Take it from a WooCommerce Ninja – there are some awesome WooCommerce plugins out there. I’ve heard a lot of people claiming that WC can’t stack up to ‘real'(expensive) e-commerce platforms, and simply put that’s a lie.
The only difference between the two is pricing. You, as the store owner, can go one of two ways:
Do you want to pay upfront for an all-in-one system and rely on a developer to add your customizations?
Do you want to use a free system and only purchase the features you’ll use?
I’ve worked on e-commerce platforms of all sizes – plenty of free ones, but some of the biggest, sh*ttiest platforms on the planet as well. Big names don’t come cheap – I’ve seen the leading software cost up to $10,000… Per year, for a license only. Pay your developer on top of that and you might as well stay out of business.
Instead, everyone should just go to Woo. For a fraction of the cost, you can pick-and-choose from the ever-expanding extension library – or, you can save a bunch of time and look at my favorites below.
- Product Add-Ons – Hands down my favorite extension. You can do so much with this – an absolute must for any WooCommerce site.
- Variation Swatches and Photos – If Product Add-Ons hadn’t come along first, then Variation Swatches and Photos would be my top. Adds some great functionality to bring your site to a professional level.
- Product Bundles – Want to sell items together, but track their inventory separately? Consider it done.
- Composite Products – Allows for extremely advanced creation of custom bundles, packages, or products ranging from vacation plans to high-end consumer goods like custom computers. All-around awesome extension, assuming your store keeps parts as individual SKUs.
- Brands – Are you a retailer selling from multiple manufacturers? This plugin is made for you. With an extremely easy interface, this lets users shop by brand and keeps you in-the-know on customer favorites.
Sales & Promotion
- Smart Coupons – If there’s an essential WooCommerce extension, it’s this one. Smart Coupons allows you much more control over your coupons, letting you create gift certificates, specify products or categories, or really do anything you can imagine (except predicting the lottery, that’s probably a 2.0 feature).
- Cart Add-Ons – Just because the shopper is in the cart doesn’t mean they’re done. Put the online equivalent of gum at the checkout aisle for that one last sale.
- Dynamic Pricing – Great for adding bulk discounts and quantity-based price adjustments. Awesome addition for most sites.
- Flat Rate Box Shipping – Pretty much as implied, this gives you the ability to set a flat box rate depending on the destination, weight, box size, and even items too big for a box.
- Table Rate Shipping – If you can think up a shipping scheme, Table Rate Shipping can create it. Expensive, but worth every penny.
- Quick View – An extra click could mean a lost customer – using the Quick View plugin creates an HTML5 friendly pop-up with all the important information and an option to add to the cart.
- Product Finder – Improve on that crappy WordPress search engine!
Sales & Promotion
- WooCommerce Subscriptions are great for recurring orders, like monthly delivery. The price would be static, though, so a membership fee would be ideal here.
- Products of the Day – Great for featuring specific products on sale, new products, or anything you want to clear off the shelf.
- Recommendation Engine – Just like Amazon, this recommends similar or related products to your customers. Jump on that impulse buyer 🙂
- Splash Popup – Used sparingly, popups can be an effective way to drive sales, newsletter signups, or contest entries. This extension even allows you to set a timer on how frequently it should appear to avoid driving your users up the wall.
- Points and Rewards – Create your very own rewards system with this ultra-flexible plugin. Shop owners know that recurring customers are a huge revenue source, so give shoppers a reason to come back for more… As an additional note, I’ve seen comparable software cost up to $5,000 a year. Such a good deal.
A disclaimer on the list: This ‘favorites’ list is solely my own – don’t interpret it as a list of most popular, or most functional, or any other way than what I mean. These are the best I’ve come across during development and usually have some brilliant, dedicated programming power behind them – all of them also have the full backing of the WooThemes Support team, which are some great people 🙂
Have any questions or comments about this article, or ways you think it can be improved?
Join the conversation in the comments below, or sign up for my newsletter to recieve periodic updates!