The world of eCommerce is constantly evolving. The market exploded in the mid-1990‘s, and although the turn of the century saw the Dot-Com Crash, the market is still going strong and growing every day.
The power of conducting trade online has attracted smaller players to entire the game and seek their fortunes.
Having the right backend is of vital importance when setting up an online shop. Two common choices for eCommerce platforms are Magneto and WooCommerce.
Both are free to use, but they have striking differences which may make one appeal over the other depending on the needs of webmasters. Let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of both platforms and help you to determine which platform would work best for you.
Magento is not just the name of the X-Men villain, but it is also a powerful eCommerce platform. Owned by eBay, this online store platform offers a plethora of features that makes it a superb choice for setting up an eCommerce website.
These features include shop customization, incorporation of coupon codes, filtering to help customers easily navigate your products, and more.
The downside is that setting up Magento will take some technical savvy, and less-skilled webmasters may find themselves purchasing the services of a professional to get things up and going.
Magento also keeps track of analytics information, allowing shop owners to see how well certain products are selling.
To extend functionality. However, one will have to access Magento Connect. This marketplace features thousands of add-ons to enhance the functionality of your site, but it can be costly since the best additions come with a price.
Moreover, setting up plugins on a Magento-based site is a technically extensive affair, and may require hiring a skilled developer. Time and money are required for setting up a fully functional Magento-based online store.
Given the amount of power and scalability that Magento offers, it is perfect for those that plan to create big online stores, or who already have the merchandise ready to go.
The costs in terms of time and money with establishing and maintaining such a site also make it more suitable for larger businesses that have resources to spend.
Magento is a robust eCommerce platform, but its technical complexity and potential costs are not for everyone. This is where WooCommerce shines through with its simplicity and low cost of entry.
Unlike Magento, WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, making it easy to install and set up. This also comes with the upside that establishing a small online store can be completely free when using WordPress-based hosting, although this is not ideal.
On the downside, one is forced to utilize a WordPress platform, whether using WordPress hosting or one’s own hosting plan. This can be a detriment since WordPress was not designed for creating online stores, despite its versatility.
Since WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, stores created using this platform have access to all of the other plugins that WordPress has to offer.
For instance, one can use SumoMe to market their websites, check analytics, and manage mailing lists. If a webmaster can set up a WordPress site, then they can easily incorporate WooCommerce to start selling items.
In fact, if one already has a WordPress-based site established and wants to start selling items, it can be done with ease by installing and configuring the plugin.
WooCommerce may be easier to use than Magento, but this comes at the price of it not being as robust. For instance, WooCommerce’s product filtering is not as refined, making it less intuitive for customers to find what they are looking for.
Some of these issues can be rectified by utilizing other WordPress plugins, but even in conjunction with other plugins, WooCommerce just does not have the same specialized eCommerce features that Magento enjoys.
The Final Verdict
Magento and WooCommerce are both great choices for eCommerce websites, but the better option is ultimately your choice. If you are just getting into the eCommerce market, or if you plan on creating a smaller site, then WooCommerce is probably your better bet.
Larger businesses may want to invest in Magento since its features are well-suited for larger stores, and they will have the resources to set up and maintain a functioning Magento site.