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E-Commerce is gradually dominating the entire business scenario in all parts of the world. Many small and big online stores are built on wordpress platform with very easy to follow navigation options for the customers. The most important advantage of an online business is that it can function virtually by coordinating various business segments like manufactures, dealers, payment gateways, banks, postal services and courier services to sell a product or service to a large number of customers. A great part of the online business is now made easy with the introduction of full fledged shopping carts that help the customer to add product, make payments and keep a record of all transactions done online.

How Shopping Carts Work?

An online store can be set up either in conjunction with or separate from a physical store or a manufacturing location. A customer should be able to locate the product or service easily by navigating from the home page. Once the customer is satisfied with the product or service, it is placed in a shopping basket just similar to a store basket to purchase items physically. The shopping cart software automatically adds any additional products desired by the customer and proceeds to the check out page. The final price of the product is arrived by adding any taxes, customs duty, or providing any discounts and bonuses as the case may be. The next step is to make electronic payments using various payment options like credit cards, debit cards, paypal and other payment services. Nowadays many online stores provide the facility for cash on delivery meaning that there is no need of making advance payments.

Shopping Carts for WordPress: Everybody know that the plugins enhance the functionality of the wordpress sites considerably. Many easy to install plugins have been developed for wordpress to use them as shopping carts. Some of them are free to use but others require payment. Brief descriptions about the leading shopping carts for wordpress are provided below.

1. WP e-commerce: This is an easy to manage wordpress shopping cart plugin available as free to download. It is fully customizable with advanced payment options like PayPal, Google checkout and many others. The built in shipping calculator provides shipping rates charged by leading shippers. Higher payment options and more features are included in a gold version of this plugin.Many add-ons like product sliders and shipping modules make this shopping cart more user friendly. In this shopping cart there is no way to customize an invoice but it can be viewed via the web browser.

2. eShop: The e Shop plugin is another free program with rich features and many e-commerce functioinalities.It uses the existing wordpress framework with downloadable products and stock control. However it has limited payment options for transaction.

3.PHPurchase or Cart 66: This is a paid shopping cart plugin for wordpress.It comes with many options that are not available elsewhere. It has membership options, tax management by countries, multiple shopping, currency change options, custom email templates and it comes with WP affiliate platform integration. It has wide payment options besides the integration with Google analytics, zendesk, Spreedly and Gravity Forms. With this shopping cart, one can sell almost everything from physical products, digital downloads, music and e books. This shopping cart comes with Amazon S3 integration enabling the products to deliver fast.

4. Ecwid: This is free to use shopping cart for wordpress.The installation and maintenance of this plugin is very easy. However it uses Ajax that may affect search engine optimization. For using the site users must enable JavaScript.

The selection of a shopping cart greatly depends on needs. For small online stores WP e-commerce is still a better option. The paid program like cart 66 is a best tool for those online stores having different products with high business volume.


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