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Marketing4 Ways to Boost E-Commerce Sales in the 2022 Holiday SeasonThe holiday season always brings in a huge influx of sales activity across all major e-commerce platforms. With this in mind, e-commerce retailers should start building an action plan to improve sales performance while also thinking about how they can boost e-commerce holiday revenue. Here are some ways to boost your e-commerce sales during the 2021 holiday season. 1. Optimize Your Website for PC and Mobile Optimizing the customer experience on your website will be sure to keep them happy and entice their return, while a poorly optimized website can scare customers off before they even reach the checkout. Some things to consider when optimizing your site are discussed below. Increase Page Loading Speeds To assess your website’s loading speeds, use a tool called PageSpeed Insights. Unlike other speed testing tools, PageSpeed delivers a website speed analysis for both mobile and PC devices simultaneously. The best part: PageSpeed Insights also breaks down any components on your website that could use improvement. Offer a Fast Checkout As consumers have become more accustomed to the benefits of online shopping, the importance of a quick and efficient checkout process has become apparent. In fact, it’s a well-known fact that the faster a website’s checkout process, the higher conversion rates are likely to be. One of the best examples of a super-efficient and high-converting checkout process is Amazon. The rollout of their one-click checkout process has been a tremendous success. To emulate the success that Amazon has had, try out these fast checkout tips: Add multiple checkout or shopping cart buttons to your website.Minimize the number of forms your customers have to fill out to complete their transactions.Offer a guest checkout option.Offer multiple payment gateways. Optimize Pop-Ups and CTAs Getting the timing right for pop-ups and calls to action (CTAs) is crucial. If you annoy or distract your users with too many pop-ups or CTAs, you risk losing their trust and conversions. And, if you don’t include any pop-ups or CTAs, you risk people not finding what they were looking for on your site at all and leaving disappointed. To strike the right balance between these two extremes, try out these pop-up and CTA optimization tips: Make sure your CTA is clear and visible.Make your pop-ups more relevant to the user.Use your pop-ups to highlight products or services they’ve previously browsed.Make sure your pop-ups and CTAs are mobile-friendly.A/B test everything to help you determine what works and what doesn’t. 2. Use Cross-Selling, Upselling, and Buy Now, Pay Later Apps Another e-commerce holiday marketing strategy is to use cross-selling, upselling, and buy now, pay later apps. If you haven’t heard of these strategies to increase online sales in your store, here’s a quick breakdown of each: Cross-selling is a sales technique where a retailer encourages a customer to buy an additional product or service at the same time as the original purchase.Up-selling is a sales technique where a retailer encourages a customer to buy a more expensive or more profitable version of a product or service.Buy Now, Pay Later is an online payment feature that lets customers buy online by paying nothing upfront. As an e-commerce seller, you are always looking for ways to improve your business sales results. With the help of these tools and tactics, you can do just that. Are you using Shopify? If so, why not check out our post on the Best Shopify Apps to Increase Sales. 3. Run Holiday Promotions Some popular promotion strategies to increase company sales are discussed below. Bundles Product bundling involves offering a group of products together at a single discounted price. This is a very popular sales strategy that can increase sales and profit margins significantly while also helping your customers create a more well-rounded purchase. Discounts The goal of holiday promotions is to encourage users to purchase more. Offering a discount is a very effective way to do this. You can send discounts to all customers or, if you are looking for a more effective strategy, you can use targeted discounts based on your customers' previous purchasing history. Our post on the best Shopify apps lists a few that can help you do this. A perfect time to use holiday-promoted discounts is during Black Friday sales. If you want to learn more about the best ways to do this, check out our Black Friday Marketing Strategy post. Giveaways A giveaway is a promotional strategy that involves distributing gifts to your customers. The purpose of a giveaway is to boost sales by encouraging people to buy a specified product or service. 4. Expand Your Sales Channels One of the most effective ways of boosting your sales during the holiday period is to expand your social media presence. Here are a few tips to help your e-commerce store achieve this: Grow your audience through appealing offers and incentives.Use influencers to your advantage.A/B test your social media adverts.Leverage Facebook audience optimization. Where Should You Start? Knowing where to start will largely depend on how big your e-commerce store is, how much exposure it already has, as well as how big of a budget you have to play with. If you’re new, start with the basics. Be sure your website is running optimally and you’re focusing on building your site traffic and conversions. For larger, more established sites looking to increase website sales and profits, try optimizing your checkout process, focusing on CRO, and expanding your exposure through social media.
