When it comes to building an online store, WooCommerce is, hands down, the most popular e-commerce plugin for WordPress. But, you also have to keep in mind that just because WooCommerce might be the most popular plugin, that doesn’t mean it’s the best tool for every business owner… it just depends on the needs of the business owner.
No business owner is the same and neither are their needs, therefore WooCommerce might be the perfect solution for some business owners but other business owners need something else. With WooCommerce, you may have to display products and categories in various ways that you may not like… you may like your products displayed in a way that WooCommerce doesn’t offer. That difference in needs is the very reason why there are WooCommerce alternatives to better meet the needs of business owners.
The only answer to that particular question is simply, “Why not?” If one thing isn’t working for you, why shouldn’t there be any alternative options? Think of it like going to restaurants. There used to be a point in time where you had no choice but to eat what was on the menu… there were no “healthy” or “gluten-free” alternatives but because the demand for healthier and gluten-free alternatives became so high, the restaurant industry had no choice but to supply the demand.
That’s the exact same theory with WooCommerce. WooCommerce has tons of great features that are very beneficial for business owners but sometimes there are specific things a business owner is looking for that WooCommerce doesn’t offer, despite its numerous features… That lack of a specific feature can make any business owner say no to WooCommerce and look for an alternative that has the specific feature their business needs.
That particular business need could be anything, really… but if WooCommerce doesn’t have a solution for it, that’s when WooCommerce alternatives come in to save the day. Ultimately, these WooCommerce alternatives provide better solutions to meet those specific needs of a business. Let’s take a look at some WooCommerce alternatives that would be more suitable for your business
WPForms is a WordPress form builder plugin. What that means is that it’s not an e-commerce plugin that’s fully featured. You can’t use it for advanced processes like shipping or taxes but where WPForms shines is with payment integrations.
You can create simple payment forms with WPForms and they’re integrated for both Stripe and PayPal. It’s the simplest option when creating a simple order form to process credit card payments.
Shopify is its own fully hosted e-commerce platform that doesn’t require users to use WordPress in any way BUT Shopify does make an extension for WordPress… With Shopify’s extension on WordPress, users can utilize the WYSIWYG site builder and the e-commerce option as well.
With WordPress, you somewhat need to know some technical skills like software management and how to install updates… With Shopify, you can just start your online store with ease and without the frustration of needing to know certain technical skills… Shopify takes the guesswork out of building an online store.
Because Shopify is its own fully hosted e-commerce platform, you can imagine that it has some pretty great features. Some of it’s biggest features include discount codes, multi-channel integration, and, of course, the ability to sell an unlimited amount of products.
MemberPress is a membership plugin for WordPress. Business owners have the ability to sell paid memberships with different levels of subscriptions and multiple payment gateways. The biggest purpose of MemberPress is to help you sell and expand your business’ membership.
The ease and convenience that comes with MemberPress is the fact that if you’re wanting to create a membership site that only gives its members access to content, then MemberPress is the better option for you.
Realistically, you could go with WooCommerce to get this done but you’d have to go through the hassle of getting several different add-ons, making things extremely complicated when it doesn’t have to be. If you get MemberPress, you’ll get the same functionality you would have with all those add-ons, only with MemberPress, all those functionalities are built-in so there would be no hassle of multiple add-ons.
Unlike physical goods, Easy Digital Downloads is specifically made for selling virtual goods. Things like ebooks, software, and music are all virtual goods you can sell without the customer physically touching them.
Easy Digital Downloads is the better solution for business owners who only want to sell virtual goods only… it’s just easier to manage file downloads, manage the software licenses, and accept payments… it’s more of a one-stop-shop.
You technically can use WooCommerce for selling virtual goods as well but with WooCommerce, you’re going to be dealing with features you don’t need in addition to the features you do need. Being that you only want to sell virtual goods, you only need features for that. WooCommerce is going to give you features for virtual goods but it’s also going to bombard you with features for physical goods as well.
On top of that, you’re also going to need to get several different add-ons just to produce the same results as Easy Digital Downloads.
As you can see, there are quite a few WooCommerce alternatives for WordPress to meet the many needs of business owners. According to trends.builtwith.com, powers over 3.3 million websites and has an e-commerce market share of over 30%, so it’s no wonder why it’s been dubbed as the most popular plugin for WordPress!
