If you already own a wordpress blog and want to add extra income by selling products, installing another e-commerce plugin will just do the job. Or you may already get sick of selling stuff on ebay and favor a site with personal layout. I would suggest to simply start a wordpress powered site along with e-commerce plugins, which is cheaper and relatively easier.
To help you choose one of many wordpress e-commerce plugins and get things started, I will suggest 4 paid premium ones and 4 free ones. There’s nothing wrong with the free ones. In fact, they are very good and functional, only with downsides that mainly concern invoices, payment/shipment options and usability. But if your goal is to start a fairly good store with full features and easy to use, premium plugins are always better and you’ll get what you paid for.
Shopp has options for single license($55) used on one site and multiple add-ons for you to choose from. You can select extra payment processors, shipping companies and support priorities, easy and simple. For a start-up business, this amount of money can be negligible considering the core function of website is relied on this plugin.
The functions of these plugins are pretty much the same. While the features and how many options you can choose are different. Shopp has many navigation and display options. For example, the catalogue, the product pictures and the cart, are extremely easy to customise. Interface of the whole plugin is very clean and easy to use. Plus the customer support of Shopp is quite effective, you have a user forum to discuss issues, etc.
The only downside is that if you want to add affiliate programs to increase sales, sadly they don’t have this feature yet. But you can use another plugin to easily integrate with this one. You can check it out here: Shopp Affiliate Plugin Integration
PHPurchase has been rebranded to Cart66 that integrated with extra cool features like WP membership access, Gravity forms, etc. For a price of $89(single license), this seems a very good deal and don’t mention that it has WP Affiliate Platform Integration already. You can spend more bucks if you have multiple sites.
It has almost the same features like the previous one with easy customisation and usability, and it has more payment options including Paypal express, Paypal professional, Chase Paymentech, Quantum gateway, etc.
Like I mentioned in the first one, Cart66 is already integrated with WP affiliate platform so you don’t have to pay extra. Same with the WP membership and gravity forms. If you haven’t started yet, I think this one’s a good deal.
This is the one that also developed WP Affiliate Platform. Price is $49.95 and you can use it on multiple sites. Yea! It also has combo deal if you want the eStore + Affiliate Platform, or the WP eMember.
Not like the showcases in the first two, eStore’s goal is to provide a lightweight site that’s fully functional. Lightweight doesn’t mean less pretty, it also can seamlessly blends with existing theme and displays elegantly. Same with other paid ones, customer support is extremely important. EStore’s home page may looks simple but they have everything you need including a member only forum. Personally, I like WP eStore better because it’s simplicity and fully featured, also because it can be seamlessly integrated with WP Affiliate and WP Members.
eStore Demo: LIVE DEMO
I just noticed this one recently. Currently it has a deal of $79 and can be used on multiple sites. It basically has the same features and also look very nice. 20 extra themes is integrated and you can simply choose them to blend with you site. Payment options is a lot and you can customise the invoice as well. Other than that, it’s pretty much the same with the previous.
Another cool thing about Shopperpress is that you can choose their add-on service called Datafeedr, which contains 183 million affiliate products from 9800 merchants and 27 affiliate networks. With datafeedr, you simply don’t have to worry about where to find affiliate products that you can sell, just choose whatever you like and profitable to promote it and get income. I think it’s very cool, you just focus on the SEO and marketing to earn more money.
- Functions: They all contains full e-business functions with just minor differences.
- Overall Look: Shopp and Cart66seems easily customisable to be much prettier but different people may have different experiences.
- Shopp: $55 No Affiliate Integration, No Gravity Form
- Cart66 $89 Integrate with WP Affiliate Platform, Member Access and Gravity Form, etc.
- WP eStore: $49.95 with optional combo of $79.95(WP eStore + WP Affiliate Platform) or Other Combos if you want to check it out from here.
- Shopperpress: $79 No Affiliate Integration, but has members management function. Can be integrated with Datafeedrto easily sell affiliate products.
If you are already a WordPress savvy or know most of it, WP eStore would be suitable.
If you are not really into the WordPress code placement, integration or wanna be hassle free, Shopp and Cart66 would be the right one.
For Shopperpress, I don’t have much experience about it, but for people who wish to promote bunch of affiliate products, this seems better.
Picking a critical plugin like e-commerce plugin is just like picking your daily ride, it depends on how much money you wish to spend, how many sites you want to put plugins on, what is your sites’ requirement and your own knowledge of get-things-done regarding wordpress and plugins.
Those plugins are suitable for small and medium stores but may not be ideal for very big site with so many transactions within a second. Some big company may consider to start a customised solution using other technologies or use platforms like Shopify and Magneto. But if you are just at the beginning of online selling or want to transfer your current medium business, plus you have some knowledge of wordpress, those plugins will just do the right thing and cost you next to nothing comparing to your monthly revenue.
Continue Reading: Top Free E-Commerce WordPress Plugins