Choosing Between Magento And WooCommerce

News Choosing Between Magento And WooCommerce

If you’re an e-commerce retailer, or even thinking about setting up shop online, you’re going to need a professional, versatile website that can handle shopping baskets, customer enquiries and those all important purchase orders. The problem is that there are so many open source e-commerce services out there that selecting the right one for your business can be tricky, costing you time that could have been spent marketing and selling your products. Magento and WooCommerce are amongst the most popular e-commerce services out there, but which one is right for your business?

Before you make the leap, you need to understand the main difference between Magento and WooCommerce. The former, which is owned by eBay, is by design an e-commerce site for the sale of goods online. The latter works similarly to a plug-in, or extension, converting your WordPress site, into an e-commerce website.

Splitting Hairs

In terms of actual services offered by each e-commerce platform, both Magento and WooCommerce offer clients surprisingly similar packages and supplementary add-ons. Both platforms have excellent customer account and admin pages, allowing your users to securely store multiple shipping and banking details. Optimising each site for search engines is also relatively straightforward (if you understand SEO that is, if not, that’s a wholly separate blog entry). And when it comes to general management and customisability, both e-commerce services afford users a high level of choice relative to what they’re willing to invest.

Reflecting On Your Business

The key to making a well informed choice as to which e-commerce platform to use is actually to look closely at your own business and take it from there. Whilst both Magento and WooCommerce try to be equally user friendly, you might be better suited to one rather than the other based on your business model, products and clientele.

WooCommerce has been designed so that new users, specifically those who don’t have extensive programming experience, can adapt an existing site to sell goods over the internet. Whilst this might initially seem like a great freebie, you’ll end up paying later on if you want to match the services offered  by your competitors. Whilst the basic packages allow you to sell products online and receive ratings from your customers, as soon as you want to integrate different payment methods or any more advanced features, you’ll find yourself paying for A LOT of expensive add-ons.

Magento requires intermediate programming knowledge to set up and maintain, but offers a more comprehensive list of features to those looking to do business on an international scale. In the long run a Magento site will cost you more to run, as the chances are you’ll need to enlist the help of a qualified web-developer, but will in turn offer a more rounded, flexible e-commerce platform. It also means that your users will have a more comfortable, streamlined experience, encouraging them to convert again and again.

Making The Jump

We could write at least 4-5 blog articles that detail all the different features offered by Magento and WooCommerce, but the bottom line is that your business’s needs have to make the decision for you. If you’re the owner of a small business, distributing a select set of products to a largely national customer-base, then you’re probably best opting for a WooCommerce website. These sites are easy to set up, and their basic level of features enables even the least computer savvy to start selling their products online. If, however, you find yourself branching out into a more complex array of products, or perhaps struggling to accommodate an international market, then it might be time to take the plunge and enlist an experienced web-developer to help you build a comprehensive Magento e-commerce site. If you’d like to enquire about working with us to build an attractive, versatile site for your business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our developers today!

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