Today’s market has grown so much that all of us have gotten used to shopping from the comfort of our home – with just one click on the button. In order for shoppers to get the best experience possible, an e-commerce website needs to be able to connect hungry buyers with passionate sellers.
The best way to do that?
Choose the right product, the right platform and the right way to make them available to the people you want to buy from you.
Here are our 4 recommendations for WordPress plugins that will help you develop and expand your e-commerce website.
WooCommerce is the most popular e-commerce WordPress plugin that now powers over 30% of all online stores. It allows you to sell all shapes and sizes of both physical and digital goods, as well as product variations and instant downloads to shoppers all over the world. In its basic form, WooCommerce is a free plugin, but its premium extensions offer bookings, memberships and recurring subscriptions.
Shipments can be limited to specific countries or be available worldwide. By the same token, sipping can be free, flat rate or in accordance with real-time calculations – all courtesy of WooCommerce. Moreover, this plugin gives you the ability to accept cash on delivery, major credit cards, PayPal and BACS (bank transfers).
Even if you are worried about what happens with your store if the provider closes up shop – rest easy. You are in control over your data as it is kept secure ALWAYS (the process itself being audited by a dedicated team of leading developers on a regular basis).
You can even customize Storefront to your liking without having to worry about loading speed or uptime – it’s all open source and it’s all up to you. The size of the store you want to build is of no matter as there are over 300 extensions allowing you to match your store’s features with buyer’s needs.
2) Easy Digital Downloads
Easy Digital Downloads is a complete e-commerce solution which – surprise, surprise – helps you sell digital products on WordPress powered websites. Software, eBooks, photos, music, graphics or any other kind of document – whatever it is, Easy Digital Downloads will bring it closer to your buyer. Furthermore, there are no limitations to the number of products that can be transferred between the seller and the buyer. This goes for both the overall amount of items purchased, and the number of items that can be purchased at the same time – the shopping cart system allows the customer to buy multiple items in one go.
Even the free, core version of the plugin offers payment gateways such as:
- PayPal Standard
- Amazon Payments
In addition, there are many more payment options available through free or premium extension:
- PayPal Pro, PayPal Express, PayPal Payments Advanced, PayPal Adaptive Payments
- SOFORT Banking
- Moneybookers / Skrill
Also, the seller can track download activity – date, time and even IP address of all purchased and download items. Not only that, but detailed bookkeeping is also available with Easy Digital Downloads, making it easy to view stats and create custom reports.
Various extensions will give you more options in enriching your e-commerce website:
- Software Licensing provides a complete solution for selling software license keys
- Zapier automates your store by connecting Easy Digital Downloads with more than 700 other web services and products
- Reviews allows customers to leave reviews and feedback on the products they have purchased
- Recommended Products increases revenue by showing customers recommendations on additional products to purchase based on real sales data
- MailChimp and AWeber connect your store to your MailChimp or AWeber account so you can easily subscribe customers to email lists based on what they purchase
- Amazon S3 and Dropbox let you securely host files on Amazon S3 or Dropbox for more reliable and secure file delivery
Shopp is a free e-commerce toolkit which is developed by a group of volunteers with the intention of providing the best framework developers can build upon. Its concept is pretty straightforward – you can run sales, add new products, update inventory and ship orders by creating your own order processing labels and move orders through individual workflow steps automatically or manually. Thus, the software isn’t running your business – you are telling it how you manage it.
This WordPress plugin is built for customization. A suite of APIs give you a powerful toolkit to create personalized ecommerce experiences for any business. Shopp offers a consistent, composable, unit test proven, battle hardened development platform so programmers stay in their zone of happiness. There are hundreds of theme functions and hundreds more WordPress hooks… Everything you need to shape your e-commerce website the way you want.
Shopp integrates with over 50 payment processing services, as well as numerous shipping rate providers, cloud storage, tax and fulfillment services. You get PayPal Payments Standard, 2Checkout and an offline payment processor baked right into the plugin so you have everything you need to start and run your online business.
The performance of your e-commerce website will not be lacking as custom database tables enable seamless loading for thousands of catalogues and millions of products. Similarly, a transparent queriable cache of product pricing data allows for simpler queries. Simpler queries in turn mean faster website loading times leading to better search engine rankings and more repeat visitors and sales opportunities.
4) Cart66 Cloud
Cart66 Cloud is a premium WordPress plugin ($95 a year) which allows you to set up an online store for selling physical or digital products – digital files, ship products, sell music, accept donations, sell memberships and subscriptions. It works slightly differently from other e-commerce plugins — you still need your own hosting, and customers will still visit your website. Products are added as standard WordPress posts/pages, and then converted into product pages using shortcodes.
Moreover, you can secure digital products (SSL certificates, security scans, data encryption), connect to a SMTP server for email receipts and secure PCI compliant connections to payment gateways. Cart66 has a built-in billing engine and supports over 100 payment gateways.
There is also a “lite” version of the Cart66 plugin that is available for free using which you can still set up a store, just with a lot less features. With the free version you can still sell products, have promotions, define state tax, have shipping options, customize the email receipts, etc.
Newly added Cart66 Cloud features include:
- Inventory management
- Google Analytics for e-commerce
- Automatically create product pages in WordPress
- Built-in product catalog with unlimited categories
- Built-in image gallery for products
- Set up featured products
Now that you have seen the best e-commerce WordPress plugins, don’t get hung up on the price, because any serious store owners will need to invest in premium plugin extensions. Also, don’t rush the decision – take your time to weigh the platforms’ features and all possible financial investments you’ll need to make into extension acquisition. Once you make the right choice for your e-commerce website, you are one step closer to it taking off successfully.