Power Up Your eCommerce Plan With This Black Friday Marketing Strategy
Profit optimizationPower Up Your eCommerce Plan With This Black Friday Marketing StrategyFor marketers and brands, 9 PM on Black Friday can feel like the final few minutes of the moon landing. It’s the time at which sales typically reach their apex and your team finally discovers whether their hard work and strategy paid off. When it does go to plan, eCommerce stores can expect to make around 30% of their annual revenue over the November holiday season. But if it doesn’t: Houston, we have a problem! Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) get tougher to navigate every year. Shoppers are overwhelmed with options and paralyzed with decisions, plus wise to the tricks and nudges marketers are using to get them to spend more. That means brands must start each BFCM campaign earlier, be more creative, and hang in there longer after checkout is complete. The prize? It’s a once-a-year opportunity to clear excess inventory in time for Christmas, acquire new customers, and fill the funnel for the future. Where Can Brands Go Wrong With BFCM? Inevitably, as a consumer, you are going to see this in November — brands you haven’t heard from in weeks or months will start peppering your inbox with their BFCM automated flows (although your spam folder is probably the more likely destination.) Is there something new? Sadly not. For the most part, the products are from the current inventory list, but with — wait for it — a 20% discount! Don’t be that brand. Black Friday weekend is the busiest time of year for stores and marketers. It’s noisy and intrusive, but customers indulge us because there are deals to be seized. Without proper planning, however, eCommerce stores find themselves discounting items that could have gone for full price, going out of stock due to an unexpected demand or spending heavily to convert customers who are never heard from again. Some brands even skip the whole experience altogether — particularly if you’re a luxury retailer, BFCM discounts may not be a good fit for your long-term strategy. You could even emulate REI, the outdoor-gear retailer that chooses to give employees Black Friday off to #optoutside instead - which is very much on brand for them. But if you’re in, go all in. Here’s how... Adjust Advertising Plans To Fill the Funnel Prep well ahead if you want to feast over Thanksgiving. That means seeding the funnel from a distance, building interest and excitement, educating leads, and getting customers used to seeing you in their inbox and on their social media feeds. As customers engage, segment them by interest, behavior, and demographics so that you’re delivering a relevant message at each touch point of the customer journey. That might sound like the conventional funnel, but this one comes with an expiration date. Because once Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to unleash the BFCM discounts and special offers. At this point, your list should be warmed up and your customers aware of your products and brand values — ready to convert. Rather than trying to pitch a discount to new prospects — never a good idea — you can invite them to storm the checkout with a fully loaded shopping cart. Bear in mind that generating leads through paid social advertising means competing in an even more crowded marketplace around the holiday season. The average CTR for Facebook ads during the year is 0.89% across all sectors. Although conversion rates can increase by up to 36% over Black Friday weekend, it’s harder to grab a slice of the pie. Plus with the iOS App Tracking Transparency changes, it’s more expensive than ever! Try These Strategies Bring in the influencers to build buzz around your brand in a more authentic way that speaks directly to their audience.Offer early-bird specials and VIP sneak peeks to break out of the same cycle everyone else is using. Launch Time — Discounts Done Right Discounts are most effective when they’re delivered as an unexpected reward. But everybody expects a BFCM deal, so surprises have to be more sophisticated. Offer an alternative. Who knew that 20% of shoppers prefer free shipping to a discount? Similarly, gift wrapping or personalization can unlock responses that price reductions can no longer reach. Save your best deals for your most loyal customers. VIPs spend three times more than your other customers, but usually make up only around 5% of your list. Encourage customers to spend more, not less. Use your discounts to lure buyers toward higher-ticket items or bigger shopping carts, instead of offering them from the outset storewide. Likewise, discount certain product categories only, not the whole store. That adds an element of exclusivity. If you do run discounts, all your deals should be prominent on your landing page. Ideally, you want to separate them from the everyday stock with a distinctive color scheme, theme or mega-menu. Consider adding payment options such as “Buy Now, Pay Later” or one-click checkout. Nothing extinguishes the buzz of a big discount like a long, convoluted checkout process. Shopify recommends ditching the coupons and codes altogether, because they add friction and customers find them annoying. Instead, run dynamic scripts that apply discounts once a shopping cart reaches a specific target. Don’t overlook A/B testing just because it’s Black Friday. In fact, make it a priority to test send times, discounts versus other offers, even copy lines and creative. If your e-commerce store is about to be swamped with shoppers, there’s a lot of valuable insight to be gathered for your ongoing marketing strategy. Leverage SMS and Email To Boost Conversions Although the trusted approach is to set up a solid funnel to grab attention on social media, nurture leads through email or content marketing, then convert with discounts when BFCM weekend arrives — it’s not always that simple. Customers can reach your eCommerce store over the holiday season from all angles, with or without intent, for the first time or as a repeat visitor, happy to browse or ready to buy. Whatever route they’ve taken to reach your store, the frightening reality is that around 75% will leave by abandoning their cart. Without SMS, Messenger, and email to retarget them, weeks or months of hard work (and budget) could be lost at the final hurdle. The key takeaway? Don’t overlook lifecycle marketing. SMS in particular can boast open rates as high as 98%. Exploiting SMS will also force everyone to keep mobile top of mind when crafting their strategy. Bear in mind that around 60% to 70% of your customers are