Starting up online shop is never easy, and choices you made at the beginning may have big impact on your future eCommerce website performace – both from technical and ROI aspects. Below we listed few extensions (components, plugins) worth consideration when choosing eCommerce solutions for Joomla CMS.
This is probably the oldest extension available on the market with long development history. It is also free what makes it main pretendent for this competition. It has plethora of functions necessary for running online ecommerce website, e.g. multi currency support, multi language support, cart, featured products, etc. built-in payment plugins for the most popular platforms like Paypal. Basically the component is very powerful Joomla extension for your eShop. Virtuemart was available for the older Joomla version 1.5.x and now it is available for the 2.5.x versions as well. Withing Virtuemart 2.0 many improvements has been introduced, especially in the user interface, it functionality. Additionally many plugins can be purchased for reasonable price which can extend shop features serving your customers even better user experience and improve managements, analytics, extra options… There are some cons when considering this extension, as for less experience online commerce enterpreneurs shop can be overwelming, thanks to the number of configuration option present in the shop. Once it is properly configured, suited with nice Joomla eCommerce template it can work well for long time and server as an excellent online shopping platform.
Virtuemart Shop Main Features
- nested categories let you organize your shop in easy for understanding and browsing structure – both for your customers and your management
- with meta tags for seo – this option is pretty crucial these days, as SEO should be part of every eCommerce company’s marketing strategy
- with description and media support
- with meta tags for seo
- short and long descriptions for presenting different description on category
- listing page and long description in product details, when more information about product may be required
- dimensions (weight, size) – it is rather self explanatory
- multiple media – add pictures and videos to your product descriptions
- variants, attributes, e.g. you can specify colors, sizes for each product category; especially useful when running store with many product types
unlimited child products and derivated levels
product pattern (Parent product used as pattern for child products)
- related products option can not only reduce your shop bounce rate but can increase sales conversion
- reviews and ratings allow interaction with your potential customers
OTHER IMPORTANT FEATURES
- Shopper groups let you to create multiple customer groups which can be handled differently; very useful when it comes to different sales models, promotions, loyalty programs
- Various price types – at configuration stage it can be confusing for some, but in generall it gives better flexibility with TAX, discounts and special price calculation formulas for more sophisticated businesses
- PAYMENT options are based on plugins, already implemented into the component, e.g. PayPal, Paypal Pro, Paypal Express Checkout, Klarna and Klarna Checkout, Sofort Banking and Sofort iDeal, Skrill, Heidelpay, Authorize.net and many more available through 3rd party plugin developers (both free and commercial)
For more information about Virtuemart we encourage you to check Virtuemart website. There are many more great features when it comes to Virtuemart, and it is imposible to list all of them on one page so simple read through forums, VM website and do your own reasearch online.
2. HIKA SHOP
Unlike the competitor above Hika Shop eCommerce extension goes in 3 variants: Starter, Essential and Business and only the Starter version is free of charge. It goes with some limitations of course, in our opinion it is quite important because it doesn’t contain custom fields for product features. So if you require any extra fields for products you are planning to sell online, than you would need to choose paid, commercial version – Essential or Business. More packed version like Business provide great features like sliders, product comparison (great, right?) and product filtering in product listing view.
Saying that Hika Shop in overall is a great component for running successful online shop. Pricing is very affordable, because you are getting good value for money – Essential package costs EUR49, whereas for the Business edition developer asks EUR99.
Pros of Hika Shop
One of the biggest advantages of Hika Shop is the compatibility with all Joomla! versions 1.5, 2.5 and 3.0 which is not the case with Virtuemart mentioned before. In general Hika Shop interface customisation is relatively easy, what makes development of custom shops even easier.
We are not going to write here about all the Hika Shop features, as it is not our role over here, so again we encourage you to check Hika Shop website for more information where you can learn more about its capabilities.
3. J2STORE – eCOMMERCE SOLUTION FOR JOOMLA
This extension, or rather we should say package because it comes as a package of component, modules and plugins, as any other mentioned above Joomla! eCommerce extension is fairly new in Joomla! word, however it is great alternative for its precedents.
Here are the main features that are worth mentioning:
- Responsive / Mobile friendly design – current ecommerce trends show that more and more people purchase goods from mobile devices, not necessarily from their desktop computers, and keeping only this fact in mind proves that responsive design provided by the component makes it noteworthy.
- Multi-currency support & currency switcher – This is a must for every international focused business
- Joomla Articles as Products – very useful feature that makes things simpler, because not all of us require huge bloated components
- Unlimited Product options / attributes / variants – as its rival – Virtuemart – J2Store ticks all the boxes for running shop with various types of goods
- Sell both downloadable goods as well as physical goods – One of the biggest pros while choosing the shop extension for selling digital goods. With VM for example you would require extra plugin to make it reasonably configurable (not expensive though, but still would add up to general expense)
- Geozone based, international tax rates and tax rules
- Geozone based, shipping methods
- Different shipping methods – we guess this is nothing super exciting but rather the must but good to know this extension has such options included: store Pick up, free shipping, flat rate, etc.
- Another good thing about the J2Store – shipping per weight / price / quantity
- Guest checkout
- and many more
Give it a try to find out whether this shopping solution for Joomla would be something you need.
4. Mijoshop – Great Shop Extension for Joomla
Developer of Mijoshop brings freshness and flexibility with its product – mainly due to the fact that extension is native Joomla! component which opens it’s doors to wide range of Open Cart extension. Those who know standalone Open Cart eCommerce system already know what we are talking about. Now Mijoshop extends already huge Joomla’s flexibility by extremely useful eCommerce component.
to be continued…