WordPress powers more than 60% of content management systems, 13 times more than Shopify or Joomla, according to Envisage Digital. However, WordPress wasn’t created to be an e-commerce platform on its own. Instead, it relies on direct plugins from WooCommerce to turn websites into online shops.
According to websitebuilder.org, WooCommerce controls nearly 28% of the e-commerce market. Its solutions are typically free, and its diverse library of offerings can help scale your business and increase sales. So whether you need automation and customization for merchandising, payments, marketing or customer support, you can count on WooCommerce to have an affordable plugin that will get the job done.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce started in 2008 as WooThemes and was acquired by Automattic, the creators of WordPress.com and JetPack, in 2015. Its name was changed to WooCommerce in 2017 to better represent its e-commerce focus. WooCommerce provides the tools companies need to build an online store, including several plugins and extensions. The core e-commerce solution is free, open-source and customizable for any small or medium-sized business.
WooCommerce plugins for merchandising
WooCommerce’s plugins can improve your online store’s merchandising appeal by attracting would-be shoppers and providing easy-to-navigate product pages.
Custom Product Tabs for WooCommerce
The Custom Product Tabs for WooCommerce plugin can help clean up the clutter on your product pages by providing clickable tabs for product descriptions, specifications, reviews, etc. Providing customers with tabbed information makes e-commerce sites look more professional and easily readable on a mobile device. [Learn how to make your website responsive for mobile users.]
All tabs can be modified with the WordPress editor, eliminating the need for custom coding. Tabs can be added, deleted and rearranged. All tabs support not only text but also images and video. The plugin is WPML-translating-compatible, and tabs can be saved so you can copy and paste them onto other product pages.
Pricing: Free; $29.99 for Pro version
WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Lite
The vast majority of online shoppers don’t make a purchase on their first visit to a website. Some may bounce away before clicking anything, while others choose to abandon their shopping cart even though they clearly showed the intent to make a purchase. However, those potential customers can still be won over using simple reminders.
With the WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Lite plugin, you can send automated emails that notify shopping cart abandoners that their chosen products are still ready for purchase. The plugin will also recover all the items in the consumer’s cart for a more convenient shopping experience. Customers don’t even have to be logged in to your website to receive email reminders. A guest user’s shopping cart will also be preserved on the checkout page if a valid email address is provided.
Pricing: Free; $149+ annually for Pro version
Tip: Pay attention to your consumers’ online purchasing habits so you can provide them with personalized experiences.
WooCommerce plugins for payments
You can use WooCommerce plugins to facilitate mobile payments and offer gift cards.
Payment Plugins for Stripe WooCommerce
With mobile payments on the rise, you’ll lose out on sales if your online shop isn’t capable of accepting payments via mobile devices. Offering your customers a variety of payment options, like accepting credit card payments with Stripe, can increase your conversion rate while improving the customer experience.
Payment Plugins for Stripe WooCommerce is an all-in-one free plugin that helps your e-commerce site accept credit cards, Google Pay, ApplePay, Afterpay, ACH, Klarna, iDEAL, WooCommerce subscriptions, WooCommerce Pre-Orders, etc. Be sure to read up on Stripe’s credit card processing fees.
Gift Up: Gift Cards for WordPress and WooCommerce
Offering gift cards for your business is an excellent way to stimulate sales, promote customer loyalty and increase brand awareness. Furthermore, gift cards can allow your online store to realize pure profits since a good chunk of gift card buyers fails to cash them in. U.S. consumers have left $15 billion in unredeemed gift cards on the table, according to Bankrate.
Of course, this “breakage” effect, as it’s known, shouldn’t be the main reason you offer gift cards. Instead, see them as an opportunity to provide great deals to your customers. You can use the fast and straightforward Gift Up plugin to start selling gift cards for your WooCommerce-powered store.
Pricing: Free to set up and use; 3.49% fee when a gift card is purchased (can be added to the gift card purchase)
FYI: Gift cards can not only bring in new customers, but also boost profits. Almost 60% of gift card holders spend more than the card’s amount, according to a survey by Mageplaza.
