Which E-Commerce Software should I use for my Online-Shop?

Intro 

Offering services and physical goods online nowadays is a piece of cake. In just a few hours, any ambitious online store merchant can create an Internet presence for selling services and goods. But which E-Commerce software should you choose? Worldwide, the biggest players are WooCommerce, Shopify, Squarespace and WixStores. In this blog post, we'll introduce you to these players so you can choose the right provider for your online store!

Basically, E-Commerce software providers can be divided into two categories: Hosted and self-hosted online stores. Hosted solutions offer a "modular system", where you can choose from different templates for the online store and also have the possibility to edit them - but only to a certain extent. Self-hosted providers are mostly CMS (Content Management Systems) where the store owner has to take care of hosting, updates and security himself, but can use the CMS for free (open source).

First, we present you a selection of hosted E-Commerce software providers for your online store.


Shopify

  • Which type of software are we talking about?: Login-based online system
  • Price?: From $29
  • What can you sell?: Physical goods, digital products, services

Shopify is probably the most popular E-Commerce software provider to get your Shopify E-Commerce fulfillment up and running. The great thing about this provider is that both beginners and experienced online merchants with programming skills can draw from the full range. Shopify offers many "ready-to-use" templates as well as the possibility to access the template code and connect further digital services, such as invoicing software, via API interfaces.

Shopify also offers the possibility to offer your goods through many different channels (Facebook, Amazon, eBay, etc.). On Instagram, for example, you can even add a "Sell" button that will redirect you directly to your Shopify store. 

You also get flexibility concerning shipping and payment methods. All common payment methods (e.g. credit card, Klarna, Paypal, etc.) are supported. But be careful - if you do not use the in-house service”Shopify Payments”, additional fees will be charged.

If you want to work in stores with different languages, you should reconsider the decision for Shopify as your go-to E-Commerce Software. Multiple languages can be mapped, but only via additional third-party apps from the app store, which you have to implement first.

Pros:

  • For beginners and advanced users
  • Fast setup and clear admin area
  • Extendible through Shopify App Store

Cons:

  • Additional fees except for Shopify Payments
  • Difficult to implement with multiple languages
  • Not SEO friendly URL structure

Wix

  • Which type of software are we talking about?: Login-based online system
  • Price?: From €10
  • What can you sell?: Physical goods, digital products

WixStores is also a hosted solution, which is primarily intended for smaller online stores. Here you can choose from over 100 design templates and enhance it with videos and photos. Powerful additional functions such as the WixBlog or WixBookings round out the service offering. 

On the Wix platform, both physical and digital products can be offered for download and paid for via common payment methods such as credit card or Paypal.

Since Wix is a non-EU provider, you should check the legal security of your store before launching it.

Pros:

  • Very well suited for smaller online stores
  • Multi-channel sales possibilities
  • High customizability

Cons:

  • Only partially DSGVO compliant
  • Low number of interfaces
  • Only partially suitable for larger online-shops

Now here are two more examples of larger players for self-hosted solutions

WooCommerce

  • Which type of software are we talking about?: Self-hosted online system
  • Price?: for free but you should consider hosting, domain, add-on costs
  • What can you sell?: Physical goods, digital products, services

WooCommerce is the most popular E-Commerce plugin for WordPress to get your fulfillment started. This tool offers maximum flexibility in implementing your online store, but requires some setup effort.  So first you have to take care of hosting, pay for a domain, buy themes, etc. Thus, the free plugin can quickly turn into an expensive online store. 

Nevertheless, WooCommerce offers some advantages over hosted services like Shopify due to its flexibility. For example, you can create native product bundles in WooCommerce, whereas you have to purchase an extra app for this in Shopify.

Furthermore, there is the possibility to connect other channels like Amazon or eBay to your WooCommerce to sell your products there. PayPal is the default payment method.

Pros:

  • Scalable solution
  • Ideal for small and medium sized companies
  • Large collection of WordPress Plugins

Cons:

  • Additional effort for additional payment methods
  • Only in connection to WordPress
  • Limited support

Magento

  • Which type of software are we talking about?: Self-hosted online system
  • Price?: Plug-In and Enterprise version available (don’t forget hosting fees)
  • What can you sell?: Physical goods, digital products, services

Magento is primarily designed for medium to large online stores. Similar to WooCommerce, Magento offers a wide range of functionalities and extension options. For example, Magento offers a dashboard, which allows you to make many adjustments, but also requires programming knowledge.

Magento exists in an open-source (i.e. free) and a paid enterprise version. With the enterprise solution, which is very expensive according to various sources, you get improved store functionality and direct support.

Pros:

  • Scalable solution
  • Many themes and add-ons
  • Many extension options

Cons:

  • Programming and Design knowledge necessary
  • Limited support (with free version)
  • High implementation and licensing fees (for enterprise version)

Summary

With this blog post, you've gotten a glimpse into the world of ecommerce software, and we really hope that you feel now more comfortable to evaluate, which software is the best fit for you. Whatever you decide, we support many E-Commerce software players and are happy to help you grow your business!