Office 365 public sites weren’t designed to house things like ecommerce, and if you want a serious and professional looking store, I’d recommend you consider another platform, with self hosted WordPress being the most flexible. That said, it’s possible to embed ecommerce functionality and I did plan to do a round up of some of the embeddable options, but for now let me just list the best and worst I’ve come across so far. I’ll start with the worst:
Online Merchant From The Sharepoint Store: 1 Out Of 10
You’d think since this app was developed for Sharepoint, it would be at least one of the better options. It’s easy to install and seems to work okay, but aesthetically it’s far from what’s possible on other non Sharepoint platforms.
You might think that an advantage of using a native app is the seo equity it will give you. Unfortunately that doesn’t apply to SP apps – they are hosted on Azure under a different sub-domain, so will do nothing for your seo.
It was initially a free app but last time I checked it was up to $19.99, which seems reasonable until you consider what you can get for free. The demo below is how the free version looks out of the box with no customization. The updated paid version may be different.
Get it: Sharepoint Store under public facing web site category
Live Demo »
Ecwid Embeddable Store: 8 Out Of 10
Ecwid (Ecommerce Widget) is a 3rd party hosted solution that works surprisingly well in a Sharepoint environment, which is not generally very hospitable towards non Sharepoint software. You manage your products in your free Ecwid account, install a script on your SP site and that’s all you have to do.
The script creates a responsive store that adapts to the width of the host site and never looks out of place. Your customers will never know the store is embedded from another site. I particularly like the fact that you can add product categories in a sidebar which gives the store a more professional look.
Ecwid also lets you import a csv file of products – which is a big convenience if you have a lot of them!
Downside: Ecwid has a limit of 10 products for free accounts with an option to upgrade to a paid subscription if you have more… if you had an account before they introduced their new plans that wouldn’t apply, but if you sign up now, that’s a severe restriction, and is why they didn’t get 10 out of 10.
Get it: Ecwid site
Use it: Get tips on setting up an Ecwid store on a 365 site in my article here »
Cost: Free (10 product limit for new accounts with upgrades available)
Live demo »
Visit my forum » if you have any questions. For development work, you can contact me here ». And if you think this would be useful to others, feel free to share it by clicking one of the share buttons up top!