Top e-Commerce Shipping Plugins for WordPress and MarketPress
If you’ve ever dabbled in e-commerce, you already know just how many things you need to take into account. There’s developing a product—or at least finding one to sell. There’s managing an inventory. There’s dealing with marketing and advertising. There’s even multiple payment gateways to consider. But you also have to think about how to handle shipping.
It’s funny that shipping is often left as an afterthought, especially considering this is the factor that determines how your products will arrive to your customers. It’s kind of important!
In any case, like with most things WordPress-related, you can easily solve all of your shipping dilemmas using a plugin. Here we’ll discuss some of the very best shipping plugins currently available and how they can be integrated into your site in order to maximize the shipping and delivery options you can present to your customers.
Total E-Commerce Solutions
Shipping is just one part of the whole e-commerce puzzle. But since it’s so important, it’s often rolled into the broader e-commerce plugins and services available for WordPress. Which makes sense. Might as well keep everything under the same roof, right?
Because of this, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least spend a little time talking about a few of the major e-commerce solutions currently available.
An obvious choice, eh? But our very own MarketPress totally deserves a spot on this list because it offers the complete package for e-commerce. In supports all the major payment gateways and gives you the ability to manage every aspect of running your business from inventory to distribution thanks to plenty of customization options.
Speaking of, it comes with custom shipping so you can select precisely what works best for your business and your customers. And instead of being powered by add-ons, MarketPress includes all the features you need in one package, right upfront.
Additional features include support for major currencies, coupons and discounts, compatibility with affiliates, Google Universal Analytics eCommerce tracking, sales pricing, an AJAX cart, shortcodes, external links, customizable URLs, the ability to sell tangible and digital products, and compatibility with the majority of WordPress themes currently out there. Oh, and it works with BuddyPress and multisite, too. Score!
MarketPress is free but there is a Pro version available that adds many more features. It’s available for $19/month standalone or $24.95/month for the plugin and a WPMU membership.
WooCommerce is another popular e-commerce option that includes many features that make turning any WordPress site into an online store simple. The basic plugin is free and comes with store management tools, reports, security features, marketing, promotions, coupons, tax options, shipping options, and SEO.
If you’re willing to shell out a few bucks, there are some extensions available, too, that offer a broader range of features including subscriptions, table rate shipping, payment gateway fees, product documentation, returns, warranties, product add-ons, PDF invoices, and products of the day, to name just a few. These extensions range in price greatly, from about $50 all the way up to $249.
Still another choice is WP e-Commerce, which is a free plugin that establishes an online store on your site in just a few clicks. It works for physical products, services, and downloads, and includes coupons, discounts, free shipping options, widgets for highlighting new products, search engine optimization, shipping rate calculators, multiple payment gateways, and customization options.
Should you choose to upgrade to the pro version, you tack on additional features thanks to premium plugins. For instance, there’s the Gold Cart Plugin, which adds multiple product images and live search, and Members & Subscriptions, which allows for product subscriptions.
These add-ons vary in price but typically hover around $99.
The last overarching e-commerce solution I’m going to talk about here is Orilla Cart. This plugin is super simple but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in features. Some of its offerings include compatibility with the majority of WordPress themes, support for PayPal, Check, Bank Transfer, and Cash on Delivery payment methods, tax groups, table rate shipping, a product stock manager, attributes, product variations, digital products, offline orders, and more.
There are several other payment and shipping plugins available for Orilla Cart as well, including 2Checkout, Skrill, PayPal PRO, and FedEx. This plugin is also open-source and totally free.
Shipping for MarketPress
Okay, since MarketPress is sort of our thing around here, I thought it would be beneficial to offer up some shipping plugins exclusively for that platform, too. I mean, sure, you can use plain WordPress to build an e-commerce site. But WordPress + MarketPress = magic. And a few savvy developers out there have created interesting shipping plugins that work with both and are definitely worth checking out. So that’s precisely what we’re going to do!
The Free-ship plugin lets you take more control over your online store’s shipping options. The free version of MarketPress comes with table rate shipping. If this isn’t suitable to your store’s needs (you sell a lot of items of varying weights and don’t want to deal with weight-based shipping or item-based shipping) then you might need something else.
This plugin gives you the option to set free shipping on certain items. For instance, if you sell collectible figurines and holiday cards, you might want to set the cards as free shipping, since they are very lightweight and won’t really add to the weight of a total order. You can also use it to set up promotional free shipping.
This nifty little plugin is free.
The SecureSubmit MarketPress eCommerce Payment Gateway is actually an extension for MarketPress that lets customers use the Heartland Payment Systems Gateway. It works by “tokenizing” credit card data using the Heartland SecureSubmit system, which then ensures all transactions, including your shipping details, remain secure.
If you’re extra concerned about security and want to try something outside of the usual biggies, this is a good one to check out.
Anticipate having a lot of customers from Australia making purchases from your store? Then it’s a good idea to check out MarketPress Australia Post. This free plugin makes it super simple to ship your goods within Australia thanks to built-in shipping rates. It does this using the Australia Posts Shipping API.
It supports multiple AUS services including AUS Parcel Regular, Parcel Post Plus 500G Satchel, AUS Parcel Express, AUS Parcel Courier, and more.
A plugin you might not have heard of, but offers plenty of e-commerce support, is PayFast. This plugin adds a payment gateway to your WordPress site for customers residing in South Africa. It works exclusively with MarketPress, so you will need that plugin as well to make this work. PayFast is essentially a payment module that stacks on top of MarketPress to add further options for your site visitors.
You can do all the same things with MarketPress you would otherwise do, but PayFast helps to extend your reach by offering a payment processing solution for just in this region.
The Mijireh Checkout for MarketPress plugin makes it simple to handle credit card data, seamlessly and securely. It uses your current site’s theme , so there will be no break in continuity for your users. The checkout page is placed behind SSL, and setup is click-button easy.
This plugin reduces the burden of PCI compliance and offers a convenient and simple self-hosted checkout page experience. This plugin works with over 90 different payment gateways and allows for custom shipping options. There are also versions available for Jigoshop, WooCommerce, WP e-Commerce, and Easy Digital Downloads.
The last plugin I’m going to talk about here is called Paymill, which gives your customers the ability to pay with credit cards. It works with multiple e-commerce frameworks including MarketPress, Cart66 Lite, WooCommerce, Pay Button, Magic Members, and ShopPlugin.
This plugin makes it easy to integrate a payment system directly into your site with minimal fuss. You can customize the checkout process to suit your individual needs and over 100 different currencies are supported. Setting up an account is quick and subscription support and mobile SDKs are also included.
This is a great payment gateway solution for European stores, as it works in 40 countries so far, and includes comprehensive shipping options to keep your customers satisfied.
Now I want to hear from you. What’s your favorite shipping plugin for WordPress? Do you like to use a full-system e-commerce solution or build your own store from scratch? Do you stick to default shipping options or customize things a bit? Feel free to sound off in the comments.