WordPress, with its extensive environment of plugins and themes, is a viable platform for small e-commerce shops. WordPress is an ideal choice for small businesses even though it wasn’t created as an e-commerce platform.
Although there are plenty of reasons why WordPress is a practical starting place for your e-commerce needs, the following 5 reasons will single out the platform as the top choice for small businesses.
Why WordPress Works as an E-Commerce Solution for Small Businesses
- WordPress is booming
- WooCommerce integrations are supremely valuable
- Plugins and themes make you more versatile
- It’s the most cost-efficient option
- Customize your online presence easily
1. Business (and WordPress) Is Booming
Consumers are moving their shopping online in almost all aspects of life.
The grocery sector, for instance, will grow to $19.89 billion in the United States in 2019, the fastest-growing product category online. E-Commerce, all around, is expanding, and any business can get a piece of the action. Getting an e-commerce store off the ground with a small budget and in a short timeframe is not impossible.
Similar to the boom of e-commerce, WordPress has quickly grown from an easy-to-use publishing platform to one of the most popular content management systems available. With a 60% market share, WordPress powers 34% of all websites on the internet.
WordPress is also free, leading to a constantly growing number of total downloads.
If you check out the real-time counter, it can be staggering to watch the downloads continue to roll in.
There are no perfect e-commerce solutions, but WordPress can serve as a reliable option in the right situation. The following 4 reasons will discuss how you can use WordPress to run an effective e-commerce store for your small business.
2. WooCommerce Integrations Can Work Wonders
When we talk about WordPress and e-commerce, we’re actually talking about WooCommerce—the most popular e-commerce plugin on the market today.
The WooCommerce homepage highlights its features—notably, how customizable the platform is.
Like WordPress, WooCommerce is also free, making it a convenient payment integration.
Many WordPress users have been swayed by WooCommerce’s options, evidenced by the fact that approximately 15% of all such websites use WooCommerce. Further, WooCommerce is used by 22% of the internet’s top one million websites.
WooCommerce has no shortage of fans, but for the purposes of this list, it’s worth noting that this plugin can enhance any WordPress site.
With WooCommerce, small businesses can turn their existing website into an online store with little effort and financial investment when compared to building one from the ground up.
3. There’s No Shortage of Plugin or Theme Options
Speaking of plugins beyond WooCommerce, WordPress has a plethora of plugins for just about everything you may need.
WordPress currently offers more than 55,000 plugins, giving rise to the idiom of “There’s a plugin for that.”
From contact forms to anti-spam filters and photo galleries, WordPress plugins can be immensely helpful to all sorts of businesses with e-commerce ambitions.
In essence, plugins give users a certain functionality or tool that doesn’t need to be built from scratch.
Further, themes shape the way your website looks and feels.
For an e-commerce shop, these two factors weigh heavily on how users understand and interact with your website—or, more explicitly, how they search for and buy products. A cluttered look will instantly turn visitors away.
Selecting the right WordPress e-commerce theme can be overwhelming given how many there are, but they will all give your business a user interface you can customize to your liking.
These ancillary features are also easily interchangeable, so you don’t have to settle for existing themes or plugins if you decide to move the business in a different direction.
4. WordPress Makes Every Dollar Count
It bears repeating that WordPress and WooCommerce are free and require no monthly fees.
You will have to pay for hosting services and various plugins or themes if you deem them necessary, but there are no recurring monthly fees for the platform itself.
Other e-commerce platforms, however, have fixed fees and fees depending on the volume of sales.
WordPress has no equal when considering the cost of use. No other platform is as cost-effective for small businesses with tight budgets.
5. Open-Sourced Software Allows For Endless (And Critical) Customizations
You will likely have to manage your online store yourself once you launch it.
A website’s ease of use is the difference between spending a few hours making edits or spending a few days trying to learn how to make edits. It is critical to select a platform you are comfortable working with if you don’t have the capital to hire somebody to maintain the site for you.
WordPress was specifically designed for users without an extensive technological background, and the same is true for its e-commerce offerings. You can publish a blog post, add a product, or review your sales without any headaches.
This is possible because WordPress is open-sourced software, which offers users far more flexibility when compared to proprietary software.
Apart from the plugins and themes we’ve already discussed, you can add new features like a personal cart, direct checkout, a product comparison tool, or the ability to search for a certain product with Relevanssi. All of these create an individualized e-commerce store, not just on the user experience front, but for the company managing the store as well.
Not only is it critical to customize your site so that you can use it and your customers will like it, but it also has to be unique enough to stand out in a crowd. Creating an e-commerce website is one thing, but bringing people in to buy your products is another.
It can be difficult for smaller businesses to separate themselves in an e-commerce landscape, but that’s where SEO tools and the right presentation of content can play a big role. WordPress has several types of marketing tools and plugins that can make your life easier and give you an advantage.
Getting your e-commerce store to stand out and attract customers can be a make-or-break endeavor for your company. Using WordPress can set you up nicely if you have your content optimized and displayed appropriately.
WordPress Can Help You Grow
Very few platforms are as convenient and cost-efficient as WordPress for small businesses to launch an e-commerce store and continue to scale.
From our experience, with proper hosting, WordPress can manage between 10,000–20,000 products and about 20,000 monthly visitors. Over time, if your store manages to cross the threshold that WordPress can handle, you can set your sights on another platform.
Small businesses should recognize all that WordPress can offer instead of starting with a more robust provider. It’s better to walk before you run in this case.
WordPress and its competitors are each useful at specific times in the lifecycle of your business. For those with small e-commerce stores, WordPress simply works the best.