The key to being successful with your store is that you absolutely have to make it as easy as possible for visitors to do business with you and having the right ecommerce tool for this is essential.
WordPress has come a long way since its early days as a blogging platform. Now website owners who use it are looking to do more and more with it, and there are some really great ecommerce plugins available now to help you build an online shop with WordPress.
Right Tool + Great Products = Awesome Sales
You have several options for ecommerce in WordPress, and this post covers a few of the best ones that are easy to use, and have been proven successful. All of these options integrate tightly with WordPress which is always a plus. Most of these solutions have a free version and then are upgradeable to a premium version for extended feature sets.
I love this one. I've used this on a few different sites, and it's pretty easy to work with. You create your own products via html and then you set up the checkout and payment through Foxy Cart by adding button code that is generated in Foxy Cart.
This one is extremely flexible with you having the capability of doing just about whatever you want with your products, while Foxy Cart handles the checkout. There is a plugin called FoxyPress that will tightly integrate Foxy Cart with your WordPress site. You don't need it though. You can use Foxy Cart without using the plugin.
This one comes with a monthly price tag of $15 which isn't bad, but it's completely hosted for you on their servers so you don't have to worry about SSL and the entire checkout process happens on their end.
This is another great solution for more traditional stores. WooCommerce is a highly flexible and customizable platform that can be used as a simple store with only a few products, or a bigger store that has a lot. We have a couple clients using this one and you can really do a lot here because it's highly extensible.
This one has a lot of the features that you're used to seeing in more robust e-commerce platforms with some really great marketing and promotional features. With multiple product types, inventory management, reporting and tax options, and shipping tools this one has enough to satisfy someone who needs the bells and whistles.
This is another popular one you should take a look at, and it's a free plugin. This is a mature, robust platform that has a ton of features. Simple to use admin interface, full-featured and easy to customize; this could just be the solution for you. Paypal and Authorize.net are both integrated and available as payment processors which could quite likely be all you need.
WP E-Commerce is a really solid tool for selling products through your WordPress site. Lots of flexible options are available right out of the box. There are lots of payment options and flexible shipping configurations, tons of features along with tight WordPress integration and it's SEO ready. This one has a basic free community version to get you started, and then there are multiple upgrade options to extend the functionality of your store.
The bizarre name is a hybrid word that means "ecommerce widgets", but don't let that deter you. This is an intriguing option that demands a look when it comes to your WordPress-based store. It's full featured, easy to use, and customizable which any good ecommerce plugin will be. Ther are some really interesting features here like being able to mirror your store to other sites and manage it all at once, and integrates with Facebook if you want to run your store there. It's feature rich with a nice free plan available and lots of room for scale.
The bottom line when it comes to finding the right solution for your shop is how many products you have and what kind of features you need. These solutions are probably best used in small to medium sized business situations where you don't need a lot of complex functionality that would typically be included in more robust platforms like Magento or Shopify.
Make sure you check out the showcase sites for each of those platforms so you can get an idea about how others are using them. You'll be impressed by what you can do for your WordPress store with each of those tools.
These options should be able to put you on the right track for getting your store going and give you strong backbone for growing your business.
Check out our website resources page for more great tools to help you with your site.