Running a WordPress eCommerce store is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding tasks you will ever embark on. The good news, however, is that with the right WordPress plugins for eCommerce, your life as an entrepreneur would be much easier.
For this reason, we will be reviewing some of the best, free plugins you can use to run your eCommerce WordPress shop efficiently, and without much stress.
What should you expect in this comparison guide?
First, we will be going over the features to look out for before picking a plugin.
After that, we will share with you the top 4 battle-tested plugins for setting up a storefront on WordPress.
And finally, you will get to see additional plugins to make selling on WordPress seamless.
Let’s get into it!
Features to Look Out For Before Picking a WordPress eCommerce Plugin
Picking the wrong plugin is a costly mistake you just can’t afford to make. If you do, you might spend time and resources trying to set up your store, and yet your efforts will amount to nothing.
So, before choosing a WordPress eCommerce plugin, check:
- If it Can Handle Shipping: Do you intend to sell physical products to customers across the globe? Shipping will be an avoidable part of your routine task. Thus, be sure that the plugin you are looking to use can help in this aspect.
- If it Comes With Customizable Themes: An ugly, cluttered site will always perform poorly in every aspect: SEO, user experience, and conversion. For this reason, it’s important to go for an eCommerce plugin that comes with themes to make your website attractive and usable.
- If it Supports Your Preferred Payment Solution: Do you intend to receive money via, for example, PayPal on your website? Be sure that the plugin you are considering supports it. Still holds true for Stripe, Amazon Pay — or whatever payment gateway you prefer.
- If Support is Available: In the event that you run into technical problems – which you most likely will, especially when starting out – who will you turn to for help? Never take support availability for granted. That’s why we put it last.
Okay, we’ve said enough already. Let’s now get down to business: best, free WordPress eCommerce plugins to set up a store online.
Best Free WordPress Ecommerce Plugins
Before going deep into details, here are the hand-picked plugins we will be reviewing in a bit
- Easy Digital Downloads
- Paid Membership Pro
When you talk about popularity, WooCommerce is second to none. This comes as no surprise because it is owned and maintained by Automattic, the brains behind WordPress.
But popularity isn’t the only unique feature of this plugin. It is free. If it isn’t, we wouldn’t have included it in this list.
What’s more interesting about this plugin is that it is easy to install, configure and use. As a matter of fact, we can say that it is super beginner-friendly. You may not ever need to write or tweak a code to use it.
Earlier on, we talked about going for plugins that have customizable themes you can use to style your storefront. Well, you have WooCommerce.
This powerful plugin comes with countless, eCommerce-dedicated themes. On top of that, it allows you to use just about any WordPress theme for your store’s design. Though we suggest you exercise caution with that because not every WordPress theme is compatible with WooCommerce.
What about payment solutions? WooCommerce really lived up to expectations: it supports over 100 payment gateways, PayPal inclusive. Thus, processing payment on your website wouldn’t be much of a problem.
In summary, here are reasons why WooCommerce is one of the best WordPress Plugins for eCommerce.
Reasons to Use WooCommerce
- It comes with thousands of additional extensions – some free, others paid – to help enhance the performance of your online store.
- Saves you the trouble of dealing with tax issues all the time, thanks to its tax automation feature.
- If you are looking to launch a membership, booking, subscription, or affiliate online business, WooCommerce is more than ideal.
- When it comes to SEO, WooCommerce is no slacker.
- It is supported by a large community of developers and enthusiasts. That means you can always find help whenever you need it.
- WooCommerce supports integrations such as MailChimp, Google Ads, Hubspot, etc.
Founded in 2009, BigCommerce is one of the leading eCommerce Saas solutions for entrepreneurs looking to build a successful retail business online. This means you can actually use this software outside WordPress.
Though based in Austin Texas, the company serves its customers spread across 120 countries.
Okay, enough of the bio already. Let’s get down to business: why use BigCommerce to set up an eCommerce WordPress Shop?