going to view your Black Friday campaign on mobile. That means your site has to be responsive, your emails dynamic, and your checkout process as frictionless as possible. Reap the Rewards After the Season Is Over Smart marketers know that the week after Cyber Monday is often just as popular as the two weeks leading up to Black Friday. After all, there’s no rule that says you have to shut down the sale when the clock strikes midnight. If everything has gone to plan, your store has a lot of happy customers, many of whom are first-time purchasers. Now is the time to turn them into brand loyalists and maximize their customer lifetime value. From Conversion to Delight Offer incentives for referrals, who typically generate 16% higher revenue than average customers and are four times more likely to refer other customers themselves. Upsell your related products based on previous purchases. If you’ve just treated a new customer to a Black Friday discount, they’re likely to have a positive opinion of your store.Continue to reward loyalty. They may have arrived as a BFCM shopper, but you can make them a VIP and grow their average order value or secure their subscription. Have a plan for returns. Around 30% of products purchased online are returned, and 80% of consumers expect their returns to be free. Now is not the time to turn a return into a positive customer experience rather than a negative outcome. A straightforward return policy and process can build trust which leads to repeat purchases. Up for the challenge? Reach out to Hawke Media today with these points in mind and watch your eCommerce profits soar over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday week. SOURCES Dynamic Yield 7 Black Friday Mistakes to Avoid on Your Ecommerce Site Shopify Black Friday Ecommerce: 15 Ideas, Tips & Strategies to 3X-10X Sales Salecycle Black Friday 2021 Ultimate Ecommerce Strategy Dixa Black Friday Cyber Monday 12-Point Ecommerce Checklist
Analyzing data to reach maximum business growth
Business metricsThe Business Life Cycle: Maximizing Company GrowthThe business life cycle is a model that shows how a business grows and changes over time. It can be applied to a single product, a portion of a business, or an entire company. It aims to show how a business evolves and how to handle each stage of its development. The business life cycle model helps make business strategy decisions, such as how much to invest in research and development or whether to develop or acquire new products. Conceptualizing the life cycle of a business can sometimes be challenging. To help you out, this post will run through everything you need to know about the business life cycle model. Why Is the Business Life Cycle Important? Up-and-coming entrepreneurs often overlook the life cycle of a business. They get so caught up in their ideas and getting their business up and off the ground that it is often easy to overlook the expected corporate lifestyle and forget about the future. With that in mind, understanding the business life cycle model is critical to the success of all managed businesses. What Are the Four Stages of the Business Life Cycle? The life cycle of a business entails several phases that a company can go through. The 4 stages of the business life cycle are: Start-up A product or service is introduced to the market.Growth The product or service is received favorably by the market.Maturity The product or service reaches its peak in popularity or demand.Decline/renewal The product or service declines in popularity and is subsequently halted, reintroduced, or modified to suit new market conditions better. How to Maximise Introductory Growth as a Startup Business There is no surefire way for instant success. Although, there are proven strategies you can employ to help your start-up business grow faster during its introductory stage. Here are a few “how to grow your business" tips that you can easily take advantage of as a startup: Hire the right people Get the right people in the right positions, and your business is sure to get off the ground quickly.Encourage feedback Listening to your customers is a must. Ignore the voice of your greatest critics, and you’re sure to fail.Be adaptable Change is inevitable. With that in mind, it is best to make sure you are staying adaptable before it comes round to bite you later down the road.Incentivize customer loyalty Referral programs are an excellent way to get more people talking about your business faster. How to Employ Growth Strategies to Your Business Ensuring the best possible business growth cycle is important for the efficacy of your company, and here are a few strategies you can employ to do so. Market Strategies Penetration Using strategies like advertisements, product bundles, and discounts can help to outcompete your competitors.Development Leverage the success of your existing popular products or services by launching them in a new geographical area.Segmentation By segmenting your market into groups like customer preferences, interests, and locations, you can easily create targeted campaigns with a much higher chance of success. Partnerships Sometimes to make things happen, businesses may choose to work alongside other businesses. This can lead to joint ventures, mergers, or licensing deals. In many cases, this is a good idea as long as the arrangement benefits all parties involved. Product Expansion Small businesses can benefit hugely from an expansion of product lines. It may be the case that you are experiencing a deceleration in sales or profits due to outdated products or services. If so, it could be time for you to expand your current lineup and boost your chances of success. Alternative Marketing Utilizing non-traditional marketing methods is one of the best ways to grow your budding business. Many small businesses already use more than one online platform for marketing their business, but sometimes switching from one to another can achieve even better results. Can Your Business Grow in the Final Stages of Its Life Cycle? The process of reinvestment can be different for every company, but the purpose is always the same - to ensure that your business can continue to thrive. For businesses that are already experiencing success, reinvestment is about expanding or upgrading. For businesses that are in decline or struggling to get off the ground, reinvestment is about reinvigoration. You can take solace in the fact that, regardless of where your company is in its lifecycle, investing in your business can help you avoid decline and ultimately help to ensure the overall success of your business.
