Shopify-vs-woocommerce

Shopify vs Woocommerce – The battle of eCommerce platforms

Starting and choosing a platform for an online store has always been a difficult task. There are plenty of eCommerce platforms available for setting up all kinds of online stores. Some provide high-end solutions while some provide limited services. Some platforms cater to small businesses while some are the best choices for large-scale businesses. However, it all depends on overall business demands and the need to deliver value to end customers.

When you think of setting up an online store, Shopify and Woocommerce emerge as two of the top choices. These are the most Popular eCommerce platforms, which are suitable for all kinds of online businesses.

Shopify

Shopify is a self-hosted eCommerce solution. It provides an end-to-end solution with features includes site hosting, installing content management system (CMS), payment gateways and setting up online stores.

Minimal technical knowledge is required for using this service. It is the best solution for building your online store from scratch. It also includes an inbuilt blogging facility and boasts of several pricing plans, varied features, add-ons, and apps.

Whether you are just starting out or have a full-blown online business – you will find a suitable Shopify plan that will take care of your online store.

Shopify

WooCommerce:

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin. All you need for creating an online store using WooCommerce is a WordPress website.

You need a WordPress website for which you have to pay a hosting fee, install the WooCommerce plugin and then set up the store. If you already have an existing WordPress website, it is easier to set up WooCommerce.

Woocommerce dashboard

Image Source

Comparison: Shopify vs Woocommerce:

  • Ease of Use
  • Features Available Out of Box
  • Themes / Design Options
  • SEO
  • Customer Support
  • Performance
  • Pricing
  • Limitation
  • Existing Customers

Let us compare these two leading platforms on the basis of their features, pricing, customers, and services in depth.

Shopify vs Woocommerce

Which One is Easier to Use?

Shopify is easy to install and use. It quickly enables merchants to add products and manage data efficiently. With a single sign up, the store is all set up in minutes.

On the other hand, WooCommerce requires a longer process of installation. It requires integration with WordPress themes and plugins.

However, once the process is over, both platforms offer a similar level of ease of use.

Why Choose Shopify?

  1. If you want a quick setup and installation.
  2. If you do not want to do much hard work and do not mind investing more for hassle-free setup as well as features.
  3. If you want a highly optimized solution.
  4. If you want your store to be accessible to all devices and customers.
  5. If you are not interested in the technical setup and details.
  6. If you want a reliable and 24/7 online support at your service.

Why Choose WooCommerce?

  1. If you have a minimal budget to start with
  2. If you are willing to do everything on your own
  3. If you have much time to invest in setting things up and handle tasks
  4. If you want to be in full control of your online store.
  5. If you want to access a variety of site designs and themes.
  6. If you are ready to use and search thousands of plugins to extend the functionality of your store.

What Do These Platforms Offer on a Unique Basis?

Shopify offers amazing options and benefits. This helps the merchants to make more profits. It also gives a great shopping experience to the customers. Also, Shopify does provide many free options along with unlimited benefits.

Some are:

  1. Automatic fraud analysis
  2. Unlimited products
  3. Unlimited file storage
  4. Manual order creation
  5. Social media integration
  6. Blog module
  7. Free SSL certificate

WooCommerce adds a lot of interesting and exciting features to the WordPress plugins. Here is a list of features that helps you sell your products and make maximum sales. Some of them are:

  1. Adjustable shipping rates and taxes
  2. A plethora of products and product categories
  3. Stock levels control
  4. Mobile-friendly structure
  5. Payments via PayPal
  6. Works with WordPress themes

Design Themes:

Shopify

Shopify offers both free and paid themes. While Shopify offers a variety of themes, some are not as feature rich as those of the third-party themes.

The paid themes range from $100 to $180.

However, if you need more customizations and features, choose Envato Market for an impressive selection of popular Shopify themes at affordable prices.

Envato Market includes features such as complete customization control, social sharing, newsletter integration, zoom-in capabilities and quick-view options for products, and much more. Also, you can opt for multi-purpose themes.

[Example of 20+ Great Shopify Templates]

WooCommerce

WooThemes offers customized and free WooCommerce themes. The paid themes range from $60 to $300. You can also integrate it with any WordPress theme. This is a benefit of WooCommerce. Thus, theme selection is certainly rich.

[Example of 20+ Great WooCommerce Templates]

SEO

Shopify

Shopify includes a packaged system for e-commerce sites and hence does include basic SEO-friendly features. But for getting the sites to rank up high on Google, it does not allow enough flexibility to push for effective content marketing strategy or advanced SERPs.

