There has been a huge growth in demand for eCommerce websites such as Spotify as the number of entrepreneurs looking for a quick, cheap and easy to launch solution continues to grow.
But are they really as good an option as more established websites such as WooCommerce or a completely bespoke solution like our ONESHOP option?
The most important element of an eCommerce website is not really the front-facing elements. Although that might be the priority for customers, it’s the ability of the backend when it comes to the successful running of a business.
Shopify is a dedicated eCommerce solution, which comes with a seven-day free trial, meaning you can, if you put your mind to it, get your online store up and running before you have to start paying anything out.
If you can though get a trial account through an official Shopify partner, then your account will remain free until you launch the online store – which will give you more time to get things just right.
The stores are easy to set up, so in theory, you don’t need a developer, and products are easy to add so it really is quite conceivable to get your business up and running within the seven-day free trial.
There are also a whole host of apps in the Shopify app store to help you run a successful business from post and packaging solutions to email marketing and stock control.
Although there is a vast array of applications, to help you get what you want in the backend when it comes to the design of the storefront the options to customise are somewhat more limited.
There are thousands of themes available, so there is bound to be something to suit every taste and every type of business but they don’t come cheap, with the average options costing between $100-180 each, which is considerably more than the WooCommerce/WordPress themes.
There are also free options available but as there is less flexibility when it comes to giving your site your own ‘personal’ feel there is a risk of another Shopify store looking surprisingly similar to yours.
The themes are created using a system called Liquid, which makes them harder to edit than the more common WordPress options. As with all options though a web designer/ web developer would be able to help you achieve exactly what you want, although this can prove a costly way to achieve a bespoke design.
So many websites promise to be easy to set but Shopify is one of the few which is actually true to its word, thanks largely to a setup wizard and easy to navigate dashboard.
WooCommerce is the eCommerce plugin for WordPress, which is the platform that currently powers more than 30% of the world’s websites.
So, it’s hardly a surprise to hear that the plugin runs more of the world’s eCommerce sites than any other platform.
Being free to download is a major factor along with the fact that the eCommerce side of the site can run as part of a bigger secure, stable and highly effective WordPress website, thanks to their years of experience.
Unlike Shopify though a WooCommerce website does require hosting, although many companies now offer relatively cheap and simple to navigate WordPress hosting which can work out substantially cheaper per year than an annual subscription to Shopify, which start at $348 per year.
When it comes to SEO a WooCommerce site completely outperforms the other options on the market, meaning you can spend less time, and money getting your website found.
While Shopify allows you to add keywords and tags, there is no ability to power up your SEO capabilities or choose your own URL’s – so the structure doesn’t help when it comes to being indexed by the search engines.
As well as being free to download, the WooCommerce themes are also cheaper to purchase, with the average prices between $39-99 but that is understandable after all WordPress has been around for longer.
So WooCommerce might be cheaper to run once live but there are other one-off charges you will have to bear in mind, such as security plugins, backup charges, and payment gateway plugins – all of which come as standard in your Shopify subscription. It’s also worth remembering that WordPress sites take longer to set up and are more difficult for those without web development experience.
So a lot of your decision should be based on your capability or the budget you have to employ a professional. If you are going to use a developer though, you might want to consider a third option – a completely bespoke system so you can get exactly what you want and need.
Here at Webthinking eCommerce sites are our speciality, so no matter how basic or complex your functionality needs to be we can work with you to develop any custom features you need.
We pride ourselves on the fact that our code is 100% hand-coded, which is why we can custom design anything you need.
We don’t take shortcuts because we understand you have a specialised need. Hand-coding takes longer, but it keeps things lightweight and bug-free and it also makes us intimately familiar with your features, which simplifies troubleshooting and backend support.
Our own proprietary bespoke in-house eCommerce suite called ONESHOP was created after years of working with clients who wanted to grow their brand, increase their reach and sell in more markets.
The platform is used by many large eCommerce sites, across the world, because of its feature-rich components, security, scalability, integrations and being uniquely customisable.
There are two fundamental aspects of an eCommerce site. First and foremost, the conversion rate and we are proud to reveal that our clients’ eCommerce sites, which use ONESHOP, consistently achieve 6% and above the average conversion rates. This statistic puts their online shop in the top 10% of websites worldwide for conversion performance.
Conversions can take the form of various things; including signing up to newsletters, and following on social media but the only one that really matters is buying and turning those visitors into paying customers, hopefully at the first attempt.
Secondly, and as important, is the efficiency of how you can process the orders once placed. We work with you, and around your processes, to make our admin system fit you and how you want to work.
Our ONESHOP platform is constantly evolving but already has some of the most advanced features that you will need from day one. For example:
- Fully integrate Payment Gateways, without any redirects off your site.
- Fully mobile responsive designs
- Full integration with the best email marketing platforms
- Full customer order history and management including customer address book, and optionally stored card details.
- Highly efficient order management system, including:
- Integrated fraud checking
- Full batch processing – process hundreds of orders in one go from multiple channels
- Warehousing/accounting software integration
- 3rd party fulfillment centre integration
- Process eBay and Amazon orders together with your website orders, in one workflow.
- Royal Mail and other courier system integration
- Sell with ease on multiple channels, such as eBay and Amazon with full stock management and order handling built-in. Including the ability to list and start selling an eBay product with one click of a button.
So if you’re looking to launch a new eCommerce solution, or expand an already functioning business, get in touch with us to see how we can help you achieve your goals.