Are you thinking of starting a WordPress online store? Not that you could have had a better time.
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54% of shoppers plan to make monthly purchases online, 34% of online purchases will be made from mobile devices, 67% of shoppers are influenced by social media. These are the data of a study conducted by PWC, which confirms the increased appetite for online consumption.
So, as I said, you couldn’t find a better time to start an internet business. And if your business involves a WordPress online store, you’re probably wondering if this is the right choice for you.
Well, the answer is more complex than a simple, short “yes” or “no”. Let’s see why.
Find out what you need to start a home-based business.
Various options for WordPress online store
There are several options when it comes to creating an online store: WooCommerce (WordPress eCommerce extension), Magento, OpenCart, PrestaShop or even making it using a custom platform, belonging to the web design agency you work with. There are many platforms on the market that can be used to create an online store. Here is a list of some of them:
The creation of a WordPress online store is done through WooCommerce, which, according to the data, is the most used, with a market share of 28%. What makes it successful? The ease of use, the multitude of options available, the well-developed services and the fact that it is free.
However, as nothing is really perfect, let’s take a closer look at the strengths and weaknesses of a WordPress online store.
- The platform and plugins are free.
- You can add an unlimited number of products and product attributes.
- Works on any type of device.
- Once installed, you have total control. Comes with a variety of options that can be easily customized according to your preferences and needs.
- It is very easy to install and use. It has an intuitive interface, so you don’t need IT skills and knowledge to handle it.
- Offers the ability to get reviews and ratings from your customers.
- It is extremely accessible to those whose site is already running on the WordPress platform.
- You don’t have free hosting, so you’ll have to buy one. Luckily you can benefit from easily accessible hosting services.
- For those whose site is on another platform, creating a WordPress online store is a bit more difficult, as you need another dedicated website, on which you need to install WordPress and only then install the WooCommerce plugin.
- Even if the plugin is free, setting up the WordPress online store may incur additional costs.
- Although the platform allows you to run an online store with about 5 thousand products, due to the large number of images and the volume of content, the loading speed of the site will decrease. Although special plugins can be installed for image optimization and compression, the large volume of products will make it difficult for both users and administrators to use the site.
What makes dedicated eCommerce platforms different?
The major difference between a WordPress online store and the rest is that WooCommerce is actually a WordPress extension created to support those who need an online store, not just a blog or presentation site. Magento, OpenCart, Prestashop are, on the other hand, dedicated eCommerce platforms.
And, if we keep talking about them, OpenCart and PrestaShop are 2 free platforms, for which you still need hosting. On the other hand, you have good control over your site, you can modify and customize every aspect of how it looks and works.
In the case of the Magento platform, it offers paid service plans, coming with much more complex and dedicated options, including very large online stores.
As for the performance of a WooCommerce online store, discover 3 practical solutions for an online store that is difficult to load.
WordPress online store or a dedicated eCommerce platform?
Even though WordPress debuted as a blogging platform, over time it has become extremely complex, now offering the ability to create and manage any type of website, including eCommerce. Thus, any of its users has the opportunity, for example, to create a WordPress online store but also an integrated blog.
However, Magento, OpenCart or PrestaShop are designed and created exclusively for eCommerce and you cannot run a multi-purpose site with them, both for sale and for content creation.
Then, in addition to the fact that WordPress allows you to combine an online store with any other option, such as blog, portfolio, corporate pages, it also gives you access to thousands and thousands of tools, plugins, themes and is compatible with almost any service. online. Depending on your budget, WordPress offers free or premium services (but affordable) and super premium.
So, there are a variety of options tailored to the possibilities, tastes and needs of any user.
Analyze the most popular free WordPress themes for successful blogs.
Magento, on the other hand, is more aimed at online professionals, offering a more complex interface, but also more difficult to use for the uninitiated. At the same time, it has the ability to support and provide the necessary tools and support to medium-sized companies or giants in the eCommerce area, such as Amazon.
Premium versions offer included hosting, dedicated services, a variety of options and extensions, the ability to add an unlimited number of products, advanced security options.
On the other hand, WordPress comes with an intuitive interface, extremely friendly and easy to use, so anyone can handle it on their own, even without professional help.
A WordPress online store could be ideal for you because: you have total control over the site, a multitude of free or paid services, intuitive interface for beginners, but also the ability to make changes to HTML(learn to build yourself) and PHP codes, for advanced , the possibility to have a site with multiple purposes (with online store included), prices for any budget.
In addition, it is perfect for those entrepreneurs who are at the beginning of the road in terms of online in general and eCommerce in particular.
But, because there is a but…
If you think “big”, you plan to fight side by side with a giant on the market, if you need more complex options, a diversity and a large amount of products, a generous budget and something more many skills and knowledge in the field (or the possibility to pay for them) a dedicated ecommerce platform or even one programmed from scratch would be the right solution for you.
Whatever your choice, if your level of knowledge is at the beginning, creating a WordPress online store on your own will cost you a lot of time and money. That’s why we strongly recommend that you turn to a WordPress web design agency to help you get started right but also to have time to focus on the things that really matter: attracting customers.