When it comes to choosing an e-commerce platform it may feel overwhelming due to the vast amount of e-commerce platforms available. And while it may be tempting to go with the cheapest option, it could end up costing you more in the long run due to unforeseen costs.
So to make this choice a little easier for you, we’ll take a look at three of the most popular platforms – Wix, Shopify & WooCommerce – and compare each of them in various categories.
In terms of ease of use and the ability to create an e-commerce store yourself, Shopify wins hands down. You do not need any technical knowledge, nor do you need to be a developer to use Shopify. The interface is easy to use and creating a store takes a few minutes.
Wix comes in second in this category. While it isn’t as user-friendly as Shopify, it does allow for more customizations and has a developer mode.
WooCommerce. It is extremely customizable and can be designed to suit your needs. With this comes the need to hire a developer though which can become costly if paid once off. This cost can be greatly reduced if you pay a monthly fee instead.
Shopify and Wix both have a limited amount of third-party plugins available, most of which come at a monthly cost. WooCommerce on the other hand has a large library of official as well as third-party, free, and paid-for plugins. For any of these solutions, your goals and objectives will determine which plugins and additional functionality you’ll need. For most basic e-commerce stores, you can get away with the stock standard version of either.
For any online store, you will need to provide a way for customers to pay for the products they purchase. With either solution, you will need a payment gateway in order to handle these transactions and these gateways usually charge a transaction fee. Shopify, unfortunately, charges an additional transaction fee depending on your subscription with them. WooCommerce is a plugin that works with WordPress and is hosted wherever you want it to be hosted, so there are no additional transaction fees involved.
Depending on the subscription you choose with Shopify will determine the transaction fees. With their cheapest option of $29 per month, your transaction fees will be 2% per transaction. So the more you sell, the more you’ll end up paying which will quickly reduce your profit margins.
With the constant fluctuation of the rand/dollar exchange, it can become extremely costly to pay for subscriptions in dollars, which is why Shopify may not be the best option if you’re based in South Africa. All fees, from the subscription model to the plugins and the transaction fees are charged in dollars, and this can add up to a lot for South Africans. With WooCommerce, there are annual fees for premium plugins, and that’s it. There are no other hidden costs involved, so you won’t need to worry about paying for things that people purchase from your site.
In a nutshell, Shopify may be the way to go if you’re not worried about customizations and you’re not in South Africa, however, with our R/$ exchange, it can add up very quickly and become extremely costly in the long run.
We get that having an e-commerce website developed can become quite costly if you’re paying once off, that’s why we’ve decided to offer our clients the option to pay an affordable monthly rate instead. This will include any premium plugins purchased as well as maintenance and content updates when needed.