Analysis of the Most Popular WordPress eCommerce Plugins
For the last years the web has evolved greatly and it literally turned the world into a global market. Online commerce enables web users to purchase anything from any part of the world at any time. People just have to find what they want, following some simple steps, and they are guaranteed to buy the items from the comfort of their own home. eCommerce efficiency depends much on the marketing strategies, advertisements and product quality.
In this article we are going to cover the most popular WordPress eCommerce plugins. The plugins to be described below have much in common: they can be installed easily and quickly, they offer multiple options for product managing, they are compatible with other WordPress plugins that are free or premium, they can be easily combined with WordPress themes for more visual attraction and functionality. Which of these you choose depends on your taste and marketing needs.
With e-Commerce plugin you can easily integrate e-Commerce into WordPress powered website. The WP e-Commerce plugin is free (it’s released under the GNU General Public License), additional modules can be bought as a paid upgrade. WP e-Commerce is a robust WordPress plugin that suits anyone who wants to start selling products, downloads, or services online. WP e-Commerce makes it easy to add a shopping cart to your WordPress site, whether you have 10 or 10,000 products. It is very easy to manage with WP e-Commerce plugin you can quickly add products and organize your catalog using the familiar admin interface.
WP e-Commerce is a product of 4 year development and testing. This plugin can be considered as one of the most popular WP plugins (more than 1.7M downloads). WP e-Commerce is a reliable way to build an online store with WordPress.
- easy installation;
- compatible with any WP theme and plugin;
- plays well with WP widgets;
- uses shortcodes and template tags (just like WordPress);
- out-of-the-box decision for e-Commerce;
- using HTML & CSS you can fully customize the look of your store;
- 100% SEO-friendly;
- RSS feeds for products and categories;
- full Google integration (XML site maps and Google Merchant Centre);
- compatible with all-in-one SEO plugin for WordPress (which includes Google Analytics).
- have cURL, GD and ImageMagick enabled on server;
- PHP version 5.2.4 or greater;
- WordPress 3.0 or higher.
Along with the advantages mentioned above, we need to outline that the plugin has a bit complicated control panel, you will need some time to figure out how to work with it.
Eshop is another great eCommerce plugin for WordPress. It is really helpful when creating product spots because of its compatibility with custom post types. With Eshop customer can start shopping easily, the shopping cart shows the customer all the information needed about the product. Besides, it allows downloading and uploading the products easily. The interface of the shop can be modified through one CSS document. The stylesheet can be used to adjust the look and feel of the shop to the rest of the site.
- customers can sign up to your site (settable option);
- various methods available for listing products;
- upload downloadable products;
- products can have multiple options;
- automatic emails on successful purchase;
- utilizes WordPress pages or posts, and compatible with custom post types, to create products;
- various shipping options, including by weight;
- various discount options;
- merchant gateways support: Authorize.net, PayPal, Payson, eProcessing Network, Webtopay, iDEAL and Cash/Cheque;
- uninstall available within the plugin.
- Apache Version 1.3 or above;
- Zend Optimizer 3.3.0 or higher must be installed;
- minimum 100 MB of free webspace;
- mod_rewrite module installed.
Apart from everything described, this plugin has one sufficient drawback – the last update was released in 2010. Still this does not affect overall productivity and efficiency of Eshop.
Jigoshop is a WordPress eCommerce plugin that is developed by professionals with years of experience delivering online shops for global brands. After installation, with all that features available, you can adjust your future online shop within several minutes. With Jigoshop plugin you can create multiple product types, apply detailed attributes making sure that your customers will find any product with just a couple of clicks. Inside the dashboard you get sortable sales graphs, incoming order/review notifications together with stats on your stores performance.
- create easily virtual products;
- various product options available (Ex: various sizes: S, M, L for one product);
- add external products;
- create grouped products;
- out-of-the-box e-commerce decision;
- thousands of themes and extensions available;
- with Skeleton framework you can create adaptive layouts;
- widget ready.
- a WordPress install, 3.0 or greater;
- PHP 5.2.4 or greater;
- MySQL 5.0 or greater;
- the mod_rewrite Apache module;
- fsockopen support (for payment gateway IPN access).
The WooCommerce plugin is built by the WooThemes company. With WooCommerce plugin you can transform any WordPress-powered website into a powerful eCommerce store and sell anything beautifully. It allows to keep an eye at incoming sales and reviews, stock levels, general store performance and statistics from the WordPress dashboard. An integration of successful themes with WooCommerce can give a huge impact to any business giving the ability to grow sales on the web.
- utilizes a wide range of payment gateways and shipping methods;
- hundreds of extensions and themes available;
- variety of product type functionalities;
- comprehensive tax and shipping settings;
- built-in reporting.
- WordPress 3.1+;
- PHP version 5.2.4 or greater;
- MySQL version 5.0 or greater;
- some payment gateways require fsockopen support (for IPN access);
- have cURL, GD and ImageMagick enabled on server.
One more thing to be mentioned about WooCommerce plugin is that it’s fully based on the Jigoshop plugin.
Cart66 is a WordPress e-commerce plugin that gained huge popularity among theme designers. Cart66 plugin works with any WP theme, that’s why it’s easy to implement a shopping cart on any WordPress website. You simply create your product and place it, via shortcode, on any page or post. Theme designers are taking Cart66 even further by incorporating features like custom post types and a rating system. Cart66 comes equipped with a powerful admin panel. Set your currency, choose which countries you want to sell to, charge tax by zip code ranges or states, manage orders, view sales reports, track your inventory and start selling.
- best decision for smaller shops;
- hundreds of color schemes;
- compatible with various WP plugins;
- multiple shipping options;
- WordPress affiliate platform integration;
- multiple payment options;
- offline payments support;
- customs fields for products;
- forum support;
- ticket support.
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Google Trends Statistics for the Most Popular WordPress eCommerce Solutions
When compiling a list of any most popular things or services it is essential to have an up-to-date information. Today we can get it from Google Trends service that allows users to identify which actual terms are being searched for. Google Trends analyzes, computes and compiles Google web searches done for specific terms, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. The information is updated daily. So according to Google Trends we can receive following statistics about WordPress eCommerce plugins:
- WP e-commerce;
As for the download statistics, we can see following numbers:
- WP e-commerce – 1,766,548;
- WooCommerce – 135,730;
- eShop – 366,291;
- jigoshop – 73,546;
- cart66 – 44,581.
Judging by the figures above, we can see how popuilarity of a plugin varies form the number of it’s downloads i.e. times of being applied. The Google Trends show that top 3 are the WooCommerce, WP e-commerce and Jigoshop plugins, though the numbers of downloads tell us that Jigoshop went to the fourth place and is following eShop plugin, which took the third place.
When you are about to start tuning your online shop, it’s essential to make it unique. This can be easily achieved using the premium eCommerce themes. All WordPress Themes produced by TemplateMonster are compatible with the plugins featured in this blog post. So if you are just starting, keep in mind that our WordPress website designs will give an excellent “kick-start” for you business.
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Picking an eCommerce solution depends much on your personal expectations from the shop you are going to build. All eCommerce solutions mentioned in this article fit small- and medium-sized projects and they are not that good for online shops offering huge amount of products. But if you already know how to use WordPress and you want an eCommerce solution that integrates well with your other needs, using an eCommerce WordPress plugin is definitely something to be considered.