20 Best Ecommerce Plugins For WordPress In 2018: A Sumo-Sized Guide

BONUS MATERIAL: Free WordPress Plugins Cheat Sheet

Even as Shopify is experiencing massive growth, the majority of eCommerce stores are built on WordPress. 

In fact, 42% of the eCommerce sites on the internet are built on WordPress’ biggest eCommerce platform, WooCommerce:[*] 

Pie chart showing eCommerce usage statistics

If you have an eCommerce store build on WordPress, you can customize your online store to look and function exactly how you want it to with plugins. 

From triggering social proof to increasing conversions and creating a better user experience, there are WordPress plugins for everything.

So I rounded up the best of the best WordPress plugins for your eCommerce site. 

Oh, and you don’t have to use WooCommerce to use them. We have another guide for that. You can benefit from these plugins no matter what WordPress eCommerce platform you use. 

Don’t want to install 20 plugins on your site and risk slowing it down? Click here to get the cheat sheet of the top 6 best WordPress plugins every eCommerce store NEEDS.

WordPress Plugins for Selling

You wouldn’t have an eCommerce store if you didn’t sell anything. Here are the best plugins for selling. 

#1: WooCommerce

Key Takeaway: WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform for WordPress. Click here to install WooCommerce.

WooCommerce is hands-down the most popular plugin for eCommerce stores on WordPress. In fact, they have 94.3% of the WordPress store market share, blowing all other eCommerce WordPress platforms out of the water:[*] 

Pie chart showing different wordpress ecommerce plugins

WooCommerce is an entirely customizable WordPress eCommerce platform, allowing you to transform your WordPress site into a thriving eCommerce store based on what you need. Whether you sell digital or physical products, services, or subscriptions, WooCommerce allows you to do that all on their simple and efficient platform.

It allows you to: 

  • Embed products on any page
  • Take unlimited orders
  • Sell affiliate products. 

Because it’s such a huge platform, there are thousands of extensions and themes available for WooCommerce, so you can make your store do anything you want it to.

It’s no wonder why 42% of online stores are built on WooCommerce.

WordPress Plugins for User Experience

#2: Relevanssi 

Key Takeaway: Relevanssi replaces the standard WordPress search with a better search engine that gives more relevant results to your visitors based on parameters you can set. Click here to install Relevanssi.

If somebody’s searching for a product on your site and they use the default WordPress search bar, they’re likely not going to get the result they’re looking for. 

That’s because WordPress’ native search function is a bit too simple. It’ll bring up all the relevant results on your site, rather than just products (or just articles). 

That’s where Relevanssi comes in. 

Screenshot showing the Wordpress admin panel

You can limit the search to only your eCommerce products by checking off only “page” so when users search, they don’t find your blog content, too. Or if you want them to find your blog content, leave “post” checked off. 

Relevanssi also brings up results based on partial terms. For example, if your customer wanted to find “eCommerce packaging” by typing in “ecomm packaging” on your site, Relevanssi will show results with the entire word, too. 

It’s simple, it’s easy, and it makes your site more user-friendly. 

#3: 404page

Key Takeaway: 404page lets you create a custom 404 page that can point visitors to other parts of your store. Click here to install 404page.

If you don’t have this plugin, when your users click to a page that doesn’t exist and gives a 404 (which some of them inevitably will), they end up on a page like this: 

Screenshot showing a 404 page

Which is okay if you don’t care about branding, building your email list, or keeping your visitors on your site.

Many of the visitors who 404 on your site will leave (and not return). Why not keep them on your site by customizing your 404 page to give them options?

Options like signing up for your email list, suggesting your popular products or content, or even just giving them a peek into your brand like we have: 

Screenshot showing the Sumo.com 404 page

404page is compatible with WooCommerce and other eCommerce platforms, so you can stop losing so many visitors to generic 404 pages. 

Or, you could use this next plugin. 

#4: Redirection

Key Takeaway: Redirection lets you redirect 404 pages to existing pages, automatically helps you manage all of your redirections (for example when your page titles change), and lets you identify when people are linking to an old post. Click here to install Redirection.

