How a WordPress Shopping Cart Can Put an “Open” Sign on Your Web Site

Redcliffe small business- web site store closedAs a Redcliffe small business, are you giving your customers the chance to buy directly from your site? Or do you have a “CLOSED” sign up permanently?

Stats show that more and more Australians are buying online; in early 2011 approximately a quarter of Australian mobile users were shopping online with their mobile phone.

But Australia is also lagging behind the UK and the US in terms of local businesses using online stores, so if you have a product or service that can be purchased relatively easily online and you’re not taking advantage of this then it’s time to have a think about getting a online shopping cart. This will replace your “CLOSED” sign with an “OPEN” sign.

Just think – a shop that’s open 24 hours 7 days a week. It has to be worth considering doesn’t it? What a great feeling to wake up and start processing the orders that came in overnight over your first cup of coffee!

Well, ecommerce used to be the realm of the Internet “expert” – specialist knowledge was required to set up a shopping-enabled site and it usually came with a high price tag.

The good news is that the WordPress website platform, as with many web-based applications, makes life a lot easier and cheaper for businesses wanting to set up an online shop on their site nowadays.

They have a few options that integrate seamlessly with your existing WordPress web site and we look at some of the options below:

WP e-Commerce

This is a free WordPress Shopping Cart Plugin that lets you display your products, services and digital downloads in a storefront that allows your customers to buy.

You can process manual payments or payments via PayPal, with many other options available in the upgraded, Gold (paid) version.

This plug-in has been downloaded well over a million times worldwide and is one of the more popular, easy-to-install and use, free solutions for a small business. It allows some customisation and modification to its templates, but if you’re looking for a great, simple, works out-of-the-box solution for your online store then this will work for you.

Another great plus is that if you have any problems there is loads of online support for this program.

More information is available at the WordPress site.

WordPress Simple Paypal Shopping Cart

If you will only be accepting PayPal payments then WordPress also has a specific-plug in PayPal shopping cart.

This is the simplest of all the solutions, allowing you to add an ‘Add to Cart’ button on any blog posts or web pages. You can also display the shopping cart on any sidebar easily. It shows the user what they have in their cart and allows them to remove or add items. More information can be found here.

PHPurchase/Cart 66

Cart 66 is the new name for a popular WordPress plug in called PHPurchase. Cart 66 is much faster than its older cousin and allows recurring payments with PayPal.

This program is designed for web site owners who sell digital or physical products and need to collect recurring payments for subscriptions, memberships and payment plans. You can create promotions and build a complete membership site using this plug-in.

There is a free version but a single site license is only $89; you can find out more at the PHPurchase web site

WordPress Shopping Cart Plugin

The final plug in we will look at is the WordPress Shopping Cart Plugin; this is a paid program (around $55 for a single domain or $275 for unlimited domains.)

This is a slightly higher end solution than the free plug-ins described above; it allows you to customise your store a little more, using multiple products, more sophisticated categories and imaging to organize and showcase your products and featuring more payment methods.

If you have digital products you can also allow the user to securely download paid versions from your site with this plug-in.

We hope that the above information helps you along the way to putting up an “OPEN for business” sign on your web site!

Any Redcliffe small businesses or business owners in surrounding North Brisbane areas thinking about moving part of their sales handling or marketing to the web should get in contact with Redcliffe Marketing Labs. There are different strategies you can use and a shopping cart should really be implemented as part of an online marketing plan rather than just an adhoc patch to your business.