The Average Joe: Jigoshop Review
Jigoshop is a free WordPress plugin that allows you to add multiple product types and sets up a workable shop out of the box. It has a minimalist code base, and thus performs well directly following installation. To get added functionality, you can add extensions for the core offering. We know that everyone always loves to compare WooCommerce vs Jigoshop since they have the same roots (WooCommerce originated as a fork of Jigoshop). However, we’re not going to compare the two right now. What we will do is tell you about the pros and cons of using Jigoshop for your eCommerce store, and which paid extensions will be useful in getting your store up and running if you plan on using Jigoshop to power your online storefront.
Skip to section:
- Base and Ancillary Costs
- Overview and Usability
- Customer Experience
- Built-in Payment and Shipping Options
- Reporting and Inventory Management
- Other Features and Comments
- Jigoshop Review Wrap-up
- Read More
Base and Ancillary Costs #
Jigoshop is a free WordPress plugin that handles setup of your basic eCommerce store. Since it’s free, feel free to download a copy and see how you like it – don’t forget to play around with product addition and settings to make sure it’s a good fit. If you don’t want to download and install the plugin to play around with it, you can use a free demo instead. Costs will come from themes and some paid extensions. Official themes range from $40-80, while Theme Forest sells Jigoshop themes for about $55 (there’s a small selection). While going through some other reviews, it seems that TemplateMonster themes and some others can cause errors, so it appears that official themes are probably the best way to go.
Official extensions will probably cost somewhere between $200 to $300 for basic needs such as a payment processor and some helpful add-ons. One bargain extension is the Jigoshop $100 Bundle, which includes a couple of themes, table rate shipping, SagePay, and more. You can also buy extensions from Code Canyon for anywhere between $6 and $25, but as we’ve warned in other articles, be wary of quality and the potential lack of support. There are a couple quality extensions, but in my experience they’re few in number.
Free core plugin, which is always good; themes and extensions will probably total about $275 for stores with basic needs.
Overview and Usability #
Jigoshop installation is easy, and there are a lot settings and the ability customize the way your store is laid out. One thing that stuck out to me was that settings provided good explanations for the general user to make configuration as smooth as possible.
There are some general settings to customize your store layout and operation. Settings for product display will probably be helpful to ensure proper display with your theme, and setting up inventory levels and notification levels will be useful for many stores selling physical products.
Tax options include the basic necessities, such as the ability to set rates by region (for example, you can set different rates for different states in the US if you have nexus in multiple states). You can also set reduced rates if necessary (or other custom rates). You don’t have other options in how taxes are applied, but they should serve the needs of most stores:
Product addition is easy and creates products as WordPress custom post types with detailed descriptions and excerpts (which will be displayed right below the product title). You can create simple, variable/configurable, downloadable, affiliate, grouped, and virtual products. You’ll also have some tabs at the bottom of the product page to display product information (such as attributes), and product reviews, so that the general product display works well for all product types. However, you can only display one product image instead of an image gallery for products, which could prove inconvenient for some products.
Product variations can be added, but there’s not really explanation in the plugin itself on how to do this (a scroll-over explanation if the product type is set to “Variable” would have helped). Attributes for the variation have to be added (such as size or color), and all possible values for the attribute should be entered, separated by commas (not pipes) — again, something where an explanation in the plugin would help for usability, but this is pretty close to the way variations are added for most platforms and shouldn’t pose an issue.
One thing I really didn’t like was the fact that you can’t link variations, so you’ll have to set them all up manually (which gets really annoying). (Linking variations is the ability to automatically create all possible products based on the attributes you’ve set, such as combining “gray” for color with all possible sizes, the repeating for the next color, which is obviously really useful.) You can bulk edit variation details (such as shipping weight, stock, or cost) or change details manually. You can also set images for each type of variation, which was useful. However, you can’t set any default values to apply automatically to new variations (which should inherit these details to make addition of new variations simpler). While you can do a lot with variations, I really didn’t like setting them up and it could be much easier.
Shortcodes and Widgets
You can add individual products, featured and new products, and more using shortcodes. However, there’s no shortcode help in the plugin (no shortcode button in visual editors, etc). There’s a shortcode reference in the community forum that you can refer to instead.
Here’s the shortcode display on the frontend (obviously I’d want to pay attention to how many items I’m displaying per row :) ).
There are also a lot of widgets available for use, such as a price filter and a best sellers widget, so that you can customize the shopping experience even further.
Customer Experience #
You can customize your shopping page display from the Jigoshop settings, but the default layout is easy to navigate and understand. Styling is basic and leaves a bit to be desired, but the user experience doesn’t provide anything to really confuse customers. While browsing, customers can’t sort products by default, so you may want to add this using the Jigoshop Sorting extension to allow sorting by name, price, or date in your product catalog.
Product pages show all product details easily, and adding products to the shopping cart is easy. Tabs for product information are also useful and simple for customers to navigate. A good extension for modifying this layout is the Custom Product Tabs extension, which allows you to add extra tabs to product pages in which to display more details or other shortcodes.
Variations are also easy for customers to use, as they can select variations using drop-down menus. Changing the variation will also change the product image if you have an image other than the featured image set for the variation.
