WooCommerce by itself is a great plugin. You can customize many aspects of the e-commerce experience just through the core plugin itself, including the receipt, account creation, password recovery emails, the different payment methods, shipping methods as well as up-sells and cross-sells. It amazes me every time think about it. Whenever people ask me, which plugins do I need to buy, I’d say the truth is, you can actually run a 7 figures e-commerce website, without using any paid plugins at all. However, paid plugins do help improve your store in a much better and different way that free plugins are not able to.
When it comes to some of the awesome free plugins I use in my store, there are a few main areas where WooCommerce itself is not able to provide, which are order tracking, user-generated content, social proof, live chat, product recommendation, simpler checkout fields, scarcity, and urgency.
Customers always want to know where their parcel is, and when can they expect them to arrive. By giving them a way to track their parcels on their own, they would require less customer service from you, and definitely helps you to be more productive and creates more trust in your business, as there is a proof that you actually sent out the order after they place it.
This is the plugin that I use with WooCommerce. It is an awesome plugin and solves all your tracking problems. It provides a customizable tracking page which you can brand it, a track button that can be inserted anywhere on your website as well as in the customer’s previous order history page and allows tracking for hundreds of different courier services around the world.
Customer Reviews Encouragement
When it comes to the internet and especially e-commerce, people tend to get skeptical and distrusting when buying something online. By having reviews, it will show your prospective customers what the ownership benefit will be by purchasing the product through you, it also shows that there is activity on the product and they are not the first person to be buying.
Customer Reviews for WooCommerce
This plugin has got to be the best free plugin I have used for customer reviews. Definitely a lot better than other popular ones out there but they are not as effective as Customer Reviews for WooCommerce. The reason why it is so effective is because they consolidate everything that a customer has purchased together, and put them all together in a simple survey, along with the product photo to remind the customer what the item was, and have the customer review everything together. It makes it a lot simpler for the customer to leave reviews this way then doing it individually for every product they bought.
They also allow voting of reviews, photo reviews, captcha (spam prevention), shows all the reviews in a single page, automatic review reminder emails, manual sending of reminder emails, review for discount and customizing of the emails that go out as well. Insanely useful and awesome value for a simple plugin.
Additional Product Information
More often than not, the product description is not sufficient information for a customer to buy. They wanna know is there any warranty for the item, how long the shipping will be and maybe the cost of shipping of the product.
Custom Product Tabs for WooCommerce
With Custom Product Tabs for WooCommerce, you can add additional custom tabs to individual, multiple, category or all your products. You can have a custom title for the tab. It is also easy to add, delete or rearrange the order of your product tabs. Tabs can have images, text, HTML or shortcodes. My best practice is to have a tab for Warranty information on the product itself to increase the confidence of potential buyers.
Email Marketing for E-Commerce
The highest ROI of all marketing channels. This is a must-have for all businesses, especially e-commerce. Email marketing helps you to convert leads into buyers, buyers to buy more, buyers to return, and trigger a high volume of sales during different periods.
The best of the best in e-commerce based email marketing. Once you’ve tried this, you wouldn’t even waste any time with other email marketing services. There are too many features in here that I’ll have to share this on a different blog post.
FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) Social Proof
How would you feel if tons of other people are also shopping in the same e-commerce store as you, and have already made their purchase? I’m sure you’ll be feeling really excited and be less worried as there are people before you who have already purchased. However, if you’re on a website now, how would you know that there are others on it as well? In the past, people would use visitor counters, but that’s too outdated today, and people know those numbers can be faked. Today, you need a social proof plugin.
Developed by Beeketing, but completely free. Syncs with your sales data and generates the social proof on your website. It would not take you more than 3 minutes to set this up and you’ll start seeing your conversion rate improving. Customers can also click on those notifications and lead them to the product page as well. I recommend you not to use the actual Beeketing plugin unless you need the other features as it does slow down the site. Sales Pop is a lighter version that keeps your site functioning well.
To build more trust and convert more customer, you need a sales assistant in your store. We enable that using live chat. If your customer is able to speak to a customer service officer directly on the website anytime they have any questions, you are going to be converting customers way better when you address their concerns on the spot. If they leave your site, you’ll lose that opportunity to close a sale at the moment.
Not just having the ability to live chat with this beast of a plugin. You can set special parameters to enable auto messages, such as setting keywords to trigger a particular message and also set a delay in the message to make it more human. This helps to lessen your customer service team’s workload by auto-replying all the commonly asked questions. The best thing is you can be capturing these customer’s contact information as well.
This depends on your theme. Some themes do already come with a cart tab feature while some do not. A cart tab allows the customer to know that the product has been added to cart and what is left in the cart, with shortcuts to the cart or checkout page. This makes the customer feel more at ease and makes them reach the checkout page faster to start sending you some money.
