It is a Hosted Platform
If you were to go ahead with Shopify, you would not have to worry about
the additional technicalities such as hosting and SSL certificates as
Shopify is an eCommerce platform that is hosted. As benefiting as it may sound,
this very same inspiration also gives rise to vendor lock-in: this brings
about quite a disadvantage as you would be exposed to the threat of having
to shut down your online business in case Shopify is no more.
But even worse is the fact that you would find it extremely difficult and complicated
to shift from Shopify to another eCommerce platform when and if the need arises.
Worst case scenario, during a transition you would have to start from the
very beginning in order to host your eCommerce website on a different platform.
On the face of it, Shopify may look to be extremely affordable
as its price range starts from a really low number of $9 per month
and varies to $299 per month based on the features you opt for. However,
once you begin to actually delve deeper, you may notice the additional
expenses you have to incur in order to establish a powerful eCommerce platform.
The following are few such unexpected costs that you come across on Shopify platforms:
- Transaction fees for payment methods that are not Shopify Payments
- Charges for processing credit cards - Do note that this charge lessens based on how expensive the Shopify package you use is
- Extra expenses for additional features such as order tracking and loyalty programs
The outlook of eCommerce website solutions does play a major role
when attracting and retaining customers to your eCommerce website.
This is because, with the evolving technology, users expect more advanced
and creative web designs instead of the generic ones you find off the shelf.
When it comes to Shopify, it does offer amazing themes that are
really attractive and appealing. But unfortunately, their themes
do have quite a few drawbacks.
- Shopify’s official theme store offers only a limited number
of themes as of now. Due to the limited number of options,
chances are that there are many other eCommerce stores out there
that use the same theme as you. This becomes even worse if you
were to go ahead with the most catchy and effective theme as
then the theme would be even more commonly used.
However, do note that there are few external parties that
do offer themes for Shopify eCommerce platforms. Therefore,
if you are not satisfied with the official theme store,
you can consider one of these outside parties for your eCommerce theme.
Shopify themes are quite expensive. Although there are few
free themes in their store, these do not consist of the premium features
you get with the paid packages.
Unfortunately, these paid packages are quite expensive: ranging
from $140 to a whopping $180. The cost becomes even more evident
when compared to WordPress themes that could be obtained at an
amazing price of $80.
Expensive Third-Party Apps
Similar to WordPress’s plugins, Shopify also does have third-party
applications that are extremely useful in enhancing your eCommerce store.
These apps may be used for a broad range of necessities such as
automating several parts of your online store or even enhancing the
While some of these additional applications are offered for free,
the others are quite pricey. For instance, it would cost you an extra $39.99 per month
for you to allow subscriptions and add recurring charges. If you were
to add the pre-order function for your eCommerce store so that your customers
can enjoy a better experience, then that is another $24.95 per month for you.
Hence, Shopify might not be the ideal option for those eCommerce platforms
that are just getting started with their business.
Limited Possibilities For Customization
In Shopify, the options for customization are limited to changing
the fonts and color to your preference and updating your eCommerce store logo.
But, if you want to do something more, you either need to hire the
services of Shopify eCommerce website designers or do it yourself - which
is going to be extremely complicated if you are not someone with the
required knowledge and skills.
In addition to this, if the need arises to customize your Shopify theme,
then you need to be aware of their programming language - Liquid.
Not surprisingly, Liquid does not have a strong online support community
such as the other popular programming languages like Java do. So this
customization might consume way more time and resources than expected.
Owing to the above factors, if you were to still go ahead with Shopify
your best bet would be to hire a developer skilled and experienced in
working with Shopify. However, this is not as easy as it sounds either.
This is because Shopify developers charge a more expensive hourly rate
and are also very rare to find compared to the availability and charges
of other eCommerce website developers.
A Time-Consuming Learning Process
Shopify uses quite different terms and standards when compared
to the other eCommerce website solutions in the market. One of the
best examples for this is their use of the word “Collections” instead
of the word “Categories”. Moreover, the different customization options
available on Shopify are distributed between both the front-end and back-end.
