As e-commerce has taken the globe by storm, online businesses are seeing success in many industries. Whether you’re an artist trying to sell your paintings online or a spa owner looking for customers, it helps to know which e-commerce solution is best for your purposes.
When it comes to e-commerce, websites are at the heart of how most businesses operate today. Well-designed websites can market your company and attract visitors—and also help to retain them. However, today, with so many different e-commerce platforms out there for building your business, you may have trouble deciding which one is right for you.
The answer depends on the features each platform offers. Today, two leading e-commerce software platforms offer the highest level of sophistication for creating and managing an online store: WooCommerce and BigCommerce.
WooCommerce: A WordPress-Friendly Platform
WooCommerce, which integrates with WordPress, is the most popular e-commerce platform. It provides a suitable interface for both the seller and the buyer. It’s simple enough for beginners to set up their first stores but powerful enough for entrepreneurs at all levels. With a strong focus on usability and flexibility, WooCommerce has made it easier than ever to join the new economy.
You’ll find it simple and clear to get started with WooCommerce’s auto-configure feature. It offers customizable options with designs tailored to the needs of specific types of businesses—which can make launching your website quick and easy.
BigCommerce: A Versatile yet Navigable Platform
BigCommerce is an online e-commerce platform with an open API and point-of-sale solutions that integrate consumer behavior into the experience. It also offers, for merchants as well as shoppers, customizable:
- marketing tools
BigCommerce’s features support product management, shopping management, and customer service management.
- The product manager allows users to create products for their store, including attributes like pricing, shipping costs, and tax levels.
- The shopping manager allows customers to browse through search items or filter by category or promo code.
- On the other hand, the customer service manager ensures maximum customer satisfaction.
WooCommerce vs. BigCommerce: What Are Their Differences?
Each platform has its proprietary features and designs for a distinct audience with specific needs. The main difference between the two is how they work. WooCommerce is a plugin that integrates with WordPress to customize your website. BigCommerce is a website builder that includes built-in customization features so you can build your own.
WooCommerce is great for beginners because it’s quite simple. Optional extensions are available to do complex things like online membership sites, but complicated products aren’t its strong suit.
On the other hand, BigCommerce excels at making your store more efficient and allows you to take advantage of multiple profit opportunities, all while lowering risk. BigCommerce is also an excellent platform for building an online business that can scale alongside your sales.
WooCommerce vs. BigCommerce: Their Advantages and Disadvantages
WooCommerce caters to the needs of beginners. Some of the biggest reasons to start with it include:
Cost –WooCommerce is free to download and install to get you started. However, you’ll need to make additional payment when adding components such as domain names and other services.
Integration –WooCommerce provides retailers with many options when it comes to using third-party apps and services. These include shipping and inventory management tools. In addition, you can integrate just about anything you might need, from SEO to payment gateways, into your site.
Customization – You can start out with as much or as little customization as you’d like. If you want to add a widget to your shop page, that’s possible! You will face no restrictions on the amount of customization you can make before your store opens for business.
Community – The WooCommerce community is helpful when it comes to queries and concerns. You’ll find a lot of resources to help you learn more about the software and its features, as well as solutions to problems that many other users have encountered.
While WooCommerce has many advantages, you might also want to know about some disadvantages that other users have found.
Security – Users have discovered multiple security issues with the software, particularly with updates that may affect your security settings and even your site’s appearance. If you aren’t comfortable updating manually—or with a plugin doing it for you—you might find the updates a little troubling. You are also vulnerable to hackers if not using the latest version of the plugin.
Image/video scaling – WooCommerce’s built-in tools for images and videos do not adapt well if you’re trying to scale images or videos to fit different screen sizes. This can be frustrating if you’re creating graphic elements (like a badge image or map) that you want users to see at different zoom levels on their screen.
Now, let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of BigCommerce.
As the name suggests, BigCommerce is one of the most prominent platforms in website building. Here are some of its advantages:
Built-in Features – BigCommerce offers countless app features so users can customize their websites to suit their needs and preferences. You can find both free and paid themes.
Security and Privacy – BigCommerce takes security very seriously. Users can build and manage their websites with confidence through its various security and privacy features, which extend to ensuring safe email transactions with customers.
Excellent Support – BigCommerce has a strong community of experts to help you with any issue you might encounter. Whenever you have a query or concern, the customer support team will communicate with you through chat, email, or phone.
When creating a website on BigCommerce, you will also encounter some disadvantages to the site. These include:
Price – One disadvantage of BigCommerce is that the costs of this premium e-commerce platform are higher than other sites or software out there. You can expect to pay between $29 and $300 per month, depending on your selected features.
