Thinking of starting an eCommerce store? One of the first and the most crucial aspects of starting an eCommerce store is choosing the right Content Management System (CMS) (WordPress, Shopify, Magento). If WordPress is on top of your list then the next question is which WordPress eCommerce plugin will be the best choice for powering your online store.
While it is a good idea to include an experienced eCommerce developer in this discussion but it doesn’t hurt to hit the ground running and find out what your options are based on your requirements.
So here is a comparison of some of the most popular eCommerce plugins for WordPress. The comparison includes WooCommerce, Jigoshop, Shopify and Ecwid eCommerce Shopping Cart. Before you dive into this article we will highly recommend you put down your requirements on a piece of paper so that you can narrow down your search for the best plugin. Some questions that you need to answer beforehand include,
- Are you selling physical or digital products?
- How many products are you selling on your store and are there any product variations?
- What channels are you planning to sell on? Your website, social media, third party affiliate websites or blogs, eBay etc?
- What countries will you be shipping to?
- Can you afford an eCommerce development team to do the work for you or are you starting out small?
- What payment gateways are you looking to integrate?
- Who will be your shipping provider?
- Do you want to charge a flat shipping fee to your customers or have a shipping calculator integrated?
- Do you want to integrate your existing accounting/inventory management software with your eCommerce store?
WooCommerce is a powerful eCommerce solution for WordPress run by Automattic, the team behind WordPress. It powers 30% of the world’s eCommerce stores.
Downloads Till Date– 3 Million+
User Ratings– 4.6 Out of 5 Stars
Key Features of WooCommerce:
The eCommerce plugin offers great flexibility when it comes to selling online. You can sell both physical and digital goods with ease. It comes with a number of features including categorising products, product & pricing variations, shipping methods, payment options and more.
2- Ease of Use
The plugin can be used by beginners all the way up to pros. Once setup, you don’t need any programming skills or advanced knowledge to control the operations of your eCommerce store. The user-interface is friendly and intuitive, this is one of the major reasons behind the plugins popularity.
3- Open Source Code
WooCommerce is an open source software which essentially means that developers around the world have access to the plugin’s source code thus allowing them to make changes with the aim of improving the features and functionalities of the plugin.
4- Community & Support
WooCommerce boasts of a developer community of more than 350 individuals and a dedicated customer support team to help you with anything from setting up a store to troubleshooting.
5- Extensions Library
There are a wide range of extensions available that can help you extend the features of your eCommerce store. From shipping calculators to help you ship worldwide to csv imports for faster and better product management, chances are there is already a ready solution available on the WooCommerce extensions store.
WooCommerce is built while adhering to Industry standards for coding and has been audited by an independent plugin security firm, Sucuri. To give you further peace of mind no customer data is ever shared with anyone except you, the store owner.
So all you need to focus on is your eCommerce store operations.
From selling 1 product to a 100’s of products, WooCommerce can grow with you as your business grows.
There is comprehensive documentation available online covering topic such as plugin setup to integrating third-party plugins to extend the features that are available. Apart from documentation, there is knowledge base, help desk, and community forums available covering a wide range of topics.
Jigoshop is a well established eCommerce plugin with a broad range of features and functionalities that allow you to run an eCommerce store selling either physical or digital goods. Originally launched in 2011 the company has recently launched a newer version known as Jigoshop eCommerce (Version 2). Based on independent testing, Jigoshop has been named the fastest WordPress eCommerce plugin.
Downloads Till Date– 7300 + (Including Version 2)
User Ratings– 4.6 Out of 5 Stars
Key Features of Jigoshop:
1- Easy Setup
It takes minutes to setup products or services for your eCommerce store. It comes out of the box with all the necessary features that are needed to get you started with a virtual store-front.
2- Products Types
From simple products to complex products with variable options (Sizes, Colours, Types etc), external products or subscription based products and services, Jigoshop has the ability to handle various product types.
3- Ease of Use
The plugin has been built using the WordPress core and boasts of clean and easy to use interfaces. This makes it quite simple to add physical and digital products and services. Once the store is up and running there are plenty of features which come as a part of the plugin that allow you to get an overview of the store’s performance. This includes both reports and graphs for various aspects of the store including sales, stock etc.