As a result, you would have to continuously move in between in order
to accomplish your preferences. Hence, the learning curve of Shopify
is denser compared to the other eCommerce platforms that are currently in use.
The Best Option For Your eCommerce Platform: WooCommerce
If Shopify is not your best bet, then what is? Well, WooCommerce is.
It is the ideal solution to get started with an effective eCommerce website
for your business. WooCommerce is an entirely FREE plugin for WordPress
that lets you implement an all-inclusive eCommerce platform with a broad
range of wonderful features. Ergo, let us take a look at what makes WooCommerce
better than Shopify?
Zero Exposure To Vendor Lock-in
WooCommerce is a plugin that you can download and integrate with your
WordPress website at zero costs. You can make your own changes to the plugin
as it is an open-source platform with many capabilities. Hence, you no longer
have to worry about the repercussions of your hosting service provider going
out of business, because you can easily choose your own hosting company and
migrate to others as you wish.
Stunning Themes At Extremely Affordable Rates
WooCommerce offers several thousands of stunning themes for free,
and they could be obtained from both the official repository for
Shopify themes as well as other external theme markets. However, WooCommerce
also has premium themes that are carefully designed with the intention
of bringing about more sales for effective eCommerce websites. These
premium themes include powerful features such as the captivating call
to actions, advanced filtering options, one-page checkouts and so much more.
But what is simply amazing is that WooCommerce offers these themes
at an astonishing price of $70 to $80 a month. This is a significant
reduction compared to the exorbitant prices of Shopify themes, not to
forget that you need to spend extra on Shopify for the added features.
Powerful Add-ons At Reasonable Prices
WooCommerce has a large collection of powerful add-ons that could
be very useful in enhancing the performance and functionalities
of your eCommerce platform. These add-ons can be found for free,
but you can also find premium add-ons at reasonable prices. Some of these
premium add-ons include those that let you facilitate different payment gateways,
bitcoin transactions, and user subscriptions. But what differentiates these
add-ons from those on Shopify is that these could be obtained at really affordable prices
that are either a one-off payment or an annual subscription. Hence, you would
not have to incur large cash outflows in order to integrate differentiated features
on your eCommerce platform.
Absolute Control Over Your Ecommerce Platform
As mentioned previously, WooCommerce is an open-source platform
and thus, you can make modifications and changes to your heart’s desire.
But even better, you can actually design and develop your very own features
and plugins that you think would better your eCommerce platform.
Not to forget, you would not be under the control of any host, therefore,
you have absolute control over your content and can easily switch between
hosting providers if and when the need arises.
Zero Transaction Charges
Another great thing about WooCommerce is that you do not have to pay
an extra transaction fee whenever a customer makes a purchase from your online store.
This is one of the greatest advantages provided by WooCommerce over Shopify.
But, do note that you still have to incur the processing fee charged by
the payment gateways for processing credit cards. This additional charge
is usually seen in payment gateways such as PayPal and Stripe.
To Take Away
Shopify is an eCommerce platform that was ideated with the intention
of offering user-friendly and effective eCommerce websites at reasonable prices.
Although it is well sought-after in the market, Shopify does have several
drawbacks that make it not the best of choices to set up an eCommerce platform.
These drawbacks include the expensive packages, costly themes, vendor lock-in,
and the complications in learning the ins and outs of Shopify.
This is where WooCommerce comes into place. WooCommerce is
one of the most popular eCommerce platforms in the market that
bring about effective solutions for the drawbacks brought about by Shopify.
It also should be noted that WooCommerce offers services at extremely affordable rates,
has no vendor lock-in, is easy to customize, and also has a broad
array of powerful add-ons and plugins that significantly enhances the eCommerce experience.
Therefore, if you are looking to get started with your very own eCommerce website
with responsive web design, WooCommerce is an ideal option. The amazing features
and the valuable benefits offered at amazing rates makes it clear that WooCommerce
is the place to start for your online business. Hence, make no further delays and
kickstart your online business with an exquisite WooCommerce online platform.