When it comes to content management systems (CMS), there is no doubt that WordPress is one of the most common. With unrivaled support, regular updates, and a user-friendly interface, this popularity is no surprise.
For average users right through to web developers, WordPress’s extensive theme gallery makes customizing the look and feel of the site quick and easy. With the installation of a number of plug-ins, you can build a robust and well established web presence for your business, but I suggest that you read these important marketing tips when starting your own business.
As the owner of a small business, you may have noticed a dip in your bricks-and-mortar sales. The world of retail is moving fast, and it’s moving online. Online sales saw a 16.6% year-on-year increase in the first quarter of 2012. Online retail then, is big business.
The beauty of a WordPress hosted site is that it is now easier than ever to create an eCommerce store. Whether you sell clothes, confectionery, or computers; there’s an easy-to-use plug-in to add a catalogue and cart feature to your site. Here are six of the most popular:
WP e-Commerce is one of the most comprehensive and widely used plug-ins of this kind. Designed for both novices and developers, this is the easiest way to sell products online. The plug-in boasts an impressive catalogue of features including: a streamlined checkout, multiple payment and shipping options, and it is fully customisable.
This plug-in keeps everything pretty simple. The app is installed much in the same way as other WP plug-ins letting you quickly and easily been selling online. This free plug-in is perfect for beginners as it lets you set up shop without spending a penny
By making it easy for people to buy, you can increase your sales.
Shopp is a paid plug in starting at $55. Despite the cost, it is one of the most search engine friendly eCommerce plug-ins. The powerful plug-in seamlessly integrates into your existing WordPress site and claims to ‘work outside the box’.
Some of the unique features include: cart management, inclusion of promotional codes, shipping and tax estimates, and a related products feature. All this makes your customers’ shopping experience a hassle-free one.
The cost of this plug-in means it is perhaps a ‘step up’ on the eCommerce ladder. It works better as an update to an existing site that you already know drives sales.
A powerful eCommerce toolkit, Woo Commerce delivers enterprise-level quality at a user-friendly level. The plug-in comes with a whole host of fully customisable themes to make your site as unique as you are.
The widely used Woo Commerce helps you quickly and easily track sales, stock levels and store performances from your WordPress dashboard. Robust, professional, and simple – what more do you need in a plug-in?
Jigoshop is a free plug-in with an impressive catalogue of features, making it extremely attractive to small businesses on a budget. The detailed and easy-to-use plug-in effortlessly merges with your existing WordPress site to make selling simple.
Webmasters have access to detailed reports, first class support, and multiple functionality. The one-step checkout makes life easy for your customers. As far as the free plug-ins go, Jigoshop is one of the best. It lacks some of the features of WP eCommerce, but is often favoured by retailers.
MarketPress claims to be the easiest to use plug-in of this kind, making it a popular choice with the less web-savvy retailers. The plug-in lets you create a simple and stylish eCommerce store with an impressive array of features.
It supports multiple payment gateways including PayPal and Google checkout, and makes it easy to sell both ‘real’ objects and downloads. The plug-in also lets you track your sales and online success. These features come at a price though – the most comprehensive version comes in at a cool $19!
eShop is a basic but robust shopping cart plug-in for your WordPress site. For a simple plug-in, there is a whole host of impressive features. These range from customer sign-up, out-of-stock notifications, multiple shipping options, and a comprehensive stock control. For small businesses taking their first steps into the world of online retail, this is a great choice.
eCommerce is a growing industry. Whatever you sell, you would be wise to create an online presence. Your competitors may already be tapping into this market. And these simple plug-ins help you stand out from the best of them.
Written by Clare Evans. Edited by Rahul Chowdhury.
This guest post has been written by Clare Evans, an online copywriter for Bird & Co Creative. The company specialises in CMS web design and can help you create the perfect eCommerce store. Visit their website to find out more today.
Featured Image Source: Lucidio Studio