There are dozens of popular e-commerce platforms out there, and it can be
tricky to choose between them. With so many out there, which one is the
right one for you? In this post, I will do a short overview of two very popular e-commerce platforms used by many: Shopify and WooCommerce.
Of course, you probably know by know that Shopify is indeed my favorite. Stay with me for a moment and I’ll explain why.
Yes, there are LOTS of other platforms out there, and you are free to choose or research the others if you prefer, but Shopify and WooCommerce have the most support, the right themes, and plugins to meet your e-commerce needs.
So which one would you choose?
Shopify – PROS
If you’re a beginner in e-commerce, I recommend that you use Shopify.
The Shopify platform does not require you to have a separate hosting account, install any scripts, or do any kind of major administrative tasks. Shopify is extremely easy to use. The back-end is modeled after WordPress and so it has much the same look and feel. You can easily figure out how to add products, how to enable or disable features of your store, how to set up payment options and many other useful features. This is probably one of the main strengths.
It also has some interesting plugins that let you source products from
AliExpress, which can make it very simple to set up a drop shipping business.
That means you don’t have to store products, rent warehouse space, or concern yourself with packing and shipping.
You can customize the look of your Shopify site using the free themes that come with your membership. This is useful because not every e-commerce platform offers that to you. And there are some that require an additional one-time payment to use because they are made by individual creators, and not Shopify.
Shopify takes care of a lot of details if you choose to take advantage of their platforms. For example, Shopify has payment gateways already integrated into the backend that you can set up on your store. There are also shipping options available, to make it easy for you to print a label and ship.
Shopify has a lot of help information in an app store to allow you to add even more features to your site. Some e-commerce platforms have a very noticeable lack of documentation but not with Shopify. They have a manual that is extremely comprehensive plus additional documentation and live support.
And lastly (but not least) Shopify is competitively priced. The prices that they charge for the various packages are comparable with other shopping platforms.
Shopify – CONS
The only real disadvantage that Shopify has as an e-commerce platform is the pricing, which was also included as an advantage. The reason that it is also included here is simply because there are e-commerce platforms out there that charge nothing (like WooEcommerce…so you think). With Shopify you do end up paying credit card processing fees, app fees, and of course the monthly fee which can range between $29 and $179 a month. However, for the functionality that you get, the price is still extremely fair. With the $29 a month store and even with paying credit card processing fees you’ll still have a great potential to make a profit.
Shopify knows that you want to make a good informed decision, so they are giving you an opportunity to start your online store with Shopify for FREE…no credit card required. This is a trial opportunity so you can take Shopify on a test drive…try it before you commit to the $29 per month basic version or an upgrade if you choose. Personally, I recommend that you start with the basic version and as you begin to bring in the profits (and you will), upgrade to the next level.
WooCommerce – PROS
WooCommerce, by contrast, is free. It’s slightly more complex to use,
because you do need your own hosting account, and you do need to install
WordPress, because WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress. But there’s
plenty of documentation to walk you step-by-step through the process.
You also have plenty of themes available. There are lots of free
themes to choose from, as well as additional paid themes if you prefer. They also have pretty much any plugin you could ever need for different types of functionalities, but you’ll have to pay for most of them.
If you are already well-versed in using hosting companies and WordPress, WooCommerce might be your best option.
WooCommerce – CONS
What WooCommerce has going for it is that it works with WordPress, which is one of the leading content management systems in the world. WooCommerce is useless if you are not a WordPress user. It is tightly linked with WordPress and cannot be used without it. I know a lot of people who do not like WordPress…and if you don’t like WordPress, then WooCommerce is not for you.
WooCommerce is not e-commerce ready, instead you need (or eventually will need) a WooCommerce expert to help build your e-commerce store.
WooCommerce slows down when the scale of operations increases. It isn’t capable of handling large databases. So, think about how big you want your e-commerce store to be before opting for WordPress to build it.
WooCommerce will save you money in the short run, but Shopify is best
for beginners. All of the hosting is done for you, and so much more. All you have to do is fill your store up with your products. Just like the commercials on TV, if you want a “set-it-and-forget-it” platform, then Shopify is the better choice. Try Shopify for FREE. That means you can have your e-commerce store up and running and not pay a dime. Check it out for yourself!
To your success…