Which eCommerce Platform is Right for your Business?

When it comes to building a robust online business there are many great platforms to choose from. We’re choosing to showcase our favourites to work with, whether you are a small cottage industry pop-up, distributor, or a large global enterprise.

With 17 years of experience creating cost-effective eCommerce sites, we'll do a deep dive into each of the most popular platforms, including their pros and cons. Let's go through the main features of each and we’ll let you decide which online store solution is perfect for you.

shopify

Shopify

Shopify is very much the All-in-One eCommerce solution for smaller start-up businesses. Your shop is actually located on their platform. It's simple and easy.

  • Setting up your store can be done in minutes. You can be taking payment and offering products and services almost instantly.
  • Shopify is a completely stand-alone platform. They host your store, data, payments and shipping. This eliminates the need for any kind of coding, plugins, and integrations like the larger platforms require.
  • You have a set monthly fee (3 levels starting at $29.99) so you always know what your payments will be.
  • There are 1000’s of APPS to extend your store from marketing to features that are one-click additions to your site.
  • You can sell on Facebook via Messenger with Shopify Lite.
  • There are hundreds of responsive themes (free and premium). This means no coding for you!
  • They have many more customisable themes, design and tools compared to WIX or Squarespace.
  • It’s less expensive than WooCommerce or custom build. These generally require a professional front end designer unless you are willing to spend the time to learn both Wordpress and WooCommerce. That means less cost up front to get it up and running.
  • You can use your own unique URL or Shopify branded URL.
  • Easy always secure payments, checkout and shipping modules.
  • All costs for web management is included - from hosting to payments.
  • Dropshipping is easy to use.
  • Shopify POS can help you manage your pop-up or storefront location.
  • Shopify is known for its great 24/7 support.
  • Many other free tools included (logo - invoices - GC's, stock photography)

For a small business owner who wants to manage their own store and avoid the large up front fees, this is the way to go.

woocommerce logo

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a free, open-source eCommerce plugin that is used with Wordpress sites. If you are no up for the steep learning curve of a new CMS then I would recommend passing, but if you are familiar then it is easily the best eCommerce plugin for Wordpress sites.

  • It’s exclusively for the Wordpress platform. 
  • You have complete customisation and control with CSS and themes.
  • It’s easy to use and install free and premium responsive themes.
  • Themes and plugins can get a bit pricey but in general, are a one-time cost and offer infinite control over your design and functionality.
  • Easy to install and configure dashboard and admin options.
  • 1000’s of free plugins, modules, and integrations with most SaaS, CRMs and online tools for features, content, images, payment, shipping, etc.
  • There is a huge online developers community from forums to Facebook, where you can go for answers, workarounds and problem-solving. 
  • WooCommerce is open-source software (same as Wordpress) which developers LOVE.
  • It’s robust, endlessly customisable and responsive to all devices.
  • WordPress does have a steep learning curve if you haven't used it or Wordpress before. 
  • You will need to manage all aspects of your website including hosting, domains, etc.
  • WooCommerce is the best for SEO optimisation.

If you are familiar with Wordpress and want some additional design and feature options then WooCommerce would be a great fit for your business. It's super flexible and easy to set up for the average business.

magento logo

Magento

Magento is a different beast altogether. Although you can use it for a smaller store that might want to scale very fast, it's been designed for medium to large eCommerce and Enterprise business. There are two versions that you can use - Community (free) version or Enterprise, which comes with infinite scalability and a price tag to match.

  • Magento has a very robust feature set.
  • There are Free (Community) and premium versions available to test the waters and develop/test on.
  • It offers an unlimited number of products. 
  • Good variety of theme-based options but most will require coding and CSS.
  • Advanced security and patches. Magento offers regular updates, although they can be a bit tricky to implement for the novice.
  • Efficient API and integrations to all major SaaS and software.
  • Intuitive admin dashboard and very detailed reporting capabilities.
  • It's a highly scalable platform.
  • Faster checkouts.
  • It has a steep learning curve - better for developers.

If your business is looking to scale very quickly with a large amount of product but you still want to keep it in-house then Magento is an excellent option.

 Custom eCommerce Development

Custom development isn't for every business. If your business needs are highly customised then an 'out-of-the-box' solution may not provide the options and integrations you need. For example, if you require: 

  • Customisable or modular products. Here’s a great example of one of our custom designs that required many varied options and integrations (Injectronics)
  • Specific shipping requirements stipulated by industry or health concerns (Victoria International Container Terminal)
  • Integrations with other software systems.
  • You've outgrown your current 'out-of-the-box' solution already.
  • Complex Inventory management inputs/outputs.

 Whether you are just venturing into your first online business or looking to scale and grow, there is the perfect platform to suit your budget and requirements. We’d love to hear more about your project and help you take the next step.

 Get a quote today