Great! So finally you have decided to take your business idea to the next level, creating an online store and selling across geographies. You just stumbled onto the right feed at right time. This article will give you a detailed overview of parameters you should consider before choosing between the various online store building platforms.
Key parameters | 6 Critical Considerations
- Website design philosophy:-Navigation, CTA placing, loading time, UI and data flow.
- Security: – Are you SSL certified? Or else forget having a secure payment gateway.
- Integrations:- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Supply Chain Management (SCM) or Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platform when content and metadata for product catalogue, pricing rules etc. can be stored. Shopping cart and Payment gateways are the basic integrations although.
- Scalability:– As you grow how much web traffic can your bandwidth handle, how many products can you list, how many web pages are good to go with to have an excellent loading time.
- Technical Support.
Selecting the Platform | Shopify vs Woocommerce
There are numerous platforms to host and build your e-commerce website, but the undisputed market leaders are WordPress (Woocommerce) and Shopify. Here is a comparative analysis.
|Ease of customization and Maintenence||Woocommerce is a plugin for a WordPress site. So you need to set up a WordPress site first and install an additional plugin. You need to buy hosting and domain from WordPress or any other third party like Hostgator, Bluehost, Godaddy etc.||Both shopping cart, payment gateway, and web design integrated into same platform. No additional hosting required. You only need to buy a domain name from a third party. Shopify is a self-hosted CMS. So full control from one service provider only.
This means, no hassle of finding a web host, installing CMS, and setting it up all.
|Given that you need negligible tech skills and a lesser number of steps involved, Shopify is the clear winner.|
|Web Design||You get full control on web codes customization. This ensures you can keep changing the page layout and design orientations every now and then as per your requirements. This is crucial for marketing as with every campaign you change the featured products, pricing and page displays.||Restraint to design changes. Themes are customizable to a certain extent not fully. So choose your theme wisely.
This is the only reason, I use WordPress for my e-commerce sites.
|WordPress any day if you are fluent with web development.
|Additional Features||Install plugins. Multiple plugin service providers make it a tedious and bemusing job to sort the best plugin from a lot of developers. With every added plugin, your loading time slogs. Plugins need regular updatation>Maintenance burden.||Plugins for additional features in shopify is named as apps. All apps are from shopify store and hence standardised and adaptable to shopify platform. One considerable fact is that Shopify apps are highly trustable as they are meticulously tested by the Shopify team.||If you have a developer in your team who can sort and pick the best of plugins, WordPress is fine or else Shopify is a better pick.|
|SEO Compliance||Most important factor. Even if you have a web store, you don’t get sales unless customers spot you. If you are not on the first page of your search result, you are no-where in the race. 96% Googlers don’t even move to the 2nd page of search result.||The other SEO factors like defining title tags, alt tags, meta tags and descriptions is made possible by both.So unlike WordPress, in shopify, you don’t need to put extra effort to enhance your SEO. It’s automated.
So unlike WordPress, in shopify, you don’t need to put extra effort to enhance your SEO.
|Shopify is the clear verdict. Although I would recommend, if you want to rank faster, hire a good SEO specialist and preferably use manually coded website.|
A deciding factor for Bounce rate.
|The speed of the store depends primarily on the performance of the web host. In WordPress, you may choose a variety of hosts all of which can be either fast or slow.||Shopify has dedicated servers catering only to Shopify eStores.
Both the platforms allow image optimization that further caters to speeding of the store.
|Shopify wins yet again.|
|Pricing||Buying Hosting, Domain name, SSL, theme & premium plugins(optional) etc||One time One gateway summed pricing for all except the domain name.||You get an edge in WordPress if you have a web developer, otherwise, both incurs almost same price.|
CONCLUSIVE REMARKS | MY TAKE
So by now you know that it’s very easy to setup an online store with minimal expense and negligible technical expertise. But before that let’s face it. If you are looking for an e-comm platform with product listing somewhere around 1000 or more, probably you should reconsider your decision and go for a line-on-line coded, personalised website so that you can have greater control, lighter navigation and operationally optimised process flow. Shopify and Woocommerce are good for small business but not for something of the scale of Amazon or Flipkart. BTW, did you know, eBay uses WordPress as their CMS?
Step by step Process Flow
- Analyse your business idea. Rigorous Market Research.
- Defining STP, Brand positioning, Goals and a Competent team.
- Naming the Business. Registering the Entity.
- PreLaunch Prep: Product listing/inventory build up, process integrations, Choose your platform(Woocommerce/Shopify/Manually coded/Drag and drop platforms like Wix, Weebly etc), Buy domain, Hosting, and Design.
- Testing, Re-testing, and Redefining.
- Launch : Marketing Mix-Identify potential Communication Channels and Position your brand. Nowadays brands start capturing communication channels like social media platforms way before the actual product/portal is launched in the market.
- Operations, Expansions, and Integrations. Sales go up and down, but services stay forever. So decide your priority and evolve. Growth is not always the primary goal, but brand value is.
A detailed overview of each process in your e-commerce setup is illustrated in detail. If you are looking to build in WordPress Click HERE. And for Shopify Click HERE.
Happy Learning. Hubristic Venturing.
Feel Free to shoot your further queries, feedbacks and suggestions in the comment box below. Wisdom is worth spreading.