Imagine the following scenario:
You have a shop in the city center, and your products are always in high demand. You often have tourists from all over the world who are very interested in what you have to offer. They ask if you have an online shop and if they could order from home. Or do you have a great and innovative product idea that you would like to offer for sale? Now, you are sitting here, asking yourself how you can bring your products online, and what are the most important aspects of an online shop system?
In principle, many things are easy to implement nowadays if you know what works best for your brand. We have compiled below the most relevant information on various shop systems for you to try to make your life easier. We at MOODJA already have integrations to many other shop systems available and are happy to help you bring your shop online into the e-commerce universe.
Overall, there are 3 types of systems to choose from.
I. Open source
Open-source, as the name suggests, is available to the wide public free of charge and open for code modification. Such systems usually offer a wide range of functions. Since you have direct access to the source code and you can make changes, if needed, a high level of technical know-how is required here. The disadvantage of such a system is that the adaptability and functions can vary greatly depending on the shop system itself. Many developers usually work on a system to constantly optimize and adapt it. When working with open-source products, you usually need additional plug-ins to achieve the best results for your shop.
II. SaaS solution (service as software)
A SaaS solution is a ready-made shop system available on a subscription basis. You pay monthly or annually or on-demand for your online shop. It is very user-friendly and intuitively designed as a modular system. This way, you can find your way around quickly, and you can roll out your shop fast. SaaS solutions usually offer various shop design options which you can try out and test to see if a particular design fits your products. However, such shops are limited to the designs and possibilities programmed by the provider. This solution is ideal for small businesses and startups.
III. On-premise (purchase software)
On-premise means that you purchase a license for a shop system. As a result, you can tailor the system exactly to your brand and make individualized changes. This type of system requires that you take care of the hosting yourself and may need a lot of effort and technical know-how. In most cases, support from the shop system provider is included in the package. Since shop licenses are rather on the expensive side, these types of shops are usually suitable for established companies with well-known brands.
When choosing your shop system, do not rush! You should proceed thoroughly and as precisely as possible. To make your research easier, we have put together some questions that can help you make the right decision.
Shopify is a SaaS solution developed in the USA. It is often referred to as the "entry-level" solution as it is well-suited for smaller brands and start-ups. Setup is easy and fast, and there are many shop design options to choose from. It is very user-friendly and built as a modular system, so no extra coding or programming is needed. Shopify is less customizable in terms of order processes in case this is something important for you. The commission and fixed costs for Shopify are calculated based on your turnover. A content strategy is rather difficult to implement with this shop system, which means that your growth potential might not be fully exploited. However, additional marketing tools can be integrated easily. Shopify offers you the opportunity to try everything for free for 14 days, and if you don't like it, you can always opt-out.
Shopware is a shopping system that is suitable for companies of all sizes, serving both B2B and B2C customers. With Shopware, shopping harmonizes with feed stories, such as the integration of blogs, to offer your customers an optimal shopping experience. Shopware is an open-source software system, but it also offers many options for additions and personalization. Through plugins, you can make changes according to your vision. Unlike other open-source systems, Shopware offers not just one version, but four, although not all of them are free. So, just see which one suits you and your products best. You can also upgrade to another version at any point in time. Shopware is definitely easy to use, and you don't have to be an expert to understand the individual steps.
WooCommerce is a flexible open-source system that integrates with WordPress (serves as a plugin). You can connect your content directly to the shop system and place your products easily. The basis of WooCommerce is free of charge and can be extended by other tools and plugins. However, the structure of WooCommerce is a bit more complex to understand, which is why we would recommend getting some support. With WooCommerce, you can design your shop in multiple languages and adapt it to your desired countries of expansion. You should definitely plan with some time for setting up this shop system since it is a bit more complex. However, with the right settings and plugins, you can get the most out of it for your online shop.
Magento belongs to the Adobe Inc family and is also an open-source product. It serves as a small all-rounder since you can also get it as an on-premise solution. With Magento, you are offered high flexibility, scalability for increasing requirements, and a customizable design (front end) of the shop system. Setting up multilingual online shops is also not a problem. A deficit that can arise, however, is knowledge in programming since it is necessary so that you can operate the system. In addition, system performance depends strongly on the underlying hardware. Magento can provide you with support if you need a developer, for example. However, all their additional services come at a high surcharge, and the system requires a lot of maintenance.
Shopify, WooCommerce, Shopware, and Magento are, of course, only a few of the many shop systems you can use. There are also providers such as Wix, which can also be used as a website builder, or Jimdo - particularly suitable for beginners with no knowledge of HTML, and it is also very intuitive to use. Presta Shop is a useful tool for anyone who wants to manage their shipping and logistics in one place. Last but not least, there is Gambio, which can adapt to your requirements and comes with support in its package. Ultimately, it is important that you know what your brand needs and which online shop can offer you that.
We at MOODJA can support you in finding the right shop system for your needs and can also program additional interfaces ourselves. Is it all too confusing for you with all these different types of providers? Then contact us – we will gladly help!