You might already have a shop on Etsy, or sell your art through other online galleries. However, if you have your own wordpress website, you can easily add a FREE shopping cart. When I was setting up my art blog, I spent a fair amount of time checking all the different e-commerce options and to be honest, everything looked so complicated.
Then I found Ecwid (which is short for Ecommerce widget) just in case you were wondering. I watched the 5 minute video tutorial on their getting started page and it was basically a done deal. And a done FREE deal at that!
All you need to do is, sign up for a free account, create a new page on your wordpress site, then paste the HTML code you are given, into your page, click update and that’s it. I’m not a coder by any stretch of the imagination. I mess up things on my blog all the time, so if I can do it then I’m sure anyone can!
Why do I love it so much?
Because it works smoothly! And it’s super easy for your customers to use.
Ecwid isn’t your typical shopping cart. It’s actually a widget, meaning that the HTML code you add to your page, embeds the cart in your site but all the information you add to your cart is stored on the EcWid site. So your photos, your prices etc are all entered in your personal dashboard on EcWid. Think of it like a Youtube video. You upload a video to Youtube, you can then take the code from youtube and embed the video on your site. the video plays on your site but it’s not actually uploaded in your content. I hope that makes sense.
Now let’s have a quick look at how it looks on my Art blog.
I only have one category at this stage, “mixed media paintings”, but you are allowed up to 1000 categories in the free version and up to 100 products. That’s enough for me because I doubt I’ll ever have 100 paintings ready at any one time!
Here’s what a close up version looks like, if someone clicks on a product.
Your customers can just click and drag the product to the shopping bag. Your images will show as 500 pix wide max, but you can add extra, larger photos to the gallery if you want to. You can also change the colors of the shopping bag etc to match your blog, if you know CSS!
Now, here’s the super fantastic part. If you have more than one blog, as I know many of us creative types have! No problem, you can add your shopping cart to as many blogs as you like. It also works on mobile devices and you can add it to your Facebook page, so your customers can buy directly in Facebook. Setting it up in Facebook is also very easy to do.
The whole thing is super easy to set up. All the options are accessed from your personal Ecwid dashboard , including shipping and payment options.
You can set up various ways for your customers to be able to pay you. I only use Paypal, which also allows for credit card payments. I don’t have a business account, just a premier account. There is a really informative section in Ecwid’s knowledge base, that walks you through the steps exactly. This was where I got a little worried because Paypal can be quite a complex little beast, ha. I did manage to set it up though.
If you do get stuck anywhere along the line, you’ll find all the answers you could ever dream up either in the extensive, easily searchable knowledge base or in the forums. I have asked a few questions in there and the Ecwid staff are brilliant. They always answer very quickly.
So where’s the downside? To be honest, I haven’t come across it yet. I would say the only downside is the limitations you have to put up with if you use the free version, which aren’t really that bad. You can’t add discount codes, not such a problem for artists because you can easily pop into your dashboard and change the price.
You can’t optimise your site for Search Engine Optimisation either, but you can solve that by writing a post about each painting, with a description and a link to your cart!
I hope this has been helpful to those of you who have been struggling to find a shopping cart.
In case you were wondering. I’m not an affiliate for EcWid, I just love their shopping cart!