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Why Having Your Own Website Can Dramatically Boost Your Antique Business

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Shopify or WooCommerce (WordPress): which solution is best for you to sell antiques online?

To help you determine which solution is best for you and your antique business, we have compiled a handy list of questions to ask before yourself before you settle on eCommerce, CMS, or a combination of the two.

Each solution has of course its strengths and weaknesses. It is up to you to choose if you’d rather go with a turnkey solution like Shopify that gets you on the saddle immediately (difficulty: beginner | customization: intermediate | cost: $29 to $299 per month). Or if you would rather take a week or two to get familiar with a CMS like WordPress + WooCommerce that will give you both technical and financial independence in the long run (difficulty: intermediate to advanced | customization: unlimited | cost: from $5-$30/month).

When it comes to selling antiques online, the main question you should ask yourself is should I work with a marketplace and split my profits with them (ex: Shopify), or manage the entire website on my own and keep all the profits to myself (WordPress/WooCommerce)?

Delegate technical details but split my profits: Shopify

Shopify is a fully hosted e-commerce solution. Designed with the goal of maximizing convenience for business owners, their system processes orders, manage customers, tracks inventory, and generates data-rich reports on your online performance.

Customers using Shopify can explore a large theme gallery and choose from many attractive, pre-designed themes to create their e-commerce site and sell their antiques online. And when it comes to boosting business growth, Shopify supports its clients with convenient applications, fast servers, premium hosting solutions, and unlimited bandwidth.

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Simplicity: Shopify is definitely the easiest solution to use when it comes to the world of online sales. From going online to creating new product listings, everything is made for you to get there without any hassle. Thanks to a system of click and drag you will be able to quickly modify the different modules of your store. On top of that, a big plus is that you won’t have to worry about anything technical (web hosting). At this level, everything will be managed by the Shopify team itself. As a result, it will only take you a few hours to create your E-Commerce site with Shopify and you will be able to quickly start spreading the word about your e-commerce website.

Cost: The cost of creating an online store via Shopify will vary depending on the plan you choose. The three plans that are currently available are priced at $29/month, $79/month, and $299/month. What will mainly differ from one plan to another is the amount of transaction fees charged by Shopify (from 2% to 0.5%). In total with Shopify, you can get by for about $350 a year (transaction fees not included) to get started in the world of online commerce.

Manage technical details on my own and keep all the profits to myself: WordPress + WooCommerce

WordPress is an excellent website platform for a variety of websites. From blogging to e-commerce to business and portfolio websites, WordPress is a versatile Content Management System. Designed with usability and flexibility in mind, WordPress is a great solution for both large and small websites.

Coupled with e-commerce solutions like WooCommerce, it makes it now extremely easy to create your own antique store to start selling antiques online. WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress. It is designed for small to large-sized online merchants using WordPress. The plugin quickly became popular for its simplicity to install and customize and free base product.

Simplicity: WooCommerce may be easy to use (because it is based on the WordPress content management system), but less so than Shopify. Indeed, you will have to take care of web hosting, backups, and keeping your plugins up to date all by yourself, which can put off many people. There are however free tools and services available like ManageWP, that allow you to maintain, update, backup, secure, and monitor your website, from a single dashboard.

Now apart from this aspect, WooCommerce is technically rather accessible if you take a week or two to get familiar with it. The administration and customization of your online store will be rather straightforward with WooCommerce. Above all, you will be able to rely on a large number of plugins that will make your life even easier and save on transaction fees! However, for a beginner who does not want to be bothered with technical details, there is no doubt that Shopify is the best choice.

Cost: WooCommerce is based on the content management system (CMS) WordPress. The latter is available for free. As well as the WooCommerce plugin. You will not have to pay anything at this point. On the other hand, to set up your online store via this platform, you will still need to get web hosting ($5 to $30/month) and a domain name ($10 and $20/year). In total with WooCommerce, you can get by for about $70 a year to get started in the world of online commerce.

Shopify vs WooCommerce : payment methods

Regarding payment methods, Shopify and WooCommerce support absolutely every payment method imaginable. By installing certain plugins, you can allow your visitors to pay by credit card via Stripe, Apple Pay, PayPal, or Amazon Pay. Nothing is missing, which will allow you to increase the conversion rate on your online store. Indeed, some people tend to abandon their purchase if they see that their favorite payment method is not supported. No matter what your choice is between Shopify or WooCommerce, you won’t make any mistake when it comes to payment methods.

SEO: Shopify or WordPress/WooCommerce?

Having a professional-looking online antique store with a lot of features is great. However, if it is not well referenced on search engines, it will be difficult to attract new customers. To avoid this situation, we will compare the SEO optimization and the parameters that can be controlled via Shopify and WordPress/WooCommerce in order to give your online presence a boost.

Shopify: It is easy to optimize the SEO of your online store from Shopify. You will be able to do this via tools included in the service, but you can also add plugins to increase the optimization possibilities. On the Shopify application store, you will find for example the free module “SEO Booster”. This feature will allow you to audit the SEO of your E-Commerce site and implement a number of customizations to improve or correct existing problems. However, Shopify does not allow you to freely customize your URLs. For the blog, for instance, it is mandatory to display the folder as /blog/news/, which is not optimal. Also, to take advantage of rich snippets in Shopify, you will need several apps or delve into the code.