You can modify your product and shopping experience further with other paid extensions. If you want to include cross-sells or upsells for products, you can use the Upsells & Cross-sells extension. Want to offer accessories or the option to bundle products? The Product Accessories extension is built for creating a group of products for the customer. For example, if you sell a digital camera, you can add batteries, memory cards, or waterproof cases as accessories right from the camera’s product information. The Jigoshop Extensions store provides other options for changing the way you sell products.
Once customers have made their selections, they can visit the cart page, where they can change item quantities, remove items, and apply coupons before proceeding to checkout.
Like many platforms, Jigoshop uses a one-page checkout. Single page checkouts improve conversions and reduce cart abandonment by providing fewer steps to completing the purchase, which is obviously geared towards selling more. You can also validate post codes automatically to cut down on shipping errors by setting this under Settings > General and save yourself shipping costs created by address errors.
Built-in Payment and Shipping Options #
Basic payment settings are fine to get started, but you’ll probably need a payment gateway integration, which costs about $50. Many stores will find shipping options are lacking for their needs, but there are extensions available to add options.
Jigoshop includes PayPal Standard, bank transfer, checks, FuturePay, and cash upon delivery as built-in payment options, and you can choose which you’d like to use as the default option. If you’re not satisfied with the built-in options, there are several paid payment gateway integrations available, including popular processors like Braintree, Stripe, Authorize.net Pro (AIM, DPM, SIM) or Authorize.net CIM, PayPal Pro, First Data, and Skrill.
Basic shipping options are just that – basic. You can ship items using a flat rate for the entire country (not states/regions) on a per item or per order basis. Free shipping and local pickup are also included by default. Most stores will probably want something like the Table Rate Shipping or the multi-functional Premium Shipping Extension to add more options, such as the much needed ability to set regions within the country. Or, you can get exact rates using the FedEx or UPS extensions. Jigoshop also just released a new USPS Advanced Shipping extension for stores shipping within the US.
Reporting and Inventory Management #
Jigoshop includes basic reporting, which can be helpful for shop owners to get some insight on total sales and unit sales for any date range. Top earners and most units can be viewed in a pie chart as well. However, while reporting is very easy to understand, it doesn’t go much further than that (such as viewing reports by category, coupon use, etc). Inventory reports are included in the Jigoshop dashboard.
Inventory management is included for all products, and you can view low/out of stock items in your Jigoshop dashboard. One thing you should note is that Jigoshop is one of the few plugins that allows backorders, which is a huge bonus. You can allow backorders based on product in the product editor.
For many Jigoshop extensions, support is not included – volunteers staff the community forums, but not paid developers. For some extensions, a small support window, such as 14 days, is included to get things up and running. Clients who choose not to pay for support can access the community forums, a knowledge base, and public discussions, which will be helpful for basic problems, but not for compatibility issues, bugs, and so on. If you want help from Jigoshop developers, you’ll have to pay $39.99 per month, or $239.99 per year, for premium support; you’ll also get access to the premium knowledge base included in that price. Most reviews of paid support are positive; there are a couple of negative reviews on WordPress.org, but overall it seems that paid support is helpful and addresses what most users need. I didn’t test paid support myself, so I can’t make a judgment on this. If someone has used it, please comment :).
Other Features and Comments #
If you want to sell subscription products, you can add them and limited membership functionality with the Subscriptions extension. Subscriptions can be created based on membership group, which is a bit of an odd way of solving the problem, but can do what you need it to. There’s no other way to create “true” subscriptions products, but with some tweaking you can make this work.
If you’re just looking to create memberships, another useful extension is the Customer Discounts extension, which allows you to set different purchase prices based on the user’s role. You could do this for memberships by creating roles for each membership level.
Jigoshop Review Wrap-up #
As a full eCommerce solution, Jigoshop has some positive and negative attributes. Pros include:
- a good admin UI (with solid settings explanations)
- an easy-to-understand customer experience to encourage purchases
- a pretty functional core plugin
- You can also customize the shopping page layout and automatically validate addresses in checkout.
- limited shipping settings
- the need for simplifying product variation addition
- a lack of included support for official extensions
- Frontend design will also leave something to be desired, but isn’t really too much of an issue in terms of having a functioning solution.
Overall, Jigoshop is a usable and very functional eCommerce solution for WordPress, and provides a lot of opportunity for extending the core plugin to address the needs of many kinds of shops.
Read more: #
- SkyVerge’s WooCommerce vs Jigoshop has some great points about pros / cons of each plugin with a slightly more technical approach than our review.
- Inspired Magazine determines if Jigoshop is a good alternative to Magento for small online businesses in their brief overview.
Like this Jigoshop Review? Check out the rest of our WordPress eCommerce Platforms Guide.
Please Note: I did not test all of the paid upgrades/plugins that I reference in this article; If I didn’t test it, I’m basing my information on reading user reviews or other articles.
Full Disclosure: The author of this article also works for SkyVerge, who develops WooCommerce extensions. Despite this fact, every effort was made to be impartial and write this review from a neutral perspective.