Are you thinking about starting an eCommerce store?
Of course, you are trying to figure out what is the best ecommerce software for your online store?
WordPress vs Standalone Shopping Cart Software
If you are ever confused about choosing between a stand-alone shopping cart software(such as such as Magento, Shopify) or WordPress eCommerce platforms, then let me confidently state that WordPress has an upper hand.
Well, WordPress is the best content management system out there, wherein, you can combine your online store with a blog,add a portfolio, add more web pages and so on.
It is like an all in one tool.
In addition, WordPress is user friendly, so anyone can handle it pretty well.
WordPress can be converted into a fully functional eCommerce platform by installing a good WordPress eCommerce plugin. Basically, it enables you to put your blog and e-store together.
What follows below are 4 awesome plugins to start an online store with WordPress. I will summarize each one with their best features.
#1 WooCommerce (Free)
WooCommerce, originally developed by WooThemes, is now part of Automattic family(wordpress.org) and is 100% free to use.
It is the most popular eCommerce plugin and lets you to sell anything,
Here are some of the highlights of this beautiful plugin.
- You can sell digital as well as physical products using WooCommerce
- Support for multiple payment gateways
- Besides being open source, it has support from an amazing active community and hence more reliable.
- In addition, you can find plenty of customized versions of Woocommerce, that has enhanced features. Some are free and some are paid,
- Amazing Customization Options: It has plenty of customization options and thus can make your online store more unique.
As you can see, due to its amazing features, popularity and active community, definitely WooCommerce will be my #1 recommendation.
Should you decide to go with WooCommerce, it is strongly recommended to go with a reliable Woocommerce hosting partner.
#2 WordPress eStore Plugin
WP eStore, a light weight shopping cart solution , can turn turn your existing or new WordPress site into an e-store and thus can start selling your products or services.
Sell digital goods and physical goods: It lets you sell digital goods and physical goods as well. Digital goods examples include digital downloads, videos, music/mp3’s , photos,online subscriptions, collect membership fees, and more.
Upon completion of payment, product delivery is done using a dynamically generated encrypted download link.
Payment gateway options: In general, Customers can pay using a credit card or using PayPal as well. It has free integration with a lot of popular payment gateways PayPal, Authorize.net, 2Checkout to name a few.
Offline payment method is also possible. ie payment via cheque, cash or bank transfer.
Subscription Options /Recurring Payments: You can add PayPal subscription buttons to your WordPress blog so that you can setup a recurring payment for a service.
Custom Price options: Similar to Priceline website concept, you can add a “pay what you want” or “custom” price option for your online products so that customers can enter an amount they are willing to pay.
Integration with Amazon S3: MP3 or video files (mp4) can be pretty big files and can consume a lot of your bandwidth when customers download it direct from your site. Hence adding your mp3 or mp4 to Amazon S3 is a very good idea.
And WP eStore lets you easily integrate to your Amazon S3 account so that your customers can download the files from Amazon S3 after payment (served via secure encrypted download links)
#3 Easy Digital Downloads (Free)
As the name implies, Easy Digital Downloads is an e-commerce plugin for selling digital downloads. You will be able to sell eBooks, sell online courses, sell photos, sell songs, sell graphics, or any media file.
Best features of this plugin:
- A seller dashboard with earning stats and details of sales
- Ability to add Discount Codes
- Create product bundles to sell a variety of items for a special attractive price
- Payment systems in multiple languages etc. PayPal, Stripe, 2checkout, Authorize.net, Check Payment Gateway(to Accept hand written check payments) are some of supported payment gateways.
Cost: Personal edition starts at $99.00/yr.
#4 MarketPress eCommerce (Both Free and Premium)
WPMU is a leading plugin development company and MarketPress ecommerce is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress developed by WPMU.
This plugin also lets you sell digital goods as well as physical goods.
It also offers product variations. Physical goods in different shapes and sizes can be sold. For example, a T shirt website selling same T shirt design, for different sizes and colors.
It also supports instant downloads. Basically, you can build an online marketplace that supports digital goods as well as physical goods.
Both free and paid versions are available.
A Lite version of this plugin is available for free, but more advanced premium version is available as part of a WPMU Dev membership, which starts from $24.50 per month. A Lite version should suffice for small scale online shops.
For big estores, you may want to go for Premium version.
With its One-page checkout feature and a Built-in Wizard, features galore.
With support for 15 payment gateways(and 120 currencies) and useful features like PDF Invoicing, Calculated shipping modules for UPS, Fedex, USPS or in-store pickup), Coupons and discounts feature, Display related products this plugin is worth it.
So you have seen 4 awesome plugins to setup an online store. WooCommerce is the most popular among the pack and if you do research online, you can see that you will come across many eshops that have implemented using WooCommerce. But hey, it is your decision.
What do you think? Why don’t you leave your comments below?