Where would the world be without WordPress plugins?
They make things easy for us. They extend the WordPress ecosystem and allow WordPress users to get so much done without touching a single piece of code.
While WordPress has a plugin for just about any purpose, there are several plugins that are dedicated to one aspect of the WordPress ecosystem: that is WooCommerce.
Yes, the e-commerce giant also has a variety of platforms that you can use to extend the functionality of WooCommerce.
An ecosystem within an ecosystem, if you wish to call it that.
This post discusses the various eCommerce plugins that you can use for WooCommerce and how they can improve the WordPress experience.
WordPress Plugin Selection: The Pre-Requisites
There are two pre-requisites you need to look at before you go about installing WordPress plugins for eCommerce. Here is a list of things you need to take into account:
Select A Good Web Host
An essential ingredient in a high-performance eCommerce store, a good web host comes with several benefits.
When your website runs on quality hosting servers, Google notices and thus gives you a better ranking.
Moreover, it also leads to an inherent increase in page load times which is quite beneficial for the consumer.
An SSL Certificate
These certificates, to put it simply, ensure the security of your website. Ever notice the “HTTPS” title before a website? The “s” in that “HTTPS” is the SSL certificate at work.
Sounds very benign right? It’s not, since Google prefers a website with an SSL certificate rather than one without. This is a must-have since WordPress security is a must-have.
So, with these out of the way, it’s time we discuss the various WordPress plugins you can use for your store.
WordPress Plugin Selection: Five Best Plugins
No discussion of WordPress plugins can be complete without the mention of WooCommerce.
Owned by Automattic, it’s a must-have plugin if you’re looking to get started with ecommerce.
It’s highly functional with less of a learning curve. If you feel that you don’t understand a concept, then there are plenty of tutorials on WooCommerce that you can refer to.
Besides the functionalities and features, WooCommerce doesn’t lag behind from a visual perspective. There are tons of themes available within WooCommerce that you can use to style your store.
Lastly, because it’s WordPress, it’s highly customizable, so you can adjust the themes and store according to your brand.
By itself, BigCommerce is a pretty powerful platform for eCommerce.
However, it’s integration with WordPress gives users another experience altogether.
A unique integration that’s highly scalable, this plugin allows you to set up an eCommerce store on WordPress using BigCommerce.
This follows the principles of headless commerce where the CMS is different and the platform is different.
With this plugin, you don’t have to worry about integration requirements, maintenance costs and security – allowing you to sell across multiple channels without facing any significant issues.
The only downside to using this integration is that it gives you fewer options for extensions.
Overall, it’s additional security is indeed something to look forward to.
A subscription based plugin, it allows you to create communities on your ecommerce store. If you’re looking to sell digital products and services, you need this plugin.
There are many similar options available, yes, but this one’s integrations, features, and options make it the premium choice for membership plugins. The best thing about memberpress is its powerful access roles.
They allow you to set up accurate roles and permissions, thus limiting specific users to certain specific roles and permissions.
It’s a must-have plugin whether you’re in the edu-tech, b2b, b2c, or service industry since it not only allows you to manage your users, but it also creates a whole community around your eCommerce store.
In addition to being robust from the get-go in terms of features, the platform itself has a lot of add-ons that allow you to manage things properly.
4. Easy Digital Downloads
If you’re looking to sell eBooks, whitepapers, and digital media in one form or another, then Easy Digital Downloads are your good friend.
An easy-to-use extension for ecommerce, it allows you to create digital product entries, payment tiers, and payment tracking for each particular download that happens on your store. For ecommerce brands, it’s got a variety of different themes that they can use to customize their digital product entries according to their brand.
On top of that, it has a variety of extensions that are easily available. They allow you to add payment gateways, marketing platforms, and more. The best part about using this plugin is that you can get around to using it from a very basic level. Its low learning curve is quite beneficial for those looking to self-learn and quickly sell products.
Its only downside is that it’s limited to selling digital products only, not physical products.
Some may not consider this to be a disadvantage, but it is if you want to sell both the digital and physical versions (eBooks and paperbacks, for example). Another disadvantage is that you cannot sell external and affiliate products on the platform.
Saving the best for last. No discussion of ecommerce platforms or integrations can ever be complete without the mention of Shopify. It’s a highly scalable, closed-source, and secure platform.
It’s integration with WordPress is also one to look at. Now Shopify Vs WooCommerce itself is a big debate, but it’s important to note that you can use them simultaneously with one another. This allows you to avail the benefits of both platforms side by side.
It’s a super easy to use platform that’s pretty self-explanatory. If you’re feeling a bit confused, then there are tons of tutorials for Shopify that you can refer to. They’re not as many as WooCommerce, but they are there regardless.
Shopify supports digital as well as physical downloads gives you many options for inventory management, payment integrations, and more. It’s truly an all-in-one platform for all your ecommerce needs.
The drawback to using Shopify, regardless of whether they’re an extension or not is that you have to pay a monthly subscription fee to keep using Shopify. For businesses with low budgets, this is not an ideal thing to have. Moreover, they tell you to purchase Shopify payments, which is in itself not a good option if you’re used to using another payment platform.
6. Smart Coupons for WooCommerce.
If you are running an e-commerce business in your WordPress website based on WooCommerce, you will need to create promotional sales on your website at one point or another. Be it giving a quick start to your new business, creating seasonal sales, or staying ahead of the competition.
Smart Coupons for WooCommerce is a WooCommerce coupons plugin that can allow you to create more advanced coupons. WooCommerce has a robust coupons system and Smart Coupons for WooCommerce extends that functionality to provide more advanced and smarter coupons that can lure the customer into your store.
Features like auto-apply coupons, giveaways, or coupon restrictions based on user roles, shipping methods, payment methods, etc. help create unique coupons that ensure improved conversion rates.
More advanced features are available in the Smart Coupons for WooCommerce Pro and come with a price tag. But that price tag will be worth it considering how much more conversions the advanced coupons can bring you.
Conclusion: The best Ecommerce Plug-ins for Your Existing WordPress Site
Integrating two stores with one another sounds like a bit too much work, but if you’re looking to double your benefits, then it’s not too bad of a choice. All these solutions are there to improve the WordPress experience but they can be used individually as well. The mentioned are possibly the best eCommerce platforms available today.