WooCommerce plugins for marketing
Improve your e-commerce marketing strategies by taking advantage of plugins that will provide a more personalized and seamless shopping experience.
WooCommerce Social Login
Inviting your target audience to become part of a community is a great way to cement your authority and build trust. In addition, providing your customers with personalized accounts can help you make better offers based on their viewed or previously purchased products.
You can use the WooCommerce Social Login plugin to make the signup and sign-in processes a lot faster. It allows customers to use their social media accounts for easy registration. Instead of going through the tedious process of filling out a long signup form, they can click the “log in with Facebook” button and be ready to go.
Aside from making the login process more convenient, WooCommerce Social Login will also help you extract useful information about your customers, which you can leverage for the ongoing optimization of your online store.
Pricing: $39; additional cost for support extension
Did you know? According to Bread & Butter, an e-commerce site’s conversion rates increase by up to 40% and shopping cart abandonment decreases by 10% after it adds a social login option to its store.
Product Enquiry for WooCommerce
Sometimes, customers need a little validation to make a purchase. They turn to product reviews, unboxing videos on YouTube and friends’ personal recommendations to feel more confident in their buying decision. Some customers also make direct inquiries with the seller to learn about the service and experience they can expect from your company.
As an online business, you can attend to these customers using the Product Enquiry for WooCommerce plugin. This feature allows you to include a “request a quote” button in specific places on your website. A significant advantage of this plugin is localization, as it provides the necessary files for translating and editing in a specific language. The Pro version also enables you to personalize the buttons and plugin dialog.
Pricing: Free; $80 for Pro version
WooCommerce plugins for customer support
Offer better customer service with plugins that enhance communication.
WooCommerce – Sendinblue Add-on
Conversions are not always about making a sale. Most of the time, nurturing long-term leads is more valuable and profitable than winning over quick buyers. That’s why it’s best to provide a permanent communication channel between your business and your potential customers.
You can maintain your prospects’ awareness of your e-commerce brand and build trust by sending helpful updates and incentives to an email list. For this strategy, you need an email marketing and contact management platform like Sendinblue. This plugin has all the features necessary to keep in touch with your audience – from a drag-and-drop email builder to automation. [Related article: How to Reach Your Email Marketing Goals]
If you use email to communicate with your customers about their purchases, Sendinblue makes it easier to populate WooCommerce order variables directly within your default email templates. The responsive design tools also make it simple to create engaging email templates and include the most critical order details. What’s more, Sendinblue optimizes the deliverability of your e-commerce emails to ensure your messages are seen so that you don’t have to worry about emails not being sent properly. To integrate the plugin with your WooCommerce-run online store, you just need to install the Sendinblue Add-on for WooCommerce.
Adding live chat to your e-commerce site provides real-time information to visitors who are genuinely interested in becoming customers. Join.chat is a lightweight plugin that won’t slow down your website and follows best coding practices. It’s available with multiple one-click connections to WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, SMS, phone calls, Skype and FaceTime. It also supports multilanguage capabilities, such as WPML, Polylang and RTL.
The premium plugin allows you to feature powerful call-to-action options with video, GIFs, buttons, links to WhatsApp groups and surveys – all within the chat box. Plus, you can add multiple support agent channels to help you scale your business and respond to customer inquiries more efficiently.
Pricing: Free; $53+ for premium version
Did you know? Customers who use live chat are 2.8 times more likely to convert than visitors to your site who don’t, according to Invesp.
With a wide variety of free and paid plugin options through WooCommerce, you will always have support for customizing your e-commerce WordPress site. In most cases, you won’t have to hire a web developer either. With the WooCommerce plugins highlighted above, you can provide a seamless shopping experience to your customers from registration to checkout without needing extensive technical knowledge.
It’s wise to choose WooCommerce plugins that streamline business processes and take advantage of workflow automation for your specific industry or company. However, no matter which category of plugin you choose, the source should be reliable and provide attentive support. The plugins should be maintained, compatible with your current site and have good reviews. Always test the plugin before implementing it fully on your site. Then get ready to reap the benefits of nurturing informed and satisfied customers.
Chad Brooks contributed to the writing and research in this article.