For entrepreneurs and businesses who want to start selling a product or service in the internet, WordPress is a great way to start your online store.
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) used by more than 30% of the top websites. It’s the most popular website management system in the world with good reason. WordPress uses a web template system and a plugin architecture that makes it easy to build your own system and add the features and functionality you need.
For businesses, you spend less time and resources building a website, and more time building your business.
Finding success selling online, or ecommerce, requires more than a great product, you need the right tools. We’ll look at what you need in a WordPress ecommerce plugin, and then show you our pick for the best WordPress ecommerce plugin.
What to Look for in WordPress Ecommerce Plugins
Ecommerce, or “electronic commerce” is buying and selling items, both physical and digital, online. It’s a rapidly growing business, as many are turning to the internet for shopping rather than brick and mortar stores.
Just like a physical store, successfully selling a product requires more than a shop. While website management systems like WordPress can help a company put their product on the internet, there are a few other items to consider before you launch your business online:
- Payments: No matter what you are selling, your customers need a way to pay. Electronic payments eliminate the need for mailing checks and money and provide more security for you and your customers.
- Product Display: You’ll need a system that connects, or integrates, with the other system you’ll be using to sell your product. This includes your WordPress website. For example, when someone selects a product on your website, the integration should initiate the process in the WordPress ecommerce plugin to complete the transaction.
- Managing Inventory: Just like a brick and mortar store, you need a way to accurately manage your inventory. For physical products, this may work like a warehouse management system (WMS). For digital products, such as a subscription, you’ll need a platform to safely control and manage use.
- Shipping and Delivery: Once a customer purchases your product, you need an efficient way to deliver it to them – a fulfillment process. Even for online products, you need a delivery mechanism.
WordPress ecommerce plugins should manage these core requirements, in addition to the other requirements you have for your business.
The Best WordPress Ecommerce Plugin
As more customers look to the web for shopping, and businesses reach out to those customers to sell products, software companies will provide options for WordPress ecommerce plugins.
Many ecommerce plugins target niche markets. They offer specialized functionality to differentiate themselves from the competition. Due to this specialization, and the inability of many WordPress ecommerce plugins to integrate with other systems or support the evolving needs of online business, we selected WooCommerce as the best WordPress ecommerce plugin.
Benefits of WooCommerce, Best WordPress Ecommerce Plugin
WooCommerce was purchased by Automattic, the company that owns the WordPress blog hosting service in 2015. Since then, the company has continued to support the plugin addons, themes, and a deep connection to the WordPress platform.
It has become most widely used WordPress ecommerce plugin, with a passionate developer and user community that continues to push and improve the product. Here are three critical reasons you should use WooCommerce:
1. Flexible Options for Ecommerce Transactions
WooCommerce supports not only physical sales, but also digital products and downloads. The software offers a complete inventory management system to handle physical products and includes integration tools for download options. WooCommerce even includes support and functionality for affiliate and external products.
2. Rich Support and Integration with WordPress
Adding new features or looks for your ecommerce site is easy with WooCommerce. With hundreds of themes and extensions available for WooCommerce, and more are being added almost daily, you can find exactly what you need. Updates for WooCommerce are centered on WordPress, so you know the product will continue to support WordPress in the future.
3. Extensive Product Support and Documentation
If you have a problem or need help with WooCommerce, support is never far away. In addition to a supportive community of users and developers, WooCommerce offers an entire library of online documentation, as well as a help desk, ticket system and contact information.
Getting Started with WordPress Ecommerce Plugins
There are no WordPress ecommerce plugins currently on the market that offer the mix of functionality, support and flexibility that WooCommerce does.
Even so, WooCommerce may not be the best solution for every business.
Determine your requirements before selecting your ecommerce plugin. Identify what your top priority will be. Use those requirements as the basis for your selection process. You may find a product that meets your needs better than WooCommerce.