For WordPress websites, there are several solutions to choose from when setting up your online shop. However, knowing which ones will work best for you and your eCommerce website is another matter entirely. With a lot of different options, having positives and negatives for all of them, it might be difficult on deciding which eCommerce platform to use. Here, we take a look at two of the more popular solutions, Shopify & WooCommerce, and give you an evaluation for each so you can make an informed decision.
Shopify is considered a premium eCommerce solution and is more suitable for mid sized businesses that want a premium online shop on a budget. Regarding cost, Shopify’s pricing plans range from $9 to $299 per month depending on your options. They do charge transaction fees but this is reduced if you subscribe to higher plans (if you use Shopify Payments, the transaction fees are completely removed). Despite the charges, as a premium eCommerce solution, Shopify is relatively affordable. You can also try a two week free trial to see if Shopify is the right fit for you. Once your set up with Spotify, you will be able to access more than 54 different store templates (10 of which are free) that are mobile friendly and can be customized to your liking. Shopify is also easy to integrate into WordPress as well as social media platforms such as Facebook & Twitter. And, as a premium solution, you will have a secure platform with 24/7 support.
The downside is that it can be an expensive for small and start-up businesses. There are some cheap and free solutions, but they can be limiting. Also, for those that opt for the more affordable options, you will most likely be competing with potentially thousands of other websites with the same themes. That’s why customization of your store template is encouraged. A good developer should be able to customize the theme further so that it truly stands out from the competition, but this may end up costing even more money. And, as mentioned, you may have to deal with transaction fees as well.
WooCommerce is one of the most popular eCommerce solutions available due being completely free and versatile. This free plugin is easy to setup and is officially supported by WordPress as it was recently acquired by them. There are also plenty of free and paid themes to choose from and many plugins that are capable of enhancing WooCommerce’s usability. Also, if you are willing to put in the hours, the world is your oyster in terms of aesthetics. You will find a dedicated open source community of experts that can help you build the online shop that you want. There are also mountains of documentation, resources, tutorials, etc, available to you on the web. One your eCommerce site is up and running, you will find it easy to manage as you’ll be able to upload new products in minutes.
However, there are some downsides. Though the initial plugin itself is free, the costs for additional plugins and extensions will start to add up. Not too mention that installing and configuring WooCommerce may be difficult for those that have limited knowledge of functioning a website. Also, by default, WooCommerce does not feature all types of payment and cannot deliver invoices – additional plugins will be required to fill in the blanks. In fact, many of the functions of WooCommerce are a lot more ‘do-it-yourself’ compared to many of the premium solutions available, which may put some first-timers off.
At the end of the day, it comes down to your budget and how ‘hands-on’ you want to be when it comes to your eCommerce store. If you have a budget to spend, require full support, and want your online shop up and running easily with little know-how, then Shopify is the way to go. However, if you are on a budget, willing to do things yourself, and want full control and customization over your online shop, then WooCommerce may just be the right choice for you. Regardless, both Shopify and WordPress are both great platforms and you can’t go too wrong with either.