E-commerce For WordPress.com

Did you see the article on the WordPress blog that if you are a WordPress business user you can now open a store selling products from your site.

It costs $299.00 per year to be a WordPress business user.

For that you get unlimited bandwidth and storage, your own domain name and mapping, no advertisements messing up the look of your site (oh how we all want that), any of the premium themes that are on WordPress now and any they introduce in the future, plus of course, custom CSS design if you want.

And with e-commerce from Ecwid, Shopify, and Shoplocket you can sell products.

Let’s get to it. Oh, hang on a moment. What does the ecommerce part of the deal cost?

What does Ecwid cost?

10 products – free
100 products – $15.00 per month
2500 products – $30.00 per month

What does Shopify cost?

Basic (Unlimited bandwidth, Unlimited products, 1 GB File storage, 2.0% Transaction fee, Discount code engine) – $29.00 per month
Professional (Unlimited bandwidth, Unlimited products, 5GB File storage, 1.0% Transaction fee, Discount code engine, Gift cards, Abandoned cart recovery, Professional reports) – $79.00 per month.

What does ShopLocket cost?

2.5% per transaction – $0.00 per month
No transaction fees – $99.00 per month

The no monthly fee ShopLocket option looks to be pretty good. But if I were serious about one of these choices I would want to know a lot more. Here are just some of the questions I can think of off the top of my head:

  • Which of these e-commerce options have payment gateways that I can use? For example, I know Stripe is available in the US and the UK. What if I am located elsewhere?
  • Do any of them offer separate pricing for trade buyers (B2B) as opposed to sales direct to consumers (B2C)?
  • Can different shipping costs be set up for customers in different countries?
  • Do they offer stock control that flags up low stock or out of stock items to customers?
  • Is there a way for customers to indicate that they would buy if the product was in stock?
  • Etc.

Of course, you can sign up to Ecwid, Shopify, and Shoplocket from your own self-hosted WordPress site if you want, so the offer is not something that only WordPress.com users can take up.

So is it worth it to pay $299.00 per year to run such a store on WordPress.com?

In my opinion it is a great option if you want to set up a ‘serious’ shop selling more than just a few products.

That’s because with the WordPress business user package you get

  • Live user support
  • Unlimited bandwidth and storage space
  • Almost no development costs needed to be able to run sophisticated e-commerce products
  • The backing of WordPress for security oversight and backups
  • A company that is not likely to hike its prices unreasonably or to go out of business
  • A company with a big development team constantly improving its systems in response to changing customer demands

Reasons Not To Choose This Option

The biggest reason I can think of is that you might want some feature that is not available with any of the e-commerce packages.

That is, you need something that only a custom-built or a different e-commerce package can offer.

Apart from that, I think this is a winning idea and should do very well.

I bet it makes inroads into the territory occupied by Magento Go, BigCommerce, and other SAAS (software as a service) offerings.

4 thoughts on “E-commerce For WordPress.com

    1. Yes, for the average user. But to get a good ecommerce shop up and running and with someone to handhold through the setting up, I think it is good value. For example, MagentoGo is an option. The UK site is quoting £9.99 for 100 products and £19.99 per month for 500 products, and there are far fewer theme options, so stores risk looking generic – not horrible, but just less ability to individualise than with WP.

      Like

      1. I don’t know how much handholding one will get from WordPress.com since all the Support docs shuffle you off to the various e-commerce partners support forums. But then I’m not a business user and don’t have access to live chat. 🙂

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s