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8

Aug

Magento v WooCommerce v Shopify

A Comparison of Ecommerce Solutions

Finding it a struggle to decide on an ecommerce solution for your online store? We’re not surprised considering the hundreds available! But we’re here to help.

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Each ecommerce site will have different needs and priorities, which is why each payment platform has its own distinctive features. Whilst one provider can meet the needs of many e-merchants, these same functions will be useless and a potential burden to other store owners.

Rather than be overwhelmed by the abundance of possibilities, take a read of the following investigation of the pros and cons of a few of the best ecommerce solutions- Magento, WooCommerce and Shopify.

 

Magento

magento-logo

As far as numbers are concerned, Magento is a top dog of ecommerce providers. They host over 200,000 live stores, attracting companies with their unlimited flexibility and the possibility to customize. Magento can help you get the highest rankings on search engines through its advanced SEO features, something that can determine who becomes the monopolising company of a certain industry.

Indeed, their benefits do seem appealing to larger companies, with its limitless number of products, and its multistore management and expansion possibilities. However, such features will not necessarily be of interest to smaller stores.

In fact, smaller stores may think twice before being drawn in by Magento’s compatibility with any hosting platform, as whilst the fully responsive design templates they offer sound great in theory, these can be expensive to execute. Indeed, a lot of technical skill is needed to develop design with Magento, typically making employment of a skilled programmer or developer necessary to make the most of its features. Whilst, employing such individuals is worth the benefit of impressive design for big brands, for smaller stores this can be an unaffordable and therefore illogical solution.

Therefore, whilst Magento’s features have resulted it being the ecommerce solution for the big boys of business, the perks should be carefully weighed up with the cons before smaller businesses commit.

 

Pros

positive

  • The community edition is completely free to download
  • It is an open source solution, meaning it is compatible with any hosting platform
  • It offers fully responsive and customizable templates no limit to the number of products that can be sold
  • You can add any shipping options
  • It has multi store management and expansion possibilities
  • It has loads of order management and product features as default
  • The marketing options enable you to complete promo campaigns to advertise your customer network
  • It can integrate with WordPress, so you can keep a blog to spread the word about your company in an easily consumable format
  • Its advanced SEO will improve your search engine rankings

 

Cons

negative

  • It’s accessible only to highly skilled programmers as a lot of skill is needed to edit and manage the templates
  • The need for development means it takes longer to create an attractive site and typically involves employing the services of developers
  • Its complex interface can look less attractive
  • The number of features can make the site heavy and therefore slow to load

 

 

WooCommerce

woo-logo

 

As we have discussed in previous articles, WooCommerce is another popular ecommerce solution. Indeed, it currently powers 30% of online stores with its appealing user-friendly set up. Unlike Shopify that has control of your store, WooCommerce gives you choice of your hosting provider, domain, and therefore identity. Furthermore, its WordPress foundation can be appealing as design is simple and flexible with its templates and layout structuring offering efficient and attractive design set up. Its foundation of WordPress also enables you to easily have a blog accompanying your shop and website that can extend your outreach.

Whilst this vast array of features has huge potential to make WooCommerce a long-term monopoliser of shop website plugins, for larger businesses Woo may not be the right fit. Whilst products are not limited, it somewhat lacks high-end features that would be appropriate for big business. WordPress is undeniably simple to use, but can it communicate everything a giant corporation wants to communicate? Big companies may be deterred from using it for fear of feeling limited by its weakness in handling big orders.

Therefore, in contrast to Magento, it may be large companies that think more carefully before selecting WooCommerce. However, whilst it may have its set backs for the giants of business, there are pros including analytics and fast loading time that will attract smaller clients who are interested in seeing their business imprint, and keeping impatient site users happy.

