How to choose the right eCommerce plugin for your online store? Top 10 choices

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ECommerce is growing by leaps and bounds, which naturally makes many merchants want to create their own online stores. Yet, the selection of eCommerce solutions available on the market is so large and diverse that it often confuses people as to which one they should pick for their store. Nevertheless, research shows that each of the existing products has its advantages and disadvantages. This article will help you to make the right choice.

Key Points:

What to do before picking up an eCommerce plugin for your store

When creating an eCommerce business, it is first important to complete some basic steps. First of all, it is vital to choose and purchase a domain name. Once you get the domain, you will have to pick your website hosting provider. Finally, do not forget to make your website secure by getting an SSL certificate in order to enable an encrypted connection.

What and where will you be selling

Of course, the products you sell are also a major factor when choosing the right eCommerce solution. For instance, some plugins do not let users sell physical or digital goods, while others allow the selling of both types of products. Similarly, the number of countries in which you will operate can also be limited by the plugin capability.

5 important things to consider when choosing a plugin for your site

There are additional factors that need to be taken into consideration when deploying a plugin.

Language support

Choose plugins that support the language in which you will sell your products. Some plugins may only have English as their interface language. If you plan on marketing your goods to non-English speakers, they may have a hard time navigating your website.

Price

Some plugins can be quite expensive to operate. That is why you need to take into account whether you will be able to afford buying and renewing your subscription. There are also free alternatives, so you can always choose them over pricy software.

Functionality

At the same time, it is vital to take a look at all the functions of plugins. For instance, the common problem with free plugins is that they lack certain features which are crucial for some merchants and the types of products they sell. Subsequently, functionality is the first thing you need to consider when choosing a plugin.

Mobile-compatibility

The plugin you choose must also be able to adapt to the mobile format. A substantial share of eCommerce sales is done using mobile phones. If your store does not have a mobile-friendly interface, you risk losing a large number of clients. Thus, always make sure that the plugin you pick has mobile compatibility.

Popularity

Finally, it is advisable that before choosing a plugin, you check its popularity. For instance, you can see the number of its downloads. Moreover, you can read reviews on the plugin online and check whether there is a community of people who also utilize this product. Popularity is a good indicator of how reliable the plugin is.

The 10 best eCommerce plugins

Here is the list of the most popular eCommerce plugins and platforms on the market:

WooCommerce

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is the best eCommerce plugin for WordPress. Initially launched in 2011, WooCommerce had experienced several major changes, and in 2015, it was acquired by WordPress, becoming one of the key products in its plugin marketplace. WordPress is one of the largest website-builder platforms on the market. The plugin facilitates the creation and management of online stores. It possesses substantial flexibility and many essential features for every merchant. For instance, WooCommerce users can manage their inventory, calculate taxes, secure payments, and deploy shipping integration. There are many other features. WooCommerce allows merchants and their clients to track orders and monitor delivery status updates. Merchants also can benefit from customer engagement functionality offered by WooCommerce. The plugin is extremely popular with businesses from all over the world since it has been downloaded more than 27 million times. In fact, the absolute majority of stores deployed on WordPress utilize WooCommerce as their primary tool.

  • Setting up – about set up

In order to set up a WooCommerce plugin, you will need to deploy your website on WordPress. Next, you will need to go to the WordPress dashboard and press the “Plugin Options” button. There, you will need to search for the WooCommerce plugin and install it.

As mentioned above, the plugin is easy to deploy and navigate. Additionally, there is a special “Help” tool containing a thorough guide on how to get things done with WooCommerce.

WooCommerce has a long list of integrations, including Google Analytics. There are also tools relevant for particular types of businesses, such as WooCommerce bookings.

There are additional plugins for WooCommerce designed specifically for the purpose of SEO. Yoast is the most prominent example of an SEO plugin for WooCommerce.

WooCommerce is mobile-friendly.

WooCommerce Analytics is a tool accessible for all users of WordPress 5.3+ that helps to monitor metrics such as gross sales, total sales, and items sold.

WooCommerce has a team of support managers whom you can contact to report problems or clarify certain issues.

WooCommerce supports a variety of payment options, including PayPal. Additionally, WooCommerce merchants can accept more than 100 different cryptocurrencies using NOWPayments’ WooCommerce plugin.

WooCommerce is absolutely free to use.

WooCommerce is one of the most secure plugins on WordPress.

