When creating a new e-commerce website there are many things to consider. If you need more than a simple storefront, one of the biggest decisions is what software to choose. Programs like Shopify and BigCommerce are fine for many web retail applications with limited numbers of SKUs, e.g., less than a 5,000. However, they can fail to live up to customer requirements when it comes to handling the more complex product display and integration requirements associated with robust manufacturing and services companies’ e-commerce and e-catalog websites, as well as their larger >10,000 SKU counts. While these use cases are often the realm of more developer-intensive and costly applications like Magento and NetSuite, WordPress WooCommerce is a great option for those who know and admire WordPress’s ease of use and free software as well as its capabilities to process the SKU count requirements of its more sophisticated and costly counterparts.
As this article will reveal, the WordPress WooCommerce platform offers many advantages over storefront oriented e-commerce software programs as well as the more complex and SKU-intensive ones like Magento and NetSuite. Read on to better understand the many benefits of using the WordPress WooCommerce platform in comparison to both the lower and high end of the spectrum. Based on MVP’s award-winning experience with private equity firms and their portfolio companies, healthcare and professional services firms, and manufacturing and technology-enabled services companies throughout North America and globally, we offer an inside look into why using WordPress WooCommerce will offer you scalable and affordable choice for your next e-commerce project.
Seven Benefits of WordPress WooCommerce
As online order processing and catalog display for products and services continues to expand, many B2B and B2C marketers find they need to create a website that will not only stand out from the crowd but provide the type of custom-tailored user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) that will not only reflect their brand but fulfill the transaction features their organization requires. For example, based on our experience with SoundSuite, a custom and subscription-based music producer, selling its tracks and services globally, the ability to offer customer the choice of not only purchasing a soundtrack but sampling it, was key to their website’s form and functionality. On the other hand, should your website require backend fulfillment and ERP system integration requirements, functionality often associated with enterprise-level B2B and B2C products and services companies, as did our recent e-commerce website design project for single source IT technology provider, Teksetra, this level of sophistication and cost-effective development, would not have been as easily fulfilled through either the lower cost SaaS-based store front options or the more complex solutions offered by Magento and NetSuite. Looked at this way, WordPress WooCommerce may be viewed as the golden mean of scalable and affordable e-commerce website development.
Here are a few ways that WordPress WooCommerce can help you level up.
One of the biggest advantages of WordPress WooCommerce is its customization capabilities – and we don’t mean just the use of plugins. When it comes to truly scalable e-commerce websites, our programmers write custom code to meet specific client needs. Our team even has created product and services configurators. For example, view our NAMSA FDA test navigator or the Build Your Own Roadtrek “Class-B” motorhome configurator. Want your $150,000 Mercedes-chassis campervan to come with fries—no problem. (It’s in there!)
If your needs surpass simple storefront functionality, Woo Commerce’s application programming interface (API) offers additional customizability. As mentioned, our site SoundSuite Music, an international custom music track producer, not only offers subscription style enrollment but audio sampling of music tracks too. You simply can’t do this through “out of the box” Shopify or BigCommerce solutions; and creating the site on the Magento or NetSuite application would have been “overkill,” and cost thousands more than the client paid. Through use of WordPress (WooCommerce) functionality businesses can create personalized and sophisticated online stores that meet their specific needs. Likewise, our site on behalf of Teksetra, a leader in single source IT services for corporate, education, financial, government, healthcare and manufacturing, is another great example. Visit the site to view the high level of UX and UI customization and that transcends the SaaS-based store front e-commerce platforms and costs less and is faster to implement than either a Magento or NetSuite solution.
WordPress WooCommerce’s software is open-source and free to download, which makes it a highly cost-effective solution for developers serving the custom programming needs of small to medium-sized businesses. This is especially true when considering more sophisticated, costly, and longer lead-time applications such as Magento and NetSuite, as we’ve previously discussed. However, if you’re still intent on a storefront use case, and don’t need to all the “bells and whistles” that the WordPress WooCommerce software can offer, i.e., the case requiring only minimal customization, then it could still be the preferred choice based on the many third-party themes and plugins that are available at a low cost or for free.
The platform is highly scalable, making it suitable for businesses of all sizes, but especially those requiring ERP integration with such systems as NetSuite, Sage Intacct, Acumatica and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. From our experience in assisting Teksetra, a leading provider of Single Source IT services, not only rebrand and rename but create a robust e-commerce site that needed to integrate with the Infor ERP system, we found that WordPress WooCommerce was easy and efficient to work with. Whether a business is just starting out or is well-established, and requires e-commerce or e-catalog functionality, WordPress WooCommerce can be customized and expanded to meet a business’s needs as it grows.
