The year 2003, marks the beginning of this wonder called WordPress. It started out as a blogging system and gradually evolved into a complete Content Management System. As of the present, WordPress powers 26.4% of the web and a bigger part of its exponential rise goes to its extensive usability, thanks to thousands of plugins, themes and widgets. Not to mention that, WordPress is the most used CMS with a market share of 59.4%.
The year 2015 marks another significant event of the acquisition of WooThemes by Automattic, the parent company of WordPress. WooCommerce, the flagship plugin of WooThemes has now earned the highest ecommerce platform market share. Since 2012, the migration percentage to WooCommerce has increased 14 times. WooThemes started out with selling commercial themes for WordPress and gradually became an indispensable support for majority of the ecommerce sites after the launch of WooCommerce in the year 2011.
Once you download WooCommerce, you would soon realize that your WordPress website is now equipped with a strong ecommerce backbone but in order to unleash the true potential of WooCommerce, you would need to make investments on some of the essential premium plugins.
Here’s a list of the plugins which would power up your ecommerce store and prepare it to grow bigger –
When you have a large number of products for your store and the cumbersome task of creating each product frightens you, the Product Import Export plugin would come to your rescue. All you would need is a correctly configured CSV.
Once your CSV is ready, just import them to your site using this plugin. What if you realize that you have made a mistake in a few of the products? You can always make the rectification in the CSV and reimport the same.
This plugin would also aid you in keeping a backup of all your products and is invaluable when you are required migrate to a different website.
Product Import CSV Suite by WooCommerce too is a good one but it does have some limitations when it comes to features.
This multipurpose plugin is a must for your WooCommerce site. All your pricing needs would be taken care by this. Whether you want to give discounts on selected products, particular categories or based on all the products in the cart. You can even choose to give discounts on the basis of the combination of the products purchased. Not to mention the invaluable “BOGO” rules.
Besides you might want to give different discounts to different customers or would like to restrict the discounts to a particular range of dates.
Basically, giving occasional discounts is important in order to keep your sales flowing.
When you are running a WooCommerce store, chances are you need a lot of plugins to build and optimize your sales funnel. For example: product recommendation, email marketing, coupon, upsell plugin,…
How about integrating all of these features to your store with just one single plugin? It will really save you a lot of time and manual effort. Beeketing for WooCommerce is the marketing toolkit that aims to do all those manual jobs for you. The plugin provides 10+ features (free & premium) that helps optimize your sales funnel and nurture relationship with customers:
- Upsell related products & cross-sell product bundles
- Suggest best selling items, matching items with personalized product sliders
- Set up and send automated follow up emails to customers
- Curate different types of offers like free-gifts/ discount/ free-shipping promotions
- And many other features will be added by Beeketing frequently.
If you want to understand how the plugin works in more detail, we recommend you check it out here.
4. Payment gateways
What good would be your store be without a payment gateway? You can’t rely on “Cash On Delivery” forever. Fortunately, there are a number of reliable payment gateways and a number of plugins to help you connect your site with one. The top payment gateways for WooCommerce are –
5. Shipping plugins
If you are selling physical goods, a shipping plugin is a must. Sometimes you might need more than one, if you are required to ship a large number of products daily. Some of the best shipping plugins are –
Thus, when it comes to shipping plugins, XAdapter plugins seem to top the list. Each of the shipping plugins has a number of addons to provide extra features.
WooCommerce Subscription plugin, launched in the year 2012 and is currently their bestselling plugin. Subscription is an integral part of an ecommerce store. In some way or the other you would find the need of this plugin. The top examples can be — Netflix, Online courses, newspaper sites, internet subscription, magazine subscriptions. Your subscription products can be either virtual like Netflix or physical products like magazines.
In conjunction with the Membership plugin, the subscription plugin can become the backbone of the WordPress site you are running.
The Subscritio plugin by RightPress too would be a good choice for your store.
WooCommerce currency switcher plugin is an ideal solution to create a store in multiple currencies. And let’s face it, you would always want to grow your store and have customers from all round the world. This plugin would ease the effort of your customers and allow them to switch currencies in real time.
You can choose to use the plugin either with a shortcode [woocs] or as an widget.
This free of cost plugin has a number of premium features like a set other shortcodes, customization options, compatibility with a number of third part plugins.
It’s premium version comes with an unlimited count of currencies.
8. HelpDesk plugins
This is another of those plugins without which the survival of a site can come at risk at some point of time. As a store owner, you can’t forever depend on email support. What if you miss out some of the customer mails? In no time, you might have to witness the downfall of your website.
But, fortunately, today’s WordPress sites are blessed with very efficient and valuable helpdesk plugins. Among all the available plugins, the following two are significantly good.
The interface and features of the above two plugins are fairly similar. Yet, the major difference lies in the fact that Zendesk is a cloudbased plugin and thus, entails higher cost.
For small and medium sized businesses, WSDesk can be a lifesaver. Moreover, all your Zendesk tickets can be easily imported to WSDesk.
Nonetheless, both the above plugins would serve as a great plugin to your store.
This is another essential plugin without which selling of products would be difficult. This plugin would help you print Invoice, Packing Slip, Delivery Note & Label with any customization you want. A good number of templates are available which are open for editing as per the requirements.
You can print individual orders, or bulk print invoices, packing, delivery with a couple clicks. This is a very useful addon to help you package and ship orders, and further letting you include invoices with policies in your shipments.
Charging too much for shipping can lead you to lose potential customers. Charging too little can end you up in a loss. Thus, setting up shipping costs is a critical requirement of every WooCommerce store.
Though by default, WooCommerce offers some flexibility options over shipping charges but if you seek full control, I would recommend this popular Table Rate Shipping extension. Table Rate Shipping pro plugin would provide you with a number of advanced shipping options to experiment with, including:
Setting up shipping costs based on pre-configured “zones.”
Calculating shipping rates based on “quantity”, ‘price” and “weight” of the item purchased.
Setting up per unit/unit price/unit weight cost.
Thus, this plugin has a good number of usability.