There’s no shadow of a doubt that e-commerce has grown enormously in the last decade, making life more convenient for consumers and opening up all kinds of new opportunities for businesses. In this in-depth article, we’re going to talk about e-commerce from a big picture perspective and then dive down into all of the details for setting up and running an e-commerce site with WordPress and Joomla CMS.
What is E-Commerce?
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years, you have probably heard about e-commerce. Simply put, the word e-commerce refers to the buying or selling of goods and services electronically through web-enabled transactions (this means the transaction happened on a website). On the one hand, e-commerce seems identical to physical retail that has been around for centuries. On the other, the fact that it operates digitally introduces some unique business elements that are going to be discussed below.
An Overview of How E-Commerce Works
In its most basic form e-commerce works as follows:
- Consumers choose a product or service on a website.
- Consumers pay electronically on the website (online credit card transactions) or using a third-party payment provider such as PayPal.
- The business owner or merchant receives the order and payment and the order is fulfilled (delivered by post, booked in for services etc.).
WordPress + WooCommerce = Success?
Despite the fact that WordPress CMS originally began as a blogging platform, over the years, it has evolved into an extremely powerful and feature-rich software package capable to power any type of website, including an e-commerce website. However, WordPress as an e-commerce platform isn’t a good fit for everyone. Here’s a brief rundown of reasons it would be a good fit for those willing to:
- have full control over their website,
- easily build out other aspects of their site that aren’t e-commerce (blog, pages, etc.),
- start small and build out their site as they grow,
- provide not so much complicated payment processing system (i.e. PayPal, Amazon or Google Wallet).
There are a lot of plugin options to turn your WordPress site into an e-commerce site, but by far and away the most popular and trusted is WooCommerce by WooThemes. In short, WooCommerce is a free, open-source e-commerce plugin that allows selling products through the WordPress site. What else confirms its popularity than the fact that it has already been downloaded more than 3.2 million times!
Should You Use WooCommerce?
If WordPress e-commerce site-building is on the horizon – WooCommerce should definitely be high on your consideration list. The plugin is easy-to-use, keeps you updated on incoming sales, helps you manage inventory, and can be easily customized. Providing advanced store management for physical and digital products, it has enough functionality and versatility to be a solid long-term choice for an e-commerce plugin.
As Joomla has skyrocketed in popularity, more and more users are willing to deploy an online business on the basis of their Joomla web projects. Therefore, extensions available for e-commerce have also seen phenomenal growth and maturation over the past years. When it comes to e-commerce for Joomla, VirtueMart springs to mind first.
For those unaware, VirtueMart is on a long journey over the last 10 years, being recognized as the grandfather of Joomla e-commerce. It is one of the most purposeful e-commerce web solutions that can be integrated with Joomla CMS to offer a perfect online shopping environment. E-commerce website development using VirtueMart can be of immense advantage to your business due to the number described below.
Joomla + VirtueMart Advantages
To be specific, the largest benefit of using Virtuemart is the ability to control the store, products, settings and user lists from directly within Joomla. It becomes a part of Joomla once installed, so many of the features of Joomla integrate directly into the store. Beyond that, the product and category setups are fairly easy to use, it supports a large number of shipping, payment and checkout options that are also fairly simple to configure. Once set up, there are many options for displaying your products, offering coupons, and other features you would expect from any shopping cart software.
Should You Use VirtueMart for Joomla?
Overall, if you are planning to build a small to medium size store – VirtueMart is one of the first options to be evaluated. Its integration with Joomla offers many possibilities with store layout and setup. Its overall product management features are about as simple as it gets.
WordPress is not e-commerce out of the box, neither is Joomla. However, with the help of the aforementioned e-commerce extensions, it is quite possible to deploy a full-blown online store.
P.S. If you find yourself facing a big problem of dissatisfaction with your current CMS solution (e.g. WordPress, Joomla, etc.) – aisite automated migration service is exactly what you need to make a switch to a more appropriate one. Even if you are not 100% sure about the migration, we offer you to run a free demo migration and see how the transfer will work for your particular website.
In case products transferring across shopping carts is of concern (e.g. WooCommerce, VirtueMart, etc.) – Cart2Cart automated shopping cart migration service will definitely come in handy.
Don’t waste a single minute, let the success come right now!