Top 6 Shopify Sales Funnel Apps
Profit optimizationTop 6 Shopify Sales Funnel AppsGetting the perfect customers is quite tough. No one comes to an eCommerce store predetermined what to buy. You’d be lucky if you get such a customer once in a blue million. For the majority of your customers, you would have to create a funnel that would lead them to make the sale eventually. For most startup businesses, this is exactly the problem. Understanding and implementing the marketing funnel is the only solution to ensuring maximum conversions from your visitors. But, how do you do that? You Don’t. The Shopify funnel app does that for you. Fortunately, for Shopify customers, this mammoth task can be easily achieved through certain apps and tools. But, before that, you need to understand what the marketing funnel is. Understanding the Marketing Funnel The marketing funnel is a visual representation of a customer’s journey from being aware of a brand, to visiting its website page to finally making the sale. The marketing funnel demonstrates this journey in three major steps: awareness, consideration and conversion. Here’s an easy way to understand this: Awareness: Customer sees your ad on social media or search engine Consideration: Customer visits your website, goes through the product and weighs it for pros and cons. Conversion: Customer finally decides to purchase your product. By understanding the marketing funnel, you are able to better align your marketing campaigns with its goals. A brand awareness campaign should not be focused on generating maximum ROI. On the other hand, a remarketing campaign should be focused most on conversions, exactly what Shopify funnel apps contribute to. How Do Shopify Sales Funnel Apps Help? Shopify’s funnel apps help you improve the overall customer journey for your visitors, present your brand in a more professional manner and create processes that lead customers to buying your product. If you are looking for a sales funnel app on Shopify then here the top 5 most sort after ones for 2021: Ali Reviews App: What’s better than having direct reviews from Amazon & Ali Express customers as social proof to increase your website conversions? The Ali Reviews importer app by FireApps helps with a significant boost in product sales and strengthens customer trust. It allows importing authentic product reviews and photos so enhancing your credibility. Pros: Automated Review Request EmailsEasy moderation of product reviewsContributes to inline SEO with rich snippets Reviews available in 15 different languages24/7 customer support Cons: Might not work for all themes Shogun Landing Page Builder: Your landing page is the page where your customers land when they click on your ads. Unlike your home page, a landing page should be more aggressive, targeted to your audience, specific to their needs and professional enough to convince them to buy your products. That’s exactly what Shogun Landing Page Builder does for you. With its professionally designed templates, drag and drop functionality, and thousands of templates, you would have a compelling landing page that would convert your visitors into customers. Pros: Easy to Use with Drag & Drop FeatureMultiple Page Types such as Home, Landing Pages, Services, etc.Mobile & Performance OptimizedEasily to integrate with Google AnalyticsAwesome Support Team Cons: No call support for plans under $149No Free Plans Available PageFly Fast Page Builder PageFly is another popular landing page builder with more than 60 templates and individual section templates. In case, don’t like a particular section of the template you have selected, you can simply replace it with another. It’s easy and allows you to create professionally designed landing pages within minutes. Pros: There is a Free Version availableEasy to use drop and drag featureProfessionally designed page designsA separate database of professionally designed sectionsMobile & performance optimizedLive chat support Easily integrates with Google ads, analytics & FacebookThe dashboard includes visual representations of sales & conversions Cons: Limited Functionality with Free Version such as only one-page template per page type Honeycomb Upsell Funnels Probably one of the smartest Shopify apps to boost your sales! Honeycomb Upsell revolves around the idea of grabbing customer attention when they are about to make the sale, since this is considered the peak of a customer’s attention span. Once a customer buys a product or is about to buy a product, this app displays offers that compels them to add more to their cart. For instance, if a customer is buying a product at a certain price, the app might display a banner showing the same product plus another product with discounted prices. In most cases, customers don't mind paying a little bit extra to get two products for almost the price of one. You make an upsell there and then! Pros: Superb Performance of upsell banners in terms of speed and mobile compatibilityAI integration to scan customer history to suggest relevant upsell productsUnlike most apps, Honeycomb allows offers to appear on any page including thank you page or cart pageEasy to use and set up24/7 support on all packages and free accounts Cons: Limited funnel views with the free package Zipify Pages Builder Here’s another time-tested landing page building Shopify app with drag and drop functionality to make the task easier yet effective. With Zipify, you