WooCommerce is one of my favorite eCommerce website builders and it is my first choice whenever a client wants an eCommerce store. WooCommerce constitutes about 30% of all eCommerce websites and 99% of WordPress eCommerce websites. So, in this article, I break down for you whether you should go for WooCommerce for your eCommerce website.
Should I go for WooCommerce? You can go for WooCommerce if you are just starting out your eCommerce business and want an easy-to-use, customizable and free solution. However, WooCommerce websites slow down as the size of your store grows too huge with too many products. It’s also not ideal if your transactions involve a huge volume of products.
There are numerous factors that come into play when you decide on your eCommerce website builder. A wrong decision can lead to the inevitable failure of your business, so I recommend you read through this article and understand all aspects in detail.
WooCommerce as you might know is a WordPress plugin. It can be used only on a WordPress website. Thus, the most ideal situation for using WooCommerce is when you are willing or need to use other WordPress features as well.
In other words, if eCommerce is only a part of your website strategy, and you also want to use your website for other purposes like marketing, SEO, blogging, lead generation, etc, then WooCommerce is the best option for you. If you are only interested in creating an eCommerce store, you might not want to go through the hassle of learning WordPress, installing multiple plugins, and building the whole website along with the eCommerce store.
In the latter case, a dedicated eCommerce platform that is done for you, like Shopify or Magento may be more suitable. Remember, WordPress is an end-to-end website-building CMS. And it has too many moving parts that need to work in sync for the website to function. Thus, it has a bigger learning curve and can be frustrating for a newbie or for someone not willing to go the extra mile to learn it end to end.
Also, as mentioned earlier, since WordPress is a generic website-building platform and does not specialize in eCommerce, it does not work too well for huge eCommerce businesses with thousands of products in the catalog. WooCommerce has a relatively unadvanced database architecture so adding too many products in the catalog or a huge number of items to a single transaction is not supported that well. In other words, it functions best if eCommerce is also a part of your business and not the core of your business itself.
Most business owners do not have the time and patience to create their own WordPress site and manage its day-to-day functions too. You will probably need to hire a web designer who will build your site and maintain it for you. Thus if you don’t have the budget to hire a professional agency, it is again difficult to continue using WooCommerce and WordPress. If you need to handle your eCommerce store yourself, it is a lot more convenient to use a dedicated and all-in-one eCommerce platform like Shopify or Magento, which does not have as many moving parts and you get better customer support as well.
Since WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, you get all the powerful features of WordPress if you decide to go for WooCommerce. WordPress is SEO friendly and you can make your site rank a lot better on Google. You can add a blog to your website and create helpful content regularly which will generate organic traffic on your website over time. You can drive this traffic to your products page and that can bring you conversion.
WordPress is also great for creating a premium design for your website. You can create good-looking pages using a page builder like Elementor. Having a premium and professional-looking website adds trust and reputation to your brand, which in turn means more sales.
WooCommerce can be customized to suit your business and your target audience. It can also be integrated with other plugins within WordPress. Unlike Shopify, it can be used with multiple payment gateways like stripe or Paypal.
WooCommerce is also more promising for future expansion in your business. If you are starting out with eCommerce, but your brand might like to venture into other businesses a few years down the line, it may not be possible if you are on a dedicated eCommerce platform. With WordPress on the other hand, you can create an online course, or a web-based app or start offering a service along with the eCommerce business whenever you want.
The lack of scalability with WooCommerce has already been discussed. Thus if eCommerce is your core activity and you want to build a huge eCommerce company like the Amazons of the world, WooCommerce may not be the right platform for you.
Moreover, another problem that most WooCommerce users face is that there is no dedicated customer support since it is an open-source platform. If you are stuck somewhere or are facing some issues, you need to find a solution through online communities or forums. This can get rather frustrating at times, especially if you are starting out and lack experience in using WooCommerce or WordPress.
This brings us to our next point, WordPress being less beginner-friendly, most people are tempted to outsource it to an agency. It is rather tedious to quickly learn and implement all the nitty gritty of WordPress. Thus you might need an upfront budget to hire an agency. And if you are not sure about how successful your venture might be, it may be difficult to shell out the cash upfront.
Shopify is a dedicated eCommerce platform and is a lot easier to get started compared to WooComerce. Thus it is advisable if you are willing to start your eCommerce store quickly and do not want to go through the hassle of building a full-fledged website on WordPress. However, once you already have a WordPress website with a WooCommerce store, in most cases it may not be required to switch to Shopify.
The decision to switch from WordPress to Shopify or vice versa boils down to your future plans for your business. If you are looking to have a full-fledged company with eCommerce being only a part of your business, then WooCommerce is ideal. Thus you might need to switch from Shopify (in case you started with it) to WooCommerce at some point in your business.
On the other hand, if you are looking to expand in the field of eCommerce alone and are looking to build a massive eCommerce giant, Shopify or a custom-coded website might have an edge over WooComerce, so switching from WooCommerce to Shopify does make sense.
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