Planning on selling your products online? Then you will need a webshop to handle everything for you.
In the webshop you can add the products you wish to sell, with product images, product descriptions, prices, sale prices, etc. Allow people to add it to a virtual shopping cart, go to checkout and pay for it. Send you a mail about the order, and keep track of how far in the process you are.
But not all webshop systems do these things equally well. So selecting the best solution for your new webshop can be quite the job. Let’s take a look at some of the things you will need to consider before even starting to design your online shop.
Read more about building an online shop
What to consider before starting an online webshop
Before you even start to look at which online shop systems you can choose from, you will need to consider what requirements you have. Without a proper understanding of your needs, your chances of success are pretty low.
Some of the things you should think about would be:
Open source or closed system?
Open-source systems can be a little harder to work with if you don’t have any experience with online webshops. There is a larger chance of errors and more things that can go wrong.
On the other hand, an open-source system like WooCommerce or Shopware gives you more freedom, and way more options when it comes to customizing things. There will always be some things that can’t be done in a closed system. An open-source system doesn’t have those limitations.
Not all webshop solutions cost the same. A webshop system like WordPress/WooCommerce is often much cheaper than a Magento or BigCommerce solution. You will to spend money on installing and configuring the core system, getting the right Webdesign, images, and content, buying add-ons, or having to custom code features and functions. Some of this is a one-time fee, others are monthly fees.
Most closed systems like Shopify don’t require much maintenance, as it’s all done in the background. Other systems like Magento or WooCommerce require regular updates, which you have to install yourself or have your webbureau do for you.
Ease of use
There is a big difference in how difficult a webshop system is to use. Some require barely any skills, while others do require some kind of education before you can use it properly. Open-source systems are often a bit harder to learn compared to closed systems.
Do you need any 3. part integrations? Like being able to use a specific payment gateway, integrate with your financial system, or your GLS shipping account? Some online shop systems have plugins or modules you can install for free or buy in order to give you a specific integration. Other systems require you to have this coded and add to the webshop. Something which can be pretty expensive in some cases.
Speed and security
Some online shop systems like Shopware are lightning-fast, while others like Shopify can get a little slow as you add more and more content to it. These days speed is critical if you want to improve your conversion ratios and even your SEO rankings. Some webshops are pretty fast out of the box, others require a bunch of optimizations in order to have a decent load time. And then there are some which are just slow, no matter what you do. The same goes for security. A system like WooCommerce is often hacked if you don’t remember to update everything on a regular basis or use some unsafe plugins. Other systems like Magento are rock stable and really hard to hack or inflict with malware. Closed source systems are typically safer than open-source systems.
While a cheap Wix webshop might be a great option when you first start out, you will also need to consider – where are you in 1 year or 2 years? Will your requirements by then, be the same as now, or are you likely to have 10 times as many products or tons of daily visitors? Not all systems scale equally well. For instance, if you start to add many product variants to products on a WooCommerce webshop, it may begin to slow down quite a bit, while other webshop systems like Shopware handle this much better. So this is also something to keep in mind when selecting the best solution for your new webshop.
Hopefully, this gave you a little to think about and made you realize that selecting the best webshop system isn’t something you just do in half an hour, but something that requires a bit of research and some knowledge about the many possibilities there are here in 2022.