Setting up an online store is more complex than simply creating a website and displaying your products on it. You’ll need a tool that manages inventory, collects shipping information, applies discounts, processes payments, integrates with your CRM software, and so on.
Thankfully, there’s a wide range of eCommerce solutions available to help you run your online shop. But with such a lot of choice comes the difficult task of deciding which one suits you best. In this article, we’re exploring some of the most popular eCommerce platforms to help you choose one that’s right for your small business.
One of the biggest eCommerce platforms in the world, Shopify provides you with everything you’ll need to start an online store and grow it. It offers a simple website building tool, loads of templates, sales tools and plugins, and there’s no limit on how many products you can list. Shopify also has the ability to scale as you grow. Pricing starts at $29 US per month for a basic store but goes up to $299 US per month for larger businesses. There are additional fees like credit card surcharges that you will also need to consider.
Built to run on the CMS that powers around 40% of all websites, WooCommerce is a plugin that adds eCommerce features to any WordPress website. It works just like any other WordPress plugin – install it, and you have instant access to a plethora of eCommerce features. WooCommerce is very affordable, as it works with free WordPress templates (plus, there are many premium ones that cost less than $100 US) and being open-source, it’s extremely flexible and scalable. It does, however, require the user to be a little more tech-savvy than some of the other options, and you will need to add a third-party payment gateway (which you can do from within the plugin). With this option, you get to choose your web host.
Like Shopify, website builder Wix offers a one-stop-shop eCommerce platform. There’s a store builder, hundreds of templates, a range of payment processing options, and more. However, it doesn’t boast all the features that Shopify or WooCommerce offer as it’s not specifically an eCommerce specialist. The easy drag-and-drop nature of the site makes it an excellent option for beginners, but if you’re after more flexibility, Wix may not be your best option. There are also limitations when using the .nz domain extension with Wix. To sell products on your Wix site, you’ll need at least the Business Basic plan, which costs $17 US per month.
Known for its sleek, modern template selection, SquareSpace is another great drag-and-drop site-building option that requires no web coding knowledge. It also has excellent social media integration, which may appeal if you’re planning to be particularly active on Facebook or Instagram. While it has some budget-friendly plans (starting from $23 US per month), you’ll need to have at least the Basic Commerce Plan ($27 US per month) to avoid paying transaction fees as well as payment processing fees. And like Wix, the eCommerce functionality doesn’t match that of Shopify or WooCommerce.
To narrow down your top candidates for your online store, consider which features are most important to your business. Cost is always front of mind – you want a solution that is affordable now and as your business grows. You also need to consider whether the platform you choose will scale with your business so that you don’t outgrow it. User experience is another critical factor. Your customers won’t stick around long if your site isn’t mobile-friendly or loads slowly. SEO tools are also important because you want people to be able to find you online!
At MoreWeb, we can build and host you a powerful eCommerce WordPress site using WooCommerce. Get in touch for more information.