Choosing the right e-commerce platform for your online business
There are so many options available for you when you make the decision to take your business online. Many of the options offer flexibility and functionality, depending on the variety of products you are selling. As two of the most popular shopping cart platforms in the market, WooCommerce and Shopify should be on your list to consider when initially setting up your online store. But which one is right for your business? Both offer great e-commerce solutions, so we have compiled the benefits of each one, to help you make your decision. Ultimately, the choice should reflect your business requirements and should help your business to be successful.
WooCommerce: the Global e-commerce Solution
WooCommerce was developed as an open-sourced e-commerce plugin platform, designed to be integrated with the WordPress CMS. As the most powerful CMS system in the market, WordPress coupled with WooCommerce gives your business the flexibility of large database storage capabilities with customisation available for almost every aspect of the store, including layouts, products, and payments.
WooCommerce features and benefits
WooCommerce is such a versatile platform. It gives business owners the option to create a customised e-commerce platform for their business. The most promising feature of WooCommerce is that, at its core download, it is free. You may pay fees for installation of the WordPress CMS, but the WooCommerce plugin download is free. Should the standard version of WooCommerce not have all the functionalities that you require for your business, there are also multiple add-on plugin and extension features of WooCommerce that are able to be purchased.
Customise your online store
WooCommerce is fully customisable; everything from the product layout pages, cart and checkout, to the backend functionalities, product setups, shipping, variations, and imagery. Whether your business is simple or complex, there are options available with WooCommerce to sell your products online.
Categorise your products
Once your online store is established, you have the flexibility to add product categories, tags and attributes to make it easier for your customers to find what they are looking for and display products that are most relevant to them. You can use custom filtering functionalities, with the WooCommerce system able to distinguish between hundreds, if not thousands, of products via their initial category or attribute. This is highly beneficial for your business as it allows you to not only get products to your customers faster but allows you to structure your store in a way that is suited to your individual product needs.
Multiple payment and shipping options
WooCommerce gives you the opportunity to select a payment gateway that suits you and your business. With hundreds of optional extensions available from credit cards, PayPal, Afterpay, and Humm, to direct bank transfers, and direct connections with your financial institution, the options are endless. WooCommerce even has integrations available for online and cryptocurrency, meaning customers can have the choice to pay for your products with which ever method suits them. Once customers have paid for their product, they will also need options to ship. That’s where WooCommerce is also advanced. There are multiple options available for different methods of shipping including free shipping, tabled shipping, as well as calculated shipping with integrations available with all major shipping providers such as TNT, Australia Post, Sendle, and DHL to name a few.
Although WooCommerce is highly customisable meaning that you have the options to edit it to suit your needs and functionalities, it is very user friendly and simple to configure. The developers at WooCommerce have a dedicated YouTube channel to take you through tutorials on how to set up and configure your online store. Everything is available, showing you various components of the process including setting up products, coupons, tax, shipping, pricing, reporting, refunds and processing orders. They also have a dedicated support team that can answer and questions you have and show you how to make changes step by step.
Shopify: Specialty in e-commerce
Shopify is a worldwide e-commerce phenomenon, with millions of users utilising the service for their e-commerce businesses. Shopify is its own platform, specialising in commerce online, whereas WooCommerce has been build by WordPress to complete sales functions. Shopify started as an online store itself and has now grown into one of the leading online selling platforms worldwide.
Shopify features and benefits
A website hosted with Shopify is your businesses’ way to get online and manage your sales easily. With so many features and benefits, its no wonder why businesses love it. Best of all, Shopify offers businesses an all-in-one inclusive solution for a low monthly fee. Everything is taken care of without the need for additional add-ons or extensions.
Self-hosted and secure
Shopify is its own self hosted platform, meaning you don’t need the additional services of a CMS to be operational. You can go through your setup process entirely with Shopify and not have to worry about additional installations or security hosting. All Shopify websites come with SSL certification and transactions are protected by the highest security standards, equivalent to those of financial institutions.
Professional themes and templates available
The Shopify platform gives you access to some of the best online store themes with which to construct your site. While it doesn’t have the full customisation available as WooCommerce does, you are able to add in your own products, colours, logo and branding and it will deliver you a professional and functioning website for your business in the specific template that you have chosen.
Payment gateway options
Shopify has connections to all the major payment gateways including credit cards, PayPal, Afterpay and Bitcoin. These payment gateways are highly secure and facilitate easy transfer of funds for sales for your business.
Analytics and reporting data
Shopify has its own integrated analytics dashboard, so you are able to monitor your online sales, orders, and traffic in order to manage your business. From the dashboard, you can also produce sales reports to track your products selling rate, store’s conversion rate and checkout/cart abandonment rate. These detailed reports allow you to make informed decisions about your businesses marketing, and future product inclusions.
Choosing the right e-commerce platform for your business
Both WooCommerce and Shopify offer businesses great online sales platforms. Deciding which one is right for your business will depend on the individual structure of your business, what functionality you need, how customisable you need the website to be, and the user experience offered by the platform. It is important to do your research when deciding and make a decision that is in the best interests of yourself and your business.
If you need help with building your e-commerce solution. Jezweb can help. Jezweb has experience in both WooCommerce and Shopify website design and can guide you through the pros and cons of both solutions to help you make an informed decision. Whatever platform you decide, Jezweb can assist you with designing and building the site to get your business online. Call today on 1300 024 766 or make an enquiry online.