WordPress is one of the most commonly used content management systems, and its popularity has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. Do you know that there are more than 50,000 plugins in the WordPress plugin repository? Yes, this can be quite overwhelming for many online stores but so many options can make it more challenging to pick the right plugin based on specific business requirements.
Selecting the most suitable WordPress plugin is critical for any e-commerce store, especially if you want to grow and scale your online store quickly. With a plethora of options available, many businesses go with popularity as it can be indicative of quality. However, a large user base opens more possibilities for hacking attempts that target plugin security vulnerabilities.
All else equal, the most important factor to choose the best WordPress e-commerce plugin is whether it fits your specific needs or not. We have listed the 5 best WordPress plugins that are trusted the most by e-commerce business owners. Have a look:
WooCommerce is a commonly used WordPress plugin that offers a comprehensive solution to enable you to sell physical and digital products on a WordPress website. It is an open-source plugin with over 5 million active installations. What makes WooCommerce popular is the fact that it is free, powerful, and owned by Automattic, one of the most influential and renowned companies in the WordPress ecosystem. Designed specifically for small and large-sized online businesses and merchants, WooCommerce is now used by approx 8.24% of e-commerce websites. From a small retailer to a large enterprise to a startup, anyone can seek the best of WooCommerce to meet their specific needs. Also, it makes it super easy to build and enhance online stores, empowering entrepreneurs to start selling products in just a few minutes. For a custom e-commerce platform, you can hire an expert developer from its large community.
Although WooCommerce is a free plugin, it offers several administrative features, including management of taxation and payment methods, sales trend analysis, and stock reporting. There are hundreds of free and paid extensions so you can optimize SEO, get great visibility on search engines, and drive organic traffic. It comes combined with BACS, PayPal, and cash on delivery for online payments but you can add more options by installing addons to your online store. Its easy-to-follow tutorials and documentation guide you through different aspects of WooCommerce to build product pages and a website.
Pros of Using WooCommerce
- It is an easy to use, flexible, and scalable solution
- Hundreds of extensions and themes are available
- Customize your website as per your needs
- Set up an online store in minutes
- It is completely free
- Add affiliate or external products to your e-commerce website
- Equipped with tools so you can easily manage your inventory
Easy Digital Downloads
Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) is exclusively designed to sell digital products, such as ebooks, audiobooks, images, videos, and other PDF files. It is also used for selling online courses immediately and easily. EDD is a lightweight plugin with all the key features that you need to sell digital products without much hassle. Another amazing feature of EDD is that the core plugin is absolutely free to use and once you install it, you get access to all the features, including discount codes, customer management, shopping cart management, and more. Its dozens of extensions enhance the functionality of your storefront and provide a customized platform according to your wish.
One drawback of EDD is that it is bundled with multiple features that you will never need to run your online store. But other than that, it is a highly recommended choice to help you list your digital products and start selling on your website quickly. In addition, its integration with PaPal and Amazon payments allows you to offer digital content to buyers without much complexity. The premium extensions can seamlessly be integrated with various tools to automate email marketing, collect reviews, and host files in the cloud.
Pros of Using EDD
- Offers multiple advanced features
- Unlimited file downloads
- Well documented
- Free support forums, tutorials, videos, and an IRC chatroom
- An advanced customer management system
- Interface to record every online transaction
- Full data reporting
Ecwid Ecommerce Shopping Cart
Ecwid stands for e-commerce widget, which is a free managed WordPress plugin used for selling products online. It is a preferred choice for many e-commerce businesses as it is easy to install, customize, and manage. In addition, it is highly flexible and offers additional features, which include three types of paid versions- business, venture, and unlimited. Ecwid Ecommerce Shopping Cart is similar to WooCommerce when it comes to the setup process that follows the same pattern and in terms of high user ratings as well. However, the key difference between the two platforms is that Ecwid can be used on any website and is not restricted to WordPress, including Instagram, Facebook, Joomla, Wix, Weebly, and more.
Ecwid is a comprehensive and affordable e-commerce platform that supports mobile, web, and social media stores. Hence, you can sell anytime, anywhere. Also, with Ecwid, it is more convenient to manage and access an e-commerce site on the go. You can list up to 10 products online in Ecwid’s forever-free plan where you don’t have to pay for transactions or monthly subscription fees. The platform works well with major carriers, including UPS, FedEx, while calculating shipping costs for every product.
Also Read: Best WordPress Website Builders To Look Out In 2022
Pros of Using Ecwid
- Mobile-friendly and responsive designs
- Supports over 40 secure payment options
- Integrates with Amazon
- Sell on multiple websites simultaneously
- Supports Facebook, Google, and Snapchat advertising
Shopify is a stand-alone managed e-commerce platform that enables non-technical entrepreneurs to start selling online and grow their businesses. It is completely cloud-based hence, you can run an online store anywhere with an internet connection. Although Shopify is not a plugin, it is a one-stop solution that makes selling physical and digital products on any website hassle-free. Also, it offers a 14-day free trial to new users and you can sign up for paid plans that start at just $29/month.
With so many WordPress plugins to create online stores, you may wonder why to choose Shopify. Well, there are a plethora of reasons to power your business with Shopify- it is easier to get started than other native e-commerce plugins. Simply sign up for a suitable plan and get your e-commerce store running in no time. Being a cloud-based solution, it doesn’t require upgrading a server to accommodate traffic outages as your business grows. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about security, website speed, and technical issues as the platform takes care of everything. You can add extra functionality to the store using Shopify. Lastly, we cannot forget its different attractive premium WordPress themes for bloggers that allow you to change the feel and look of your storefront for a more personalized experience.
Pros of Using Shopify
- An easy option for beginners
- Integration with USPS streamlines the fulfillment process
- Assures speed, security, and technical support
- Supports digital and physical products
- Complete inventory management
BigCommerce for WordPress
BigCommerce is a fully-hosted e-commerce plugin that takes care of your online store, thanks to its seamless integration with WordPress. The platform combines the flexibility of both platforms. Thus, millions of merchants can use WordPress to expand and customize their online stores. Also, it is an ideal option for your scalable platform as you use WordPress to manage the website content and run it. BigCommerce for WordPress is another cloud-hosted solution for small and medium-sized businesses. You can embed products in WordPress and automatically create a cart, sign in, account, and other critical pages.
BigCommerce is known as a feature-rich online store builder with no costly addons or transaction fees. It is shipped with several responsive e-commerce templates that you can choose from. However, it may be an overwhelming option for businesses looking for a more streamlined platform. Its segmentations and discounting tools let you offer exciting discounts and promotions to drive more sales. BigCommerce also offers shipment and invoice tracking, catalog and order management, online transactions, and whatnot.
Pros of Using BigCommerce
- Enterprise-grade security, easy scalability, and high performance
- Lightning-fast speed
- A single control panel to manage orders, shipments, and catalog updates for multiple websites
- Easy to sell across multiple channels
- Powerful analytics
- Allows you to create complex catalogs and manage large volumes of orders
- No transaction charges
- Optimized and AMP-ready
Selecting the best WordPress plugin for your online store can be challenging and tricky in a lot of ways. However, the final choice depends on your business needs and goals. For maximum flexibility, better control, and cutting-edge features, WooCommerce is the best solution. Also, WooCommerce storefront integration with the existing WordPress website is easier than other cloud hosting platforms. Shopify makes it easier for business owners to start their online stores and is hassle-free when it comes to security and scalability. To sell digital goods, Easy Digital Downloads is the right option as it has everything that you need to sell and automate the delivery of digital products. So choose the most suitable WordPress plugin for you wisely and be sure to make an informed decision.