Building an online store was once a big deal! Today, it is not! There is WordPress and its multitude of plugins that can help you build powerful and advanced eCommerce sites within a few hours. In case you don’t want to go the WordPress way, you can depend on SaaS platforms like BigCommerce & Shopify. However, this article is all about WordPress eCommerce plugins that can help you get the job done.
Yes, these plugins can help you build fully-functional eCommerce stores irrespective of whether you are trying to build a store for digital downloads or whether you want to sell physical products. There is no doubt that selling your own products is one of the best ways to earn online.
In case you are wondering whether these WordPress eCommerce plugins will give you the same functions as you get in SaaS (Software as a Service) platform or not, you need to know that they can actually do better!
So, without further ado, let’s look into the best of the best WordPress eCommerce plugins that can help you build state-of-the-art online shops. I will give you all the necessary details, so read through! Having said that, I will like to say that if are in a hurry, here is a quick list of the plugins you can use to build your online store in a jiffy:
- Easy Digital Downloads
- Ecwid Ecommerce Shopping Cart
- Cart66 Cloud
- WP EasyCart Shopping Cart and eCommerce Store
I am sure you have heard of WooCommerce. In case you haven’t, WooCommerce is the undisputed king of eCommerce plugins for WordPress. This immensely powerful plugin and its myriads of add-ons can help you to create highly advanced eCommerce sites.
If you have a blog powered by WordPress and you want to add an eCommerce segment to it, WooCommerce will do the job instantly. All you need is to install the plugin and configure it, and then add products.
In case you don’t know, WooCommerce was originally developed as Jigoshop’s fork in 2011. It was developed by WooThemes. Automattic (the creators of WordPress) acquired WooThemes in 2015, thereby making WooCommerce a property of Automattic.
The association with Automattic was all that was required by WooCommerce to gain immense popularity. Today, WooCommerce powers 21% of the top 1 million eCommerce sites in the world and overall, it powers 8% of all eCommerce sites that exist today.
With WooCommerce, you can build an eCommerce site with as little as five products or you can build something big with thousands of products. As long as you have the necessary infrastructure (hosting and bandwidth), WooCommerce allows you to add unlimited products to your store and it can handle unlimited visitors.
As far as the price of the plugin is concerned, it is completely free, and it comes with a free theme as well. If you need added functionality, you can buy the different extensions that WooCommerce has to offer. Yes, WooCommerce has its very own extension store! The prices of extensions vary. You can get some for under $100 and there are others that will cost above $200.
Of course, you will not need every extension that they have to offer!
You can also buy other plugins and themes that integrate seamlessly with WooCommerce, allowing you to create a stunning online store with advanced features.
What makes WooCommerce a great eCommerce plugin?
There are many reasons. Here are few of them:
- It gets and will keep getting constant updates and new features. As long as WordPress and Automattic are there, WooCommerce isn’t going anywhere.
- It is completely free and lets you set a very decent online store within a few hours. If you are to go for additional themes and plugins, to enhance your online store, they aren’t that expensive either.
- Independent developers keep creating extensions with advanced features that help store owners to solve various issues that they face. These extensions allow adding advanced functions.
- WooCommerce allows selling just about anything that you want. You can sell physical goods, digital downloads, appointments, subscriptions, etc.
- There are several built-in payment gateways. You can use additional extensions and plugins to get more payment gateway options.
- WooCommerce is suitable for both rookies and advanced users. It is simple enough for anyone with zero experience. It is powerful enough to allow developers to create custom functions and other customizations.
#2. Easy Digital Downloads
If you want to manage and sell digital products only, the Easy Digital Downloads plugin is all that you will need. Of course, if you are using WooCommerce, you can sell digitals products, but if you opt for Easy Digital Downloads, you will get more functions geared specifically towards digital products.
The core plugin of Easy Digital Downloads is free and you can use it to quickly setup a store to sell ebooks, audio clips, videos, etc. There are various features like activity tracking, file access control, discount codes, and more that you will find to be great for customizing your online store.
The plugin allows you to showcase your products using beautiful galleries. There are themes available with the plugin that you can use. If someone purchases a product from your site, the plugin will send an email with the download link. There is an integrated shopping cart with payment gateway support!
In case you are looking for advanced features, you can upgrade to a paid membership of the plugin. With paid membership you will get a wide range of features like file download logs, customer account page, affiliate system tracking, refund tracking, etc. There are many extensions that you can purchase separately to enhance your online store’s functionality and usability.
What makes Easy Digital Downloads a great eCommerce plugin?
- Specifically geared towards digital downloads that allow advanced solutions by removing features required for selling physical goods.
- Comes with its own extension library to extend the functionality of the eCommerce store. There are third-party extensions as well for even more functions.
- Plenty of payment gateway choices.
- Has a large community of developers, bloggers, and enthusiasts who offer solution to various problems.
- The core plugin is free that works great for small businesses like artists, ebook creators, etc.
#3. Ecwid Ecommerce Shopping Cart
Ecwid is pretty similar to WooCommerce if you compare the setup process. However, if you compare the two, they are very different. One biggest difference is that Ecwid supports multiple platforms while WooCommerce supports only one platform.
With Ecwid, you can build an online store on WordPress, Drupal, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. Though the core plugin is free just like WooCommerce, Ecwid actually gives much more built-in features instead of opting for a library of extensions or add-ons.
What’s even more interesting is that since they don’t have a library of extensions, they offer a steady monthly subscription plan. You can even opt for an annual plan to save more.
