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Robert Jacobi Reflects on WooCommerce and eCommerce in 2020

At the end of 2020, in a podcast with tech analyst Robert Jacobi, we asked him how he saw 2020 play out in eCommerce and what’s coming this year.

WooCommerce Amping Up It’s Presence

Well, I got to say that 2020 has definitely, I think, amped up the presence of WooCommerce, just because so many people want to get online and there are so many WordPress agencies that a good go-to is Woo, but they’re not necessarily fully tech-savvy on WooCommerce. 

So I think there’s been on the agency side, a big ramp up in just understanding the tech and how it integrates well and what are the best practices around WooCommerce, because there’s a lot of stuff that goes on an e-commerce platform. It’s a lot more resource-intensive on labor and costs just to get a good shop up.

And this is a discussion that goes on all the time for especially do-it-yourselfers solopreneurs is to know your client. If your client is that shop at the end of the street, they probably don’t need WooCommerce for what doing, and to have that awareness and then instinctively and reflexively jump to Woo is important to know. 

Even though you might want to do these projects so you can also learn and teach yourself how everything works, there’s that struggle to keep that client in mind. And there are platforms for very small… If there’s someone selling three things, do they really need to have a WooCommerce shop up? No, they don’t. Woo is great for being an e-commerce platform, but it’s not going to solve all the problems. Yes, Shopify is out there.

I mean, look at Wix. Wix is slowly growing up their ability to do a shopping and e-commerce and building and payment gateways, and trying to do a lot of these things that the other providers have done. So there’s that awareness, I need to make sure I take care of the clients best. 

Entering the WooCommerce Market and 2021

So to answer your question from 10 minutes ago about we talked about existing people entering the market with their existing products, I think the new products, and a lot of this will happen to 2021, some of it’s already happened in 2019, 2020 with the hosting companies, figuring out ways to more efficiently onboard small to medium sized businesses. So that’s where do-it-yourself product or solopreneurs, where the agencies can focus on much larger e-commerce opportunities.

So we’re not going to necessarily see a proprietary solution like Wix, but we’re going to see Liquid Web with their WooCommerce onboarding and experiences. We’re going to see other hosts. I’m sure hosting companies like Convesio and WPEngine has got to have something in the pipeline. I can’t imagine they wouldn’t. We can go on and on through all the hosts that are figuring out the best way to onboard at different market points people onto WooCommerce. Because it makes sense, people are going to do it. We talk about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, well, it’s been Gray November. 

Everyone’s been shopping every day online. There is stuff that I’ve bought online that I’d never thought I would because I was like, “No, I cannot absolutely do that.” Yes, I’ve been hold out for things like, “I’m never going to use Instacart or anything like that.” But yeah, I guess I can actually do that.

Sometimes it’s a roll of dice. You’re not necessarily going to get what you might get if you were picking up something at the grocery store, but it’s close enough and you make do. And I think people are finding ways to make whatever they have today as a solution, a real-world or real-life solution at least accessible somehow online. 

Will Everyone Have a Shop?

At the end of the day, if the price points are right, everyone will have a shop because if you’re spending a hundred bucks a month say on infrastructure, well, you may only need to sell two things to make up for that infrastructure. You could still have your day job, but you have your store now as well. So why not do that with your blog and maybe a mini Woo that takes care of a lot of that, of the transactional stuff?

I’m just very bullish on a lot of the e-commerce solutions and a lot of the SaaS products getting in because the cost of starting up one of these things is just so much lower, so much lower than last, a year ago and infinitely lower than 10 years ago to just get something rolling. And so many people can do it as a hobby and be successful without having to deal with eBay as their outlet and the lack of trustworthiness and off. Now, you can just set up your own shipping with SaaS shipping providers and all the taxes and all this can be SaaS-based. And it’s transactional and relatively inexpensive.

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