As the pandemic and lockdown measures have caused major shifts in consumer behavior, accelerating the trend towards e-commerce, many WooCommerce-powered stores have seen a significant boost in sales. Major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target have strained to meet the increase in consumer demand, creating an unprecedented opportunity for independent stores.
According to the latest ACI Worldwide report, e-commerce sales are up 81% year over year in May 2020. Transactional volume has also increased 23 percent compared to May 2019. Despite the pandemic’s devastating blow to the hospitality, travel, and entertainment industries, merchants selling products catering to the homebound population are doing more business than ever. This prompted the WooCommerce team to begin publishing tips and resources for store owners who are managing a sudden surge in sales.
The WooCommerce core development team is also keeping pace with new features that help administrators see store activity at a glance. Version 4.3, expected to be released July 7, will include a new home screen, featuring an inbox, quick access to store management links, and an overview of stats on sales, orders, and visitors.
WooCommerce plans to enhance the new Home screen with the ability to complete basics tasks, such as fulfilling orders or tweaking settings without having to leave the screen. As WooCommerce is a complex plugin with menus that drill down several levels deep, this screen will become the store owner’s command center by simplifying access to important stats and commonly performed actions. It will set as the default screen for new stores when version 4.3 of the plugin is released.
The new Home screen will not be turned on by default for existing store owners. They will need to enable it under the Advanced > Features setting in the plugin.
WooCommerce received positive feedback after sharing a preview of the new Home screen last week. A few users requested that it integrate with third party plugins, such as Woo Bookings, and provide better support for stores primarily selling digital products. If WooCommerce makes it easy to extend, plugin authors can make the screen more useful to a diverse range of stores. Users are encouraged to submit their ideas for core improvements on the WooCommerce Ideas Board.