Cashie Commerce is a service that aims to make the process of setting up a site that can sell products online a simple task. With their plugin you can add this functionality to your WordPress site, but just how effective is it at providing this service? Read on to find out whether this tool is the solution you have been looking for and one that will enable you to sell products online with the minimal amount of fuss.
Features and Usage
Cashie Commerce allows you to list and sell all manner of items on your site from physical products, digital goods such as ebooks and media as well as services. With this service, you can process and collect payments from your shoppers which are processed by PayPal. As the appearance of the store you create can be customised, it works great with any theme and allows the store section of your site to seamlessly blend into your existing website and chosen WordPress theme.
Installation is simple, just search for the plugin from within your WordPress admin dashboard, as you would with any other free plugin. Once activated, the plugin can be accessed from the dashboard side menu.
To get started, you can begin with a free 15 day trial and then after that, select from one of the affordable pricing options which start from $5 a month. With the free trial, you get access to most of the features of the plugin, apart from being able to actually take payments for the products you list. This means that you can thoroughly test out Cashie Commerce and see exactly what you can do with it before committing yourself financially.
Creating a WordPress Store
Once the plugin is installed and activated, the wizard walks you through setting up your store. The wizard is surprisingly simple to use, especially considering that at the end of it you will have a fully functioning ecommerce store on your WordPress site.
You can choose from a number of product types including:
- Simple: these items come in one shape and size and could be something like a book or a piece of jewellery
- Options: this type of product comes with options for the user to choose from which could be a colour or a size
- Digital: ideal for selling ebooks and music, this option includes a downloadable digital file which you will upload
When adding products, you can set the number of items available to be purchased, or set the inventory as unlimited, which is ideal for digital products that never run out. The only slight complaint I had when entering the product descriptions was the fact that my browser’s speller check wasn’t able to check the text in the title, description and other fields. While this isn’t a deal breaker, misspelled product descriptions or titles could cost sales so anything that can help prevent this would be appreciated.
Once you’ve added your products, filling out the product name, price, category, overview and details fields, as well as uploading any photos, you can then move onto the design options. From here you can choose the default layout for your shop, the fonts to be used and the colour palette. This is all easy to do thanks to the visual and dropdown menus but for those who want more control over their designs the ability to add your own CSS is there.
The third step covers regional settings such as currency and the time zone, and you can also set the tax rate here or choose not to include it on your products. Shipping information can also be added at this point, including setting the rate for domestic and international shipping, if you decide to offer both options. You can also select a shipping provider, which you can configure from within your WordPress dashboard.
As payments from shoppers are processed by PayPal, at step four you can enter your details and configure how Cashie Commerce will handle the payments. There a number of options here which are worth looking at:
- PayPal Payments Standard: shoppers pay with credit card or PayPal on PayPal’s website. This option has no monthly fees, low transaction costs and instant approval, however it might not appeal to all shop owners as the payment is made on PayPal’s website, rather than on the webpage of the shop.
- PayPal Payments Advanced: shoppers pay with credit card or PayPal on your website. This has low monthly fees and low transaction costs and requires credit approval as well as only being available in a few countries (UK, USA and Australia).
- PayPal Payments Pro: shoppers can pay with credit card or PayPal on your website, and again there are low monthly feeds, low transaction costs and credit approval is required. For this option your application must be made directly with PayPal.
Overall, even though PayPal processes the payments, your shoppers can still pay by credit card or with their PayPal account, so you shouldn’t be missing out on any potential sales. The costs vary depending on whether you want your shoppers to have to leave your website or not to complete the transaction. While the former is an extra hoop for your shoppers to jump through, it is the cheaper option with no monthly fees, so might be more suitable to new ecommerce stores, testing the market with their products.
Once you’ve configured the store, it’s time to enter your billing details, as to begin selling items on your site you must sign up to the paid version of Cashie Commerce. If you have gotten this far, and seen just how easy this service is to use, and you actually are serious about selling products online, deciding whether to sign up or not should be an easy decision to make.
Here are some of the standout features of this WordPress store builder plugin:
- Product reviews: by enabling this option for your items, shoppers can leave feedback on your inventory and give them a star rating out of five. These reviews can be moderated by the store owner.