  • Shopify automatically generates XML sitemaps for stores
  • It provides Meta Tags to avoid any sort of duplicity, important for SEO-friendly portals
  • One is not free to change the structure or apply on-page SEO to Shopify stores easily
  • Limited options for building readership and content marketing

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an e-commerce extension for WordPress, which is the number one blogging platform in the world. Its inherent advanced SEO-friendly features and highly customizable feature set allows users to boost SEO success more than ever!

  • WooCommerce is more customizable for sites that require changes
  • Since it is developed like a blogging platform, it is extremely SEO-friendly.
  • One can edit the base URL structures, permalinks, etc. that aid in the SEO of the site
  • It includes a quick and easy application of SEO-related elements including slugs, titles, meta descriptions, headings, image tags etc.
  • One can leverage free and premium plugins to boost SEO results for the site too
  • Since it is self-hosted, the technical skills required for installation and configuration could be a bit of a hassle but it does help in improving page load speed and thus lead to better SEO rankings

Customer Support

Shopify

Shopify is renowned for its high-quality customer care.

It offers a 24/7 access to every customer. They address every query via email, calls and open chat. Also, you can get an access to an extensive knowledge base. This covers all the FAQs.

WooCommerce

On the other hand, WooCommerce lacks a good customer support. Customers can get support from the WordPress forum. Also, you can create a free user account at WooCommerce.com. They provide the best solution to all your queries and problems.

Performance

Shopify

  • Shopify is a highly flexible platform but is restrictive when it comes to complete overhaul of the website structure
  • The site page loads could be affected due to different factors, which are not in the hands of administrators
  • Small e-commerce vendors can get up and running with the options provided to them and even manage their catalog faster than other e-commerce platforms.

WooCommerce

  • If one is technically sharp, one can retain full control of the store and even boost performance considerably.
  • With complete access to website files, source code, and data, store-owners can get their sites to perform better than ever.
  • One can even build WooCommerce-based stores on the computer with offline mode and then get it live, when satisfied with its robustness and security.
  • The platform’s flexibility can enable better performing e-commerce websites than Shopify.

Pricing

How Much Does Shopify Cost?

Shopify has various plans – Basic, Shopify, Shopify advanced, Shopify Plus. The pricings are clear and vary as per the plans.

  1. Basic – This plan is applicable to the stores with an annual turnover under $10k. Price: $29
  2. Shopify – This plan is applicable to the stores with small sales. Mostly the stores with an annual turnover between $10k and $50k. Price: $79
  3. Advanced Shopify – This plan is applicable to the stores with growing sales. Mostly those stores with an annual turnover between $50k and $250k. Price: $299

Shopify Plus & Gold – This plan is applicable to the stores doing large scale businesses. Mostly those stores with an annual turnover above $250k. Starts at $2000 per month. [Read more about Shopify Gold]

Click Here to View Detail Pricing Plan with Features

How Much Does WooCommerce Cost?

WooCommerce on the other side offers the platform for FREE.

But as shared earlier, you need to buy a Hosting Service, where you can install WooCommerce. The hosting service can cost you around $5 – $100 per month.

Apart from hosting services, you will pay additional for the domain ($8 – $15 Annually) and SSL Certificate ($50 – $200 Annually)

The Pricing Perspective:

At first glance, WooCommerce appears to be a cheaper alternative and it’s surely better-priced option compared to Shopify if one is ready to maintain and set up the complete website by yourself.

BUT if you are NOT technically savvy, and have no idea about hosting plans, SSL, etc., you will end up outsourcing WooCommerce development to experienced eCommerce Development Agency who might charge hourly rates for the installation, setup, and management of the store. In this scenario, WooCommerce may end up costing you more than Shopify!

Limitations:

Limitations in Shopify

  • Some themes and plugins are costly
  • Restrictive in implementing wide-scale changes
  • Lack of flexibility in appearance and content management
  • Limitations in WooCommerce
  • Tougher and more time-consuming to install and set up stores
  • Needs good technical skills to solve problems
  • Lack of high-class customer support compared to Shopify

Limitations in WooCommerce

Tougher and more time-consuming to install and set up stores
Needs good technical skills to solve problems
Lack of high-class customer support compared to Shopify

Existing Customers

Shopify powers the most popular brands that are making millions. Here is a list of some of the biggest brands using Shopify.

  1. Red bull
  2. The New York Stock Exchange
  3. Budweiser
  4. Tesla Motors
  5. Penguin Books
  6. The Economists

 Here is a list of some of the most notable big brands using WooCommerce on their sites.

