Shopify takes aim at Wix and WordPress for top dog in the ecommerce space

Ecommerce platforms have been at battle for some time, but who will win the war?

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Every business today needs a website to connect with the many customers who conduct online research for every product and service they need. It’s no longer enough to have a simple informational site. Customers need to be able to make appointments, purchase products, and interact with companies online. If they can’t find the information they need on a site, they may seek out a competitor.

As many business leaders know, though, website design can be extremely expensive. Fortunately, there are many do-it-yourself tools that make it possible to have a professional-quality website without spending a large sum of money. Most businesses turn to Wix and WordPress, but both of these services have their drawbacks. For ecommerce businesses, Shopify has become a top solution, winning out over other website design platforms. Here are a few things e-commerce companies should consider when searching for DIY website design.

Expense

WordPress is often the top choice of business owners on a budget, since it’s one of the least expensive ways to set up a business site. The free templates are limited, though, which means that a business will usually have to pay for a template to get a desired look. Even this small one-time fee is less costly than Wix, though, since Wix members pay an ongoing annual fee to remove ads from the site.

Shopify caters specifically to online shop owners, with features that scale to match a retailer’s growth. A business owner can begin selling on the site and gradually become more independent as his or her customer base grows.

Although the prices are in line with DIY tools like Wix, there are also many specialized features that other sites have, including the option to integrate with major shipping carriers and shopping cart abandonment analytics. While some businesses choose to eventually leave Shopify for a dedicated website, many others choose to stay on the platform and simply move shipping and other activities to third-party services.

Ease of design

It’s important to many professionals that DIY tools be as easy to use as possible. The built-in drag-and-drop functionality of Wix makes it a winner over WordPress, which forces users to work within a designated template. Customization is much easier with Wix, since even someone who is tech challenged can navigate the interface.

Since Shopify is geared more toward selling than providing information, the platform focuses more on ensuring the retailer can properly serve his or her customers. A thorough Shopify review demonstrates the questions Shopify asks to determine a user’s goals, as well as the process of choosing and working with templates.

The site is similar to WordPress in its reliance on templates, but Shopify’s users often are more concerned about ensuring they can display their products and direct visitors to check out. Once a retailer has a shop set up on the site, adding new items is a matter of uploading photos and typing product descriptions.

Website functionality

Once a website is live, ease of design isn’t as important as ease of use. If customers find it difficult to find the information they need, they may leave without making a purchase. While both Wix and WordPress have a selection of e-commerce templates available, neither service is geared specifically toward ecommerce, as Shopify is. Both Wix and WordPress are better for informational sites that don’t require built-in checkout and payment.

With Shopify, retailers will have all the support they need in one place. They can upload and manage their inventory, as well as handle order fulfillment. The reporting feature will give business owners insight into how their products are selling, issues customers may have during the purchase process, and areas of the site that might not be getting as much attention as they should. For businesses that also have brick-and-mortar locations, a point-of-sale feature can equip them with the devices they need to ring up sales, swipe credit cards, and issue receipts.

For retailers searching for the right website design platform, it’s important to carefully research various options. While WordPress and Wix have great features for standard websites, Shopify prioritizes features like checkout, customer service, and inventory management that can come in handy for businesses that rely on their websites to display and sell merchandise.

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