Just a few years ago, in order to create an online store, you had to have advanced programming knowledge. Nowadays, you can build a simple e-commerce in just a couple of hours thanks to CMS (Content Management System) platforms, such as Magento, Shopify, PrestaShop or dedicated tools that can be added to your CMS, like WooCommerce or VirtueMart. What’s more, most of these solutions allow you to expand the functions of your website with special plugins, which, depending on the platform you use, come in free or paid forms. Let’s see what plugins will help you expand an online store built on WordPress and WooCommerce.
Why WordPress and WooCommerce?
WordPress and WooCommerce are definitely the best option if you need a simple and intuitive CMS store, and if you don’t want to invest a lot of money in its development. As wordpress.org states, WooCommerce has been downloaded over 4 million times. According to the BuiltWith report from February, 2018, it is used by 0,6% of websites from all around the world, and by 3,7% of the top million web services.
The platform’s success comes from thorough documentation, frequent updates, and a large community of developers engaged in publishing their own plugins. The combination of these three factors gives you stability and enables you to create a fully personalized e-commerce.
If you want to develop and expand your online store, you have to consider the following factors: aesthetics, communication with clients, functions available for users, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), the speed with which the service works, and the ease of use of the administration panel. All these elements cannot be omitted because they contribute to the success of your store.
Improve your business efficiency in a quick and simple way
Let’s begin with the most essential plugin from the perspective of business growth. I cannot imagine running an e-commerce without an expansion that allows you to measure and analyze the customers’ behavior on your shop.
With the Enhanced Ecommerce Google Analytics Plugin for WooCommerce, you can connect your e-commerce with Google Analytics in a simple way. Without the need to have any programming knowledge, the plugin allows you to monitor, among others: the amount of subpage views of given categories and products, the volume of sales, and the status of the clients’ shopping carts. Thanks to this knowledge, you can plan promotion actions in a more effective way and adjust the product assortment to the needs of your customers.
Because of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and Google’s requirements to have SSL certificates, the Really Simple SSL plugin may turn out to be very useful. After just one click, it encrypts Internet connections on your website (on the condition that your hosting enables such a service). Not without a reason, the plugin has been downloaded over 1 million times. It quickly deals with the problem of mixed content. So, your website address will never lose its green padlock – the icon that informs users that your page is safe.
Another must-have plugin is Yoast SEO. It expands WordPress’ basic function connected to the management of subpage, post and product metadata. Thanks to this plugin, you can configure OpenGraph information that will be displayed after you post a link to your store on social media channels. This will attract more customers who search for products using Internet browsers.
Effectively communicate with clients
Newsletter is an essential channel of communication in e-commerce. Mailchimp is one of the most popular solutions. The WooCommerce MailChimp plugin allows users to subscribe to your newsletter through a customized form. The only condition is that you need to have an active account on the MailChimp platform. The customers can subscribe to your newsletter during the purchase or after they have created an account on your store.
Messages about presents or discounts, displayed in a given moment of the client’s visit, are equally important. On the basis of different sources, this form of communication increases sales conversion from 7% to even 12%. Popup Builder – Responsive WordPress Pop up – Subscription & Newsletter is a great plugin with which you can create your own pop-ups. In this type of communication, you can give your client a special offer, a discount, or ask him to leave his personal data for your newsletter. The plugin is also available in a premium version, so even the most demanding will be satisfied with its expanded features.
Another useful plugin is the WooCommerce Product Slider. It is simple in use and, at the same time, it is an advanced tool that allows you to create a slideshow containing your products. You can place it anywhere you want and personalize its visual style, harmonizing it with the layout of your store and improving your image in the customers’ eyes.
Improve the usability of your e-commerce
With YITH WooCommerce Social Login, your customer can create an account and log into your store through the one of the most popular social media channels: Facebook, Twitter or G+. Just one click and the system collects the buyer’s data, allowing him to save time and improving his satisfaction. This plugin is a great solution not only because people prefer social logins to registration forms, but also because it automatically validates who stands behind a given account.
One of the best ways to improve the user’s comfort is to install Advanced AJAX Product Filters. The plugin allows you to create dynamic search filters. With its free version, you can set filters for: the price, product category and its chosen characteristics. A major advantage of this tool is that it generates results in real time, so the page doesn’t have to reload and the user doesn’t have to waste his time on waiting.
The basic version of WooCommerce has an already preinstalled coupon system. If you want to go a step further and encourage your clients to return to your store, offer them a customer loyalty scheme. SUMO Reward Points – WooCommerce Reward System provides you with a system, where users can collect points and exchange them for discounts and products from your special offer. Points can be collected not only through a standard purchase but also if the user recommends your store to other people, likes your products, or writes a customer review. After logging into his account, the user can check the history of the collected and spent points and generate a referral link he can use to recommend your site.
Another item that has to be on our list is a plugin designed for quick online payments, a must-have tool for any e-commerce. With WooCommerce PayPal Gateway, you can easily add PayPal payment options to your website and receive real time order status updates.