- Promotions and coupons: you can set your store up to accept discount coupons which are great for boosting sales and creating interest in your products. You can also offer regular discounts on an on-going basis or for short periods of time.
- Get ranked in the search engines: this store builder service comes with search engine optimisation as one of its key considerations allowing your new product pages to blend into your current SEO strategy.
- Create customer newsletters: as Cashie Commerce can be integrated with popular email marketing service MailChimp, you can make it very easy for customers to sign-up to your mailing list when making a purchase, increasing your chances of getting repeat business.
- Analyse shopper behaviour: as this service is fully compatible with many analytics services such as Google Analytics and Chartbeat, you can discover how shoppers are using your pages and find out what you can do to tweak conversions rates.
While this plugin has been designed to make the process of setting up an ecommerce store on a WordPress site as simple as possible, the stores you create can also be displayed on other platforms.
Sell on Facebook
With Cahsie Commerce, you can sell items from your inventory through your Facebook page. When using this service it is easy list your products, whether they are physical items or services, plus your customers can check out and pay for their purchases from within Facebook, using the payment methods available to your store.
With Facebook showing no signs of decline, being able to sell your products or services through the world’s most popular social network in such an easy way should not be overlooked. While the Facebook store feature isn’t available as part of the basic subscription plan, it does come with the professional and unlimited plans which are still highly affordable for anyone selling a few items or more each month.
As well as the ease with which you can display the stores you create for your WordPress site on Facebook, you can also do the same for mobile devices. This allows you to sell your products to anyone who visits your store while using their smartphone or tablet. This should increase your chances of making a sale and improving your bottom line. Thanks to its responsive design, the mobile stores created with Cashie Commerce are very easy to browse on a mobile device.
You can also elect to display your items in the Cashie Commerce Marketplace which lists all the items from other users of this service if they choose to opt-in.
With the free trial you can do everything but sell an item from your store. So to begin using this plugin properly, you do have to start paying for it. At the time of writing there are three payment plans available: basic, professional and unlimited. With the basic plan, the transaction fee is 2.5% which goes down to 1% and 0% for the professional and unlimited plans respectively; so bear this in mind when factoring in the cost of use.
With the lowest cost plan starting at $5 a month, this really is an affordable way to start selling items online. With the unlimited plan currently available for $39 and giving your access to the VIP support and a premium marketplace listing, not to mention the zero per cent transaction fee, to get the full package isn’t too expensive either and should soon pay for itself when the orders start coming in.
The professional plan will be of most interest to the majority of users as it includes the ability to create your Facebook and mobile stores as well as utilising product reviews.
You can compare the full features of each package on this page.
Support and Documentation
The wizard used to setup a store is very intuitive and comes with lots of tooltips to make it easy to understand all the options. From inside your WordPress dashboard, under the Cashie Commerce menu, there are lots of support pages. Here you can find the ability to add feature requests which can be voted on by users. There is also a knowledgebase which covers how to use the store builder, how to design a storefront and guides covering how to manage promotions.
You can also contact support via email from within your WordPress admin area or from the website.
Users on the unlimited plan get access to the VIP support feature which gives users priority response times and the ability to schedule a live chat or make contact via a VIP email address. This could be an attractive feature set to those running a busy web shop where any problems could end up costing a lot of money in lost sales.
Final Conclusion and Recommendations
When I sat down to install and begin working with this plugin, I was expecting to be in for a long night. However, I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to get up and running. When you think of the steps that might be involved in turning a standard WordPress site into a fully functioning ecommerce site, one that can display multiple products, collect payments and be configured with major shipping services, you don’t expect it to be this easy.
While you can export customers and order to CSV, it would be nice to be able to import product details, but for those with smaller, or growing inventories, this shouldn’t be a problem.
As this plugin is free to install and begin adding products to, you can get a really good feel for it before deciding to go live and start paying for it. From my experience of using this plugin, and from what I’ve heard from those who have been using it for a while, it is a great option and the ease of use shouldn’t stop anyone from having the ability to sell products online, whether they are physical products, digital products or services.
To find out more about this plugin visit the Cashie Commerce website today.
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