How to choose the best e-commerce platform for your online kitchen & bath products company.
One of the first decisions you must make when opening an online kitchen and bath products store is selecting the right e-commerce platform. Two of the most widely used e-commerce hosting options are WordPress with the WooCommerce plugin and Shopify.
Both are viable options for your online business, but as with any service, each has strengths and weaknesses. Understanding the basics of each platform, the tools it offers to manage your shop, and how it can support your business goals ensures you make an informed decision.
WordPress and WooCommerce: An Overview
WordPress is a well-established and widely used open-source content management system. Adding the WooCommerce plug-in helps you to create a fully functional online storefront. One of the best features of WordPress is its versatility, as you can sell physical products, digital products, and drop-shipped products.
Using WordPress allows you to turn your existing blog or website into an online store by adding the WooCommerce plug-in. For example, by adding a storefront, you can sell products directly from blog posts. You can also include additional features to market your products, like videos, forums, and exclusive content.
WooCommerce can simplify the process of building your storefront, and it automatically supports payments via PayPal and Stripe. However, if you want to accept payments via other gateways or add features that aren’t available on WooCommerce, you’ll need additional extensions or plug-ins. Although both WordPress and WooCommerce are free, expect to pay for site hosting and incur fees for some add-on features or services.
Ensuring the best customer experience also requires staying on top of maintenance and security. When you operate a WordPress-based online business, you’re responsible for managing these tasks yourself.
Shopify: An Overview
Shopify is a dedicated e-commerce platform, giving small businesses a platform specifically tailored to online stores. The platform includes everything you need to set up and operate your online store quickly. Simply choose a store design and use the included wizard to add your branding and products and launch your business.
Shopify allows you to make sales online and in-person and integrates seamlessly with Amazon, eBay, and social channels like Facebook Shops. The platform also makes shipping simple, with automatic shipping labels and invoice printing. As a result, you can easily stay on top of your inventory, product information, and customer details as well using the platform’s simple dashboard.
Like WordPress, Shopify offers some marketing capabilities. The platform offers tools to simplify Facebook ads and email marketing, as well as cart recovery options. However, beyond a basic blog, there aren’t many built-in SEO tools for content creation and management.
This convenience and simplicity come with a price. Shopify offers several monthly subscription options starting at $29, and adding certain capabilities to your store increases costs. Also, if you choose not to use Shopify Payments, you’ll pay a transaction fee for every sale, which can be as high as 2%, depending on your service plan.
Choosing the Best E-commerce Platform for Your Online Business
Both WordPress and Shopify make it possible for you to market and sell your kitchen and bath products online. Ultimately, the best choice depends on your comfort with designing and maintaining the site, your budget, and your marketing strategy.
Typically, if you already have an established online presence using a WordPress site, installing the WooCommerce plug-in to launch your storefront is the most affordable and least time-consuming option. WooCommerce can integrate the store as part of your existing website, and you have complete control over the site customization. WordPress also makes it possible to develop multiple income streams and create a content-rich site that offers an engaging customer experience.
However, if you do not have an existing WordPress site or you are launching a brand new store, Shopify is the better option. The e-commerce platform’s advanced features make it simple to create the site, and the robust back-end features allow a more hands-off approach to starting and managing an online store.
Let Us Help You Grow Your Online Kitchen and Bath Products Shop
Whether you’re an established kitchen and bath retailer looking to expand online or a new company just entering the market, the right e-commerce platform and marketing strategy make all the difference to your success. At Kitchen Remodeling SEO, our Sacramento, CA-based team specializes in marketing for contractors, suppliers, and others in the kitchen and bath industry. Schedule a consultation by calling (339) 645-9461 and see how we can help max
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