The world of e-commerce has been growing by leaps and bounds during the past few years. Two of the most popular platforms for e-commerce are WooCommerce and Shopify. I’ve dabbled with them both, myself. Before you choose one, you should weigh the pros and cons of each.
My 2 cents is this: If you want an easy to set up shop and don’t plan to build content assets like blogs, Shopify is probably for you. If you like WordPress and prefer to own your own platform, I’d go WordPress with WooCommerce.
Both platforms claim to be among the best e-commerce platforms in the world; however, it is crucial to take a closer look at each of these platforms for people to figure out which platform is right for them.
What are some of the key points to keep in mind?
The Pros and Cons
A great place to start involves taking a close look at the benefits and drawbacks of each platform.
By understanding each of these options’ advantages and disadvantages, eCommerce store owners will be able to make an educated decision.
First, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Shopify.
There are several benefits that users will enjoy if they decide to go with Shopify. These include:
- Hosted Software: First, Shopify is hosted software. As a result, the platform includes security and hosting features, streamlining operations for eCommerce store owners. Furthermore, users will not need to have any coding knowledge to create a gorgeous online store.
- Customer Support: Any users who have issues with Shopify will have access to around-the-clock customer support. Shopify has customer service agents working twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week, to ensure that everyone can keep their customers happy, ensuring their sales figures remain high.
- Integration: Shopify allows e-commerce store owners to sell their products on other channels. These include Pinterest, eBay, Amazon, and Facebook. These are all built-in features.
These are a few of the essential benefits of Shopify to note.
At the same time, there are several drawbacks to note of Shopify as well.
- Transaction Fees: Shopify is one of the only platforms that will charge a fee for each transaction. Users can get around the fee by using Shopify’s payment gateway, called Shopify Payments.
- App Payments: Many e-commerce store owners love to install apps in their stores. At the same time, it is easy to lose track of the bill for each of these apps, driving up yearly expenses that could be unexpected.
Next, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of WooCommerce.
There are a handful of benefits that come with using WooCommerce. These include:
- Customization: When it comes to platform customization, few channels provide the same freedom that WooCommerce does. Users can access WooCommerce’s open-source platform and use their code to tailor their store to their heart’s content.
- Scalability: WooCommerce is also one of the most scalable options for e-commerce platforms out there. It provides fantastic flexibility that is going to grow with the e-commerce store grows as well.
- Value: Woocommerce is free to install. Furthermore, and the extensions that are added are reasonably priced. As a result, e-commerce store owners can add a tremendous amount of flexibility to their businesses at a low price.
On the other hand, there are a few issues that WooCommerce store owners might encounter. These include:
- Coding Knowledge: To access everything that WooCommerce has to offer, users will have to have a decent knowledge of coding. As a result, the platform might be better for people who had experience in the technology field. That said, there are many WordPress Plug-ins that help with this along the way.
- Not For Beginners: Furthermore, WooCommerce has a steep learning curve. Due to the learning curve, WooCommerce is not ideal for beginners in the field. It could be better for people entering the waters of e-commerce for the first time to consider a more straightforward option.
Above is a brief overview of all of the pros and cons that people need to consider when choosing between these two eCommerce platforms.
Building an eCommerce Store
One of the most critical factors that eCommerce store owners need to consider is the amount of time it will take to complete their store. Everyone wants to make sure that they have a robust store; however, they also want to get the store up and running quickly.
There are a few key factors to consider when comparing the build time of these two platforms.
First, Shopify allows users to get their stores up and running more quickly than WooCommerce. Those who are starting from scratch or otherwise have limited coding knowledge will find that the setup process for Shopify runs much faster.
Shopify has a step-by-step guide that allows users to set up the store quickly. With a few clicks on the button, it is easy to open a store that looks professional.
Because Shopify is hosted software, everything that is needed to get at the store up and running is in one place. It is not a manual process. Instead, it moves automatically.
On the other hand, there is a way for e-commerce store owners to set up their stores more quickly with WooCommerce using a hosting platform call Bluehost. Bluehost provides specialized plans for WooCommerce e-commerce store owners.
These include hosting options, 24 hours per day seven day per week customer support, and one-click installation for WordPress sites.
A setup wizard will walk everyone through the process if they decide to set up their eCommerce stores with WooCommerce instead.
For these reasons, both Shopify and WooCommerce can be set up relatively quickly. In the end, Shopify is more straightforward than WooCommerce; however, there are ways to make a WooCommerce setup process run more quickly.
Design and Theme Options
Another critical area in which these two platforms need comparison involves options for designs and themes.
These eCommerce platforms offer numerous stylish themes that allow small business owners to give their online stores a professional appearance.
After all, for many customers, accessing an e-commerce store will be the first impression that they have a company. With the right theme, it is easy to ensure potential customers get a positive impression.
