If you’re looking to launch your first online store, one of the biggest decisions that you will have to take is about which e-commerce solution to choose for your business. We discuss three of the most popular e-commerce solutions for online stores – Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce. All three have their specific strengths and weaknesses, which are discussed here.
So let’s get started with the Shopify vs Magento vs WooCommerce comparison.
Shopify is the easiest and the most intuitive shopping cart solution for e-commerce stores by far. Shopify is particularly suited for those who are looking to start an online store but have no programming skills or technical expertise of any sort. Shopify allows you to launch a store, add products and get started with making money in super quick time. Over 100,000 online stores around the Web are powered by Shopify. When you sign up with Shopify, you don’t have to worry about domain names, hosting, server settings or parameters.
Shopify hosts your website and takes care of everything related to it. However, the drawback with joining hosted DIY website builders such as Shopify is that you don’t own your website fully, and you cannot control everything on it. Also, it may be difficult to scale up as you want to with Shopify. That’s why we don’t recommend Shopify to serious online entrepreneurs, even though you can launch your online store in minutes using this solution.
Magento is easily the most popular e-commerce solution for serious online entrepreneurs. Magento powers over 220,000 online stores on the Web. Some of the biggest e-commerce sites around the world use Magento because of the flexibility it offers, and because it allows them to customize their e-commerce solutions. Magento is open source as well, which means it can be had for practically free.
But not so free because Magento is a highly sophisticated software and can be installed only by the most skilled website developers and programmers. It is certainly not something that an average person could use. So you will have to set aside a part of your budget to hire top rated developers to install Magento’s e-commerce solutions for your online store.
The big advantage of developing a custom designed website using Magento is that it is going to make your online store look unique in a crowded marketplace. You can manage multiple stores with Magento each with its own languages, products, customers, currencies, taxes, etc. from a single admin panel. Magento is well integrated with WordPress and is great for your search engine optimization, as it offers a plenty of advanced SEO features.
WooCommerce is a popular open source shopping cart for WordPress websites, which is available for free. WooCommerce is generally used by small e-commerce stores as it is easy to set up and helps you get started in no time at all. WooCommerce offers access to a number of features that online stores require and has one of the most user friendly admin panels out there.
WooCommerce makes hundreds of third party themes available and is perfectly suited to WordPress websites. That’s why it is preferred by those looking to convert their WordPress websites into online stores. It helps you launch an online business really fast and at the lowest cost. So if you have a small home based online store, then WooCommerce should be your #1 pick. We prefer WooCommerce to Shopify, because with WooCommerce, you own your website and control every aspect of its development and implementation.
Raghav Hegde, Bangalore
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