WooCommerce just updated their mobile app for iOS and Android. If you operate an ecommerce website with WooCommerce, this might be a great thing for you, but there’s one big catch.
Anyone who operates an online store would appreciate:
- Real-time alerts on new orders and product reviews
- The ability to view and manage orders from WooCommerce in a format that works great on a smartphone
- Key metrics from your store: top performing products, order reports, etc.
The screen shots that WooCommerce shows on their own announcement about this look great, but before you go and install the app, there is one important thing you need to have in place first.
The Jetpack Plugin
Jetpack for WordPress is a somewhat controversial plugin that provides a ton of features that you may or may not need. There are over 30 modules included in Jetpack, which makes it a huge plugin by comparison. In order to use it, you will also need to create an account on WordPress.com to access any of the features in Jetpack.
Right now, you’re probably saying “I just want to use the WooCommerce mobile app. I don’t need all this other stuff”. Well, therein lies the problem, and that’s why the WooCommerce mobile app won’t get nearly as much use as it otherwise would. WooCommerce site operators can already access their data on smartphone; it’s just not very good looking or quite as easy to use.
We always try to minimize the number of plugins used to build sites in WordPress, as it helps performance. Therefore, installing a plugin that many consider as “bloatware” isn’t really all that appealing. Still, you’re going to need it if you want to use the WooCommerce mobile app.
For those who already have Jetpack on their sites already, this is a no-brainer, at least to try it out. But for everyone else, you’ll REALLY need to want the WooCommerce app in order to justify jumping through all these hoops, but then you’ll be in WooCommerce mobile nirvana.
For those of you who’ve tried it, chime in on the comments and let us know what your experience has been like.
We had Jetpack installed originally, but after troubleshooting CPU utilization issues with our web host, the Jetpack plugin was one of the culprits. Our admin area was also much faster once we un-installed it. Love the look of the updated app, but the Jetpack requirement is a deal killer. Hopefully a future version of their mobile app will be able to work without that plugin.