Ecommerce started to grow strongly in the last 5 years and it's in a continuous ascent, as now powers 45,4% percentage of the entire web. It is obvious that most of the customers use the internet to make a purchase. Since 2012, an increasing number of people buy things online and, today, there are around $1,92 trillion ecommerce sales worldwide.
So is ecommerce the business to focus on in the future? There's no doubt here.
The most popular Ecommerce platforms
There are a few popular ecommerce platforms that rule the world when it comes to their frequency on the entire web.
WooCommerce is used on 176,223 websites, whilst Magento and OpenCart are used on 102,514 and 60,133, respectively.
Why is WooCommerce the leader?
You're probably asking now what's so special about WooCommerce and why is it the first in the world. Well, WooCommerce is the ecommerce extension of WordPress, the most popular content management system, powering 25% of all the websites worldwide.
So, I think it's kind of obvious why WooCommerce is leading the ecommerce market. There are lots of WordPress users who have online shops, so WooCommerce is the most suitable solution for them.
But it’s not just that. WooCommerce provides great services, powerful features, it’s very easy to manage by everyone, and… it’s free. So, if you’re already on WordPress, you’re a winner, so to speak.
WooCommerce is at the top for its great and easy services, but it also comes with a couple of downsides. Well, nothing’s perfect. So, let’s talk a bit about both WooCommerce’s good and less good features.
- It’s free.
- Lets you add unlimited products and product attributes.
- Works on all devices.
- Once installed, it’s all yours. It comes with a large variety of customization options that are easy to use. You can control everything the way you want.
- It’s very easy to install and to use. Provides an intuitive interface and you don’t need any coding skills to manage it.
- It comes with user reviews and ratings, which means that you can give your customers the freedom to rate your products.
- This is more like a bonus… It will be a piece of cake for people who already have their sites on WordPress.
- It doesn’t come with free hosting and you need to pay for it. In fact, WooCommerce is a plugin that works only on WordPress.
- For a non-WordPress user, creating an online store can be a bit difficult because you need to take a host, install WordPress on it, choose a theme that is compatible with WooCommerce, and then install WooCommerce plugin.
- Even if the plugin is free, it can get a bit expensive to set the store eventually.
What about the competition?
You could say that WooCommerce is not that efficient if it doesn’t come with a fully-featured package, such as hosting and everything integrated. WooCommerce is not a stand-alone platform, it is a WordPress extension. WooCommerce is a plugin, whilst OpenCart, Shopify, and Magento are ecommerce-only platforms.
Shopify is the only platform amongst the most popular ones that comes with hosting integration. But, in the same time, it comes with a few limitations and doesn’t give you full control over your site. For instance, it provides only 3 product attributes: size, color, and material. Also, you won’t be able to make all the customizations that you need and you have to stick with what the platform has to offer. You can’t come with something from the outside. Shopify doesn’t offer a free plan either. But considering the fact that it’s bringing free hosting, it seems somehow legit. Plans start at $9 and end up at $179.
The other 2 platforms are free and you need to play for hosting too. But, the most important of all, you have a better control over your entire site. You can customize and modify every single detail about how your site looks, works, and the functionalities it should have.
Magento has a paid plan for the enterprises as well, which also comes with more complex features for big, international online shops such as Amazon.
Why using WordPress brings you a lot of benefits?
WordPress is the best website builder out here and is far ahead of its competitors, Joomla and Drupal. It is leading the market with 67% of the total number of sites that use a CMS. Joomla ranks second with a 11% percentage, followed by Drupal, with 7%.
Even if at first WordPress was just a blogging platform, it became very complex during this time and you can use it to create and manage any kind of website, including ecommerce. So, in the same time, you can create an online shop and use the site for something else as well. Magento, Shopify, and OpenCart are only made for ecommerce, so you can’t run a multipurpose site on them.
On the other hand, WordPress lets you have an overall control over your site. Besides the fact that you can combine your online store with any other purpose, such as blogs, portfolios, corporate pages, etc., it provides lots of (and I mean thousands) plugins, tools, themes, and integrations with plenty of modern online services. WordPress is compatible with almost anything on the web. And, depending on your budget, there are free, premium, and cheap premium services everywhere. So, there’s a big variety of tools and prices to fit anyone’s pockets and tastes.
Unlike Magento, for instance, which is for professionals and comes with a more difficult and complex interface, WordPress is really easy and friendly, so everyone can handle it pretty well. Working in WordPress is a piece of cake, as it comes with a very intuitive interface.
Even if it was made to be easy for every user, it is also a great source of development for all the coders and designers out here. It lets you use your best coding skills to create your own features, designs, and any other things you want.
However, for a large enterprise and store chain at an international scale, Magento should be your choice, as it was made to handle big amounts of content and to support lots of complex features and traits. If you’re planning something really huge, try Magento, but don't forget to read our Magento review first. Even though it’s likely to require a professional’s help.
Using WordPress for your online store sounds like the best option out here. Yes, it will charge you if you want the best stuff available, but you’ll be sure you’ll have a full control over your site. And by the way, there are as many free services as the paid ones. You only need to pay for a couple of things, most of them proving free versions as well.
In a nutshell
Whilst each of WooCommerce’s direct competitors exceed at something, but lack other important features, WordPress kind of has it all: open-source CMS, total control over your site, plenty of free and paid services, intuitive interface for beginners and possibility of development for the advanced, the option to make a multipurpose site (with online shop included), prices for all budgets, and other great stuff that’s barely waiting to be explored.
Feature image curtsey of Katya Prokofyeva