I’ve had many conversations lately about e-commerce. Which is not surprising given the push to stay home and shop online. And many, many of those conversations have to do with selecting a shop – primarily WordPress based shops or Shopify.
Let’s talk WooCommerce and Shopify. Briefly.
I’m not going to go over the cost differences or the extensive list of features for each one – that is covered all over the internet. I want to talk about how to choose. Cost anad features play into it. But one often overlooked is flexibility.
Do you need flexibility?
or do you need easy-to-use?
Flexibility. In order to get flexibility you need to know how to implement the various options. Options = flexible = complicated.
Easy to Use. In order to make shopify very easy to use, they have stripped down your choices. They guide you through a certain path and you just follow the steps – easy peasy. Limited Choice = Easy
You can’t have both – with any software. It’s how computers work. WordPress comes with built-in features for logging in, for example. There are very few choices to logging in – and it is simple to use. Limited Options = Easy. If you want to add a logo, change the colors, redirect the users to a different link – now it gets complicated. Options = Complicated
I’m trying to think of a good analogy – my coffee pot. I love my Keurig. I put a coffee pod in the top, my cup in the bottom – and out comes the perfect cup of joe. Limited Options = Easy.
If I want a custom latte, with 2 shots, and steamed milk with 1/2 shot of syrup – it takes more work and more knowledge – how to program the espresso, how to steam milk, etc. More Choices = Complicated.
But what if I really, really want a latte? I will need the fancy machine with more options. And I will need to learn how to make it. Fancy machine = more flexibility = more complicated.
That is where WordPress shines – it is a very fancy schmancy coffee machine. You can create lattes, cappuccinos and even a London Fog. But there’s a learning curve that comes with that flexibility.
Limited Options is where Shopify shines. You have little customizability. But it is super easy to use. Thats why a lot of people like it. Their designs are pretty, you follow the simple instructions, and you’re set. A super easy cup of joe. Straightforward = limited choice = easy peasy.
I hope that helps you decide between hosting your own e-commerce and using a service like Shopify.