As most people are running a hectic lifestyle these days, they tend to prefer sitting at home and placing orders online instead of going to physical stores. Thus, there is no doubt that online shopping has been thriving more than ever before.
As a result, there goes a ton of fascinating eCommerce platforms and CMS (Content Management System) in the market for online merchants to choose from. In case you are not familiar with the term CMS, it is a software that helps users create, manage, and modify content on a website without the need for specialized technical knowledge.
The second most popular CMS on the market right now is Joomla – a free and open-source CMS with 1,460,485 live websites as collected from BuiltWith.
Due to its open-source nature, Joomla eCommerce was made to be highly customizable and expandable. A total of 7,578 extensions are currently available in the Joomla! Extensions Directory (JED) to suit the different needs of users. Many of which are made specifically for building eCommerce websites. In this article, we will be pointing out 6 of the best Joomla eCommerce extensions along with their outstanding features, and then show which one is more suitable for whom.
What are the best Joomla eCommerce extensions?
After a thorough evaluation, we have summarized 6 of the best extensions to build eCommerce websites for Joomla, namely VirtueMart, EShop, HikaShop, JoomShopping, MijoShop, and J2Store.
So why did we choose to review these 6 extensions?
We conducted our research based on 2 criteria.
The first criterion is features. There are a few features that users often pay attention to when choosing a website builder to go with, these are: Ease of use, multilingual and multi-currency possibilities, payment and shipping methods, and SEO tools.
After researching and testing, we found that 6 extensions that we chose to review have all of the must-have features as follows:
- Easy to use: They have a dashboard that is easy to manage and configure. The installation process is very quick and easy.
- Support multilingual websites: These extensions enable you to run your websites in more than one language. This makes it so much easier for you to expand your business to a global scale.
- Support many payment gateways and shipping methods: They all support many payment gateways and shipping methods which contributes to making the paying and shipping process more efficient.
- Support multi-currency payment: You can display and sell products in multiple currencies. The extensions allow your customers to buy in the currency of their preference. The plugins will update the currency exchange rates automatically for them.
- Powerful SEO tools: SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. Therefore, a powerful SEO tool is indispensable for achieving a high Google Ranking. All of these extensions include built-in SEO tools that allow you to customize your metadata and snippets as much as you like.
The second criterion is the number of users. According to the statistics that we have collected from BuiltWith.com and JoomlaShine.com, of all Joomla eCommerce extensions, the above-mentioned rank in the top 6. The first one is VirtueMart with over 300,000 websites. JoomShopping and MijoShop come second and third with approximately 200,000 sites each. Next in line are HikaShop and EShop with over 50,000 and 40,000 respectively. The last position belongs to J2Store with 17,000 websites.
Now, let me walk you through the outstanding features of these 6 extensions and help you find your optimal solution.
Best Joomla eCommerce extensions review
VirtueMart is one of the best eCommerce solutions for Joomla eCommerce. It is a PHP based plugin that comes with unlimited possibilities. You can create a proper store using only VirtueMart built-in features. Or you can add plugins, templates, and modules to expand your store easily.
Let’s take a closer look at the outstanding features of this robust extension.
- Multiple templates and layouts: You can personalize the front-end of your store as much as you like because VirtueMart has hundreds of templates and layouts for you to choose from.
- Dynamic calculator: All the discounts, tax, and currency are handled by a single calculator. It is a rule-based calculator that works when applying different conditions. For example, you can define discount, tax as rules and product category, shopper group, delivery address as conditions. Then just configure the rules and it can offer discounts based on the conditions you set.
- Product additional information: as VirtueMart is open-source, you can add as much additional information as you like to your products.
VirtueMart is suitable for merchants who have or wish to run a shop from medium to large scale as it is easily expandable. Moreover, those who want to start their businesses on a shoestring budget are also potential customers as it is FREE to download. However, you still need to buy your hosting and domain to begin with VirtueMart. It is recommended to purchase some add-ons to extend its functionalities if you don’t have enough technical knowledge to create the functions by yourself.
HikaShop is a highly flexible Joomla eCommerce extension, comes with unlimited possibilities. You can use CSS and HTML knowledge to decorate your website exactly as your wish.
Here are some outstanding features of HikaShop:
- Multiple vendors: HikaShop allows you to authorize different vendors to sell products in your store. They will have to pay you a particular amount of money and you are able to manage their sales.
- Powerful statistics: HikaShop gives you the possibility to generate reports based on your shop data. Through graphs, tables, pies and many other charts you will be able to visualize your shop information such as the number of sales this month, the best product sold this year or the evolution of your sales during the last 10 days.
- Layout variation: HikaShop allows you to modify the layout of your items as much as you like.
