The explosive growth of e-commerce over the past couple of years has confirmed its role as a critical asset for companies as they adapt to an increasingly online world. Even local businesses that were forced to shut down during the pandemic have taken advantage of the internet to reach out to their local audiences. Even after the limitations on in-store shopping, many consumer segments will still rely on online websites to improve sales because they have witnessed the multiple benefits and increased revenue of going digital. But one of the significant challenges that most entrepreneurs face is choosing the right e-commerce platform for the business.
Nowadays, Shopify and WordPress are two of the best-known brands in the e-commerce world, with a reputation for simplicity, flexibility, and great performance.
Some business owners may be aware of these platforms and might be wondering if there is a need to compare Shopify and WordPress. Shopify is exclusively an e-commerce platform, while WordPress is a website builder. Therefore, obviously, Shopify is the right choice to build e-commerce websites! Right? No, this is not the case, because both platforms have turned out to be extremely valuable for local businesses to launch their e-commerce store. It might be overwhelming for local businesses as there are tons of forums and articles on the internet about Shopify vs. WordPress and therefore making a choice can be difficult.
But we are here to make it simple for you to understand the difference between these two platforms, so making the choice gets a bit easier.
Now let us look at both of the options in closer detail.
An Overview of Shopify and WordPress
Before we begin to compare both the platforms and talk about its advantages and disadvantages, it’s essential that every business owner must understand that these are both entirely different tools.
Shopify; as the name itself indicates, it exemplifies shopping. Shopify is a platform that aims to make online shopping, selling, and everything else related to e-commerce more simple. It provides businesses with a domain name, access to PayPal, a unique e-commerce plugin, a shopping cart, and several other useful features. Shopify also comes with a wide range of website templates for different industries or if you have access to web developers, then you can create a custom business website that meets all your individual demands.
Also, Shopify is a hosted solution, which means that the complete website functionality that you require comes to you from Shopify’s servers. You will not have to install any additional software or buy web hosting, because everything you need to build your store is presented to you by Shopify itself.
WordPress is particularly beneficial when creating an eCommerce website because there are several pre-made themes for you to choose from to create the complete online storefront. Even though WordPress was not created specifically for E-commerce, it has a wide array of efficient plugins that add complete eCommerce functionality to a website. One such plugin that is quite popular is WooCommerce. Similar to Shopify, WooCommerce takes care of the complete e-commerce website needs that you will require on your website. It also enables you to optimize your pages for search engines, which can help your eCommerce website rank in local as well as international geographical locations. This search engine optimization (SEO) friendliness of WordPress is what makes digital marketers love the platform because the likelihood that you’ll rank in relevant product searches and drive qualified prospects to your page is significantly high.
Shopify Vs. WordPress
As we have already mentioned, Shopify is specifically for e-commerce websites, therefore even non-developers can easily use and set up a site on this platform. It has its own Shopify payments solution, which makes payment integration a seamless process as well as enhances secure transactions.
Here are some other reasons to choose Shopify.
- The website hosting is also included so that your local business will not have to find other local website hosting platforms.
- Even people with non-professional skills can manage a Shopify website because the technical aspects are minimized.
- Shopify is mainly responsible for the security of your website but you can also integrate external security protocols based on your requirement. On the other hand, for a WordPress website, you’ll have to manage the website security on your own.
- If you are just looking to sell your products and are not interested in blogs, inner content, etc, then Shopify is a better option than WordPress.
- Shopify offers new users a much better experience when it comes to queries, customer service, and support.
- You get a 14-day free trial to use Shopify and to make sure if it’s the right platform or not.
The best reasons to use WordPress instead of Shopify for your local business are listed below
- WordPress is an open-source software and is available to download for free.
- It’s not just for e-commerce, you can create a complete website for your products, showcase them, enhance their value and eventually sell them.
- Since WordPress is not specifically for e-commerce, businesses have more flexibility on this platform than on Shopify.
- WordPress offers a vast selection of plugins that are both premium and free, so you have the liberty to choose the kind of features and functionality the e-commerce site requires.
- The amount of variants and product options you can develop in WordPress is a lot more flexible than it is with Shopify.
- SEO offerings required to rank in local areas are comparatively more on WordPress because of plugins such as Yoast.
- There are a ton of marketing strategies that can be implemented on WordPress as it gives you much more control over your content than Shopify. Your business might have a hard time starting with content on Shopify.
- If your local business specializes in other domains or industries as well and if you need multi-site projects or multi-language stores then WordPress is your best bet.
There are several web design and development companies that offer free consultation for website-related projects. A website development agency in Toronto can help you get on the right track and not only build efficient e-commerce websites for you but can handle the digital marketing strategies in order to rank the website as well. Therefore, consult with a digital marketing agency and then go for the right platform because your website is a long-term investment and you do not want to make wrong decisions.