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A blog about software development best practices, how-tos, and tips from practitioners.

Magento or WooCommerce – Which is the Suitable eCommerce Solution?

For a business looking to build an eCommerce system, there is a wide choice of platforms available. Most of the platforms offer somewhat similar features and functionally but one needs to really look deeper to understand the suitability of the platform for a given set of requirements.

In this post, we try and give you a detailed overview of two most popular platforms – Magento and WooCommerce.

WooCommerce:

WooCommerce is an open source WordPress plugin launched in the year 2011.

In terms of features:

  • One of the most compelling features of WooCommerce is the ease of setup and hosting.
  • It can run on a very basic shared hosting and has the same hosting requirements as that of WordPress.
  • Adding of widgets is extremely simple – you can quickly add readymade widgets for featured products, best sellers etc.
  • While WooCommerce offers some standard themes, it can very well be adapted to any WordPress theme. If you have chosen a WordPress theme for your website, you can make the look and feel of your eShop match with the theme of your website.
  • Development and maintenance costs for WooCommerce are really low because it is extremely easy to customize and manage the WooCommerce Shopping carts
  • WooCommerce offers very cool social media integration tools and plugins
  • WooCommerce also offers readymade mobile apps for sales tracking

There are few limitations of WooCommerce:

  • The documentation for WooCommerce is limited. So the developers need to rely on peer support and networking group.
  • It provides the basic features like shopping cart, marketing tools etc. but the advanced integration capabilities and API extensions are limited.
  • It offers limited possibilities for sending out customized emails or invoices to customers.
  • By default, WooCommerce supports only PayPal and offline payments. More payment gateways need to be purchased at an additional cost.

With these features and limitations, WooCommerce is ideal for:

  • Small to medium businesses which want to quickly get started with an eShop at a lower cost without too much investment.
  • Businesses which are familiar with WordPress CMS.
  • Smaller eCommerce websites with less than 1000 products.

Magento: 

Magento is an open source eCommerce management system built by Varien and was acquired by eBay in mid of 2011.

In terms of features:

  • Magento is specifically designed for eCommerce so it offers lot of features and customizations
  • Offers 3 types of stores – small, medium and large
  • The Community Version is a license-free version (out of the box solution for small businesses which is reasonably flexible and feature-rich). Enterprise Edition is available under different plans starting from around $15,000 per annum and it is fully supported - this is very important if you are developing a large eCommerce site.
  • Magento is highly scalable and very flexible
  • It offers advanced marketing and promotion tools like Google Analytics and Google Optimizer
  • It offers easier integration with third party services and also offers a wider variety of payment gateways and inventory management API’s.
  • Magento allows you to setup multiple online stores in one

There are few limitations of Magento:

  • The robust and wide functionality is not easy to implement – you need a Magento or website developer to develop and customize the platform
  • Requires a good server and good hosting environment because it can get resource hungry once the products are loaded and visitors start increasing
  • It offers a little limited capabilities for designers

 With these features and limitations, Magento is ideal for:

  • Large eCommerce systems with more than 1000 products and very high security
  • eCommerce systems with options for cross-selling, up-selling, product comparisons, product/ cart discounts etc.
  • Sites for which SEO is top priority and which require a complete control over SEO settings like search friendly URLs, content, tagging etc.
  • Enterprises which want to provide enhanced experience to the online customers with features such as order history, product comparisons, product comparisons, wish lists, recently viewed products etc.

We hope that this in-depth analysis helps you decide the right platform for your business.

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