The forever free plan is just enough to create a nice general eCommerce store. However, if you are looking for advanced functions, you will definitely need to upgrade.
The free version of plugin will give you a shopping cart that is mobile responsive and supports up to 10 products. You can also sell on multiple sites.
If you want to sell up to 100 products, you need to pay $15 a month, and that is going to bump up to $35 a month if you want to sell up to 2,500 products. For unlimited products, you need to shell out $99 a month.
Looks pricey? Think again!
With WooCommerce, you have to pay for adds on for simple things like multiple payment gateways. And guess what? The more features you want, the more add-ons you will need, thereby increasing the price sharply.
With Ecwid, you need to pay only $15 (if you are selling up to 100 products), and you will get the following:
- Abandoned cart saver
- Discount coupons
- One mobile point of sale
- One Facebook shop
- Several social media tools
- Automated tax calculations
- Facebook pixel
- Google shopping support
- A free starter site
Guess what? With WooCommerce, you have to get separate add-ons or extensions for most of these!
What makes Ecwid Ecommerce Shopping Cart a great eCommerce plugin?
There are several reasons. Here are a few:
- It has an always free plan that allows to create a completely functional store with up to 10 products.
- It has several monthly subscription plans. All plans are very reasonably priced and come with several built-in options instead of separate extensions.
- It not only works with WordPress, but also with website builders like Wix, Adobe Muse, Squarespace, etc. The plugin is incredibly flexible and even works with other CMSes like Drupal.
- Ecwid takes care of the plugin updates and upgrades and pushes them to all websites where the plugin is installed. The updates and upgrades happen automatically. You don’t have to worry about those things.
- After you install Ecwid on one site, you can transfer data from one site and put it on a different site and sync them. This will allow you to sell from multiple fronts.
- Depending on the pricing plan you select, Ecwid will instantly create a Facebook store for you. It will also give you various other channels like Google Shopping, eBay, online market places, mobile point of sales, etc.
#4. Cart66 Cloud
Just like Ecwid, the Cart66 Cloud plugin ditches add-ons and comes with most of the functions built-in. This means that you don’t have to mess around with multiple plugins and manage all of them to run your online store.
That’s an interesting approach because many people do get confused with too many add-ons and extensions. An all-in-one solution is often a better choice for them. It is needless to say that Cart66 Cloud really cannot compete with WooCommerce that easily, but yes, it does have a very solid user-base and followers.
What’s interesting is that Cart66 Cloud has its own vendors’ marketplace. Well, that marketplace might not be a sufficiently good place to sell your products, but hey, you can still get the word out.
Of course, the core plugin is free to use, but if you want to unlock its full power, you have to go for the premium plan that will cost you $49 a month. Don’t worry about the complexity of the system because of too many integrated features! Cart66 Cloud has an excellent support system!
What makes Cart66 Cloud a great eCommerce plugin?
- You will get one of the best customer supports you can find.
- It doesn’t require you to fiddle around with extensions and spend hours making things work. Features are all built-in.
- Though it has many complex functions, the setup process is relatively easy and perfectly suitable for rookies.
- The email marketing features of Cart66 Cloud is one of the best in business. There are many tools like timed follow-up emails, drip campaigns, list segmentation, and more.
- It supports selling both digital and physical goods.
- There are more than 100 payment gateways built right into the plugin.
- Features like subscriptions, recurring payments, content restrictions, etc. all come integrated with the plugin.
#5. WP EasyCart Shopping Cart and eCommerce Store
If you don’t fancy an eCommerce plugin that has a complex setup process, WP EasyCart Shopping Cart and eCommerce Store is probably for you. It is one of the simplest eCommerce plugins that you will get, and guess what, it has one of the easiest setup processes out there.
It is designed only with non-developers (rookies) in mind. You will be amazed by the simplicity. The developers of WP EasyCart have made sure that you get easy integration with some of the most popular services like MailChimp, Quickbooks, TaxCloud, and ShipStation.
With WP EasyCart you can sell anything from physical products to digital downloads, video content, gift cards, and subscriptions. You can even post eBooks, ask for donations, send out invoices, and more!
What’s really incredible is that the free version of this plugin has incredibly powerful features. You can add unlimited products, add different product variants, sell videos, live shipping calculators, etc.
However, the free plan will have transaction charges. If you want to avoid those charges, you can upgrade to a premium plan in which you need to $69 per year. If you can afford, the highest plan that sells for $99 a year, will give you features like Quickbooks integration, AffiliateWP, Stamps.com, ability to sell subscriptions, etc.
Talk of customer service and they have both free and paid options. You can access free support through their support center, forums, video tutorials, etc.
What makes WP EasyCart Shopping Cart a great eCommerce plugin?
- The free version has quite some powerful features that are usually not available with other eCommerce plugins.
- The highest-tier paid version costs $99 a year, which is incredibly pocket-friendly considering that it gives access to a great list of curated extensions that can help you build an extremely powerful online store.
- There’s a brilliant collection of extensions like Groupon Importer, Stamps.com, Quickbooks, MailChimp, AffiliateWP etc.
- You can sell virtually every type of thing like donation, subscription, eBooks, videos, audio, etc.
- It has an extremely simple interface that will allow you to get your site up and running in no time.
Of course, there are various other options available, and I am not saying that you should not try out those options. After trying several options, I narrowed down on these five. Your preferences may differ, but what I am confident about is that you cannot put WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads off your list of the best WordPress eCommerce plugins!