If you're running an eCommerce business, then it's likely that you've heard the terms “WooCommerce, Magento, BigCommerce, and Shopify” thrown around. But what exactly is WooCommerce? Is it better than Magento? Or is BigCommerce better? Does Shopify have anything to offer in comparison?
Finding the right platform for your eCommerce store is like searching for the perfect series on Netflix to watch. There are so many! And the reviews are galore. But no one can seem to find you the perfect one to watch for your current mood! There are many platforms with a multitude of features, and you'd be like a lost kid in the candy store trying to figure out the right one.
Let us help you out a bit here!
eCommerce and Platforms
eCommerce sales are expected to surpass $740 billion in the U.S. alone by 2023. With immense possibilities opening up in the eCommerce arena in the coming years, finding the best platform for your eCommerce store becomes a highly pressing issue. Half your work gets done once you make a choice.
With that in mind, we've researched extensively and put together a comprehensive guide to help you decide which platform will work best for your online store. In this article, we will compare WooCommerce, Magento, BigCommerce, and Shopify to determine their pros and cons.
So, let's dive right in!
WooCommerce Vs. Magento Vs. BigCommerce Vs. Shopify Comparison – An Introduction
- 1WooCommerce is a free and open-source eCommerce platform that can be installed on a web server or even self-hosted. It's free and built on WordPress, making it easy to install and use. It is, therefore, the most popular eCommerce platform and is also one of the only ones that can be used to sell both physical and digital goods. You can use WooCommerce to build both personal websites and online stores. It's easy to use and has plenty of features that make it great for small businesses as well as large ones looking to scale up their operations.
- 2Magento is a free and open-source eCommerce development platform that can be installed on a web server or even self-hosted. Magento has powerful capabilities and provides you with a great set of features. It is prevalent in the ecommerce world and has been used by many large retailers, including Walmart, Target, and Best Buy. Magento can be customized to suit your needs and can be used by small businesses and large corporations alike. The open-source Magento software allows you to build custom websites, which are better than plugins because they offer greater customization and flexibility. It's also effortless to use, requiring only basic knowledge of HTML and CSS.
- 3BigCommerce is an online store builder offering a cloud-based and multi-vendor solution designed to create engaging experiences for customers, shoppers, and partners alike. If you're a developing eCommerce business, BigCommerce is the perfect platform. It has all the features you need to run a successful store and advanced tools that let you grow and scale as your business grows. Plus, it's easy to use and integrates with a whole host of other platforms so that you can sell anywhere online. Whether your shop is big or small, it has something for everyone!
- 4Shopify provides merchants with everything they need to start selling online, such as themes, apps, plugins, and eCommerce services like payment processing through Stripe integration (also known as Stripe Payment Gateway). Shopify stands out for its easy interface and straightforward setup process and helps startups develop exclusive web designs.
Now, let us get down to the nitty-gritty of each platform.
WooCommerce – The Popular Kid in Town
WooCommerce is the most popular ecommerce platform that allows you to add an online store to your WordPress website. The platform, built on WordPress, is flexible enough to support integrations with over 400 other plugins. Having over 400 extensions means there are literally thousands of ways to customize your site. There are some awesome WooCommerce extension plugins that allow you to sell products from third-party sites like Amazon or eBay directly in your store. Or, if you're a Mac user who wants to sell more hardware products on your site, then there's a WooCommerce plugin that lets you do just that!
It's a popular eCommerce solution for many reasons. WooCommerce features a simple interface that makes it easy for you to manage product listings, inventory, and shipping. Another plus of WooCommerce is that you can use the platform without paying monthly fees. However, while the platform may be free to use, there are additional costs associated with setting up and maintaining your site.
Most notably, you'll need to buy a domain name and hosting plan. A domain name is an address where people will find your store online—for example, yourdomainname.com. Hosting plans vary by provider, but they generally come with some sort of virtual space (like Google Drive or Dropbox) that can be used as storage for files related to running your eCommerce business on WooCommerce.
