plans have the option to manage his product inventory on Etsy, Amazon and eBay from an integrated dashboard via Ecomdash. At the budget end of the WooCommerce hosting spectrum, his Bluehost offering focuses on creating a user-friendly, guided onboarding experience.
Bluehost conducted an internal survey last year and found that small business customers were looking for a solution that would enable them to sell online, many of them first-time website creators. The company created this new WooCommerce service to eliminate the hassle of navigating through themes and the many plugins required to launch a store.
Bluehost uses YITH’s Wonder theme as the opening theme for their store, which we reviewed in August.
“Our theme is built for WordPress and takes advantage of the block structure modern WordPress websites are starting to adopt (one of the early block-based themes).
WooCommerce block theme) and three full-page patterns for different home page layouts and designs,” said Jason Cross, Newfold Digital SVP of Digital Presence and Commerce.
“This not only gives users a modern-looking store, but also allows them to continue to customize it easily in the future. You can easily customize the combination and typography.”
Bluehost’s services are aimed at catering to merchants who build their own stores. The company doesn’t create its own payment solutions, but does connect to popular payment providers like PayPal and Stripe to offer cash on delivery and in-store pickup options.
WooCommerce is at the beginning of its journey to launch a hosted solution, but the company also has another role within the ecosystem as the maintainer of the core software. In his post-keynote interview with Tavern, Maiorana said the majority of his WooCommerce core development underway (+90%) is being done by his WooCommerce team at Automattic. .
“One of the key differences is that we, as our most important ‘customer,’ focus more on the WooCommerce ecosystem, which includes thousands of web hosts supporting and driving the adoption of WordPress and Woo around the world. It’s putting it down,” he said.
“And what we hear from these customers is that it’s hard to compete with the simplicity that a unique turnkey ecommerce solution offers. They don’t have the capabilities to deal with them holistically, they need our help to compete and win.”
Many of the major hosts that serve WordPress customers, such as WP Engine, GoDaddy, and Bluehost, have already developed their own hosted WooCommerce solutions, but there are curated plugins, themes, and friendly onboarding. There are many small companies that do not offer Open to partnering with WooCommerce makers.
“We’re also working from a ‘core first’ perspective,” Maiorana said. “That means our efforts here will help bring improvements directly across the core WooCommerce experience and other related extensions. , we want to give back to all WooCommerce users.
“We believe the winning strategy for the WooCommerce community is not to split efforts or keep these innovations to ourselves, but to work together to make WooCommerce better for everyone. increase.”
Maiorana couldn’t share more details about the solution it’s developing, but the WooCommerce.com marketplace has over 800 products, and the company wants the people who host them to be excited about the extension. WooCommerce is also currently beta testing WooPay, a single-click cross-site checkout experience using WooCommerce Payments. WooPay’s integration with WooCommerce’s hosting customer network could also greatly enhance the new checkout (and WooCommerce Payments).
With WooCommerce soon running a solution hosted on WordPress.com, the race for managed ecommerce hosting is starting to heat up. It may no longer be enough for hosting companies to simply offer pre-installed WooCommerce and Storefront. The largest hosting companies are acquiring WooCommerce plugin shops to create attractive packages of store features, but as WooCommerce adoption continues to grow, there is more room to offer a wide variety of products at a wide range of price points. there is.