Building a successful and automated site requires the use of vetted, well-featured plugins. Once you’ve decided on the platform, you need to think about what you will add to enhance the customer-facing and back-office features you need.
Our Path Coffee Roasters site is built on WordPress using the WooCommerce e-commerce plugin. WooCommerce is one of the most recognized e-commerce plugins, and we’ve found it very versatile and easy to use. Regardless, there are many other platforms out there like Shopify and Squarespace, to name a few.
This article will go through the most critical plugins we use on our site every day.
CM Commerce works on WooCommerce and Shopify as an added plugin you install. CM Commerce manages the after-sale email receipts, abandoned cart emails, follow up emails, and generally any email you want to trigger after a sale has occurred. We use this plugin to send our customers emails where they can rate the products they’ve purchased or their experience. One of the fun things we’ve done with this plugin is when someone places an order; we automatically send them a funny personalized email telling them their coffee is on the way. CM Commerce has so many features that make your email marketing a cinch.
If you’d like to have robust forms on your site with the added benefit of conditional logic, Gravity Forms is for you. We use this plugin on our contact page and have integrated MailChimp to collect email addresses. Forms are sent, triggering another email to the customer in response.
MailChimp is our go-to platform to collect email addresses and send out automated or manually sent emails when not associated with an actual order.
We use Thrive Leads as a lead generation plugin. On our Dropshipping page, we use one of their integrated, customized lead-generating forms. When a person enters their name and email, we use MailChimp to send them an automated email in response. Thrive Leads lets you set up lead generation banners, lightboxes, screen fillers, ribbons, etc. You can also test different lead forms and get a full reporting of how leads are working. Connecting to MailChimp helps you automate many of the communications you want to have with your customers but don’t have the time to do one on one.
Stripe payment gateway is straightforward to integrate with your WooCommerce or Shopify site. Stripe lets your customers check out right from your site without ever leaving; it’s secure and takes a wide variety of payment options. If you offer a subscription option, this plugin will conveniently charge the customer’s card every time, and customers can save their cards through their secure locker for easy access to future orders.
Shipstation is the platform we use at Path to process all drop shipping orders and ship them to your customers. This plugin connects to your site, so when an order comes in, we immediately receive it. From there, we can ship using USPS or UPS with favorable rates. When orders are shipped, your customers receive a branded email with a tracking link. That link takes them to another branded tracking page. As a dropshipping customer, you are not required to pay for Shipstation; however, you will need to install their app in the integration process.
Yoast SEO is one of the most effective plugins to manage the SEO of your articles and site content. When writing a blog article Yoast helps us hit all the right SEO points. Google or other search engines recognize the article, and if well written, rank it higher and serve it up more often. Yoast gives you an easy to see red, yellow, and green indication if your article has too much of one thing and not enough of another. Yoast has really helped our site grow its traffic.
This is a general recommendation that you should seriously consider adding your platforms approved points & rewards plugin. We’ve noticed that customers who receive points come back to use them on future orders. A points & rewards program creates a more “sticky” site, and honestly, people don’t like to leave money on the table when they know it’s there for the taking.
Path Coffee Roasters is located in Port Chester, NY, where we roast and package all our coffees weekly for our wholesale, retail, and dropshipping customers.
Please reach out to us if you have any questions. We’re here to help.