You'll also want SSL certificates installed on each page of your website so that visitors can trust it as secure content when they land there through search engines like Google or Bing. It helps prevent them from being redirected away from what they were looking for after clicking on an advert within another site's ad network (which could potentially lead them somewhere else entirely). You'll need to pay extra for SSL certificates (if you want to process payments) and extensions (if you want additional functionality). SSL certificates are required to process payments securely, so they're generally a good idea if your store is going to be accepting credit cards or other sensitive data. If the payment gateway is integrated with WooCommerce, this will already be included in its price; otherwise, it'll cost extra.
Extensions can be helpful if your site has specific requirements that aren't met by default functionality or need additional functionality without having an existing plugin installed on its server. The total amount of money you spend on these extras will depend on your specific needs — but in general, the pricing for WooCommerce is relatively affordable compared with other eCommerce platforms.
Salient Features of WooCommerce Platform
Advantages of Using WooCommerce Platform
Disadvantages of Using WooCommerce Platform
Need help to build a WooCommerce store from the ground up?
Magento – Worth the Hype
Magento is a robust eCommerce platform that has become a cult favorite among developers and big business owners alike. It is open-source, which means you can download and use it for free. In addition to being free, Magento offers a number of advanced features that are available in its paid options: It's easy to use, offers great flexibility, and has a large community behind it. Magento has an enormous ecosystem of extensions and modules available to help you customize your website design in many ways. It extends beyond storefront customization by allowing you to add features like product reviews or customer testimonials on your site!
Magento's search function is also exceptional, allowing you to find products quickly by using keywords or tags (which are basically keywords). You just enter your query in the search bar at the top of any page on your website, and Magento will display results related to what you're looking for!
Magento websites are mobile-friendly. Responsive websites are consequential for eCommerce sites, especially if you want to increase your conversion rate and make sure that your customers have an easier time using your site. It is also crucial for SEO performance because it can help sites rank better in Google searches, which will increase traffic on mobile devices and help bring more customers into your store. Finally, a mobile-friendly site helps with Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), which means you can use less traffic to get the same amount of conversions as before.
Magento allows customer segmentation and personalization on its websites. Customer segmentation is the process of identifying different groups of customers and delivering products or services to them based on their needs, preferences, or behaviors. It's a way to understand your customers better so you can provide them with what they want. When implemented effectively, this strategy can increase conversion rates by up to 50%! Personalization refers to using data about an individual (or group) to customize the shopping experience for that individual/group.
Magento provides a variety of analytics tools that can help you understand how your store is performing. Analytics and reporting tools provide you with insights into how your store is performing. You can use these tools to track sales, understand customer behavior, and identify opportunities to improve your business.
Through Magento stores, you can access marketing and promotions features that are a great way to get your customers excited about the products you offer. You can use marketing and promotions features to provide discounts on products or services for loyalty or for buying more of them, give out freebies such as coupons or gift cards, or run promotional campaigns in order to drive traffic back to your store by advertising new products on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Magento's checkout and payment systems are among the best in the market. You can create an account, set up your shop, and get started with just a few clicks. The user-friendly interface makes it easy for customers to complete their purchases, while you can monitor all activity from within the admin panel.
Magento supports multiple payment gateways, including PayPal Express Checkout (XCP), Stripe, and Authorize.net/Payflow Pro, which helps you to accept payments without any hassles or restrictions on refunds or chargebacks!
Salient Features of Magneto Platform
Advantages of Using Magento Platform
Disadvantages of Using Magento Platform
Looking for guidance to set up a Magento store that matches your vision?
BigCommerce – Big Reputation
BigCommerce is a leading eCommerce platform that empowers online retailers of all sizes to easily and affordably set up online stores, manage their inventory, grow their sales, and engage with their customers. It's the only cloud-based eCommerce platform that offers all the tools you need to create powerful, profitable stores that enable customers to find what they're looking for on any device anytime, anywhere.
BigCommerce provides a variety of plans to suit your needs. The basic plan includes all the essential eCommerce features like unlimited products, coupons and discount codes, abandoned cart recovery, one-page checkout, and real-time shipping rates.
