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9 essential ecommerce WordPress plugins

e-commerce WordPress plugins
(Image credit: WordPress)

If you're serious about starting that online business you’ve always dreamed of and you're using WordPress, you'll need to consider the best ecommerce WordPress plugins. 

WordPress has no shortage of competitors offering easy-to-use and low-cost website building services, but while it might be a little less intuitive than the likes of Squarespace and Wix, what sets WordPress apart is its open-source nature. This allows for hundreds of third-party themes and associated plugins to be integrated. 

These plugins allow you to personalise many of the out-of-the-box themes available. Here, we outline some of the best ecommerce WordPress plugins to get your site up and running in no time, and allow you to create the best experience for your customers. For more on WordPress, see our best WordPress tutorials.

If you’re not set on WordPress, then see your other website building options below.

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The best e-commerce WordPress plugins

01. WooCommerce

e-commerce WordPress plugins

WooCommerce was bought by WordPress owners Automattic in 2015 (Image credit: Woocommerce)

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Released in 2011 and bought by WordPress owners Automattic in 2015, WooCommerce has gone on to become one of the most reliable and widely-used e-commerce WordPress plugins. Its free out-of-the-box solution includes flexible and secure payment options, inventory management, and automatic shipping and tax calculations. 

It is therefore ideal for start-ups and independent businesses, especially as the hundreds of compatible extensions make it perfectly suited to scaling up along with your business. What’s more, there’s an associated app to help you run your store while you’re on the move.

02. Yoast SEO

e-commerce WordPress plugins

Yoast SEO uses a traffic light system to rank your store’s search engine visibility (Image credit: YoastSEO)

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There’s little point in having the world’s greatest product if nobody knows about it. And with marketing and visibility as important as ever in a saturated online marketplace, business owners simply cannot ignore the wonders of search engine optimisation (SEO). 

Yoast SEO is the most popular SEO plugin on WordPress, helping users optimise their website so that it ranks highly within search engines. After installation, Yoast will prompt you to enter suitable keywords and metadata on everything from product pages to landing pages and even blogs, helpfully ranking the effectiveness via a handy traffic light scoring system.

To keep up with the pace of change in this field, given the evolving nature of search engines, Yoast is constantly updating and adding to its features, with recent improvements including an estimated reading time feature. Yoast SEO is free to download, though users keen to access 24/7 support, SEO training courses, and more sophisticated features might want to consider the Premium version at £89 a year (around $126).

03. Cart Recovery

e-commerce WordPress plugins

Track abandoned carts with Cart Recovery (Image credit: Cart Recovery)

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Customer retention is a key factor in any business but particularly online, when high bounce rates from successful SEO landing pages can sometimes give a skewed impression about levels of interest in your products. Much more can be interpreted from a customer placing a product into your shopping part, which demonstrates an active show of interest. It’s therefore vital to convert these into sales. 

The Cart Recovery plugin provides a big help in this department, tracking abandoned carts to help improve your business conversion rates in a number of sophisticated ways. The plugin not only allows users to implement one-click functionality for customers to return to their cart in a single click, but it initiates automated customer tracking and cart recovery emails in a further bid to seal the deal. A solid entry into this list of the best e-commerce WordPress plugins.

04. WP Product Review

e-commerce WordPress plugins

Showcase positive reviews on your site with WP Product Review (Image credit: Wordpress.org)

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Even the best copywriting in the world can’t usurp the marketing impact of a genuine customer testimonial (assuming it’s a positive one!). It’s for this reason that any good reviews for your product should be given a prominent role on your ecommerce site, and this WordPress plugin does exactly that.

WP Product Review allows you to implement review and comment sections on your website. It also has functionality for interacting directly with customers and responding to their comments. You can choose from a range of review layouts (including star ratings and comparison tables) that can be showcased in sidebar widgets.

05. Backup Buddy

e-commerce WordPress plugins

Protect your site from data loss or server failure with Backup Buddy (Image credit: ithemes.com)

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No business owner wants to spend too much time thinking about the horrors of a website crash or data loss. Nevertheless, being brave enough to consider the worst-case scenario is the best way to mitigate the risk and ensure your business can recover should that dreaded day arrive. 

Thankfully there are plugins like BackupBuddy from iThemes. Described as the original WordPress Plugin, it’s been protecting over half a million WordPress websites since 2010. 

For as little as $80 a year, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with BackupBuddy's automatic backups, which can be scheduled to run as often as you like, including hourly. If you require more than the 1GB of storage space that comes with the Blogger and Freelancer packages, the Gold plan grants users up to 5GB and costs $199 a year.

06. Easy Digital Downloads (EDD)

e-commerce WordPress plugins

EDD can be integrated with Dropbox and Amazon Web Services (Image credit: easydigitaldownload.com)

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If your business entails selling downloadable products, then Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) is tailored specifically to digital sales. Whether it’s PDF files, imagery, software, or eBooks, EDD provides a slick and simple WordPress solution with personal passes beginning from $99 per year.

Along with discount codes, customer account pages, and file access control, users can also see download activity tracking and customer reporting. What’s more, the EDD plugin can be integrated with the likes of Dropbox, PayPal, and Amazon Web Services. And with over two million downloads and counting, the plugin boasts a thriving community that can be tapped for advice and support.

07. MemberPress

e-commerce WordPress plugins

MemberPress works to paywall content (Image credit: Memberpress)

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If your business revolves around content rather than a physical product, MemberPress is designed to help publishers sell subscriptions to their work. Whether it’s a blog, magazine, or course that you’re looking to monetise, MemberPress works with any existing WordPress theme. 

Key features include the ability to paywall a variety of content – including posts, pages, and categories – content dripping and expiration options, and also inbuilt coupons to provide your members with discounts and giveaways. The basic package comes in at $149 per year and includes all support and updates. 

08. SendInBlue

e-commerce WordPress plugins

Optimize communications and grow your audience with SendInBlue (Image credit: sendinblue)

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Stay in touch with your customer base with the SendInBlue plugin, an email marketing tool that is geared to also help you grow your audience. Not only can users design email campaigns but it also incorporates SMS marketing so you can reach your customers by text message.

Neat tools include a shared email inbox for wider internal access and a chat function that can be incorporated into your WordPress site to allow customers to ask questions directly. There is also a Facebook ads launcher to help you find new customers.

09. BigCommerce

e-commerce WordPress plugins

A drag-and-drop page builder is among the BigCommerce highlights (Image credit: BigCommerce)

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The dozens of success stories on BigCommerce's case studies page demonstrates just how vast and varied the businesses using this versatile platform are. BigCommerce integrates seamlessly with any existing WordPress site, but it also comes with the option of feeding into other channels, including Amazon, Instagram, and Facebook. 

Its drag-and-drop page builder ensures that no coding is required to design even the slickest of storefronts, and its mobile optimization means your site will be responsive and compatible with most devices. What’s more, if your online business is complemented with a bricks and mortar offering, in-store sales can be incorporated into BigCommerce’s cross-channel commerce functions.

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Alexis James

Alexis is a freelance writer and journalist from the north east of England. His love for creative technology stems from the day he was gifted his first ever digital voice recorder (a beloved Olympus WS 110), which brought with it the wonderful realisation that he'd never again have to rely on his iffy shorthand.