If you've found yourself running an online business, more specifically an eCommerce website, chances that you're using WordPress along with WooCommerce are very high.
Both represent the most common platforms upon which you can build a successful online store. Because the focus is on approachability through an easy-to-understand UI and advanced features made simple to use, this combination has become the main choice, especially for those new to the game.
Both of these solutions tick the abundance of plugins and addons (with WooCommerce being a plugin itself) that greatly expand upon the initial software. Whether it's an added feature that isn't present or an advanced feature that needs to be simplified, these additions are crucial in opening the platform to an ever-expanding market of users.
Behind the scenes, running an eCommerce business is, in many ways, very similar to running a "regular" retail business. You still have to keep track of your supply chain, have a firm handle on your inventory, follow up on issued orders, etc.
To keep everything in check requires a lot of number crunching of data you need to export from your system – in this particular case, WooCommerce.
WooCommerce Order Export
While WooCommerce offers exporting solutions within the base build, you can get so much more by using a specialized tool like the WooCommerce Order Export plugin.
Exporting made easy
The WooCommerce Order Export plugin will give you an abundance of data to consider for all your decisions while enabling you to choose how data is presented to the minor details, thereby not burdening you with anything you don't need/want to see.
The tools you'll be using are grouped into Export Data, Settings, and Scheduled Exports. We'll be going through all the sections so you can get a better sense of everything that's at your disposal.
Everyone will be able to quickly grasp the ins and outs without too much fuss, regardless of their background, and this is a uniquely refreshing approach in times where many apps tend to get into their way by being too cluttered and convoluted. As such, it's a significant improvement compared to the default export options WooCommerce presents you with.
Date ranges of orders to include in export
The date range is probably the first thing you would think of when contemplating exporting data for anything. Depending on the report you're making, you will be working with data that's a couple of days, weeks, or months old, depending on the report you're making.
The more relevant you want your data to be, the shorter your range will be. You can choose seven predefined ranges, which will probably be enough in most cases, but if you want to be more specific, you can easily select the range yourself.
Report format and output
Once you've determined the date range you want for your export table, you'll need to go into a bit more detail about what needs to be exported and in what way. As the name suggests, you'll be presented with various formatting options through the formatting and output section.
You'll get to choose how the data is sorted (ascending or descending) and how the date and times are formatted, which is extremely important because of the differences in the display within the US and Europe. Within the table itself, you'll be able to sort the data in one of two ways – each line item in a separate row or each line item in a separate column. Table formatting options are the filename, character encoding, field delimiter, and line break – everything rather self-explanatory.
Export new orders only
As you would expect from any good plugin, many of the actions are done in the background with minimal or no input from the user, and this plugin is no exception. Once activated, it stores all outgoing orders as being exported (if indeed they were).
By ticking the "Only export new orders" box, you're telling the plugin to reach back into its own database and pull out everything that's been done after you've exported the last table. Going through a list with the same data again and again thus becomes a thing of the past. This feature makes creating time-sensitive reports that encompass many orders much easier because the data you don't need is easily filtered out.
Ticking the aforementioned box automatically makes the plugin work, but you can manually input the starting order from where the data should be pulled.
Filtering data is crucial whether we're talking about a rudimentary excel table or an exported table with thousands of lines. There'll always be things you don't want or want to highlight and should be filtered out.
With the WooCommerce Order Export plugin, you'll get to filter the data through three main options – order, product, and coupon filters. There are three attributes/fields that need addressing to create a working filter – the type (like currency), the condition (is/isn't equal to), and the value (for currency, it's USD, EUR, GBP, etc.).
If you need multiple filters, don't worry, you'll get to stack as many as you want. Just be sure they're not conflicting.
Product and coupon filters work in pretty much the same way. Instead of focusing on orders, you can implement filters based on products, product categories, and coupons – signaling out only those results that meet the designated attributes or have been part of a promotion in the past.
Fields to export
The previous filter options have been all about choosing which orders you wanted to be featured in your report, while in this section, you need to choose what details about those orders you want to be featured. Assuming you'll be creating multiple export templates that handle various situations separately, chances are you'll be spending most of your time sitting upright in this section.
The UI smartly splits the window into two separate columns, where you'll have the "active" fields on the left and all available fields on the right. As you're probably already guessing, the left side features fields that will be in the final exported report, while the right is the one that gives you the options to choose which to include.
Adding and rearranging fields is as simple as can be – just add the field you desire from the right side and then drag the desired field to the desired spot on the left side and drop it there – you're done. Removing active fields is equally easy, getting done with just a button click. All this combined makes it so you can create full-blown reports messing around with the fields in a couple of minutes.
The categories you can choose the fields from are: basic, checkout information, billing details, line items, product information, and user information. Each of those overarching categories has its own specific set of fields you'll get to work with.
You'll be able to select fields ranging from "order ID" to "product name" and everything in between, even including metadata, if you have a separate plugin that can gather the data.
While setting up your tables, it's hard to imagine how the final list will look. It's therefore preferable to take a sneak peek before finalizing the list. The preview function is made precisely for this.
Compressed to the first 25 rows of the final list, you'll get an actual list example. By previewing the list this way, you won't have to export it every time you make a change, and you can just look at it right there from the dashboard.
There isn't really much to do within the settings tab other than checking out the log that can be useful to track the actions you've made manually, or the WooCommerce plugin made automatically if there's ever an issue that needs to be detected.
Furthermore, you can see the basic plugin settings (shown in code) that can be copied and used on another site that uses the same plugin (importing is done in the empty field that follows the code being used).
If you've gotten this far, you're probably wondering if you'll have to export everything manually. The answer would be no – we've saved the best for last.
Most businesses rely on automated reports on a fixed schedule for things to keep running smoothly. The schedule details are aptly set up in the "Scheduled Reports" tab.
With just a few added actions, you can create a report schedule that can vary in frequency – on a specific day(s) or a predefined schedule (daily, weekly, etc.).
After you've decided on the delivery times, you need to set up the delivery methods – by mail, through FTP, or stored directly into a directory within WordPress. Once that's done, you'll be right back to the original menu we've covered and fine-tune the export details.
A good analysis is becoming one of the staples of a successful business. There’s simply too much information coming in to make quality, informed decisions without the help of some kind of automated software.
When you’re going through hundreds of thousands of orders a day, getting any worthwhile info manually is nothing but a pipe dream, and that’s why something like the WooCommerce Order Export plugin is an essential tool. Whether you’re filtering data, creating scheduled reports, or moving around the various fields to create the optima table, WooCommerce Order Export has you covered.
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