Whether you're using a template or customizing your own design, every BigCommerce store includes a fully responsive website with an industry-leading 90-day guarantee against vulnerabilities. With PCI compliance, powerful SEO tools, and comprehensive site reporting, BigCommerce gives you everything you need to confidently build your online presence.
To help you do more with your store, the curated BigCommerce marketplace offers more than 100 apps and integrations built for high-performance stores. These features are available across seven categories spanning eCommerce, Inventory Management, Customer Service and Support Tools (including live chat), Payment Processing Services (including Stripe & Braintree), and more. You can always add advanced features as your needs grow. From marketing to design to customer support, there's an app for all your business goals.
BigCommerce gives you the tools to grow in every online sales channel you choose. Ready to start selling on Facebook and Instagram? BigCommerce lets you manage your social media sales seamlessly from one control center. You can also conveniently sell across multiple channels, including marketplaces and web stores — all from one unified back end.
Salient Features of BigCommerce Platform
Advantages of Using BigCommerce Platform
Disadvantages of Using BigCommerce Platform
Finding it difficult to create a unique BigCommerce store for yourself?
Shopify – Simplified Business
Shopify is a cloud-based, SaaS online selling solution. The platform offers a wide range of themes and apps that you can use to build an online store. It is available in over 20 languages and supports more than 200 currencies. Shopify is one of the best eCommerce platforms for beginners because it's easy to use, has a massive selection of templates and integrations, and provides powerful tools for marketing your business through social media channels such as Facebook. Shopify has its own set of pros and cons—for example, you don't have access to a native toolset like WordPress or Wix when using Shopify—but if you're looking for something more affordable than other options on this list, then it might be worth considering!
What makes Shopify stores stand out is the number of free and paid apps available exclusively in the Shopify Theme Store to expand your store functionality. These apps from the App Store make your shop stand out and look great. You also get a rich collection of free and paid design templates.
Shopify allows a variety of payment methods and accepts credit card payments through its service provider. Its POS has lower credit card rates and no transaction fees. You also do not need a merchant account to use this gateway.
Shopify store development is also popular because of its low startup costs, accessible interface, and easily customizable templates for online stores. You can pay a monthly fee to gain access to the admin panel, where the store admin can enter data related to adding products and processing orders.
The platform also offers secure site hosting, so users don't have to upgrade their software or web servers. Shopify allows unlimited products; there is no restriction on the number of products you can sell on a Shopify store.
Salient Features of Shopify Platform
Advantages of Using Shopify Platform
Disadvantages of Using Shopify Platform
Can we help you design a customized Shopify store?
Comparison in Detail – Eight Commanding Factors
Now let us look at EIGHT dominant factors that the platforms compete against each other in the eCommerce world – Pricing, Features, Performance, Ease-of-Use, Scalability, Customization, Security, and SEO.
WooCommerce Vs. Magento Vs. BigCommerce Vs. Shopify Comparison - Pricing
WooCommerce Vs. Shopify Vs. Magento Vs. BigCommerce Comparison - Features
WooCommerce Vs. Magento Vs. BigCommerce Vs. Shopify Comparison - Performance
WooCommerce Vs. Magento Vs. BigCommerce Vs. Shopify Comparison - Ease of Use
WooCommerce Vs. Magento Vs. BigCommerce Vs. Shopify Comparison - Scalability
WooCommerce Vs. Magento Vs. BigCommerce Vs. Shopify Comparison - Customization
WooCommerce Vs. Magento Vs. BigCommerce Vs. Shopify Comparison - Security
WooCommerce Vs. Magento Vs. BigCommerce Vs. Shopify Comparison - SEO
Let us do a final reconciliation of comparison parameters in the below table.
Country of Origin
WordPress Support Forum
Only with Enterprise Edition
24/7 Central Support
Free but extra payments apply (domain name ($15/yr), hosting ($6.95- 8.95/mo), SSL certificates, security ($10 - $150/yr) etc.)