  1. All Blacks
  2. Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
  3. Orange Amplification
  4. Weber
  5. Singer
  6. Ghostbed
  7. CitySightSeeing Dubai
  8. Airstream

This is surely a never-ending debate. It strictly depends on your demands and the investments. Both these platforms offer everything you need to set up an online store and in return provide good turnovers.

However, I believe that if you invest a little in one of the Shopify plans, Shopify will take care of the rest. Also, within no time you can experience good returns.

Chatbots

Chatbots – Delivering the Boost to Their Social Media Marketing Strategy

Chatbots have been the talk of the technological world for a long time now. They are automated systems that operate on a chat platform. They have become an essential part of technology just as the web was decades ago. Experts believe that chatbots will rule the world in the coming future. As per a recent survey, around 60 percent of online users have enjoyed their interaction with chatbots on the social media platforms. This has encouraged the chatbot development to a greater extent.

The presence of social media somehow impacts the marketing world. Previously, marketers considered social media marketing strategy as their primary marketing tool. However, with time chatbots have taken over the pool of marketing tools. Chatbots have the efficiency to increase the website traffic and provoke sales. This provides opportunities to engage new customers and offers the users with a unique customer service experience. The marketing mix is all about the right balance of the four key elements – Product, Place, Price, and Promotion to meet the customer’s needs.

Now, let us understand what are the best ways we can utilize bots.

Best Ways to Utilize Bots:

  1. Sell Your Products: The best thing is about bots is that they can sell products independently without any human intervention. They can help the customers to find the right product and For instance, Google Now helps the customers to buy products from various websites. It even allows the customers to check out from the bot interface. The clothing brand H&M uses chatbot to sell their items on Kik, a messaging service. 
  2. Personalize the User Experience: 71% of customers prefer personalized ads. Bots can bring a personalized user experience. They bring the results based on what the customers choose to see on their feed. For instance, the Google Now provides the customers with a customized feed as per their preferences. They can select to choose from news, sports, entertainment, etc. Once done, the bot will provide the feed and alerts based on your choices. Bots help you to get what you want and prioritize your feed as per your wish. Thus, they promise to give you a rich user experience at all stages. Example: CNN’s bot sends customized news feeds to users. That is one of the reasons it is a newsbot that’s gotten a great deal of attention. It goes to prove that a personalization can go a long way. This concept applies to all kinds of bots.
  3. Communicate With Website Visitors: This is the most popular and useful bot actions. Businesses and websites can enjoy many of benefits these bots offer. When the visitors come to your website, they will always want to know about your offerings and services. If your customer support or sales team are unavailable to serve the customers, they might never wish to visit again. Bots can set up live chats and interact with your customers. They can resolve the customer’s queries and provide prompt responses. These all-time available bots can save a lot of time and serve all your customers. This helps in keeping the customers as a priority. Example: Bots from My.LiveChatInc.com, are set up to do precisely that. It may come as a surprise that clients really appreciate messaging. Econsultancy discovered that 57 percent of customers prefer live chat.
  4. Bots Integrated With Messaging Platform: Chatbots have been the most popular with the messaging platforms. This is where the bots work like a magic. The Messenger bot from Facebook is indeed a very popular one. It does all the work for the users just at one click. The users can interact with the bot and get information about the upcoming movies, movie reviews, watch your favorite sports, shop online and a lot more. Messengers bots are a smart platform for the eCommerce stores. The businesses can sell their products with the help of these smart bots. Customers can select their products at a single touch and check out from the bot interface. Example: Slack provides pages of bots that will assist you to make surveys, examine statistics, send emails, and a great deal more.
     

Top Chatbots Development Platforms for Best Chatbots for Your Business:

Customer experience (CX) is one of the major small business distinction, and also chatbot integration is among the several methods that pave the way to accomplish and keep it with perfection. Consequently, if you would like to keep up with the times, then you have to put money into chatbot development. Wondering how to start with that? Here’s a listing of the top seven chatbot platforms which are equipped with basic and innovative resources to construct a chatbot.

