Building an online store is just as simple as shopping online! If you have ever thought of starting your own online business, you must have compared the pros and cons of all platforms. Even though there are a number of ecommerce platforms available, Shopify and WordPress are always prominent when it comes to comparing which is the best. In short, you have to review the usability of each given your present case scenario and choose which one would work best for you.
When to use WordPress?
If you are already running a WordPress website, it would be best if you go with WordPress for ecommerce also. The only thing that needs to be done is to install WooCommerce and launch the respective ecommerce store as a part of your existing website. This would also cut down a lot of work at your end.
When to use Shopify?
Shopify is the best choice for those who are first timers and don’t have a website yet. This would certainly require a dedicated solution with hands on accessibility to the easiest tools which come with a lot of advanced features thus making your work easier.
How should you decide, which platform is the best: Shopify vs WordPress for eCommerce?
Since both platforms have similarities and differences, it is easier to choose your platform looking at the shortcomings of each and deciding which one would work best for your business needs.
WordPress: The Shortcomings
Advanced Features are Missing
WooCommerce mainly focuses on helping developers create online stores, therefore it cannot be used as a strong ecommerce platform as the content management system or CMS is not vigorous. This is purely because it lacks the most important advanced features that will help in managing the store in a better manner. Another drawback is that the themes and features that can help in improving the customer experience are costly and can lead to an increased overhead expense.
WordPress comes with frequent updates which in a way is good for maintaining the optimal security for your store, but sometimes, this can be very irritating. Frequent updates make using WordPress for ecommerce more time-consuming. Hence, you have to be prepared for handling common issues using WordPress plugins which are associated with data backup and testing.
Unfriendliness for Beginners
It is very challenging to navigate through the web design, web development, and maintenance features in WordPress, especially for the first-time users, who don’t have any prior experience or knowledge about developing a website or digital marketing. The only place left for you to find a solution to getting around with WordPress are the online forums which provide minimal maintenance support. You must have a fair level of knowledge and understanding of web development in order to choose the best advice from the forum. Coding knowledge is no exception when you work on WordPress!
Plugins can be very cumbersome as they cannot be avoided and using too many plugins can utilize a lot of memory which is a high price to pay. Secondly, slow downloading speed and average performance are the most common glitches that users have to face with WordPress. This not only makes the process extremely frustrating; it can be costly as well. Keeping this in mind, the best solution is to implement most of the functionalities through CSS, HTML codes, or jQuery, which is always better than downloading and installing multiple plugins. Above all, whatever plugin you use must be evaluated for its pros and cons before installation as that can adversely affect the website performance.
WordPress: The Shortcomings
Shopify presents multiple subscription plans to choose from based upon your needs. The problem however starts with the basic plan which costs $29 but entails only the very basic features. Secondly, Shopify does not support multiple payment gateways, therefore if you don’t use Shopify Payments, you will have to pay a heavy transaction fee on top of the payment processing fee, either through PayPal or Stripe. Lastly, you only get the first ten themes for free and each additional theme has to be paid for.
Shopify is very much customizable; however, it has some limitations which cannot be ignored. For unlocking additional features, coding has to be worked upon. Other than this, you can customize your site spending long hours and working heavily on detailed coding which is definitely not easy.
Steeper Learning Curve
All ecommerce platforms have to be learnt in terms of usage and handling; however, Shopify has a slightly steeper learning curve. This can create additional complications working around with the website. There are slight differences in Shopify compared to other platforms which can create problems. For example, instead of Categories, Shopify uses the term Collections, which can confuse customers to a great extent. The main problem with Shopify is the unnecessary complications it creates for users making the experience difficult and frustrating.
Product Filtering and Categorization
Shopify’s search option needs to get much better, especially when you start considering that there are millions of users on the platform. For example, when you go search for shirts, you’ll see a listing for shirts. However, there is no option to narrow down your search for “polo shirts.” The lack of this narrowed search makes your product filters very weak and can reflect adversely on your customers and drive them away from your website.
Lacks Email Hosting Facility
You can’t host an email address like email@example.com based on your domain. They present an alternative which is setting up email forwarding that will forward all your emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org to your regular email account.
Shopify vs. WordPress for Ecommerce is not an easy question to answer as they both have their set of pros and cons. On one hand Shopify is considered to be one of the best ecommerce web builders with excellent support round the clock for technical stuff, while on the other hand WooCommerce is feasible for those who already have websites built with WordPress. It all depends on your business specific needs and requirements.