Free or Expensive Premium
Ease of Use
· Limited Scalability Coding Knowledge
Only Shopify Plus
Customization and Flexibility
· Porter and York
· Helly Hansen
· KKW Beauty
Document Exploration Needed
Simple to Grasp
No Advanced Skill Required
No Advanced Skill Required
Fit for small to medium-scale businesses
Best for enterprise-level outfits needing feature-rich websites
Apt for medium businesses looking to scale up in the future
Suitable for a small enterprise looking for future scalability
Finally, which is the best platform for your e-commerce business?
So, this is the current overall ranking we give the platforms.
But it is a close call, and we were really hard-pressed to make this choice. Each platform outperformed the other only by a slight margin.
Summing It Up
So, are you caught up in this WooCommerce vs. Magento vs. BigCommerce vs. Shopify dilemma? What is your take on it? Let us know in the comments.
We hope our comparison of the top eCommerce platforms helped you choose which one is right for your business. Since there are so many options out there, it can often get confusing trying to decide which platform is best suited for your needs.
We've covered a lot in this post: how they differ in terms of features, pricing, models, and ease of use, as well as their scalability capabilities. So now, hopefully, when it comes time for you to make that critical decision about which platform will function best for you, this will work as a guide. If you're ready to get started with any of the above platforms, we would be glad to help. Check out our other articles and examples on how to find the best hosting plan for your eCommerce site.
WooCommerce Vs. Magento Vs. BigCommerce Vs. Shopify: A Comparison Guide (Updated 2022) – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
eCommerce platforms are specialized software applications allowing merchants and consumers to execute their roles. Essentially, a consumer could use the platform to discover products, shop around using a cart, and pay and check out with needed products. ECommerce companies usually use them to list, display, track, sell, and collect payments for their products.
eCommerce platforms started off as mail order or telephone order purchasing options back in the 70s and 80s. They slowly metamorphosed into the online model of today. Online purchasing has now branched out two ways – multi-brand, multi-product marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba; and brand-specific websites like Sony, McDonald's, Bosch, etc.
There are basically three types of eCommerce platforms: SaaS (software-as-a-service), PaaS (platform-as-a-service), and on-premise. SaaS platforms involve only the software. When you add hardware to the equation, you get PaaS platforms. Both work over the internet cloud. Merchants directly set up and manage on-premise or hosted platforms with an IT team.
We'd say that there are ten crucial criteria for choosing the perfect platform.
· Affordable Pricing Options
· Higher Security Levels
· SEO Optimization Support
· Responsive Web Designs
· Omnichannel Sales Support
· Seamless Integrations and Plugins
· Efficient Tech Support
· High Scalability Options
· Flexible Customization Features
· Effective Load Speed
The first step is to identify your business goals for the platform. Next is the selection, where you research and find which platform to use. You would then need to work with the provider to implement it. It is best to take help from experts to install the platform. You can now customize the platform to match your goals through plugins and integrations.
Business requirements change with enterprise size. Large companies need highly customizable, stable platforms handling higher traffic and payment volumes to maintain brand perception. Mid-range businesses need scalable and flexible platform options. Small enterprises with low revenue targets require a cloud-based platform that fulfills all basic customer requirements.
BigCommerce is explicitly meant for building websites, while WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress plugin that renders eCommerce functionality to a website when it's already up and running. Both platforms offer multiple templates and design options but have different built-in features. WooCommerce gets better community support from WordPress users.
Shopify has set pricing, whereas WooCommerce is free but comes with extra costs, including hosting, a domain name, and security. WooCommerce adds eCommerce functionality to WordPress websites and suits larger stores. On the other hand, Shopify is built specifically for eCommerce, is simple and easy to use, and would support a start-up outfit well.
If you compare Shopify vs. Magento, Shopify comes out as the more affordable option. Shopify's App Market has a simple interface offering more polished apps than Magento Marketplace. While Magento provides more extensions than Shopify, you require coding knowledge to install them and run the risk of installing a sub-par extension.
WooCommerce is a user-friendly platform and offers low-cost payments. Magento provides users with higher security and performance but at a steeper cost. WooCommerce suits small-scale stores; Magento works better with enterprise companies. While WooCommerce is easy to use and customize, Magento needs expert web developmental professionals for customization.