Just like WordPress itself is capable of transforming into many forms, so is WooCommerce. WooCommerce is a great plugin for running a web store on WordPress, however, it is not just a simple web store plugin. It is very versatile and can be used for a variety of other purposes.
The reason WooCommerce can do so many things is that it has an excellent built-in payment engine, which other plugins can tap into. So even if you’re not actually selling products, you can still use this engine and its many different payment methods.
Transforming your WooCommerce website into something different is done by using additional plugins or extensions as they are often called. In this article, we've covered 10 different WooCommerce extensions to give you some ideas of what you can do with WooCommerce, with one recommended plugin for each purpose.
Subscriptions are used for allowing recurring payments. The WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin is a simple yet powerful tool to sell subscriptions for newspapers, online access, products etc. It even synchronizes with many popular payments gateways, so when a customer cancels his subscription with the provider itself, the subscription gets cancelled in your store as well.
It doesn’t matter if you are selling physical or online products with monthly or yearly subscriptions. As long as it is recurring, this plugin will fit the bill.
WordPress already has an excellent Groups plugin which can be used to define membership levels. Combine that with the Groups for WooCommerce plugin and you can begin selling paid memberships. Add the aforementioned Subscriptions plugin and you can even sell recurring memberships.
By adding a few extra functions to WooCommerce you are suddenly capable of becoming ‘the new eBay’. The WooCommerce Simple Auctions plugin allows you to run one or more auctions for your products, including bid history and countdown timer.
After a winning bid is decided, the bidder can pay for their article right away, of course, all managed by WooCommerce. There’s even a ‘My Auctions’ section so bidders can keep track.
All this sounds pretty obvious for an auction site, but don’t forget it is still WooCommerce we’re talking about. Pretty impressive if you ask us.
The WooCommerce Amazon Affiliates uses Amazon’s API to fully integrate its products into your web store, in such a way visitors won’t even know it’s Amazon.
You can even use the reviews placed on Amazon itself and it’s ‘Frequently Bought Together’ recommendations. Only when a customer decides to checkout are they are taken to the checkout page on Amazon.
Because it’s just a WordPress plugin you still can use the native functionality. This way you can run a separate blog on your site, or combine the plugin with other WooCommerce/ WordPress plugins and functionality. This plugin is perfect if you want to gain experience in running a web store, without worrying about stock or payments.
There are cases when you don’t want to sell a product right away, but would like to have a customer ask you for a quote first instead. For example, when a customer wants to order in bulk. Instead of using email or phone to negotiate the sale you can use the WooCommerce Request A Quote plugin, which adds an extra option to the WooCommerce product listing page.
You still need to follow up outside of your web store, but it sure saves you the hassle of discussing a large order with different products by phone. You only need to confirm the price and close the deal.
At first, the WooCommerce Dropshippers plugin looks like a very simple way of notifying drop-shipping companies of your work with new orders. This way you can sell their products as your own in your web store, and when it comes to an order, an email gets sent to the supplying company.
But this plugin takes the process a bit further, by also accommodating for status updates. It does depend on the willingness of the supplier to cooperate, but if they do, you will only need to spend limited time on managing orders. This awesome plugin even keeps track of the amount of money you owe the supplier.
WooCommerce offers a free plugin to connect your web store to Facebook. The Facebook Store plugin allows you to set up a shop on your Facebook page, and synchronise your products between your web store and your Facebook page. Also included is a Facebook ads extension, which you can use to target your visitors on Facebook.
Setting up is very convenient. After you install the plugin, you are guided through a process in which you can select the relevant page. The Facebook ad is made on the spot, and the products are imported to your Facebook page right away. You then only have to wait for Facebook to process the images, texts, and links after which you’re done.
Whether you are selling hotel rooms or tickets to your very own stand-up comedy show, using a booking plugin can take care of it. The WooCommerce Bookings plugin is simple and effective to use and has a date and time calendar to allow visitors to select the time they want to place a booking.
The plugin is quite ingenious by giving you enough ways to control your calendar, preventing over bookings or no-shows. You can even have a customer check availability with you first. The plugin also takes care of the invoicing, using the WooCommerce payment option.
This specific feature is one of the reasons why WooCommerce is so popular since it is another (free) way of selling products without keeping an inventory.
Granted, you aren’t actually selling anything since you are referring customers to a different company to make the sale. However, you can give your visitors a unique shopping experience, use cross-sells and/or up-sells and easily combine affiliate products with your own to generate revenue.
It's a perfect way of testing the waters, and you can even combine it with the Amazon store mentioned above. What's also great is that it's built-in, so you don’t need to add any additional plugins.
If you want to run your own job board with only minimal costs this is a great way of doing it while still using all the power of WooCommerce.
As is evident from all the ways you can expand WooCommerce in this list, the plugin itself is capable of doing way more than just selling. The open and modular architecture of WooComererce allows for a massive variation in functionality, and it would be a missed opportunity to not take advantage of it and expand your business!