When it comes to running your eCommerce business, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Not only do you have to stand out in the crowded digital marketplace, but you also have to manage your store efficiently. “Over the last seven years, digital buyers worldwide increased from 1.32 billion in 2014 to 2.14 billion this year,” reports Forbes magazine, so now is the time when your choice of eCommerce platform becomes crucial. Choosing the right eCommerce platform for your brand could make all the difference in your day-to-day processes, from inventory management to SEO optimization to bookkeeping to streamlining your marketing efforts. More importantly, the platform you pick will determine how much you can scale your eCommerce store. We took a look at a few of the most popular eCommerce platforms right now, so we could compare their pros, cons, and price points and tell you which one we’d recommend starting an online store in 2022.
Way ahead of all the competition in this aspect, WooCommerce is the absolute winner in terms of customizability and scalability. WooCommerce is a WordPress extension, and you may already know that WordPress is known for its unlimited customizability. WooCommerce powers over 30% of online stores, and consequently there are thousands of plugins available to extend it. In terms of extensions, WooCommerce is the most expansive of all the eCommerce platforms, which means much more varied functionality is available to the user. Similarly, the platform has official partnerships with and offers support from a wide array of partners, like MyWorks Sync, to extend your eCommerce store’s capabilities. WooCommerce also wins in the SEO field – with amazing flexibility to pursue your unique SEO and content strategy. Even if your brand is already established, a strong SEO strategy will be your greatest ally to have any fighting chance of expanding through meeting new audiences digitally.
Among WooCommerce’s few downsides is its initial complexity – as it would be set up within a WordPress site, which can be hosted anywhere you choose. As with most things, additional features tend to require a steeper learning curve. However, when that learning curve is beaten, there really is no limit to the ways you can operate and customize your store. You may consider the fact that you will need to pay for external hosting a con, however, if your business is already running a website, you likely already cover those costs. Even as an added cost, it is likely much less than the cost of its alternatives such as Shopify which requires a monthly subscription.
Free, but you need to pay to be hosting a website, may need a developer for some customizations/maintenance, and not all plugins are free.
Users report that Shopify loads fast and is easy to use, so it’s a good tool for beginners. Shopify boasts great functionality for dropshipping, so if your business doesn’t keep items in stock but rather passes on purchase orders to third-party suppliers, Shopify might be a good platform for you. You can also integrate your Shopify storefront with a wide variety of 1-click shopping plugins, which is a great conversion driving strategy if your product is an “impulse buy” item.
Shopify tends to be limited in many areas. First, it doesn’t lend itself to customization, content, or blogging. Due to its lack of functionality, it’s less scalable and lends itself less to easy SEO optimization. This means if you rely on a lot of search engine lead generation, this may not be the best option for you. The Shopify checkout screen isn’t too customizable, so product options and payment adjustments may not be seamless to integrate into your customer journey. Many of the plugins available for Shopify are pricey, so full customization might not be in everybody’s budget. The costs of running a full-featured Shopify store are quite high, so even if you don’t need all the features now, you may want to consider your future needs and Shopify’s limited scalability.
Most importantly, in our opinion – Shopify manages your store/content. While this is great for an easier hands-off approach, it also means that if you decide you’d like to stop paying Shopify, all that you’ve worked for on your store would simply disappear once you close your Shopify account.
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial, with basic packages starting at $29 per month. The price for a full-featured and scalable eCommerce platform could be in the thousands per month.
One draw towards Bigcommerce is the platform’s scalability. By allowing a fair amount of customizability, this platform will grow with your store as your brand gains traction. It may present as one of the better choices for the confidently hopeful entrepreneur. If you’re selling products or offerings through more than one sales channel, the multi-channel sales functionality of Bigcommerce has been acknowledged as functional, so it may streamline that process into one central locus of control for you. Bigcommerce storefronts also appear to rank high in search results, however not as high as WooCommerce pages. so the SEO aspects of your pages are customizable and effective.
Unfortunately, Bigcommerce users report frequent problems with inconsistent loading speeds, which makes for an unreliable shopping experience. You also get charged by traffic volume on larger stores, so your financial success in a busy season could be equally matched by raising service charges from the eCommerce platform. There’s no way to rig up your Bigcommerce storefront for 1-click selling, which may prevent some extra impulse conversions from coming your way.
Bigcommerce offers a free 15-day trial, then starts at $29.95 per month after that.
Though all of these eCommerce platforms have stand-out features, the one we’d choose for Best eCommerce Platform for 2022 would have to be WooCommerce. First and foremost, the platform’s incredible scalability and customizability mean you can use it to build any type of business – as unique and customized as you’d like. WooCommerce is scalable, meaning it can grow and support you from small business to large enterprise. The platform’s SEO capacity also provides a huge advantage for organic growth.
Lastly, we love WooCommerce because of how seamlessly it supports and integrates with hundreds of extensions that add limitless features. Extensions such as MyWorks QuickBooks Sync for WooCommerce can be added to automate additional business workflows like your accounting. By choosing to automate your accounting with MyWorks, you can save yourself countless hours of manual data entry, inventory management, and manual order entry. Free up your hours to spend them doing what really matters to you.