How To Choose The Right E-Commerce Platform For Your Company
There are many things to consider when getting yourself started in e-commerce, and finding the best platform is a key to success. For WordPress users, WooCommerce has been and continues to be an invaluable asset. Still, there are other platforms such as Shopify and Big Commerce that also have their benefits. So, how does one choose which path is best? Here, we’ll show you the ups and downs of both sides and help you make an informed decision about which is best for you.
The wonders of WooCommerce
First, let’s look at WooCommerce for e-commerce. This plugin is free to use and features a variety of themes. It can be expanded using various extensions, and it’s quite easy to set up. Uploading your products is as simple as putting together a post and adding in pictures. You can then include prices, inventory status, product categories and attributes, links to other similar items, and customer reviews. You can also choose to enable or disable reviews for any given product. You handle transactions through your dashboard, and you can choose to keep track of your inventory manually or let WooCommerce do all the work.
There is, however, one small downside. The plugin is free, but you have to provide your own hosting, URL, maintenance, and security. This is the price you pay for a high level of customization and all the other easy-to-use features that WooCommerce includes. But how does this measure up against Shopify?
The simplicity of Shopify
Shopify, like many paid platforms, offers simplicity as the selling point for your e-commerce store. All you have to do to get yourself started is create an account, pick a theme, and choose your plan. Their choices range from $14 per month for a simple starter plan to $179 per month for unlimited access. The plans vary based upon the amount of file storage you get and the fee for credit card transactions, and the higher plans have extras included, such as professional reports and abandoned cart recovery.
You also have the option to use free or paid themes. Different themes have different features, and the paid versions tend to be in the $100 range and up, especially for enterprise use. There are a few lower priced themes as well. You also have apps that you can utilize. Again, many of these apps are not free, but you can check reviews on each to determine if they’ll suit your needs before you buy. Shopify, like other paid platforms, handles security and maintenance for you, which is an attractive prospect. Still, is it enough to topple WooCommerce?
The breakdown and the bottom line
Overall, WooCommerce for e-commerce allows greater levels of customization and it’s predominately free to use. True, you need to pay for your URL and hosting, and you need to keep track of your security and maintenance. Still, over time, you’ll spend far more money with Shopify and other portals like it, and you don’t get to choose your own host. With WooCommerce, you own your site, which is another thing paid platforms can’t match. The bottom line is that using WordPress with WooCommerce makes it easier to build a site just the way you want it and ultimately saves you money in the long run.
Everyone in the e-commerce world (especially newcomers) can benefit by having a store in an online marketplace. The more exposure you get to sell your products, the better. Sites like eBay, Amazon and Etsy have a built in traffic component that is hard to match. If you sell to a limited market, try to find an online marketplace that targets your customer type.Those sites will get you noticed and help you establish customer loyalty.