Phoebe McCreath August 20, 2020

Ucommerce vs. WooCommerce vs. Shopify

In the past few months, we’ve seen a definite spike in eCommerce stores in New Zealand and across the globe (not to mention a spike in the packages being delivered to our office and homes!). But when we look at the stats, we’re not surprised! During COVID-19 lockdown, NZ saw a 275% increase for demand in eCommerce site set up and a double in online spending! And with the recent events this week with the move back into Alert Levels, we could continue to see similar numbers. 

If you’re looking to set an eCommerce store for your business soon, the question is, what do you look for in the perfect eCommerce platform? After all, choosing an eCommerce platform is a big decision – it’s almost like choosing a partner. You want one that’s supportive, will last long term and can take whatever you can throw at it! The platform that you choose will have a long-term effect on your online success, so thinking long term right at the beginning is also a must to make sure if you expand or scale-up that you don’t have to go right back and start from scratch at each step. 

There are a few eCommerce options you can look into, but three that we work with all the time!


Shopify – A simple eCommerce-focused platform, perfect if you just want to get selling

If you’ve never heard of Shopify before, where have you been! This popular system was first launched back in 2006 but has since revolutionised the eCommerce industry with its easy-to-use interface and simple eCommerce store setup. 

Unlike some of the other eCommerce solutions, Shopify is a pure eCommerce platform and everything it does is focused around creating the fastest, most seamless shopping experience for your users. With a user-centric design that’s easy to navigate, it’s the perfect solution for those who want to hit the ground running and start selling, selling, selling! 

It’s also one of the lowest cost solutions, starting at just $29 per month with a multitude of plugins available. These plugins come in all shapes & sizes and are super handy when you’re looking for payment options and inventory management for your store. If you’re looking to scale and head into big boy territory, then keep in mind some of the plans do get pricey with Shopify Plus, but hopefully, by then you’ll be making the big time anyway.

One downfall of Shopify is that it uses Ruby code which means that custom integrations can be niggly, but are definitely still doable if you have a development partner! Shopify really is the place to start if you’re looking for a pure eCommerce solution that can get you set up fast! 


WooCommerce – Perfect for that hybrid content and eCommerce site

WooCommerce runs on the back of the most popular CMS in the world, WordPress. It was first launched back in 2008 and has since been the backbone to many successful eCommerce and content sites around the world! WooCommerce is praised for being extremely flexible and with a plug-in library of over 45,000, it’s easy to see why! 

Bringing your eCommerce solution to life through WooCommerce is easy and you can integrate with many inventory and payment systems, which means you can customize your eCommerce store to do just about anything. From functionality for selling complex product offerings or to build out a memberships system that’s all content-manageable or can be integrated with a product inventory, WooCommerce can handle just about anything.  

But, one of our favourite things about WooCommerce is that you get the best of both worlds – an extremely flexible content management system that supports blogging AND an uber-powerful eCommerce engine. This means you’ll be able to market your products or services easily all from one easy-to-use system. 

Ucommerce – For those custom solutions that are a bit more complex! 

We reserve and recommend Ucommerce for our larger, more complex builds and integrations! Think content that needs a bit more planning, building out a complex buyer journey or integrating with additional systems. 

Ucommerce works off the back of the powerful CMS, Umbraco, a super robust system that can integrate with pretty much any inventory management or payment gateway system with a bit of help from our developers. This platform also comes out of the box with the common features available on other popular systems like promotions, coupons, analytics and order tracking.

Ucommerce is easily scalable too, so if you’re looking for an enterprise-level solution that’s customisable to all your needs, look no further. With the backing power of Umbraco 8 under the hood you, your new commerce solution will have the power of a flexible CMS behind it for marketing integration as well as a powerful commerce engine to take on any customisation. We’ve built some heavy lifting sites using Ucommerce in our time with integrations into popular systems like Microsoft Dynamics and JDE. Take a look! 

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