Whether you’re selling a single subscription service or hundreds of unique items sourced globally — building and launching your WooCommerce store is a rewarding experience.
With so much to consider during setup — from payments to shipping to marketing — it’s not unusual to be cautious about costs. You certainly don’t want to break the bank before you’ve sold anything!
WooCommerce is a free platform that can be added and expanded upon with nearly endless extensions — including some great free ones.
From monitoring traffic to abandoned cart emails to live chat, here are some of our favorite free WooCommerce extensions.
1. Get Google Analytics to understand customer behavior
Google Analytics (GA) is a universally trusted resource for website owners to keep track of pageviews, clickthroughs, conversions, and more. To set it up for your WooCommerce store, get the free WooCommerce Google Analytics integration and connect your GA account:
If you’re not yet familiar with Google Analytics and don’t know the benefits, check out this tutorial or read Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics.
Get WooCommerce Google Analytics
2. Add Jetpack for security, spam protection and ‘lazy loading’ images
Jetpack is a resource-packed WordPress plugin that allows you to do everything from enhance security and stop spam to enable real-time backups so you can rewind your site.
For new WooCommerce stores, Jetpack adds instant value with its free plan options including brute force attack protection, downtime monitoring, additional themes and ‘lazy loading’ images:
3. Connect to MailChimp for world class email marketing
MailChimp is the world’s largest marketing automation platform, and they now offer a number of valuable eCommerce tools and services.
With the official MailChimp for WooCommerce integration, your customers and their purchase data are automatically synced with your MailChimp account, making it easy to send targeted campaigns, automatically follow up with customers post-purchase, recommend products, recover abandoned carts, and measure the ROI of your marketing efforts. And it’s completely free.
Keen on MailChimp? Read their tips on post-purchase automation as you get started.
4. Connect to Facebook to runs ads and grow sales
Marketing on Facebook helps your business build lasting relationships with people, find new customers and increase sales for your online store. The free Facebook for WooCommerce integration will help you set up and use two powerful ways to help grow your business: ads and a shop page. It’s also an easy way to get set up for Shopping on Instagram.
5. Engage with visitors and boost sales with live chat
When a customer has a problem or question, do you want them to be able to talk with a real person immediately? If so, enabling live chat for your store is a must. If you need any more convincing, read more about how live chat can boost sales.
Live Chat for WooCommerce is an excellent option and offer a free 30 day trial.
6. Automate and personalize your abandoned cart remarketing
If a customers visits your store, and abandons a cart before completing checkout, it’s possible — and a great marketing tactic — to fetch them back with a well-timed email. Doing this manually would require a lot of time and effort, but there are a number of services that make this easy. MailChimp has some basic tools for abandoned cart remarketing, but Jilt offers a more customizable service.
Jilt has already generated over $28,000,000 in revenue for eCommerce shops, and on average, stores generate an additional 15-20% of revenue in 20 minutes or less. You can easily track abandonment, recover lost revenue, and personalize your emails.
Jilt offer a 14 day free trial, after which pricing starts at $29 per month. The extension is built by Skyverge, a trust partner of WooCommerce.
7. Automatically request product reviews after each sale
Customer reviews have many benefits: they build trust, can be shared to show how great your products are, and add content to your store which is positive for SEO.
Yotpo is a great free option for eCommerce site reviews, including a popular review request feature: once installed, the extension automatically contacts customers post-purchase to ask for their feedback on a product.
It also enables product Q&A, creates a gallery of submitted photos, and enables you to incentivize reviews with coupons or special offers.
8. Take payments in person and track inventory
Online and in-person payments are simple with Square. Get the WooCommerce extension for Square at no cost and instantly start accepting payments. You can easily track all your inventory and sales from online and offline in one place.
9. Optimize images to ensure fast pageload
High-quality pictures are important for websites, possibly even more so for online stores! Especially if you’re showcasing galleries and carousels to your visitors.
But high quality generally also means larger files sizes, and larger files sizes can be making your WooCommerce site slow. The solution to avoid this is optimizing your images. Especially given that images represent 50% of the loading time of a website.
Fortunately, optimizing your images doesn’t mean you’re going to serve blurry product pictures to your customers. Follow these steps:
- Download your images to the right size. This image guide recommends “original images you upload should be at least 800 x 800px or higher to work for most themes”.
- Compress your images. Usually, a regular size for a web page is 2MB. Use a plugin like EWWW Image Optimizer (free), WPSmushit, or Imagify to reduce the size of your images up to 70% — with no impact on the quality.
10. Trigger coupon messages with hidden shortcodes
Coupons and discounts can definitely nudge more customers into buying, but at such an early stage, you might not want to publicize codes on an external site. That’s where Coupon Shortcodes can help.
