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How to Create a WordPress-Driven eCommerce Website
Posted on July 1st 2014
With modern day delivery services, online communications and modern eBanking payment options, it is only natural that the number of online shops and eCommerce websites is increasing. I’m not just talking about selling physical products (clothes, tires or whatever else comes to mind) or ordering services through an online intermediary. Digital merchandise sales are going through the roof. Mobile phone apps, games, multimedia (music, movies, TV shows, photos and images) and specialized software all fall into category of digital merchandise. When you add all this up, you get a large crowd of potential and existing shop owners that have a genuine need for quality eCommerce solutions.
Wordpress, regardless of its popularity as a CSM for general use, has always been overshadowed by other, more specialized eCommerce platforms like Magento and Shopify. Thanks to the large community of followers, users and developers that Wordpress has built around it, this is slowly changing. I’ve composed a little list of useful eCommerce plug-ins and solutions for Wordpress users.
This is a Wordpress toolkit specialized to meet any eCommerce needs that users may have. It is rather easy to set up and has an intuitive interface that is easy to use. Users can customize each individual product to a great degree. It is suitable for selling physical, digital and downloadable products. You can add different variations to products in order to cover different colors and sizes of products. The creators of WooCommerce have made sure that their customers can handle large orders easily, with an option to add private and customer notes to each individual order, along with status updates. Another reason why people are tapping into eCommerce is the fact that it offers easy access to all kinds of analytics. WooCommerce was created with this in mind and it gives you access to great statistics about your shop’s sales performance, with the option to filter different categories of products and much more.
Another great eCommerce plug-in for Wordpress that is optimized to work well with different plug-ins and is fully customizable through CSS & HTML. With 2,731,755 downloads from Wordpress.org, we can say with certainty that they have made a stable and versatile plug-in that meets the needs of customers with different backgrounds. They offer a large library of tutorial videos, a premium support forum and a large community that will help you resolve any issues you might stumble upon or any bugs that might have been left behind. All in all, a great Wordpress plug-in for handling eCommerce.
Easy Digital Downloads
This is a very stable, easy to use and lightweight Wordpress plug-in with all the tools that you may need when dealing with digital product sales. By installing Easy Digital Downloads, you are getting a state of the art shopping cart with the feature to add multiple products to it included. What makes this plug-in even more alluring is the fact it’s free. It is very user friendly in both terms of installation, setup and use. There is also a coupon creation feature in the form of discount codes, along with great analytics and many payment gateways to choose from. There is even a customer section included, so they can track their previous purchases, information about how much money they spent and so forth. If your ambition is to sell digital products, this plug-in is a breeze to setup and learn to use. It handles the needs of both beginner and experienced digital products salesmen.
Things you should pay attention to:
User experience is something you need to pay special attention to since you don’t have the one-on-one interaction between the customer and the salesmen, as opposed to the brick and mortar shop situation. This is why you need to make sure that each step between the moment a potential customer lands on your page and the moment of purchase is logical and clear. Make sure that you make information about your company as transparent as possible, so your customers can feel they are making a transaction with a real company, not a scam. This information should include an address (preferably with a Google Maps overview), a phone number and your e-mail address.
I hope I managed to help you get the picture on how you can deal with your eCommerce needs. I wish you the best of luck and much success with your online entrepreneurship.