The Pros and Cons of WooCommerce
WooCommerce is one of a few popular options available to you if you’re looking to sell products online and want to set up and run your own eCommerce store.
Yet, in spite of its popularity, WooCommerce may not be completely right for everyone.
If you’re considering using WooCommerce as the platform for your eCommerce business, you’ll need to weigh up all of the pros and cons.
Here, we’ll talk through some of the good things – and the not so good things – about WooCommerce to help you decide whether or not it’s the right eCommerce platform for you!
What Is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is a free and open source eCommerce platform offering users a highly customisable software package that business owners or eCommerce managers like you can sell their products through.
WooCommerce has become hugely popular over the last few years, with thousands of business owners around the world adopting the platform to fulfil their own eCommerce needs.
After all, WooCommerce gives businesses the ability to sell products of almost any kind, whether it’s digital content (music and video) or physical items delivered through a direct-from-business or drop-shipping model.
Pros Of WooCommerce
First, let’s look at all the aspects of the WooCommerce platform that could make it the right platform for your eCommerce store.
Free & Open Source
These days, there are so many costs associated with the start-up and running of a successful business.
For that reason, one huge positive of WooCommerce is that it is both free and open source.
While there are paid aspects to the platform, being open source means that there are plenty of themes and useful modifications produced by fellow WooCommerce users that others (like you!) can use for free.
These themes have all been optimised for use by other eCommerce store owners, so you know that they are tried, tested and of a high quality.
Being open source also means that modifications and themes are updated on a regular basis. So, when the time comes to give your store a visual refresh, you’ll have no shortage of great options available to you.
Easy To Use
Of course, whether you have an existing eCommerce site or are looking into setting one up for the first time, you’ll want to get it up and running as soon as you can.
You may be concerned, though, by your own limited eCommerce website design experience and by WooCommerce’s functionality.
Luckily, WooCommerce is incredibly easy to use, especially for those with previous experience of working with WordPress, which WooCommerce plugs into.
Listing store items with WooCommerce is as easy as heading to ‘add product’, creating a title and short description for the product, specifying whether it’s a physical or digital product, and setting the price.
Further customisation is simple, too – product images and design features can all be changed fairly easily.
And if you do run into any obstacles, there is no shortage of WooCommerce help available through WooCommerce Support. A quick chat with a member of the WooCommerce team is sure to resolve your issues before too long.
One of the issues that sellers regularly run into when operating an online store is keeping track of income, profits, inventory, sales, and other such factors.
Luckily, WooCommerce does all of that for you!
With WooCommerce, users are able to access clear and simple reports which give you plenty of insight into how your store is doing.
These reports can be accessed at any time through the WooCommerce website or app, and will offer you a much clearer look at how your online store’s performance e.g.:
- which products are selling well
- how many visits your store is getting
- how many of those visits are converting into actual sales
- frequent updates on how much stock you have left in your store inventory
So, WooCommerce is ideal if you’re looking for an eCommerce platform that takes the guesswork out of store statistics.
A Handy Mobile App
A huge positive for busy company owners is that WooCommerce can be accessed via a mobile app.
While the app doesn’t allow users to make thematic changes to their store, it does let them access reports, stock numbers, sales details and so forth ‘on the go’.
Perfect, then, for giving you a valuable snapshot of your eCommerce store’s performance when you are out and about, away from the office.
Cons Of WooCommerce
To help you make a more informed decision about whether or not it’s the platform for you, we now dive into the more negative aspects that might make you consider WooCommerce unsuitable for you and your business.
Premium Extensions And Hidden Costs
While there are plenty of free WooCommerce themes available, the highest quality and most optimised themes are a little pricier.
In fact, when buying an official theme through WordPress – a purchase that will allow you the highest level of WooCommerce support, speed and SEO – you could be looking at a cost of up to $120 each.
This price tag could put you off if you’re looking to keep things as low-cost as possible, even if there are benefits to these premium options.
Further costs could also come in the form of plugins required for payment gateway options.
WordPress Knowledge Is A Must
As WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, you will definitely need fairly extensive knowledge of the WordPress platform to take full advantage of everything that WooCommerce has to offer.
WooCommerce and WordPress go hand-in-hand, so if you’re unsure how to use WordPress or currently run your eCommerce store using a different platform, WooCommerce may not be for you.
Comparisons With Shopify
Shopify is a natural contender to WooCommerce. So, which is better?
Cost Shopify is a paid service, but it does come with more features that are accessible to users post-purchase. While WooCommerce is free on the surface of things, there are certain aspects of the platform that the eCommerce store owner will need to pay for
Products Shopify and WooCommerce both allow users to list an unlimited number of products – so this one’s a draw!
Hosting Shopify includes hosting. WooCommerce does not
Start-up costs It costs around $300 in total to build an eCommerce store on Shopify, compared to $200 on WooCommerce
Themes WooCommerce offers a much wider variety of themes than Shopify. Web design and development are probably easier on WooCommerce, too (though these things are slightly subjective).
Customisation WooCommerce definitely comes out on top here, giving you loads more options than Shopify
So, overall, it looks like WooCommerce comes out on top when pitched against its competitor, Shopify.
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