Trying to get an online sales store going and confused where to start? Well, don’t stress. Hopefully, this blog can help you figure out what you need, to suit your needs. You should start by asking yourself the following questions:
- How many products (roughly) will I have on the site?
- Do I want options for my products, such as colors, sizes,etc.?
- What type of budget do I have for the site?
- How involved do I want to be in the design process?
- How important is making changes to the content myself?
- When I purchase the site, do I want to own it or pay a monthly fee for it?
- Is SEO important to me to include in my site?
If you can answer those questions, you are off to a good start. There are many options available to you but, as I have done my research, I have noticed 3 options over and over again. Woo commerce, Magento, and Shopify are listed in almost every article, blog, or story. A couple of other options that are mentioned are Big commerce and Wix. What are the differences?
There are positives and negatives to each of these platforms, you just have to figure out from your questions above what fits your needs the best.
I have used WooCommerce and Magento so the below information is my experience and thoughts.
If you have 500 products or more and a healthy budget, Magento is a platform that may work best! Magento has many customizable options for products and can hold as many products as you can add. There are negatives to a site like this. This platform is built for selling products and has everything you need for that, however, it can be more difficult adding pages of content to the site and figuring out what options do what. There are also not too many web designers out there that work with Magento so finding help my be a little tougher than WooCommerce or Shopify. Last, Magento is a big platform and takes up a lot of space on a server. You need a good host to host your site to keep speeds up and viewers of the site happy. This is typically a higher cost per month. Magento has built sites for Rosetta Stone, Sierra Nevada, Easton and Olympus.
WooCommerce is my personal favorite! It is very easy to work with since it is on the WordPress platform. WordPress is the most common website content management system in the world. I also think it is the most user-friendly and customizable. WooCommerce is free but you will need a developer to style it and integrate it into the site. Because of this, pricing is typically half to a third of the cost of a Magento site. The downfall to WordPress is also its positive. You can use a lot of plugins to make different functions however, plugins are not as secure and need to be updated from time to time. WooCommerce is set up to hold so many products so I typically go by 500 products and more should probably look into another option. WooCommerce has built sites for Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Airstream and New Balance. It is responsible for over 37% of all online stores!
Shopify, I have not personally used this platform but I have been told that it is very user-friendly and if you are looking at a very small budget, this may be an option to look into. The downside to this option is that Shopify is its own company and they own their platform. If you want to leave, it is not easy. WooCommerce and Magento sites are purchased by you and you then own those sites to do as you please. Shopify has a monthly charge, kind of like you renting your site. Finally, Shopify is not very customizable in the shopping cart area.
Hopefully this helps out a little bit when thinking about your online shopping cart needs! You can always reach out to a developer like Nextfly to help you through the process and lead you in the right direction.