The Best Free WooCommerce Plugins That I’ve Used for Increasing Conversion

Getting an eCommerce site started is relatively easy, but getting sales and optimising for conversions is a more challenging task. There’s a rich library of plugins for WooCommerce, but not all plugins are of the best quality (at-least the free ones).

Following is a list of plugins that I’ve used and found them to be reliable with good visual design and user experience.

User Psychology

  • Featured Products First for WooCommerce — When your users are browsing individual categories or the shop page itself, this plugin will show the featured products first.
  • Finale: WooCommerce Sales Countdown Timer — This plugin displays a countdown timer on product pages where you have limited-time sales. It creates a sense of urgency and contributes to higher conversions.
  • WooBought: Live Sales Notifications — This is one of my favourite plugins. It shows popup notifications of who bought what to site visitors. It adds tremendous social proof for on-the-fence customers.
  • Hustle Exit-intent Popup — Your users are about to leave your website and you want to present them with an offer they cannot refuse, this is when you’ll need the plugin. Hustle has the best design and customisation features.
  • Wordpress Facebook Reviews — Customers leave reviews on my Facebook page because that’s just easier for them. I use this plugin to display those reviews on my website and add social proof for new visitors.

Security & Performance

  • Jetpack — No plugin list is complete without Jetpack. This is the Swiss Army knife of plugins from the guys at Wordpress.com (not to be confused with Wordpress.org). The primary reason I use Jetpack is to prevent spam signups and brute force attempts. Whenever a new Wordpress site opens, spammers are able to detect it and target them. If you don’t install it right away, you will soon enough. Jetpack has a whole host of fantastic other options such as lazy loading your images and implementing social media share buttons.
  • UpdraftPlus: Backup/Restore — You’re putting in so much work, god forbid disaster happens and you lose everything. This plugin will backup your site at scheduled intervals and even upload to remote drives such as Google Drive and Dropbox.
  • User Role Editor — I have someone who manages my inventory for me and fulfils orders. To give them access to only the functions they need, I used this plugin to give them customised access permissions.
  • Autoptimize — The best caching plugin I’ve used. Others are just as good but this hits all the right spots for me. Does not break anything and scores really high on speed metrics.
  • WordPress AMP — This is the only paid plugin on the list. I semi-regret buying this (not completely because its the best one out there that supports WooCommerce). The AMP pages get rid of critical styling that I have, but being fast on mobile is also important. About 70% to 80% of my traffic is from mobile. Instead of having this plugin enabled site-wide, I use it only on category pages that have lots of images which I might use as landing pages. The theme I use is quite fast to begin with.
  • Advanced noCaptcha — Self-explanatory; you need this for security of your website to prevent brute force attempts on gaining accesses to accounts or just spam bots in general.
  • Soliloquy Slider for Wordpress — If you need an image slider on your website, use this plugin. This performs the fastest.

Marketing & Analytics

  • Google Analytics — This is a no-brainer. You should have your WooCommerce store connected to Google Analytics to track user behaviours and product success trends.
  • Better Robots.txt — If you care about SEO (which you do), you will need this plugin to modify the Robots.txt file to fix errors that show on the Google Search Console. The file that is generated by Wordpress is hidden by default (from FTP), which is why you’ll need this plugin.
  • Facebook for WooCommerce — This is the official plugin by the people at Facebook. I primarily use this to auto-sync my products to my Facebook page where I’ve setup ads that uses product data to run Purchase objective campaign carousel ads (with a set daily budget that continuously runs). The ads and my Facebook Page’s Shop Tab get automatically updated as I update my inventory.
  • Refer a Friend for WooCommerce — I love this plugin because its simple. I just want to add that, user-to-user referrals are quite powerful. Your loyal and motivated users will use this feature. You can promote it in your marketing channels as well.
  • WooCommerce MailChimp — The official plugin by MailChimp tells me to upgrade to a newer PHP version, so I use this instead. You absolutely need this to run automated email campaigns to bring back abandoned cart users. MailChimp has these pre-built, you just need to customise them.
  • Yoast SEO — The SEO plugin used by everyone and their grandparents. This plugin is so popular that I feel like I should not even mention it because everyone already knows about it.