4- Inventory Management
Jigoshop allows you to manage your store inventory in the most efficient possible way. Once the stock levels for each of the product on display are entered, you will be provided real time updates on stock levels and notifications for low stock levels. What’s more? You can even connect third-party inventory management/accounting software to your eCommerce store so that your inventory can be managed seamlessly from one platform.
There offers a number of powerful SEO features that can help search engine users find your products easily. Other than this there are number of paid and free extensions that allow you to integrate various marketing tools that can help you further increase conversion rates. E.g. Integration of MailChimp with your online store or Affiliate Integration.
Jigoshop provides a number of options when it comes to accepting payments online including PayPal, FuturePay, Bank Transfer and more.
There are various paid support packages available, suitable for small businesses all the way up to large enterprise level setup. The main difference in each of the support package is the response time and level of support provided.
Shopify is a complete eCommerce platform that allows you to sell in more ways than you can imagine both online or offline. The solution can be used independently or with WordPress.
Downloads Till Date– Not Applicable
User Ratings– 4.7 (Based on an Independent Review)
Key Features of Shopify:
1- Easy Setup
Shopify is an easy to setup eCommerce solution that requires no technical knowledge whatsoever. Shopify is a completely independent solution that can be integrated with an existing WordPress website or a blog by simply adding a plugin to your WordPress website.
2- Low Monthly Cost
All you need to pay is $9 per month to get started with Shopify. This gives you access to some basic WordPress eCommerce themes and some other features such as Facebook Shop, Shopify POS for iOS or Android and customer support.
3- Supports Physical & Digital Goods
Shopify can handle both physical and digital goods with ease. There are options for setting up subscription and recurring payments as well.
Shopify allows you to customise the store-front colours to your existing brand/website colours. If you are setting up an eCommerce shop on an existing website or a blog then this feature comes in quite handy.
You can use 70+ payment gateways around the world to accept payments.
6- Built for eCommerce
Shopify is built for eCommerce and comes with a tonne of features that empowers your online selling experience. Some of these features include, free SSL certificate, unlimited products, discount codes, manual order creation, adjustable shipping rates and taxes, Facebook selling module and more.
7- Customer Support
Shopify comes with great customer support. Each and every Shopify store owner has access to 24/7 customer support. Customer representatives can be reached via email, chat and phone.
Ecwid eCommerce Shopping Cart
Ecwid is powerful and secure eCommerce platform that is used by 1 million merchants across 175 countries. The shopping cart can be integrated with WordPress and other popular CMS’s seamlessly with the help of ready plugins or extensions.
Downloads Till Date– 20,000+
User Ratings– 4.5 (Based on an Independent Review)
Key Features of Ecwid eCommerce Shopping Cart:
1- Easy Setup
Once your Ecwid store has been setup all you need to do is install the Ecwid Shopping Cart Plugin from your WordPress admin panel and connect your Ecwid store with your WordPress website. This is an easy setup and does not require any advance programming skills.
Ecwid offers various pricing plans to suit the needs of businesses of varied sizes. Starting from a free option the price goes up to $99 per month. The main point of difference between each of these pricing plans is the number of products that you can sell on your online store. It is worth mentioning that there are no transaction fees in any of the plans.
3- Integration with Social Media
Ecwid allows you to seamlessly connect your online store with Facebook. This provides you the option of selling directly to the customers through the world’s largest social media channel with a central inventory system.
Ecwid is considered one of the most secure shopping carts in the world with a PCI DSS Level 1 certification. You can choose from 40 leading payment gateways from around the world. Ecwid also takes care of upgrades, SSL-certificates, security, server configuration and hosting.
5- International Trade
The eCommerce platform allows you to sell your products globally as the plugin can easily integrate with some of the largest carriers in the world including USPS, UPS, FedEx, Canada Post and Australia Post. The plugin also supports taxation for the US, Canada and EU.
Ecwid provides its merchants 24/5 support through email, phone and chat. Some of the premium plans come with unlimited chat and phone support.
7- Multiple Channels
With Ecwid, you can display your products across various website, blogs, social media channels, eBay and sell simultaneously while maintaining your inventory centrally through one dashboard.