Top 5 WooCommerce extensions for eCommerce success
If you think the work ends once your eCommerce store goes live – think again. High-performing online stores are constantly monitored, optimised, and developed to improve performance and boost sales.
If you built your eCommerce store using WooCommerce – the popular, flexible, and cost-effective eCommerce solution for WordPress websites – integrating extensions could help you take your store to the next level. While WooCommerce comes loaded with all the basics you need to get set up and start selling your products online, extensions can help you to easily add more advanced features and functionality.
WooCommerce extensions can be used to enhance user experience, boost sales, and optimise your online store’s performance, giving it the boost it needs to fend off competition and keep customers returning.
Need help understanding WooCommerce extensions? In this article, we’ll explain more about what they are and reveal our top five WooCommerce extensions for boosting eCommerce performance.
What is a WooCommerce extension?
Ok, you’ve probably heard of WordPress plug-ins, but have you heard of WooCommerce extensions?
Nearly all eCommerce stores built on WordPress use the WordPress plug-in WooCommerce. In fact, according to App My Site, a whopping 93.7% of all WordPress eCommerce stores are built using the WooCommerce plug-in – a statistic that speaks volumes about the platform’s popularity.
One of WooCommerce’s main draws is the fact that it is open-source, which allows it to offer an exceptional level of control and flexibility. With the help of a developer, WooCommerce stores can be customised extensively – anything is possible with a bit of know-how.
While WooCommerce has plenty of out-of-the-box features, if you want your store to look or function in a very specific way, you may need to use a WordPress plug-in or WooCommerce extension to achieve this. These are additional pieces of software that can be easily integrated into either the WordPress or WooCommerce platform to add extra features or enhance eCommerce functionalities.
There are thousands of plug-ins and extensions available, some produced by WooCommerce itself and others by third-party providers.
You may notice the terms ‘plug-in’ and ‘extension’ are used interchangeably, but it’s important to understand their differences. WordPress plug-ins and WooCommerce extensions are very similar, but they are not the same. If you’re not sure what the difference is, let us explain.
Plug-ins are a WordPress thing; WooCommerce itself is a WordPress plug-in. Plug-ins can serve a broad range of purposes. Extensions, on the other hand, are a WooCommerce thing and focus specifically on enhancing eCommerce features and functionalities for their parent platform, WooCommerce.
In this article, we’ll be exclusively exploring popular WooCommerce extensions, leaving the discussion of WordPress plug-ins for another time.
What are WooCommerce extensions used for?
There are over 819 extensions listed in the WooCommerce extension store, 68 of which are official extensions developed by WooCommerce itself. So, what do they all do?
The breadth of features and functionalities available for your store using extensions is astonishing. Ultimately, extensions optimise WooCommerce-powered online stores to deliver superior results and enhance overall performance. They achieve this by improving your store’s functionality and user experience.
Some of the most important eCommerce features and functionalities that can be added or enhanced using extensions include payment solutions, subscriptions, product bundles, appointment booking, shipment tracking, marketing automation, product recommendations, and much more.
Official vs unofficial extensions – does it matter?
When it comes to choosing the right extensions for your store, there’s a huge selection to choose from, especially if you include those produced by third parties.
While third-party extensions bring variety, they also come with a certain element of risk. While it’s true that many extensions developed by third parties are reliable and widely used, they can sometimes pose a potential security risk if they have not been developed using rigorous coding standards and security protocols.
If the coding isn’t quite up-to-scratch, or security hasn’t been a primary concern during development, there’s a risk that third-party extensions could have vulnerabilities or even malware that jeopardises your website’s integrity.
Using official extensions developed by WooCommerce has several advantages. Official extensions are more reliable as they are developed to meet strict quality standards. WooCommerce extension compatibility is usually better when dealing with official extensions rather than third-party ones, causing fewer conflicts with other features and add-ons. WooCommerce regularly updates its extensions to prevent feature conflicts and to keep them secure. Additionally, if you need help fixing WooCommerce plug-in errors or WooCommerce extension troubleshooting, you can access WooCommerce’s official support channels for help. Getting support becomes more difficult if you’re using an extension built by a third party as many third-party providers do not offer a customer support service, or if they do, there’s no saying how fast or reliable it will be.
Using official WooCommerce extensions can be an effective way of future-proofing your website. Because WooCommerce regularly updates and refines its official extensions, it helps ensure your eCommerce store’s reliability as your business grows and evolves.
Top 5 WooCommerce extensions
We’ve compiled a list of the top five official WooCommerce extensions that we believe add the most value for online retailers. Whether you aim to enhance user experience or boost your bottom line, these five extensions offer something for everyone.
“The only payment solutions fully integrated to Woo. Accept credit/debit cards and local payment options with no setup or monthly fees.”
