Matt Mullenweg, State of the Word 2020 and WooCommerce

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Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress gave the State of the Word for 2020 virtually. Normally presented at WordCampUS, of course, with the cancellation of the event, he still gave his yearly address. It was filled with a lot of great insights for the year and specifically when it came to WooCommerce. He started by sharing how WooCommerce was part of the three mega trends that attributed to the fast growth of WordPress this year.

Second was a mega boom in eCommerce. We’ve all heard how eCommerce was pulled forward many, many years. There is an incredibly flexible eCommerce plugin for WordPress called WooCommerce.WooCommerce facilitated over $20 billion in sales so far this year. More than double the year before.

The intersection of commerce and content is huge and a growing space. And as people who might be introduced to selling things online through, maybe eBay or an Amazon or a proprietary SaaS service like Shopify, as they reach a limit of those services, they look for the most flexible thing out there. And the most flexible thing out there on the internet is almost always going to be WordPress.

Matt Mullenweg, State of the Word 2020

Then Matt went on to talk about the challenges this year and how so many businesses have stepped up with using WordPress.

In one example, he talked about a site, and a very successful site, that has used WordPress and WooCommerce.

On the eCommerce side of things, you might’ve come across a cool product named, which is like a Peloton of strength training. A side effect of this pandemic has been personal health shifting to our homes. Tonal anticipated the need for virtual fitness coaches and uses AI combined with a really innovative mirror interface, where as a screen embedded in the mirror. And then it has kind of like pulleys that provide resistance training, I think up to 200 pounds and they can offer a superior workout when you’re at home.

They don’t disclose their sales, but just a few months ago in September, there is $110 million funding round, which will give you a hint of their growth and scale. They also disclosed when they did that round that in the past year, their revenue has grown by 12 times. And this is all built on WordPress and WooCommerce, which is very exciting, both for the scale and showing that you can build a really cool new product and service on top of it.

Matt Mullenweg, State of the Word 2020

In the last part of the State of the Word questions were taken via video from a wide variety of WordPress users across the globe. They also brought on other team members to answer some of these specific questions. When someone asked about the challenges of this year and what empowerment it brings to the people to start new businesses online, Paul Maiorana, CEO of Woo answered with this.

Your question couldn’t be more pertinent in a year like 2020 that has brought such hardship to small businesses. WooCommerce powers over 2 million stores on our platform, and we take that role really seriously. One of the things that we’ve been focused on this year, we know that WordPress and WooCommerce can often be or require a little bit of technical knowledge. You’re just encouraged to kind of get up and running with if you’re less experienced with the platforms. And this year, especially this year, stores may not necessarily have the budget to go out and hire that additional help.

So we’ve been focused this year on empowering merchants to be more self-sufficient and removing many of the obstacles that a merchant might hit in getting their store online and then running and growing that store. We’ve been focused on our onboarding, for one, streamlining the setup process and configuration for Woo, such that we can get to that first sale that much more quickly. We’re redesigning the navigation around WooCommerce to make it that much more intuitive, again, for folks who are maybe less experienced with WooCommerce and WordPress.

We’ve been investing big in the block editor and bringing new product blocks into WooCommerce to enable our merchants to be more self-sufficient in the way that they merchandise their products and not to have to be reliant on a developer to implement those, those promotions. And we also know that it’s not enough to just get a store online and operate the store. Our merchants want to grow. So we need to help them reach their customers. So we’ve also been investing a lot in improving the marketing solutions that are available for WooCommerce to help our merchants grow their stores.

Paul Maiorana, State of the Word 2020

So that was a taste of Woo in the State of the Word for this year. You can watch the full State of the Word below.

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