You’re ready to sell your products online. You’ve done your digital inventory and signed up for WordPress. But one look at your website, and you know the interface is bland—unable to catch the eye of potential customers. How can you supercharge your blog into a full-fledged e-commerce platform?
With the number of online shoppers reaching an estimated 2.14 billion by 2021, businesses need to streamline their e-commerce websites.
Behind every great online shopping experience is a website that delivers powerful tools for both the shopper and the business owner. This is where WordPress plugins come in with their host of features, functions, and themes that redefine online retail.
What are WordPress plugins?
WordPress as a content management system offers powerful customization tools to let you configure your site and match your business needs. With the help of certain pieces of software called plugins, you can add an extensive array of functions and designs that make for pleasant shopping experience for customers, and an easy and convenient e-commerce site management experience for owners.
Think of your plugins as an additional toolkit on your dashboard designed to enhance the controls and aesthetics of your site.
With 48,000 options (and counting!) available for download on the WordPress plugins directory—plus thousands more on popular developer communities—business owners will see endless possibilities when it comes to sprucing up their e-commerce site.
Want to get a pulse of customer feedback through social listening? There’s a plugin for that! Need to download massive files, send out marketing emails, or perform site analytics? You guessed it: there’s also a plugin for that.
Not all plugins are the same, however. Some pack in basic enhancements, while others offer more advanced analytic tools. But the best WordPress e-commerce plugins perform the following:
- Payment processing
- Order management
- Site customization
- App integration
- Client support
The difference in choices often boils down to what type of product or service is being offered on the e-commerce site—whether it’s clothing, e-Books, or cupcakes. The important thing is to keep the sales, inventory, and accounting and marketing processes moving as efficiently and accurately as possible.
The 10 best WordPress plugins for e-commerce sites:
Powerful and economical—that’s how most customers view WooCommerce, one of the most popular e-commerce plugins for WordPress. In fact, 28% of online stores in the world use the platform.
It’s an open-source and modular system; this means that you can come up with as many solutions as possible to make your business run smoothly, and WooCommerce will work to support those ideas. The platform is free, but some may also opt to pay for particular add-on features.
WooCommerce receives massive support from Automattic, the team behind WordPress.com, which acquired WooCommerce in 2015. It’s no wonder then that the ecosystem is thriving: it has 400-plus official extensions for various needs—from marketing analytics to shipping—all created and supported by an active developer community.
In terms of design, WooCommerce enables business owners to customize any part of their website and supports a plethora of WordPress themes. The platform also lets vendors upload as many images and product listings as they want.
- Lots of extensions to choose from, even without the need for custom coding
- A wide array of themes
- Supports the sale of digital and physical goods
- Easy inventory management
- Updates are documented
- Supports multiple payment and shipping options
- Easy to get lost in a world of options
- Not all themes, especially third-party creations, are easy to deploy or tweak
- With so many add-ons to choose from, it takes a bit of testing to find the best option.
- Images load slow at time so recommend using with wp-rocket.me
WonderPush was created to provide easy push notifications to site owners using WooCommerce so they can set up “Abandoned cart reminders” and re-engage potential customers by sending them a web push notification. This way, you can automate push notifications and increase your site's conversion. you only need to connect to your WonderPush dashboard and setup a campaign triggered when users meet certain segmentation criteria.
WonderPush offers a 14-day free trial. After the trial period, you can send unlimited web push notifications for $1 per month plus $1 per 1000 subscribers. There are no limits to the number of web push notifications you can send. WonderPush supports rich formats, automation, real-time analytics, and a powerful segmentation engine. All features are included without ever having to pay more.
- Supports all browsers on both HTTP and HTTPS sites.
- Send automatic notifications every time you publish a new post
- Push notifications to specific subscribers based on language, tags, or events .
- Subscription prompt customization .
- See real time metrics in our dashboard.
- Manage and customize segments and campaigns.
- Adds web push support to AMP sites.
3. Easy Digital Downloads
For businesses that sell all things digital, Easy Digital Downloads provides functions that cater specifically to electronic files such as eBooks and video/audio clips. The interface is streamlined sans the usual clutter of e-commerce websites. This allows customers to zero in on the digital gallery.
When a purchase is made, the system assists the customer by emailing them the link for downloading the content. The plugin is free, but the paid version includes additional tools for marketing and payment.
- Polished design perfect for selling only digital products
- Includes a shopping cart, discount code, and bundle purchase options
- Hundreds of extensions
- Offers built-in themes
- Easy to navigate for site owners uploading their products
- Strictly for digital content
- Requires a third-party solution for selling affiliate or external products
4. Import Export Suite for WooCommerce
For anyone that is using WooCommerce, Webtoffee is an essential. They have a Import Export Suite For WooCommerce that lets you bulk update your store with many different filters. Some of the features include importing/exporting products, WooCommerce customers, coupons, orders, subscriptions, product reviews and ratings from a CSV or XML file.
The importing can be done manually or we can schedule the import via URL or by FTP with the plugin. Among other features, the plugin also lets you bulk update the store, custom import/export with several filter options, etc
- Compatible with most other major plugins
- View detailed History, Debug logs, and Cron Schedules
- Supports multiple product types
- Transfer of all the order, coupon, and subscriptions data
- Has multiple Import and export methods
Webtoffee is a little more costly at $129/ Site (one time fee), but only option I have seen that works for exporting all aspects for WooCommerce
Another versatile contender is BigCommerce, which has been running as a full-scale e-commerce platform for years. It didn’t originally start as a WordPress plugin, but the platform is now entering the whole ecosystem of boosters and extensions to target companies that already thrive on the WordPress platform.
