In 2021, managing online businesses is easier than it has ever been. This is largely thanks to a wide array of eCommerce tools and website builders that make selling online a breeze.
WordPress is one of the most popular of these platforms. Powering roughly 40% of the world's websites, what started out as a simple content management system has evolved into a comprehensive eCommerce solution to support just about any need.
But choosing the right plugins can be a headache. That's where we come in. In this guide, we'll cover the 14 best eCommerce plugins you can install today to turn any WordPress site into an eCommerce powerhouse.
If you're here you already know what a WordPress eCommerce plugin is. But you might be wondering why you need one in the first place? Why can't you just add products and start selling straight away?
Because, out of the box, WordPress is quite limited. To add extra functionality you need to install plugins. These are pieces of software that add new features to your site, from SEO optimisation to eCommerce and everything in between.
Think of WordPress plugins like the third-party apps you download on your smartphone—they empower you to go beyond the basics.
While the functions plugins add can be complex, using them is super easy. Just install them from the plugin directory and they magically appear in the WordPress dashboard.
With over 58,000 plugins on the Wordpress directory, how do you choose the right one? Obviously, if you're looking to build an online store there's certain functionality you need:
But there are other factors you should consider too. Here's a quick list:
Our list of eCommerce plugins is split into two sections:
These tools give transform your WordPress website into a full eCommerce solution. The top eight WordPress eCommerce plugins are:
|Monthly||14-days, no cc||$15/mo||$39/mo||$99+/mo|
|Annually||14-days, no cc||$12.50/mo||$32.50/mo||$82.50/mo|
Paperform's WordPress plugin allows you to create beautiful forms, product and payment pages for any occasion. Whether you want to start your own online business or bring an existing store online, Paperform is the fastest way to do so.
Most plugins involve a lot of clicking around your WordPress dashboard. Not Paperform. Just use the free-text builder to make your snazzy eCommerce page—add products and services, set stock levels, create custom SKUs and get your dream store up and running. When you're done you can customise the page to reflect your unique brand with the vast theming tools.
📚 Learn more about the best WordPress form builder plugins in 2021.
Your digital storefront is just the beginning. From Paperform's dashboard, you can manage orders, monitor inventory and track products through the buying cycle. With coupon and subscriptions, automated receipts and support for all leading payment gateways, Paperform makes it easy to sell digital or physical products.
Want to save time? Just use one of the more than 500 templates to speed up the creation process. You can also connect to your favourite third-party tools by using one of Paperform's 3,000+ Direct and Zapier integrations.
|One-Time Payment||Forever||$582 (for 9 recommended extensions)|
Despite there being plenty of alternatives to WooCommerce, it still retains the mantle of the most popular WordPress eCommerce plugin. This is largely because it's free, open-source and has everything you need to start selling online.
With the WooCommerce plugin, business owners can look after every element of their store. Add products, manage inventory and sell anything from ebooks to potted plants. It's super customizable, giving you ultimate control over the look, feel and functionality of your site.
The base product is fairly simple though. However, you can further empower your WooCommerce store with 400+ extensions covering everything from payments and email marketing to accounting. Some to consider include:
Out of the box WooCommerce's features are quite limited, which is understandable seeing as it's free. To unlock most of the advanced functionality you'll need to add a few extensions. Here are some we recommend:
|Single Site||2-5 Sites||Unlimited Sites|
Like WooCommerce, WP eCommerce is an open-source plugin that lets you add eCommerce functionality to your site. It has all the features you would expect when it comes to adding digital or physical goods, monitoring sales and taking payments.
One advantage WP eCommerce has over WooCommerce is its community of web developers. It's constantly updated with new features, and with the open roadmap, you can get a peek at what you've got to look forward to in future.
Other notable features include intelligent reporting, automated marketing and the ability to make advanced tweaks with custom HTML. The eCommerce tool of choice for over 36,000 WordPress sites, WP eCommerce is a safe pick.
|Annually||Pay as you go||$69/year||$99/year|
WP EasyCart is one of the best ways to create and monitor your eCommerce store with one tool. Once it's installed, your visitors can browse and purchase products directly on your site without any hassle.
Of course, you get all the features you'd expect. Product pages, order management systems, marketing tools and automated taxes are all baked into the core product. WP EasyCart also offers useful tools to track and monitor sales performance without the need for any third-party tools.
All plans integrate with over 30 payment gateways including PayPal, Stripe and Braintree. This means customers can choose the right solution for their needs (and this cuts down friction). With the premium plan, you also unlock access to more integrations like MailChimp, Quickbooks and ShipStation to enhance your workflow.
Shopify is a colossal eCommerce platform of its own that exists as a major competitor to WordPress. But even they know how popular WordPress is, which is why they have a plugin of their own.
The Shopify Buy Button is one of the best ways to add eCommerce to your WordPress site without any bells and whistles. This tool allows you to generate a literal "buy" button that you can embed anywhere across your website to sell products and take payments.
Sales are run through Shopify's platform. Just customise the button to fit the look of your business, connect with Shopify and you're done. It's a barebones solution for people that don't quite require a fully-fledged eCommerce site.
📚 Read our guide to see how Shopify compares to alternatives.
BigCommerce is an eCommerce platform that competes with WordPress. And, just like Shopify, they've tried to get in on the WordPress action with their own dedicated plugin.
The plugin exists as a brand play to get users to use BigCommerce, but it's still a handy solution. It has everything an eCommerce business requires, including complex inventory management tools, the ability to manage multiple sites in one place, and easy customisation without any code.