WordPress WooCommerce is designed to be search engine optimized, which makes it easier for an online store to rank highly in search engine results. Because it’s typically incorporated into a custom e-commerce or e-catalog website development use case, rather than a simple store front SaaS-based website such as Shopify or BigCommerce, the code is lighter and not bloated. This means that Google and Bing bots find your product information much faster and efficiently in comparison to SaaS storefront solutions we’ve referenced. On the other hand, though Magento and NetSuite offer SEO advantages, they will, as we’ve mentioned previously cost more than a comparable WordPress WooCommerce solution.
Like the SaaS-based alternatives, businesses can easily manage their online store without any technical expertise using WordPress WooCommerce. The platform’s intuitive interface makes it easy to add products, manage orders, and update a website, even if a user has limited technical knowledge. This contrasts to the higher end alternative solutions from Magento and NetSuite, which typically require expert developer knowledge, along with more time and expense, to make these system as user-friendly as WordPress Woo Commerce is almost right out of the box.
6. Large Community
The large and active community of WordPress WooCommerce users and developers provides a wealth of resources and support to both new and established businesses. This community can help your developer solve problems, get advice, and access tools that make managing your online store easier and more efficient. Assuming, you’re working with and through a third-party website developer or digital agency, this can be advantageous when you request custom features and modifications that are key to your requirements. In comparison to the SaaS-based alternatives, you’re likely going to be limited to the pre-built template solution offered with more limited flexibility. In contrast the more sophisticated platforms like Magento and NetSuite tend to rely solely on the developer’s knowledge set with more limited community input when it comes to customized options.
7. Payment Options
With a wide range of payment options, WordPress WooCommerce makes it easy for businesses to accept money from their customers. The platform supports popular gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, and Amazon Pay, among others.
When using Shopify or similar platforms, a fee is typically charged on every transaction, which is usually combined with the chosen and partnered payment processor. However, if you choose a non-partnered payment processor with other large e-commerce sites, you run the risk of being double charged a fee by both that platform and the integrated payment processor. On the other hand, with WooCommerce, you only need to worry about your primary payment processor. Depending on your chosen processor and the level of service your company has, fees can be negotiated, unlike in other large e-commerce platforms where that is unlikely. While these options are going to be similar for the more sophisticated offerings from Magento and NetSuite payment integration is going to be more time consuming and less cost-effective than having gone the WordPress WooCommerce route. If this sounds complicated, count on Team MVP to recommend the best payment solution for your unique e-commerce needs.
WordPress WooCommerce offers many advantages over other e-commerce platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce, especially when more sophisticated form and functionality is required. While these platforms are also popular and offer their own unique features, they do not offer the same level of customization and scalability. Furthermore, they can be more expensive than they would initially appear, particularly for businesses that need to use additional plugins or themes rather than custom code.
At the same time, such scalable offerings from Magento and NetSuite while capable, are, when all things are considered, good but not great when it comes to matching up against WordPress WooCommerce in terms of affordability, ease and speed of implementation.
Based on our extensive use of the WordPress WooCommerce platform, we find it to be a versatile and cost-effective e-commerce tool with many benefits including customization, affordability, scalability, SEO friendliness, user-friendliness, a large and supportive community, and a wide range of affordable payment options. Whether you are just starting out or well-established, if your website customization needs exceed those of SaaS-based store front themes and do not require the multi-thousand SKU handling requirements of Magento and NetSuite, then our “Best of the Midwest” design and development team is likely to be your “most valuable partner” to succeed in the competitive world of e-commerce and/or e-catalog website design, development and hosting.
About MVP Marketing + Design, Inc.
MVP Marketing + Design is a Minneapolis-based website design, branding and digital agency with a Boston satellite office. As an award-winning website design and branding firm, MVP has served regional, national, and international clients for over 37 years. Our smart, eye-catching work pushes marketing, design, and technology to the limits, as we propel brands, tell stories, and generate leads for our most valued partners.
We are enthusiastic about creating brand equity for clients in such markets as private equity, investment banking, mezzanine debt and real estate finance as well as healthcare and medical device, professional and technology-enabled services, CPG, manufacturing, and the non-profit sector.
Award-winning design, innovative functionality, including e-commerce, and a “what’s next” mindset have propelled MVP and our clients as we build their brands, promote their products and services, and deliver business growth.
We are pleased to have been recognized for our solution-oriented work by the Communicator Awards, Davey Awards, Hermes Awards, W-3 Awards, MARCOM Awards and others. MVP is a WordPress VIP Silver Agency Partner.
For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.