A 404 page can be a great place to collect your visitors’ email addresses. 

But if you’re not building your email list or would rather redirect them to another page on your site (like a product page), then this is the plugin for you. 

Redirection allows you to redirect all 404 errors to existing pages on your site. 

Ever moved your domain or radically changed your URL structure? It’s easy to redirect the old URL to the new URL without needing to mess with files on your web server. Not sure what 404s people are finding on your site? Look in the logs, and create a redirection right from the plugin.

Screenshot showing redirection options for a website

This plugin can also… 

  • Automatically do a redirection when your page URL changes (like when you update a post).
  • Let you look through and see when people are linking to an old post.
  • Help you see if people are trying to attack your site.

This is one of those plugins you didn’t know could be so useful. 

#5: Broken Link Checker 

Key Takeaway: Broken Link Checker automatically detects broken links in your site and sends you an email notification. Click here to install Broken Link Checker.

Let’s say you just launched a new product. 

You link to it in your menu, put a link in your existing product pages and add a few links to your popular articles. 

You think you’re all set, but there’s a problem: 

You mistyped the link to the product page, meaning all those visitors who would be checking out your new product and potentially buying it? They’re going to a 404 page. 

Sounds like your worst nightmare, right? That means that you’re giving up potentially hundreds of dollars worth of sales each day

But not if you have Broken Link Checker. 

Screenshot showing settings on Wordpress

Broken Link Checker (you guessed it!) automatically checks links for you and sends you an email to let you know if there are any broken links. 

Saving you from losing sales and making your visitors 404.

#6: WP Performance Profiler

Key Takeaway: WP Performance Profiler monitors and detects plugins that slow down your site. Click here to install WP Performance Profiler.

Plugins take your WordPress site from empty blogging shell to functional eCommerce store, but some plugins can also slow down your site. 

And since page speed (the amount of time it takes for your pages to load for your visitors) impacts SEO, this is bad news.[*]

 Enter WP Performance Profiler. 

Screenshot showing "performance profiler"

It tells you the average amount of time (in milliseconds) the plugin or theme adds to your page load time, so you can delete the clunky plugins and find an alternative to keep your rankings in Google.

Note: This plugin may require some help from your web developer to set up.

#7: Regenerate Thumbnails

Key Takeaway: Regenerate thumbnails is great if you’ve uploaded your images, changed your thumbnail dimensions, and now have a bunch of thumbnails with the wrong dimensions. Click here to install Regenerate Thumbnails.

If you’ve changed dimensions for your thumbnails in your settings, your existing thumbnails will look wonky. 

This might happen if you’ve switched WordPress themes for example.

This is bad news, though, because product photography is very important to your eCommerce store. You can’t have the thumbnail version of your product images looking out of sorts. 

That’s where Regenerate Thumbnails comes in. 

Screenshot showing a blog

It allows you to bulk resize your thumbnails so you don’t have to do it manually, saving you loads of time. 

#8: Sumo Contact Form

Key Takeaway: Sumo Contact Form is the most popular contact form plugin. It lets you set up simple contact forms so your customers can reach you. Click here to install Sumo Contact Form.

Sumo Contact Form lets you pick a professionally designed contact form template that matches your brand, then setup a success confirmation message and call-to-action so you can direct people to a piece of content or anywhere else you want to direct them: 

Screenshot showing the Sumo popup design page

You can place a contact form wherever you need and keep track of all your contact form submissions inside one dashboard (where you can also reply to any inquiries you get).

Screenshot showing an inbox

It has spam filtering technology in place without captcha to reduce the amount of spam email coming through your inbox. If you find that you are still getting contact form spam after installing Sumo Contact Form, then there is a checkbox you can tick to turn captcha on. 

It’s a simple, elegant contact form solution. 

WordPress Plugins for Sales Optimization

#9: Beeketing for WooCommerce

Key Takeaway: Beeketing is a SaaS platform that provides 10+ marketing automation tools for WooCommerce stores, such as upselling & cross-selling, personalized product recommendations, email marketing, sales & stock countdown, etc. Click here to install Beeketing for WooCommerce.

