In a market as saturated as the e-commerce platform market, it can be very difficult to figure out which shopping cart software best meets your needs. If you are considering starting your own store, then chances are you have already run into this struggle at some point. I can help you to chose and set up the right one.

Shopify

Shopify Logo

Shopify Description: Shopify is currently by far the most popular (based on search volume) Ecommerce platform in the UK. This is due in part to the fact that’s among the easiest to set-up and customise.

Their large range of themes and apps means you can create a unique online store with pretty much no coding knowledge.

They also make it incredibly easy to start accepting credit card payments with Shopify Payments. Plus, they can even help you start selling offline with Shopify POS.

The main downside to Shopify is that they are not the cheapest option on the market. However, with a 14-day free trial (no credit card required) they allow you to test their platform before you actually spend any money on it.

Shopify Features:

  • Unlimited number of products
  • Full Website and blog using your own domain name
  • Integrated payment solution
  • Free SSL certificate
  • 24/7 support
  • Discount codes
  • Can also sell offline via Shopify POS
  • Ability to set-up a Facebook store
  • Large range of shipping apps
  • Sync inventory and orders across sales channels (e.g. Amazon, eBay, etc.)

You can see a full list of tools and features on their website.

Shopify Pros:

  • 14-day free trial (with no credit card required)
  • Large range of apps and themes
  • Integrated payments makes accepting credit cards easy
  • Unlimited products on all plans
  • Pricing is clearly displayed

Shopify Cons:

  • Fees can add-up (e.g. monthly, payment processing, apps, theme, etc.)
  • Blogging platform not as advanced as WordPress
  • Can be difficult to migrate to a different platform down the road

Final Verdict: If you want an easy to set-up, all-in-one eCommerce solution, Shopify is worth trying since there is no upfront cost and no risk.

 

WooCommerce

woocommerce logo

WooCommerce Description: By market share WooCommerce is now the most popular Ecommerce platform according to built with. 11% of the Top 10,000 Ecommerce websites (with a further 9% using WooCommerce Checkout) are using it.

WooCommerce is “free” and is built on WordPress. This gives you access to the largest possible range of plugins and themes of any online platform.

The main downside to the platform compared to Shopify or EKM is that it requires a bit more technical knowledge to set-up. You’ll need to find your own WooComerce hosting and payment gateway in addition to finding a website theme and adding custom plugins.

You also won’t have access to dedicated customer support as you would with a platform such as Shopify or EKM, which means if you have problems with your store you may be on your own.

WooCommerce Features:

  • Built on WordPress which runs 26% of the web.
  • Seamlessly integrates commerce with content.
  • Only add the options you want.
  • Use it to sell anything (physical products and digital downloads to subscriptions, content and even appointments)
  • Add unlimited products and users
  • Take unlimited orders
  • More than 400 official extensions
  • Edit any part of your site
  • Built-in blogging
  • Embed products, checkout and more on any page

WooCommerce Pros:

  • Cheapest option out of the box. Although does still require WooComerce hosting (from £2.75/mo).
  • Largest number of themes to choose from
  • Biggest range of plugins to choose from
  • No limits on what and how much you can sell
  • Ability to customise almost any part of your store and site

WooCommerce Cons:

  • Set-up is not as quick as Shopify or EKM
  • Requires more technical knowledge to set-up than some other platforms.
  • Have to use a third-party payment gateway
  • Many extensions still cost money
  • No support if you have issues with your site.

Final Verdict: If you know how to built a site in WordPress and are comfortable troubleshooting your own technical issues, WooCommerce offers you the greatest degree of flexibility and customisation at the lowest price of any of the platforms here.

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