The following segment on User Experience is the biggest one on this list.

User Experience

Delight

  • Flat Pre-loader — As your website loads up, you can show your users a pre-loader so that they don’t have to look at your website skeleton.
  • Super Socializer — Allows users to login with their social profiles. Also has social sharing features. Lightweight.
  • Super Progressive Web Apps — Using this plugin, the moment your users access the website on mobile, they’re prompted with an “Add to Home Screen” dialog. The website then gets added as an app. Once you open the progressive app, it loads and acts like an app where there are no browser components.

Search & Discovery

  • AJAX Search for WooCommerce — This plugin shows search results and suggestions as users type in the input field. A good search function is very important for users who came into the website with a purpose/need: these users are the ones who are most likely to convert if they find what they need. AJAX search also shows close matches which promotes discovery. It also improves user experience because it saves the user some steps to go to a separate search results page. This delightful experience keeps your users feeling positive about your website.
  • WooCommerce Product Table (Super Fast) — On your homepage, you want to display some products. For which, people typically use product sliders but in my experience, they slow down the website a lot. Instead, I recommend using product tables. You can see them in action on my website: GadgetMama.
  • WooCommerce Wishlist Plugin — Users don’t always come to your website to make a purchase right away. Maybe they’re in the discovery phase and are browsing different options. Adding this plugin allows your users to save the products they liked for future consideration. It provides them a critical convenience which they’ll remember. Plus, you can run automated email campaigns to help convert them.
  • WooCommerce Waitlist — Occasionally, you might run out of stock but you might still be getting customers who are interested in the product. This plugin allows them to join a waitlist till you get restocked.
  • Booster for WooCommerce — I’m not completely fond of this plugin, mostly because it has so many features that it feels like I’m taking a sledgehammer to a sword fight. Regardless, I mostly use it for auto-generating PDF invoices for orders and cross-selling, i.e. showing related products on the product page. It doesn’t slow down the site because it has a modular design (you can check/tick which functions you want enabled).

Positive Feedback

  • WooCommerce Menu Cart — This plugin adds a cart icon to your website that gets updated and displays the basket amount, as your users add or remove products. It enriches the shopping experience and encourages customers to add more products to their cart by means of a visual feedback they receive every-time they add something to the cart and the number goes up. Shopping itself is a very exciting experience, this tiny interaction gives users an increased rush of excitement that otherwise would not have been present.
  • NextMove: WooCommerce Thank You Page Lite — This plugin shows a thank you page to your customers after they checkout. This greatly improves the user experience, in my observation. I personally have landed on thank you pages as a customer on websites and witnessed the rush of excitement it gave me.
  • Custom Order Status for WooCommerce — I use a third-party delivery partner that ships my parcels. They don’t notify customers of parcel status, which is why I used this plugin to update order statuses to things like “Courier pick-up in progress” and “Parcel is on the way”, which triggers the send of order status update emails and SMS (that I’ve setup, this plugin itself doesn’t do that).
  • WooSMS — I don’t use this because SMS costs can pile up quick. I use a local version for Bangladesh which is dirt cheap, which may or may not work for you. The one I use is by GreenWeb: it’s slightly buggy and an eye sore but their support replies to emails quickly and are typically willing to help.

Plugins I’m Still Hunting

  • A good free loyalty/reward point plugin for WooCommerce. I’ve already tried all the free versions and I’m not satisfied with how they work or the aesthetics of their visual output.
  • A free version of something that gives users contextual messages to promote more sales. For example, spend X amount more and get free delivery in Cart page. I am aware of very good paid versions. Here’s one.
  • Plugins that resolve WooCommerce and Wordpress conflicts. For instance, I want to show related posts for blog items only, not on WooCommerce product pages. The plugins available don’t work.
  • A plugin that displays product view count on product pages. The ones available (that work) don’t have enough customisation options.

Bonus

The two fastest themes I recommend for WooCommerce.

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