WordPress has become a hotbed not only for all sort of websites and blogs, but for e-Commerce also. Well, that’s a surprise for nobody – being focused on aesthetics, web standards, and usability, it was fated to become a merchandizing paradise for SMB stores, and it did.
Nowadays, the number of WordPress plugins for e-Commerce has reached the count of over a dozen or two, offering simple solutions for online retail. Affordable yet effective, they have fitted into the gap between the complexity of most open source platforms and limiting simplicity of hosted ones. Thus, to ease your choice and get acquainted with market offerings, we’ll review top 5 most popular e-Commerce WordPress plugins.
WP eCommerce is proudly calling itself “The original WordPress eCommerce plugin”. Launched in 2006, it has been helping merchants building their online retailers for almost 10 years now. It’s lightweight, SEO-friendly, easily integrates with WP multistore and offers a number of payment gateways straight out-of-the-box.
That said, WP eCommerce plugin suggests quite a basic set of features as for nowadays, that can be enriched with the help of extensions though. Besides that, unless you’re using a premium version, a poor quality of support often leaves merchants one on one with the problems they encounter.
“Publish with WordPress. Sell with Shopp.” is a clever catchphrase of next hero of our list – Shopp, WP plugin that allows to start an e-store faster than you end up reading this article. One of its distinctive features is the fact that Shopp is exceptionally secure, which compensates the overall vulnerability of WordPress. Also, it possesses a high level of flexibility, a range of responsive design templates and convenient catalog management.
As for disadvantages, some of the users find it a bit confusing at first compared to its alternatives. You can either download the plugin for free at WordPress.com or purchase a starter package with 1 year of expert support and one-click updates at its official website for $75 – $299.
Regarding it as “the easiest to use WordPress e-Commerce shopping cart plugin”, the developers of Cart66 intended to make an online retail attainable for every single merchant. Simple and comprehensible, this plug & play solution offers a robust functionality, effective orders management, advanced promotion tools, integration with Amazon S3 and many other pleasurable features. In addition, Cart66 ensures a high level of credit card payments security with the help of Mijireh checkout system.
Having all this on board, Cart66 Lite can get your store up and running absolutely for free; otherwise, you can give your preference to Cart66 Professional available for $89 – $249 a month.
Jigoshop is easy to step up and use WordPress e-Commerce plugin that guarantees excellent customizability and performance. Being a professional solution, it offers multiple product type options allowing to sell virtually anything – from traditional goods to digital, affiliate, variable and grouped products.
To broaden its already comprehensive functionality, merchants are offered to choose from more than hundred of easily integrable extensions – both free and paid ones. It’s also worth to mention that Jigoshop possess advanced reporting features that give a real-time insight of orders and sales and store’s performance.
Nevertheless, due to the uprise of competitors and gradual decline in its popularity, it seems that the big time for Jigoshop has already passed.
Finally, we got to an unprecedented leader of this list, one of the world’s most popular shopping carts and WordPress e-Commerce plugin – WooCommerce. This simple, easy to navigate yet functionally robust solution has changed the world of online retail making it available for everyone.
WooCommerce is fully compatible with WordPress 3.8, WordPress themes, easily integrable with Google Analytics and uses Mijireh checkout system to secure customer payments. Apart from its impressive out-of-the-box functionality, WooCommerce can be significantly enhanced thanks to one of the biggest marketplaces with hundreds of premium extensions.
Another good thing about WooCommerce is the fact that despite its robust functionality it has very low barriers to entry and can be easily set up either for free or at minimum costs.
What Does Big Data Say
Since the preference of merchants is one of the best indicators of platform’s quality, the review wouldn’t be full without the statistical data on plugins’ popularity.
Basing on info from Google Trends, WooCommerce takes the leading position with a stable and high level of interest compared to other plugins, Jigoshop and WP eCommerce in particular. Shopp plugin gets the 2nd place and Cart66, due to the low amount of search queries during the first half of 2015, is not represented at all.
Then comes the data received from Cart2Cart automated shopping cart migration service. As it turns out, WooCommerce is the choice for 95% of migrations performed to WP e-Commerce plugins during the period from to March 2015 to July 2015, leaving 5% of the share to other 4 solutions. Thus, basing on the available data, WooCommerce is an unconditional leader among the WP plugins mentioned above.
Moreover, WooCommerce successfully competes with other market players as well.
Here is a graph on most popular Target carts among merchants from 2009 to 2014 according to Cart2Cart. As can be seen, WooCommerce demonstrates a phenomenal growth in numbers, gradually outrunning its competitors. But what is left behind this graphic is an amazing fact that WooCommerce, ultimately, surpassed Magento on May 2015. Pretty impressive if to consider Woo didn’t even exist till 2011.
Thus, despite the advantages and merits of all the other WordPress e-Commerce solutions, WooCommerce is yet the only plugin so widely acknowledged by the merchants. Moreover, the latest news about the acquiring of WooCommerce by Automattic (the company behind WordPress) gives us reason to suggest that its rapid growth will continue.