3 Shopping Carts You Can Use With WordPress
WordPress is a popular blogging platform that’s simple to set up and easy to use. While some use WordPress to host a hobby blog or a family newsletter, others have much bigger plans. That’s because, in the right hands, a WordPress account can become a reliable money maker.
Maybe you’ve already taken steps toward monetizing your blog. You may have learned to bring in ad revenue and affiliate revenue. Now, you’re looking for a way to incorporate an online store to set up yet another source of income. Or maybe you’ve just heard from other online merchants that WordPress is the way to go. Either way, you’ve started looking into WordPress-based shopping carts, and you’re wondering about your options.
You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will present three different shopping carts that integrate easily with WordPress. Two of these solutions are free, open-source software, while the other one is SaaS (software as a service).
We love the features that WordPress-based eCommerce solutions provide, and we love the low cost of operation that comes with these solutions. Keep reading to learn which solution is right for you.
Don’t have time to read an entire article? Take a look at our top-rated eCommerce solutions for a few quick recommendations. Every option we present here offers excellent customer support, superb web templates, and easy-to-use software, all for a reasonable price.
Read more below to learn why we chose these options.
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Best for sellers of all sizes who want a scalable, customizable shopping cart for diverse products, including physical and digital items, subscriptions, and even appointments.
WooCommerce is likely the first shopping cart you will come across when you first start looking into WordPress-based shopping carts.
WooCommerce stores make up a huge portion of the eCommerce world. Since WooCommerce was founded in 2001, the software has been downloaded more than 86 million times. There currently are 3.8 million active WooCommerce stores, making up 26% of all eCommerce sites.
This free, open-source solution was designed to work expressly with WordPress, and it’s one of the best solutions out there.
- High scalability
- 400+ extension options
- Mobile-friendly design
- Built-in inventory management
- No site hosting
- Limited personal support
WooCommerce is free to download and use, but that doesn’t make it totally no-cost. Before you can use the platform, you’ll need to pay for site hosting, security, and a domain name.
Expect to pay $25 to $241 for managed WordPress Hosting each month. WooCommerce pricing starts at $25 per month for the Startup plan and rises to $95 per month for the Growth plan. You can upgrade to the Scale plan for $241 per month. Those prices are based on annual payment.
You’ll also have to pay for any extensions you may need. Because WooCommerce follows a Core+Extensions module, you’ll probably need a few extensions to make your site work the way you want it to. That is, after all, the way WooThemes, the company behind WooCommerce, makes its money.
As mentioned above, WooCommerce follows a Core+Extensions model. That means your WooCommerce platform will come with all the basic features you need, right out of the box. You’ll need to purchase or download everything else in the form of an add-on. Here are a few of our favorite built-in features:
- Good shipping calculators
- Sell downloadable products on your website
- One-page checkout
- Organize products by category and add product variations
- Allow customers to leave comments on your product pages
- Upload as many product photos as you need
Although you can integrate WooCommerce into any WordPress theme, it tends to work best if you use a WooTheme. That makes updating easier, and you gain access to WooCommerce web ticket support. You can choose the free Storefront theme, which is adequate if not the most exciting of themes. Or you can choose paid themes ranging from $59 to $139.
If you’re already comfortable using WordPress, you will find that WooCommerce looks familiar. Make sure you access the tutorial videos that can be accessed through the Help menu.
Whatever theme you choose, you can edit it using WooCommerce WYSIWYG editors, and you can use the available HTML and CSS editors if you want to. Remember, because WooCommerce is open-source, you can make infinite customization choices. The more you customize, though, the less likely you are to benefit from web ticket support.
When To Use WooCommerce
WooCommerce is a good all-around shopping cart that is designed to work seamlessly with WordPress. So whether you’re looking for an easy way to start selling on an existing WordPress site or wanting to set up a new site you can start selling from, WooCommerce will give you what you need. Before you sign up, research the extensions and add-ons that will make your site run the way you want it to, and calculate the cost ahead of time to avoid spendy surprises. With hundreds to choose from, you won’t have any trouble finding and installing what you want.
Best for sellers using multiple channels and for those selling internationally.
The name may seem a bit odd at first glance, but it’s the first sign that you’re dealing with an extremely straightforward product where what you see really is what you get. Ecwid stands for “eCommerce widgets,” which is a short description of the software Ecwid provides. In short, Ecwid is a fully hosted SaaS solution that turns your store into a widget you can incorporate into any website. You just have to copy and paste a few lines of code.
Ecwid offers pre-made modules with website builders like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, making it a very popular eCommerce solution. To date, about 1.6 million online merchants are using Ecwid accounts. You can use Ecwid to sell across multiple websites and manage it all from one admin. And you can do it without emptying your wallet.
- Add sales to any existing site
- Low monthly cost, including free option
- Easy to use
- Sell on multiple sites
- Free version omits popular features
- Not suited for large businesses
- Basic design tools
Ecwid offers a free plan for merchants selling 10 or fewer products. Although it can be a good jumping-off point, be aware that the free plan locks out some relatively basic features, and you’ll encounter suggestions that you upgrade your plan at every turn.
