What are the most important aspects when selecting e-commerce platform?
With a thorough business idea and knowledge about your business and you are ready to set up your online shop. Then you need to choose the right type of platform to build your webshop. In our e-commerce solution and development we focus on WooCommerce for WordPress but we also develop in Prestashop. They both can be used for selling anything, including physical products and virtual items like downloads, ebooks, photos, etc…
If you are an entrepreneur or business owner and are about to set up an ecommerce website, you will soon notice that there are many different ecommerce website builders and ecommerce systems & platforms to choose from. Because of this you really need to carefully think thru the business needs and setup requirements to suit your ambition. Of course you want to get as much as possible for your investment in terms of features, quality, security and design.
How to select the best ecommerce platform depends on where you stand today. That is if you already have a platform you want to replace, or if it is a new project. The selection process is quite similar, but if you already manage an ecommerce platform you probably know a lot more of what you really want to improve or change.
Anyway, we usually start with the basis of the business goals and vision of the company to develop a number of selection parameters that are important before selecting an ecommerce platform.
Good questions before selecting ecommerce platform:
- Price (Including the whole operation, related services, licenses, support, development, etc.)
- Business and licence model (rent, purchase, etc)
- Partner Strategy (implementation partners and integration's with third-party solutions
- Access to expertise
- Local presence
- The platform road map and company procedures to prioritize future features
- The company's history and future prospects
- Financial status
- Supplier's understanding of our business
When you have answered these parameters, I think it is usually good to weight them to decide how important each parameter is in relation to each other. This can be done either by making a scale of 1-10, or otherwise. Then you put ratings on parameters for each supplier and sums it up to a final score to produce a winner.
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WooCommerce vs Prestashop ecommerce platform summary
WooCommerce recently overtook Magento as the top e-commerce platform on the web. There are many reasons why this happened but one of the biggest benefits is its support base. WooCommerce is supported by many companies and developers so finding support is relatively easy. WooCommerce is open source so developers have access to WooCommerce and are able to develop more features into Woo. Woo is based on PHP, one of the top three web code languages, finding a PHP developer is easier than finding a ColdFusion or Ruby developer.
WordPress has an advantage just because it has a big community behind the WordPress platform. User can install many extensions like themes, plugins very easy through the WordPress Repository that built-in WordPress Dashboard. That’s why WooCommerce has been improved the market share like that. With the freedom of WordPress’s platform, creating a personalized and efficient online store is easy. The advantage WordPress gives you is not in its e-commerce capabilities, but instead in the flexibility you need to get started quickly.
WooCommerce needs hosting packages, SSL and WordPress in place before you can start selling. WooCommerce also lets its users create marketing campaigns, implementing coupons, sales and other promotions easily to drive business.
WooCommerce has a good documentation section on the WooThemes site, but they don’t provide free Help & Support.
Unlike most of the other WordPress e-commerce plugins, WooCommerce is almost error and bug free, well maintained and new versions are often released. WooCommerce is followed by a large community, new versions come out continually to improve the experience.
Prestashop has been recognized as one of the best e-commerce softwares, powering over 230,000 online stores. Prestashop is a more complete "outofthebox" e-commerce solution. Prestashop offers its users a suite of tools designed to make the process of starting and running an online store easier and more profitable. Their built-in feature set is already impressive, covering all necessary sales tools like cross selling, coupons, etc.
The PrestaShop dashboard isn’t text heavy, it provides extensive management statistics and the tools for managing your catalogue and shop settings are generally well laid out and intuitive to use. As for the actual dashboard page, you’ll quickly notice how much facts and stats it provides. Graphs and counters are the core focus, and it all looks extremely modern and professional.
I would generally recommend a larger business to use PrestaShop simply because the tools on offer here make it much easier to manage your business effectively without the need for additional Business Management software.
There is a large quantity of documentation available from the PrestaShop website, which provides help and support concerning the platform’s different features and functions. PrestaShop also has customer service reps on call if you need to speak with someone. For support they also offer training courses and paid support plans if that’s something you need. I personally like the forum, where there are over 700k members and basically every question you have can be answered there.
Prestashop or WooCommerce - what should you choose?
Compared to its competitor, WooCommerce is a little bit limited in built-in features. So if you need a complex store, you’d better go for PrestaShop, because it is principally designed for use as an e-commerce platform. But I wouldn’t say one is a definitive winner over the other. It really all depends on your needs as a store owner. For example:
- PrestaShop is recommended for people who want to focus on selling products only without managing a site for other purposes like a forum and photography site. If you need a pure online store with a full range of e-commerce features, then it is better definitely choose PrestaShop.
- If you need a blog or a website with special features that go beyond simple store, WordPress + WooCommerce is the perfect option.
Always keep in mind that switching platforms is a nightmare, so make sure that your decision takes into account your future direction.
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