The website development side of Tower Systems has developed websites for many retail businesses. It is a tech. partner for Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce. We have experience with each.
While each platform serves a different need, Shopify is the widest used in the small business retail space by far. Magento is good for complex requirements, but maintenance of a Magento website will require a developer. Shopify can be maintained, modified and enhanced without web developer skills.
WooCommerce will require a developer for site maintenance. It also does not have as rich a support network as Shopify. This has been the experience of so many of our customers.
In our experience, small business retailers can achieve better, more cost effective, commercial outcomes with a Shopify website than a WooCommerce website.
We mention this because in our experience local web developers are more likely to recommend the WooCommerce platform. We think they do this because it is better for them commercially in that web development is often their prime source of income. A Shopify website will not drive repeat business for them from a customer whereas a WooCommerce website is more likely to.
A retailer we spoke to recently told us they were paying $9,000 for a WooCommerce website and there was a monthly maintenance cost.
Our point is shop around, ask a ton of questions. Be sure to understand on-going maintenance costs. If they say you can maintain the site yourself, ask them to show you how to change the look and feel, how to add a new web page, how to change categories. Being shown how to do this will, for most newsagents show them that a WooCommerce website platform is not the right fit for them.
We don’t have a vested stake in this in that the web team in our company is skilled in Magento, Woo and Shopify as well as the even more complex and technical native web development. That team has a full room of booked business already.
There are many Shopify website developers out there you should consider before a WooCommerce developer since a Shopify site is more easily maintained by non technical people.
A challenge in this website space is that often it is a friend, or friend of a friend, or family member involved. They may have the best of intentions in recommending WooCommerce. For the reasons outlined already, WooCommerce is not a platform I recommend for retail newsagency website development.
Be careful. Do your research. Get all commitments in writing. If you are not sure, delay your decision.
If you have some software development skills, then Woo could be perfect for you to create your website yourself.