  1. Chatfuel: Chatfuel is an easy tool to create your own AI bot on Facebook and Telegram. No coding knowledge is required to use chatfuel. You can easily add and edit the content. The best part is it is easy to create, install and use. You can create event assistant, sports team, personal avatar, news and a lot more with this easy-to-use and easy-to-integrate chatbot tool. It works with all leading platforms and services such as Google, Bing, YouTube, Instagram, etc. You can create, integrate and test the bots to serve all the industry verticals.
  2. Facebook Messenger Platform: With Facebook Messenger bot, users can initiate and build customer relations with conversations. You can enable secured transactions, get game info and live scores, book salon appointment or even a test drive for your dream car. Today, almost 90% of the youth uses facebook and messenger. As per reports, Businesses can scale their sales and reach their customers with these smart bots. They can find their customers, provide customer value and satisfaction. Moreover, bots can help the businesses with constant support. Developers can read the documentation, forums and case studies to develop smarter messenger bots.
  3. Meokay: Meokay is one of the top tools that build the chatbots to upgrade the email marketing platform. Both skilled technicians and non-developers can create the chatbots with this smart tool. Within no time, you can create the conversational scenarios that can be further customized for the user experience. Once done, you can link this tool with your services and launch it.
  4.  Botsify: Botsify is yet another Facebook chatbot platform to integrate chatbots in the system. It offers a paid subscription in four easy steps.
    • Login to the  botsify.com site.
    • Connect to your Facebook account.
    • Set up a webhook.
    • Write commands for the chatbots.

    Rest will be taken care by the Botsify. It will handle the customer services and requests for you. There is also a free service available that lets you create bots as per your imagination.

  5. Smooch: Smooch is a great tool for building omnichannel messaging in your software. It acts as a chatbot connector that bridges all the business apps with the daily used messenger apps. It links the two apps together for smoother and automated conversations across teams. It sends the notifications from your messenger to your business apps. In the end, this provides seamless conversations and responses. These connectors allow you to create chatbots to respond to the customer queries.
  6. ChattyPeople: Chattypeople is also the popular chatbot platform that creates an AI chatbot on Facebook. It is completely free to use. No coding skill is required to create facebook message bots. It is an integration of e-commerce and ai-commerce, giving a rich customer experience. Its simplicity makes it an ideal platform for the marketers and entrepreneurs to use. You can develop a simple chatbot that responds to the customer queries and integrate with the e-Commerce platforms such as Shopify or WooCommerce to monetize the Facebook pages.
  7. BotKit: Botkit provides building blocks for creating smarter and innovative chatbots. It is more like a helping hand to the developers that develop bots for the platforms such as Slack, Facebook Messenger, and more. This complete toolkit for bot development helps you create smarter, conversational applications that imitate the human conversations.
    Thus, developing chatbots has become quite easy with such resources and tools available in the tech world. But, developing is never enough. Businesses and enterprises can get a lot many benefits with the implementation of chatbots. In order to get the most out of these chatbots, here are the most innovative ways.

Top Brands Using Bots:

  1. Lyft: It’s possible to ask for a ride in Lyft via conversation (Facebook Messenger and Slack) or voice (Amazon Echo). The Messenger bot will inform you the present area of your driver and also reveal a photo of the license plate and car version. In Slack, it is possible to just use slash commands (e.g., /lyft house ).
  2. Pizza Hut: Pizza Hut has always pushed the envelope when it comes to tapping into new technologies. In this example, that the cheesy-dough pusher offers a chatbot on two different platforms: Facebook Messenger (because everybody is doing it) and… Twitter! Yes, Twitter can be used to socialize with Pizza Hut’s chatbot, too. What can you do while conversing with Pizza Hut’s AI sales rep? For starters, you can ask about things on the restaurant’s menu, along with any other questions that you may have concerning the ordering procedure. And the chatbot can helpfully inform you about any accessible bargains you have access to in your region. Of course, this chatbot just wouldn’t be doing its job if you could not order from it, and fortunately, Pizza Hut’s bot makes it easy.
  3. Master Card: With credit cards, you do not really get the person-to-person encounter you might get with a bank teller. You’re spending money the majority of the time, maybe not depositing money, which means you don’t find many chances to ask about your balance or anything else you might want to know as you perform a good deal of activities on a website. Mastercard is introducing a more personal touch to client financial interactions using a chatbot which uses, you guessed it, Facebook Messenger. Hop into a conversation with the Mastercard chatbot and you are able to ask for a listing of your most recent trades. But you are not confined to account-related inquiries. Using the chatbot, you are able to make purchases from a number of Mastercard-partnered retailers, which offers a bit more variety than a few of these single-store implementations we have mentioned from other companies.
  4. Starbucks: When you start the Starbucks mobile program, you are able to interact with the organization’s chatbot in one of 2 ways — through text, as you want in a text-based chat program, or through voice. From that point, you have numerous jobs you can achieve. You may place your order in the event that you already know exactly what you would like. You are able to be given a message in the bot as soon as your order is prepared. And since the chatbot wishes to be super useful, it will give you your purchase complete so that you understand how much to pay when you walk up to snag your beverage. You will probably find more ability added into the Starbucks chatbot since the provider dreams up new ways it could function you (and since the company introduces new products and solutions ).
  5. The Wall Street Journal: The Wall Street Journal chatbot which makes it effortless to remain with Facebook Messenger on top of information and stock quotes. Alarms can be even customized by you. Just type in a few commands and you’re able to get business data and key financial metrics, compare companies and get live stock quotes.

