This week I’ve been working with Marketpress, a plugin from the fine folks at WPMUDEV. Marketpress is an ecommerce/shopping cart plugin with enough features for most small business ecommerce needs. As they say on their website:
- Payment gateways coming out of our ears.
- 100% ready for easy translation into any language.
- Supports all major currencies.
- Ready to go for tax and VAT.
- Digital or physical objects.
- Multiple shipping options.
- Coupons, discounts and affiliate ready.
- Fully integrated with Google Analytics eCommerce.
- Unlimited product variations.
- Stock tracking and alerts per variation.
- Per order product limits.
- AJAX cart and cart widget.
- Powerful shortcodes that you can use anywhere.
- Link any product to an external link (hello Amazon affiliates!).
- Categories and tags.
- Stock tracking and order management and alerts.
- Fully customizable urls.
- Checkout *without* having to be a site user.
- Start your own Etsy shopping network.
- Global shopping carts (for that network).
- Tax inclusive pricing options.
- Custom personalization fields.
- Extensive tracking number options.
Viewing, adding and editing products is very similar to how you would work with a post:
If you are selling electronic goods that are downloadable, Marketpress manages that for you. Once the payment gateway signals that payment took place it allows download of the item, and you can control the number of downloads!
There were a few problems, however.
As installed Marketpress adds a store page and then generates views for the products, shopping cart, etc. In my installation the product view didn’t work correctly, showing all of my blog posts instead of just my products. I also didn’t like how the category and product listings pages displayed. This was overcome by editing the store page. I just used the pages to override the Marketpress generated views by changing the links on the store page. Another plugin, Marketpress Product Grid Shortcut worked correctly and also showed a list of products in a grid format, which I like better, so I didn’t have to hack anything there. Using pages instead of Marketpress’ defaults also allowed me to customize the sidebar to show the shopping cart and product categories.
Tax is another problem – but it is a problem with nearly every shopping cart in existence. The intricacies of taxation – who gets taxed, who doesn’t – is a pain in the rear and for my products I solved it by just including tax in the price. In Washington they don’t care if you charge tax to the customer, they just care that you pay the tax to the state. So basically, I’ll charge a flat rate and then go back and pay the tax based on my sales. That way I don’t get into arguments or lose sales because “I shouldn’t have to pay Washington sales tax”.
Although full-featured, Marketpress isn’t going to replace ZenCart or other ecommerce solutions. However, if you sell less than 50 items and are just looking at a basic solution that is easy to use – Marketpress is for you.
Disclosure: I am an affiliate of WPMUDEV and if you buy something from them using the links in the post I get reimbursed. This review was not solicited, however.