How to easily Set Up an Online Grocery Store in WooCommerce

As a grocery store owner, you likely sell food, household products, and other non-perishable goods packed in boxes, bottles, and cans. To generate more sales for your business, you might consider setting up an online grocery store in WooCommerce and delivering products to customers.

Modern technology trends have changed the way consumers shop. It’s no secret that people prefer the online buying experience over having to go to a physical store and picking up their order. That’s why, as a retail business owner, you need to start selling groceries online to make it easy for customers to buy from you.

In this post, we’ll go over a step-by-step guide on how to set up an e-commerce website for your local grocery store. But first, let’s take a look at why you need an online presence for your physical grocery store.

Setting up an online presence for your local grocery store

Setting up an online presence for your physical store helps you cater to consumers’ shopping needs and enables you to get your products in front of a larger market.

Online grocery store in COVID-19

According to a Statista report, the worldwide volume of retail e-commerce sales amounted to $3.53 trillion dollars whereas a recent report says that in-store retail stores saw a decline of 29.3 percent in the second quarter of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This suggests that customers buying habits have changed over the past few months.

The ease of shopping from home and social distancing precautions have influenced consumers’ buying habits. They expect to do more shopping online in the post-pandemic era.

In addition to this, consumers expect businesses to accelerate digital initiatives and provide flexible shipping and payment options such as curbside pickup options and accepting orders round the clock.

By setting up an online presence for your local grocery store, you can deliver a seamless shopping experience to your customers in a safe way.

How to set up an online grocery store in WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a popular e-commerce platform that lets you sell just about anything. You can use it to organize your online grocery store’s products, create an online shopping cart, and enable customers to place orders. It’s a free plugin that works with any WordPress website.

Along with a WordPress site and WooCommerce plugin, you’ll also need the Distancr plugin which lets you configure locations by entering the geographical information of the city or area your store is located in. 

In addition to this, Distancr’s dynamic pricing feature lets you set pricing rules to automatically change product prices based on the customers’ geolocation. You can also use its blocklist feature to restrict access to specific shipping methods and payment gateways.

Here’s what you need to do to set up an online grocery store in WooCommerce:

Step #1: Set up WooCommerce

If you’re just starting out setting up your online grocery store, we suggest you begin with a fresh WordPress installation with the default theme and no additional plugins. This way, you won’t have to worry about compatibility issues with WordPress along the way.

We’ll start by installing and setting up WooCommerce on your WordPress site. For this, head over to Plugins > Add New from the WordPress admin area and search for WooCommerce.

Install WooCommerce

When the plugin shows up, click on the Install Now button.

Once it’s done installing, click on the Activate button. After plugin activation, WooCommerce’s setup wizard will automatically launch prompting you to enter your online grocery store’s details. 

You’ll have to provide information about your grocery store’s location, the currency your store will accept payments in, and the type of products you’re looking to sell.

WooCommerce set up wizard

After you’re done completing the form, click on the Continue button to continue.

Next, get a WooCommerce theme for your online store. Here are the WooCommerce-ready themes for online grocery stores that we recommend:

  • WooCommerce Storefront: easy-to-use and flexible WordPress theme. It offers seamless integration with WooCommerce.
  • Grocery-Store: simplistic design, intuitive layout, and several customization options to choose from.
  • Food Grocery Store: elegant design to showcase your online grocery store items. Comes with customization options, CTA buttons, and an SEO friendly design.

Step #2: Add products to your online grocery store in WooCommerce

From the WordPress dashboard, go to Products > Add Product to add grocery store items as WooCommerce products. Let’s quickly go through the features on this page.

The Product Data meta box is located at the bottom of the page. This is where you can configure the basic features of each grocery product such as price, type, available stock, attributes, and variations.

WooCommerce product

You can select the type of product you want to add using the Product Type dropdown menu. Available options include Simple product, Grouped product, External/Affiliate product, and Variable product

The General settings section lets you set the regular price of your product. Note that the tax configurations you choose decide whether the product price is inclusive or exclusive of tax.

Step #3: Show specific shipping options

Unlike large e-commerce companies like Amazon, small online stores can’t afford to offer the same shipping options to every customer. So, they need a way to display specific shipping options based on how far (or close) the customer is to their store.

Depending on your warehouse and shipping infrastructure, you can use Distancr’s WooCommerce geotargeting functionality to deliver ordered products to customers in a cost-effective way. For instance, you can offer free 2-day shipping to customers located within a 30 mile radius of your online store.

Here’s how you can display specific shipping options using Distancr:

Navigate to WooCommerce > Settings > Distancr from your WordPress dashboard. From here, select the Blocklist tab to get started.

Shipping method blocklist

Then, click on the Add Rule button to set up a new blocklist and make the following configurations:

  • Location – Use the dropdown menu to select a location.
  • Distance – Enter a distance value.
  • Compare – Select the appropriate operator using the dropdown. Available options include either less than (<) or greater than (>).
  • Block – Select Shipping Method using the dropdown menu.
  • Shipping Method – This is where you can select the shipping methods you’d like to block for the specified location.

You’ll be able to add as many blocklist rules as you want. When you’re done, click on the Save Rules button to continue.

Step #4: Offer specific payment methods

As a next step for your online grocery store in WooCommerce, you might want to configure the checkout process to show customers specific payment methods based on their distance from your store. For instance, you might consider offering additional payment methods – cash on delivery and credit card payments – to customers located within a 30 mile radius of your store.

Creating a customized checkout process based on the customer’s distance from a particular location is a great way to maximize sales and increase revenue.

Here’s how you can display specific shipping methods using Distancr:

From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to WooCommerce > Settings > Distancr and select the Blocklist tab to get started.

Payment gateway blocklist

Then, click on the Add Rule button to create a new blocklist and make the following configurations:

  • Location – Use the dropdown menu to select a location.
  • Distance – Enter a distance value.
  • Compare – Select an operator using the dropdown i.e. either less than (<) or greater than (>).
  • Block – Use the dropdown to select the Payment Gateway option.
  • Payment Gateway – Choose the payment gateways you want to block for the specified location.

Distancr lets you add as many blocklist rules as you want. When you’re done making changes, click on the Save Rules button to continue.

Set up your online grocery store in WooCommerce today

Setting up an online grocery store in WooCommerce for your physical grocery store is simple and easy.

You can upgrade your local grocery store by pairing it with a well-designed, e-commerce website. This way, you’ll be able to keep up with consumers’ buying habits while delivering a great shopping experience.

We recommend using the Distancr plugin to show specific shipping options and payment methods to customers based on their geodistance from your physical store. This way, you can operate your online grocery store in a sustainable way.

Ready to enhance your local grocery store’s online presence? Get Distancr today!