get the option of using pre-designed landing pages, build one from scratch or customize an existing template as per your liking. There are a bunch of tools that make the process easier for you. Pros: User-friendly drag and drop functionality to build awesome pagesCustomizable pagesMobile and device responsiveAllows you to copy the sales funnel to create more funnels Able to track visitor’s data for remarketing purposes Cons: No free package. Prices start from $67. UFE Cross Sell & Upsell Funnel With any eCommerce website, cross-selling is an opportunity and a missed one for those who don't know about it yet. Cross-selling is the art of selling related products to customers when they select a product. UFE takes this concept to another level by allowing you to offer freebies, gifts, coupons and complimentary offers to customers. It’s a simple tool that charts your cross-selling plans and executes them without any hassle. Pros: A user-friendly app that even beginners can use to chart cross-selling and upselling funnelsEasy to integrate and useAllows to create upsell pages, banners, pop-ups and the likeYou can monitor your customer’s journey liveSupport in multiple languages Cons: Software bugs, rarely though Why Should You Care About Your Marketing Funnel? If you are running an eCommerce business, understanding the way customers behave on websites is the key to maximizing your ROI. Certain elements remain constant regardless of how good your products or marketing campaigns are. This is why it becomes important to break down the process into a marketing funnel and focus on your offerings accordingly. Once you implement a sales or marketing funnel, you’d be in a better position to implement strategies and tools for specific phases. For instance, it would be useless to offer upsells or cross-sells to a visitor when s/he hasn't even reached the checkout page yet. Only with effective marketing funnel tools, you will be able to grab your customer’s attention in accordance with the funnel phase they are in.
WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which is better for eCommerce in 2021?
Business managementWooCommerce vs Shopify: Which is better for E-Commerce in 2022? WooCommerce vs Shopify: In a nutshell WooCommerce is one of the most flexible and customizable website development platforms available on the market today. While we call it a ‘platform’, WooCommerce is actually a free plugin for WordPress (winning the Shopify vs WooCommerce cost competition). Still, we’ll call it a platform for the duration of this article. WooCommerce gives you full freedom to create a uniquely tailored online store. With so much freedom and flexibility though, WooCommerce can be more difficult for beginners that don’t have experience launching their own eCommerce website – something that Shopify does better. Since Shopify was intentionally designed to be an easy online store development platform, it’s much more fitting for those who are less tech-savvy to get a new store up-and-running than WooCommerce. On the other hand, Shopify is much more rigid than WooCommerce in terms of how personalized you can make your website; there are pretty clear limits on what you can and can’t do with Shopify. So is WooCommerce better than Shopify, or is Shopify better than WooCommerce? It’s an important question to ask, particularly if you’re considering replatforming your eCommerce store. We give you the full answer, piece by piece, in this detailed guide! WooCommerce: An overview WooCommerce is the second most powerful eCommerce platform in terms of market share, commanding more than 23% of the eCommerce market. WooCommerce ranks high when it comes to affordability, customizability, SEO tools, and they don’t shut down websites for ‘questionable practices’ the way other platforms do. While WooCommerce itself is completely free, there are a variety of costs that will need to be covered including hosting, purchasing a domain name, security plans, transaction fees, and so on. All-in-all, running a WooCommerce store could run you at least $10 per month and, for more ‘bells and whistles’, could be upwards of $30 per month. Shopify: An overview Shopify ranks lowest in terms of eCommerce platform market share with a mere 3.7% of the total pie. While it is small in size, Shopify provides its users with a range of powerful features and tools for building a successful online store. Creating a fully functioning e-commerce store can be done much more quickly than with WooCommerce thanks to the highly intuitive user interface that lets users do nearly anything with a simple click or drag of the mouse. Aside from how easy it is to use Shopify, the enormous number of Shopify apps means that there’s almost always a solution for the things that Shopify doesn’t do on its own. You can try Shopify with a 14-day free trial. After the trial ends, paid plans start at $29 per month. Who is WooCommerce for? WooCommerce is best for small businesses that want a cheaper way to develop their online presence. That said, learning how to code is a prerequisite for using WooCommerce, since you’ll have to make changes on your own to personalize the look and functionality of your website. But even though it’s more demanding in terms of the technical expertise you’ll need, you can do a lot more with WooCommerce in terms of personalizing your store since it’s an open-source platform. Who is Shopify for? Shopify is best for