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Which eCommerce platform is right for your business? WooCommerce or Shopify?

In the world of eCommerce, there’s one battle that always catches the eye, that is, of course, WooCommerce versus Shopify. As two of the most popular platforms in the sector, it’s easy to understand why a comparison between each always attracts attention.

For many shopping sector experts, the Coronavirus pandemic was the nail in the coffin of the high street, but that certainly doesn’t mean that eCommerce is any sort of fad. In fact, quite the opposite.

It doesn’t take an analyst to highlight the benefits of being able to order everything you could need whilst sitting in your pyjamas. However, as more businesses rush to move into their flashy new online premises, most of which are as swanky as penthouse apartments, competition has drastically increased.

That doesn’t mean that you’re too late if you haven’t made the jump to commit to driving up your online sales just yet, because the pie is more than big enough to go around. In 2021 alone, it was suggested that consumers in the UK spent over 140 billion pounds online in 2021. So, if you’re not online, you’re missing out on a wealth of opportunities.

In this blog, we want to offer an honest appraisal of both WooCommerce and Shopify and help you decide which eCommerce platform will be best for your business.

So without further ado, welcome to Create8’s battle of the big boys, WooCommerce V Shopify. Let’s get round one started.

Why WooCommerce V Shopify?

Well, in our opinion, these two are the real deal when it comes to eCommerce options. WooCommerce claims to be the most popular option whilst Shopify powers over 800,000 websites, so as you can imagine, this is a tasty one. In their claims, we suppose they create this competition themselves, although if you believed you offered more than your competitor, why wouldn’t you?

Which is easier to use?

The first question we always seem to be asked, and obviously one of our favourites, is about the ease of each platform. Although we always stress that if you’re planning on using a web design agency, you don’t need to know the answer; go for the one that works best for your needs. However, since you asked, we will answer for you.

In this category, it’s pretty much a knockout in favour of Shopify. As the eCommerce giant comes as a hosted platform, it does most of the work for you without you having to know any of the technical nuances. WooCommerce is far more difficult to get your head around as an amateur developer, meaning you’ll save lots of time by choosing Shopify.

What about the themes I can choose from?

Another one of our favourite questions relates to the preset themes available to those looking to find their perfect storefront. This again is a tough one, especially as both have pretty much limitless possibilities depending on your technical knowledge and design background.

Shopify offers a far smaller range of preset design options, and this is primarily as web designers continue to build more custom themes for WooCommerce all of the time. However, it depends on how well you know what you want. An indecisive individual could spend a lifetime scrolling through the WooCommerce options. However, Shopify’s offering of around 100 is far more curated and seems to have more thought behind the usability of the site itself.

Personally, we’d say go with Shopify, lessen the options whilst knowing you’re getting something with loads of optimisation and bang for your buck.

Driving the sale and functionality

It almost goes without saying that the overall point of having an eCommerce website is to drive sales. You want a slice of that multi-billion pound yearly spending spree, and why shouldn’t you. However, just because both Shopify and WooCommerce fall into the category of eCommerce web builders doesn’t mean they have identical functionality.

If you are looking to get your business off the ground, neither of these brilliant platforms is going to let you down. By the time you’ve given all of the design work, the once over, you’ll be able to start making sales. However, where the two differ on the sales front is in what you get as standard.

For example, multi-channel selling comes as standard with Shopify, whereas you’ll have to pay to install the option on WooCommerce. As more consumers are being driven to purchase on the platforms that they connect with, such as; Facebook, Instagram, eBay, and Amazon. Having multi-channelling selling is imperative to your approach.

One other benefit that your online store can leverage for free on Shopify is the abandoned cart feature. This allows your potential customer to complete their orders without filling out all their details again. Shopify also sends them a little nudge to remind them of their currently unpurchased cart. This is particularly beneficial to the usability of your site. Any feature that makes the user journey as easy as possible is one you should be investing in; with Shopify, you don’t have to; it’s free.

So, you may notice a common theme here: Shopify wins again, this time because it gives you the sales features you need.

Additional functionality

Well, in a turn up for the books. WooCommerce takes the crown where additional plug-ins are concerned. This is primarily because WooCommerce is an open-source platform, meaning that most of the builder’s functionality comes from plug-ins.

Shopify has a healthy number of additional plug-ins that will offer you more than enough functionality, around 1200 in fact, but in the world of WooCommerce, there are tens of thousands. The more, the merrier, as they say.

eCommerce at Create8

eCommerce web design is one of our strongest offerings at Create8. Our team of incredibly talented web designers offer a service that is second to none. As a Manchester-based web agency, we’re known for our creative flair, collaborative approach and engaging personality. We understand the need for your business to fight off the competition and to drive those much-needed sales. Don’t just take our word for it; follow the link below and check out some of our latest projects.

Marketing

Depending on what stage in your business journey you are at, you may not yet have thought about the connection between your website and marketing. Don’t worry; you won’t be the first person this week! The truth is if your website and your marketing efforts are not aligned, you can end up missing out on crucial conversions.

When it comes to marketing integrations, Shopify wins hands down once again. “Why”, we hear you ask! Well, largely down to the multi-channel functionality mentioned above. Shopify comes with all of the multi-channel selling options as standard. Therefore, connecting your Facebook, Instagram or Amazon store comes completely free of charge; this will cost you around $80 on WooCommerce.

As email marketing continues to make a resurgence, both platforms offer plug-ins that allow your business to run campaigns linked with your website. Having uniform marketing campaigns that are in sync with your website will maximise your opportunities for making a profit; that’s a win/win in our book.

So, who wins?

Both Shopify and WooCommerce are brilliant eCommerce platforms. They allow businesses to build scalable online homes and create a fabulous opportunity for success. However, when it all comes down to it, it’s hard to look past Shopify as the overall winner.

From our perspective, Shopify doesn’t only offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to build a thriving online business. It also takes their hands and walks with you through the trickier and more complex jobs. However, if you want an online home that truly represents your brand, we would always suggest hiring a web design agency.

Without dropping any hints, if you want something extraordinary, leverage someone else’s experience.

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eCommerce websites and Create8 go together like roast dinners and Sundays. The true beauty of using someone like us to build your website is that we can produce something entirely bespoke. Therefore, once your website is up and running, it isn’t going to draw comparisons to anyone else’s. This is one of the most common downfalls of using a template to create something seemingly unique; despite adding your logo, branding and colour scheme to a template, it doesn’t change the overall look that much. Having your brand confused with another can be incredibly detrimental to the building of your brand recognition, especially if the public doesn’t have a great relationship with the brand in question.

So, where do you go from here? Well, why not visit our website, have a look around and search for a spark of inspiration. Or alternatively, get in touch with us today, and we can help walk you through some ideas, a little bit of strategy and how we can help your business be truly unforgettable.

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