Ease of Use – BigCommerce is relatively complicated to use, especially for beginners. The interface is challenging to navigate, and it takes time for users to learn how to edit on the program.
WooCommerce Pricing vs. BigCommerce Pricing
Let’s take an in-depth look at the costs of using WooCommerce compared to BigCommerce. We will focus on helping you determine which one might maximize your productivity but minimize headaches and expense.
If building a website from scratch using BigCommerce, you can expect to pay for the costs of the site-building platform as well as the additional costs of any add-ons you need. Prices vary according to the plan you choose. The higher-priced plans include more advanced features.
BigCommerce’s Standard plan costs $29.95 per month, which goes up to $79.95 for the Plus plan. For maximum user experience, BigCommerce has a Pro plan that costs $299.95.
If you already have a website, you most likely have already installed a version of WordPress. If that’s the case, then you’ll only need to download and install WooCommerce. However, while download and installation are free, extra expenses start when you purchase add-ons, such as domain registration and hosting services.
WooCommerce vs. BigCommerce: Which Is Best for SEO and Marketing?
Search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing are essential for online success, so be sure to choose a web-building platform with tools for both.
You should also be able to customize your e-commerce store so you can emphasize meta descriptions. Meta descriptions are crucial for search engine optimization (SEO). They allow users to preview your web page content as they decide whether or not to click on it.
A good e-commerce platform should also have various marketing tools. That way, you can use SEO and marketing tools together to expand your customer base.
One of the standout features of WooCommerce is its SEO-friendliness. Its robust and flexible platform allows you to customize meta descriptions so you can include the vital keywords that can help you with SEO. This platform also customizes URL slugs and allows alt text for images.
WooCommerce also has a wonderful selection of themes you can choose from as well as plugins for various marketing tools.
Like WooCommerce, BigCommerce also enables you to customize meta-description and URL slugs and also add alt text images. In addition, BigCommerce allows its users to add custom sections and products—a benefit for those who want to maximize their online store’s potential.
BigCommerce’s main advantage is a built-in SSL certificate, which WooCommerce doesn’t provide. SSL certificates can protect sensitive information by providing an “encrypted” connection while transmitting it over the internet. So if you want your website visitors to know that you are keeping their communications private and secure, then SSL certificates are an ideal option.
For both online buyers and sellers, privacy is everything. These features make BigCommerce a preferred platform over WooCommerce when it comes to SEO and marketing.
What Are the Qualities of a Good e-Commerce Platform?
e-Commerce platforms are software applications that allow you to set up and manage your shop or sales over the internet. The platforms do all the heavy lifting for you—from taking payments and storing customers’ data to adding new products to your catalog and processing orders with suppliers.
You can find an abundance of e-commerce platforms on the market, but we’ll show you how to choose the ones best-suited to your specific business needs. Here’s what you need to know about selecting from the range of available options.
Figuring out which e-commerce platform is right for you involves considering three key factors:
- Your target audience
- Your business goals
- How you plan to use the e-commerce platform
To help you narrow down your research, we’ll go over each of these points in detail and then offer some tips on choosing a tool that will meet your needs.
Your target audience
Every e-commerce platform works well for multiple kinds of businesses. The features will vary depending on your site’s purpose. For example, is your business model a B2C (Business to Consumer, or direct-to-customer) model, a B2B (Business-to-Business) model, or perhaps a Subscription model? Be sure that the platform you choose is appropriate to your model and the types of customers you’re seeking.
Your business goals
Every e-commerce platform has its own pros and cons, but they all serve a common purpose. All platform designs will help you manage your internet-based e-business. In addition, they can provide excellent tools for tracking performance and maintaining control over all aspects of your business.
Most e-commerce platforms can help you:
- monitor sales
- set up customer service
- deal with returns
- keep track of everything related to your store
In other words, they provide powerful tools to help you make better decisions about what products to promote in order to generate more customers.
How you plan to use the e-commerce platform
Be sure to think about how a particular e-commerce platform would work for your business before investing in it. Most online merchants need some e-commerce software to establish their website. However, most sellers would like a service provider to deliver their items through rather than doing it themselves.
You might consider BigCommerce’s “Five Value Delivery Methods for Ecommerce Innovation.” These include:
- D2C – Direct to consumer
- White label and private label
- Subscription service
Considering these methods will help you determine how to create an e-commerce niche that makes your business stand out among its competitors. Once you’ve chosen your ideal delivery model(s) to your target audience, you are now in a position to better decide which of the many potential e-commerce platforms will enable you to implement your model most efficiently and successfully.