beginner business owners who want a simpler, user-friendly way to start an online store. Shopify stands out by including all of the necessary features of an eCommerce store right off the bat, even in its most affordable pricing plan. Plus there are many additional built-in features that are helpful for newer online business owners, including discount codes, gift cards, abandoned cart recovery, a Shopify POS app, and more. Still curious about WooCommerce vs Shopify? If it’s about ease of use, Shopify is the clear choice. WooCommerce pricing WooCommerce is a free plugin for WordPress, which is also a free website development platform (that isn’t exclusively for e-commerce businesses). That said, there are other costs that must be calculated if you want your website to actually be live on the web. Those costs include: Hosting starting at around $7/monthDomain name starting at around $15/yearSecurity protocol starting at around $10/yearTransaction fees (dependent on sales volume) There are many other pieces that come into play when running an online store through WooCommerce, but their costs only become relevant if/when your store starts scaling up. Those expenses would include additional plugins, developer (and theme-development) fees if you hire a pro to spruce up your site, plus higher costs for the factors mentioned in the list above. Still, the question stands: is WooCommerce cheaper than Shopify? The answer is (usually) yes. Free trial While there’s no ‘free trial’, you don’t need one! WooCommerce and WordPress are free to use. Shopify pricing Unlike WooCommerce, Shopify is not free to use. To start an online store with Shopify you’ll need to select one of the plans they offer; whether you’re looking to start a store with the basic essentials or to go all-in and create a sparkling online shop with all the bells and whistles, Shopify has a plan for you. Shopify Lite starting at $9/monthBasic Shopify starting at $29/monthShopify starting at $79/monthAdvanced Shopify starting at $299/monthShopify Plus starting at $2,000/month You can also choose to pay a full year or even two years in advance to get a discounted rate on those plans (10% and 20% respectively). WooCommerce vs Shopify pricing – which comes out on top? The answer depends on many factors, but typically WooCommerce is the winner in this regard. Free trial Shopify offers a 14-day free trial, all you need to do is enter an email address and then confirm it to get started with your eCommerce store. Side note: Shopify vs WooCommerce transaction fees (for their built-in payment solutions) are basically the same – 2.9% + $0.30 USD for transactions in the United States with U.S. credit cards in U.S. dollars. Different rates/additional fees may apply for transactions made in other countries, with credit cards issued in other countries, and/or if customers pay in a currency other than U.S. dollars. WooCommerce: How long does it take to build a website? Given the number of variables that come into play, there’s no way to give a blanket answer to the question of how long it takes to develop an online store with WooCommerce. While you can certainly rush the process and publish a WooCommerce site in a day, that’s not going to bring you the best results. If you want a well-developed, successful online store, you’ll want to take the time to make it as near to perfect as possible. That means: Setting up all of the necessary pluginsConfiguring the website’s structure on WooCommerceFilling content for different pages and menusVisualizing and designing your product pages as well as the shop itselfSetting up paymentsSetting up shippingSetting up taxesTesting the site’s functionsMaking corrections and adjustments where necessaryAnd more As you can gather, it’s nearly impossible to determine exactly how long it will take to launch a fully-fledged WooCommerce shop. All-in-all, it’ll take at least 10 hours to do all of the essentials, but could take upwards of 40 hours if the project is larger and if greater attention is given to the finer details. What we can say for sure is that using WooCommerce to build an online store is more complex than Shopify. You’ll need to sharpen up on coding and/or web design to get your website right, which requires time, creativity, and patience. Shopify: How long does it take to build a website? Launching an eCommerce store with Shopify is an extremely quick process compared to using a platform like WooCommerce. That said, if you want your online shop to come out right, you’ll still need to invest a decent amount of time and effort. Theoretically it’s possible to have a website developed with Shopify in one day, but rushing things isn’t advised. Regardless of which platform you end up using, we recommend putting around 20 hours into the development of your website before going live. Why? Because studies have shown that visitors will judge your website in a fraction of a second, meaning you want to make sure your online store is as visually appealing and properly-functional as can be before going live. WooCommerce usability For most people, WooCommerce is not going to be the easiest eCommerce platform to use. Although the platform gives extreme flexibility in terms of how you can customize your website, it’s not very intuitive for the less technologically apt; there’s certainly a learning curve. And even if you do manage to get a grip on how the platform works, making further changes (e.g. adding new plugins) can have unexpected consequences and cause problems that you’ll then need to work out on your own. Shopify usability Compared to WooCommerce, Shopify is an absolute breeze to use. That’s because it was created with the precise goal of being a simple eCommerce website development platform. In plain language, Shopify is much more intuitive and has a ‘smoother’ interface than WooCommerce. All of the key functions and features needed to set up an eCommerce shop for success are already built into the platform, with a lot less fiddling required on the user’s side. Without question, usability is one of the strongest advantages Shopify has over WooCommerce. WooCommerce themes & design With well over 2,300 templates across a wide variety of theme marketplaces, WooCommerce has no shortage of premade themes and designs to choose from. Whatever sort of style you think would vibe best with your store, you’re likely to find an existing WooCommerce template that can give you a solid foundation on which to build. And if you don’t have any luck finding the specific design you had in mind (and if you have time to spare), you can always design your own template! Shopify themes & design Despite the fact that Shopify has fewer themes to pick from compared to WooCommerce (“over 100” according to Shopify’s website), the quality and functionality of those themes are often better simply by virtue of having passed Shopify’s approval process. Since WooCommerce is open-source, there are inevitably going to be a portion of templates that have technical issues that you’ll need to work around. It should also be noted that the majority of Shopify themes must be paid for if you wish to use them. Typically they cost between $150-$300, and only 10 themes are currently available free of charge. Ultimately, you should choose a theme based on factors like: How many products you’ll be sellingWhat niche you’re inIf you want your site to be heavier on text or on imagesAnd so on To that extent, Shopify provides enough variety to select from – plus you can always tailor certain aspects such as the font, CTA locations, images, and more. WooCommerce plugins/integrations As far as plugins go, Shopify has got WooCommerce beat. That’s not to say that WooCommerce doesn’t have plugins – it most certainly does, including some specifically for abandoned carts on WooCommerce. What it’s short on is the number of official extensions that you can get from the WooCommerce Extensions Store. With only a few hundred extensions available through that store, many WooCommerce users resort to using third-party plugins that can sometimes cause problems with the platform or with other plugins. Still, WooCommerce has some powerful extensions that address a variety of needs faced by online store owners, including: Store contentPaymentsShipping, delivery, and fulfillmentMarketingConversionCustomer serviceStore managementAnd more Whatever your goal may be, WooCommerce probably has at least one plugin that can help you get it done. Shopify plugins/integrations Shopify is a true powerhouse in the app game, hosting over 6,600 different apps (whoa!). And as if that wasn’t good enough, more than half of all Shopify apps are either completely free to use or at least have a free version available. Whatever the feature, function, or issue is that you have in mind, there exists an app (or a few apps) to help you out. You can even use one of their apps to address the issue of Shopify vs WooCommerce conversion rates! One of the best apps for Shopify is the BeProfit Profit Tracker app. This all-in-one profit and expensing tracking app gives you the power to: Track your profit history over timeGet intuitive visuals and graphsUnderstand complex business metricsConnect metrics once with smart integrationsSpot what factors need improvement to increase profitsMake data-driven decisions to optimize your storeAnd much more You can try any BeProfit plan for 7 days free of charge and discover how the app can help you optimize your profitability. WooCommerce payment processing As is the case with virtually every other aspect of a WooCommerce store, if you want to accept payments you have tons of options in the form of plugins. In fact, on the WooCommerce Extension Store alone, there are 80 payment extensions to choose from, covering all of the big names in payment processing including: StripePayPalSquareAmazon PayKlarna PaymentsAnd many more What might come as a small surprise to you is that WooCommerce actually offers its own payment processing solution: WooCommerce Payments. As you might imagine, WooCommerce Payments offers some great perks over other third-party payment extensions. Those advantages include no setup costs, no monthly fees, the ability to manage recurring revenue from your WooCommerce dashboard, and more. One thing is for sure – regardless of what payment processor you prefer, WooCommerce lets you do it your way. Just don’t forget that if you choose a third-party payment processor, it will take some technical know-how to get it set up. Shopify payment processing Shopify also allows you to choose from many different payment processors – in fact, Shopify actually integrates with even more third-party payment processors than WooCommerce (over 100 according to the Shopify website). Similarly to WooCommerce, Shopify also has a built-in payment processor called Shopify Payments which gives your store the ability