After careful consideration and research, you’ve decided that you want to start selling online. You’ve got some products in place, decided WordPress is the best platform to go with and even laid out a flawless business plan to follow. Now you need to take some practical steps to implement ecommerce capabilities on your site which raises the obvious question, what plugin(s) should you use?
In this article, we’ll run the rule over some of the leading e-commerce plugins to point you in the right direction and help you set up your online store in a jiffy.
WooCommerce is an obvious choice. It’s a feature-packed e-commerce plugin that comes with everything you need to set up an online store right out of the box. The plugin is one of the most flexible ones around and has hundreds of themes and extensions built around it to cater to just about anything you could want from your online store.
As of this writing, WooCommerce powers over 37% of all online stores. The open source platform is equally great for both store owners and developers alike. It enables users to fully control their online store and manage it from within the WordPress admin panel.
WPMU DEV’s MarketPress plugin is a complete e-commerce solution for selling digital downloads and physical goods through your WordPress site. The plugin comes with everything you need from major payment gateways to AJAX-based shopping cart widgets – you won’t have to download third party plugins and extensions to utilize additional functionality.
MarketPress is easily customizable for web developers with a basic knowledge of CSS but if you shy away from coding you can use its pre-packaged themes and CSS styles to customize its appearance. The plugin is thoroughly documented and has a step-by-step usage guide to help you set it up on your site. When you’re ready to take things to the next level, you can download the plugin’s premium version which features product personalization, Google Analytics e-commerce tracking, and a full suite of payment options.
Easy Digital Downloads
If your online store centers on selling digital goods then Easy Digital Downloads is the best fit for you. The plugin itself is available free for download and ships with powerful functionality like discount codes, unlimited file downloads, and a full shopping cart.
Users can enhance its functionality by installing free and premium themes and add-ons that are designed for the plugin. The best part about this is that you only pay for the functionality you’ll use and not have to worry about bloating your site with unnecessary features. This level of customization makes Easy Digital Downloads a popular choice among tech-savvy online entrepreneurs.
Unlike the other e-commerce solutions on our list, Shopp is a premium plugin that has a wide-range of features on offer as well as a dedicated support staff to help you out. The plugin’s unparalleled development toolkit for WordPress gives it a competitive edge over other e-commerce solutions.
Shopp integrates a secure shopping cart, product portfolio/showcase, and a streamlined checkout process to your site and lets you configure everything else. In addition to the powerful functionality it offers, users can also purchase premium add-ons from the Shopp Store to further enhance its functionality. You can try out the free version of the plugin to test the waters and then purchase its license if you’re satisfied with its performance.
iThemes Exchange: Simple E-Commerce
iThemes’ Exchange is a simple e-commerce plugin for WordPress with an intuitive and easy to use interface that lets you set up your online store in minutes. According to the developers,
“Your products are not blog posts. So we created an experience that makes creating products simple and intuitive.” – iThemes
Exchange’s major selling point centers around its add-ons. Instead of developing a feature-rich, bloated plugin, the developers decided to go with a more simplistic approach by splitting many of its features into add-ons. That said, Exchange has all the fundamental e-store functionality in place including a shopping cart, shipping options, downloads, and coupons so you can set up your e-store without any hassle. Users can start out with the free version first and then switch to the Pro Pack for even more features.
WordPress Product Catalog
HUGE IT’s WordPress Product Catalog plugin comes at things from a slightly different perspective. It allows you to create an unlimited number of online catalogs for your products. Arrange them by product category or brand, you can present your products in a familiar catalog like way with advance image zoom and lightbox style gallery display. You can also include seller contact forms, ratings and comments and social sharing functionality.
This plugins is ideal for brands and venders who don’t necessarily need to sell online, but want to present their catalog for online researchers. Of course it also offers a way to capture leads from catalog browsers too.
Wrapping It Up
Setting up an online store is serious business, but fortunately, WordPress does most of the heavy lifting for you. E-commerce plugins make it infinitely easier to set up your very own online store and manage it from within the admin panel. With the robust plugins we covered in this post building a solid foundation for your online store, you’ll be able to start selling your products in no time.
Have you thought about setting up your own online store with WordPress? Which e-commerce plugins have you tried out? We’d love to hear all about your experience so get in touch by commenting below!