What are the pros and cons of Magento vs. Shopify vs. WooCommerce
We have a small jewelry store on Square Space. It was great to get us up and running but now we realize we need a more serious solution. We are looking at various options including Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce. What are the pros and cons of each?
Magento, Shopify, and WooCommerce are more serious solutions for your online jewelry store, as you correctly put it, compared to SquareSpace. Have a look at your options when you switch:
Magento: By default, Magento’s build is both flexible and scalable and it is touted as the most premier open source solutions in the eCommerce landscape. Magento boasts of over 130,000 sits and Fortune 500 companies under its belt which enhances its pole position status and popularity in the eCommerce platform.
Here are some pros and cons for to help you consider whether it is right for you.
User-friendly – Magento boasts of a highly user friendly backend which is characterized by an easy-o-use administration area. Its back end has an intuitive navigation with well-organized features for store management.
SEO - Magento has in built features to enhance your search engine rankings through its out of the box SEO features and numerous plugins and extensions which further expand your options.
Cost – while Magento boasts of advanced and highly customizable versions that come at a cost, the community version is free which suits users scaling up.
Community – wide community of users who have developed many extensions and plugins and can help with support.
Flexibility – Magento’s templating architecture lets you to customise pretty much everything. You can therefore create your site to appear exactly the way you want. Since the software is also open source, you can have total control over the code and develop your desired functionality.
Scalable – another good thing about this platform is that it is built to scale, so whether you’re selling 10 or 100,000 products, Magento can surely handle it.
Magento can be Incredibly complex - while the platform is feature-rich, one of its inhibiting downsides can be its complexity. For the inexperienced migrating user, dealing with the large amount of customizations could be a daunting task.
Cost – while the platform has community edition which is free, support comes literally at a price for the enterprise versions. Annual support will set you back from US$14,420/year and US$49,990/year for large businesses on the Premium version.
Hosting – Magento is resource-intensive and as such it requires dedicated servers that you can configure or providers who are specialists in Magento hosting. For simple users, it can be a slow and frustrating experience to run it on normal shared hosting.
Time – Magento has a flexible architecture which on the flipside, requires more time to customize. The learning curve for Magento developers is steeper than that of other solutions.
Shopify: Shopify ranks highest among Magento’s biggest competitors with about 100,000 registered vendors. Shopify is more popular with small and medium sized vendors who are in the process of scaling up their business and only need a simple solution with minimal effort and investment. It’s pros and cons are as follows:
Ease of Use: Shopify is an easy to use platform with around-the-clock customer support service to resolve vendor problems.
Mobile Optimization: Shopify will repeatedly optimize its storefront themes for diverse mobile devices and screen sizes.
App Store Functionality: Shopify is a complete eCommerce website builder with a big App store to enhance the functionality of the sites which it is built on.
Themes: Shopify comes with just a handful of free themes to set up your site and you will have to purchase some premium themes for extra customization.
Integrating Issues: Shopify has issues while integrating the several apps to the platform
Transaction Fee: Shopify charges some transaction fee for a sale and may force you to utilize Shopify payments if you want to ignore transaction fees.
WooCommerce: WooCommerce is an open source platform, just like Magento, which provides its vendors with free and highly customizable ecommerce solutions.
Open-Source and User-friendly - Woocommerce is a lightweight open source plugin whose installation process is very simple and noob-friendly. Merchants can choose a host, and domain on their own and get started within a short period.
Scalability - the number of products and categories on the platform is unlimited and one can start with as few or as many products as they would like. However, the platform lacks features to handle very large stores.
Owing to its open-source status, the platform has lots of design themes published by its developers as well as third parties.
Powerful product and order editing features- WooCommerce has great out of the box features to make daily store management a breeze. You can also use plugins to manage basic shipping and payment options and curb fraud.
Email Marketing can be added with the help of highly customizable plugins that can boost sales. Facebook Store is one of the prominent marketing plugins on the wooCommerce platform.
SEO capability- WooCommerce has advanced capability owing to its routine use alongside WordPress.
In order to use WooCommerce, it is prerequisite that one understands and knows how to use WordPress so as to maximize the platform’s capabilities.
Another big disadvantage is that WooCommerce is not a standalone eCommerce platform but simply a plugin for Wordpress thus it cannot be used on a website that does not utilize wordpress. For your case, you would need to first migrate your content from SquareSpace to WordPress and then install the WooCommerce plugin for it.
Finally, while the base programs that facilitate efficient use of wooCommerce is free, additional add-ons that might vasty increase functionality could be costly for small businesses.