In eCommerce, businesses must make the checkout process as convenient, fast, and simple as possible to minimise friction, reduce cart abandonment, and increase conversion rates. WooPayments is a fully integrated solution that simplifies the payment process for both you and your customers.
Top 5 Features of WooPayments
- Fully integrated dashboard – Provides one central dashboard to view payments, track cash flow, handle disputes, and manage recurring revenue.
- Multi-currency support – Offers built-in support for accepting payments in over 135 currencies.
- Diverse payment options – Allows stores to enable various payment methods, including major credit and debit cards, Apply Pay, and EPS.
- Buy Now, Pay Later – Integrates popular buy now, pay later options, giving customers the flexibility to spread payments over time.
- Custom deposit schedule – Allows you to set a custom schedule for deposits into your bank account – whether you need your funds daily, weekly, monthly, or on-demand.
WooPayments is a free extension.
“Let customers subscribe to your products or services and pay on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis.”
Offering a subscription service is a smart strategic move to help businesses gain a reliable and predictable revenue stream. Subscription models allow for better inventory management, lower marketing expenses, and enhanced customer retention and lifetime values.
Top 5 Features of Woo Subscriptions
- Multiple billing schedules – Offers various billing schedules to align with your business model and customer preferences.
- Payment gateway integration – Integrates with over 25 payment gateways, supporting automatic recurring payments and ensuring a smooth transaction process.
- Subscriber self-management – Subscribers can manage their plan options without contacting customer support.
- Automatic rebilling on failed payments – Automatically rebills failed payments to minimise revenue loss.
- Detailed reporting – Provides detailed reports featuring important metrics like recurring revenue, number of active subscribers, and more.
$19.92/month ($239 when billed annually)
“Allow customers to book appointments, make reservations, or rent equipment without leaving your site.”
Online booking tools allow customers to make appointments or reservations in their own time and at their convenience, increasing the chance of completing their booking and freeing up staff time that would have otherwise been spent managing appointments manually.
Top 5 Features of WooCommerce Bookings
- Flexible scheduling options – Allows you to define set time slots for appointments and enables customers to choose time ranges that suit them.
- Group and one-to-one appointments – Accommodates individual and group bookings and allows you to set minimum and maximum number of participants.
- Dynamic pricing capabilities – Provides diverse pricing options, allowing you to offer discounts for group bookings, early birds, or kids.
- Time zone consideration – Automatically displays availability based on the customer’s time zone.
- Send appointment reminders – Features an automated reminder system to reduce no-shows.
$20.75/month ($249 when billed annually)
“Offer personalised product bundles, bulk discount packages, and assembled products.”
Product bundles offer perks for both businesses and customers. Bundling encourages customers to buy more items, which is a more cost-efficient way of selling. It also increases overall sales and customer lifetime values. For customers, bundles create the impression of added value and can help to simplify decision-making.
Top 5 Features of Product Bundles
- Create bulk discount packages – Offer a group of related products at a discounted rate for the entire package or the individual items within it.
- Offer personalised boxes – Customers can build their own personalised, pick-and-mix boxes.
- Assembled products – Enables the creation of products made up of multiple inventory-managed parts.
- Recommend add-ons and essentials – Provides “frequently bought together” recommendations to boost average order value.
- Engaging upsells – Product bundles can be promoted anywhere in the store using upsells.
$4.92/month ($59 when billed annually)
“Offer smarter upsells, cross-sells, and “frequently bought together” recommendations. Measure their impact with in-depth analytics.”
Offering personalised product recommendations is an effective cross-selling and upselling strategy. Product recommendations help to enhance customer experience and boost your store’s average order value and conversion rate.
Top 5 Features of Product Recommendations
- Intelligent upsells and cross-sells – Employs a mix of human intelligence and machine learning to offer intelligent upsell and cross-sell options and enhance the shopping experience.
- Automated recommendation engine – Uses a lightweight search algorithm to automatically generate “frequently bought together” recommendations.
- Context-aware recommendations – Offers recommendations relevant to the context in which they appear. E.g. Products from the same category or of a similar price.
- Targeted promotions – Promotes the right products to the right customers at the right time based on factors like cart contents, browsing history, date, or location.
- In-depth analytics – Offers detailed analytics to help you measure the impact of your recommendation strategies.
$8.25/month ($99 when billed annually)
Partner with Create8 to enhance your eCommerce store
Whether you aim to improve your online store’s user experience, automate your marketing, or optimise your payment process, the right WooCommerce extension can help you achieve your goals.
At Create8, our WordPress web design team can recommend extensions that align with your specific requirements and goals. We can also implement and configure the extensions to ensure they work seamlessly with your online store.
Ready to take your WooCommerce store to the next level? Contact us today to start your project.