When looking at market share, WooCommerce is the biggest Ecommerce platform coming in with 25% of the market share. WooCommerce is an open source platform designed to be used with WordPress CMS and offers a wide range of customisation.
WooCommerce is an ideal solution if you already have a WordPress website and are looking to bolt-on an online storefront, this means you do not have to build a separate website and it can simply integrate with your current website resulting in an easier to manage system for your employees and a better experience for your users who do not need to be rerouted to another website.
WooCommerce also benefits from being completely open source, this means that there is a community of developers creating free and paid plugins to expand WooCommerce's functionality meaning.
Another benefit of WooCommerce is its price, it is completely free! The only costs that are involved in adding WooCommerce to your website are any paid plugins that you may need to add special functionality to your website, but for the most part WooCommerce will work for most businesses out of the box.
The main drawback of WooCommerce is that its default styling can leave a lot to be desired as it has no prebuilt themes you will need a web developer to style the storefront to match the rest of your website, this also has its positives though as it means you can really ensure that the Ecommerce side of your website is completely custom to you and can be pixel perfectly altered to appeal to your end user.
While Shopify doesnt have the same market share as WooCommerce, it does have momentum behind it and is growing at an exponential rate and has the biggest increase in 'interest over time' according to Google.
Shopify is a subscription based service meaning it comes with a monthly fee starting at £19 for a basic plan, all the way up to £259 for their advanced package which offers more functionality (these costs include hosting). Their value package is a great way to get your online business up and running but if your store ever requires any special functionality then you are likely going to need to upgrade your plan in future.
Out of the box, Shopify offers a variety of themes/layouts which allow you to showcase your products in a variety of different ways and you can choose which layout works best for your requirements. While the out of the box themes are all great, there are limitations on what styling can be applied to match your brand's identity and only a few themes are free with additional charges applied to their premium themes.
So, you are ready to get your Ecommerce store up and running, but which platform should you choose? Well there is no one-size-fits-all answer as it depends on your needs as a business.
If you already have a WordPress website then the answer is easy, go with WooCommerce. It integrates seamlessly and can be styled by a developer to match the rest of your website, it offers analytics so you can compare your year-on-year performance, track your orders and as standard won't add any additional expenditure to your business.
If Ecommerce is only a part of your website, then again go for WooCommerce and use WordPress as your CMS. WordPress is the king of CMS systems and pretty much any website functionality you can think of, can be built on the WordPress platform.
If Ecommerce is the primary functionality of your website and you don't plan to expand it much further than being a digital storefront with perhaps a few blog posts and core pages, then Shopify is likely a better choice as long as you are prepared to take on a rolling monthly fee and happy to upgrade your plan to unlock features.
Another scenario in which you may opt for Shopify is if you are just starting out with your online business and not looking to spend thousands on your website, then Shopify can be largely configured by you, as long as you are tech savvy and have an eye for design, then you can definitely get something up and running yourself. If however, you are not so tech savvy then you can get assistance from a web specialist to help you with your Shopify website.
For the most part, both platforms offer a great service and both can be configured by a web specialist to aid you with your Ecommerce venture.
For more information or to chat about how I can help please get in touch.