Standing out from the crowd is a must for online stores. An online store without the little extras that make searching, browsing & checking out simple and easy is going to have a tough time keeping customers around. On top of this, there is always pressure to offer integrations with an ever-expanding number of third-party apps and platforms that add a little something special to the whole process.
In order to keep up, it sounds like you might need to have a full-time team of programmers constantly working at implementing upgrades & expansions to your store but, fortunately that’s not the case.
Today, thanks to a huge variety of eCommerce plugins, you can easily create a website that will drive revenue like never before while constantly evolving to match changing trends and new options.
Plugins, also referred to as add-ons, are a great way to customize your site and add tons of features without having or needing a dedicated tech team on the backend to code every single little change. Thanks to the wide range of customizable eCommerce plugins, your store will always look and feel like it’s straight from the cutting edge with the most modern options and customer experience.
An entire industry has grown around supplying the big names of eCommerce - Shopify, Salesforce, WordPress, etc. - with little ‘extras’ to make them even better.
Sometimes it's a clever extension of an existing feature, sometimes it’s just a better way to go about its core tasks, sometimes it’s something that’s completely new and different. Plugins exist to make the shopping experience better, faster, easier, and generally better for everyone involved.
Take a look at these 8 eCommerce plugins you might need right now and discover how they can take your customer experience up a level or two. Let’s jump in!
You may know WooCommerce as a trustworthy eCommerce platform as well as one of the most popular plugins for companies getting into online shopping. With so many essential add-ons and extensions, WooCommerce allows you to take care of the core processes of digital retail, from subscription management through secure payments all the way to customizable shipping.
Why do you need WooCommerce?
22% of the most profitable eCommerce websites rely on this plugin for their configurations. On top of that, it’s a WordPress-powered environment, which means that you can build your online store with the most popular CMS in the world without having to compromise any of the commercial functionalities.
BigCommerce is another name you need to know if you’re looking for eCommerce plugins. While WooCommerce is more of a one-size-fits-all kind of solution, BigCommerce positions itself towards companies on the enterprise level. Similar to its alternative, the plugin offers seamless integration with WordPress, allowing for the automatic landing page set up for crucial processes such as cart monitoring, account setup, etc.
Why do you need BigCommerce?
Internationally recognized retailers, such as Tyler’s, Di Bruno Bros. and Berlin Packaging trust BigCommerce with their websites. Its core strengths include simple scalability, the lack of transaction charges, and its support of cross-channel sales. With BigCommerce, you can easily sell your products not only through your own website, but also through the world’s most popular online marketplaces, like Amazon, Facebook, or Instagram.
OptiMonk is not as well known as a provider of eCommerce plugins than the previous two, but it’s a strong choice for any store with needs that match OptiMonk’s strengths. The platform itself specializes in enhancing core eCommerce processes, such as list building, cart abandonment prevention, product promotion, etc. And when it comes to plugins, OptiMonk encourages you to focus on one of the most crucial elements of customer retention - exit pop-ups.
Why do you need OptiMonk?
Research by Baymard Institute has revealed that almost 70% of shoppers abandon their carts before completing a purchase. OptiMonk’s plugin allows you to set up timely pop-ups that will help you retain customers. Exit pop-ups can contain valuable discount codes or offer free shipping, which is often enough to persuade the shopper to complete the purchase. Setting up pop-ups on WordPress and other CMSs can be a real pain, which is why this plugin is sure to save you some time as well as a fair share of headaches.
OptinMonster is a famous conversion optimization platform that allows you to create and customize a product offer, set up personalized targeting and research valuable insights. It allows you to work with lead capture forms, A/B testing, retargeting, and other useful features. While it is in no way eCommerce-specific, OptinMonster can be a powerful ally on your journey towards lead conversions.
Why do you need OptinMonster?
Easy Digital Downloads is a reliable WordPress partner specializing in plugins, ebooks, audio clips, and basically anything digital. In fact, digital products are EDD’s core specialty with which they’ve managed to effectively differentiate themselves from WooCommerce. Thanks to its numerous integrations with essential platforms like Mailchimp, PayPal, and Zapier you can easily automate your eCommerce efforts and later power them up with EDD’s sales functionalities, like payment flexibility, shopping cart support, unlimited file download, and more.
Why do you need Easy Digital Download?
If you’re selling digital products this might be the single most important plugin for your WordPress-powered website. The best part is that it comes absolutely free of charge. That means that as soon as you’ve installed the plugin you can immediately set up your digital eCommerce platform and start selling.
Paywhirl can easily cooperate with other useful additions, such as BigCommerce, Google Analytics, and Shopify. With Paywhirl, you can set up automatic payment scheduling, organize global payments, and easily create customer portals for your subscribers to log in and manage their account information.
Why do you need Paywhirl?
If EDD is a perfect solution for those of you selling digital products, Paywhirl is second to none when it comes to subscription-based payments. Dedicated to online recurring payments and subscription billing, adding this plugin will be a priceless addition to your eCommerce store.
You’ve probably heard about Squarespace - one of the most popular design-first website builders. Square Studio, a collection of plugins used by more than twenty thousand websites, comes from the same team. Choose between dozens of free and paid plugins for beautiful and simple incorporation of essential eCommerce features, such as product reviews, multi-color product variations, social proof, etc.
Why do you need Square Studio’s Flash Sale plugin?
According to the recent findings, the absolute majority of people tend to base the credibility of a business on none other than the looks of their website. That’s why betting on the solution that’s been created by designers with a stunning UX/UI combination in mind is the way to go in 2022!
How to choose the right plugin for your website
At this point, you might be wondering: if there are so many plugins to choose from, how do you choose the ones that will work best for your needs? Here are a couple of things to keep in mind before you pay for something that might not be the best fit for you:
- Check the supported hostings. Not all plugins will be as universal as WooCommerce. Some will only run on WordPress, while others will stick to Shopify, not to mention all the smaller players. Make sure that the plugin you are about to purchase will, indeed, run on your website.
- Consult your budget. Some of the plugins from this list are free, while others come for a price. However, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t any similar alternatives you couldn’t come across if you searched the web a little. The best solutions don’t always come cheap, but sometimes they actually do!
- Focus on the features. Large plugin providers, such as Shopify, will offer you a gazillion eCommerce-specific features for a price of a single download. The problem is, you most probably won’t need all those features. That’s why it’s always the best strategy to carefully evaluate which functionalities you’re truly after and search only for those plugins that serve this specific purpose.
There are thousands of plugins waiting for you to install their free trials out there. So don’t give up, keep searching for those solutions that speak to you and your audience, and you will be able to grow your eCommerce business in no time. Good luck!