WordPress.com is releasing new e-commerce tools today, which will help millions of people using its blogging platform monetize their content in new ways.
With the announcement, companies that use the WordPress.com Business service, such as TIME, CNN, TED and Boing Boing, will be able to easily embed a storefront into their site with very little setup.
The features are launching today, so there aren’t any live examples, but in theory, a musician could use the tools to sell tickets to its next concert; a food blogger could dish out cookbooks to its readers; and fashion site could sell the latest styles to visitors without sending them to another site.
San Diego-based Ecwid is used by more than 400,000 retailers in 175 countries, and through its acquisition of Payvment, is one of the most commonly used store builder apps on Facebook. Shopify of Ottawa is the biggest partner, having raised $100 million in venture capital in December. Its e-commerce platform used by 80,000 businesses, including Tesla Motors, CrossFit and Gatorade. Finally, the third provider, Toronto-based ShopLocket is owned by PHC International, a supply-chain services company.
WordPress says the e-commerce tools work similarly to other plug-ins that are available through the dashboard, and that it is not getting into the e-commerce or payments business. Automattic’s director of platform partners Min Wei said it’s the partners who will be handling all of the transactions.
The announcement is exclusive to the WordPress.com business, and does not apply to WordPress.org, which requires users to host their own sites. However, those users have already had the option of embedding storefronts from providers, including Ecwid and ShopLocket, for some time. WordPress declined to disclose the terms of these partnerships, but Ecwid clarified that neither the storefront provider or WordPress would be taking a percentage of the merchant’s transactions.