to accept customer payments with all major credit and debit cards, along with Apple Pay, Google Pay, Shop Pay, Facebook Pay, and more! As far as payment processing goes, there isn’t such a huge difference between Shopify and WooCommerce. But, given the fact that Shopify offers a broader range of payment options and doesn’t require you to do the setting-up of third-party processors yourself, it comes out on top. WooCommerce speed & performance Judging an eCommerce platform’s load speed isn’t always such an easy task since every store’s website ends up using a different assortment of features that can slow down speed and performance. Still, you’re probably wondering about Shopify vs WooCommerce performance… With that said, one study found that WooCommerce tends to be a slower option compared to Shopify, with home pages taking nearly a full second to load and shopping cart pages taking more than 1.3 seconds to load. To be clear, load times will always be impacted by the elements you choose to use, including: ImagesProduct videosDynamic user review sectionsAnd so on If you add lots of heavy elements your online store will take longer to load, so be sure to optimize all of those bits and pieces before adding them to your website! Shopify speed & performance As we mentioned above, Shopify has WooCommerce beat on this point. Shopify is one of the fastest and best-performing eCommerce platforms, with web pages loading at a breakneck 309 milliseconds. Again, your online store’s load time will be closely correlated to the ‘weight’ of the elements you include throughout your site. Make sure to use high-quality compressed images and videos – that will help them load more quickly. Aside from that, one of the recommended ways to keep customer experience positive is to put ‘heavier’ elements lower down on a page. That way they have time to load before visitors scroll down to them. It doesn’t actually decrease load times, but it does decrease visitor frustration with elements that take longer to load. Dropshipping on WooCommerce Shopify vs WooCommerce dropshipping – it’s a close call, but we give this one to WooCommerce. One of the prominent reasons for launching a dropshipping business is to keep overhead costs low, and WooCommerce is the better option in that respect. Plus it’s super flexible in terms of the types of products or services you can sell, something that Shopify is more strict about. On top of that, and as we mentioned earlier, WooCommerce has way more extensions, giving you broader freedoms for integrating the dropshipping platform of your choice. Dropshipping on Shopify In terms of dropshipping, Shopify does have a long list of integrations available with top dropshipping platforms like Oberlo, Dropified, AutoDS, EPROLO, and so on – but WooCommerce has more. And even though Shopify is more user friendly and makes it simple to set up a dropshipping store, there’s a price tag for the development that’s been done for you. WooCommerce is cheaper because it takes more effort on your end, but that balances out by the fact that you have a much larger degree of customizability for the design and functions in your store. WooCommerce and Shopify are both good options for dropshipping, but WooCommerce still takes the cake. WooCommerce SEO This is yet another aspect where WooCommerce has an edge on Shopify, primarily due to WooCommerce being a plugin for WordPress – which is filled to the brim with SEO tools and features. It’s simple to edit content and meta content so that you can put your all into developing a strong SEO strategy. Generally speaking you’ll be able to get all of the necessary SEO tools on Shopify as well, but (and you might be getting tired of hearing this) WooCommerce’s flexibility proves more valuable than Shopify’s ease of setup. Shopify SEO Continuing with the matter of SEO Shopify vs WooCommerce, if there’s one advantage that Shopify has when it comes to SEO, it’s that the platform was specifically designed for eCommerce stores. That means that the core SEO tools you’ll need to build a strong online store are already included in Shopify, including customizable meta titles, meta descriptions, URLs, headings, image alt text, and so on. And as you already know, the numerous apps in the Shopify App Store can usually fill the gaps that the Shopify platform doesn’t already address. If you compare WooCommerce and Shopify on a scale of ‘SEO power’, WooCommerce will be the winner. Of course, there are plenty of other eCommerce platforms for SEO to choose from – don’t limit yourself to these two options! Conclusion So which is better, Shopify or WooCommerce? It’s a tough call, but after weighing all of the factors throughout this article, WooCommerce is the winner in our opinion. WooCommerce is more affordable, way more flexible/customizable, has more themes to choose from, is stronger for dropshipping, and better for SEO practices. At the same time, Shopify is faster to set up, easier to use for beginners, has more apps officially hosted by the platform, and has better website load times. Needless to say, opinions on whether WooCommerce is actually better than Shopify may differ depending on what the goals are in developing an eCommerce store. In any case, you’ll be starting off on the right foot by choosing either of these two eCommerce platforms. And if you still aren’t sure and you’d like to explore more options, check out our Wix vs Shopify breakdown.