Monday, April 3, 2017

ECommerce: Yessss!

Last week, I explored how to set up online storefronts.

WooCommerce is credited as the gold standard for WordPress eCommerce, but I wasn't ready to plunge into that beast because of cost and complexity. Despite the initially free plugin, I've heard that WooCommerce will nickle-and-dime users for necessary plugins and will ultimately run into hundreds of dollars. I have also heard that WooCommerce  is really really a feature-rich plug-in, and that intimated me as a potentially complex installation and setup.

Remember, I'm just trying to learn how to set up an eCommerce site: I want cheap and easy.

I researched (Googled) other WordPress eCommerce providers, and ecwid.com kept showing up.

I learned that ecwid is forever-free up to 10 SKUs! It also integrates with both WordPress and Facebook. It turned out that ecwid also sets up a storefront for you.
ecwid.com

I opened the ecwid.com site and created an account in couple of minutes. I started to set up a storefront, and then realized I needed product.

~~[  I created a reseller account at vistaprint.com, and created two products (backpack and baseball cap) and downloaded the images.  ]~~

I uploaded images to ecwid.com and finished creating the product catalog. My prices were deliberately high to discourage someone from actually ordering something from my still-under-development storefront. But these are real products, and I can fulfill an order if it shows up.

Next, I logged into WordPress and installed the ecwid WP plugin.

Viola! The products, and shopping cart, appeared in the "store" page that the ecwid plugin created.

It really was that quick and easy. It took longer for me to set up my products at VistaPrint.

You can visit http://ABCTampabay.biz and look at the menus at the top of the page. You'll see "Store" which will take you to my products. (http://abctampabay.biz/store ~ the link will open in a new tab, so take a peek at it. When you close the tab you will return here.)

Estimated times:
5 minutes to create an ecwid account
15 minutes to create product images at another site
10 minutes to create 3 (of 10) products
5 minutes to install the WordPress plugin for ecwid

Next, I went back and configured the ecwid store, and I think it looks good. It took another hour, and most of that time was for me to edit the images. Check it out:
https://store11280145.ecwid.com/ (the link will open in a new tab, so take a peek at it, and when you close the tab you will return here).

Finally, I started to install the storefront on my Facebook business page. The ecwid directions seemed pretty straight-forward, but I don't trust Facebook. (Like Microsoft, Facebook like to make things easy by "helping" you without telling you what they're doing.)

For today, that's all!

-- Rick

www,ecwid.com

RECAP: Create an online store at the ecwid site, then use plugins to bring a catalog and a shopping cart to Facebook and WordPress sites.

Here's the link to my storefront: www.store11280145.ecwid.com
Here's the link to my WordPress shopping cart: www.abctampabay.biz/store/
Here's a link to a Blogger.com shopping cart in the middle of a blog post: www.abcinc.biz/2015/04/abcinc-stuff-store.html
There are a lot of YouTube tutorials:

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