This document sets out to make it easier for store builders to set up WP e-Commerce while adhering to industry rules and online shopping best practices. We’ve made this comprehensive list of store questions based on our own experiences and those of satisfied WP e-Commerce users.
Tip: This document is best printed out and each question answered in detail, once completed this will outline exactly what you need to do to effectively configure your WP e-Commerce store.
There are a few things to keep in mind as you get started with WP e-Commerce, below we’re organised a list of common questions followed by sets of questions grouped into common store sections:
- Do your Products require physical shipping?
- If so, jump over to the Shipping section below
- If not, visit the Online Delivery section below if you are planning to sell electronic items
- Will you be accepting online payments
- If so, jump over to the Online Payments section below
- If not, visit the Manual Payments section below if you are planning to manually process Sales
- Online Delivery
WP e-Commerce supports electronic delivery of files through secure file downloads, examples of such use include:
- high-resolution images
- commercial software
There is no restriction on the file-type of the Product download, though we recommend compressing your files prior to uploading to your WP e-Commerce store to minimise upload/download times.
You may need your web host to increase your allowed upload size to enable large file uploads, this typically happens for Product downloads larger than 8MB but differs with different web hosts.
WP e-Commerce supports a library of shipping methods with live feedback as well as shipping rules and options you can tailor to your needs.
‘Live feedback’ means accurate shipping charges are passed to the customer at Checkout by providing delivery address and ZIP Code (postcode) to supported shipping providers.
Review the following shipping questions.
How are shipping fees calculated?
WP e-Commerce lets you choose between flat rate, table rate and weight rate shipping calculation.
If you are planning to use the weight rate method, ensure you’ve weighed your products ahead of time so you can enter them while setting up your Products.
Which shipping provider are you going to use?
Out of the box WP e-Commerce supports live feedback from UPS, USPS, Australia Post and Shipwire, for a detailed list of supported shipping options visit the Shipping Settings page.
Are you going to be shipping abroad?
If you are in the United States, what is your state’s sales tax?
Typically if your customers are in the same state as the physical location of your business, they owe sales tax on items they purchase from you, however, if you are shipping to a state where your business does not have a location, you do not need to collect tax.
If you are operating within the United States you should check out this article for a simple explanation about e-commerce and sales tax as well as review list of sales tax by state.
Are you in a country that requires tax inclusive pricing?
Review Tax rates around the world.
Do you want to tax shipping?
Some states and countries actually require businesses to tax their shipping. If you are in the United States, you can check your states sales tax laws. If you are elsewhere, check your location to find out their particular tax laws.
How are you going to process payments?
Check out this article for a simple explanation of how payments work on an e-commerce site.
Do you already have a merchant account with a specific bank you want to keep using?
If so, you will need to see what payment gateway your bank prefers, then review whether or not it’s compatible with WP e-Commerce.
If you don’t already have a merchant account (or don’t need to use your current one), there are plenty of non-bank-related companies who will process your payments and deposit them in your bank account. Some of the most popular (and easiest to use) are PayPal and Google Checkout.
While some payment gateways are free to use (such as PayPal Payments Standard and Google Checkout), others may require a setup or monthly activity fee. However, all payment gateways (even the free ones), charge some sort of transaction fee. Check out our list of accepted payment gateways, and then do some comparison shopping.
Also, check with your payment gateway for their specific e-commerce requirements. Most payment gateways require that you display your return policy, sales policy and shipping policy somewhere on your store.