What Is the Best E-commerce Plug-in?
We’ll just come out and say it. The absolute best e-commerce plug-in is WooCommerce. I know you usually have to dig through paragraphs of exposition to get the answer to questions posed in blog post titles, but we thought we'd buck that trend.
Our team is just so passionate about the deep functionality and ease of use WooCommerce offers to businesses large and small alike that we couldn't keep from hitting you with that spoiler.
WooCommerce is the king of e-commerce plug-ins, and this post’s mission is to teach you why!
The E-commerce Takeover
The digital revolution is in full effect, and much like taxis getting eaten up by ride-sharing services (UBER) and television getting body-slammed by streaming providers (Netflix), brick-and-mortar store sales have been made to bow down to their almighty conqueror – e-commerce.
E-commerce has driven over $409 billion worth of sales in the United States alone, and that number is projected to rise all the way up to $638 billion by 2022.
That’s basically enough to buy a $200,000 house for everyone living in the state of Mississippi.
Given the growing popularity of the e-commerce market, businesses are looking to sell their goods and services online. In the past, getting up and running with an online store was daunting. The technical know-how required to create inventories, manage transactions and protect customer information created a steep barrier to entry.
Gone are those days.
The e-commerce revolution has paved the way for the development of cool tech that has made getting in on digital sales easy.
So, Which E-commerce Platform Should You Use?
Making choices can stink, and as much as we love variety, its side effects include head scratching, hemming and hawing and coin flipping.
To reduce the risk of your business’ online sales future being decided by a game of “heads or tails,” we’ve created this post recommending to you what we feel is the absolute best e-commerce plug-in on the market today. This plug-in is flexible, simple to set up, and it integrates seamlessly into your preexisting WordPress site (the content management system that almost 30% of the internet relies on).
The plug-in’s name (as was spoiled at the beginning of this post) is WooCommerce.
What Is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is an e-commerce plug-in that is fully customizable and allows you to sell products and services globally. WooCommerce was built by a company called Automattic, which is also the company behind WordPress.
How Much Does WooCommerce Cost?
Hold on to your hats, people. WooCommerce is 100% open source and, consequently, 100% free to use.
If you wanted to open an online store with basic functionality and integrate it into your already-running WordPress site, you could do so and WooCommerce wouldn’t ask for a penny!
Full disclosure, the “catch” you’re probably sensing right now does sort-of exist.
If you want expanded functionality built into your online store like subscriptions or the ability to incorporate upsells and add-ons into your checkout process seamlessly, you would need to buy those additional features through the WooCommerce extensions store.
Also, when collecting payment, the provider or “payment gateway” you choose to transfer money from your store to your bank account (PayPal for instance) may impose a transaction fee. Still, the plug-in itself offers everything you need to get up and running and truly asks nothing in return.
What Are Some WooCommerce Advantages?
Ease of Use
Technology and ease of use are not always mutually exclusive. We’re happy to report though that WooCommerce is in a fully committed relationship with simplicity, which means an easy shopping experience for your customers and easy day-to-day management for you.
When managing your WooCommerce store, expect to be able to easily create products, manage descriptions, adjust pricing and integrate beautiful photos with just a few clicks.
When shopping on your WooCommerce store, expect that customers will be treated to beautiful, easy-to-navigate product pages. When it comes to checkout, with WooCommerce, you’ll have the ability to implement a single-page checkout process, which reduces the barriers your customers need to get through to complete their transaction.
Finally, WooCommerce’s WordPress integration means that it works well with other WordPress plug-ins like Yoast SEO. With Yoast, your WooCommerce products will become search engine optimized, helping drive relevant traffic to your product pages via Google, Bing and more.
We touched on “extensions” when discussing where you might end up spending money on WooCommerce. In case that note created a negative association in your head toward extensions, here’s a positive association for you: Extensions allow you to create an online store that is 100% customized to your unique business needs and is fully integrated with all the online business management tools you rely on.
Extensions, as their name suggests, add additional functionality to the free base functions of WooCommerce. Extensions provide different functions and come in at varying prices that are as low as free and as expensive as a few hundred dollars.
For example: Want to automatically send targeted emails to all of your WooCommerce customers who buy a particular product?
There’s an extension for that!
Extension InfusedWoo allows you to run marketing campaigns, track affiliate links, manage subscriptions and more!
Want to automatically sync shipping rates on your checkout pages from providers like UPS and FedEx?
There’s an extension for that too!
The point here is that if there are any features or integrations you need to ensure that your online market is running as smoothly and as profitably as possible, WooCommerce has an extension solution for you!
WooCommerce is quick to set up and load up. What “load up” means is that when customers go to access your store, it presents itself to them fast.
That’s a big deal.
E-commerce giant Amazon said that a 1-second page load delay can cost them up to 1.6 billion dollars in sales each year.
With WooCommerce, you can keep the features you need, disable the ones you don’t and make sure that your customers’ buying experience is primed for a speedy checkout process!
Scalable and Secure
Businesses take their products and services online because they want to grow. To that end, WooCommerce allows for unlimited products, orders, users, customers, etc., all at its free price point.
You’ll find nothing like, “When you add over 10 products there’s a monthly fee” with WooCommerce. WooCommerce takes its open-source pedigree seriously. It doesn’t look to charge you based on how much business you’re doing.
Now that you’re taking advantage of all that growth WooCommerce is allowing you to achieve online, you may be asking yourself if WooCommerce is safe. After all, the plug-in is handling sensitive information like the names, addresses and credit cards of your customers.
WooCommerce is 100% safe and secure.
Know that your website should be SSL secured already if you’re accepting credit card payments, and you will need to update your WooCommerce plug-in as it prompts you to ensure that there are no security lapses. If you have both of those things covered though, your customers will be covered too.
To Wrap It Up
E-commerce is booming to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars each year and if you want to get in on that, you’ll need to find a sales platform that makes getting your online store up and running easy.
One of the best solutions to do that is WooCommerce.
WooCommerce is free and integrates with WordPress seamlessly to provide you and your customers with an easy-to-use, safe to access and endlessly customizable online sales solution.
If you're looking for an excellent end-to-end product for your e-commerce store, look no further than WooCommerce.