If you aim to boost your conversion funnel and grow revenue quickly, this might be the right plugin for you. Looking for a way to create WooCommerce product bundles just like Amazon? Try Boost Sales | Upsell & Cross-sell app:

Screenshot showing how something looks on desktop and mobile

Or if you’re experiencing a high cart abandonment rate, you should probably try Checkout Boost to curate promotional offers with special effects to prevent abandoned carts. For example, adding a time limit to your last-minute offer will create a sense of urgency and motivate impulsive buying:

Screenshot showing a last minute deal popup

Most apps in Beeketing plugin are free, so you’d better explore this awesome “Marketing Jetpack” plugin for your WooCommerce store today and see your sales number increase.

#10: Proof

Key Takeaway: Proof builds social proof by letting visitors know about recent purchases made by others and the total number of visitors on any given page. Click here to install Proof.

Social proof is important. 

It gives people FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and proves that your products are worth buying. That’s where Proof comes in. 

Proof is a plugin that allows you to display a notification to shoppers on your site that others have purchased products. 

Screenshot showing a "new sale" popup

You could also set it up to display the number of visitors currently browsing the site. 

The notification shows up as a slide-in on your website, so it’s unobtrusive while also giving your site a boost of social proof. 

It also gives you detailed customer profiles about anybody who enters their email addresses, and shows you the customer journey: what pages do they navigate to and what steps do they take before they convert? 

#11: Reviewer WordPress Plugin

Key Takeaway: Reviewer lets customers review your products, lets them upload images, and allows Google rich snippets. Click here to install Reviewer WordPress Plugin.

In 2014, 88% of consumers reported trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations.[*]

And that stat is for local businesses; can you imagine the impact of online reviews for online businesses?

That’s why it is a good idea to allow your customers to write reviews for your products on your site. 

Reviewer WordPress plugin helps you do that. 

Screenshot showing a review for a theme

Reviewer WordPress even allows you to set rich snippets, which helps users using search engines understand what’s on your page. Rich snippets are the extra pieces of information that Google displays with your result, like reviews, places, and video images: 

Screenshot showing a rating for the Apple Watch on Google

This plugin is simple, easy to use for both you and the customer, and makes your products more trustworthy. 

#12: Testimonials Showcase

Key Takeaway: Testimonials Showcase lets you display testimonials from clients. Click here to install Testimonials Showcase.

Reviews are user-generated, uncurated ratings of your product or service. 

On the other hand, testimonials are usually curated, sought after and displayed by the site owner. 

Testimonials act as social proof and show your customers that your product is trustworthy. So as you gather feedback from your customers, why not display it on your site?

That’s what Testimonials Showcase helps you do. 

Screenshot showing Northstar

You can display the testimonials on a grid or in a slider, complete with the customer’s image and star rating of the product. 

#13: Live Chat

Key Takeaway: Sumo Live Chat adds a live customer support chat at the bottom of your visitor’s screen. Click here to install Sumo Live Chat.

According to a Forrester report, almost half of online consumers (44%) have indicated that “having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer” during a purchase.[*]

That means that if you don’t have a way to communicate with your customers live, you’re likely giving up valuable conversions. Enter live chat. 

Sumo has a Live Chat app that you can activate right in your Sumo dashboard: 

Screenshot showing the Sumo dashboard

It allows you to:

  • Customize your chat settings, including the colors of your chat box and where the chat bubble shows up on your site
  • Collect email addresses from your visitors who chat with you
  • Track metrics like response time, and duration of chats. 

Live chat is the way of the future and if you’re not on board yet, get on board now. 

WordPress Plugins for List Building

#14: Sumo List Builder 

Key Takeaway: List Builder can help you rapidly grow your email list. Click here to install Sumo to get the List Builder app.

Hemper, a small eCommerce company used List Builder to convert 11.84% of their website traffic into email leads with this one popup (5x the industry average of 2%).

