The covid-19 pandemic has been the catalyst for a lot of social and economic changes. A combination of social distancing rules and closure of many retail outlets has steered our shopping habits online. As a result, e-commerce is growing faster than ever.
Of the many e-commerce platforms available, two stand out as exceptional options for an online retailer. Both WooCommerce and Shopify provide the merchant with a superb sales tool and the consumer with a secure shopping experience. In terms of operation, however, the two platforms are very different.
First launched in 2006, subscription-based Shopify provides an all-inclusive e-commerce package, including domain name, web hosting, SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate, PCI-DSS (payment card industry data security standard) compliance, and a great number of in-built e-commerce tools.
Technical maintenance is carried out by Shopify Inc, and as a fully scalable e-commerce platform, Shopify can accommodate unlimited increase in both inventory and transactions.
When a third-party payment service is used – PayPal, for example – Shopify charges the merchant 2% on each transaction. The implications of excluding this form of payment could be detrimental to an online business, so the 2% per transaction on all third-party-facilitated payments is an important point to consider.
Although the Basic Shopify plan includes the necessary features for setting up an online store, a growing business will eventually require additional tools that can handle the demands of increased trade. These tools are available, but the all-singing-all-dancing Advanced Shopify package comes at a cost of ten times the basic plan.
WooCommerce – which calls itself the world’s most customisable e-commerce platform – is an open-source e-commerce plug-in for WordPress. WooCommerce, which was first released in 2011, is not a stand-alone e-commerce system, but a piece of software that adds e-commerce functionality to a WordPress site.
As an open-source, self-hosted platform, WooCommerce software is free, and its potential for customisation is inexhaustible. With more than 55,000 WordPress plug-ins available, you, the merchant, have full control over format and function. But remember: when you start using WooCommerce, you’ll need to obtain SSL and PCI-DSS certification – data protection measures that are mandatory for all traders who store and process credit card details.
Once your online shop is up and running, you can take advantage of features such as configurable shipping options, tax calculator, and marketing features like discount codes and vouchers. There’s also a very useful analytics feature, which produces reports on orders, web traffic, and sales trends, as well as gross and net earnings. With the WooCommerce platform, there’s no additional charge for transactions made through a third-party payment service.
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Article produced for and on behalf of PCSimple Ltd by Hazel @ Folio Copywriting