One of the most amazing facts about WordPress is undoubtedly its flexibility. Nowadays, unless you are looking for something extremely complicated, anyone could start a website, a blog and yes, an ecommerce solution built right in your WordPress powered site. If you are a small business owner, have a relatively small amount of inventory, you will be surprised that existing ecommerce solutions are just at the tip of your fingertips, ready to be deployed.
With that said, lets quickly look at why you may be interested in setting up an an online shopping solution for your website. Online sales are growing at an astounding rate, year over year (approx. 19% py), and according to Invesp.com, at least 80% of online population have purchased something online (50% more than once). It is estimated than online sales will reach $1.4 trillion by 2015 ($279 billion in the US). In addition, with the growing popularity of mobile devices, mCommerce (mobile commerce) is also growing rapidly, many predicting that it may even overtake ecommerce very soon. What do you think?
Now, why you may ask, do consumers prefer to shop online?
- It saves time
- It saves money (normally better deals, coupons, discounts, etc.)
- It saves gas
- Less crowd
- Easier to compare products and services
- More variety
- Under certain circumstances, maybe even more secure
Very compelling reasons if you ask me.
So, if you are a small business owner or someone who wants to sell some products online and have relatively a small amount of inventory, these plugins can help you create your online store quickly and efficiently. Each plugin has several features, different payment gateways, location base, etc.
These plugins where chosen based on:
- Popularity – number of downloads
- Latest Update: Max 60 days
- User Ratings: 4 – stars
- Feedback across the web
- Compatibility with latest version of WordPress
Free WordPress ecommerce Plugins
Developed and provided as an open source plugin from trusted WPMUDEV, MarketPress is one of the easiest to use, ecommerce / shopping cart plugin currently available. WPMUDEV developed this plugin from the ground up to make it simple to set up a stylish online shop, and has some remarkable features, including:
- Multiple payment gateways (PayPal, Authorize.net, Google checkout, 2checkout, Moneybookers, eWay, Cubepoints and more)
- Works great with any WordPress theme and looks great with AJAXy goodness
- Fully internationalized by the WPML crew
- Sell real objects, or digital downloads (with limits and tracking!), with ease
- Shipping, coupons, Google Analytics Ecommerce tracking, sale pricing, unlimited product variations, and so so much more!
Also, it is 100% WordPress Multisite and BuddyPress compatible – so you can use it to start your own Etsy or Ebay style network of stores… where you take a % on each sale!!! Cool!
Here’s a quick presentation of MarketPress:
One of the rising stars in the WordPress open source repository. WooCommerce transforms your WordPress website into a thorough-bred online ecommerce store and as they say, helps you sell almost anything. It delivers an enterprise-level quality and features backed by a name you can trust. You can play with it here on their live preview section.
Main features include:
- Create & sell all kinds of products
- Various Payment Gateways
- Coupon management
- Product reviews from your customers
- Automatic up-sells & cross-sells
- Sell Physical or Digital Products
- Order Management
- and it goes on…
One of the most popular ecommerce plugins on WordPress. Currently downloaded over 1.9 million times, WP e-Commerce is a free WordPress Shopping Cart Plugin that lets customers buy your products, services and digital downloads online. The features included in this free plugin is just so many, that it is better if you head over to their download area and see for yourself.
Nonetheless, some of its main features include:
Payment Gateways Integration
- Manual Payment (checks/money orders) (included)
- PayPal Payments Standard (included)
- more …
- Flexible coupon/discount pricing rules
- Free shipping options
- Multi-tier pricing for quantity discounts.
- Search Engine Friendly URLs
- New Products widget
- Cross-sells on product pages (in 3.8 this is now available as a Plugin)
- more …
Search Engine Optimization
- 100% Search Engine Friendly
- Meta-information for products and categories
- RSS feeds for products and categories
- Integrates with Google (XML site maps and Google Merchant Centre)
- Integrates with the All in One SEO plugin for WordPress (which includes Google Analytics)
- Internationalization Support
- Shipping Integration with UPS, etc.
- One-Page Checkout or Stepped Checkout
- Admin dashboard for sales overview
- Catalog Management and Basic inventory control
- Catalog Browsing, etc
And last but not least …
An accessible shopping cart plugin for WordPress, packed with various features. Including:
- Utilizes WordPress pages or posts, and compatible with custom post types, to create products
- Customers can sign up to your site (settable option)
- Upload downloadable products
- Various shipping options, including by weight.
- Automatic emails on successful purchase
- Configurable Out of Stock message.
- Basic Stock Control
- Google Base Data creation
- Various discount options
- WPMU, Multisite compatible.
- Merchant gateways: Paypal and Cash/Cheque!
- and much more.
That’s it! As I mentioned before, anyone of these plugins will help you setup your online store quickly. The choice is more on you deciding which one you think has the features you need.
This is all good and I am sure that with these plugins, you can use your creativity and sell just about anything you can think of online. However, if for some reason, you don’t like the hassle of setting up a WordPress site and trying to figure out how these plugins work, you should know that there are other ecommerce software solutions that may just be what you are looking for.
How about you? Do you know of any other free WordPress ecommerce plugin that you feel should have been included here on this list?