Last week we gave some tips on things to look out for when launching or redesigning your website. To expand on that however, if you’re looking to build an ecommerce store and take your products to the world – which platform is right for you?
There are hundreds of different platforms for ecommerce but today we’re going to look at a few major ones (and some local NZ solutions) that are currently on the market.
WordPress Woo Commerce
Great for: Small to medium businesses that want a cheap and easy solution
Wordpress is loved worldwide by web masters for its ease of setup, design and use as well as it’s SEO capability. WooCommerce was launched in 2011 and it a free open source plugin for WP. BuiltWith statistics show the exponential growth of this product over time.
- Open source plugin that’s free and simple to install
- The number of products and categories that can be added are not limited
- Very SEO friendly if developed correctly
- CMS is easy to use
- Paid and free plugins can be added
- Adding paid plugins for additional functionality can get costly
- Plugins also need to be updated, which can ‘break’ the design on the front-end
- Some users believe that Woocommerce is not practical for large websites because of how the product database is setup (though other users say that if setup correctly it’s still a great solution for Enterprise)
Great for: Ecommerce Webmasters to get a store up-and-running very quickly
Established in 2006, Shopify has registered huge growth and popularity among e-merchants across the globe. It’s enthusiasts rave about the ease of setup and use, as well as the good support.
- Very easy and quick to get a store online using the templates
- Completed hosted solution
- SEO functionality is ok
- No multi-language functionality
- You aren’t able to have a 1 page checkout which can hurt conversion rates
- Payment gateways can be limited if you’re not in the US, Canada or the UK
Great for: Enterprise businesses that want to list a large database of products and categories
Magento is one of the world’s most widespread online shopping carts, with around 20 000 websites currently using it. There are both paid and free options so it can be a good option for SME’s and Enterprise businesses alike.
- It’s open source
- Very SEO friendly if setup correctly
- There are thousands of third-party modules and features, including payment gateways and advanced coupon code systems
- There is no limit to the products or categories
- Some users find the CMS limiting
- It’s not easy to customise the layouts and functionality, so you really need to engage a web developer (preferably a certified Magento developer) to get the best results
- Whilst the ‘Community’ version is free, if you want or need support the ‘Enterprise’ version starts at US $14. 420 a year so it can be pricey
Great for: Small to medium NZ businesses wanting a cheap and local solution
Formally known as Small Fish, Storbie is a local NZ solution that is relatively cheap and has ‘drag and drop’ design functionality so it can be pretty quick and easy to get your products online.
- No setup costs or success fees, and is $35 a month for up to 500 products
- Local NZ company so support is at a high standard
- Because of the common templates, most sites look quite similar
- Some SEO limitations
Some other platforms of note:
Neto – Australian software that’s new on the market. Watch this space!
OpenCart – An easy and cheap solution out of Hong Kong. Main ‘con’ is that plugins are required for SEO
Bigcommerce – A direct competitor of Shopify, it’s fans love the built-in marketing features. The main ‘con’ are the transaction and credit card fees are higher than some others in the market.
Like everything in life, there is no one-size-fits-all solution and this is especially the case with ecommerce. If you’re not sure which option is right for you and your business, give us a shout!