G2, the software and services reviews platform, reveals that there are more than 200 eCommerce platforms available for online businesses today.
No wonder, navigating through different platforms offering a variety of features can be an overwhelming experience for eCommerce marketers. An ideal eCommerce platform should allow the unification of the core business processes, enabling you to achieve visibility across the firm and meet the expectations of the most discerning customers.
It’s tough to say which e-commerce platform is ideal for your business. But to make it easy, we have compared two major platforms, WooCommerce and Magento, based on their key features, performance, security, cost-effectiveness, and user-friendliness.
But before that, it will be wise to understand the must-have features in an eCommerce platform. This will help you appreciate the features of these two platforms even more.
7 Features to Consider When Opting for a Suitable Ecommerce Platform
Here are the top features you should look for in an ideal eCommerce platform to narrow down your playing field.
1. Ease of setting up and navigation
The platform you choose should be easy to set up and navigate. It should allow you to capture the essence of your brand while making browsing the site effortless for all.
Platforms offering readymade templates are an amazing choice as they spare you the hassle of hiring an expensive design whizz for the task. The platform should allow you to create a seamless shopping experience.
Ecommerce sites make juicy targets for hackers. Personal data has become a valuable asset; hence, the more people shop on a website the more hackers it attracts.
Did you know?
83% of the top US e-commerce sites are vulnerable to attacks.
Hence, the platform you opt for should ensure top-notch security. Go for a platform that offers an SSL certificate and PCI compliance to safeguard sensitive customer data.
This is the age of multichannel marketing and social channels play a big role in improving brand visibility and reputation.
Look for a platform that allows easy integration with other existing systems and marketing channels. Integration with third-party channels and platforms like social channels, MailChimp, and Google Shopping should not be an issue.
4. SEO and mobile friendliness
The importance of online business visibility cannot be underestimated. The digital customer is not just researching online to learn about businesses but also using a variety of devices to make a purchase decision.
Hence, the platform you choose should be SEO and mobile-friendly, allowing easy access to your store.
Measuring the performance of your website is critical for making business decisions and boosting marketing efforts. That’s where analytics plays a critical role.
Go for a platform that allows you to monitor your store’s performance and keeps a tab on parameters like the number of sales, payment methods, order amounts, and more.
6. Tech support
The platform you choose should have a solid customer support team that’s ready to help always. It should also have sound documentation and online guides that solve problems and answers the most pressing questions.
Each eCommerce platform comes with its own set of pricing plans. Some come with a standard monthly subscription while others offer flat rates. Before committing, it’s wise to go through the plan and choose what best fits your budget.
Based on the above-mentioned features there are several best picks for eCommerce businesses. However, in this post, we’ll discuss and compare the two most popular platforms, namely WooCommerce and Magento.
WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress plugin for eCommerce stores that allows merchants to transform their WP website into an online store. WordPress users will find this plugin easy to use and get their store up and running in no time.
It’s a free plugin with additional paid features and integrating options that effortlessly streamline the shopping cart functionality. As of January 2021, this popular WordPress plugin holds 27.86% of the eCommerce market. Also, 93.7% of WordPress-based online stores opt for WooCommerce.
What is WooCoomerce best for?
WooCommerce is a great platform for small businesses that already have a website on WordPress or have recently undergone a Joomla or Drupal to WordPress migration. Websites that already have WordPress development resources will find it easy to customize their store with WooCommerce.
Here are a few features that make it ideal for eCommerce websites.
- It’s easy to use. WordPress users can set up their store quickly by simply installing/activating the WooCommerce Plugin.
- It offers a range of plugins and themes for easy shop setup, allowing your business to take off quickly. So, from optimizing checkouts to dropshipping, the platform offers plugins for everything you could think of.
- It offers various search and navigation extensions that help in adding categories, tags, and attributes that allow customers to easily find what they are looking for.
- The plugin offers more than 400 official extensions, allowing you to easily plug into social channels like Facebook, Pinterest, and MultilingualPress among others.
- As it runs on WordPress, Woo-Commerce is highly SEO-friendly. Other plugins can be used to further boost its SEO-friendliness.
- Woocommerce offers a secure payment processor that ensures PCI compliance. It allows secure communication between customers and the server, thus safeguarding sensitive information.
- It is flexible and completely customizable. Thus, the platform gives developers complete control over their data and caters to small and large businesses.
