Which E-commerce platform best suits the needs of your business? Simply put – which online shop delivers the best bang for the pound (doesn’t quite work this side of the pond, I concede…).
At the risk of acquiring splinters from an elongated period of fence sitting, there is no definitive best e-commerce platform. Just as there is no definitive best type of pasta or an incontrovertibly best hairstyle. What there is, is an e-commerce platform best suited to your specific situation. To help you gauge which platform that is, we compared 2 of the most well-established e-commerce platforms that are used in 2020: Shopify and WooCommerce.
Ideal for: Non-techy business owners, small to medium businesses
Shopify excels in its ease of use: it is the closest e-commerce solution to a plug-in and play platform. Even the most ardent technophobe shouldn’t struggle with setting up their Shopify store. Simply choose a theme and input your products upon their well-built virtual shelves. Checkout and payment takes place via their secure pre-built systems, as does the website hosting itself. Moreover, the Shopify support staff are genuinely superb, as is the Point of Sale app that comes with the more advanced packages.
Customisation is both a strength and a weakness of this platform. Thousands of purpose-built add-ons can be purchased through the Shopify marketplace, enabling you to further tweak your store without any coding knowledge. These don’t come for free, however; potential platform procurers would do well to factor in this less obvious outlay into their decision making process.
Monthly subscription packages for Shopify start at just over $20, with a fee of around 2% levied against payments. By no means extortionate, yet certainly not the cheapest in the marketplace.
Ideal for: Tech-savvy business owners, Business looking for a fully customisable platform, medium to large businesses
WooCommerce uses WordPress to provide users with an e-commerce platform that can be configured to their heart’s content. It gives total control over the structure, appearance and functionality of your online store. For users who value a totally bespoke store above all other factors, WooCommerce is perfect.
Yet, for those who seek an easy-to-build, easy-to-develop platform, the sheer amount of customisable content can be overwhelming, often requiring technical know-how to navigate.
Users of WooCommerce must secure their own domain hosting, set up their own payment provider and ensure all of the various add-ons and widgets used remain up-to-date and compatible with WordPress. Not an overly difficult task, but certainly a time-consuming endeavour. Moreover, a task that can require specialist assistance, should anything go wrong.
The subscription package is much more appealing than Shopify – it’s free! Add-ons and expansions are, again, subject to additional charge (as is the hosting itself). That notwithstanding, WooCommerce is more appealing to larger e-commerce outlets, particularly those for which the 2% Shopify charge on each transaction totals over 5 figures a month.
Looking for assistance?
This blog arose from our being asked the very question it poses: which e-commerce platform is best in 2020? The business who engaged us to build their e-commerce platform was in the small-medium category, with emphasis on cost more than customisation. We chose to build their site using Shopify, with the reasons outline above serving as our thought process. The results will be available soon in the Projects section.
Get in touch today if you’d like to talk with us about your e-commerce site!
Read a selection of our other blogs and articles here.