So that's what we are gonna do. We'll show you some simple ways you can follow to choose the best eCommerce plugin for WordPress.
Now before you begin.
Here are some pre-requisites you have to first establish.
Good Hosting: Do not and we repeat do NOT settle for free hosting. Eventually, you'll encounter problems. Since you're on WordPress the WP Engine is the best choice for you since it provides managed WordPress hosting. If you're just starting out on a low budget, this may not be the best solution for you. You can instead opt for Bluehost which is a more budget-friendly hosting service.
SSL Certificate: Your eCommerce website is going to be receiving payments from your customers and handling their sensitive information. So you need to make sure your website is secure. You'll HAVE to acquire an SSL certification for your website. Hosting services like Bluehost provide an SSL certification as well.
Choosing a good domain name: This is another important thing to do. A good domain name that is relevant to your services helps people find you more easily. Make sure your domain name incorporates the main keyword for your business.
How to choose the right eCommerce plugin
1) Determine the kind of products you want to sell.
You can sell both physical products or downloadable goods in your WordPress eCommerce site. So make a decision. Let's say you want to sell books on your store. You could sell both harcover and paperback versions along with an ebook format.
Some eCommerce plugins allow you to only sell physical products, while others like Easy Digital Downloads only support the selling of digital goods. If you're looking to sell both kind of products on your store, you need to look for a WordPress plugin that supports both.
2) Plan how you want to receive payments on your store
Most WordPress store plugins come with default payment gateways that are already installed. Most of them would have Paypal along with Stripe and Authorize already installed. These are some highly popular payment gateways and they're a must for your store.
- You could also do a little market research. It will be hard to determine where your customers are going to come from. But if you know that your products cater well to a demographic in a certain region, you need to checkout eCommerce plugins that provide you with payment gateways that are local to your target demographic.
For eg. If you think your products might attract dutch customers, it'll make sense to invest in an eCommerce solution that offers popular Dutch payment plugins like iDeal.
3) Picking a theme for your site
WordPress themes are many. And you have a lot of beautiful choices. But you need to choose a theme that is supported by your eCommerce plugin. Most WordPress themes come integrated with Woocommerce because it's the most popular shopping cart extension for WordPress. There are a lot of themes specially designed for a certain industry; fashion templates, business templates and even multipurpose ones that suit any kind of website.
4) What kind of add-on apps do you need
Begin by making a list of what kind of features you'd want your WordPress store to have. Would you like to have a 'save-for-later' feature in the form of a wishlist app. Or do you want a feature that allows you to display product images in a slideshow style. Make a list of these apps that you want.
- Now create four categories. i) Absolute necessity ii) Important for your store iii) Handy app but not an immediate necessity iv) Unimportant. Classify the apps you want into these 4 categories. This way you'll know what apps and features you'd need to invest in immediately. You won't overspend on apps that are not needed right now. And you'll be able to check out which eCommerce solutions give you these features.
5) Check out if you're being given good after-support
This is crucial if you're a DIY person with limited technical knowledge. The solution you choose shouldn't just give you all the features you need. It should also help you in setting up and configuring your store. You should be able to ask your questions and get fast replies with helpful solutions from them.
- Check out the reviews for different eCommerce solutions online. A great many first-time store owners who've started before you may have used some of these solutions. Peruse through what they have to say about the support. A lot of experts also review these solutions based on important parameters like ease of use, cost, support and feature analysis.
These steps should help you prioritize you store's needs and choose an eCommerce solution that suits them.
Want to know an easy way to market your website? Check out these fantastic marketing plugins for WordPress.
Meanwhile, if you're looking for a simple WordPress store plugin with just the necessary features and nothing fancy, you should give CartRabbit a try. It's a new eCommerce plugin with just the basic features you'll need for your store. And its totally free!