I’ve worked in the WooCommerce marketing team for four years. In the past six months I finally got around to building a store for a social enterprise I’m involved in. Sure, I’d tinkered in test sites, but launching a store that really takes people’s money teaches you something different.
Over in the world of WordPress.com, some focused research was done earlier this year to better understand business owners’ needs, desires, drivers etc. One of the insights about a particular segment – those running stores themselves, likely as a side gig – was:
“There was no “Aha!” moment connected directly to any of their tools or products. – we will always be second to what someone is selling. Supportive. Not center stage. We’re the coach and the platform, not the performer.”
This really made me stop and consider how I think about WooCommerce users’ relationship(s) with our software:
Wearing my WooCommerce marketing hat, I have in mind that our customers’ goal is to build a store, but that is not actually the job to be done. People don’t start a business to build a store. WooCommerce is a means, not the end.
We can make the store-building journey wonderful but at best we’re a good companion. The journey starts before we meet our customers and is about so much more than the store itself.
From my side project, I know this in practice to be true:
Am I glad I am using WooCommerce? Yes!
Have I learnt loads? YES.
Was it satisfying when the postage fees were calculated properly? Sure!
But wearing my entrepreneur hat, my lasting headspace is not taken up by the software itself. It’s full of thoughts of the makers, the products, and the business. WooCommerce is the foundation not in the foreground.
So, when I read that insight from the WordPress.com research, it really hit home for me that, much like great design: the best eCommerce software is invisible.