First, let’s take a closer look at Shopify.
Shopify provides users with access to over 70 free and premium themes. Variations on these themes will quickly put the actual figure at around 100.
The themes from Shopify are incredibly sleek and polished.
Because Shopify is a dedicated e-commerce software platform, these themes are specifically designed to help store owner sell their products and services.
Because WooCommerce is an open-source software program, users with coding knowledge can spend a lot of time curating their themes to meet their exact needs. Furthermore, there is an entry theme on WooCommerce called StoreFront. StoreFront is an incredibly responsive theme on all devices and provides a fresh, clean layout.
In the end, choosing a great theme is only part of the battle. Regardless of whether someone decides to go to Shopify or WooCommerce, it is also essential to spend time customizing that theme. Those with coding knowledge will have an easier time tailoring their themes to meet their needs on WooCommerce.
Alternatives to Shopify and WooCommerce
Some of the options that e-commerce store owners may want to consider include:
BigCommerce: eCommerce store owners looking for a smooth experience with a tremendous amount of flexibility may want to consider going with BigCommerce. BigCommerce features a drag and drop editor, making it easy for store owners to set up a website.
BigCommerce is a popular provider that provides a comprehensive solution for eCommerce store owners. The themes are stunning, the platform offers advanced marketing features to boost conversion rates, and BigCommerce has options for streamlining sales on multiple platforms.
Some cons to consider are that the site is a bit slow and that only seven of the themes are free. While the themes are beautiful, they can be costly.
Volusion: Volusion is an eCommerce platform out of the United Kingdom. More than 200,000 businesses rely on Volusion’s cloud-based shopping cart. The platform is tailored to small business owners who have entry-level technical abilities. It is possible to customize Volusion based on the number of plugins and extensions that store owners connect to their eCommerce store.
There is also an eBay integration that store owners can add. Finally, there is also a large library filled with templates that store owners can access. On the other hand, Volusion is a bit behind its overall features compared to other platforms.
It also tends to be slow, and there is a monthly bandwidth limit. Users who go over the limit will be billed per GB, which can get costly.
BigCartel: BigCartel is incredibly popular among artists and creative professionals because it is affordable and provides unlimited bandwidth.
BigCartel also provides an array of inventory tracking features, making it easy to fulfill orders. BigCartel also integrates with a wide variety of tools, including Facebook, PayPal, and Google Analytics. Furthermore, there is no coding knowledge required to set up an online store through BigCartel. There are several drawbacks of BigCartel that users should note. First, there is a lack of phone or chat support.
Second, the platform is also meant for small businesses, not large companies. Finally, the features of BigCartel are limited when compared to other options.
Magento: Magento has grown in popularity recently. Magento is a free eCommerce platform that provides a wide array of features through its open-source software. Magento is ideal for medium or large businesses with the resources to tweak the coding to meet their needs.
As a result, users must have a decent knowledge base when it comes to coding to maximize the Magento platform’s benefits.
There are no monthly service charges, and Magento provides a host of SEO tools. On the other hand, Magento is not a self-hosted platform, and users must have coding knowledge. For larger businesses with the right resources, Magento could be a healthy choice.
Its designs are responsive, and it provides thousands of extensions that store owners can leverage for their eCommerce businesses.
There are more than 100 templates, countless themes, an intuitive editor, and a wide range of apps to help you build the perfect eCommerce store. With countless add-ons, plugins, social media embedding tools, and even a live chat option, you can build a fantastic online storefront with Wix.
Some of the pros of Wix include:
• There is a drag and drop editor
• It has a wide array of unique features
• It is compatible with a variety of payment gateways to meet the needs of your customers
Some of the drawbacks of Wix include:
• There are no SEO tools to help you market your eCommerce store
• There are bandwidth and traffic limits
The eCommerce industry has seen a tremendous amount of growth during the past few years. As more companies realize the revenue opportunities that exist in the online world, there are going to be additional platforms that will reach the market as well.
Find the Right eCommerce Platform.
The virtual world is growing quickly. There are a lot of businesses that are looking to generate another revenue stream through online sales.
Companies looking to reach potential customers and clients need to make sure that they consider the online platform quickly. For many customers, accessing an online storefront is going to be the first impression they have of a company.
Therefore, it is essential to make the impression count by enlisting the right eCommerce platform’s help.
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- Shopify vs WordPress: Which is Better?
- Shopify Affiliate Program
- Shopify SEO: How to Optimize Your Shopify Store for Higher Search Rankings
Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s a digital marketing specialist, speaker, and marketing coach and loves to share her “Ballen Method” to generate website traffic and leads online. Lori’s specialties are SEO content writing (ranking on the search engines), social media strategies, and affiliate marketing. Need a website? Contact Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands.