What is a eCommerce website and how does it work?
If you are looking to sell your products or showcase your services online, then starting an eCommerce website might be a great option. While keeping costs pretty low you could expand and increase your business opportunities by running an online store.
You even may have already considered it but you don’t really know how to, what tool to use or what an eCommerce plugin even is and how it works.
Rest assured, when you use WordPress for your website, it gives you access to dozens of eCommerce plugins. A plugin is an add-on, there are thousands or plugins available on WordPress and they all have their purpose. For example, some will allow you to add a shopping cart to your website and some will allow your users to leave reviews.
In this article we will try to explain what an eCommerce website is and how it works. On top of that, we have made our top 5 list of eCommerce plugins you can choose to run your online store.
Why should you build an online store with WordPress?
When you start your own new eCommerce website this can seem daunting – especially when you don’t know how and where to start. However, we will make sure you feel a bit more confident after reading this post.
So, why is using WordPress to build your eShop a good idea?
1) No need to worry about coding, the plugins will do the job for you.
2) Easy to use, easy to manage and secured.
3) Reduce your marketing costs.
4) Expand your reach by showcasing your products online
When you start a website with WordPress, you will gain access to many excellent tools to help you build the perfect eCommerce Website. In fact, you should it quite easy to navigate through WordPress plugin directory.
What is an eCommerce website?
You may have come across this term while surfing on internet, looking to create your own internet shop, or selling your products or services online.
In short, eCommerce websites are online platforms that allow for online transactions of goods and services over the internet.
At the beginning, eCommerce was done partially through emails or phone calls. Now within a single website, anything and everything that a transaction needs can be executed online. This is especially thanks to SSL certificates that we are capable to protect and ensure the security of these transactions.
Types of E-Commerce websites
Indeed, there are different types of eCommerce websites. They are labeled or referred to differently, based on the function they fulfill.
- Business-to-Business (B2B): is a transaction of goods or services between companies. For example, a business selling office furniture to other businesses.
- Business-to-Consumer (B2C): is a transaction of goods or services between a company and individuals. For example, you buying a new bike from an online store.
- Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C): is a transaction of goods or services between individuals. This is often made via a third party such as Ebay, Vinted, etc. For example when you are selling your old car to another individual.
- Consumer-to-Business (C2B): is a transaction of goods or services between an individual and a business. For instance when a social media influencer, in exchange for a fee, offers exposure and visibility via their online audience.
How does it work?
Like any other WordPress plugin you simply need to install it on your WordPress website. Now depending on the plugins you have installed you will either access a dashboard, your online store builder, etc.
But that’s on the administrator side. Now how does it work on your users’ end?
It’s actually not that complicated either. Your customer navigate through your product pages, add to their cart the product they want, complete their purchase and checkout once they are done – just like on any other eShop.
Before deciding on which plugin you want, keep in mind that customization and user experience is key, as those will have a major impact on the way your customers shop with you. If they have trouble finding the product they want, the price is not well shown or even that they cannot locate their cart, then they might not even complete their first purchase and never shop.
Depending on the plugins, you will find some more customizable than others and more branded so customers can really feel shopping with you.
Top 5 eCommerce plugins to use with WordPress
In your WordPress plugin directory you will find many e-commerce plugins available. However we have selected for you 5 plugins that we believe are the best choices for you to create your eCommerce website – based on their features, ratings, and the consistent support they receive from their developers. For each plugin, you will find its detailed post here.
WooCommerce is the plugin you need to build and run your eCommerce website. Easy to use, easy to manage and efficient. WooCommerce actually gathers more than 5 million downloads.
With WooCommerce, you can sell physical and digital products, as well as memberships, service bookings, and even recurring subscriptions.
It is not the most popular eCommerce plugin for nothing! One of the major feature of the WooCommerce plugin will allow you to add as many add-ons, tools and extensions as you wish.
On top of that WooCommerce plugin offers an intuitive dashboard filled with widgets and detailed reports. This will definitely help you keep track of sales, stock, store performance and statistics. Compatible with most of all WordPress themes, it allows you multiple checkout options (such as PayPal, credit cards, cash on delivery and check).
And the best of all? This plugin is free. However a premium version exists. Fortunately you can freely run your beautiful online store without.
Find out how to create and set up your eCommerce website with WooCommerce here.
Shopify is a cloud-based shopping cart solution compatible that allows anyone to set up their own eCommerce website for their business. Created about 10 years ago now at first to help sell products online.
A monthly fee gives you access to an admin panel where you can enter store data, add products, and process orders.
Additionally, you can choose from a rich selection of free and for-purchase design templates to create your unique and branded eShop.
Shopify is now one of the best eCommerce platforms providers leaders. They have designed their platform for all size, products and use, making Shopify one the most famous and used eCommerce tool.
Whether you sell online, on your social media, in a store, or anywhere else, Shopify is sure to come in handy.
Prestashop is one of the main Web open source application that allows you to create and manage freely your own online store.
Created in 2007, Prestashop has rapidly become one of the most used platform to create and manage your own eCommerce website. Like any other site, you will need to pay for the hosting of your eCommerce website and its integration might require some technical skills.
You can always ask one of our developers to help you set up your own. But note that it may be free at first but it may end up being more expensive than other options as some addons can be quite pricey.
Looking for a reliable eCommerce solution for your online business you may have crossed path with the name 3dcart. The platform was created specifically for online stores. However, and unlike the others such as Prestashop or Magento, 3dcart is not open source and free.
You will find setting up your 3dcart platform very easily. This has been designed for entrepreneurs looking to start their own online store. Coming with great features, dashboards and reports, 3dcart provide you all the tools for success and a good management. Furthermore, this platform was designed to be customer friendly and mobile responsive.
No matter which device your customers are shopping with they have all been well crafted. On top of that, 3dcart offers you several templates so you can customize and brand your online store.
Since its launch in 2001, 3dcart has greatly improved and has been found as one of the favorite alternatives among users in need a an eCommerce platform.
Magento is the plugin built for your eCommerce website. Crafted on open source technology, Magento provides a flexible shopping cart system and allow a complete control over the look, the content and the functionality of the online store.
Magento offers great tools to manage and promote you eCommerce website. With some powerful marketing, search engine optimization, and catalog-management tools you will easily help you increase ranks and sell online.
We have seen that launching your own eCommerce website is not as daunting as it seems and using WordPress plugins may ease your life. Always keep in mind your eShop customization and the user experience (UX) you’ve designed and you are good to go!
We hope this article will help you start your own eCommerce Website and hopefully this will help you launch and create a successful eCommerce website no matter the plugin you chose.