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How to Choose the Right WordPress Shopping Cart

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There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” shopping cart for WordPress. In this seminar we discuss all of the things you need to consider before you choose the shopping cart to sell your products. We start off by discussing your various options and then provide you with a detailed checklist. From there we do a detailed comparison of 5 WordPress shopping cart plugins using a checklist to help you decide which one is right for you.

Various ways to sell stuff online

  • With a PayPal buy now button on a page on your site
  • With a plugin on your site
  • With an entirely separate system that sits on a subdomain of your site
  • With a hosted system embedded in your site
  • With a hosted system separate from your site
  • With an eCommerce ecosystem separate from your site

Advantages of Using WordPress to sell your products

  • It is inexpensive
    • No monthly fees
    • No % of sale
    • Plugins are cheap
  • Relatively easy DIY
    • Solution can match the condition – no need to learn a complex system to do something simple
    • Intended for regular users – not programmers
    • Simple mechanisms for customizing
    • Good learning resources
  • Maintain control
    • Not dependent on the vendor raising prices or going out of business
    • Don’t risk vendor shutting down your store
    • Full control over the look and feel of the site
  • WordPress is everywhere
    • lots of support
    • lots of innovation
    • easy to find consultants
  • Highly customizable
    • Easy access to styles
    • Most plugins have some style options
    • Most plugins will allow custom templates
    • Many plugins have APIs that allow a programmer to extend them
  • Many “off the shelf” solutions

Disadvantages of using WordPress to sell your products

  • Things are always changing
  • Routine compatibility issues
    • Plugin to theme
    • Plugin to plugin
    • Plugin to host
  • Not “Set it and forget it” solution
  • Manage and figure out complex things
    • SSL
    • Testing
    • Shipping
    • Taxes
  • Need to be a hands on type of person

Types of Ecommerce Sites

  • Sites can be classified by what they sell
    • Digital download
    • Physical products
    • Intangible/virtual products
      • Memberships/subscriptions
      • Deposits
      • Reservations
      • Tickets/vouchers
      • Serial numbers/license keys
      • Donations
  • Sites can be classified by their size and organization
    • Simple sites with few products – does not require a product catalog
      • 1 – 10 products
      • No product categories
      • Browse products only, no sorting or searching
      • Typically won’t use the plugin to display the product, only to process the transaction
    • Larger sites with many products – requiring a product catalog
      • 11 – 100 products
      • Use product categories and or tags
      • Uses catalog pages based on category
      • May include sorting products and product searches
    • Very large sites requiring multifaceted product catalog
      • 100+ products
      • Uses product categories and subcategories
      • Uses “department” pages to display categories first
      • Uses sorting of catalog pages
      • May include drill down by attribute
  • Need to match the plugin’s capabilities with stores need
    • The products it can sell
    • The way it can display them

Criteria for Choosing an eCommerce Plugin for WordPress

  • 6 types of criteria
    • Product definition criteria
    • Product display criteria
    • Order processing criteria
    • Order fulfillment criteria
    • Marketing
    • Customer Management
  • Product definition criteria
    • Types of products
      • Digital download
      • Physical
      • Serial Numbers/license keys
      • Subscriptions
      • Donations
      • Other intangible
    • Product variations
      • That affect price
      • That affect inventory
      • That affect shipping cost
      • That can include both physical and digital
    • Product attributes
    • Short description/excerpt
    • Product images & image management
    • Buyer input
    • Free products
  • Product display criteria
    • Catalog page – display by product categories & sub categories
    • Catalog page – display by product tags & custom taxonomies
    • Sort products on catalog page by
      • Price
      • Popularity
      • Recency
      • Ratings
    • Narrow product results by attributes
    • Catalog page display style
      • Product Grid
      • Product List
    • Can the purchase be made directly from the catalog page
    • Is a product page automatically created?
    • Product image display
    • Related Products display
    • Featured Products
    • Digital previews
    • Multi lingual support

Order Processing & Fulfillment Criteria

  • Payment Gateways supported
    • The big ones
      • PayPal standard
      • PayPal Pro
      • Authorize.net
    • Major players
      • Google Checkout
      • 2Checkout
      • Amazon Payments
    • Others
      • Woo lists 150 different gateways
  • Order processing criteria
    • Shopping Cart or Buy Now
    • Out of stock items
    • Shipping calculated onsite
    • Taxes calculated onsite
    • Number of steps in the order process
  • Order Fulfillment Criteria
    • Digital Products
      • Amazon S3 or other CDN support
      • Encrypted expiring links
      • Automatic delivery via email
      • Automatic redirection to download
      • Individual files of bundled products
      • Pay per view
      • PDF security stamp
    • Intangible Products
      • Subscription management
    • Physical Products
      • Manual status codes in the dashboard
      • Automatic status codes in the dashboard
      • Automatic emails
      • Automatic email follow ups
      • Detailed fulfillment management
      • Shipping label handling
      • Types of shipping supported
        • Free shipping
        • Flat rate shipping
        • Tiered rate shipping
        • Integration with shipping services
          • USPS
          • UPS
          • Fedex
          • Canada Post
          • Royal Mail
          • DHL
    • Inventory controls
      • Variations
      • Bundled Products
      • Inventory Reports
      • Inventory Alerts
    • Customer product input
      • Text input
      • File upload