- Merchants with no technical knowledge tend to stay away from HikaShop. On the other hand, this extension is gaining interest among the developer community because they can use their technical skills and creativity to create exactly the store as they like.
MijoShop is known as a creative Joomla eCommerce component, a key feature for any shopping carts for Joomla. It is integrated with two of the most popular open-source projects in the world: OpenCart and Joomla. Therefore, MijoShop inherits a lot of plugins from both Joomla and OpenCart, which makes it a more powerful extension.
Price: From $59 to $499
- Multi-store: MijoShop allows you to manage multiple stores from one admin interface. You can create your unique online stores for multiple brands, product sets, franchises, employee stores, co-branded stores, and more. You can also quickly launch micro-stores for promotional campaigns.
- Fully responsive: Both the front-end and back-end of MijoShop are compatible with mobile displays.
MijoShop can be used for any type and size of business. But it is especially suitable for those who wish to operate multiple stores from one interface. This feature of MijoShop not only helps save your time but also makes it easier for you to manage all of your stores as you don’t have to switch between different admin panels regularly.
JoomShopping is a professional Joomla eCommerce extension with many built-in functions. Therefore, it can easily meet various requirements from users and effectively implement your e-commerce projects. Until now, JoomShopping has got a lot of positive reviews and now has over 300,000 downloads.
These are some of the key features of JoomShopping:
- Unlimited number of products and categories: You can sell as many products as you want to. One category can contain more than one product.
- Order history: Customers can see all of their orders from the past to the present.
- Simple checkout process: Customers can place their orders without having to take an extra step of registering for the site. There is a link that will take them straight to a page where they can fill in information about their addresses, desired payment methods and shipping methods.
JoomShopping is a good fit for online merchants who are looking forward to selling a wide range of products. Besides, those who wish to have a simple start with their businesses are also potential customers of this extension because they can build a proper website from the built-in features of JoomShopping.
J2Store presents a completely new and innovative approach to eCommerce CMS. While other extensions provide their own database with their own product pages, categories, etc, J2Store goes a different way. You can use existing Joomla articles as products, create product variants, define tax rules, add advanced pricing and so much more. Accordingly, you can build a beautiful online store using only Joomla articles.
Some key features of J2Store are:
- Product additional images: You can add more than one image to your products. This helps you showcase your products from various angles.
- Import/export products from a CSV file: J2Store has a free app (Simple CSV) for importing a large number of products from the CSV files. This makes the importing and exporting process so much easier.
- Various product options and variants: Sellers can sell both physical and downloadable products through J2Store. J2Store comes with a built-in variant generator, saving you from the troubles of manually adding them. Therefore, all you need to do is pick the options (like sizes and colors) and let J2Store work its magic.
Merchants who are looking for building a website out of Joomla Articles are definitely potential customers of J2Store.
EShop is built based on the standard Joomla MVC structure. The term MVC stands for Model View Controller. It is an architectural pattern that separates an application into three main logical components: the model, the view, and the controller. Each of these components is built to handle specific development aspects of an application. MVC is one of the most frequently used industry-standard web development frameworks to create scalable and expandable projects.
The specialty of this extension is its simplicity, you just install and add products. Create your own categories, product pages, etc with this extension then you are ready to run your store.
- Product wish list: When customers view products in your store, they can add products to their wish list or the cart to check out later if they want.
- Auto-update stock: the stock of a product will update automatically when there is an order. Then, you will get automatic notifications from your store for products that are reaching the low stock threshold. It will help you replenish the stock.
EShop is a perfect Joomla eCommerce extension for those sellers who love simplicity and want to scale up their stores to medium or large online businesses.
Overall, Joomla is a great choice if you love working with a Content Management System. In comparison with some hosted carts like Shopify, you have so much more control and customization possibilities with Joomla as it is an open-source CMS.
Furthermore, Joomla eCommerce offers plenty of extensions to ensure its users can build the best eCommerce website out of it. If you are new to Joomla eCommerce, you can consider trying out 1 of these 6 extensions mentioned above as they are the best ones on the market right now in 2020.
On the other hand, in case you have already had your store set up on another platform but it can no longer meet your demands and want to make a switch to Joomla, LitExtension can be your perfect partner in transferring your current website to Joomla eCommerce extensions.
We provide the automated migration service that helps online merchants migrate their data between two platforms automatically, accurately, and securely. We are now supporting over 90 carts and have successfully migrated over 140,000 stores and have over 40,000 customers. Among all of that, we do support migrating to VirtueMart, HikaShop, and MijoShop.
Customer satisfaction is always our top priority. It’s our pleasure to assist you with your migration. If you need help, don’t be hesitant and contact our support team via live chat right now and they will give you all the information you want to know.
We hope that this article is helpful for you in some ways. Best of luck!