I often get asked, “When there are dedicated online selling platforms that will help me set up my retail store, why shouldn’t I use them instead of a publishing tool like WordPress?”
It’s a legitimate question. And I often find myself answering along these lines – If you only a shop, then yes, platforms like Magento or Shopify will accommodate you nicely. But if you want a multipurpose website capable of extending into as many roles as you need – community, directory, portfolio, and yes even blog – alongside your online store, then WordPress is your best bet, period.
With WordPress, you can set up an entire empire with the functionality (if not the exact scale) of Amazon itself – comprehensive review system with precise algorithms to sort bullshit from bull’s eye, user registration and profiles, ‘vendor’/ ‘seller’ pages and registration, affiliate program, localized sites for different languages and territories, enhanced filters, and blogs and more on the side. That’s how versatile WordPress is.
The first step to awesomeness will be setting up a WordPress website. The second step is to pick the perfect WordPress eCommerce plugin that will suit your style as well as needs.
Top 6 WordPress Plugins for eCommerce Websites
Here is a list of top 6 WordPress plugins to create your own eCommerce websites. Check out –
There are no two ways about it and the company behind WordPress.com (Automattic) agrees. Just last year, WooThemes’ titular WooCommerce shopping cart plugin was acquired by WordPress in a significant move.
The plugin itself (available at official plugin repositories and WooThemes website) is free and rather limited itself, but this is your mix-and-match with features available as free and premium licensed add-ons. These add-ons add even more payment portals, shipping integration, front end store features, advanced advertising, affiliate tools, and more to your arsenal.
Even without adding any embellishments/ add-ons, you do receive the best in class shopping cart on the internet (millions of online stores are powered by WordPress and WooCommerce) along with a nice theme and all the basic store management features in an easy-to-use interface inherent to all WordPress websites (regardless of use/ niche).
With a nicely optimized WooCommerce compatible/ integrated theme, your store will stand out from the crowd.
2. Easy Digital Downloads
EDD, or Easy Digital Downloads, is the boon of all digital creatives and developers everywhere. If you are of a similar mold – photographer, illustrator, graphic designer, front-end developer, plugin developer, or anything that can be brought to digital format and sold (ebooks, docs, templates, audio files, etc.), will love Williamson’s EDD.
Like WooCommerce, the core plugin is free and has add-ons available all over the place with countless features for you to take your pick from.
Even without paying your way through extensions, the free core plugin will still give you a superb, stunning shopping cart, promo codes, bundled products, and other advertising systems, a multitude of payment gateways, payment record management with invoices and receipts, re-download option (for users with verified purchases) and multiple-file-per product. And yes there are more.
3. WP eCommerce
If you have a WordPress developer for hire on board, WP eCommerce will be your best friend on the online shopping scene.
This highly customizable plugin can be extended if your developer knows what he/she is doing – the API makes it super easy to integrate with as many payment gateways, CRMs, ERPs, analysis tools, shipping services, email newsletter services/apps, and more from across the net.
Basically, you can have the power of any professional 3rd party tool/ service you want on your WordPress eCommerce website thanks to this powerful, no-nonsense plugin. It does come with some remarkable features like shipping, marketing systems, SSL secure checkout process, multi-site network compatibility, and of course, a nice shopping cart.
4. Ecwid Shopping Cart
Ecwid’s WordPress plugin (it’s a global service and integrates with different platforms via separate plugins/ add-ons/ or extensions as applicable). The core plugin (default) is free of cost, but you would do better to register and actually move up to the premium plans straight away.
The service is PCI DSS Level 1 validated service – which goes a long way to secure your transactions and your customers’ details. You can integrate your WordPress store with your Facebook page for even higher conversions and sales.
You also get shipping and payment gateways, a user-friendly interface for store management, easy handling of orders, and more.
This modular plugin is also free (core) and packs some of the best store management features you will see, including pre-integrated payment gateways like Skrill, Paypal and more, product variant stock management and display support (for affiliate), and brilliant extensions that are available on almost any trusted source you can think of including Envato Market’s Code canyon (even themes on Themeforest) and Plugin repositories of the official kind.
6. Cart66 Lite
This plugin is your best buddy for all kinds of products – digital, tangible, both, etc. The plugin has some really beautifully optimized features, a great front-end shopping cart display and checkout process, post or page formats for products, preferred currencies, affiliate network creations, and some more brilliant management features that will make your store operation smooth as jazz.
These 6 WordPress eCommerce plugins will be hot in the year 2016. If you haven’t gotten on board with any of these, hop on now. Create a dazzling online store and woo your audience into converted, loyal customers.