WordPress has started its journey as a blogging platform, but now it’s being used as a robust solution for building eCommerce sites. The powerful plug-in architecture of WordPress makes it possible for anyone to transform an ordinary site into a fully-fledged digital shop. So in case you’d rather build it with good old WordPress instead of using dedicated shopping cart software, read on!
If you’re also planning to build an eCommerce site with WordPress, you may get confused which eCommerce plug-in fits your needs best. To help you choose best among the rest, I’ve researched and made a list of 7 best WordPress eCommerce plug-ins. All these plug-ins are absolutely free to use and perfect for creating any kind of profitable WordPress e-store.
WooCommerce, built by talented folks at WooThemes, is probably the most popular and widely used free eCommerce plug-in for WordPress (and one of the best Shopify alternatives). Packed full of top-of-the-line features, this powerful and highly extendable plug-in empowers you to turn your WordPress site into a multi-million dollar eCommerce store. One of the best things about WooCommerce is its golden collection of free and paid themes and extensions, using which you can tailor your online shop to meet your specific needs.
Used by world’s most reputable brands like Entrepreneur, Cosmopolitan and Harley-Davidson, WooCommerce currently powers more than 17.77% of eCommerce websites on the entire internet. Key features of WooCommerce include PayPal Standard integration, sales and reviews reports, multiple shipping options, flexible couponing system and easy inventory management. If you’re looking for a robust, intuitive and highly customizable eCommerce plug-in, then you should definitely give WooCommerce a shot. If you want to learn more about this, you’ll like my guide on how to create an online shop with WooCommerce.
Easy Digital Downloads is a lightweight, feature-rich and simple to setup eCommerce solution for selling digital downloads via WordPress at no cost. Rather than including a lot of useless features like other plug-ins, Easy Digital Downloads has kept selling digital goods simple and streamlined by providing only most useful features. It ships with a powerful reporting system that enables you to see all of your earnings and sales through interactive graphs and easy to analyze data tables. You may also want to read my full Easy Digital Downloads review.
As EDD is built with WordPress Coding Standards in mind, it’s the most developer friendly eCommerce solution. Means, it’s extremely easy for a developer to make changes to the EDD codebase. With more than 200 themes and extensions, you can tailor EDD to your specific needs. If you only sell digital products, EDD will be the best choice for you.
WP e-Commerce is another simple to use yet powerful WordPress eCommerce plug-in that has been around for last several years. Written by Justin Sainton, Dan Milward and Gary Cao, WP eCommerce allows you to customize HTML and CSS, so you could have full control over the look and feel of your eStore. Whether you sell physical inventory, digital downloads, memberships or subscriptions, this amazing plug-in has made selling an absolute breeze.
With over 2.9 million downloads, WP e-Commerce is the second most popular plug-in in the eCommerce space. What’s unique about this fully functioning plug-in is its streamlined checkout process that dramatically increases your store’s conversion rate. In addition, WP e-Commerce integrates perfectly with dozens of payment processors and shippers. Even, you can add extra functionalities to your store by purchasing a variety of upgrades and premium add-ons available.
Ecwid makes strides in the market by catering to companies that don’t want to start a brand new site. The primary feature is that you can take your old site and quickly integrate the Ecwid system within a few minutes. You can also mirror the system onto various other sites if you plan on selling elsewhere online. Manage all of these sites from one place instead of switching between multiple dashboards. Another nice feature is the syncing between multiple devices. Sell on-the-go with your smartphone. This means that you can go to a tradeshow to make a few sales and all of these sales are reflected on the backend of your website.
Ecwid comes with four plans, one of which is completely free. They market the free plan like crazy, and mention that many other platforms drag you into a free trial, where you will eventually have to pay. Read my full Ecwid review as well.
Jigoshop is a reliable, secure and robust WordPress eCommerce plug-in from Jigowatt, a UK based web design agency. Best suited for SMEs, Jigoshop features an intuitive dashboard through which you’ll have the ability to setup and manage your web store in minutes. You can choose from 30+ fully fledged and highly customizable themes that are suitable for building any kind of online store. Plus there are over one hundreds of powerful extensions offered to take your eStore to the next level. Check out my full Jigoshop review as well.
Moreover, Jigoshop has various reporting features – including sortable sales graphs and stock report – that give you real-time insight into how your store is performing. Because of its simple and user-friendly inventory system, managing inventory with Jigoshop is also quite easy. Only a few people know that Jigoshop was built as a fork of WooCommerce. The Woo team has just forked the Jigoshop codebase and launched it as WooCommerce. However, Jigoshop is still getting famous day by day.
MarketPress, prudently written by experienced WordPress developers at WPMU DEV, is a well designed, easily customizable and feature-rich eCommerce plug-in. The main motive behind the development of this fabulous plug-in is delivering users a simple, beautiful and enjoyable shopping cart experience without any add-on or extension. Thus, MarketPress is a WPMU DEV’s effort of putting together the powers of different plug-ins into one single standalone eCommerce solution.
MarketPress comes with beautiful themes that can be easily customized without touching a single line of code. Also, it’s fully compatible with BuddyPress and Multisite, means you can set up your own network of online stores (like eBay and Etsy) and take a cut of each sale. While, the premium version of MarketPress offers advanced features like full suite of payment methods, more than one built-in store style, calculated shipping modules, Google Analytics eCommerce tracking and product personalization.
iThemes Exchange is a simple, intuitive and extremely extendable WordPress eCommerce plug-in developed by iThemes. Having a user-friendly interface, it makes product creation process relatively easier. Unlike other plug-ins that create their own database tables for customers, Exchange takes advantage of built-in WordPress user system for adding customer information to its own page. So that you could easily manage customers by viewing available downloads and products purchased, editing transactions and adding notes to customer information.
Getting started with Exchange is as easy as one, two, and three: install, activate, select your favorite payment processor, add products and start selling. To make purchase experience easiest than ever, Exchange uses Stripe as built-in payment gateway. It also supports PayPal Standard out of the box as a core add-on. There are several Exchange Themes available to fulfill your specific needs. Finally, you can unlock Exchange’s full potential by trying the Pro pack that has much advanced features.
Cart66 Lite, formerly known as PHPurchase, is a lightweight, secure and highly efficient e-commerce solution for creating any kind of “PCI compliant” WordPress store. It makes use of Mijireh Checkout to securely collect and transmit credit card information to your favorite payment gateway. What’s interesting, it also perfectly integrates with Amazon S3 to let you sell digital products without any hassle. Unlike other eCommerce plug-ins, Cart66 Lite is easy to use yet powerful.
Written by Reality66, Cart66 Lite has multiple shipping and currency options, enabling you to give your business global reach and recognition. Including powerful features like custom fields for products, affiliate platform integration, product variations and customizable email receipts, this simple to configure plug-in has almost everything you need to get your web shop up and running in minutes. Also, Cart66 offers a professional version having more advanced features and professional support.
Feature Image by: Pestaola