 Shopify

Shopify

Although Shopify is not an eCommerce plugin, it is the second most popular choice among eCommerce businesses. Shopify is a cloud-based eCommerce platform that is distributed on a subscription basis. Shopify enables millions of stores around the world to operate their eCommerce branch. In addition to the online business, Shopify has a Shopify POS designed for physical locations. Shopify provides businesses with access to an admin panel where they can enter and store data, add products, and process orders. Shopify is also simple to use and has an easy learning curve, allowing merchants to get their online stores up and running swiftly. Shopify enables merchants to unify their business operations into one solid command center. Shopify merchants with both an online and brick-and-mortar presence can sync their inventory and stock and thus manage their stores from one account on any type of device.

  • Setting up – about set up

In order to start using Shopify, you will need to sign up and start your free 14-day trial. Shopify allows merchants to add their own domain name and hosts the entire store for the merchant. Therefore, the merchant will only need to choose the domain name and the name for your store.

Shopify is simple to navigate and has many tutorials virtually for every operation on the platform.

Shopify has a sizeable app store full of different extensions. There are virtually thousands of apps that Shopify merchants can integrate, ranging from Oberlo to appointment booking apps.

Shopify online stores have built-in SEO tools, as well as a long list of external ones available in the Shopify app store.

Shopify is highly-flexible and mobile-friendly.

Shopify has several analytics tools which are sufficient for gathering all types of metrics about your business.

Shopify has an excellent tech support team.

Shopify offers a substantial variety of payment options. Shopify merchants also can integrate cryptocurrency payments using NOWPayments’ Shopify plugin.

Shopify Pricing starts from $29.

Shopify is a secure solution.

 BigCommerce

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is another example of WordPress eCommerce plugins. BigCommerce is a solution that lets merchants scale their eCommerce business to an incredible size. The BigCommerce plugin allows merchants to take care of things like payment processing, catalog management, fulfillment and logistics management, and many other operations. BigCommerce presents merchants with an extensive toolkit of native eCommerce features. Using simply one plugin, merchants get the ability to start selling across a variety of channels and marketplaces. The thing that sets BigCommerce apart from the competitors is that merchants do not need to install any additional extensions in order to access standards eCommerce features. Instead, merchants instantly gain access to complex catalog support, currency handling, global payment gateways, taxation, and shipping calculations by deploying the BigCommerce plugin. BigCommerce serves more than 100 different countries and delivers a full checkout experience, doing the PCI compliance for the merchant. BigCommerce is a solution for large enterprises.

  • Setting up – about set up

Just like with other WordPress plugins, BigCommerce can be found on the WordPress plugins market. To install BigCommerce, simply click the “Install” button. After installing the plugin, you will need to activate it.

BigCommerce has a complex interface, but navigation is quite simple.

BigCommerce has a large app marketplace.

SEO tools are both available as built-in solutions and external ones.

BigCommerce is mobile-friendly.

BigCommerce has a built-in analytics suite consisting of 11 reports.

The plugin has professional tech support.

65 pre-integrated online payments.

Starting from 29.95/month.

BigCommerce has been proven to be secure.

Easy Digital Downloads

Easy Digital Downloads

As was mentioned above, some eCommerce plugins are designed specifically for selling certain types of products. Easy Digital Downloads is an example of such plugins. Easy Digital Downloads is a plugin which is intended for selling digital files. Easy Digital Downloads is deployed on WordPress similarly to WooCommerce. The plugin is perfect for stores that sell music, books, artworks, and many other goods in digital format. As a result, the functionality of the plugin was developed to target the need of digital file merchants. For example, there is no limitation to distributing the digital products sold by merchants. Customers who purchased a digital file can download their files endlessly. There are already over 50 thousand stores that sell their digital products using Easy Digital Downloads. The plugin also has a team of amazing project contributors continuously working on adding new features and addressing the existing issues.

  • Setting up – about set up

The set-up process for Easy Digital Downloads is once again similar to other plugins for WordPress. Open the plugins market, install the plugin, and activate it. Easy Digital Downloads provides a free trial.

Using Easy Digital Downloads, you will not have any problems navigating its interface.

The plugin has more than 100 additional extensions and themes available to users.

Easy Digital Downloads does not have built-in SEO tools. Yet, one can always install an external SEO plugin.

Easy Digital Downloads is mobile-friendly.

Easy Digital Downloads has a built-in reporting platform for easily viewing stats and making custom reports.

The plugin has tech support.

The plugin has several built-in payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, and Amazon Payments.

