What Ecommerce platform is the best for me?
E-commerce | September 13th, 2020
When it comes to deciding what platform is the best to build your website on, it comes down to what you want your site to do, who’s going to build it, and how much tech experience you have. For the best quality, custom-built WordPress sites undoubtedly wear the crown. But does that still hold true for eCommerce websites? Which eCommerce platform is really the best for you and where is the best place to start with e-commerce?
In our blog, “What is the best platform to build my website on?” we talked about popular website platforms and also briefly mentioned eCommerce the platforms OpenCart, Shopify, and WordPress with WooCommerce. eCommerce is a special beast when it comes to website. Instead of optimising for visitors, you want to optimise for sales. People should buy from your online store, right? So which platform will make it more likely that they will?
OpenCart aims to keep things straightforward by making it easy for you to setup a store. But the main draw? It’s free… Well, to a certain extent. Added functionality like tracking abandoned carts for remarketing comes with a cost through plugins. Some themes are also paid as premium options. Even still, OpenCart is perhaps the cheapest eCommerce platform on the market to get a basic shop up and running.
However, that free price comes with some costs. Customisation is difficult and although the software is Open Source–The code is freely available to edit–actually making those changes and getting the look, feel, and design you want can require some serious coding skills. You’ll still need to sort out hosting yourself as well as do website maintenance on your own.
Some other features of OpenCart include:
- Free to use at it’s most basic level without plugins and extensions.
- Fast to set up with a built-in product management system.
- Unlimited products can be added.
- One account can manage multiple stores.
- Built-in sales and coupon codes tools.
- Multiple currencies and languages are supported.
When should I use OpenCart?
If your goal is to get a shop up fast, easy, and cheap, OpenCart may be a good option for you. It also helps if you have a little bit of technical knowledge–you’ll need to set up some things on your own to get your shop up and running.
Shopify’s goal is to do the hard work for you when it comes to setting up your online store. One of the biggest benefits of the platform is that you don’t need to have tech skills at all. You can get an online store up in a matter of minutes with their easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor.
However, if you want the edge in Search Engine Optimisation so you can get found on Google, Shopify’s limit of customisation can hurt you here. It can also be difficult to export your posts and information if you decide to try out another platform. You can also run into scaling issues if your business starts to grow because there’s limited options for customisation.
Some other features of Shopify include:
- Website hosting is part of the package.
- Drag-and-drop customisation.
- 24/7 Support.
- Abandoned cart recovery.
- Dropshipping options.
- Unlimited file storage.
When should I use Shopify?
If you’re okay with adding products on your own and want a good-looking, easy to use store and aren’t worried about extensive customisation, Shopify could be a good choice for you.
WordPress with WooCommerce
The best thing about WordPress is that you have endless customisation options to make your store look and act exactly as you want. The bad news… There are endless customisation options–so web development skills are a must. Learning how to use WordPress like a pro takes time, enough that many people build websites for people as a full-time job.
WooCommerce is a plugin that plays off the endless customisation so you can build a store exactly the way you want. You can have custom products, pages, checkout systems, sales funnels, whatever you want. You’re only limited by the capabilities of the builder, so getting a skilled web developer is important!
However, using WordPress with WooCommerce means that you’ll need to have a WordPress website already. You won’t be able to simply download WooCommerce and get a store ready from nothing the same day. Because of this, it can take some time to get your store up and going, but it will be powerful and versatile once it is.
Some other features of WooCommerce include:
- Search Engine Optimisation tools.
- Free backup options.
- Thousands of plug-ins through WordPress.
- Custom fields for products.
- Use any payment gateway.
- Easy integrations with other software.
When should I use WooCommere?
If you want the freedom of customisation, the ability to scale for large operations, and the largest selection of add-ons and plugins, WooCommerce is the right choice for you.
Which eCommerce platform does Back9 recommend?
Having worked in all platforms, for most stores, we think that WordPress with WooCommerece is the best choice for an eCommerce platform in most circumstances. Especially if you decide to work with us. This is because we have an experienced web development, marketing, and content creation team who know how to put all of those extra customisation features to good use.
There are literally a billion and a half live websites in 2020. Of those, around 25 million are Ecommerce sites. Many of them that use template builders like OpenCart and Shopify look, behave, and act similarly. With a WordPress site using WooCommerce, you can get a store that’s completely unique; no one else will have one just like yours. This not only helps you stand above the crowd because you look good, but because you’ll also get a speedy, intuitive, user-friendly site at the same time.
While we recommend getting a WordPress site if you can, however, we can also help you with OpenCart or Shopify sites too.
We’ll let you know if it makes sense to stick with the platform or if it’s better to invest in migrating to WordPress with WooCommerce based on your goals, budget, circumstances, and timeline. Ready to get an eCommerce site or reach more customers? Get in touch with us today!
Still not sure? Book a FREE consultation