Welcome to the third instalment of our Ultimate Buyers’ Guide to Magento series.
This is where you can get an insight into the Magento e-commerce platform and decide whether it’s right for you and your business.
This week we take a look at how Magento compares with Woocommerce. At a glance they appear strikingly similar; they are both open-source, highly customisable, SEO-friendly and supported by active, online communities of users and developers.
But, when you examine their structure and functionality more closely, there are some key differences between the two:
Platform or Plugin?
This is perhaps the most obvious difference between Magento and Woocommerce.
Woocommerce is a plugin that was designed to work within the content management system (CMS), WordPress. It allows users to install a shopping facility on almost any kind of website and is particularly suited to bloggers or small business owners who want to sell products that complement or relate to their field of expertise. For example, a beauty blogger can install the Woocommerce plugin on their WordPress site and enable followers to purchase the products they recommend.
Magento is different. It is a standalone platform independent of any prescribed CMS or hosting service and is specifically designed for e-commerce. It is perfect for the business owner whose primary objective is retailing products online.
In order to decide whether the Magento platform or Woocommerce plugin is right for you, it’s prudent to carefully consider your immediate and future e-commerce requirements and the following comparison of the two services should help you do that.
For the new or small e-commerce store, Woocommerce caters for almost all entry-level requirements and with basic technical know-how, users can build their own online store relatively quickly.
Magento requires a greater level of technical expertise, but for business owners who already enjoy success online or have ambitious plans for growth, a Magento website can be built to handle the bespoke, commercial intricacies of a large professional e-commerce operation.
Both of these e-commerce services have an unlimited range of customisation features as long as you have the skills and business foresight to develop and integrate them effectively.
Woocommerce comes with thousands of templates and themes that can quite easily be customised to suit your business. You can create an attractive website that is easy for your customers to navigate, search and buy goods or services from. It’s ideal for companies that intend to sell and ship products to the national market.
However, unlike Magento, Woocommerce limits search filtering to just one option such as size or price. This may seem like a minor difference but it can have a big impact on customer satisfaction and conversion.
Offering a more sophisticated and comprehensive range of store customisation features, Magento offers an all-round superior shopping experience. Consumers can navigate your site and find, compare and purchase products using an unlimited number of filters in almost any currency on any device, and because it’s built for e-commerce, it’s ideal for high volume sales across international markets.
By meeting the requirements and expectations of your target market, you can maximise the shopping experience of the savviest online shopper to encourage engagement, repeat purchasing and brand loyalty.
Perhaps more importantly, Magento’s wide range of features make it quick and easy for you to catalogue large numbers of products, market them, create discount codes or promotional offers, conduct inventories, manage billing, shipping and customer enquiries and manage multiple stores from one admin panel, giving you full control over your business.
Both Woocommerce and Magento offer users a variety of add-ons and plugins that can be utilised to enhance the structure or functionality of an e-commerce site.
However, unlike Magento which is stocked by plenty of custom-built plugins, Woocommerce relies largely on those developed by third-parties which may not always be as effective or as well maintained as they could be. This makes them a target for hackers and makes site owners and users more vulnerable to security breaches.
The basic Woocommerce and Magento packages are free but as your store develops and you need new features you will usually incur costs. These may be attributed to hiring professional programmers who can build your bespoke e-commerce website, or the purchase of various add-ons and plugins that you need to incorporate into it to make it successful.
To find out more about pricing or get further information about which kind of e-commerce service is right for you and your business, get in touch with the team here at Yoma.