Before going into details, there’s something you ought to know before using BigCommerce
What is it? You need to have an account to use their WordPress plugin. Unfortunately, BigCommerce isn’t free. Only that they offer a 14-day free trial to test-run the software.
With that caveat out of the way, here are the reasons to use BigCommerce.
Reasons to Use BigCommerce
- Allows you to add as many products as you desire. In addition to that, you can put your products into categories so as to improve your users’ experience.
- If you prefer to group your products by their brands – that is, the company that made them – BigCommerce can handle that seamlessly.
- You have the option of setting the preferred currency to charge your customers. What’s more interesting is that you can charge your customers in many different currencies, based on their country of location.
- BigCommerce supports both online and offline payment.
- Like WooCommerce, BigCommerce also comes with many eCommerce-ready themes which you can customize without any struggle.
- You are free to configure your customers’ checkout page just the way you want.
Easy Digital Downloads
All eCommerce businesses aren’t the same. While some concern themselves with selling physical products across the globe, others are more focused on distributing digital products. If your business model is based on the latter, Easy Digital Downloads is your best bet.
This means that if you are looking to sell ebooks, stock photos, video tutorials, or any other downloadable file, there is no plugin better suited for that task than Easy Digital Downloads.
For payment solutions, EDD supports quite a lot: PayPal, Stripe, Coinbase, BitPay, Braintree, you name them.
Another cool feature that endeared us to this WordPress eCommerce plugin is that it makes it possible for you to offer customers discounts on your checkout page. Do you know what that means? More sales!
Reasons to Use Easy Digital Downloads
- Allows you to keep track of your payment history: pending, processing, refunded, etc.
- Gives you insight into your store’s performance via detailed reporting
- Comes with additional extensions to help enhance your store’s capabilities.
- It also lets you keep track of your customers’ spend, individually.
- EDD has an extensive user documentation you can always consult in the event you run into technical issues. Plus, if you are on any of their paid plans, you will have access to email support.
Paid Membership Pro
What if it is a membership site that you desire to set up, and not an online store or a digital download website? No worries, Paid Membership Pro has got your back.
As the name suggests, this plugin allows you to set up and manage a paid membership website. This could be a coaching, online course, information, or a content membership site. The possibility is endless.
Interestingly, this plugin gives you full control over your website. For example, it lets you assign membership levels to your users. For instance, beginner, intermediate, and pro. On top of that, you can offer your users both free and paid membership.
What’s more, it comes with a detailed reporting feature that lets you track members’ activities on your website with pinpoint accuracy.
Reasons to Use Paid Membership Pro
- Even though it is a pro plugin, you can still use it for free, and with little limitations
- Ideal for running and managing an affiliated network
- Integrable with email marketing solutions such as MailChimp
- Gives you the creative freedom to design your website the way you want, using Elementor or any page builder of your choice.
Additional WordPress Plugins for eCommerce to Make Selling Seamless
In addition to the four core eCommerce plugins we just reviewed, there are some extra plugins that you will need to manage your eCommerce WordPress shop seamlessly.
They are as follows:
Plugins for Live Chat
Do you want to build loyalty with your customers? A live chat feature is non-negotiable. Here are plugins that can help with that.
Plugins for Pop-ups
Pop-ups are an excellent marketing tool for driving traffic to a product, promoting offers to your customers, or just notifying them about a discount.
Here are plugins to help you create one:
Plugins for Selling on Social Media
No doubt, a good number of your customers will find your store via Facebook, Instagram, and the rest. To this end, you need plugins to make the most use of social media.
Here are our top picks:
Plugins for SEO
Do you want to harness the power of Google to drive massive traffic to your eCommerce WordPress shop? These plugins will help.
So there you have it: 4 battle-tested WordPress eCommerce plugins anybody can use – beginner and pro alike.
To make things more interesting, we reviewed additional plugins to help make selling on WordPress an enjoyable experience for you.
It’s our hope that you found this post helpful. If you did, kindly share.