Choosing an e-Commerce Platform
So after figuring out your answers to the preceding three factors (your intended audience, business goals, and planned use of a platform), it’s time to incorporate them into finding the e-commerce platform most well-suited for your business. Some of the qualities you should be looking for will include the following:
Ease of use. An e-commerce platform’s ease of use is crucial when deciding whether you want to invest in it. To help you determine if an e-commerce platform is easy to use, you can look at its features and functionality.
It would help if you also looked at the user interface. Is it intuitive and navigable for a new customer with little technological expertise? If so, then the chances are that the platform is easy to use.
Integration. An e-commerce platform should integrate with your external systems, such as accounting software and email marketing platforms. This feature will allow you to integrate data from those applications into the platform’s system to handle your e-business efficiently.
Data management. To make your e-business run more efficiently and effectively, be sure to select a platform that provides a full range of tools for handling your company’s and your customers’ data. These tools will enable you to put all your information in one place and make it readily available to others who may need it.
Tips for Choosing an e-Commerce Platform
Choosing an e-commerce platform might seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t need to be difficult if you know what you are doing. Here are some tips on how you can choose an appropriate platform for your business:
1. Start by examining your company’s needs and capabilities
If your company will sell a wide variety of products, then look for a flexible e-commerce platform that can accommodate all sorts of products. Another consideration is how well the website can support the number of orders you are expecting to receive.
2. Set your priorities
Take note of what is important in choosing an e-commerce platform, such as:
- Customer service
- Payment options
- Other features that will affect your business
Rank these features and then create a list of e-commerce platforms that can provide such.
3. Take advantage of free trials
Most e-commerce platforms offer free trials to new users, which allows you to evaluate the platform’s features and capabilities. Make sure you utilize the platform as thoroughly and as frequently as possible to get familiarized with all the features and customization it offers. You can then decide whether or not you want to purchase a plan with that particular e-commerce platform provider.
4. Check out the terms of business
As an entrepreneur, every decision you make is crucial to the business. That rule-of-thumb is valid with choosing the right e-commerce platform. Always read through their terms of business before making a decision. Do not agree to terms of service that could be disadvantageous for your business. Make sure that the terms of business are fair and favorable for both parties, but pay special attention to protecting your interests.
5. Read customer reviews
You can find lots of information websites out there full of (hopefully) honest user reviews about different e-commerce platforms. Make sure to read up on these choices and compare their features so that you can thoughtfully determine which one is best for your business.
Now that you have already read everything you need to know about choosing the best e-commerce platform, all that’s left to do for you is to choose the platform that best suits your business’s needs and your personal preferences.
Is BigCommerce the Same as WooCommerce?
No. BigCommerce and WooCommerce are two different products. One is a website builder, while the other is a WordPress plugin that allows you to use your WordPress site to sell products online.
Both allow you to set up an online store for selling physical or digital products. However, their specialties differ in significant ways. For example, BigCommerce focuses on scaling your business, while WooCommerce caters more directly to small entrepreneurs who utilize WordPress as their website provider.
BigCommerce and WooCommerce are fully compatible platforms. They work seamlessly together for retailers of all types, including online stores with up to 500 products or traditional brick-and-mortar merchants who want to add e-commerce.
BigCommerce, by design, provides more comprehensive enterprise-class features than WooCommerce. The WordPress plugin WooCommerce helps you create a friendly platform if you only want an online store without any of the fancy integrations that come with a full-service e-commerce platform like BigCommerce.
Is It Good to Have a Personal Logo?
The question about having a personal logo is a common one among freelancers, self-employed workers, and other professionals who want their business cards, letterhead, or other marketing pieces to convey professionalism and individualism. The answer: Yes!
A logo becomes the graphic symbol or icon that represents your business and its brand. A brand is more than just a name: It includes all the meanings associated with your company, its products, and its actions. The logo becomes the visual symbol for that bundle of meanings.
You want to develop people’s awareness of those meanings. That way, when they see your logo, their mind will automatically associate it with all the values you and your company represent.
Entrepreneurs need to use branding materials, including logos, on and across all their products and marketing materials. Branding helps make your products easily recognizable at trade shows, commercial venues, and the internet. It also helps people feel loyalty and goodwill toward your brand.
What Programming Language Does WooCommerce use?
The WooCommerce plugin for WordPress is in PHP, one of the most popular programming languages. PHP is a server-side scripting language. What does that mean? It means that PHP runs on the server and executes whatever the script tells it to do.
When someone visits a website, their web browser calls the server, asking for the site to load up. The server then takes all of the information submitted in that request, such as images and stylesheets, and places these files on the user’s computer.
What Programming Language Does BigCommerce use?
BigCommerce also uses PHP, a powerful, flexible programming language. This programming language is popular in developing websites and web applications using MySQL or Apache web servers. More than one in three websites on the internet today use PHP.