Starting an e-commerce business can be a daunting task. You need a product, a target audience, a business strategy, and, of course, a website! When it comes to choosing the right content management system for your e-commerce shop, there are a number of options. Which platform you choose will affect your options later down the line, so making the right choice is essential. We’ve compared the top 3 e-commerce platforms to help you get a better understanding of which one is best for you.
WIX, Shopify, and WooCommerce
Wix, Shopify & WooCommerce are three of the most powerful and popular e-commerce platforms. They provide ample functionality to take your brick and mortar store online or simply create an online store with no physical presence.
Here are some key factors that every store owner should study before choosing their online business platform:
- Set up Accessibility
- Theme Diversity
- Mobile Responsiveness
- SEO friendly
- Customer Support
- Price structure
- Additional Features
1. Set up Accessibility
If you are a non-technical individual and don’t know much about website back-end behavior then WIX and WooCommerce are better options for you. These platforms have a simple user interface and the features aren’t too complex either. It’s super easy to set up a website on these two platforms but keep in mind that WooCommerce only supports WordPress sites.
Shopify, on the other hand, is a bit complex when it comes to setting up and managing your online store; however, if you’re confident in your technical abilities then Shopify has a lot more in store for you as compared to WIX and WooCommerce
2. Theme Diversity
Humans are inherently drawn to beauty. We tend to covet things that are easy on the eyes. This is why if you are ever to walk past a well-managed display window, you can’t help but go in! Same is the case with online stores, as your theme will determine what your display window is going to look like. It is the face of your store so it must be appealing!
WIX has a great range of templates for you to choose from and, most importantly, includes ease of customization. With a simple drag and drop editor, even the most non-technical folks can design a gorgeous website with ease. Unfortunately, once you choose a WIX template, changing it can be relatively difficult and time-consuming.
Since WooCommerce exclusively works with WordPress, you benefit from all the same flexibility and customization options offered by the greater WordPress developer community. Shopify also has hundreds of themes specifically designed for e-commerce stores covering any industry you can think of. The cost of the themes ranges from free to $180. On top of that, Shopify allows you to switch themes anytime you want or simply add a completely customized theme as per your choice.
3. Mobile Responsiveness
Having mobile-optimized themes is extremely important since more than 50% of website traffic originates from mobile devices. If you opt for WIX, you will have to put in extra effort to check whether the theme is responsive for different mobile devices or not. In other words, it’s hard to make WIX themes mobile-friendly as compared to Shopify and WooCommerce. In general, almost all modern Shopify or WooCommerce themes will be mobile-responsive or mobile-friendly.
4. SEO friendly
While all three platforms claim to be SEO-friendly, it’s important to take their marketing with a grain of salt. Wix is the worst of the bunch when it comes to search engine optimization. With less technical customization capabilities, Wix themes are inherently restrictive. WooCommerce and Shopify, on the other hand, are both highly flexible and allow you to customize things like meta tags, headers, schema.org markup, and more.
5. Customer Support
Let’s face it: there will come a time when you’ll need to reach out to customer support. What level of support will you get if you choose to work with these platforms? WIX and WooCommerce provide hundreds of articles to help out their clients. Additionally, you can also get support over the phone or email.
Shopify also offers phone and email support but they go one step further and offer live chat with agents available for you 24/7.
6. Price Structure
To establish an online store with WIX you need an e-commerce or VIP plan. Subscribing to an e-commerce plan will cost you $17 per month with the following features:
- Unlimited Bandwith
- 20GB Storage
- Apps & Ad Vouchers
- Site Booster App
Shopify has three main plans that all come with incredible e-commerce features. Shopify Basic will cost you $29 per month and you will get:
- Online Store with unlimited products
- Unlimited Storage
- Fraud Analysis
- 2 staff/admin accounts
WooCommerce is a free open source platform which only charges you for a domain and hosting, which can be as little as $3.95 per month or as high as $5,000; however, you may be charged additionally for the use of paid software in your WordPress site.
For those looking to create a basic online store with limited features, Wix is a great way to dip your feet into the waters of e-commerce. Due to its lack of flexibility and inability to scale with your business, Wix isn’t the best choice for those looking to make a long-term investment. WooCommerce and Shopify, on the contrary, both offer enough technical flexibility to grow and evolve with your store. WooCommerce benefits from a massive ecosystem of WordPress plugins that help to increase the available functionality of the platform. Shopify focuses specifically on e-commerce, meaning they’ve only added the features that you’ll need to be successful. Unfortunately, Shopify tends to be the most expensive option as a result.
Choosing the right e-commerce platform is essential if you hope to be successful in the long run. Depending on your resources, technical skill, and business goals, you may not need the most advanced, or high-end content management system. Sometimes starting slow, building a minimum viable product, and iterating over time is the better option!