Yes, WordPress can be used for Ecommerce purposes and is in fact one of the most popular Ecommerce CMS's (Content Management System's) available.
There is a caveat however, and this is that the WordPress CMS itself cannot be used for Ecommerce out of the box and will require plugin installation to become an Ecommerce CMS.
This is because WordPress was originally created to be a blogging CMS and evolved over time with plugins to become more widespread in its uses.
One of the most popular plugins for WordPress that enables Ecommerce functionality is WooCommerce.
In the year 2020, WooCommerce is used in 27% of the top 1 million sites that use a CMS. You can read more about this usage statistic in our Top 10 Ecommerce CMS 2020 blog here.
Some of the reasons for WooCommerce being so popular and used on so many sites, are listed below.
WooCommerce comes with the greatest value of all, being completely free!
What's more is that WooCommerce comes with lots of features upon install and is quick to build with.
Some of these features include:
WooCommerce integrates with and uses the popular WordPress CMS.
WordPress has an easy to use, simple user interface which makes it easy to add, change and remove content as well as tweak settings on your site.
WordPress is also easy to manage with its built-in updates management system.
This allows you to update your plugins and themes from within your WordPress admin dashboard as well as notify you when there is a new version of WordPress available.
These updates can be done with a click of a button. Not to mention that WooCommerce itself can be installed with a click of a button!
Moreover, since May 2015, WooCommerce is now owned by Automattic, the operator of WordPress.com.
This helps WooCommerce further seamlessly integrate into WordPress and guarantees ongoing support and development for WooCommerce.
There are thousands of WooCommerce users and developers which makes solutions to common user problems easy to find and already answered in the shape of online guides, online forms or tutorial videos.
In addition, online development documentation is also accessible and well written, which is great for other developers.
With WooCommerce, you are not tied down to one single hosting company or one single digital agency.
You own your WooCommerce store and you are free to take your application code to different hosts and developers with ease.
This makes WooCommerce easy to customise and integrate which means that WooCommerce can be used for vastly different projects and still fit the needs.
WooCommerce state themselves that in terms of scalability, the "Sky is the limit. We’ve seen instances of shops with 100,000+ products listed, handling thousands of transactions per minute."
This makes WooCommerce an ideal choice for large-scale Ecommerce stores.
To sum up, yes WordPress can be used for Ecommerce, however you will need to use a plugin such as WooCommerce to enable this functionality.
If you are having trouble setting up your WooCommerce store, please get in touch and we can help you.