5 Ways To get the most out of Your Chat Bots:

  1. Implement Your Chatbot Across All Leading Platforms: Everything started with the Facebook Messenger chatbots. But the tech world is so amused with the progress of chatbots that they have started integrating it on all the possible platforms. Now, the chatbot development platforms have started allowing the companies to develop chatbots that can be implemented on various platforms. Twitter, Slack, Instagram, Google Reply have already been flooded with chatbots. Various chatbot development platforms provide customer support bot that can help boost your business by:
    • Taking orders from facebook
    • Offering push notifications and promotions to the customers
    • Working seamlessly with the social messaging apps
  2. Go Beyond Facebook: Undoubtedly, Facebook is the most popular social media platform. In 2016, it announced the messenger app for third-party chatbots. Later, businesses, enterprises, and brands have leveraged chatbots to build strong marketing strategies and boost the customer outreach post-sales. Today, almost 80% of the enterprises on Facebook utilize chatbot services to serve their customers. So chances are that you are interacting with bots rather than the sale executives. But it’s not only Facebook, nowadays, Google, Twitter, Skype, Telegram also allow seamless integration of bots. The famous pizza brand- Domino’s also uses chatbot for improving its customer support and marketing strategies on various platforms. It offers the services through its website and help-lines.
  3. Use Chatbots as an Analytical Tool: Like most of the digital marketing platforms, chatbots work with a surplus data. Marketers and analysts keep a close eye on the metrics provided by chatbots. The reason is they give an insightful information about the customer’s behavior and responses. Chatbot analytics is still a newbie to the market in terms of metrics and analysis. But it is more beyond that. By analyzing and testing the variations from different messages, you will be able to select the most effective conversations. This can help you create the bots and optimize your client-oriented bots.
  4. Publish Your Content Directly to Your Audience: Chatbots are an effective way of marketing your brand and businesses. They deliver the content and the personalized messages to the audience. They work as per the preferences and interests of the customers and their needs. Chatbots are a smarter way of organizing and distributing your content across the multiple channels. This helps to drive more traffic and boost sales on your websites. Thus, if chatbots are implemented properly, they can prove beneficial in increasing the conversion rates and boost the business trade.
  5. Intelligent Social Media Assistance: The buzz that social media has created is undeniably more powerful than the old marketing strategies. Social media is one of the easiest communication channels that are accessible everywhere. The integration of AI, social media and chatbots has created a hype in the tech world. It is essential to initiate and provide smarter and intelligent conversations with your customers. This encourages customer engagement and rise in the chatbot development. Customers demand smarter and quicker responses, and thus it is important to develop AI-powered bots. These help you with better communication and increase the customer engagement in this social media obsessed world.

Chatbots As a Part of Marketing Strategy:

Chatbots allow a seamless integration of the bots operating on various platforms and different messaging apps. Thus, they can respond to every user query without human intervention. They are based on the next-gen technology i.e. Artificial Intelligence. They are built with the language assistance to imitate the human conversations. The technology has an intelligent interface that allows the chatbots to interpret and understand what the user asks and responds accordingly. And the best part is these chatbots respond not only through text-based chats but also through audio, video and GIFs.Chatbots have been ruling the social media platform. They save time and give a friendly touch to the conversation. They have the potential to respond to most of the user queries, thus helping in a strong customer engagement and relations. Due to this more customers can leverage the prompt replies. Moreover, businesses can serve their customers more efficiently and also save on the high overheads on staffs. This has improved the real-time user engagement over the past years.

There have been so many popular chatbots integrated with the social media. For instance, the Facebook Messenger bot is a popular chatbot that engages users giving an ultimate experience with all these responses. Users can get the reminders for events, webinars, play games, etc. They can also Even the popular brand Tommy Hilfiger has its chatbot named TMY.GRL, a fashionista that will take you on a fashion tour and guide you with your queries. The popular messaging app Skype also uses chatbots to respond to movies, music, news, etc. Thus, to complement the social media marketing mix the use of chatbots has become essential in the tech world.

