In this day and age, if you have a product to sell and your not online then you simply can’t compete. Having a functioning e-commerce website offers you a digital shop window to show off your wares to an even broader audience than a brick and mortar store could ever manage.
So whether you’re primary business is online or you website is designed to be complementary to an existing physical business, you need the best tools to help you set up an effective and professional e-commerce site. We have collected this list of the ten leading WordPress plugins that are designed to enhance and develop your e-commerce store, from out of the box solutions to additional features that can take your store to a higher level of functionality.
One for all the digital sellers out there. Easy Digital Downloads is a plugin that provides the user with a simplified way to sell digital products via a WordPress website. Everything is kept simple and lightweight with only the essentials making it into this plugin.
This plugin offers the ability to implement a cart system for purchasing multiple downloads at once, a promotional code system and a variety of payment gateways available as extensions with PayPal and Manual as defaults. EDD also features the capability to support variable prices for multiple price options and bundled products, as well as a variety of downloadable data – this includes purchase histories, earnings and sales charts, detailed purchase logs and a variety of data export options.
One of the most popular and highly rated e-commerce plugins for WordPress, WooCommerce creates fully functioning enterprise-level quality and features. The WooCommerce plugin is highly customizable with a huge range of themes and widgets that can give your website the custom feel.
WooCommerce utilises popular payment gateways such as PayPal, BACS and Cash on Delivery and a selection of shipping options. A large array of additional extensions are available such as the premium theme selection, as well as a variety of themes and widgets developed by third parties. The plugin is free to start but you will need to open up the wallet for some of the premium add ons that will take your store to the next level.
Competing with WooCommerce and Jigoshop in the full e-commerce service stakes is Ready! an e-commerce shopping cart plugin that shares many of the features of its older competitors. All of the standard features are here including the ability to sell both digital and physical products, a variety of payment options and flexible tax and shipping control.
Ready!’s biggest plus point is the ease of use. Once it’s installed, you just need to configure settings and you are ready to go. Due to Ready!’s relative youth the variety of add-ons and extensions is fairly limited. Don’t disregard Ready! as the potential is certainly there. One for the future.
Providing a personal level of interaction with customers had always been a problem for ecommerce sites. You walk into a brick and mortar store and you can chat with the shop assistant but who do you talk to in a cyber store?
Flyzoo provides a fluid and eye-catching messaging platform that allows you to connect with your customers via a live messaging experience. This can be useful for answering potential customers queries and driving repeat sales by providing the very best customer service possible.
Looking to show off your catalog of beautifully shot products? The CataBlog could be the answer for you. CataBlog allows you to upload images, give them titles, links, descriptions and then save them into a structured catalog that includes a variety of category and filtering options.
The plugin provides additional widgets to display your catalog and catalog categories in the sidebar of your site and a WYSIWYG editor that allows for simple and intuitive catalog editing.
6. Orilla Cart
Built with simplicity in mind, Orilla Cart provides all the basics you need to create an online store. For small businesses looking to keep costs as low as possible, Orilla Cart is a winner. Totally free and backed by an open source community, Orilla Cart is rated 5/5 by WordPress at the time of writing with 21/22 support threads resolved in the last two months.
Features provided by Orilla Cart include a standard PayPal payment gateway and a variety of offline payment options including bank transfer, cash on delivery and cheque. The plugin supports highly customizable shipping options and supports digital products as well physical ones.
For those who are looking for a little bit more punch than the simplicity of Orilla Cart, the Ecwid could well be for you. Used by over 450,000 sellers, Ecwid is also a completely free solution that can provide a broad range of e-commerce features and additions.
Ecwid provides you with the ability to synchronise your WordPress store and Facebook store fronts, allowing you to connect to your growing social audience. Ecwid actually functions across a variety of content management systems, including Drupal and Joomla, and is available in four different price packages ranging from free to a $89 dollar unlimited package.
The simplest of the simple. The PayPal Responder processes a payment for a product via PayPal and then follows this with an email response to the customer and returns them to a thank you URL of your choice.
This plugin can handle multiple products and accept any currency that PayPal itself can handle. Perfect for incredible simple websites and stores that wish to avoid the clutter and complexity of a fully fledged e-commerce system and cut down on the customers journey to transaction.
For e-commerce businesses selling memberships or limited membership access to tools, products or specialised content. Like a few of the others in this list, this plugin is an option that avoids having to take on an entire e-commerce system when something simple and easy to install and admin will do the job.
Paid Memberships Pro can integrate with all the usual popular payment gateways including Stripe, Authorize.net, Braintree and PayPal and can either plug in with your existing theme or the you can take a pick from a variety of free or premium varieties.
Jigoshop is another big figure within WordPress Ecommerce plugins. Jigoshop operates with a similar model as WooCommerce, providing a free downloadable plugin with additional premium and free themes and extensions that can be added at a later date.
Some complaints have started to be leveled at the older plugins such as Jigoshop and WooCommerce for being difficult to implement and clunky to operate, however for comprehensive options and a wide array of extensions no one can really compete.
I hope you have found this list useful! If you’re looking for even more useful plugins for WordPress sites in general then make sure you check our previous article.
If you have any additional plugins that you feel should of made the list or feel the need to know more then please don’t hesitate to get in contact.