The idea of transforming your WordPress website into an e-commerce store can be more than a little intimidating. But today, WordPress plugins from the top e-commerce platforms make it easy for merchants to launch and grow their online stores. But finding and integrating the right WordPress e-commerce plugins is critical.
The right plugin will complement the products and services you offer, will grow alongside with you, and will transform your WordPress site into a robust online store. The wrong one … could create more havoc than convenience.
To help simplify the process for you, we picked four top-rated plugins that can transform your sales and get you up and running (and selling) in a matter of minutes. Here’s what they are and why we think they’re excellent.
Based on our review, the top four WordPress e-commerce plugins are:
- Easy Digital Downloads
WooCommerce is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the world, so it’s no surprise that it’s also one of the most popular e-commerce plugins on WordPress. In fact, the platform is built on WordPress, so it easily integrates e-commerce with content.
Here are a few reasons merchants love the WooCommerce plugin:
- It’s open source. With an impressive list of addons and themes, users can add a seemingly infinite number of features to their site. Ample themes let users customize their site’s design and layout to match their vision — with no custom coding required.
- It’s compatible. Because WooCommerce is built on WordPress, it works seamlessly with your favorite WordPress plugins. So not only can you keep the features you love and have built into your website, but you don’t have to worry about new additions crashing.
- Extensive community support is available. There are WooCommerce users around the world and sell a wide range of products and services. So if you find yourself with a question, the worldwide community probably has an answer for you. If you can’t find what you need in the forums, the knowledge base and help desk are also robust resources.
- Users can sell anything. Whether you’re selling physical products, digital downloads, subscriptions or appointments, WooCommerce can support you. You can also add affiliate and external products to your site.
- The cost is low. Because WooCommerce is free, small stores can get up and running with little cash outlay. Even the costs to upgrade themes and plugins are minimal, making WooCommerce an economical option for merchants.
Shopify currently powers more than a million businesses worldwide on its all-in-one platform and has contributed to an estimated $183 billion in economic activity worldwide from 2016-2018.
Merchants are attracted to the Shopify plugin on their WordPress site because it enables them to:
- Add code with just a few clicks. Creating an online storefront on a WordPress site requires users to make just a few clicks of their mouse to generate code and then drop the Buy button into place. You don’t need to be a coding expert to start selling on your site.
- Customize to your brand. The plugin lets you customize colors to match your style, keeping your site in line with your brand’s guidelines.
- Fits every budget. All of Shopify’s features are available for just $9 a month, but don’t let the low cost fool you. Shopify lets you offer unlimited products, accepts more than 100 payment gateways, and provides global tax and currency support.
- Handles inventory management. Not only does Shopify’s inventory editor and bulk importer simplify managing inventory, but they also track sales and growth trends to make it easier to see what’s selling — and what isn’t.
Boasting more than $25 billion in merchant sales since starting in 2009, BigCommerce is focused on helping its merchants sell more. So it’s no surprise that they developed a WordPress plugin that would let its customers scale their business on the front end using WordPress while freeing up server resources by using BigCommerce on the back end.
Merchants like this plugin because it:
- Takes the worry out of compliance and security. BigCommerce’s embedded checkout experience takes on PCI compliance and customer security.
- Offers great partnerships. Because BigCommerce has so many processing companies, they can often get great credit card processing rates for users.
- Scales with their business. Thanks to its enterprise-grade security, its seamless integration with WordPress and being a fully hosted e-commerce platform, BigCommerce can easily grow with a merchant’s business.
- Offers zero transaction charges. You don’t have to worry about being charged for every transaction with BigCommerce. Instead, you pay only the payment service provider.
For e-commerce merchants in the business of creating digital downloads, Easy Digital Download’s free core WordPress plugin makes selling them effortless. While this plugin won’t be right for every merchant, it’s a welcome addition for the increasing number of merchants who are exclusively selling digital items.
Easy Digital Downloads makes it easy to:
- Manage the sale of digital products. Whether you’re selling software, ebooks or another media file, this plugin simplifies e-commerce sales worldwide. And because Easy Digital Downloads focuses exclusively on selling digital downloads, customers have an amazing buying experience.
- Accept a range of payment gateways. Easy Digital Downloads offers integrations for the most common merchant processors. PayPal Standard and Amazon Payments are supported in the free plugin, and many others (like Stripe and Braintree) are available through the premium extension.
- Get up and running quickly. Thanks to the extensive extensions catalog, even nontechnical personnel can quickly get an e-commerce site up and running. Merchants can also easily add in recurring subscriptions, commissions, customer feedback opportunities and free downloads.
- Access extensive support. The plugin offers ample documentation for installation and troubleshooting, and if that’s not enough, there are also support forums with an active community, videos, blogs and tutorials to help users get — and stay — up and running.
With a wide range of e-commerce plugins available for your e-commerce platform to help you grow your business, making a choice can sometimes feel overwhelming. But don’t feel pressured into making a choice immediately. Do your own research and see if the plugin is going to do everything you need it to.
But choosing the right plugin isn’t the only decision you’ll need to make when it comes to transforming your business into a successful online store. You’ll also need to choose a fraud prevention solution that will protect your store against the growing risk and expense of card-not-present fraud, false declines, chargebacks and identity theft.
We’ve made the decision-making process easier with our free ebook “Is a Fraud Managed Services Solution Right for Your Business.” In it, we discuss everything from simple device fingerprinting to comprehensive strategies, giving you the information, you need so you can make the fraud protection choice that’s right for you.