To get results like Hemper, you need a way to capture emails. Enter List Builder -- an app within Sumo that helps you collect your customers’ email addresses, show them discount codes, and communicate with them via email. 

It’s like five plugins in one tidy package: 

1. Click Triggers: Click Triggers allows you to make any HTML element bring up a popup, including a link, an image, and a button. The visitor is asking for the popup by clicking the element to bring it up.

Take a look at how Tim from Tar Productions used Click Triggers to create popups that convert at 26 and 39%:

Screenshot showing click trigger stats

Because the visitor already took action on clicking the button or image, they’re likely to enter their email address. Studies (namely, the foot in the door study) prove it.

2. Popups: Popups aren’t dead (not by a long shot) -- in fact, they’re better converting than ever. List Builder popups are versatile popups that enable you to collect email addresses with whatever display rules you want (only on your product pages? 30 seconds after they land on your website?) or choose Smart Mode and let Sumo display your popup when your visitor goes to leave your website.

GIF showing a Sumo popup

3. Welcome Mat: Welcome Mat welcomes your visitors to your site by scrolling down a call to action when they land on whatever page you’ve enabled the mat on. 

Check out this Welcome Mat from our step-by-step guide to Kickstarter:

Screenshot showing a Sumo popup

It converted over 20% of our visitors into email subscribers:

Screenshot showing content upgrade conversion stats

4. Scroll Box: Scroll Box is Sumo’s polite popup, allowing you to collect emails from people who have gotten far enough down the page by scrolling in from the side. 

Screenshot showing a Sumo popup

Sumo replaces several plugins with just one perfect list building plugin.

WordPress Plugins for Search Engine Optimization

#15: SEO by Yoast

Key Takeaway: SEO by Yoast optimizes all SEO aspects in your site. Click here to install SEO by Yoast.

What would ranking on the first page of Google for your top products do for your business?

My guess is that it would bring in a lot more traffic, email addresses, and sales, right?

But it can be tough to track whether you’ve optimized all of your product listings -- from the product title, to the description and product options and page titles -- it’s enough to make your head spin. Until you install Yoast SEO. 

The Yoast SEO plugin is the most complete WordPress SEO plugin that exists on WordPress.

It takes all the SEO things you’d otherwise have to pay a developer to implement on your site and gives it to you for free.

Screenshot showing Wordpress Yoast plugin settings

The Yoast plugin:

  • Grades your optimization in a scorecard based on the keyword you’ve identified
  • Shows you exactly how your product listings will show up on Google
  • Gives you an easy-to-use checklist of things to optimize.

There’s other SEO stuff Yoast takes care of automatically, but all you need to know is this is a plugin you must have on your site if you want more traffic.

#16: Google XML Sitemaps

Key Takeaway: Google XML sitemaps creates special sitemaps which help search engines index your site and show up in search results. Click here to install Google XML Sitemaps.

Yoast has XML sitemaps built in, so if you already installed Yoast you can ignore this plugin. 

However, if you for some reason don’t want to install Yoast, this plugin generates an “XML sitemap” for your site. If you don’t know what that is, all you need to know is that it helps search engines better index your site.

Screenshot showing a sitemap

At Sumo our website has thousands of pages, but we don’t waste time creating our own sitemaps. We use a sitemap generator like Google XML Sitemaps to automate it.

Use the Google XML Sitemaps plugin to save time and automate your own sitemaps.

WordPress Plugins for Analytics and A/B Testing 

#17: Sumo Analytics

Key Takeaway: Sumo Analytics allows you to see where your visitors are clicking so you can see where your CTAs need to be placed or replaced. Click here to install Sumo to get the Google Analytics app.

There are a lot of individual analytics plugins out there, but we already know that having too many plugins on your site makes it clunky and slows it down.

So replace all of the analytics plugins with one free analytics plugin: Sumo Analytics.

