If you're planning on building an online store using WordPress, plugins can help you quickly develop a fully functional eCommerce platform.
As a WordPress user, you have hundreds of different eCommerce-related plugins to choose from when you're ready to build a site. No coding included.
Choosing the right plugin to build your store is critical. So, what should you be looking for when you decide on the best WordPress eCommerce plugin for your site?
In this post, I will cover 5 best WordPress plugins for e-shops as well as how to choose the best WordPress plugin for your business.
First, let's take a look at some of the best WordPress eCommerce plugins:
- WooCommerce (The most popular and free eCommerce plugin)
- MemberPress (A powerful plugin for building membership sites)
- BigCommerce (An all-rounder plugin for scaling your online business)
- Easy Digital Downloads (A free plugin for selling digital goods)
- WP eCommerce (A versatile plugin suitable for a variety of online shops)
Price from: free
WooCommerce is my top pick for WordPress eCommerce plugins. This high-end eCommerce platform provides users with a wide variety of features and eCommerce options. Since it is so universal, its popularity is not surprising.
You can sell both physical and digital products, and there's no limit to the number of products or images you can host on its platform. WooCommerce also has excellent payment gateway options, including PayPal, Stripe, and other payment processors like Amazon Pay.
A lot of the power in WooCommerce's platform comes from the additional features that you can purchase at a cost. These 'extensions' can provide you with custom features, such as membership options, shipping features, bookings capabilities, analytic functions, and more. If you want to get the most out of WooCommerce, it's best to look at its extension list.
Best of all, if you're looking for WordPress eCommerce plugins for free, you don't have to pay anything for WooCommerce's basic plan.
But keep in mind; if you want to take advantage of its full functionality, you'll need to purchase additional add-ons. Also, the best themes on the platform can cost up to $100.
While WooCommerce is an excellent eCommerce plugin, its variety of features and design options may prove tricky for a complete newcomer.
Price from: $129/year
MemberPress is a membership eCommerce platform built specifically with WordPress users in mind. It's the perfect plugin for people who are seeking to start paid membership websites for their customers. It's also an excellent platform for people who plan on selling digital downloads.
At MemberPress, WordPress site owners can process membership payments using multiple payment platforms, restrict access to content, provide clients with coupons and discounts, create multiple membership tiers, manage individual membership accounts, and much, much more.
MemberPress easily integrates with most existing WordPress themes and its easy-to-use setup process makes this an accessible plugin for anyone. One of the only downsides to this platform is that you have to pay for subscriptions on a yearly basis.
Price from: $29.95/month
While BigCommerce is a cloud-based eCommerce platform, it offers a WordPress plugin. BigCommerce attempts to differentiate itself by providing users with aesthetic themes and the ability to better integrate content and products.
If you want to create an appealing site that's loaded with visuals and your own content, this is an excellent choice.
With BigCommerce, you can process payments, coordinate shipping, automate inventory, analyze your sales data, sell to overseas territories, and add a range of additional benefits to your current eCommerce platform.
BigCommerce even makes it easy to migrate and import products from your current eCommerce platform (if you have one).
Price from: $29.95/month
If you're looking for the best eCommerce WordPress plugin for digital downloads, Easy Digital Downloads is hard to beat.
This eCommerce platform focuses exclusively on helping eCommerce owners sell digital content to online customers. While you can do the same with other top WordPress plugins, no one has as large of a focus on this niche as Easy Digital Downloads.
With Easy Digital Downloads, you can provide your potential customers with unlimited downloads, discounts and promotions, custom file access restrictions, download tracking, and analytics, individuals account pages and more.
It's the perfect package if you want to run an advanced digital download service.
5. WP eCommerce
Price from: free
WP eCommerce plugin is one of the oldest WordPress plugins for eCommerce needs. Additionally, it is one of the most versatile ones, with similar features to WooCommerce.
It's suited for various online sales, including digital downloads, physical products, memberships as well as subscriptions.
For easier shopping, WP eCommerce has integrated dozens of payment gateways for smooth transactions. Additionally, it provides built-in marketing tools for higher revenues, shipping tools for effortless shipping, as well as a check-out secured with SSL.
But probably the greatest feature of WP eCommerce is that the plugin is completely customizable - HTML and CSS could be tweaked for additional functionality.
How To Choose The Best WordPress eCommerce Plugin?
This list alone has 5 great plugin choices. But you only need one versatile plugin for your online business. Consider these 5 points to choose a product that's well suited:
- Consider your niche
- The plugin's core features
- The scalability of the plugin
- Built-in theme availability
- The cost of the plugin
1. Consider Your Niche
Before you can choose the best WordPress eCommerce plugin for your site, you need to consider your niche.
Different plugins are better for different types of eCommerce platforms. Let's say you're someone who is selling an online subscription. As a user, you will benefit from using a different plugin compared to someone who wants to start an online t-shirt business.
For example, WooCommerce provides excellent features for someone who is trying to sell physical goods online. It can help you manage inventory, streamline shipping, display products, and process payments.
On the other hand, a plugin like MemberPass is best for people who are trying to start an online membership site. Your plugin should be the best WordPress eCommerce plugin for your particular focus area.
2. The Plugin's Core Features
Next, it's time to consider the core features of the plugin that you're researching. eCommerce plugins need to be able to help you host products or services online.
Your plugin should provide you with easy-to-use benefits for eCommerce transactions and platforms.
For example, the best eCommerce plugins include online store builders, inventory trackers, shipping integration, discount options, account management features, different payment processing choices, and sleek designs.
But most importantly, the plugin has to offer exactly what you need. All of the fancy features may mean nothing if you just need a simple button to sell your eBook with. In that case, a simple plugin would do - there would be no need to setup a separate massive shop.
If you want to get the most out of your plugin, choose the one that has the features you need to build the store you're designing.
3. The Scalability of the Plugin
You're not going to build a million-dollar store overnight; these things take time. To ensure you can continue to grow your business, you need to make sure that your plugin can grow as quickly as you progress.
As mentioned previously, you don't want to be forced to start a whole new store because your current plugin is limited in capability.
Choose a plugin that allows you to add additional features or services. For example, WooCommerce will enable you to upgrade to a subscription package that provides extra resources for those who want to start online subscription or membership sites.
Always check the additional packages available through a plugin, even if you don't plan on purchasing them in the near future.
4. Built-in Theme Availability
If you want to build a sleek online store directly through your WordPress plugin, you should make sure it has the themes you need to help simplify the process.
Many WordPress eCommerce plugins offer custom themes that can help you organize your online store. It's an excellent advantage if you want an aesthetic, easy-to-navigate WordPress store.
5. The Cost of the Plugin
At the end of the day, the cost of the plugin you choose to work with will play a major role in its feasibility.
Most of the best eCommerce plugins charge subscription fees. So, if you want to build the best online store for your business, you'll need to cough up a bit of money.
Fortunately, some of the best plugins on the market also offer free trials. You should also make sure to consider the price of the add-ons or additional packages the plugin has to offer. The full cost of the plugin will include all the features you need to properly build your eCommerce platform.
Verdict: Choose What's Best for You and Your Customers
There are plenty of eCommerce for WordPress plugins that can help you make your dream online store a reality.
If you search for eCommerce plugins, you'll find way more options than the ones listed above. It's essential to sort through the sub-standard providers to find the plugin that's perfect for your site.
Consider your niche, your products, your customers, and your goals when it's time to make your final decision.
I hope this has been helpful! If you have any tips from your own experience, why not share them with me below?