Chatbots, when integrated with the social media marketing strategies can help your business soar heights. They have multiple benefits that give customers the best experience. They provide the flexibility to automate the tasks and also assist in providing the data. They are becoming a vital way to enhance the user experience for the purpose of better customer service and growing engagement. They help businesses to deliver the services within the app.

Chatbots and E-commerce Platforms:

Chatbots have been a great assistance in the e-Commerce world. They provide management, security, monitoring and most importantly, customer engagement. Thus, they are a complete package required to the e-Commerce businesses. 

Let us see how chatbots are the perfect choice for e-Commerce platforms.

  1. Highly Automated: Chatbots use AI assistance tools that are interactive and automated. They offer automated updates about weather, traffic and much more.
  2. Cost and Time Saving: Bots help you save both time and cost and reduce the cost of hiring staff.
  3. Easy Integration: Bots are easy to install, integrate and easier to use.
  4. Convenient and Contextual: Bots are both engaging and contextual.
  5. Customer Reach: The chatbots are continuously upgrading and day-by-day they are helping businesses to engage more customers around the world.

Thus, chatbots are becoming an integral part of the eCommerce businesses.

How has Messenger Chatbot Revolutionized Marketing?

Facebook rules the world of social media. In this era, it has created a revolution with the successful launch of Facebook messenger chatbots. These bots allow all kinds of businesses to provide deliverable content, an interactive user experience and automate the customer service. Like Facebook, Messenger has reached a billion users and it also promotes the enterprise ideas through the integration of interactive chatbots. Thus, businesses and marketers consider it an integral part to benefit their strategies. 

Facebook allows the customers to get in touch with the brands in the easiest way. The advent of messenger bots has led to a new era in the world of brand marketing. This helps the people to connect directly with the businesses and get automated responses. Today, there are more than thousands of chatbots that promote the businesses on messenger. This promotes the businesses and aids in the marketing strategies by the marketers.

In recent years, the rise in the popularity of chatbots has resulted in the extensive development of chatbots in the tech world. This has also increased the demand for development tools for AI and chatbots. With such exponential growth, there is no denying that chatbots will extensively rule every marketing platform in the near future.

If you need more assistant about chatbots, feel free to write us at info@zestard.com. We would be more happy to assist you.

React or Angular 2: The Best Choice for 2018

Currently, web designing is taking a splash with the new JavaScript technologies. Every year, new technologies come in and old ones fade out. Programmers have to be adaptable to pick and choose relevant new technologies. Also, businesses have to be quick to try the new technologies in the town. Choosing the right framework is important for both. Angular 2 and React are the two torchbearers for front-end development in 2018.

react vs angular 2

Angular is a platform for building web applications by Google. While React is a JavaScript library for building creating UI by Facebook. Let us now quickly jump to the battle of React vs Angular 2.

Technology React JS Angular JS
Language JavaScript JavaScript
Complexity High Low
Architecture Component Based Flux
DOM Virtual DOM Real DOM
Type Open Source JS library Fully-featured MVC framework
Development Time High Low
Learning Curve Low Medium
Rendering Fast Slow
Community Bigger Smaller
Popularity High Medium

1. Templates

Both React and Angular 2 are based on JavaScript.

Angular 2 is in TypeScript. The templating is done with the HTML files. It follows the object-based programming patterns. Due to this, Angular 2 has high-performance typing features. Angular 2 put JavaScript into HTML. It is HTML-centric.

Everything in React is in JavaScript XML(JSX). It has a JS syntax that enables HTML quotes. It promotes the building of machine-readable code. The templates and logic of React are written in JSX. The syntax of React is simple and clean. React puts HTML into JavaScript. Thus, it is JavaScript-centric.

2. Framework

Angular 2 is a full-fledged framework. This framework can run on any platform or browser. It has other advantages such as it is consistent, offers a lot of ready-made tools. Moreover, the ng components are quite mature and robust.

ReactJS is not a full-scale framework. Due to which the integration of the UI library into the common MVC framework becomes tricky. This requires a deeper programming knowledge. ReactJS is still fresh and not mature. Taking consideration of the limited ecosystem, it is still young.

3. Architecture

Angular 2 and React follow different architectures. Angular 2 follows a component-based architecture. The components have a strong and deep binding. As Angular 2 is an object-oriented programming, the elements are properly encapsulated. Every element in the component has its unique functionality. This makes the components reusable and properly testable.

