Patrick Rauland has been in the Woo space for sometime, part of which he was the product lead at Woo. He now currently works at Nexcess and also is a seller of his own board game online. On a podcast in 2020, we talked more about what he has seen happening in the space.
Challenges and opportunities for WooCommerce in 2020
Let me start with the lockdown, quarantine, mid-March–we saw a ton of people sign up. So it’s kind of cool that people face this adversity and say, “Hey, you’re stuck inside at home. You can’t go to work unless you have a work from home job,”
And actually we had a ton of people sign up and want to create either a WordPress or WooCommerce site. That gives me a little bit of hope that people are doing cool things when they’re locked down, and I want to help those people so much. We worked on a better onboarding email sequence just to make sure they have all the links they need.
Control over finances and nurture your own little side business
I think this is a reminder that you want to have some control over finances and nurture your own little side business. I had someone message me on Facebook yesterday, and they said–I also make courses for LinkedIn Learning–and they said, “Patrick, I found your course on LinkedIn Learning.
This pandemic has made me realize how important it is to have some sort of financial independence, and I want to thank you so much.” And then there was other stuff we chatted about after that, but I love WooCommerce as a vehicle for people to take agency over their life and their finances and have it be a little side hustle in addition to your main job, or have it be your full time thing if it grows that big.
That’s what I really like about it and I hope more people can do. I hope more people are creative and sell tutoring, like selling guitar lessons. There’s so many things you can do remotely.
Community in 2020
The last thing I want to say, this is unrelated to WooCommerce, but I’ve been playing some board games online, and normally I love playing them in person, but don’t normally play them online, and there have been these online leagues that have just been forming because of the quarantine. I think there’s space for people to make online communities now like there hasn’t been before. These board games that I’ve been playing online, there are giant discord servers where people are just getting on together and playing games, and I think there’s still opportunity for you to create your own community and maybe monetize it some way, sell a product or help people out that are playing games or doing whatever they’re doing online.
This is a time where people are changing habits, and I’m including myself here where I felt stuck inside. I live in a downtown apartment, so I don’t have a big backyard or anything, and so at the end of my workday, now, I take an hour, sometimes and hour and 15 minute walk, and it’s just like my, “The work day is done. I’m going on a walk.” I listen to podcasts. I walk the dog, and I’ve been doing it now for like four months.
Probably when this pandemic is done, that habit is still probably going to stay. So I wonder what other habits people are forming where if you can get people to use your product in their habits, you’re going to be good to go. That’ll be a good business opportunity.
You can listen to more of this podcast that includes his partner, Brian Richards and talk around events in 2020 and how they put together WooSesh.