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WooCommerce versus BigCommerce

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At Business Website Center, we work with many different eCommerce platforms. When selecting the best eCommerce solution for a client, we take a close look at many points: Current online situation for the company / Business goals and vision / Technical knowledge of the staff / Marketing budget and goals / Projected revenues from online sales / Online competitors and many other factors. We have developed and still manage successful WooCommerce eCommerce websites, many of which are combined with a WordPress platform. Over the past decade, we have found that, though we can make WooCommerce work well for most companies, it comes to a point when WooCommerce does not make sense any more and shows its limitations.

Let’s step back a little and take a closer look at what WooCommerce is. It is the primary plugin used to power eCommerce stores on WordPress created by Automattic (the same creators as WordPress). As the trusted and go-to option in the WordPress community, WooCommerce controls roughly 28% of the global eCommerce market. However, since the front-end and back-end share resources, WooCommerce struggles with scalability.

WooCommerce stores also rely heavily on apps for some core functionality along with the developer costs of an open source platform. The cost of those apps can be high and add up quickly. Also whenever WordPress releases a new version, there are often compatibility issues with either the plugins and widgets. As you can imagine, this causes significant disruption.

WooCommerce Strengths

  • Widely accepted by the WordPress Community
  • WooCommerce plugin is technically “free”
  • Easy to add to an existing WordPress site
  • Stores can use the native WordPress Blog
  • Owned by Automattic (creators of WordPress)
  • Can be heavily customized
  • Large number of plugins to extend native features
  • Large number of paid theme options (ThemeForest)
  • Native upsell and cross-sell functionality
  • Native grouped product functionality
  • Native ability to sell external/affiliate products

WooCommerce Weaknesses

  • Heavy dependence on developer/designer
  • Total cost of ownership is unclear due to app and developer costs
  • Hard to scale without slowing down live store
  • Most stores require a large number of both paid and free apps
  • Limited admin tools to manage store
  • No complex catalog support out of the box
  • Limited support (all forum/community based)
  • No abandoned cart saver out of the box
  • Limited payment options, other payment options require apps
  • Limited native coupon functionality
  • Merchant is responsible for their own PCI compliance

WooCommerce Pricing

No Licensing fee but merchant is responsible for the costs for hosting, website site security like firewall (WordPress is the most hacked platform in the world), PCI compliance, ​plugins, and other elements. Additionally, merchants will have on-going developer costs for set up, regular maintenance & security patches.

BigCommerce Pricing (As of 02-01-2022)

  • Standard $29.95/month
  • Plus $79.95/month
  • Pro $249.95/month
  • Custom Enterprise pricing

BigCommerce – Built to scale without losing speed or uptime

  • With SaaS, your activities in your control panel won’t impact the uptime and speed of your live store.
  • WordPress is hosted using an all-in-one solution which means shared sources affect your live store and control panel.
  • BigCommerce is modular and built to scale. Many large brands that start on WooCommerce eventually have to re-platform.
  • Daily activities of running your store(such as processing orders or running a report) shouldn’t affect the uptime& speed of your live store. This hurts your conversion, SEO, and brand.

BigCommerce – Automated PCI compliance and multi-layered security

  • We take care of PCI compliance and security so merchants don’t have to. BigCommerce servers are Level 1 PCI DSS certified.
  • WooCommerce is not PCI certified, so merchants are responsible for their own PCI compliance.
  • PCI compliance violations or breaches can cost thousands of dollars in fines, ranging from $5kto $100k per month. A lack of PCI compliance can also damage your brand reputation.
  • It’s extremely important to provide your customers with a secure experience from both a legal and consumer trust perspective. Taking on your own PCI compliance comes with a huge amount of risk and liability

BigCommerce – Lower total cost of ownership

  • WooCommerce appears to be a low cost solution at first glance, but once you start factoring in the costs of hosting, security, plugins, and developer costs the actual cost is significantly higher.
  • Plugins for WooCommerce tend to be a more expensive with a fee for installing the plugin on a single site with updates for a single year. Future updates & features cost extra.
  • With WooCommerce, you need a developer to maximize and manage your online store. Setup can be time consuming and extensive, plus managing updates can be pricey.
  • With BigCommerce, you can spend your time and money growing your business instead of covering the basics like PCI compliance, hiring developers, and installing plugins.

BigCommerce – Easily launch built-in features and discounting

  • BigCommerce natively supports over 70 different combinations of discounts and coupons.
  • WooCommerce supports less than 25 combinations of coupons and no cart-level discounts ( code is required). It relies on third-party plugins to fill in the gaps, which costs extra.
  • BigCommerce includes more features for shipping, sales tax, payments, product options, and omni-channel sales, which reduces the required customization and lowers developer costs.
  • With better and easier options for promos and discounts, shipping and payments, omni-channel selling and product options, you have more opportunities to increase sales.

BigCommerce – Much more…

  • BigCommerce provides merchants the best support in the industry
  • 24/7 phone, chat, and email support (WooCommerce requires third-party services)
  • In house catalog transfer services, easily move your catalog to BigCommerce
  • Enterprise Account Management for growing businesses

Need to know more? Contact us for a free consultation.

Questions about this subject?

Never hesitate to contact our friendly team by phone at (707) 794-9999 (Pacific Standard Time) or by email here. Have a successful day!

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