As of 2018, eCommerce sales comprise 11.9% of all retail sales worldwide.
By 2021 the mobile market share is predicted to rise to nearly 18%.
Clearly, eCommerce businesses and subscription commerce sites can be highly profitable ventures.
As eCommerce becomes a more and more viable (and popular) shopping option for consumers in a highly-connected world, you’re going to want your business well-positioned to snag up a share of that revenue.
Getting your products and services to the market quickly is the best way to test the viability of your website, and start building a customer base, and generating revenue.
To do this, the online face of your eCommerce store needs to be in top working order.
- The UX needs to be easy to navigate
- The payment system needs to be fast and secure
- And, your inventory needs to be great!
WordPress is the ideal content management system to use if you want to start a powerful eCommerce business without too much heavy lifting.
Here are a few examples of eCommerce websites using WordPress:
Some of this will be up to you to manage. However, when it comes to design, security, and performance, you should let your WordPress theme and plugins help you out where you can.
Using these WordPress plugins will help you save time building functionality yourself from scratch, or having to hire another developer to work on it for you.
They’ll all work out-of-the-box and should have a responsive support team. Don’t be put off by plugins or themes that cost to download – often, the small initial cost will be worth it thanks to a high-quality product and service that they provide.
The Best WordPress eCommerce Plugins
A WordPress theme will give you a good starting point, but you will also need plugins to automate and streamline a lot of the eCommerce functionality needed for the sales of your physical product, digital content, subscription, or service.
Let’s take a look at some of the best WordPress plugins for an eCommerce business (ranked in no particular order!).
WooCommerce is by far the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress and it’s completely free!
With WooCommerce, you can sell any type of physical or digital good.
It also enables you to create recurring subscriptions, paid appointments, memberships, and more, so powering your eCommerce site is going to be made far easier with this plugin.
Because WooCommerce is such a popular solution, it should be no surprise to learn that there is a robust set of plugins and extensions made specifically for it. If you’re looking to expand on what the WooCommerce plugin can do, be sure to spend some time looking over its extensions. These are especially helpful when it comes to payment portal integration, enabling your site to accept recurring subscriptions, and more.
“WooCommerce is friendly to budgets of all sizes and can be extended and scaled as your business grows. From coffee subscriptions to gym memberships to fashion to personalized jewelery: WooCommerce is what you make with it.”
– Marina, Happiness Engineer at WooCommerce
And, she recommends that you check out the New Store Owner Guide to learn more!
Easy Digital Downloads is another great choice for managing your eCommerce website.
The key difference between this, and a plugin like WooCommerce, is that Easy Digital Downloads only works with digital content or services for sale.
So, if your online store only deals in digital products, and you want to save space on all the extra stuff that comes with WooCommerce, this is the ideal plugin for you. It’s more focused on exactly what you sell and your needs and functionality are more likely to be met than if you were using a plugin that offers a wider variety of functionality.
Kyle at Easy Digital Downloads thinks this is why you should use it for your eCommerce MVP.
“Easy Digital Downloads is a great way to get started with digital eCommerce because it includes exactly the features you need and nothing that you don’t. The setup process is quick and straightforward with no unnecessary functionality getting in the way. Plus, it is completely free to use so you can create your store and start selling without paying a dime before you have fully validated your business idea!”
The original WordPress eCommerce plugin, WP eCommerce has been around since 2006 helping people to sell their products, services, subscriptions, and memberships online.
WP eCommerce is open-source and is available for free, but there are paid add-ons available that will help provide your eshop with all the functionality it will ever need!
Price: Free. Paid add-ons available.
The JigoShop eCommerce plugin is another solid choice for your eCommerce website.
On their website they highlight the speed of the plugin, and the combination of easy-to-use features thanks to an accessible dashboard, plus advanced reporting and analytics features.
If you sell downloadable or virtual products, variable products (e.g. S, M, L), affiliate products, and regular, one-off products.
Price: Free, paid add-ons and themes available.
It’s not just your users that are going to want to talk to one another. You need to make yourself (or your team) available for support requests and questions, too. You can do this with a live chat plugin like JivoChat. This plugin will help you get in touch with customers in real-time and on any screen they may want to talk to you from.
Here’s why Paulo at JivoChat thinks it’s an ideal tool for your business:
“JivoChat is a business messenger tool that helps you reach visitors and make them your clients. They will be able to talk to you via online chat, calls, emails, Facebook, Telegram, Viber and much more. Also, everything is centralized in one tools, helping managers to understand where they can improve their support.”
The JivoChat team recommend reading their features page as an overview to what they can offer their customers and affiliates.
Price: Free. Paid plan for $10/month.
A newer entry to the WordPress market, BigCommerce, a popular eCommerce CMS have created their own WordPress eCommerce plugin to help you sell more by providing a great website user experience.
It’s a powerful integration, and due to the way its setup (content is managed on the frontend) your site should run quickly and help people convert into sales with no technical issues. If you have multiple eCommerce sites, you can run BigCommerce on all of them too!
When it comes to selling anything online, you need to ensure that every piece of the design shows off your product or service in the best light.
Shopkeeper is a WordPress eCommerce theme that looks modern and contains all the features you need to start selling with WordPress, and telling your brand story through a beautiful website.
Shopkeeper is a very flexible theme, and you can present your products in any way you want thanks to the Drag and Drop page builder. It also comes with various blog layouts so you can create content around your products to help drive more people to your website.
There is much that can be done with the Re:Hub WordPress theme.
You can use this to design multi-vendor eCommerce websites. This is especially great as an MVP as it takes the pressure off of you to build an actual product.
Instead, you set up your site as a marketplace for others to sell through or simply do affiliate marketing through it.
If you’re looking for a more traditional eCommerce theme design, try WoodMart.
It integrates with WooCommerce, it’s responsive in design, and it comes with a drag-and-drop builder for coding-free design. What’s more, it comes with a demo for a mobile app landing page to streamline the setup of one for you.
Pursuit is the theme to use if you want to sell software-as-a-service (SaaS) or promote a business strictly revolving around a mobile app.
If all you need your website to do is show off your product and sell people on the benefits of the subscription, this responsive and user-friendly theme will do the trick.
Stratus is another WordPress theme you can use for digital subscription services.
It would be particularly useful for SaaS startups that want to make a killer impact on first-time visitors. With lead generation features, eCommerce integration, the Elementor page builder, this is an easy theme to effectively promote your subscription services.
Build a Mobile App for your WordPress eCommerce website
Your eCommerce website will need a strong mobile presence. Over 2/3rds of online transactions are already made on mobile, and the number is only increasing.
An eMarketer study has predicted that by 2021, 72.9% of eCommerce transactions will happen on mobile.
You’ll need to make sure your online store is able to survive in this mobile dominated market.
One of the most effective ways to make your brand is mobile ready is by having iOS and Android mobile apps available to your customers and future customers via the iOS and Goolge Play App Stores.
MobiLoud Canvas is the ideal service to turn your WordPress eCommerce website into mobile apps. A mobile app will provide benefits such as being able to use engaging Push Notifications, your brand presence in the iOS and Google Play app stores, and a better mobile UX than the mobile website provides thanks to a native tab menu.
We wrote a guide on how you can use MobiLoud Canvas to have a mobile app built for your WordPress eCommerce website by our experienced team of app developers.
Using WordPress for your eCommerce site is a smart way to get your business up and running.
It’s the most popular Content Management system in the world for a reason, and the wide range of eCommerce themes and plugins mean you won’t need to spend any extra time building or designing a website that works how you want it to.
With the time you’ve saved, you can start marketing your website and app to your future customers!