What is around the corner this coming year in the WooCommerce space? I asked some knowledgeable peeps about what they see as trends and predictions for 2019.
In early December I attended WordCamp US in Nashville. It is the national conference for WordPress, where I spend a good two days in conversations with friends and colleagues, old and new.
What’s Happening with WooCommerce
I asked several attendees about eCommerce in 2019, but wanted to share specifically those who touched on WooCommerce.
Matt Mullenweg – Automattic
My name is Matt Mullenweg and I believe in 2019 eCommerce is going to become a lot more about control and flexibility. So yeah, there’s been some very successful, super large platforms and people are going to start to run into the edge of the business models there. Or, start to not be fully aligned with what all those platforms are doing for them. So people would then begin to appreciate the importance of owning your own domain, running your own software, and the flexibility that provides. I hope that all the eCommerce solutions built on WordPress, whether that’s easy digital downloads, eCommerce, will be there for people who want that full 100% GPL open-source experience.
Zach Barrientos – PayPal
Hi this is Zach Barrientos, I’m with PayPal Merchant Services. As far as the prediction for 2019, I believe that the marijuana industry, once it becomes regulated by the federal government, will have a huge increase as far as WooCommerce goes. It’s not much of a bold prediction, because it’s probably going to happen. But I see that probably tipping the scales in 2019.
Patrick Garman – Mindsize
My name is Patrick Garman. I’m a partner with MindSize, an e-commerce focused agency. We do WordPress and non-WordPress focused e-commerce. Primarily WooCommerce. My prediction for 2019 is that we’re going to see a lot more people moving out of the WooCommerce space. You have WooCommerce as a heavy player in the e-commerce space. Everyone can take WordPress for free and WooCommerce for free and start up their shop. Which has led to a lot of stores growing very rapidly and both finding that they love WordPress and that they hate WordPress. We’re going to see a lot more of a hybrid approach between WordPress and other platforms, like BigCommerce, like Shopify and I think you’re going to find a lot of hosts getting involved in this space as well, helping power those solutions.
My hope is that these solutions are host agnostic and you don’t have to go to host A to get the integration between WordPress and whatever platform you want. But we will see what happens.
Joe Casabona – Creator Courses
Alright, my name’s Joe Casabona from CreatorCourses.com and I think that for 2019 the WooCommerce space is going to see kind of a boom in dropshipping. Which is not something that we’ve talked about at least in my space a lot. But I’ve interviewed people on my podcast, I’ve heard predictions from other people in the space that a lot more services can better focus on that and make it more accessible, so I think we’ll see a lot more dropshipping in 2019.
Pat Ramsey – Crowd Favorite
This is Pat Ramsey, director of technology for Crowd Favorite and my thinking towards 2019 and eCommerce is that I would like to see two things, and I think we’re going to see this come true as we have more and more people getting into e-commerce with things like WooCommerce, where the barrier to entry is lower. I hope that we see a shedding of old code, a lot of dead weight. Code that was written years ago that is either no longer needed, has been deprecated, or is otherwise just sitting there causing problems on your site.
The second thing I’d like to see is, goes along with that, and that is as we see more people coming into eCommerce that we see more longer-term thinking before you get into your site. You know, realizing that if you’re going to be working with eCommerce, you’re basically running a store. And so, just like a brick and mortar store, you’re going to want to think about what you’re doing. You’re going to want to plan. Don’t just go find a plugin and hope for the best.
Dustin Hartzler – WooCommerce
I’m Dustin Hartzler and I have podcast server at YourWebsiteEngineer.com. I’m also on the eCommerce team for WooCommerce at Automaticc. I think the prediction that I have for 2019, when it comes to eCommerce, is we’re basically going to go up and to the right. I think that it is going to continue to grow and with some of the cool things coming with Gutenberg, especially for WooCommerce, it’s going to be easier and easier for customers to add their products to specific pages or blog posts or what-not.
And I think we’re going to see a lot of activity when it comes to the new Gutenberg interface, just being able to really customize your site and get your products more visible—not just on the shop page, but any site or page on your website. That’s what I think in 2019.