While React does not follow any such architecture, it uses Flux which provides a structure and architecture. It gives a unidirectional data flow to the components. Flux is more of a pattern than a framework. Thus, using flux with React makes the coding easier and flexible.

4. DOM

DOM(Document Object Model) is one of the major difference to point out when using React or Angular 2.

Angular 2 manipulates the real DOM by extending HTML with its directives. This enhances the two-way-data binding. Thus, any changes to the view will reflect in the data and vice versa. This turns out to be an advantage for the developers, increasing the development time. And it enables the auto-sync between the model data and the view.

React on the other side uses the virtual DOM. The Virtual DOM is of great use while handling large databases. It comprises of the smart methods. With React, the view changes are applied to virtual DOM. This optimizes and accelerates the update process.

5. MVC

Angular 2 follows the MVC pattern. Thus it has a proper component-based architecture. It has a clean separation of the presentation, business and data entity model. This allows a proper testing of written code. This makes Angular 2 out-of-the-box programming language.

React does not follow the MVC pattern. It does not have patterns, templates or any MVC architecture. Instead, it has view layer only. Developers need to solve the Model and Controller on their own to design the app. They have to be familiar with the component’s life cycles and states.

6. Development Time

Developers are always fascinated with how the language works, how short is the learning curve and the overall development time.

Angular 2 is a complex component-based language. It has a quick installation and setup. But it has unnecessary syntax to do simple things. Thus, there is a drastic increase in development time. This puts Angular in a tougher position.

React takes comparatively longer to set up. And once done, you are ready to work on the app development. It should be relatively easy to add new features.

7. Learning Curve

Angular 2 has a steep learning curve. Though the Angular 2 community provides a complete documentation. But sometimes it becomes difficult to read the documentation. Angular 2 focuses more on the components. But it is comparatively difficult than React.

React has a short learning curve. It uses the least abstractions. However, it takes more time to learn the best practices. It has too many things to learn in depth.

8. Native Rendering

This is always the talk around the tables. All libraries are capable of native rendering. But there is always a performance competition among all the libraries.

Angular 2 is the stable version with the new addition of components. It comes with a native script. However, it still fails to beat the performance of react native.

React native comes with the native rendering. It does it better than the Angular 2.

9. Community

The community support plays a huge role in the success of these languages. Both have powerful communities.

The global community support of Angular 2 makes it one of the best Javascript frameworks. The developer team, designers, support team – actively work behind its success. They work with collaboration, contributing to the community. Angular 2 has hence boasted of huge reliability and credibility.

Facebook and Instagram both support react. The experts and developers work constantly to make this technology worth. Users can find active participation in online forums such as Stack Overflow, GitHub, Reactiflux Chart and many others.

10. Global Usage and Popularity

Thousands of companies worldwide have chosen the rich JavaScript frameworks. They use it for their sites, apps and internal projects. Angular 2 is popular among many leading sites. Google, the main force behind it also encourages its use. It powers The Guardian, PayPal, Lego, Netflix and other leading sites.

Many Fortune companies and startups have chosen React native for their app development. Instagram, Facebook, Dropbox, Tesla, Khan Academy and more such leading brands use this. React is very popular among many startups as well.

There is no doubt that both are advanced and high demand technologies in 2018. However, the developer’s choice depends on the requirements and the system constraints.

In 2018, there will be a rise in the creation of native apps. With Angular 4, there are possibilities in this area of huge improvement. 2018 will reveal whether Angular 4 will break through the domination of React or not.

Contact us to know more about our comprehensive Angular and React development services today!

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11 Reasons to Choose Shopify for your E-commerce Store

With multiple platforms available for e-commerce site development, it becomes tricky to choose the ideal one for your needs. If one needs to initiate an online store and choose the best platform, it is essential that it ticks the right boxes. In that case, we feel that Shopify fits the bill of being one of the best effective e-commerce platforms today.

reason to choose shopify

Top 11 Reasons to Choose Shopify as your Ecommerce Platform:

1. Easy to Setup

Shopify is focused on keeping tools simple and effective while offering wide functionality for merchants required for eCommerce store management. Its ease of use is what convinces merchants who are not tech geeks to opt for the platform since it includes necessary tools and documentation for easy store setup by anyone.

2. Reasonable Price

Shopify is priced for the long term which is useful for every growing storefront. All Shopify costs are spread out for every month and priced nearly $29. A transaction fee is levied for small stores but it is waived off as it becomes bigger. The pricing is systematic in its structure such that there is never a huge one-time investment and no contracts, and one can invest in inventory instead.

