From our experience we have chosen five top ecommerce platforms to feature in some back ground knowledge on the land scape. Technology particularly online technology and information technology has evolved significantly over the past 5 - 10 years. One technological advancement in particular 'How we use, install and update software'. The idea of purchasing software on some sort of hard disk (Either a CD or hard disk) installing it on a PC and then running the program offline on the computer then connecting that program to the internet is now something that seams prehistoric.
In the below blog post I will talk about how each of these five companies are doing from our agency perspective on the point of keeping up to date with the latest ease of use and how we see them in the eyes of value for money. I will also speak to the point of why predominantly use Shopify for all our ecommerce builds.
see below the trend line of google search results from 2004 - present day.
If you are wondering what this means, in a nut shell it can tell us a story about the growing or declining interest in each platform/company/community.
The Same TrenD By Region
What is it known for: Ease of use, stability, extensive support and its community.
How technical do you need to be to use: Anyone that can use a computer with relative ease should be able to set up a Shopify site and learn the basic rope within 2 - 3 months of operating. To build a site that is tailored to a specific requirement developer experience is needed.
What we think of Shopify: We love it! historically building a site from scratch or using a stack of services or 3rd party software would leave us in a position where our clients would need our assistance to manage and fix the smallest of issues, now with Shopify we can build a quite custom product/stack on Shopify if we need, hand it over and the admin interface, 24/7 support and community allows our clients to get help 'In the rare case they need it' on demand and for free... as a agency this means we can deliver a much higher customer satisfaction.
What is it know for: Their 3rd party plug in used for Wordpress ecommerce sites, Open source, capability with many other services.
How technical do you need to be to use: The Wordpress plug in, you will need to be a little 'techy' because you would of have to of installed WP on a self build IT system. And downloading it and using their software for someone who didn't grow up spending their school years on a computer it will produce a touch of stress, non the less relatively easy to get started.
What we think of Woocommerce: My experience only extends as far as the WP plug in's and they used to work great, to be honest I haven't used their software in the last 12 months apart from an update we did about 9 months ago, which just for that reason is why we do not use it so much any more. Open source generally means maintenance.
What is it know for: It's "Free" to set up...... flexibility (can access the data bases with relative ease), being broken (we seam to always be fixing these things)....
How technical do you need to be to use: To set up a Open cart site properly you will need to have a decent amount of experience in the IT set up and in how you change/upgrade your site.
What we think of Opencart: It is a great platform for agencies who have profitable and well designed web-management programs.... Unless you are planning on building something which requires a unique set of requirements there is no reason I would recommend using Opencart to a non technical customer.
What is it know for: Top of the line builds and at scale or enterprise solutions. Being the leader in the legacy market.
How technical do you need to be to use: Depending on which program/product you go with, but taking the first time business owner as an example 'a simple shop', you will most likely have to contract someone to develop your site and possible maintain it. Many long standing agencies are geared to service Magneto clients, but they seam to not generally suit the type of customers need.
What we think of Magento: Many long standing agencies are geared to service Magento clients, but they seam to not generally suit the type of customers need.a non technical customer. Hiring a legacy agency to build a custom Magento site because of the work involved will costs much more than what a start up small business can afford. I think it is a great platform if you are building at scale and have resources to manage it.
Summary: If you are reading this then I would advise that you stick with something like Shopify, even tho it cost's 'Money' to turn key with, the time and head ache you will save in the long run will fruit in less stress and less agency costs.