On one hand, business owners can manage content using WordPress. On the other, they can make use of powerful e-commerce features by integrating BigCommerce into their site
- Site designs and checkout experience can easily be customized
- Sites can be tailored for mobile
- Easy-to-use built-in discount and promotional options
- Highly scalable as the business/inventory grows
- E-commerce engine runs on the backend, ensuring smooth site loading
- Supports multiple payment options
- Drag-and-drop functionality for adding products and design elements
- A little confusing to manage for beginners
- Lacks mobile app to manage the site on the go
- A limited number of apps open for integration
If you’re looking to sell subscription- or membership-based items online, then MemberPress is the WordPress plugin for you. The platform is designed to turn site visitors into paying customers. Like Easy Digital Downloads, it caters mostly to digital subscriptions and content downloads but gives business owners control over members access.
MemberPress sets restrictions on different types of content and areas of the website based on the customer’s membership or subscription class. Another unique function of MemberPress is content dripping: it schedules the release of new content and sets the expiration of access.
- Sets access to products and services based on membership or subscription type
- Enables digital downloads
- Allows for content dripping
- Uses a wide array of extensions to enhance the site
- Works well with a variety of themes
- Slow development/upgrades
- Payment options limited
- Charges annual service fee to business owners
Installing one too many add-ons can turn into a hassle given the world of options available on the WordPress ecosystem. Cart66 beats rivals with the way it streamlines its functions—no need to input so many additional tools and features. Many come built into the platform.
While WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and other options pride themselves with the ability to integrate add-ons, Cart66 takes a step in the opposite direction by simplifying everything into a unified platform. It’s touted as one of the easiest e-commerce plugins to set up even for ordinary site owners, not just developers.
- Essential features are already integrated into the platform
- Easy to use even for non-developers
- Supports the sale of both digital and physical goods
- Offers excellent customer support
- Provides email marketing tools
- Focused on core functions
- Limited customization of processes
Learning specialists who want to create and sell online courses should consider the WordPress plugin LearnDash. It caters to people who wish to monetize tutorials, courses, and specialized training sessions. As a learning management system, the platform can monitor learners’ progress, give quizzes, reward top performers, schedule the release of courses, and track and enhance user engagement. LearnDash also allows owners to set course prices and subscriber access.
- Processes enrolment in online courses
- Offers free and paid add-ons
- Can be integrated with other plugins such as WooCommerce and Easy Downloads
- Supports unlimited number of lessons and quizzes
- Allows for different pricing and access rules
- More suited to advanced course developers but may be overwhelming for beginners
- Powerful reporting features available only through the paid version
- Relatively high subscription prices for small businesses
9. WP eCommerce
Touted as the “original” WordPress e-commerce plugin, WP eCommerce provides the fundamentals of every shopping website: an enticing online store and a reliable shopping cart functionality. As an open-source plugin, WP eCommerce powers more than 36,000 stores worldwide.
It is known for having one of the easiest-to-navigate inventory management tools: it allows business owners to add and organize products straight from the WordPress dashboard. Apart from supporting multiple payment gateways, the plugin also automatically calculates additional costs you set, such as shipping and handling. It also renders product pages seamlessly through a variety of WordPress themes.
- Offers discounts and coupons function
- Supports on-site product reviews through an add-on
- Prepares PDF invoices
- Pitches ‘Suggested’ or ‘Related’ products
- Integrates MailChimp and Campaign Monitor for email marketing
- No shipment tracking
- No ‘Product Comparisons’ function
- Limited options for email integration
Unlike most popular plugins on this list, which focus on full-service e-commerce site management, OptinMonster specializes in optimizing your conversion rate by reducing the number of shoppers who abandon their shopping cart on your site.
The secret: the plugin asks prospective buyers who are about to leave the site if they are interested in signing up for an email subscription. This also enables business owners to build their directory of shoppers.
- Builds opt-in forms through an intuitive, easy-to-use, drag-and-drop method
- Simplifies user interface with just a Yes/No form
- Mobile-friendly designs
- Offers a multitude of templates
- Templates are not always customizable
- No automatic selection of winners for A/B testing
If you’re managing more than one e-commerce channel, then you’d be happy to find Veeqo doing all your inventory and order management effortlessly for you. Imagine running all your stores on different channels—whether it’s Amazon, eBay or Etsy—in one unified platform. Veeqo lets business owners source products from suppliers, track inventory, set up product entries and descriptions, process orders, and monitor product selection, packing, and shipping.
- Intuitive navigation on the platform
- Inventory syncing and forecast
- Manages returns efficiently
- Offers revenue reports and branded invoices
- Creates warehouse reports
- Tracks parcels
- Managing tens of thousands of products for first-time users can take a while
- Pricing may be steep for small businesses
12. Envira Gallery
Most WordPress e-commerce plugins will offer business owners the chance to showcase their products in galleries. WordPress itself is designed to support customizable product pages. But if you’re looking for a more stunning and engaging way to display your items, then your best bet is Envira Gallery. The plugin allows you to build galleries, albums, and popup forms that entice visitors to browse through. It is both powerful and easy to use.
- Build photo and video galleries with a quick drag-and-drop method
- Offers preset product galleries for quick uploads
- Creates albums; watermarks product photos to protect ownership
- Mobile-friendly designs
- Launches slide shows and full-screen mode
- Integrates with WooCommerce
- The free version has limited features
- Gallery templates come with a $69 plan
- Social sharing comes with a $99 plan
This article was written by the ecommerce experts at my-shoppingbox.com. They provide international shipping and people in the Philippines access Amazon products and help ecommerce companies reach their full potential.