The plugin’s pricing starts from $199, but there are occasional discounts.

The plugin is secure.

EasyCart

EasyCart

EasyCart is another WordPress eCommerce plugin that has accrued a substantial number of users. Although EasyCart cannot boast the popularity enjoyed by WooCommerce, it is still used by thousands of merchants around the globe. The main selling point of EasyCart is its exhaustive functionality which enables merchants to use the plugin without the need to install any additional extensions to get full eCommerce experience out of their store. EasyCart is also a flexible solution that lets merchants sell all types of products, including digital, retail, subscriptions, and even services. The plugin has an order management system that is easy to use. It also has shipping systems that provide merchants with the tools to move their products. EasyCart also has a special tax system that applies taxes to the products sold by merchants depending on the country of the customer. EasyCart lets merchants keep their own themes for their websites.

  • Setting up – about set up

The plugin can be installed right from the WordPress plugin repository. Nevertheless, there are two versions. The first one is free, while the second is the PRO one. When you upgrade to the PRO edition, you do not need to uninstall the first one.

EasyCart has a clean and easy-to-navigate interface.

Although EasyCart has a comprehensive set of built-in features, it also supports different extensions, including Quickbooks.

SEO tools are a part of the EasyCart package.

EasyCart is mobile-friendly.

EasyCart is compatible with Google Analytics.

EasyCart does have tech support.

EasyCart supports more than 30 different payment gateways.

EasyCart is distributed for free, but merchants can upgrade starting from $99 a year.

EasyCart is a fairly secure plugin.

PrestaShop

PrestaShop

PrestaShop is an eCommerce solution which is not a plugin. PrestaShop is a free eCommerce platform that powers hundreds of thousands of stores around the globe. Since PrestaShop is an open-source platform, there are many developers who are actively working on enhancing it and adding new features. That is why PrestaShop can boast an incredible selection of tools available to merchants. PrestaShop is a go-to eCommerce solution for all merchants that want their stores to look fresh since it has a large collection of professional-looking themes. PrestaShop also allows merchants to automatically translate their stores into several different languages. PrestaShop lets merchants host their websites in a cloud or on their own server. Another key feature of PrestaShop is the ease of deployment. Merchants can use and successfully sell their products using PrestaShop without knowing how to write a single line of code. So, PrestaShop is in many ways similar to Shopify.

  • Setting up – about set up

In order to get your PrestaShop store up and running, you will need to download the latest version of PrestaShop. Then, you will need to create a database. Next, you will have to install PrestaShop. Once you do it, you will be able to create your first store.

PrestaShop has many tutorials, so you will not have problems navigating its interface.

PrestaShop’s extension library contains thousands of extra modules.

PrestaShop has a complete selection of SEO tools.

PrestaShop is mobile-friendly.

PrestaShop is integrated with Google Analytics, and additional apps can be found in its add-on library.

PrestaShop has tech support.

There are more than 200 payment modules for PrestaShop. There is even NOWPayments’ crypto payments plugin allowing merchants to receive payments in cryptocurrencies.

PrestaShop is free.

PrestaShop is reliable and secure.

Magento 2

Magento 2

Magento is not a plugin for WordPress but a separate platform that helps businesses to create their online stores using built-in PHP. Magento has been operating for more than a decade, and in 2018 it was even acquired by Adobe. Magento is the third eCommerce platform in terms of popularity. Magento has virtually every imaginable feature to satisfy the needs of merchants. Magento users gain access to easy category and inventory management, staying in full control over their stock, import, and export. Magento merchants also can manage their transaction history, account status, address, preferred catalog, and shopping cart. Magento supports many languages and payment gateways. Just like Shopify, Magento has a PoS solution for those merchants that want to manage both their online presence and brick-and-mortar location using one platform. Magento is flexible and delivers users with freedom to customize their stores and make them look both cool and distinctive.

  • Setting up – about set up

Setting up a Magento store is quite easy. Yet, before registering, you will need to fill out a form on the official website of Magento to get the Demo version of the software.

Although Magento might be tricky to operate, the company is continuously making interface improvements and has plenty of tutorials to get you up to speed.

There are many additional Magento plugins for eCommerce.

Magento has both external and built-in SEO tools.

Magento is mobile-friendly.

Magento provides merchants with a complete toolkit for analyzing all the essential metrics.

Magento has tech support.

Magento supports dozens of payment gateways, including NOWPayments’ crypto payments plugin.

