The developers at Tips & Tricks HQ put together a free plugin for WordPress that makes it very simple to add an “Add to Cart” buttons into blog posts and theme files. When clicked, the products are added to a PayPal shopping cart which can be displayed on the site very easily with shortcodes or PHP commands. They have since created a premium version of the plugin, called WP eStore, which significantly enhances the features of the simple PayPal shopping cart plugin.
Selling Products From A Self Hosted WordPress Based Store Easily
I have used the WP eStore plugin to sell both digital and physical products on a variety of different web sites (you get a multi-site licence with your purchase) The process is very simple. Even tying the plugin in with the affiliate software from the same company makes it simple to attract affiliates, and also pay “author fees” automatically.
The plugin is meant for self hosted WordPress installs and there is just a one time fee for its use. This solution will not work for those that require a hosted eCommerce solution or very advanced on-site shipping rules (although PayPal profile based shipping can be leveraged).
WP eStore takes the simplicity of WordPress and makes it easy to sell products and services, whether digital or physical. As expected from any such software, digital items are delivered securely without revealing the actual URL of the file (to prevent sharing and stealing).
Using simple shortcodes (or PHP commands in template files) you can create buttons to sell/download products. There are buttons that provide free downloads, subscriptions (requires membership software), buy now and add to cart options.
More Than Just PayPal As The Payment Processor
While the plugin was built upon using PayPal as the payment processor it is now more advanced. You can setup multiple payment gateways without the need to pay for new modules. They include: 2Checkout, Authorize.net, and even manual payments for local stores.
Payment processing is fast and efficient. It uses the express system where each gateway collects the personal information. In most cases the buyers will already have accounts at the gateways which streamlines the process and makes it so their personal and financial details don’t have to be entered on your web site.
Autoresponser Integration With AWeber And Other Newletter Companies
As we well know by now, a lot (if not all or most in some cases) of the money is made in the “list” right? Well, again as expected, the plugin will auto-sign customers up to your mailing lists.
Integration for newsletters is available for AWeber, GetResponse and MailChimp currently.
Extend The Functionality Of WP eStore For Free
Developers have created addons that are available for free to enhance the functionality of the plugin.
A couple exampes include: a receipt creator for printable PDF recipts, and the ability to create one time usage coupons for customers post-purchase.
Other Valuable Features
There are a whole slew of other features with WP eStore that you don’t always see in other eCommerce plugins.
Customers can save their cart to retrieve the contents later. Be sure to hit them up with some remarketing or retargeting through AdRoll (or Google, Simpli.fi, etc.) if they don’t come back in a timely manner. Sometime it’s good to remind them.
Also, to keep downloadable files more secure and to save on bandwidth costs it is nice to host files with Amazon. With Amazon S3 support native to the plugin, that option is there out of the box.
As mentioned, the cart software integrates seamlessly with the affiliate management and membership software by the same company.
Naturally, they use their own software to sell their software and attract/pay affiliates. And from experience, the support forums are valuable and queries have always been replied to in a timely manner.