Spring Collection 2017

Drive sales and put a spring in your store with these 12 powerful extensions.

Top extensions for physical goods stores

Written by Nicole Kohler on February 8, 2017 Blog, Physical goods.

We’ve written in the past about how WooCommerce can be used for unique store setups — memberships, nonprofitssubscriptions and more. But a lot of you choose Woo because it’s a great platform for a simple store selling physical goods.

WooCommerce gives you a fantastic way to start selling and shipping your products fast, no matter what you sell or where you want to sell them. Sometimes, though, you might need a few more tools to take your store to the next level.

In this post, we’ve collected some of our favorite extensions for stores specializing in physical goods. Have a look and see if you find a new favorite!

Extensions for more appealing product pages

Part of the appeal of shopping at a brick and mortar location is being able to see, touch, and try the products you want to buy. Online, your first meetings with a product are reduced to pixels on a screen.

Luckily, we’ve found a few solid ways to compensate for that loss of real-life product experience. Until someone invents smell-o-vision or enables you to feel textures with your laptop touchpad, here are the extensions we recommend for higher converting product pages.

Add a 360º image to your product pages

If you can’t pick up a product and turn it around in your hands, this is the second best option.

Spin those products around and get a look from every angle.

The WooCommerce 360º Image extension allows you to combine photos you’ve taken of a product into a smooth, customer-friendly display of an item from every angle. Simply click the image and spin, spin, spin.

There’s a little work needed on your end to get the effect for every product — namely, multiple photos taken from each angle of the rotation you want to show — but if you’re selling anything with detail on multiple sides or features that might be hard to see in a single shot, consider giving this a try.

Not sure how to get a set of beautiful product photos? Here’s a tutorial we think you’ll find useful.

Purchase the WooCommerce 360º Image Extension

Let shoppers view or download product documents before they buy

Convincing shoppers to purchase an item can take time… and lots of convincing. Sometimes your copywriting and product images alone won’t do it, so here’s another idea.

With Product Documents, you can add PDFs or other supporting documents to your product pages. This is an easy and quick way to provide everything from instruction manuals to assembly guides to more creative pieces like lookbooks and catalogs.

Add PDFs, instructions, manuals, and more to your product pages.

Shoppers who may be on the fence about buying a product — particularly something that looks tricky to put together or use — are more likely to buy with these accessible documents on hand. And a bonus for you: you won’t have to print and pack them in the shipping box, since they’ll be right on your website if they’re needed.

Purchase the Product Documents Extension

Ways to ship smarter, faster, and with better communication

Shipping is one of those things that can make or break your store. If the prices are too high, potential customers might abandon their carts to find a cheaper alternative. If the methods are too slow, they may decide it’s not worth waiting for.

And then there’s the added stress of managing all those shipments — packing orders up, printing labels, sending boxes out, providing tracking numbers…

These extensions will help you reduce your shipping stress and keep your customers happy… not to mention make them more likely to buy from you at that final, crucial moment.

Hassle-free management of shipping rates, labels, tracking numbers, and returns

ShippingEasy does what it says on the tin: makes shipping easy. This integration manages multiple aspects of the shipping experience for your WooCommerce store, including:

  • Pulling real-time shipping rates for orders based on weight or other defined rules
  • Creating shipping labels (individually or in batches)
  • Creating and emailing tracking numbers to customers
  • Automatically creating return labels that can be packed in with your shipments

Additionally, ShippingEasy doesn’t just work with WooCommerce: if you decide to start selling your products on other marketplaces (like Amazon or eBay), you can also use it to print labels for those orders. Two birds with one stone, right?

ShippingEasy allows you to print shipping labels in batches, automate tracking number emails, and much more.

ShippingEasy costs nothing to try, with a free extension and 30 day trial; after that, monthly plans start at just $29.

Start Using ShippingEasy for Free

Allow orders to ship to multiple addresses

Something you might not have thought about: sometimes your customers aren’t just buying for themselves. They might be purchasing a gift plus a household item, or a full selection of gifts (most likely near the end of the year).

Rather than put the burden of re-shipping on them, you can outfit your WooCommerce store to handle it for them. Our Multiple Addresses shipping extension gives your customers the power to split their order up in any which way they choose.

Split up an order as you wish — ship a gift to one recipient and the rest to yourself.

Customers will be guided through splitting up their order at checkout, choosing which products go where and via which method. Then everything will come over to you, with clear instructions and all fees paid in advance (just in case that gift for Aunt Sally needs overnighted).

Purchase the Ship to Multiple Addresses Extension

Manage your inventory between multiple locations

WooCommerce has built-in inventory tracking and management. But so does every other website and online marketplace you might want to sell your products on.

Forget about tracking the amount of available products per site by counting on your fingers or scribbling on notepads. We have several solutions designed to give you full control over your inventory, and here’s just one of them.

Use TradeGecko to sell the same products on WooCommerce, Amazon, and more — without running out

TradeGecko‘s integration with WooCommerce gives you the ability to quickly sync your existing products and their current inventory status to other sites, eliminating the need for manual setup and tracking.

Link your WooCommerce products to TradeGecko and start selling elsewhere without any manual setup.

