The success of online stores begins with its platform. A suitable platform for your e-commerce store should support your desired features and enhance navigation, functionality, design, and efficiency so your customers can be guided to purchase without interruptions. Three e-commerce platforms currently host the majority of online stores on the market, and the debate about whether to use WooCommerce vs Magento vs Shopify persists for savvy business owners who want to get the most out of their platform.
Each platform has its own advantages and setbacks, so understanding the priorities of your shop can help you find the one that best aligns with your needs. Jaarvis specialise in web and iPhone app development to help create e-commerce stores that excel, and in this article, we compare the three major e-commerce software platforms to help you discern the best fit for you.
Shopify is the direction that many young stores head because of its easy-to-use platform that includes all the main features for e-commerce. Its simplicity has helped many tech-avoidants start their business online with little technical skills, but it’s also used by bigger brands that capitalise on its end-to-end capabilities. Shopify hosts over a million users worldwide, so let’s explore what makes them a great platform and what their setbacks are:
Domain and hosting
Hosting services are fully included in all Shopify subscriptions. Having your business name in your URL is typically a priority for businesses as it makes them look more professional. With Shopify, you’ll have to purchase this separately, or if you’re happy to keep the ‘myshopify.com’ in the URL, it’s free.
The Shopify design system has a large scope and is easy to use, which means you can build your website to your choosing with various templates. There’s no coding required in their CMS; instead, you’ll just build the page visually and it appears the same when it’s live.
As implied by its all-in-one capacity, using Shopify as your e-commerce software includes the use of a Point-of-Sale system. There’s also a multitude of credit card payment providers, so if you have a preference for a third-party gateway, you’re welcome to use it.
As Shopify’s audience includes many new stores and business owners, they follow through by providing strong customer service through email, live chat, or phone calls. A bonus of the all-in-one platform is that any support you need from your website is found in one place – through their customer service.
Where Shopify offers all the basics, Magento focuses on advanced capabilities and flexibility for your e-commerce ventures. While extensive, this can mean not everyone can capitalise on these complexities, or at least need to call for skilled developers to build and manage the site. Magento excels in hosting busy stores as it can handle and interpret large amounts of complex product data – which is why it’s a favourite for larger stores and corporate retailers. Magento comes in two options: a free, open-source version and a premium Magento/Adobe version where you’re charged based on your store’s revenue.
Domain and hosting
Magento requires you to create your own hosting unless you opt for the premium version. You can create your own server using online services, through Magento’s hosting providers or using a developer to handle this stage for you. Custom domains also aren’t included and need to be purchased separately.
While hosting isn’t ideal for beginners, Magento’s got you covered for everything needed to build an excellent e-commerce website. With hundreds of extensions to customise your store and its own Content Management System, your website is in safe hands with the Magento web design once you set up hosting.
As one of the best e-commerce software options available, Magento offers an abundance of Point-of-Sale extensions for your transactions. You can also select your own payment gateway if it’s compatible with Magento’s software.
Customer service is where Magento gets tricky again. They don’t accept support tickets from businesses using the free open-source version. If you don’t have the premium version, you can find help through their help centre and forums.
WooCommerce sits in the middle between the capabilities of Magento and Shopify. It seems a lot of the market prefers their balance of user-friendliness and advanced options, as they host a quarter of the e-commerce websites worldwide. WooCommerce web design can take some getting used to, but it’s a free plugin for WordPress, so you may already be familiar with it.
Domain and hosting
Like Magento, WooCommerce requires you to purchase your own domain and it doesn’t provide hosting. You can host your website through its parent platform – WordPress, or use a third-party server.
As a division of WordPress, you can harness the many excellent development tools on WordPress compatible with WooCommerce. You should be able to find an appealing free theme, but there are premium options if you wish to give your store a design boost.
Similar to the other e-commerce software platforms mentioned, WooCommerce has its own transaction process system which you can configure to your bank account once installed. It also offers the option to opt for third-party payment providers.
WooCommerce places most of its support efforts on customers with a premium extension, as Magento does. However, they provide more room for customers using the free version, with support tickets and guides for common issues.
Find out how our developers can help bring your E-Commerce project to life
No matter which E-Commerce platform you choose to go with, our developers can help you decide which E-Commerce software is best for you and bring your vision to life. Contact Jaarvis today.
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