WooCommerce Cart Tab
It does what it says and slides out every time a product is added to cart. Nothing fancy and it shouldn’t be because you do not want it to break the flow if the customer is still in a buying mode. If your theme already has such a feature then you don’t need this.
Your website is on the internet, which means everybody around the world could buy from you. However, what if you do not have the shipping rates to a particular country that you’ve never served before?
WooCommerce No Shipping Message
This is the solution. By putting out a custom message when the customer chose a shipping destination which you do not have shipping methods to. In my stores, I enable WooCommerce No Shipping Message and have them contact customer support via e-mail for shipping quotes. You never know if they would become your customer or not, but it never hurts to try than to turn away a prospective lead.
People are popping all over your site, but how do they know if they could trust you. One of the best ways to do that is through user-generated content. User-generated content is basically content that other users or shoppers leave on your website.
Yith WooCommerce Questions and Answers
Reviews are great user-generated content, but you want to take it a step further by engaging these would-be shoppers directly. That is through having a QnA on your website. People could leave questions and you or any other customers could also chime in and answer other customer’s inquiries. The best thing is everything is public, so that means more indexed keywords as well as more credibility that there is activity on your website. This amazing plugin enables such a feature on your website and the pro version captures the customer’s email then sends a notification to the administrators, then when you reply to their questions, the reply goes to the customer’s email. It works so brilliantly, which is why Amazon does it as well!
Sales, Scarcity, and Urgency
We are always going to have casual shoppers as well as shoppers who are very keen to buy, but are hesitant and want to think about it. If you were ever in sales, I’m sure you could relate really well. What gets people to take action immediately, is through scarcity and urgency. It is my favorite trick up my sleeve to create increase conversion. People pop by a product listing, and now it says that the product prices are going to increase very soon, or that the stock will be sold out soon, you can imagine how many people would rush in and buy them without thinking because sometimes they didn’t have time to think.
The best way to ensure that this buying culture happens in your business and that it continues to be kept alive is to really make sure you increase those prices or have those products go out of stock.
We can achieve this by using this amazing plugin called Finale. Finale allows you to add a countdown timer, a quantity meter and some custom messages on your product listing. The quantity meter can also be animated creating an illusion that it’s moving. Sometimes when I look at the sale product myself, even I’m tempted to buy. It’s crazy how effective this is! Once you’ve set the discount, and schedule it, it starts happening. The pro version allows you to schedule it to happens over and over again, allowing for a wait time in between as well. This is a really well-thought through plugin!
Why do most restaurants have a Chef’s Recommendation badge on some of their menu items? Because people are indecisive! They don’t want their waiters to be wasting time waiting for someone to decide. So the solution is to recommend the patrons something but do it subtly. We can do this on our e-commerce website as well and you do want to do this if you have a wide range of choices for the same product.
Yith WooCommerce Badge Management
This is what I use. You can create your own custom badges, upload the images, and have them displayed and overlay-ed on top of your product image. Usually, I have it on the top right corner. I use quite a number of different badges, such as Buy 1 Get 1, X% off, Limited Time Only and Limited Stock Only. I usually couple them together with Finale to make it even more exciting as recommendations will send the customer into those product pages, using sales, I convert them into customers which I could then market and build relationship with them through emails later on.
Simpler Checkout Fields
Look, if your checkout process requires a ton of information to be filled up, some of your customers are going to be giving up buying from you. The faster we get them to check out, the faster we collect the money. That’s the end goal.
WooEnhancer allows you to customise the checkout fields, removing and renaming some of those fields that you do not require. What I do is that I remove the First Name and Last Name fields, and turn it into just Name, removed the Company Name, Address 2 as well. If you’re just selling in a small country like Singapore which is what I do with some of my websites, I even remove the City and State because we don’t need those at all. Trust me, every small little field like this increases your conversion rate by a lot. WooEnhancer has more features than just simplifying checkout fields as well. You can customize the account page, product page, deactivate password strength meter(which I highly recommend you do) as well as having custom thank you pages.
These are my favorite plugins and they make me feel excited about them all the time because of what they could achieve. However, a tool is really just a tool. I get upset sometimes when people say that X product doesn’t work or Y plugin doesn’t work. You need to understand the purpose of the tool and use it right, that way it can bring about the maximum results that it should be.
My last tip when it comes to choosing a plugin is that, if the plugin is serving a purpose of actually “selling” or “marketing” to your customers directly, always get the best ones and not use cheaper or free options because you usually cannot customise and segment the customers very cleanly, or that it always lacks a certain something. Usually, that certain something can mean a lot to your conversion rate. Traffic is a continuous process, but conversion can be a one-time thing, and great conversions maximise the revenue you get from your traffic. Focus on both, but make sure you do the best as possible for conversions.
I hope you guys enjoy the list, please leave a comment and tell me what your favorite plugin or tool is. Who knows, I may feature it.