There is no “one-size-fits-all” option in choosing an eCommerce platform. Depending on your needs, each eCommerce platform has it’s strengths and weaknesses. Below are the 3 most common eCommerce platforms used by business owners.
Shopify is a monthly subscription based eCommerce platform. They have unlimited web hosting and bandwidth, provides CDN (content delivery network) that increase the loading speed of your website and also have a 24/7 support. However, domain name need to be purchased. There are free and premium themes available and website builder to add image and text. In order to customise the design, some programming knowledge are needed to code Shopify’s own programming language (Liquid), html and css. Shopify has always market itself as a store builder thus additional features like blog or landing page are only with basic functions.
WooCommerce is a free eCommerce plugin for WordPress. It is self-hosted and thus need to pay for hosting and domain name. You can combine other WordPress plugins to build up your store. As WordPress is mainly for blogging, thus it’s blogging features are more advance. The loading speed of the site will depend very much on the type of server you selected. Since WooCommerce is a open source platform, most of the support are based on the community and forum.
There are two versions for the Magento eCommerce platform- Magento Open Source and Magento Enterprise. Magento Open Source is a free eCommerce platform while Magento Enterprise License cost around $18000. Magento was built with marketing, SEO, reporting and the customer in mind first.
Some of their outstanding features are:
Multiple Stores – Magento Community allows you to have multiple stores, with one common back end system. For example, you have 3 different website brands and you are selling the same items on these 3 websites. Instead of going to 3 different admin page, Magento allows to have one common admin page for these 3 websites.
Flexible Pricing Rules – With such inbuilt function like – create discount, free shipping and other offer, this can greatly impacted the way eCommerce store is run.
API integration – If you need other software eg. CRM and need to extract database from your eCommerce platform, then you will need API integration. Magento allow API integration to other software.
Although Magento has many great features, however do note that you will need knowledge of programming language to customise anything. If you need to hire a developer, the cost will be an additional factor to your expense.
Mei Ping is the founder of Joucads Communications. She obtained a BA(Hons) in Advertising Design in Lasalle College of the Arts and has 17 years of work experience in the Arts/Creative field. She started building websites since 1998. As the internet landscape keep evolving, she picked up her digital marketing skills when she becomes an affiliate marketer in 2014.
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