It probably isn’t a news flash that there are a lot of e-commerce stores on the web these days. In fact, tens of millions have been established (though many aren’t kept active), and as of 2014, there were about 110,000 English-language e-commerce sites in the Alexa top 1 million websites. If you’re just sitting back waiting for the masses to find and buy from you, you’re likely in for a long, fairly uneventful wait.
Among all the e-commerce platforms out there, WooCommerce is the most popular. This free WordPress plugin powers about one-third of all e-commerce sites, quickly closing in on 10 million downloads as of mid-2015.
With all the competition vying for consumer attention and dollars in an overcrowded marketplace, it takes more than a great product to get paying customers to your online store. It takes marketing and an elevated customer experience. Fortunately, there are a number of user-friendly, effective, low-cost extensions for marketing, managing, and customizing your WooCommerce store.
Here are 10 of the best:
This extension plugs a complete, simple affiliates management system into your WordPress dashboard. This gets affiliates working for you, promoting your products and increasing your visibility, traffic, sales, and SEO. And it’s only $49.
For a $79 single-site license, connect this extension to a Drip Email Marketing account and get lots of great functionality and useful analytics—including goal conversion rates, sales, lifetime value, and subscriber info—in an easy-to-use format.
Email marketing is still the most effective content marketing tactic. This WooCommerce extension make it easy to devise, implement, automate, and closely monitor your email marketing campaigns. There’s a one-time cost of $99.
Connect this extension with your Google Merchant Center account for $79. It gives you control over what data is added to your account feed and facilitates bulk import of product data through CSV Import Suite. It’s also one of the steps for participating in Google Shopping.
Integrate your WooCommerce store with MailChimp or CampaignMonitor for just $49. A dashboard widget displays key metrics from your newsletter marketing campaigns, while another widget promotes subscriptions from site visitors.
Here’s a useful extension for cutting down on cart abandonment, the phenomenon of people giving up mid-purchase before the final click to finalize the sale. Often, too long a checkout process is to blame; for $79, you get a simple, single-page e-commerce checkout.
Build customer loyalty and boost sales with this points and rewards program. It starts at $129 and lets you customize a system for rewarding visitors for purchases and other actions on your site with points they can redeem for discounts on future purchases.
This $79 tool gives your customers more options for creating and reading product reviews than comes with WooCommerce. It’s a good way to build your social proof and take advantage of user reviews, which the majority of online shoppers consider before making a purchase.
Benefit from predictive marketing with this tool that monitors customer behaviors and events to make recommendations for other purchases. Recommendations are shown naturally to visitors and email recipients in WooCommerce templates. There’s a free trial available.
Let customers compile their own wish lists from your products to increase sales. For $79, your guests and existing customers can keep track of what they want, manage separate lists for different occasions, share their lists via social media and email, and do lots more.
An Evolving Effort
Any of these tools will help improve the usability and success rate of your WooCommerce store. But none are a magic solution that will suddenly have you set for retirement. Keep working at them and pay close attention to the data you collect—it’s there so you can continuously achieve better results.
If you’re still just considering starting up an e-commerce site, start with 10 Things to Think About Before Launching an Online Store.