- The platform’s analytics dashboard provides information on sales, orders, and general store status. It also integrates with Google Analytics for improved performance tracking.
- The plugin offers great customer payment options. It comes with PayPal but other extensions like Amazon Payments, Stripe, and PayFast are also available.
- WooCommerce can slow down because it cannot handle too much load of themes and plugins added to the store.
- WooCommerce falls slightly short in the tech support space. Most of the support is can be achieved through self-help guides and communities. However, the platform enjoys excellent documentation and an abundance of online tutorials.
- The cost of premium themes and extensions can add up pretty quickly, especially for small businesses on a tight budget.
Those were the downsides of using WooCommerce. However, the platform’s awesome usability, scalability, and customization make it a great option for e-commerce websites. Moreover, it’s a great pick for beginners with little eCommerce experience.
To sum up, WooCommerce is a powerful platform that offers all the features an eCommerce store owner may be looking for.
Magento is available a two different platforms, namely Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce. The first one is a free version that can be downloaded and customized while the latter is a premium version that includes a subscription fee and cloud-hosting.
This platform is more geared towards companies; however, most eCommerce businesses can benefit from its features.
Here are a few features that make Magento a popular ecommerce platform.
- The platform supports an unlimited number of products.
- It offers optimal front-end and back-end performances. For instance, it allows compressed images for faster loading, thus improving the website UX.
- It offers patches, updates, and a host of best practices that help ecommerce owners create a secure store and safeguard customer data.
- The Magento Marketplace offers an unimaginable number of integrations. Though a few come with a hefty price tag, they are worth the investment, if your budget allows you.
- Magento is SEO-friendly. SEO is automatically configured on this platform and there is a range of tools that help you store rank. However, using these required some knowledge of the subject.
- Magento allows engaging mobile experiences through its PWA (Progressive Web Apps) studio.
- The platform offers an analytics dashboard with live data on sales, orders, and best-selling products.
- Each Magento version has integrated checkout, payment, and shipping features. The platform makes it easy for customers to pay through PayPal, Amazon Pay, or Stripe.
- Magento offers 24X7 tech support. It also has a Help Center for troubleshooting and overall support.
- Magento comes with a steep learning curve. Unlike WooCommerce, Magento requires you to have some basic knowledge in web development. The platform is more geared towards developers than regular users.
- While Magento is free to download. But the prices associated with its use, namely web hosting fees, add-ons, and payment processing fees can prove to be costly. Also, the Enterprise Edition is quite expensive.
- Magento offers security patches to safeguard customer information. However, the downside is that these patches aren’t easy to apply. Ecommerce newbies may feel overwhelmed while doing so.
To sum up, here is how the two eCommerce platforms compare.
|The platform is completely free.
|It offers a free community version. The other premium services aren’t free.
|It supports unlimited products.
|Magento allows store owners to add unlimited products.
|Nearly all WordPress themes are supported. It offers a myriad of customization options.
|It offers a theme-based system.
|It comes with an extension system with various options.
|Supports a wide variety of extensions.
|It offers the basic security features to protect your online store.
|It offers advanced security features and dedicated patches to take care of vulnerabilities if any.
|The platform is remarkably easy to use.
|Magento may not be as easy to use. It is recommended for users that have basic level expertise in web development.
An eCommerce platform is a huge investment for a business. While you may have set some budget aside for it, you want to make sure you choose the one that’s most suitable for your business.
Both WooCommerce and Magento are great choices when choosing a platform for eCommerce businesses. For beginners and small businesses on a tight budget, we’d recommend WooCommerce as it gets off the ground quickly, is scalable, and is cost-effective.
On the other hand, without purchasing additional extensions, Magento shines for its scalability and other features that WooCommerce lacks. Various extensions like Magento 2 Custom Checkout Fields, Shopping by Brand, Search Extensions, etc. Magento optimizes your business to generate breakthrough growth. If you ignore the high cost of its Enterprise Edition, Magento is a great choice for companies that wish to move into eCommerce.
Picking a winner between these two isn’t easy; however, we are sure the information shared above will help you make an informed decision for your business.
Lucy is a creative content writer and strategist at Marketing Digest. She specializes in writing about digital marketing, technology, entrepreneurship, and education. When she is not writing or editing, she spends time reading books, cooking, and traveling.