There are so many options today when it comes to building an online store. Gone are the days where you had to build your brand solely on eBay.
With multiple solutions, it can be tough to determine what website platform is right for your E-Commerce store. There are countless solutions, and you might be unsure what direction to choose.
One of the biggest choices you’ll need to make is deciding if you want to go for a build-it-yourself option like Wix, Squarespace, or Shopify, or choose a more premier option like WooCommerce to build your online store.
To help your business find the right option, we’re going to list some of the pros and cons of going through a DIY website builder or building your E-Commerce site in WooCommerce.
What are your goals?
Before jumping headlong into the web design process, you should sit down and figure out where you want your business to be in the next few years.
First, plan out how many sales you’re averaging each month and year, then decide if you want to expand into more sales.
Your answer is going to affect the program you use to build and support your website. Measure your current sales and time you spend on your business each month, and decide if you’re going to pursue this full time or as a hobby business.
Once you figure out what direction you want your online store to take, now we can weigh the pros and cons of both options.
DIY vs. WooCommerce
We use WooCommerce to build all our E-Commerce sites. It’s a great option that can be tailored to a variety of different businesses. Startups and big brands like Microsoft and retailer IZOD use WordPress and Woocommerce for their websites.
It’s scalable and easily allows you to add more products and features as you grow. But the catch is it’s only a good fit for your business if you’re planning on growing.
There’s nothing wrong with having a hobby E-Commerce business, but you might not want to spend a bunch of time and money investing in a robust WooCommerce site if you only intend to run a part-time business.
If you’re simply looking to sell a few commissions a month, and not grow beyond your current size, you shouldn’t invest much time and money into a big site.
While WooCommerce is fantastic for a small E-Commerce store with ambitions to grow, you should keep it simple if you aren’t planning on spending a lot of time and money on growing your online store.
What about eventually upgrading?
Now maybe you are planning on growing and adding more products in the future, should you consider using a Wix or Shopify to get started and then switch to WooCommerce in a couple years?
Well, it depends. While we would encourage your business to invest in a solid, well-built WooCommerce site you can add onto later as you grow, we know not everyone can afford a larger site when they first start out.
If you’re fortunate enough to have money saved up, then we recommend paying for the larger website now instead of later.
The truth is if you plan on growing you’re eventually going to have to get a website platform that can handle all the advanced tracking, shipping options, payment gateway, and product management tools that a smaller platform will not be able to support.
Eventually, you’re also going to need to have someone manage your website if you don’t want to spend the time on managing updates or if your site goes down.
If you can’t afford a larger site now, we understand. Sometimes you have to save up and develop your business a little bit more. We’ve had a few clients who weren’t at the right place for a WooCommerce store when we first met with them.
If you can, we encourage you to pay for the larger platform option up front, and add onto it as you grow and expand. If you have the money to do so, you can save yourself from rebuilding your website from scratch when you move to a WooCommerce platform.
If you have questions regarding building a website through WooCommerce, contact us, and we’ll give you a free consultation to help you grow your E-Commerce business.