MarketPress — Shopping Cart Review

MarketPress reviewMarketPress is a very clean and professional shopping cart plugin for WordPress by WPMU DEV. What I like most about it is the quality of integration with WordPress. Like other WPMU DEV products, this one feels as if it were developed by the makers of WordPress themselves.

While MarketPress lacks some features, it’s built on a solid foundation that allows it to be extended by developers easily. It’s also one of the most affordable shopping cart plugins to acquire, starting at $39.

Installation

Installation of MarketPress is easy, simply upload and activate. There are no add-ons or unnecessary configurations to worry about.

Technical Support & Documentation

Technical support from WPMU DEV is the best among all other carts. It is mostly provided through the plugin’s dedicated forum. The forum is publicly open so you can visit it and see how active and helpful it is.

As for documentation, unfortunately, it is a little lacking. You’re expected to figure things out yourself, or use the inline documentation.

How It Integrates with WordPress

MarketPress is one of the most well integrated shopping cart plugins for WordPress. It uses the latest WordPress API to the fullest extent. It doesn’t create extra tables for products, product categories, or product tags. Instead, it utilizes WordPress’ custom post types and taxonomies. What this means for the end user is better performance and future extensibility.

Product Variation Management

For each product you create with MarketPress, you can specify as many variations as you like. Each variation you specify has its own SKU, price, sale price, and inventory control.

Shipping and Tax Management

MarketPress shipping and tax management is not as flexible as some of the other plugins.

MarketPress is intended for shops that operate within a single state. So, you specify a single tax rate for all your orders, regardless of where they’ll ship.

As for shipping, first, you select the countries to where you agree to ship. Then, you set a base shipping rate for the “lower 48 States”, “Hawaii and Alaska”, “Canada”, and “International”. Then for each product, you specify additional shipping charges when you create it.

Admin User-Interface Design

MarketPress has the best admin UI among other shopping cart plugins. It’s intuitive and easy to understand. Once you install the plugin, you feel as if there aren’t enough option pages, but once you dig deeper, you discover more screens where you can adjust the settings. So, the interface doesn’t interrupt you, and yet it can accommodate you when you need more flexibility.

The plugin makes use of WordPress’ built-in admin styles, so working with this plugin feels just like working with any other part in WordPress.

Accepted Payment Methods

MarketPress currently supports the following payment gateways: 2Checkout, Authorize.Net, MoneyBookers, and PayPal Express. You can also accept manual payments, such as cash, telephone, check, or wire transfer.

Selling Digital Downloads

It is possible to sell digital products with MarketPress. When you add a new product in MarketPress, you can specify a URL for a file to include. The file is uploaded to your wp-content/uploads directory without any protection. As long as you don’t reveal the actual location of the file to the customer, you’ll be fine.

When a customer purchases a downloadable product, they’ll be given a unique link from which they can download the product for a limited number of times. You set the download limits in MarketPress options.

Offering Discount Coupon Codes

MarketPress gives you the ability to offer discount coupons at your store. The coupons you create could be applied to any order. You can create a percentage coupon or a fixed amount coupon. You can set a start and an expiration date for each coupon. And you can set a limit to the number of times a coupon can be used.

Sidebar Widgets

MarketPress has four sidebar widgets.

Shopping Cart — this shows dynamic shopping cart contents along with a checkout button for your MarketPress store.

Product List — this one shows a customizable list of products from your MarketPress store. You can filter the products displayed by category or tag. It allows you to display thumbnails and buy button next to the products.

Product Categories – you can use this widget to display a list or dropdown of product categories. Remember that product categories in MarketPress are separated from post categories.

Product Tag Cloud — this one is for product tags.

Themes and Styles

Currently, there are no existing themes for MarketPress. However, MarketPress is completely ready for theming. The beauty of MarketPress theming system is that it is very similar to WordPress. If you (or a designer you hire) are familiar with WordPress, you’ll be able to theme and customize MarketPress easily. The theming instructions of MarketPress are bundled with the plugin’s directory at:

wp-content/plugins/marketpress/marketpress-includes/thtmes/Themeing_MarketPress.txt

Affiliates Management

Even though WPMU DEV offers an affiliates management plugin, integration with that plugin is still not built into MarketPress. And there are no other options available.

Multi-Language Support

MarketPress has full support for translation. You can translate the admin interface and/or the frontend of the store. There are no translations available currently, however.

Who’s Using It

MarketPress is currently powering many small online stores. You can see here some examples of sites using MarketPress.

Money Matters

To download MarketPress and use it on unlimited websites, you can purchase it for $39 (includes 1 month upgrades and support), $79 (3 months upgrades and support), or $209 (12 months upgrades and support).

Alternatively, you can become a WPMU DEV subscriber to get access to MarketPress and many other useful plugins and great support. The prices for WPMU DEV subscriptions are here.

There are no refunds with WPMU DEV. But the great thing about WPMU DEV plugins is that they are licensed under the GPL, which means that once you download the software, you are free to do with it whatever you want. You can install it on as many websites you want, and you can even resell it!

Visit MarketPress Homepage »»

1 comment. You can post one, too!

  1. Maury Markowitz

    Excellent review, this saved me considerable time looking at their (limited) documentation. Sadly, the review confirms that MP won’t have the features we need.

    It is worth pointing out one major upside feature of MP, the one that led me here looking to see if it fit my other needs. That is its support for multi-site systems under WordPress, that allows you to run multiple stores from a single system. This has three major use-cases:

    1) you are renting store services to other people, sort of like the way wordpress.com hosts many blogs

    2) you have a large catalog of products that you want to break into sub-stores. For instance, if you sell jewellery, you might want to have one store fronts for completed items like necklaces and bracelets, and another for raw materiel like beads and wire.

    3) you run several regional stores from a single corporate entity. For instance, you might have east coast and west coast sales offices and want them to have their own storefronts, but want all the orders information to flow to the accounting department at the corporate HQ.

    Our use-case was (3), so I have been scouring the web looking for multi-store capable ecommerce solutions. This is *not* a common feature – Volution, Woo, BigCommerce, Shopify, none of them do this. Magento and Presta do, but those are stores first and everything else later. MP on top of WP would *seem* to be a more flexible starting point, getting you a full-featured CMS that allows you to build out a complete website.

    But looking over the screens you included, it seems that the system setup is far too basic for my needs. But maybe not, maybe I’m just not thinking about it correctly. Here, let me post a few of the features I was looking for, and see if anyone here thinks there may be ways to do it…

    1) we need different prices for different stores. In the images above it seems you can have versions of products, but it doesn’t seem like those versions are separately tagged. Is it possible to put version 1 on one store and version 2 on another? Easily?

    2) we need different prices for different customers. No, not coupons. When certain users come in (dealers) they need to have an entirely different set of prices come up from product page right through to checkout. These aren’t a percentage, it’s a product-by-product change. This is actually similar to (1), but based off a different filter.

    3) we need to have multiple languages for all products. Looking at the screen shots, it appears that the product description pages have no system where I can type in multiple descriptions in different languages. No, automated conversions are not an option.

    4) has the shipping and tax system changed at all since this review was written? Our shipping changes from product to product, and from store to store. A “this far = x” solution will *not* work, and I can’t imagine it would for most vendors. It costs more to ship a fridge 10 miles than a necklace 1000.

  2. Joe

    There is also a ‘lite’ version for free. I’m kicking the tires right now and am impressed with the ease of use and options. The full version now has (only) USPS carrier calculated shipping and you can select which countries you ship to.

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