As a small business looking to improve online presence, adding a shop is often high on the list of priorities.
With the powerful adaptability of WordPress, it is easy to find a number of plugins that are designed to help you get started. However, not all of these plugins are created equal.
Even when examining the most popular choices, like those listed below, the available features can vary dramatically. Understanding what each offers and how it melds with your business and customer base before you select one and start setting it up can save you a lot of headache down the road.
With that said, let’s dive in and see which are the best e-commerce WordPress plugins out there!
WP e-commerce - eCommerce WordPress Plugin
WP e-Commerce is surprisingly feature-rich given its lack of cost, one reason it continues to be among the most popular WP plugins.
It accepts manual payments like checks or money orders, Paypal Payments (Standard, Pro, and Express Checkout), Google Checkout, and Chronopay. If you pay for the upgraded ‘Gold Cart’, you add a number of additional payment portals.
It is very SEO friendly, allowing you to establish meta-information for all products, set up RSS feeds for them, and includes seamless integration with Google and the All in One SEO plugin.
It comes with a number of existing themes, but grants you the flexibility to create your own. Order forms, product organization, product variations, and other features are customizable as well.
Plus it is highly compatible, playing nicely with any other WP plugin. It is a surprisingly simple plugin to add. Upload and install from WP Admin and you are done.
This plugin doesn’t allow you to customize invoices or print them. To print, you must go through your browser.
Be warned that the control panel is not as simple as the install. Some users have reported issues with bugs, particularly with recent updates.
With the non-existent price tag and robust collection of included features, this is an excellent choice for a business that wants to get things set up swiftly without incurring much cost.
However, its issues with bugs, poor documentation, and invoices leave something to be desired.
Cost: Free base program, Gold Cart (Get it Now)
Cart66 – WordPress eCommerce Plugin
Cart66 makes it easy to sell a range of products, including digital products and services. It also has currency managers which allow you to expand your market globally while also setting up taxes automatically by state or zip code to ensure proper billing.
To get a broader range of payment portals, and the full range of impressive features this plugin offers, you’ll need to pay. For that payment, you get integration with a number of important plugins, like Zendeks, Gravity Forms, Constant Contact and more.
It features detailed inventory tracking, live rates from the top shipping companies globally, support tickets, and you can expand your offerings to membership-only access features. Plus, your customers can set up recurring payments and subscriptions.
Cart66 does not include a built-in storefront, which can be problematic for some. Instead, you add products directly to your site or WP page.
This could be either a blessing or a curse depending on your needs.
Cart66 is an excellent plugin for a small business that desires a simple, powerful and flexible tool. It is especially suited for those who are offering digital or membership services or are developing a global audience.
There’s little to gripe about here, though the price may be a deterrent for some.
Cost: Free, $89-$399 (Get it Now)
Shopp – eCommerce Plugin for WordPress
Another feature-packed plugin, Shopp offers all the basics with a clean, easy-to-use interface and adds to that drag-and-drop sorting, alerts for low-inventory, order notifications, exceptional SEO tools, and easy-to-use promo tools.
Its widgets allow easy access to product and sales history as well as simple tools to help you add and remove elements and products to your site. Plus, with additional add-ons, it offers one of the widest varieties of payment gateways and shipping carriers.
It also has solid tech support and excellent documentation, and all customers gain access to the help desk, with two higher levels of support available for a fee.
Shopp is not a great option for a business focused on digital goods or for those who want a solid pre-built theme.
This is a fantastic choice for a business looking for a light-weight plugin that is comfortable customizing their design and aren’t selling digital goods.
The customer support and access to a huge array of shipping companies and payment gateways is an added bonus.
Cost: A single domain starts at $55, and additional tools run $25 and up (Buy it Now)
eShop – WordPress eCommerce Plugin
Another solid free plugin for your e-commerce integration, eShop allows you to sell both physical and digital goods through an easy-to-use interface.
It is highly customizable, allowing you to create a cart that suits your needs and fits in well with the design of your site.
Overall, it’s a very basic but functional and sturdy shopping cart.
With eShop, you can accept PayPal, Cash or Check, or allow eShop to take in the payments. If you do the latter, you cannot print an invoice for your customer as you would with PayPal.
It isn’t as feature-rich as many of its competitors. It isn’t a good option if you intend to ship outside of the US or require a flexible checkout setup.
You get what you pay for, and that is very clear with both of the free offerings listed here.
eShop offers a very basic set-up that is easy to use and straightforward, but not incredibly flexible. For a small business looking to develop a web store focused on the US market, it’s a good choice.
Cost: Free (Get it Now)
James Martin is a technology-focused freelance writer who shares his household with two pups, two cats, a bearded dragon, two gerbils, and two wild teenage girls.
In between menagerie-wrangling, and contributing to education technology sites such as DegreeJungle.com, he spends his time perfecting the art of the home cook and running his Internet Marketing business.
My blogs are hosted reliably at HostGator
I run 20+ blogs, and each of these is hosted at HostGator. I have been using their service for a long time, and have never experienced any downtime. They also have a very responsive customer service team.
HostGator provides the most reliable and fully featured WordPress hosting service. Their plans start as low as $3.96 per month for unlimited hosting - try out HostGator now!