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Online portals are a must for every business model now. Being online can bring great benefits to new business owners who want to get their hands dirty, so to speak, and offer their products to a wider audience.
The decision build an online store is therefore a natural one. The really difficult part is choosing the best ecommerce platform? And if you’re a non technical person, well that only makes the task more daunting.
There are hundreds of solutions available for developing ecommerce sites using various platforms. However, each solution has its own distinctive features that can meet the needs of many e-merchants. Let’s explore different platforms in different situation.
Magento — The podium for ecommerce professionals
Magento is a known shopping cart with around 200 000 live stores. It provides businesses unlimited suppleness and customisability, all without paying a cent. The platform is open-source and can be easily changed thanks to open access to the core code.
Magento is a solution for highly skilled programmers, so if you aren’t a programmer, then you should probably hire a one from an honest company like Hire Magento Developer. This company helped me to develop my ecommerce site at a reasonable cost.
Shopify – An ideal solution to start with
Shopify is perfect for non programmers and is one of the simplest, most intuitive shopping carts on the market. So, if you wish to sell your products online all you have to do is launch a store, add products, enable payment gateways and shipping options and there you go.
WooCommerce – An ace in the hole
WooCommerce a plugin for ecommerce was launched in 2011 for WordPress. It has steep growth. The shopping cart offers best and easy admin panels as compared with other ecommerce solutions. If you wish to start an online retail store with minimum investments WooCommerce is the platform that you’re looking for.
Let’s investigate some key decision points for selecting your favoured ecommerce platform from all three:
1. Deployment time
WooCommerce takes the least time of the three; going live in just a few days. Its installation process takes seconds and has good GUI to deal with product catalogs and inventory.
Shopify takes a few weeks. Once you are done with software purchase they will offer you store admin credentials, so that you can easily manage your stores. Installing the themes, doing payment and other things can take weeks to make live.
Magento can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to go live. It has numerous functionalities where not everybody can understand it easily without proper technical guidance. Consequently, it takes good amount of time to learn know the working of Magento store.
2. Technical experts availability
Magento has good team of technical developers and designers available. As Magento is quite known due to it’s out of box features, you will find many technicians who can tackle it.
WooCommerce is an ideal solution for anyone who has intermediate technical knowledge. Shopify meanwhile doesn’t require any team. It is a hosted platform, meaning that once you pay for your desired package, you will receive the store admin access where you can add products, manage orders and invoices.
3. Platform integration
It’s highly important to integrate the ecommerce store to other software systems dealing the rest of the departments in an organisation. If your store needs to be integrated with other software like a CMS or ERP solution, then Magento is the best option. However, Shopify and WooCommerce requires separate vendors to offer such services.
4. Multiple stores in one place
Nowadays, developers prefer to have multichannel store fronts in market place rather than one dedicated store front. Magento is the best platform which offers such facility, having M2E Pro- extension combining Amazon, Ebay and Rakuten stores to be integrated with their current store. Shopify has an app called Stitch Labs that costs US$29.00/month. WooCommerce has a plug-in to sell your products in Amazon and Ebay called wp-lister but only basic functionalities are offered for free.
Which ecommerce platform are you using? Let us know in the comments below.
Image by Official GDC via Flickr
Update: This article previously stated that WooCommerce has a limit of 1 000 products per store. We have been alerted that this is not the case. The article has been updated accordingly.