When you are starting to plan your e-Commerce website, choosing which software to use can be daunting; there are many different options to choose from, so knowing which ones are the best is important.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide on the two platforms we recommend to help you decide which one would be better for your website.
Here we’ll be discussing two of the most widely used e-Commerce platforms, Magento and WooCommerce.
Magneto is a website platform designed exclusively for creating e-Commerce websites; because of this narrowed focus it has many advantages over other platforms not built for that singular purpose.
One of those benefits is that many of the features needed by a online business come included out-of the-box, without the need of purchasing additional plugins.
Here are some of the main reasons to use Magneto:
- It’s able to handle large amounts of website traffic and can be expanded to meet business needs
- You can create detailed reports on sales, coupon code usage, marketing emails, and more
- It allows you to highly customise your users experience, including how products display and where elements appear throughout the checkout process
- It’s got great SEO, which makes it easier for Google and other search-engines to list your website and products online
- You can create advanced shipping rules and add detailed product data easily
Although as with any sophisticated and powerful piece of software, there are some downsides that you should be aware of before choosing to use Magento.
Down-sides of using Magento instead of WooCommerce:
- Specialised help is usually required when initially setting up a Magento website
- Initial website development costs and ongoing maintenance costs can be much higher
- Amount of features and the complexity of it’s interface can make it hard to learn initially
Due to those higher development/setup and higher ongoing maintenance costs, Magento sites are mainly aimed at medium size or larger businesses with an equally large turnover.
For those businesses that are able to afford and use Magento, they usually recoup those costs with better conversion rates than what they would of achieved if they had chosen to use a cheaper alternative e-Commerce platform.
WooCommerce is a different animal all-together; it’s a great start for businesses that are looking to start selling products online, rather than businesses that need all the features that Magento provides.
That being said, over time WooCommerce has become quite a competent e-Commerce platform and continues to grow the amount of features that it offers, which is why it has become wildly popular.
The main reasons to use WooCommerce:
- Easier to use initially
- Much cheaper to maintain and setup
- Can be setup much more quickly than bigger/more complicated e-Commerce platforms
- Great looking product views and checkout process by default
- Can often be setup on an existing WordPress website without the need of a web developer
Down-sides of using WooCommerce instead of Magento:
- Built as a plugin for the WordPress website platform, which isn’t specifically designed for e-Commerce websites
- Many features aren’t available without purchasing additional addons (e.g. advanced shipping rules, advanced notifications settings)
- Not as optimised as Magento, so websites built using it may have a harder time dealing with large amounts of traffic
- Usually lower conversion rates than websites built on Magento
As mentioned above, WooCommerce is a plugin for the widely used WordPress website platform; WordPress is a website platform used by millions of websites globally, but it is not specifically designed for building e-Commerce websites.
The benefit of that is that WooCommerce is quicker to setup and the interface is easier to use and learn initially; this is because it’s built on top of WordPress, which is of itself easy to setup, use, and learn.
The drawback is that as WordPress is not specialised for building e-Commerce websites, the WooCommerce plugin is adding features to a platform that isn’t tailored for that purpose.
With that said, WooCommerce is usually enough for many businesses that are starting out and beginning to transition to online sales. It includes many of the features required by small-businesses, with additional features often available through purchasing WooCommerce addons.
Many business owners decide that WooCommerce is a better fit for their current business for the reasons listed above, but keep Magento in mind for when their business expands enough to require it.
So the take-away is that whilst Magento is a more powerful solution, neither system is clearly better than the other; this is because both platforms are aiming at different segments of the e-Commerce market.
WooCommerce is a great starting point for smaller businesses looking to start selling products online; it has all the features required for a basic e-Commerce website.
Magento is great for businesses that are already are selling products online or are large enough to need more complicated features; it will also usually have an increased conversion rate and also allow for greater customisation of the purchasing experience.
Feel free to contact us using the links below if you are looking for help setting up either of these on your website!