A large percentage of ecommerce stores have been created using either the BigCommerce or WooCommerce platform. These two heavyweights have made it much easier to create a complex system that will process online orders but which platform should you use?
Before we get into the pros and cons of these two ecommerce website builders, let’s look at what you should be looking for when choosing a platform.
5 Things to Look for in an Ecommerce Platform
- Budget. Before you start your search, decide on a budget. No two stores are the same so if you know that you’ll require additional features, make sure that you have some budget set aside for them.
- Ease of Use. The more user-friendly a platform is, the better it will be for you in the long run. When you’re relying on online sales to meet your monthly expenses, you don’t want to have to battle with a complicated system.
- Scalability. If you plan to grow your store in the future, make sure that the platform you use gives you this option.
- Support. How good is the customer support and how quickly will you be able to get a response to your queries?
- Payment Methods. What payment gateways would you prefer to use? A platform that offers multiple payment gateways is always a better choice.
These are the basics that you should look out for if you want to start an ecommerce business. The rest of the features all depend on what your specific requirements are.
WooCommerce: A Look at the Pros and Cons
WooCommerce has been around since 2008 and it’s still as popular as ever. This open-source platform is absolutely free and the engaged community means there is an abundance of information and tips available.
- It’s free and open source. WooCommerce is completely free and gives users the option to collaborate with designers and programmers in order to create something that’s all their own.
- Highly flexible. WooCommerce is suitable for absolutely any type of ecommerce store, regardless of the products, services or customers. Because it’s so customisable, it’s also highly flexible.
- Very secure. Since security is a top priority when you’re running an online store, you will be pleased to know that a properly setup and supported WooCommerce installations is one of the more secure platforms around today.
- Ongoing support. Along with WooCommerce’s actual customer support team, there is a large community that is constantly engaged, asking questions and offering support to other users. So, chances are, you won’t need to wait very long to find a solution to your problem or an answer to your query.
- Some extensions require payment. If you want specific functionality, there are certain extensions that require a once-off or monthly fee. Secure payment gateways are just one example of an add-on that you will need to pay for.
- Knowledge of WordPress is required. In order to use the WooCommerce platform, you will need to be familiar with WordPress, which might be an additional requirement for some.
- Too many features can cause speed issues. When you first start creating your website using WooCommerce, it can be difficult to not take advantage of all the excellent features and plugins. Unfortunately, all of these extras can slow down your website tremendously.
BigCommerce: A Look at the Pros and Cons
BigCommerce is only a year younger than WooCommerce and is home to some big brands, including Toyota and Kodak. However, it’s just as great for those who are just getting started in the ecommerce space.
- Easy to learn and navigate. The vast amount of resources that are available for BigCommerce ensure that you can easily learn everything you need to about how to build the best site possible. The BigCommerce University is filled with helpful guides and videos.
- Fast and secure. BigCommerce understands how essential speed and security are to online store owners, which is why they’ve made it such a prominent focus. A team of professionals takes care of all speed and security issues for the platform, which means this is one less thing for owners to worry about.
- Large selection of built-in features. BigCommerce has a very big range of additional features that will help you take your store to the next level. From creating coupon codes and collecting customer reviews to Google Shopping integration and Google Ad generation, you can set up, manage and market your store without having to search for add-ons.
- Helpful customer service team. It’s not difficult to get in touch with someone at BigCommerce who can assist you with your queries and problems, which is important when you need a fast turnaround time.
- Simple interface. The BigCommerce interface and overall platform design is easy to use and navigate, meaning you won’t need to spend longer than necessary trying to get your store set up.
- There are additional costs. Along with paying a monthly fee to use the platform, website owners will also need to budget for transaction fees. There are also different plans available, some of which include more features than others. If you want to add specific features your site when you’re on a more basic plan, you will need to pay for those 3rd party apps and plugins.
- Users are locked in. If you ever had to decide to move your site to a self-hosted platform or another platform entirely, this won’t be an easy process because almost everything is built in to the BigCommerce platform. There’s a chance you will need to pay a developer to assist you with the migration – switching costs can be high.
- Add-on availability. Unlike WooCommerce, it’s not as easy to find very specific add-ons and features with BigCommerce because everything is built into the platform.
- Inventory management can be complicated. If you have a large range of products, you won’t be able to manage your inventory from a dedicated area. You will need to work on a per-product basis, which can really kill your efficiency.
Recommended Read: Squarespace vs. WordPress
The Bottom Line
There are a few notable differences between these two ecommerce platforms. Once you’ve completed some investigation and research, it should be quite clear which one meets your specific needs. If you’re happy with everything being on one platform and aren’t looking to customise your store with the help of a developer, BigCommerce could be a good solution for you. However, if you want more flexibility and don’t necessarily want to pay a large fee every month, WooCommerce is the better choice.
If you need assistance with the creation of your ecommerce platform, get in touch to find out how we can assist you.
Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments section below.