 

Pros

positive

  • It can sell an unlimited number of products
  • There are hundreds of design themes available
  • Both shipping and payment options can be changed and/or expanded to adopt to the business’s needs
  • It allows you to edit product and advanced order settings so that you can tailor your management system
  • Its WordPress base, and therefore SEO friendliness, means it helps your site rank highly in Google and search engines
  • Its WordPress basis allows for blogging which can be used to advertise the business and expand your potential customer network
  • It is an open source plug in, so is very easily installed
  • You can chose your hosting provider and domain, allowing you to enhance your identity. You have control of your shop, rather than a 3rd party such as with Shopify.
  • The store management and blog is all operated through one WordPress area. So minimal effort and an easy admin panel
  • It has Analytics as default
  • It is a relatively small app so is a quicker server
  • Its templates and layout structuring provide efficiency in tailoring gateway
  • You can sell physical and digital goods of all shapes and sizes of any price

 

Cons

  • negative

    It lacks highend features

  • It works out overall at medium cost because of the add-ons that have to be bought for a good site
  • There are limits to WordPress
  • It struggles to handle big orders so large companies may feel limited

 

 

 

Shopify

shopify-smallerShoppify is the smallest of providers investigated here. It powers about 4% of ecommerce sites in comparison to the 30% that WooCommerce have been chosen for. However, it should not be dismissed from consideration as, as you’re about to find out, it certainly has its selling points.

Shopify offers an all in one package which can be considered ideal for small businesses. It, as a third party, takes control of your store, setting up the domain and hosting details. This is attractive for individuals who consider such essentials as a mundane task that they’d rather hand over to somebody else. Similarly, the product and order management included, and the preset popular payment options make Shopify appear a provider that offers ease. Indeed, it doesn’t demand technical skill in the way that Magento did, whilst its attractive interface and hundreds of mobile responsive design themes still ensure you have a professional and eye-catching site.

However, with each ecommerce site having their own vision of what an ecommerce solution should include, for some stores Shopify is not the right fit. For instance, Shopify’s ownership of your store may not give yourself as much control as you want over how your business reaches your audience. Its limited compatibility with payment hosts may also deter companies from selecting them if the host they prefer cannot be integrated.

So, all features of Shopify’s all-in-one, ready-made package should be considered before deciding whether they are suited to your store’s needs.

 

Pros

positive

  • It includes domain name and hosting, so getting these essential features set up is no extra effort
  • There is no limitation on number of products sold
  • It has over 100 mobile responsive design themes
  • It has the most popular payment and shopping options are preset
  • The product and order management makes the day to day running of the store easier
  • There are some marketing features built in
  • The SEO options means that your ranking on Google is not a concern
  • It can be integrated with WordPress
  • There are extensions that can be bought via app store
  • Merchants can get high priority customer support in times of need
  • It has an attractive interface
  • The set up is less technical- it doesn’t have to be done by a developer
  • It comes with Analytics, so you can view how your business is doing.
  • It offers both simple and complex management

 

Cons

negative

  • It has control of your store, acting as a 3rd party
  • It includes a domain name and hosting, so you are not in control of this part of your site’s identity.
  • It can get costly as you improve functionality e.g. Basic shipping is included, but expansion requires apps to be bought.
  • It is a closed platform. It is not compatible with many hosts.

 

 

What have we learnt?

Well first and foremost, it is important to recognise that there are pros and cons to every ecommerce solution out there. What seems the ideal provider to one business, can be a poor fit to another, so don’t follow the crowd and be a sheep.

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Comparing the features of the available solutions will give you a clear view of who is best suited to your store’s needs. Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce can each be reliable solutions when paired with the right company. This investigation has highlighted the difference of technical ability that ecommerce solutions can require, with Magento needing programming expertise, whilst Shopify is very easy to use. Therefore, your tech ability, and whether you will be employing someone specifically to develop the store, should be a key concern.

 

Whilst Foundry recommends that you do your research into the best ecommerce solution for you before choosing a provider, remember you can easily change platform if your business needs alter, or you find that the one you select turns out not to be a perfect match.

 

 

 



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