Justin Nealy – GoDaddy
Hey this is Justin Nealy, I work at GoDaddy as a hosting supervisor. So I get to basically help people with their sites all day. My prediction of like, eCommerce ecosystem with WordPress is it’s going to get a lot simpler, right? Right now it’s pretty overwhelming for a first time user to get a whole WordPress site, let alone a store. With the power of Gutenberg and all the other builders making it easy, that’s going to be the future. So anybody and everybody can create a WordPress site, e-commerce, WooCommerce, or whatever plugin they want. Super simple without a lot of technology.
Brian Richards – WPSessions
So my name’s Brian Richards and I run WPSessions, and by extension the WordSesh conferences. And for 2019, I’ll tell you what I want to see coming for e-commerce. I want to see more headless style eCommerce, like BigCommerce is bringing to WordPress. Because that’s very interesting to me to see e-commerce showing up in unexpected places. I’m also interested in seeing more sort of boutique shops. Sort of people creating their own sort of independent, Etsy stores. Because the barrier for entry is being reduced.
What I think we’ll actually see is not a lot of major shift. It will be a very slow, sort of glacier-like change. Where in any given moment it’s not like, materially different than it was last month or even last year, but by the end of the year we’ll be seeing things where perhaps the templating in WooCommerce has shifted the ways in which people are selling or promoting their goods, because of the way social networking has changed. Like people sharing what they’re selling on Facebook and Twitter and stuff. We’ve tried lots of different things, we’ve seen people try lots of different things with terms of like, adding buy buttons to Twitter, that failed. And just mirroring their products on Facebook, which succeeds for some people and not for others. I’m hoping to see more people with independent stores driving traffic to those stores through these other channels.
Brent Shepard – Prospress
Hi, this is Brent Shepard from Prospress. My 2019 eCommerce prediction is that we’ll continue to see massive growth in mobile and hopefully see seamless checkout from a mobile browser without having to fill in forms and fields and everything on WooCommerce. Lots of other platforms will have a much more seamless checkout experience on mobile.
Brian Krogsgard – Post Status
Hello my name is Brian Krogsgard. I run Post Status. Post Status is all about analyzing the WordPress world, everything that’s happening in it. Thank you, Bob, for the opportunity to talk about what I think is happening in WooCommerce in 2019, I think that everybody is looking to up their game.
They have stores that are using eCommerce platforms with WordPress because it was easy to do, and now all of a sudden they’re successful and they have a lot going on and now they have way bigger problems. Some of those are business related and they don’t want to deal with the platform stuff. When you have problems on the platform, if it’s about scaling or user interface or the experience managing orders or connecting to your warehouse, those are the things that we haven’t done a great job of thinking about as platform people in the WooCommerce landscape. I think that it’s important to build experiences that are going to solve those problems that people are physically running into as their store becomes a success.
Certainly from a performance and scaling perspective, it’s mandatory. But I think it needs to go beyond that. I think we’ll see more of that in 2019, where people start to really dig in to how does an e-commerce store owner go about their day. And as they go about their day, what would make it easier managing the store, fulfilling their orders and doing those things? What can we do on the website side of things to make that more doable, simpler? I think we’re going to see people pay more attention to that side of things because if they don’t, then somebody else will try to serve that need. We want them to keep using WordPress tools, so that’s what I hope to see.
Beka Rice – Skyverge
I’m Beka Rice. I’m head of product at SkyVerge, where we build WooCommerce plug-ins for merchants. One of our biggest products is not a plug-in, it’s Jilt. Which is an SasS app that does email marketing, but it’s built for eCommerce. One of the trends I’ve been really interested to see in e-commerce, and I said this last year and I think it’s still going to hold true in 2019 is: VR is going to be the future of WooCommerce. This year, we have seen some really cool things on different platforms where merchants have introduced VR apps so people can have a kind of virtual shopping experience.
You know, take an outfit, lay it out on a table, see how things look together, pick things up, kind of get a sense for dimensions, furniture sellers have been doing this. Amazon has been experimenting with VR and AR, or augmented reality, this year. So that people can take furniture and drop it into their room and see how it looks.
So given all these tools, they can kind of take the online shopping experience and bring them to you as a person, I think we’re really going to see eCommerce going down that track, to bridge the gap between what you can do online and what you can do in a store.
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