Once you sync with TradeGecko, your product inventory will be managed there (and reported back to WooCommerce). From TradeGecko, you can then begin listing your products on Amazon or other online sales platforms. You can even sync the same inventory to another WooCommerce store, if you choose.

The TradeGecko extension is free; to use it, you’ll need to subscribe to a monthly plan starting at $99 per month.

Download the TradeGecko Extension

Get recurring revenue — and keep your customers stocked up

This final extension is something you might want to consider for the purpose of introducing recurring revenue. With subscriptions, your customers will receive shipments on a frequent basis, and you’ll get a steady flow of revenue. What’s not to love?

Enable WooCommerce Subscriptions for products delivered on your customers’ schedules

WooCommerce Subscriptions has plenty of benefits, and we won’t go over them all right now. The biggest one you need to know, though, is that it introduces recurring revenue and creates repeat customers much faster than any other option available to sellers of physical goods.

Set up your subscriptions to bill weekly, monthly, quarterly, and beyond, plus add sign-up fees, free trials, or even scheduled sales.

Even if you’ve been selling for a while, you might not be aware of the potential your store has for a subscription plan. Plenty of products can be sent via subscription, especially perishable goods (snacks, meats, health food, or even coffee, which we wrote an entire guide about). Subscriptions also work for fun things like action figures and collector’s goods, or makeup and clothing (from dresses to socks to underwear — after all, they do need replaced eventually).

Recurring revenue is also something everyone should be striving for — it’s money you can count on and make concrete plans to use. It can cover monthly fees to start, then help you address “wants” vs. “needs,” like a redesign or a new tool. It’s also what can help keep you afloat if you’re just starting out.

Give some thought to what your customers might be interested in subscribing to. You might be surprised by their willingness to sign up!

Purchase WooCommerce Subscriptions

Use these extensions to find more success with your WooCommerce store

There you have it — six extensions we think you can use to take your WooCommerce store to the next level.

Whether you want to make your product pages more convincing, manage your inventory across multiple channels, or take the stress out of shipping, we have a solution for that.

Have any questions about selling physical products online with WooCommerce? Or any extensions of your own you’d recommend for selling shippable goods? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear from you.

13 Responses

  1. Joe Sites
    February 8, 2017 at 9:02 pm #

    We’ve found that, as a whole, shipping can be the biggest headache when setting up eCommerce stores, especially as an agency building sites for multiple clients with varied needs.

    Our #1 must have plugin when setting up eCommerce sites with Woocommerce, that sell/ship physical goods would have to be Tree Table Rate Shipping ( http://tablerateshipping.com/ ). It is NOT a free plugin, but it makes setting up shipping options so much easier. It create a tree-like structure to set different conditions that allow for different shipping rates based on weight, quantity, physical size, flat rate, or tie into other shipping systems, including 2 other must-haves for us, the WooCommerce UPS Shipping Method ( https://woocommerce.com/products/ups-shipping-method/ ) and WooCommerce USPS Shipping Method ( https://woocommerce.com/products/usps-shipping-method/ ) plugins.

    If your physical goods store sells your products to other retailers in a wholesale business model, WholesaleSuite ( https://wholesalesuiteplugin.com/ ) is another great must-have.

  2. Laurie
    February 9, 2017 at 4:02 pm #

    Great resource! Thank you!

  3. Andreas
    February 14, 2017 at 11:51 pm #

    Fantastic post! is there a way to make Swedish Payment Gateway Payex work with your Subscriptions?

  4. studio68pdw
    February 15, 2017 at 10:21 pm #

    Hi,
    Great read, thank you. Is there an extension that allows to do online discount vouchers and when you are at the checkout you can combine both excluded products and included products at the one time. The current basic woo e-commerce allows vouchers and you can add any excluded products to your that voucher but you have to make two purchases if you have in your cart both included and excluded products. Is there a plugin to address this or does this have to coded?

  5. Samuel
    February 18, 2017 at 10:23 am #

    Wow, The WooCommerce 360º Image extension seems great, i will try it on my brand new woocommerce website! 🙂

  6. rickz1992
    February 20, 2017 at 9:52 am #

    Very nice post

    Woo commerce 360 Degree extension is awesome.

  7. Devendra Saini
    February 20, 2017 at 12:35 pm #

    Hi,

    I love this post. I’m glad that you’re trying to find happiness and make time for fun.

    Great read, thank you. Is there an extension that allows to do online discount vouchers and when you are at the checkout you can combine both excluded products and included products at the one time.

  8. californiawebdesign1
    February 23, 2017 at 8:38 pm #

    Thank you for the information, I will try to put your advice into practice on our website

    An apology for my bad english
    regards

  9. Sebastian
    March 5, 2017 at 10:02 pm #

    Hi,
    you guys are awesome. We have been searching for a 360 image tool and found this site. We’ll definitely try it in our test store.

  10. Rita
    March 8, 2017 at 10:44 am #

    This is very resourceful… Thanks

  11. Jakob
    March 10, 2017 at 2:29 pm #

    Great post!
    You have quite a few of my own favorite extensions on the list like the “manage your inventory between multiple locations” extension. However, I didn’t know the subscriptions module. It looks very interesting and I have to try it on one of my shops!
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

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