With this extension, you can use criteria like the current value of items in a customer’s cart to trigger messages about what coupons are available (or will become available with additional actions). The messages can be customized to your liking, and you can add shortcodes for as many coupons as you wish.
Here’s some sample code:
You qualify for a discount!
Use the coupon code [coupon_code] to take advantage of this great discount : [coupon_discount]
If you’re up for suggesting a coupon or two based on the actions of your shoppers, this extension is exactly what you need to get started.
Get the Coupon Shortcodes Extension
Building a successful store doesn’t have to cost a fortune
Many new store owners are strapped for cash, so finding cost-effective ways to get set up and start selling is crucial.
Each of the free WooCommerce extensions we’ve highlighted will enable you to launch your store with more data, readiness, and confidence.
Let us know in the comments which ones work for you, or others you’d recommend for fellow new store owners.
I’m just building another store in a new niche (disability news) and I hadn’t heard of some of these so many thanks.
Will be very useful.
Great to know they will be useful and that you enjoyed the article. Do share the URL for your site once it is live, we’d love to see what you’re working on, Dale.
i love Google analytics extension, it can track pageviews and purchases in a beautiful way..
We agree! Our free Google Analytics extension is getting a little update soon, so keep a look out for an announcement about 1.4, Deepika, and good luck with all your tracking 🙂
was excited, lost it quickly. Most if not all of these plugins require registering with 3rd parties and them having access to your data! I’ll pass…
Hey Matt, half of the plugins featured are developed by third party partners. We totally understand if you’re not interested in trying those out, but we recommend them all the same. Anything that is featured on the Woo site has been approved by us and has to maintain specific standards (updates, support, etc.) in order to be recommended by our team.
Having said that, thanks for your feedback, it’s appreciated 🙂
No only do third parties get access to data, but plugins may slow your site down, and as they age they can be open to attack, if not maintained by developers. IMO the less plugins the better, to make the site lightweight and fast loading as possible.
It’s very common to hear that “the more plugins you have, the slower your site will be,” but this isn’t always necessarily true! It’s actually dependent on the amount of code that each plugin runs. Here’s a really nice article I like on that topic: https://wpengine.com/blog/plugins-and-fast-wordpress-sites-its-not-the-number-of-plugins-its-the-quality/
Having said that, I definitely agree with you that aged, non-maintained plugins can expose a store to vulnerabilities. That’s why we work with and recommend extensions by ourselves, or (as you see in 50% of this post) third party developers who’ve built long-lasting partnerships with us. 🙂
A couple of nice plugins here that I’ve missed.
Cheers Sean! Do let us know if you find a new favorite.
Very nice post! Some of those I use on my projects.
Aftership looks great, I have to get that and try!
Glad to hear it Ricardo 🙂 Give us a shout if you have a good experience with it!
Hi, these are really nice extensions, I have plan to start one site on this niche and will must try these. Thanks
Hi Muhammad, glad to hear it 🙂 Let us know if you find any new favorites.
Wow, nice roundup I will definitely try Receiptful and Trustpilot. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Glad you enjoyed Eric!
These are great plugins – I would suggest to add to that list some marketing plugins also like for example pop up promotions – I wonder if there are pop up extensions similar to Thrive Leads that have pop ups based on a customer’s current or previous purchase history.
I’m looking for a plugin which can substitute the “add to cart” (when hovering over a product picture inside the category) to several icons with options like: cart, heart (add to favorites), thumb up (fb like), P (pinterest)
Also I heard about a plugin that is displayed on the checkout page, and when the user likes or shares the product/picture on social media, he will receive an automated discount straight after sharing/liking the product. Do you know it?
Hi Shiwam, not certain about that first plugin but there’s a free plugin like the second one you’re describing on WordPress.org. It wasn’t developed by us, but give it a shot and let us know what you think or how it works for you eh? 🙂 https://wordpress.org/plugins/yith-woocommerce-share-for-discounts/
Knowledge dont have any limit. I am using WooCommerce more than 5 years, even developing Themes and Extensions for Woocomemrce as well, but I missed few things which I can do using free resources and you just showed me the way. Thanks Nicole for this great article.
Thanks Shameem! Glad to know you’re still reading and learning even after using Woo for so long. Let us know if you find any free extensions you’re especially keen on (we always like knowing how things turn out for you), or if there’s anything else you’d like us to write about in the future, okay?
Nicole, where can I find free live currency converter extension similar to http://currency.wiki/currency-converter or xe.com etc…? I would like to allow my clients to convert currencies on my woocommerce store.
Hey Thomas, have you tried our own widget here: https://woocommerce.com/products/currency-converter-widget/ ? 🙂
Note that this doesn’t convert the currency itself, it only shows the customer what the product price is in their native currency. They will still complete the transaction in your store’s set currency.
Especially, “Aftership” seems great. I will try it.
Thanks a lot.
are these extensions really free
I have never heard any of them ,thanku very very much.