Bloggers using WordPress.com Business can add an ecommerce component to their blogs. WordPress.com has selected Ecwid, Shopify and ShopLocket as its first authorized commerce providers.
Many people associate blogs with WordPress – it says it powers nearly 21.5% of the top 10 million websites in the world. While WordPress.org is an open source project that’s free to use, you must host your blog yourself. WordPress.com is the commercial arm owned by Automattic that offers a fully-hosted WordPress blogging platform – the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com are explained on this page.
Until yesterday, WordPress.com users did not have access to ecommerce plugins (though WordPress.org site owners did). In fact, Ecwid Senior Marketing Manager Jesse Ness told EcommerceBytes there are 164,365 Ecwid plug-ins being used on WordPress.org sites.
Ecwid is used by over 400,000 retailers in 175 countries and is available directly and through a network of partners and claims its multi-platform platform is Facebook’s most popular store builder app. Once users activate Ecwid from their WordPress.com Business dashboard, they can start embedding their full-featured Ecwid store. The Ecwid integration plugs in seamlessly to WordPress.com and automatically assumes its attributes, providing a range of features built specifically for merchants.
Ecwid offers a variety of plans, and Ness said it is the only one of the three WordPress.com Business ecommerce providers with a forever-free plan. “The Ecwid pricing through WordPress.com follows the traditional Ecwid model,” he said.
WordPress.com itself offers three hosted plans, Beginner (free), Premium ($99/year) and Business ($299/year) – and the Ecwid, Shopify and ShopLocket plugins are only available to bloggers in the latter tier.
You can read more information about the three ecommerce plugins on this WordPress.com blog post.