In Australia particularly, the move to people buying Online is growing at a massive rate. This is due to the often lower cost of buying Online. The barriers to entry also for people wanting to sell Online are generally very low; if you want to sell pet food Online for example, you don’t need near the capital investment required to setup a pet shop. There are also numerous ways that someone may sell goods Online with the most popular being specialist Sites such as Ebay (great for tangible goods) and Clickbank (best for intangible goods) as well as Websites setup specifically for an individual or business to sell Online (these are often called ‘Shopping Cart’ Websites).
WordPress for Shopping Carts
As the cost and complexity of selling on Ebay (and similar Sites) has risen and setting up one’s own shopping cart Site has seen massive price decreases and the ease of management become far simpler, so WordPress has become the popular choice for small businesses and individuals wanting to sell Online. WordPress Websites are well known for their ease of use, reliability and low cost of ownership and fortunately setting up an Online shop on WordPress doesn’t change these reasons that make WordPress power more Websites than any other software.
Costs of Setting up an Online Store with WordPress
It isn’t necessary to setup a specific WordPress Website for selling Online; it is usually possible to add a Shopping Cart to an existing WordPress powered Website. The range of options for selling Online varies greatly; some people may require a membership Site where people only have access to certain paid content whilst others may have hundreds of products to sell and some may have only a single product. Pricing the setup of an Online Store is therefore dependant on the individual circumstances of the seller.
How do Shopping Carts Work?
Let’s assume that you are going to sell pet food Online. There are many options available for selling Online however here is the typical process of an Online store:
- The product description, image, price and quantity are entered by the seller into the product catalogue. The product is now available for sale on the sellers Website.
- The buyer adds the product to their shopping cart and shipping costs are automatically added via integration with Fedex, Australia Post or another shipping/courier company.
- The customer pays for the product via Credit Card or Paypal and enters their shipping address.
- Depending on the payment solution, the buyer may have the funds immediately available minus a percentage of the selling price that the payment solution keeps as a fee.
- An invoice and/or receipt is sent to the buyer automatically.
- The seller is notified via email or other means of the sale and the shipping address.
As can be seen, much of the sales process is automated. The degree and sophistication of automation (as well as other requirements) determines the Shopping Cart Plugin or service that is configured and implemented for the seller.
How Complex are Shopping Carts for sellers to Manage?
Answering this question depends on the requirements of the seller and the shopping cart solution implemented (I usually install Shopp, WP e-commerce or E-junkie for the WordPress Online Stores I setup). If enough thought and effort has gone into the setup of the Shopping Cart on the sellers Website then the ongoing effort required by the seller won’t be substantial.
I hope that this article has given you a better understanding of WordPress Shopping Carts. The cost of implementing a Shopping Cart is low and the effort required by sellers in managing their Online store is far less than it was a few years back. This means that individuals and small businesses are succeeding in taking away business from large retailers who no longer have a technological advantage in regards to Online shops.