Research from BigCommerce has found that Americans are about evenly split on online versus offline shopping, with 51% of Americans preferring e-commerce and 49% preferring physical stores. However, 67% of millennials prefer shopping online over offline. According to Forbes, 40% of millennials are also already using voice assistants to make purchases, with that number expected to surpass 50% by 2020.
One important thing to point out is to not get overly excited with WooCommerce’s seemingly attractive pricing too much. While, yes, the platform itself is free, and all the components needed to make it operational (including PayPal payments, etc.) are free, you might need a number of paid extensions to get some helpful additional features. This will grow your bill.
At WP Engine, we are proud to host a number of ecommerce sites. We combine a dedicated work environment with a toolkit for WooCommerce integration. We will protect your ecommerce shop when you need protection most; you won’t need to worry about high traffic conflicting with your sales revenue. Our digital experience platform will provide your business with SEO ready performance, improved mobile UX, and third party integrations (Shopify, BigCommerce, etc.) to integrate stores running on other platforms with WordPress.
Getting an online store launched on Magento from scratch is even more problematic than on WooCommerce. First off, there are two versions of Magento: the first one is the free community version (which is software that you can download and then install on a server – kind of like WordPress+WooCommerce), the second one is a hosted service (one that you can just sign up to – kind of like Shopify).
Determine compatibility – Skill level and expertise aren’t enough. You should also ensure that the consultant has a great relationship with you and your staff. Take time to evaluate cultural fit and see if they’re compatible with your team. Look into their work ethic. How do they operate? How do they interact with others? The answers to these questions can help you determine if they’re a good fit.
This complimentary document comprehensively details the elements of a strategic IT plan that are common across the board – from identifying technology gaps and risks to allocating IT resources and capabilities. The SearchCIO.com team has compiled its most effective, most objective, most valued feedback into this single document that’s guaranteed to help you better select, manage, and track IT projects for superior service delivery.
For those seeking something in between Magento Go and Magento Enterprise, Magento Community is your go-to. It is free with paid extensions, features mobile integration, plenty of themes, and multi-store functionality. Magento Community will best serve retailers with high traffic and a large inventory and is ideal for mid-sized to upper retailers. Essential, with a series of extensions and excellent programming, retailers can achieve an Enterprise level site and a sophisticated ecommerce experience.
You’re probably used to using this online retailer to buy everything from the best headphones to dog food, so why not add some free music to your shopping list? Believe it or not, Amazon has a massive assortment of thousands of free tunes available via its digital music arm, allowing you to pick through everything from obscure indie and classical music to hits by the Foo Fighters (whose songs Saint Cecelia and Iron Rooster were available for free download on the service, last we checked). Checkout is quick and painless, and it works just like buying a song that costs money on Amazon, sans payment. Simply add a song to your shopping cart, check out, and the tunes are yours.
Weebly has four price plans, all of which support ecommerce. It might not really matter which Weebly plan you choose – you can sell online with any of them – but the best plan for you will depend on the size of your business. You can only sell up to 10 products on the cheapest Starter plan, whereas if you want to sell unlimited products, you’ll need the Business plan at $25 a month. This also removes the 3% transaction fee placed on the cheaper price plans.
But, the devil is in the details. At the end of the day, Shopify seems like a more laser-focused solution. Everything that Shopify offers is geared at making your online store more functional and easy to use. With WooCommerce, the platform is extremely feature-rich and it doesn't lack any specific eCommerce features. However, it's still an add-on to WordPress, making it more complex to configure.
Using Magento is not for everyone, especially if the store owner is not a programmer, or doesn't have a team of programmers working on his or her team. And then there's the price tag; the basic version is free, but getting an enterprise version means you'll need to shell out at least $20,000/year. If you don't have programmers on staff, be prepared to invest in third-party programming costs as well.
Serving niche markets. Running a niche brick-and-mortar business is extremely difficult. There’s almost no chance of scaling it unless a niche product becomes mainstream. By tapping into a global market, on the other hand, eCommerce retailers can build a highly profitable niche business without any further investment. Using online search capabilities, customers from any corner of the world can find and purchase your products.
Of course, you could use a standard WordPress theme – many fully support WooCommerce. However, WooCommerce-specific themes are built from the ground up with the ecommerce platform in mind, so they’re often a smarter bet. There are some excellent free choices out there, and you can also find premium options that include more features for a set price.
For self-hosted, you’ll be running your site on your own server, so you have full control over management and maintenance. This means that if you want to make updates to the main code of your site, you’re able to do that on your end without relying on another company or web host to process your request. You can do pretty much anything on your site if you’re running it on your own machine, and this makes self-hosting an attractive option for many.
The platform is truly everything you want out of an ecommerce solution, equipped with PCI compliance, tax calculation features, return management modules, loyalty programs, email marketing, and more. While the interface’s dashboard can be a little tricky, there are some beneficial features, such as the ability to list and add product attributes, site management functions, and SEO optimization features. Magento Enterprise is primarily geared toward retailers who want the all-in, hands off package.
At this stage, you’ll be itching to get the store out into the World Wide Web. However, make sure you’re well prepared to measure the success of your launch – defining your key performance indicators upfront will help you track your progress and performance and fix any issues as they emerge. Other important things to take care of include setting up your social media profiles, getting the email marketing ready, installing Google Analytics, doing keyword research, defining your shipping strategy and finalizing the launch promotion plan. Yes, that’s a lot of work, but a good start is half the job done. When you complete the checklist, try running your store through the Shopify store grader to catch errors if there are any.
Electronic commerce or ecommerce is a term for any type of business, or commercial transaction, that involves the transfer of information across the Internet. It covers a range of different types of businesses, from consumer based retail sites, through auction or music sites, to business exchanges trading goods and services between corporations. It is currently one of the most important aspects of the Internet to emerge.
Tracey Wallace is the Editor-in-Chief at BigCommerce, where she covers all things ecommerce: marketing, design, development, strategy, plus emerging trends, including omnichannel and cloud replatforming. She is often featured in publications, such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, Mashable, and ELLE, along with leading BigCommerce partners like HubSpot and Square. She launched her career in ecommerce with Y-Combinator backed Shoptiques.
Spree Commerce empowers the world’s sellers by providing them with a versatile, modular open-source ecommerce platform that allows for easy integrations with every major third-party service. Spree benefits from a vibrant, international community of over 500 designers, developers and other professionals who have enthusiastically contributed to the growing platform since 2008, making it one of the top open source projects in the world. In 2013, the company launched Wombat, a sophisticated piece of integration software that connects any store to any service or application. Wombat automates the backend operations of storefronts running any ecommerce platform including Magento, Shopify, Bigcommerce and Prestashop.
After disabling each plugin, test your site’s loading times to see if there are any improvements. If speeds remain the same – or the improvement is minimal – reactivate that plugin and try the next one instead. Keep in mind that there are likely to be some small variations during each performance test, so we recommend conducting a few and averaging the results for a more complete picture.