Remember when WordPress was used only for blogging?
Even all of the talk about WordPress being a true CMS seems to be old news these days. Therefore, make way for latest phase of WordPress’ evolution: ecommerce.
If you’re selling products online, you need to take a serious look at WordPress as your platform for ecommerce. Third party shopping cart plugins for WordPress are not so new anymore. They’ve been slowly developing and evolving within the WordPress community for years. Today, ecommerce on WordPress is ready for prime time.
Before we get into which WordPress shopping carts you should consider using, let’s talk about why it’s a good idea to integrate your CMS and shopping cart together under one roof (WordPress).
Clean Integration of Your CMS and Your Shopping Cart
Gone are the days of running two separate systems on your website: one for your marketing site/blog and another for your online store. By fully integrating your shopping cart with your WordPress CMS, you have complete control to cross-promote your products with other site content.
For example, your homepage might be used to promote “hot” products as well as your latest blog headlines. You might want to announce a flash sale in your homepage slider and carry that callout through the rest of your site using global WordPress widgets.
From an administration standpoint, you (or your client) only need to use one login for one system to manage everything in the operation. Plus, it’s easier to view and measure your sales funnel when your analytics tool tracks a single website.
Seamless User Experience for Your Customers (and Your Developer)
How many times have you experienced this? You land on the beautiful homepage of some business. They have an appealing design, strategic and friendly marketing copy and an overall positive user experience. So far, you like what you see, so you click the link labeled “Store.”
Suddenly, you’re taken to what seems to be a completely different website, with an outdated design and clunky customer experience. Your impression of the website, and in turn, your opinion of this brand, has taken a turn for the worse. Now you’re not so sure about buying its product.
A fully integrated shopping cart system built into your WordPress site ensures that customers experience the same design and quality from homepage to checkout.
For developers, it means not having to fiddle around with two different systems, “faking” integration by closely matching two stylesheets, or making updates in two places each time. Integration means one codebase, centralized functionality and easy maintenance.
Top 4 Ecommerce Tools for WordPress
The following are just a few of the more popular systems out there, and new ones are popping up all the time, particularly as the WordPress community continues to expand.
As you can see, the ability to sell products on a WordPress site has come a very long way. With all of the amazing plugins and frameworks that have been developed in this space, ecommerce on WordPress certainly deserves real consideration for any new online store project.
Just last month, WooThemes released its ecommerce framework, WooCommerce. This is arguably one of the most comprehensive shopping cart solutions available for WordPress. It originated as a fork of the popular Jigoshop plugin, and offers a host powerful features including multiple product types (simple, configurable, downloadable, etc.), inventory management, comprehensive shipping and tax options, marketing tools and powerful reporting features. The admin user experience is powerful yet easy to use. Like everything from Woo, it can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, the possibility of selling products on a WordPress site has come a very long way. With all of the amazing plugins and frameworks that have been developed in this space, ecommerce on WordPress certainly deserves real consideration for any new online store project.
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