As a lot of our clients know, we are big fans of two ecommerce platforms. The first being WooCommerce by Woothemes. A great WordPress based plugin that allows you to sell products on your WordPress website or blog, with tremendous flexibility and customisation ability. It has become my first choice for WordPress based eCommerce solutions. The second being Shopify, the all in one amazingly tidy shopping cart. Although with a heftier outlay, the Shopify system does include pretty much everything you need to get started, including hosting and basic themes.
Which one is better?
Well that depends on your brand, your product and your audience. Both definitely have their pros and cons, although if looking to setup shop yourself and you don’t see yourself as being very tech savvy, Shopify definitely makes things easier in my opinion. The WooCommerce solution can become extraordinarily amazing, although some good knowledge of CSS and HTML will help.
Now for the BIG NEWS!
So I am reading through my emails, and as a Shopify partner, I try to ensure I am across all things Shopify. Then I spot “Shopify + WordPress” in one of the subject lines. Nooooooooo way! Get outta here!!!! Is this a typo?!?
Nope, I read right. Shopify has created a plugin for WordPress that will allow you to semi-integrate the Shopify system into your WordPress website. This might not sound great to some, and not perfect, but let me tell you why I think this is awesome….
WordPress is the basis of some truly amazeballs websites and blogs, and many of the website you use and love are most likely based on the WordPress platform. By being able to integrate Shopify through a plugin, it means not having to have an amazeballs websites and a Shopify store, it means it all becomes one. Much better!
The point of sale options, shipping and payment methods and usability of the Shopify system are at the forefront of online shops. It works great, the code is fast and tidy and the support is better than most other options out there. Taking these advantages into your WordPress website for selling products is just a godsend. You can also utilise Shopify’s ability to sell on social media and from your iPad!
From an SEO point of view, I believe many clients find it difficult having to have two sites to manage. On one hand you have your beautiful blog, and on the other you have your shop. Unfortunately, unless you keep your themes super bland and simple, it is very hard to make the two look the same. You will also be up against yourself for the number one spot on Google search. Having two listings could be good, but it’d be better to have an integrated solution right up top.
Of course there is a downside, but it is not as bad as you may think. Stop groaning.
Having the plugin means using Shopify and signing up to one of their eCommerce plans. At the moment, $9/month is the cheapest. It also means creating products in the Shopify admin not the WordPress panel. This could be seen as an additional cost, which it is, although you’d be paying something similar for a correctly setup, secure and managed WordPress/WooCommerce store.
The other downside is that since this is so new, there are limited themes for the shop pages. Shopify have release three themes in partnership with Themezilla, Themify, and Ultralinx. You can read more about the themes and the Shopify plugin for WordPress here: www.shopify.com/blog/113145925-introducing-shopify-for-wordpress
What should you use?
It can be a difficult decision, although if you already have a WordPress website that you love and use, maybe the Shopify WordPress plugin is the way to go. If you already have a Shopify site, would you consider selling your products on another site to increase your web presence?
There are many options out there, although as I mentioned earlier, we are very happy at Xmedia Digital Solutions to work with WooCommerce and Shopify. If you would like to discuss this all in more detail, be sure to contact me through the contact form. My direct contact details are all there.
Do you have an online shop already? What platform do you use and what made you choose it?