Marketing & Customer Management Criteria

  • Marketing Criteria
    • Integration with email marketing services
      • AWeber
      • MailChimp
      • Constant Contact
      • Get Response
    • Sell products from within emails with HTML links
    • Product bundles
      • Combined physical & digital bundles
      • Bundles that affect shipping costs
      • Bundles that affect inventory
    • Coupons/Promotions
      • Coupon codes
      • Automatic discounts
    • Social Networking Integration
      • Insert the product image when sharing with facebook, pinterest
      • Automatically includes sharing buttons on product pages
    • Product Reviews
      • Automatically include reviews
      • customer only reviews
      • moderated reviews
    • Integration with Affiliate marketing system
    • Google Analytics integration
  • Customer Management Criteria
    • Allow customer account creation
      • Save shipping info
      • Display all purchase history
      • Display product download links
      • Creates a WordPress user
    • Require customer account to purchase
    • Retain abandoned/expired shopping cart information via a cookie

Session 1 Q&A

WordPress Shopping Cart Plugins (eCommerce Plugins)

  • Compare 5 plugins
  • General Characterizations
    • By content type
    • By exstenability
    • By theme compatibility
    • By order fulfillment

Overview of WP eStore

  • Intro
  • Paid plugin by tips and ticks hq
  • Cost $49
    • 1 year of support
    • Unlimited sites
  • Extensions
    • Free extensions
    • 1 paid extension – for other payment Gateways
  • Excels at digital products – it is designed for this.
  • Widest range of functionality
  • Highest digital security
  • Large ecosystem
    • Affiliate
    • Membership
    • PDF stamper
  • Biggest Weakness
    • shipping
    • taxes

Overview of MarketPress

  • Intro
    • Paid plugin by MPMU Dev
      • 19.95 per month
      • Unlimited sites
    • Extensions
      • My extensions
  • Best for simple physical products
  • Built in integration for more payment gateways & shipping systems
  • Large ecosystem
  • Biggest weakness
    • Product variations
    • Product bundles

Overview of WooCommerce

  • Intro
    • Free plugin by WooThemes
    • Cost 0
      • 1 year of support – with paid extensions only
      • Unlimited sites
    • Extensions
      • Free extensions
      • Paid extension
  • VERY full featured.
  • Large ecosystem of themes and extensions
  • Biggest Weakness
    • Limited digital security
    • Highest cost

Overview of Shopp

  • Intro
    • Paid plugin by shopplugin.net
    • Cost $55 per site
      • 1 year of support for each paid site
      • Unlimited sites
    • Extensions
      • Free extensions – none
      • Paid extensions
  • VERY full featured.
  • VERY customizable
  • Biggest Weakness
    • Bugs

Overview of Cart66

  • Intro
    • Paid plugin by Cart66
    • Cost $89 per year
      • 1 year of support
      • 1 site
    • Extensions
      • None
  • Very Easy to set up
  • VERY limited features
  • No ecosystem
  • Biggest Weakness
    • limited feature set
    • variations
    • bundles

Choosing the Right Shopping Cart – Start with a Plan

  • Type of store
    • Small store that sells only digital products
    • Small store that only sells physical products
    • Small store that sells both digital and physical products
    • Large store that sells only digital products
    • Large store that only sells physical products
    • Large store that sells both digital and physical products
  • Product Definitions
    • Types of products
    • Role of variations
    • Customer input
  • Product Display
    • Product catalog
    • Individual products
  • Order Processing
    • Buy now buttons?
    • Inventory control
    • Shipping
    • Taxes
  • Order fulfillment criteria
    • Digital products
      • Security?
    • Subscriptions
    • Physical products
      • Detailed fulfillment management
      • Shipping methods
      • Customer input
  • Marketing
    • Integration with Autoresponders
    • Sell products from emails
    • Social networking integration
    • Product reviews
  • Customer Management
    • Customer accounts

Compare Your Criteria with the Plugin’s Capabilities

  • Download the checklist & the plugin comparison
  • Fill out the checklist
  • Compare
  • Verify the most important things

Choosing a Plugin for a Sample Project

  • General Description
  • Fill out the plan
  • Fill out the checklist
  • Compare the 5 WordPress Shopping Cart Plugins

Session 2 Q&A

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