But as you know, technology is constantly changing, which means that there is always going to be something that comes out that’s going to be better than something else. That’s when WooCommerce alternatives came into play… There are certain features that business owners need that WooCommerce just simply can’t provide without the use of several different plugins… that can make running an online business harder than it should be.
With WooCommerce alternatives, business owners at least have the option to see what else is out there, such as a restaurant website builder, to better meet the needs of their business.
This section gives a very brief overview of the requirements for e-commerce. However, it is important to understand that all of these are not necessarily required for all levels of e-commerce. Requirements widely vary with different kinds of e-commerce activities.
Telecommunication Infrastructure Requirements
This mostly entails bandwidth and security. The requirement for bandwidth varies widely from one e-commerce activity to another making it hard to generalize. Bandwidth usually becomes crucial for service-based B2B e-commerce as opposed to product-based one and high-traffic B2C e-commerce as opposed to low-traffic one. Two main components of security requirements for e-commerce are type of firewall and encryption/algorithm mechanism. This also varies widely from one e-commerce activity to the other. Ranging from protection against unwanted disclosure of client information to guarantee of reliable electronic payment. Security requirements are a crucial part of e-commerce.
Hardware Requirements for E-commerce
Hardware requirements for high-traffic sites may be dependent on the following issues: number of transactions per second; number of hits per second; number of queries per second; number of queries done by RDBMS per second; number of pages served per second involving all of the above parameters. Some other factors that need to be considered when setting up a high traffic e-commerce site include clustering i.e. use of backup servers which automatically takes over operations in case of failure of primary ones. Low-traffic sites can be easily served from a single machine depending on the needs of the business. Pentium II/III based Intel server running Linux can serve hundreds of unique customers each day.
Software Requirements for E-commerce
several software are available free on the Internet that can be used to build e-commerce exchanges. Some examples are Apache Web Server, Apache-Jserv Servlet Engine, Linux Operating System, mySQL database, postgresql etc. Many of these open source software may not be adequate for high-traffic sites.
Technical Skill Requirements
A systems administrator must have a good knowledge of computer hardware, must be able to maintain and upgrade hardware including hard drive, processor and motherboard. He/she must also have the skill to install and compile Apache, mySQL and Java servlet engine. A developer needs to be a high level programmer with a few years of experience in the industry and must possess a clear understanding of how an e-commerce system works. Understanding how information flows from one end of the system to another and what modifications take place in between is essential. Specific required skills include programming skills in C, PHP and Java and knowledge on SQL programming and data architecture
Payment procedures are the ways in which a seller can receive payment in return for the goods or services sold. Access to these services depends on the banking infrastructure in location of selling and customers’ locations. For full-fledged e-commerce transaction the banking infrastructure requirements should be as follows:
Dependable telecommunication network
Use of integrated banking software for back office and front office data processing
Use of WAN and Internet for banking operations
Availability of Electronic fund transfer System
Availability of Electronic Clearing System
Availability of Public Key based Encryption System
Availability of Credit Card System both for local and international payment
Availability of Foreign Exchange Remittance Mechanism over the Internet
Availability of Legal Infrastructure supporting online payment mechanism Interim Solution:
If local telecommunication services in a country do not allow for direct connection of a web site to secure payment facilities, and in particular to those offered by credit card companies, it may be possible to host a web site in a neighboring location that is capable of providing the necessary financial connections.
Legal and Policy Framework
In general, policies that ensure legal certainty, security and consumer protection for online transactions and interactions should be enacted. These include the resolution of issues such as transactional security, electronic contract enforceability and the authentication of individuals and documentation. The development of such an enabling environment has involved a joint focus of government and private sectors on: an efficient and sound financial system (including online payments, the use of electronic currency and foreign exchange liberalization), an efficient, inexpensive and reliable telecommunication system (including to long-distance market, competitive local exchange carriers, and high speed lines),legal mechanisms for the enforcement of contract law, consumer protection and defense of intellectual property rights, an efficient tax administration, and swift, transparent, and reliable customs operations. The following factors, often influenced by national policy, should be considered: Perceived political risk, Predictability of the legal environment, Soundness of economic and monetary policy, Openness to foreign direct investment, Convertibility of local currency, Restrictions on capital flows, Credit card usage, Credit card processing protocols, Access to credit, Entrepreneurial culture, Access to startup capital, Regulations and restrictions on small business.