Magento Commerce license costs anywhere between $22,000–125,000/year.

Magento is a properly secure solution.

 Wix eCommerce

Wix eCommerce

Wix is a popular website-building platform that can be used for deploying eCommerce stores. There are no special Wix eCommerce plugins; instead, merchants can use the built-in Wix ECommerce system for creating their store. As of now, Wix supports more than 700k stores in 190 countries. Wix has a considerable selection of templates for businesses of different sizes. Additionally, each template can be customized by the merchant to fit their needs. Wix users can create an ultimate customer experience for their clients by adding categories, menus, and other elements to their storefront. Wix boasts excellent site optimization, so Wix merchants do not encounter any load issues. Wix supports more than 50 payment methods, statistics for which are always displayed in the merchant’s dashboard. Additionally, Wix can automatically calculate shipping rates and taxes, as well as send order confirmations to clients. Essentially, Wix is a solution which is up to the task of modern eCommerce.

  • Setting up – about set up

The set-up process for Wix eCommerce is simple. You need to create an account, choose the template you like, customize the template, and add products to your store.

Wix has one of the easiest interfaces in the industry.

Wix is compatible with more than 200 additional apps.

Wix has all the SEO tools you need to market your products better.

Wix is mobile-friendly.

Wix presents several analytics tools to users.

Wix has a reliable tech support team.

Wix integrates many different payment options, including PayPal.

Wix plans start from $75 a month.

Wix is secure.

OpenCart

OpenCart

OpenCart is also not an eCommerce plugin but rather a full-blown eCommerce platform. OpenCart’s main advantages are free distribution and open code that allows merchants to add new features to their stores, advancing the customer experience. Merchants that utilize OpenCart gain the capacity to sell products online to people from different places on the planet. Despite the fact that OpenCart is free, merchants still get a full set of eCommerce features for their stores. There is an admin dashboard that facilitates store management and allows merchants to track their orders and monitor sales analytics. OpenCart also enables merchants to integrate user access to control the roles of the team members responsible for different operations of the store. OpenCart users can make use of discounts and coupons that can boost their sales. Finally, OpenCart can add virtually an unlimited number of products and categories to the store, which means that OpenCart is highly-scalable.

  • Setting up – about set up

In order to begin creating an OpenCart website, you will need to download the OpenCart program and then upload the files to their server.

OpenCart has clear and easy navigation.

OpenCart s compatible with numerous apps.

OpenCart has both native SEO tools as well as those that can be installed.

OpenCart is responsive and mobile-friendly.

OpenCart users can collect an extensive array of analytics.

OpenCart has a tech support team.

OpenCart lets merchants accept numerous payment gateways, including NOWPayments’ crypto payments plugin.

OpenCart is free.

OpenCart is secure.

Shopware

Shopware

Shopware positions itself as the solution for open eCommerce. Shopware provides merchants with cutting-edge and highly-flexible eCommerce solutions. There are more than 1500 different themes available to Shopware users which they also can adjust and customize in any way they want. Shopware is trusted by the world’s most prominent companies, including Aston Martin, Philips, and M&M’s. Shopware is the ultimate eCommerce solution for you if you have several businesses in different spheres. Shopware lets merchants choose their operating mode, no matter whether they want their infrastructure to be cloud or self-managed. Merchants can test different business models and build their own platforms. Thanks to Shopware, merchants can integrate their business with content to attract more clients by building a solid brand identity. Shopware offers a reliable SEO toolset. Shopware has a one-time purchase model and does not involve any hidden costs. That is why there are almost 100k brands that use Shopware’s solutions.

  • Setting up – about set up

To install Shopware, you will need to possess a certain degree of technical expertise. Yet, thankfully, Shopware has thoroughly documented the entire process in its documents.

Navigating Shopware is easy and seamless.

Shopware has many different extensions.

Shopware’s SEO tools are well-designed to meet the most challenging tasks.

Shopware is mobile-friendly.

Shopware provides a substantial number of metrics to merchants.

Shopware has tech support.

Shopware’s payment options consist of dozens of payment gateways, including NOWPayments’ crypto payments plugin.

You can start using Shopware for free.

Shopware is secure.

Final thoughts

While the eCommerce solutions market is filled with amazing solutions, the above-mentioned list consists of the most popular plugins and platforms. Yet, the most important thing to go by when choosing your eCommerce solution should be the ability of the plugin or platform to satisfy the needs of your business to the fullest.

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