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Tools, apps and e-commerce websites

Ecommerce plugins every retailer should use

You might be well on your way to creating your e-commerce store, but do you know what could boost your traffic? Meet e-commerce plugins, or add-ons that offer specific tools and features that provide easy access for store owners. They offer extensions that you might not have even thought you needed – but they only stand to benefit your e-commerce business.

There’s worlds of different app stores and plugin/extensions marketplaces out there, so it can be overwhelming when deciding which plugins to choose. We’re going to let you in on the top e-commerce plugins that every owner should know about and start using, for the improvement of your business in one way or another.

1.Snipcart

Snipcart is one of the easiest shopping cart platforms to install. It uses HTML and JavaScript, meaning that it’s easily customisable for developers. You can use SnipCart to add shopping functionality to websites or apps in just a couple of minutes.

We like SnipCart because it works with a lot of different CMS platforms, yet allows freedom from rigid e-commerce templates – so you can update how your website looks and feels whenever you want to. 

Snipcart is great if you have an existing app or website, as you’ll be able to easily integrate transactional capability into your current platform by adding a couple of HTML elements to your existing code. This is great if you know how to work your way around HTML and some basic web coding. Snipcart also features different APIs and webhooks, so you can really maximise your integration with various e-commerce platforms, inventory management systems, drop-shopping systems and email marketing solutions.

What’s more, SnipCart is already programmed to receive PayPal,Stripe and Square payment portals from the beginning, so you can easily accept credit cards from around the world. SnipCart allows freedom from the rigidity of all-in-one e-commerce platforms, so it’s a great resource if you’re going to want to play around and design your store without needing too much help.

However, SnipCart charges 2% of transactions on your site or only R172 per month if you earn below R8588 monthly. There are also payment platform fees included, with options to customise your payment plan if you’re a high-volume e-commerce store.

2.WooCommerce

WooCommerce has fast become one of the most popular e-commerce plugins around, holding over 8% of all e-commerce stores since 2011, which is huge! It’s developers are aware of this, and frequently update WooCommerce to improve functionality and add new features for e-commerce owners.

We like WooCommerce because it’s easily integrated with existing WordPress sites, and features great features right off the bat, including design flexibility, built-in user ratings and reviews, setting up coupon codes , multi-channel and social media selling. 

WooCommerce is free, and you’ll be able to create a substantial e-commerce website at no cost. You’re also able to pay a bit extra to access improved store themes, real-time shipping rates, beautiful image galleries, booking and premium features – which you can find at the WooCommerce extension store.

Additionally, WooCommerce features built-in payment portals, and is frequently worked on by a large community of developers who offer extensions for various features. You can easily start off by selling anything you want on WooCommerce, including appointments, digital products, subscriptions and physical items.

If you’re running a blog or another WordPress site then WooCommerce will be one of the fastest ways to start earning by transitioning to an e-commerce website.

3.BackupBuddy 

BackupBuddy is an important plugin for security – which is an essential component to protecting your e-commerce store from multiple situations. What if you were to lose your customer data, images from older products, customer reviews and payment platform? You might then lose out on tons of potential sales and existing loyal customers. 

The good news is that this doesn’t have to happen if you use BackupBuddy, which helps you set up a backup for your website. This plugin makes it easy for you to restore and move your WordPress site, and has been used by over 500,000 websites since its creation in 2010, as WordPress does not offer backups in its core service.

When using the plugin, literally everything on your site will be saved – including everything necessary to restart your store, should you need to. It also includes scheduled backups to ensure that you’ve secured the latest versions of your e-commerce store. 

This plugin also features Cloud-based backups, and makes it easy to move away from WordPress if you want to. We think BackupBuddy is a great way to ensure your store data isn’t lost and can be easily reconfigured if disaster strikes.

4.Easy Digital Downloads (EDD)

EDD is an efficient, simple plugin for managing, selling and distributing digital products on WordPress. While WooCommerce may offer a similar function, EDD takes this to the next level with a clearer interface and more tailored focus on selling digital products.

If you’re selling PDFs, ebooks, files or audio clips, you should really consider EDD – it’s free and will allow you to easily set up a digital sales platform, including discount code features, controlling access to files and an activity tracker.

EDD offers built-in themes and galleries, with email automation included to instantly send download links when a customer purchases from your e-commerce store. It also provides a full shopping cart to minimize the need for additional extensions. EDD also features the RESTFUL API for developers, so you’re able to use your technical knowledge to truly customise your digital store to your liking, with full personalisation supported.

Amazingly, EDD is available for free with its basic plan. There is also a yearly subscription for between $199-$899, which includes extensions and more advanced integrations for other platforms. All plans, including the free plan, feature a shopping cart, customer support and management, updates and site licenses, discount codes and data reports. It’s a great idea for your store if you’re in the trade of selling digitally.

5.ShoppingFeeder

ShoppingFeeder is an all-in-one multi-channel marketing, integration and analysis plugin that is available for popular e-commerce platforms, including Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento among many others.

It’s incredibly useful for integrating both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce stores, offering hands-on management for product categorisation and distribution. It features an easy to use interface, with a fully-fledged dashboard that makes inventory management simple for employees and owners. ShoppingFeeder also includes integration for multiple stores or channels, and easily allows you to observe traffic, use data for analysis, conversions, and ROI across your stores.

ShoppingFeeder is available for free, with limitations. It’s subscriptions range from $11.99 – $219 per month, and offer a range of premium features, including automated feed review, feed improvement recommendations and faster support response rates.

5. Webrotate360

If you’re selling lots of physical products, you might want to consider Webrotate360, which allows you to position your product images as dynamic, moving images which are covered from all angles. Webrotate offers professional 3D CGI, photography product images and presentations, while its base offering is free to download.

Subscriptions cost $399 for Pro and $599 once-off for Enterprise, which would net you unlimited hotspots, domains, full-screen support, Google Analytics integration, SpotEditor image editing and more. The free version is more limited but still incredibly beneficial if you are selling a product that can benefit from 3D photography, such as clothing and accessories. 

3D images are highly interactive and present a new kind of experience for your customers, who are able to easily visualise your offerings and explore complementary items in a simple way.

6.SeedProd

If you’re needing something that can help you with pages that may be under construction, such as launch pages or ‘coming soon’ messages, then SeedProd is perfect for you. SeedProd is powerful because it can capture leads even before your WordPress site goes live.

Some of its built-in features include an email autoresponder, pre-defined search engine optimisation, social following and sharing functions and more.

This would be an amazing feature for pre-launch marketing strategies and can help gauge customer interest. You’ll be able to rapidly build excitement for your brand and add to your email marketing list as soon as possible.

If your site is already up and running, you can use SeedProd to create custom error or site status pages that can also help you gain more leads.

The basic version of SeedProd costs $29.60 per year, with premium plans ranging from $69.60 to $99. There’s frequently sales and discounts offered, so you may be able to bag a subscription for less.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it’s clear that there’s a ton of useful and impactful plugins available for your store, and most of these function with existing WordPress websites. Extensions or plugins are features that add the capability of your e-commerce store, and are available in so many different areas, from SEO and shopping carts to security and pre-launch marketing pages. 

The good news is that a majority of apps are initially available for free, with options available to rank up to premium status. Generally speaking, premium plans are more costly but will give you some improved functionality and customer support. However, free plans will certainly be good enough for beginners, as there is still high-quality support and community discussion available.
One of our favourite plugins in ShoppingFeeder because it combines so many useful tools in one, which simplifies the process of managing your e-commerce store – and it’s available at an affordable rate.

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