WordPress/WooCommerce: Since WooCommerce is based on WordPress, all the code of the website is optimized from an SEO point of view. In addition, just like with Shopify, you will be able to install a number of additional plugins on your WooCommerce site in order to optimize your website’s SEO. We can particularly recommend the Yoast SEO and Rank Math plugins which are references in this field. With these extensions, you will be able to fine-tune the SEO of your site so that your products and your website, in general, will be easily found on Google, Bing, etc.

Whether you choose to use Shopify or WooCommerce, both platforms will give you the opportunity to optimize your E-Commerce site to the maximum so that it is well-indexed by search engines.

Now thanks to the many SEO plugins available via WordPress/WooCommerce, we have a slight preference for this platform. The possibilities given from an SEO point of view will tend to be more complete with a CMS.

Shopify or WooCommerce: customer support

Before choosing between Shopify or WooCommerce, you still need to ask yourself about customer support. From my already long experience in the field of website management, I can only guarantee that one day or another you will be confronted with one of the following problems: an incompatible plugin or theme update that makes the whole site crash or slow, your website being inaccessible for apparently no reason, external hacking attempts, or incomplete backups. And so on and so forth. When this happens, you will inevitably want to get clear and quick answers. Let’s see if the two platforms allow you to get that.

Shopify: Shopify’s customer support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You are going to be able to reach them via phone, email, or live chat as well. So you will never have to wait long for help. That’s the advantage of paying a subscription fee for this type of service.

WooCommerce: WooCommerce is one of the most widely used E-Commerce platforms in the world. There is no shortage of documentation, tutorials, or support groups available online. However, unlike Shopify, you will not have access to a dedicated customer support from WooCommerce. In case you have hosting issues, you will have to turn to your hosting provider, and if you have issues with a theme or extension, you will have to contact the developer of the theme or extension in question.

When it comes to customer support, Shopify is clearly the winner. Its customer support is indeed irreproachable. Since you are paying a subscription fee, you are guaranteed to get quick and satisfactory answers.

This is not the case with WooCommerce since you will have to rely on tutorials, knowledge bases and especially different interlocutors depending on the problem you encounter. If you really face a technical roadblock, you may even have to consider calling a professional. Which can be expensive in some cases.

Conclusion: Should I go with Shopify or WooCommerce?

As you may have noticed throughout our WooCommerce vs Shopify comparison, there’s really no correct answer to this question. It all boils down to what you’re looking for. In both cases one thing is for sure, you will be able to create and launch a quality E-Commerce store.

Now if you are looking for simplicity without hassle, then Shopify is the way to go.

If on the other hand, you have more time to spend on your online store project, and especially if you want to customize/modify absolutely everything while keeping 100% of your profits, then WooCommerce is a good choice. The flexibility offered is simply immense. In order to have a high-performance and speed-optimized website, you will just have to focus on choosing a suitable web hosting.

ShopifyWoocommerce
Users+ 800 000+ 3 000 000
Templates available+ 100+ 5000
Getting started / Set upvery easyintermediate
FEATURES
Blogyesyes
Mobile friendlyall themes are responsivedepends on chosen theme
Sending of newslettersyesplugin
Addition of HTML codeyesyes
Customer support24/7 support via email, chat and phoneSupport through tickets, forum support and numerous online blogs
SEOyesyes
Product sheet editorWordPress-like editorWordPress editor
Widgetsyesyes
Storage spaceunlimitedDepending on your server
E-COMMERCE
Import of CSV catalogyesyes
Payment methods+ 100+ 80
Connection to marketplaceswith pluginswith plugins
Offline payment trackingyesyes
Catalog sizeunlimitedunlimited
Inventory managementyes, but simplifiedyes, but very limited
RATES
Trial version14 day trial (without credit card)no
Commissions on salesFrom 0.5% to 2%no
Monthly rateBasic Shopify : $29
Shopify : $79
Advanced Shopify : $299
WooCommerce is free to download
Visit the software’s websitehttps://www.shopify.com/https://woocommerce.com/

Website templates to sell antiques online

When it comes to creating a website, one of the first things to do is to look for a theme or template that matches your business. In this case, there are many quality themes specially customized for antique dealers and flea market organizers, available for less than $150. Buying a theme will not only save you precious time but will also spare you thousands of dollars in development costs.

Themes developed for Shopify and WordPress/WooCommerce are developed by talented programmers or developer agencies with years of experience. In addition, the purchase of a theme comes with a license that allows you to enjoy customer support for 6 months to 1 year (renewable for $50 to $70/year). Here is a selection of the most popular themes currently available on Shopify and WordPress for selling antiques online.

Shopify

WordPress/WooCommerce

Once again, unless you have very specific needs, as well as deep pockets, an existing theme will already be more than enough to allow you to sell online and promote your antique business. Nothing prevents you afterward from hiring a freelance developer to fine-tune your site to your specific needs.

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