Finding the right shopping cart plugin for your WordPress eCommerce site can be a daunting task. After all, the wrong plugin can potentially increase cart abandonment rates and drive users away. What’s more, the large number of shopping cart plugins out there makes it even more difficult to find a suitable solution.
Thankfully, modern shopping cart solutions offer much more than just a way for customers to store their products while they continue browsing your store’s virtual aisles. You can also find a wealth of additional features, such as multiple payment gateways, the option to offer discounts, and sleek design options right out of the box.
In this post, we’ve rounded up five of the best free shopping cart plugins to help you deliver a better user experience to customers and boost sales. However, before we begin, let’s discuss what you should be looking for in a shopping cart plugin.
The Key Criteria for Selecting a Shopping Cart Plugin
WordPress shopping cart plugins enable online store owners to sell their products – both digital downloads and physical goods – through their website. While you’ll have your own specific requirements, there are a few fundamental features every good shopping cart plugin should have:
- Payment gateways. Support for the top payment gateways (such as PayPal or Stripe) is a must. They enable users to select their preferred payment method, which improves the chances of a successful transaction.
- An intuitive interface. A well-designed user interface that’s intuitive to use takes all the hassle out of completing the checkout process.
- Customizability. You’ll want your shopping cart plugin to fit in with your site’s existing design. The more customization options it has to offer, the better.
- Compatibility. Aside from the aesthetics, you’ll also need the shopping cart plugin to work smoothly with your current WordPress theme.
In the following section, we’ll run the rule over some of the best free shopping cart plugins WordPress has to offer. You’ll want to make sure that the solution you end up chooses matches with our criteria as closely as possible, without compromising on any additional features you may require.
5 of the Best Free Shopping Cart Plugins for Your eCommerce Site
It’s time to delve into our pick of five shopping cart plugins you’ll want to consider for your eCommerce site. Let’s start with an overwhelmingly popular choice.
WooCommerce is perhaps the most popular eCommerce plugin available for WordPress, enabling you to sell digital, physical, and affiliate products. In addition, you can also set either free or flat shipping rates on each purchase. WooCommerce also enables you to extend its functionality with a plethora of free and premium extensions encompassing all manner of additional features.
- Offers multiple payment gateways including PayPal, bank transfer, and cash on delivery.
- Enables the sale of both digital and physical goods.
- Supports real-time calculations.
- Integrates seamlessly with virtually any service.
Getting started with WooCommerce is incredibly easy – once you install the plugin, it’ll walk you through its ‘onboarding wizard’ to help you set up your online store.
2. eCommerce Shopping Cart
WP EasyCart’s eCommerce Shopping Cart plugin integrates flawlessly with both new or existing WordPress sites. It enables the sale of digital downloads, physical goods, and even gift cards. The plugin comes with a number of built-in marketing tools (such as coupons) to help you with your sales campaigns. What’s more, it also offers built-in analytics to enable you to monitor your sales metrics.
- Supports all of the major payment gateways including PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.Net, FirstData, and more.
- Includes marketing and promotional tools out of the box.
- Offers tiered pricing, featured products, and B2B pricing.
- Packs in powerful analytics functionality.
Setting up the eCommerce Shopping Cart plugin requires you to configure three pages worth of options for the store, cart, and customer account areas. To help, the developers have put together a library of video tutorials to get you up and running.
3. Ecwid eCommerce Shopping Cart
Used by over a million sellers across the globe, Ecwid Ecommerce Shopping Cart supports more than 40 payment gateways and 45 different languages out of the box. In addition, this plugin stores all of your data on the cloud, keeping it safe and offering unlimited storage in addition to automated backups and upgrades.
- Offers iOS and Android apps enabling you to turn your device into a Point Of Sale (POS) system.
- Supports over 40 payment gateways and translates into 45 different languages.
- Provides a secure HTTPS checkout to all customers.
- Enables you to store your data in the cloud with unlimited storage space.
Once you’ve installed and activated Ecwid Ecommerce Shopping Cart, simply follow the instructions displayed on your WordPress dashboard to configure its settings. Ecwid’s main site also has a large collection of resources to help you get started with selling your products.
4. Easy Digital Downloads
If you’re looking for a shopping cart plugin that centers around the sale of digital goods exclusively, Easy Digital Downloads could be ideal. The plugin doesn’t charge you transaction fees on sales, making it an enticing choice for those selling only digital downloads. The core plugin is free, although there are plenty of premium extensions available for purchase.
- Comes with test payments functionality out of the box.
- Enables you to enable re-downloading of digital files.
- Supports a robust promotional code system.
- Offers support for popular payment gateways, and enables the addition of others through extensions.
Easy Digital Downloads is incredibly developer friendly. It offers a myriad of actions and filters, enabling you to extend its core functionality through a familiar process. Overall, getting your store up and running with this plugin is a breeze – there’s even a video tutorial to guide you.
5. WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart
The WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart plugin does exactly what its name suggests. It offers a simple shopping cart plugin that enables you to sell your products and accept payment through PayPal. This easy to use plugin slots right into almost any post, page, or sidebar on your site, and also offers the ability to offer discount codes to customers.
- Enables users to display an Add to Cart button for products on almost any page or post.
- Displays the current contents of the shopping cart, and enables customers to change the quantity or remove items.
- Supports the sale of digital downloads, physical goods, and services.
- Offers built-in discount coupon functionality.
A plus point of WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart is its lightweight design that’s easy for easy to customize. There are also a series of video tutorials to help you get up and running.
Your online store’s success largely depends on the user experience it delivers, and your shopping cart will influence it tremendously. A well-designed cart that integrates seamlessly with your existing design has a number of benefits, including a reduction in your cart abandonment rates.
In this piece, we’ve listed some of the best free shopping cart plugins available, each with their own unique features. Let’s quickly recap them:
- WooCommerce. If you’re looking for a hassle-free shopping cart solution with good functionality, this plugin is your best bet.
- eCommerce Shopping Cart. Offers built-in promotional tools without having to install third-party plugins.
- Ecwid ECommerce Shopping Cart. This plugin stores all of your data on the cloud, offering unlimited storage space and automated backups.
- Easy Digital Downloads. A great choice for selling digital products only, with no transaction fees levied.
- WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart. Ideal if you’re looking for a lightweight shopping cart option.
Do you have any important criteria for choosing an eCommerce plugin? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.
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