With WordPress you can sell various things – physical goods, e-books, photos or other files (ie electronic goods for download), participation in training or anything else. Depending on the type of goods and the nature of the sale, you will choose one type of solution: e-shop, basket or one-time form.
I would like to point out that this article does not deal with e-shops in general, but only with ecommerce website on the WordPress platform. Of course, you can create an ecommerce website on many different platforms, whether local or global.
1. Challenging solution: ecommerce website
The most demanding and laborious solution is the e-shop. The premise is that you sell dozens or more products, you have fancy payment methods, delivery methods (logistics) and you have the people or the time to do so; otherwise it is not worth it. The ecommerce website will provide you with complete processes, including automated communication with the customer (typically: you will receive a confirmation e-mail after purchase).
The most famous e-shop for WordPress is WooCommerce. It is a comprehensive software that is comparable to other ecommerce website platforms (whether we take open source such as OpenCart, PrestaShop, or closed systems). There are hundreds of modules that add additional functions to WooCommerce, from a programming point of view it is very high quality software, so you can order customizations.
You do not pay a license fee for using WooCommerce. But you will probably pay someone who will properly install, set up and improve your e-shop. You may also pay royalties for some plugins. This is normal – the software license itself is free, the work is paid for.
In addition to WooCoommerce, there are other plugins that will create an ecommerce website in WordPress, but it is basically not worth dealing with because they are marginal, do not have such active development .
2. A shopping cart is suitable for selling several products
If you want to sell only a few products, a maximum of dozens, then it pays to use only a shopping cart, English cart. These are plugins that allow you to create an order from selected products, have the customer pay for it and inform him to a certain extent. Products are usually created using shortcodes on any page – so you can put whatever you can think of in the cart.
WordPress PayPal inserts PayPal buttons on your site via a shortcode where you enter product parameters. So you can make a product from any site. Orders are managed in the editorial part (ie not only in PayPal).
Easy Digital Downloads can sell electronic (virtual) products that are often downloadable. It has plenty of options, including creating variant products, product packages, issues invoices, displays graphs. Payment is possible via PayPal and foreign payment gateways
You can choose from many currencies and start accepting payments. Setting up a payment page is easy and you’ll be done in just a few clicks. Use the wizard to help you create and place a payment button on the web.
You have full control over your payments by regularly sending money to your bank account. The company successfully operates in more than 33 countries and currently serves more than 8,000 web portals. The service offers a long list of interesting benefits and is set to become one of the most successful online payment processors.
Like Easy Digital Downloads, Sell Downloads works, but does not support payment methods other than PayPal.
WordPress iSell can only do one thing, and that is to sell files from your website (payment is made via PayPal). It’s very simple but functional.
The WP eStore plugin, on the other hand, is an extensive cart that has many features, including sending temporary links, passwords or license codes, autoresponder, various shortcodes and functions for connecting to a website template, several payment gateways, enhanced e-commerce tracking, etc.
Realistically speaking, there are few situations where you do not use WooCommerce. It seems to be a tool suitable for most requirements. He can do a lot, but at the same time he is not overwhelmed by unnecessary functions. In combination with good hosting, it is an effective solution for a powerful ecommerce website.
3. Completely simple sale of several products
If you need to sell one or a few products, you do not need a basket, but only an order form. The user fills it in, chooses products and quantities in it, orders them and pays for them – usually by bank transfer or cash on delivery, but you can also find electronic payments here.