Paid plans range from the Venture plan ($12.50 per month if paid annually, with up to 100 products) to the Unlimited plan ($82.50 per month if paid annually, with an unlimited number of products). As you step up in price, you’ll gain access to more advanced features.
One of Ecwid’s qualities is its ease of use. You can add products, create discounts, and manage orders in your well-organized admin page.
This dashboard lets you easily access a wide set of features. Here is a handful of the best:
- Multi-channel selling, managed from one admin
- List your website in any of Ecwid’s 45 different languages
- Connect your platform to UPS, USPS, Australia Post Correios (Brazil) and FedEx to give accurate shipping estimates
- Customers can download their digital purchases from your platform
- Guest checkout option
Although we love Ecwid’s dashboard, we’re slightly less impressed with their web design. Ecwid provides only a few free theme options, and they’re all very plain.
The good news is that Ecwid has partnered with third-party designers and theme stores, such as ThemeForest for WordPress, to provide both predesigned and custom themes. That can mean an additional cost, but because Ecwid can be free or low-cost, that may not be a total budget-buster.
Here are a few sample Ecwid storefronts from real users. (The first two are Ecwid Facebook shops.)
When To Use Ecwid
Ecwid is a good choice if you are looking for a low-cost shopping cart that’s easy to set up and possible to use without paying a penny. Although it’s not appropriate for high-volume merchants, it’s a solid choice when you’re working to grow your online sales or if you have relatively few items you want to offer online.
Best for startups testing the eCommerce waters or merchants with small numbers of products in their online stores.
With more than 100,000 users, Selz earns its place on this list through extreme ease of use, despite some limitations. With just a few clicks of your mouse, you can set up a store with relative ease and speed, with no specialized knowledge required. It works well for most small businesses as well as for artists, writers, and musicians. You can also sell digital products and services using Selz.
Critics of Selz focus on its limitations, but those lacking in technical expertise or experience with eCommerce will appreciate how easy Selz makes it to set up a store and start selling. Sites are designed as blocks, and users can drag and drop blocks to add text and photos and to edit, although it’s also possible to make changes in the source code via Selz’s HTML and CSS editors.
Selz offers a two-week free trial, which you can access by entering your email and phone number, plus some basic information about your site — no credit card information required. Overall, it’s possible to quickly create an attractive sales site, using a free Selz template.
- No expertise required
- Free plan & free templates
- Unlimited storage, bandwidth
- Multichannel sales
- Transaction fees
- Some features available only on paid plans
Selz offers a free plan that allows you to list up to five products. The free plan comes with some limitations on features and support. Plans ranging from $26 to $179 per month offer increasing levels of support and features. All Selz plans include per-transaction fees that those planning high volumes of sale may not appreciate. Fees will vary depending on the plan and payment methods used.
True to its reputation for easy use, Selz offers a range of attractive features and intuitive. For one thing, you can use Selz anywhere you have an online presence, whether that’s your WordPress blog or social media. Accounts come with unlimited storage and bandwidth, allowing you to display multiple images of an unlimited number of products. Selz makes it easy to edit and change, too, so you can experiment until you get your sales site right. Here are some other features we like:
- Customer analytics
- Discount codes
- Automatic tax calculator
- Real-time shipping rates
- Abandoned cart recovery plan
- SEO assistance
- Integrate with Google Analytics for free
- Free SSL certificate
Selz offers 25 different themes, and they’re all clean, elegant, and free to use. It’s easy to customize your page using the drag and drop tools. A simple button lets you toggle between desktop and mobile, you can see how your site will appear to shoppers using mobile devices, too.
If you’re looking for a site that allows you to customize in terms of colors, fonts, page elements, and headers, Selz’s drag-and-drop menu options will meet your needs. If you’re looking to make major changes to your website, you can use the site’s CSS and HTML tools to increase your options.
When To Use Selz
If you’re looking for an easy entry to eCommerce and you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a truly customized website — or if you lack the time or expertise for doing that — Selz is a reasonably priced option. You can have a functional, good-looking website up and running faster than you’d believe.
Choosing The Right Shopping Cart
You can choose the right shopping cart for your WordPress site by employing roughly the same criteria you’d use for any other business decision. Start by considering your budget. How much do you want to spend? Include initial investment as well as ongoing fees. What features matter most to you and will have the greatest effect on your business plans? For example, if growing your online sales is your top goal, look for a site that offers scalability.
Consider your own level of expertise and willingness to learn, too. Choosing a shopping cart with functions and features you’ll struggle to use could lead to a site that doesn’t match your sales goals. If you’re comfortable with code and eager to create a customized site, you have many options. On the other hand, if your goal is to bolster your online presence and sell a few items, don’t hesitate to choose a shopping cart that does the work for you.
For more information, take a look at our full reviews of these and other shopping carts. If you’d like more advice on building an online store, download our free eBook, The Beginner’s Guide to Starting an Online Store.
In Summary: Best Shopping Carts For WordPress
- WooCommerce: Best for sellers of all sizes who want a scalable, customizable shopping cart for diverse products, including physical and digital items, subscriptions, and even appointments.
- Ecwid: Best for sellers using multiple channels and for those selling internationally.
- Selz: Best for startups testing the eCommerce waters or merchants with small numbers of products in their online stores.