Here’s what you get: 

1. Content Analytics: Knowing where your visitors are leaving your page helps you dramatically increase conversions because it gives you the data you need to tweak your product listings to keep your visitors on the page. You can also place your calls to action above the average read rate. Content Analytics tracks how far your readers get down the page, presenting the information visually:

Screenshot showing Sumo heat map in action

Pro tip: Use Content Analytics to track the average scroll rate on your pages. Then, trigger a Scroll Box to appear before the average rate percentage. Offer a discount for buying your product. Watch the email subscribers and sales roll in.

2. Heat Maps: Heat Maps helps you make sure that every element you’re putting in front of your visitors is pulling its weight, giving you a visual representation of the elements of your website people are clicking on.

Screenshot showing Sumo heat map in use
Remove the elements that nobody is clicking on from your site so you don’t give visitors decision fatigue. 

3. Sumo Google Analytics: You could go all the way to Google Analytics to see your stats. Or you could just use Sumo Analytics to see them directly on the page: 

Screenshot showing a Sumo.com article

Want to see more than that? Find your site-wide analytics in your Sumo dashboard:

Screenshot showing a graph on the Sumo dashboard

Without ever having to leave your site.

#18: Sumo Tests

Key Takeaway: Sumo A/B Testing will help you figure out which text, size, timing, colors and more will convert best on your site. Click here to install Sumo to A/B test your popups.

You don’t only need to A/B test your product listings. You also need to A/B test your calls to actions. 

Sumo allows you to A/B test any element within your Welcome Mat, Scroll Box, List Builder and Smart Bar. 

  • Want to figure out what button color will help you collect more emails? Test it. 
  • Want to know if a discount or free PDF helps you convert more? Test it. 
  • Want to find out if using persuasive words increases your clicks? Try them out.

Setting up an A/B test can be done in a few minutes (here’s how). I compared two versions of a popup (one with a moving background, and the other as a static image), and found that one raked in a 14% conversion rate, whereas the other version only had a 4% conversion.

Screenshot showing stats on the Sumo dashboard

Based on the valuable insights from the A/B test, we’ve redesigned many of our popups to include a moving background which has boosted our conversion rates.

WordPress Plugins for Website Protection & Maintenance

#19: Rename WP Login

Key Takeaway: Rename WP Login lets you customize your WP login URL to prevent malicious login attempts. Click here to install Rename WP Login.

If I had to guess, I’d guess that your WordPress dashboard can be found at yourdomain.com/wp-admin, right? 

I’m not a wizard. It’s just that everybody’s WordPress login is there.

That’s a problem because you know who else knows this? Hackers. Meaning that your site isn’t very secure with the generic WordPress login URL. 

Enter Rename WP Login, a WordPress plugin to help you change that login name from "wp-admin" to something a bit more discreet.

Screenshot showing the Wordpress login page

Adding that extra layer of security between hackers and your bread and butter. 

#20: Wordfence Security

Key Takeaway: Wordfence Security is the most downloaded security plugin. It protects your website from attacks. Click here to install Wordfence Security.

Speaking of hackers, have you ever used a site that went down because of a server attack?

You probably can think of at least once where you experienced this, so it’s not exactly rare. 

That probably happened to the site because they weren’t using Wordfence Security. Wordfence Security is the most popular security plugin for WordPress. 

It scans your site, putting up a firewall and allows you even to enable a cell phone signin for an extra layer of security. 

Screenshot showing Wordfence Dashboard

So you can sleep well at night knowing your site won’t be taken down by some dude in pajamas who still lives in his mom’s basement and plays Halo all day (when he’s not trying to hack your site). 

Turn Your eCommerce Store Into a Conversion Machine

I just gave you 20 WordPress plugins to take your eCommerce store from good to great. 

That’s not a number to cough at. So you might be a little overwhelmed with which ones to start with. 

We’ve gathered opinions on the most essential WordPress plugins for your eCommerce store that you absolutely must start with.

If you can only use six of the plugins in this guide, it should be thes. Click the button below and get the starter pack.

Don’t want to install 20 plugins on your site and risk slowing it down? Click here to get the cheat sheet of the top six WordPress plugins every eCommerce store NEEDS.

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