It's particularly handy if you have an omnichannel sales strategy. You can sell across multiple marketplaces including Amazon and social media platforms. There are also extensive sales and marketing analytics, so you can get insight into things like product performance and cart abandonment.
Well, with Ecwid Ecommerce Shopping Cart it's all in the name. As with all the other tools listed so far, Ecwid is a storefront platform that lets you sell online. Boasting a colossal $5 billion of merchant revenue processed, it's a hugely popular option.
So what makes it different? Ecwid is all about giving merchants the power to sell what they want, where they want it. For example, you can add your online store to Facebook and Instagram with no add-ons necessary, which is great if you have a large social media audience.
Every Ecwid online store includes unlimited storage and regular backups. Also worth pointing out are the array of shipping options (including integrations with major carriers like USPS, UPS and Australia Post), live customer support and a mobile app that lets you monitor your store on the go.
Most other eCommerce plugins on this list are jacks of all trades. They come with a virtual toolbelt chock full of features—a lot of which you'll probably not ever use.
Easy Digital Downloads focuses exactly on what's on the tin. It gives you the tools you need to sell digital goods, from ebooks and PDFs to art and podcast episodes. It's easy to use, works without any tweaks and offers support through videos, tutorials and community forums.
It has a range of payment options, a full shopping cart system with customer account pages and basic activity tracking so you can track sales. You can set up discount codes and monitor sales with simple reporting. If you're a small business, freelancer or digital entrepreneur, it's a great option.
We've covered the plugins that turn WordPress into an eCommerce site. The following plugins add extra functionality to help support your online store:
For: displaying products and content in a visual way
|Starter (1 website)||Enthusiast (3 websites)||Professional (5 websites)|
Slider Revolution is a versatile WordPress plugin that helps folks without any design skills create beautiful sites without any code. With the drag-and-drop interface, you can build stunning visual elements to display your products and content in an eye-catching way.
Why is this included in a post about eCommerce plugins? Because if your store looks ugly no one is going to want to buy your stuff. Slider Revolution simplifies the process and lets you build an experience that's user-friendly and beautiful.
And you don't need a degree in design to use it. It comes with 200 templates, a library of 2,000+ elements and excellent customer support to help you along the way.
For: Optimising your WordPress site SEO
If a small business website is launched and no one can find it on a search engine, does it really exist? Unless you've got a huge existing client base, the answer is no. No, it doesn't.
Why? Because when selling online you don't just have to meet the needs of your customers—you've got to meet the needs of our Google overlords too. This is exactly what Yoast SEO helps you do.
Need to find high-performing keywords? Fix your URL structure? Control your breadcrumbs or make sure you're blogging about the right topics? Yoast has all your SEO needs covered and does so in a visual, easy to comprehend fashion.
For: Using social proof to increase conversions
Social proof helps you get more sales. The stats back it up: 91% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase, while 40% find new brands to shop with online based on word of mouth recommendations from friends and family.
TrustPulse is the best way to display social proof on your website. It plugs into your WordPress site to showcase testimonials, reviews and ratings from your customers. This doesn't just boost sales—it increases trust in your brand.
📚 Learn how to boost customer retention to boost loyalty and increase profits.
Setup is simple and it can be customised to suit any WordPress themes. With real-time event tracking, you can even show a popup notification any time a visitor buys a product or signs up for a trial (among other things). This creates a "fear of missing out" and encourages people to complete the desired action faster.
For: Connecting your WordPress website to Google Analytics.
Linking your eCommerce website to Google Analytics is essential if you want to get insights into how people find and use your site. MonsterInsights goes one step further by letting you view your GA stats right from your WordPress dashboard.
Once it's set up, you can use it to optimise your website based on total traffic, subscribers and monthly views. Get page-level analytics, real-time stats and data to help understand your audience—all from the one place.
By optimising your website (and creating a better user experience) you can reduce cart abandonment, improve your conversion rate and increase your overall traffic. There's also an eCommerce metrics report that shows total revenue, average order value and top referral sources.
For: Speeding up your website to improve SEO and user experience.
|Free trial||Single (1 website)||Plus (3 websites)||Infinite (unlimited websites)|
Page speed is crucial if you want to appease both customers and the Google gods. That's why you need a caching tool like WP Rocket—it speeds up your WordPress site, improving performance, SEO and overall ease of use all in one go.
What makes WP Rocket stand out from other caching tools is how easy it is. The process takes only a few minutes, and there's no coding necessary. It supports both page and browser caching, meaning static content doesn't have to be re-loaded when people go from one page to the next.
WP Rocket is also compatible with all major eCommerce plugins. That means whether you choose one of the options on this list (or even ones we didn't include, like Jigoshop and Cart66) you don't have to worry about compatibility.
For: Improving the security of your eCommerce website
|Free Plan?||Wordfence Premium|
|One-Time Payment||Yes||$99 (bulk discounts for more licenses)|
Wordfence Security is an essential plugin for any WordPress eCommerce website. It defends your site against hacks, sets up an extensive firewall and blacklists any malicious activity in real-time.
There is a free version that offers good protection, however, we recommend any dedicated eCommerce website shells out for premium—a hundred bucks is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
There you have it. The best WordPress eCommerce plugins plus a few extra tools to help take your site to the next level.
Keep in mind that it's important to always be looking out for ways to improve your site—that means both keeping an ear to the ground and seeing if any new tools pop up, and making sure your existing plugins are actually helping your site.
All that's left is to get your store up and running. Try Paperform's 14-day free trial to get started today—no credit card required.
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