3. Simple Backend System

Shopify also has a simple backend system, which is incredibly easy, for a store owner since one can put in the time to sort backend in locating things, with diverse product additions, and customer service.The entire settings, analytics fields and setup checklists are synchronized to the tee.

4. Good Professional Support

Shopify supports techies, designers and developers with incentives. The platform encourages specialists to work with Shopify platform and makes it accessible to the public at large with the custom design. Unlike other open-source shopping carts that often rely on community, Shopify now has a dedicated team for support.

5. Loads of built-in Apps

Whether you need a blog, some coupon codes, upsells, analytics, inventory setup – Shopify has a full array of apps in one place. Additionally, the developers build applications that can customize your Shopify store. One can get the desired functionality with all types of inbuilt and custom applications.

6. Reliable Hosted Solution

Shopify hosting is part of the monthly subscription and includes automated backups and updates. Also, the stores cope well even when there are huge web traffic spikes and deliver minimal downtime too.

7. Friendly Cash flow Structure

As mentioned above, Shopify charges a transaction fee on smallest stores which are waived off when the store becomes big. The cash flow structure goes from month to month with no upfront investment too.

8. Point of Sale Integration

For online retailers, who also have a physical shop location, Shopify provides an efficient point-of-sale system that syncs with the online store. The small online retailer that might not be able to afford a full-service solution can take benefit from this feature. The inventory can be handled seamlessly on both mediums, which relieves one of the biggest hassles.

9. Complete Design Control

Most hosted eCommerce platforms offer the ability for store owners to edit their template designs but also set constraints of a template. Shopify, on the other hand, has a theme templating engine that gives enough flexibility for all sorts of interface improvements. Shopify’s templating engine offers designers and developers a plethora of options over hosted eCommerce platforms.

10. Free Security Option

Shopify provides secure hosting features including an SSL certificate and a secured shopping cart for online transactions. Merchants can use any payment gateway, although it offers Stripe as the preferred payment gateway. Stripe provides flexible tools for e-commerce and Shopify makes it easy for all merchants with stringent security options.

11. Easy SEO

An SEO Shopify expert can help manage transitions between e-commerce sites to keep the existing robust rankings. Shopify has an SEO-friendly setup that leverages each of the product categories and helps in its promotions.

Shopify has all the ideal e-commerce features that you would need. It is a nearly perfect e-commerce platform that aids all small business stores along with the large marketplaces.

Shopify Gold vs Magento Enterprise: The Ultimate Comparison

First and foremost, every eCommerce platform allows for a strong shopping experience with virtual storefronts that attract, entice and enable consumers to buy products or services as they desire.

Online merchants host their websites and even manage their offerings, prices, promotions etc. But when higher volumes are considered, the e-commerce strategy does depend on the solidity of the platform.

shopify gold vs magento 2

Every eCommerce platform aspires to deliver a strong shopping experience with the help of virtual stores that enable consumers to buy products as they desire.

Online merchants host their websites and even manage their offerings, prices, promotions etc. But when higher volumes are considered, the e-commerce strategy does depend on the solidity of the platform.

Shopify Gold and Magento Enterprise are two of the best eCommerce platforms in the present scenario. And to help to choose the best, a representative from a veteran e-commerce solutions provider can help you out!

With 8+ years of eCommerce business, Zestard Technologies Pvt. Ltd includes a team of certified Shopify Specialists and Magento Developers, who have also garnered repute in the field.  The company has deployed 200+ successful online stores that boast of an impressive ROI. Although we are platform agnostic, we partner with clients to choose an ideal one based on their requirements.

Shopify Gold

Shopify recently released Shopify Gold for Indian merchants in July 2017 and has a simple navigation. It provides fully supported service, although it holds a bit less market share than Magento the growth has been stupendous and faster compared to any e-commerce platform.

Magento Enterprise

Magento Enterprise offers integrated cloud hosting and impeccable infrastructure, featuring pre-integrated tools, good management to handle traffic spikes and boost operational efficiency.

Shopify Gold vs Magento Enterprise

There are some differences and similarities with specific advantages and disadvantages to both platforms. Our research and comparison criteria are done objectively to choose the ideal one for your business.

1. Scalability & Reliability

Shopify Gold features 200 TB Storage, along with Unlimited Bandwidth, 8000+ Orders/ Min. processing time, and 99.99% Server Uptime.

shopify features

Shopify Gold offers a fully hosted SaaS solution perfect to handle high-volume merchants for business. The infrastructure rests on 500,000 Shopify merchants, ensuring all sorts of flash sales, Black Friday audience etc. is handled efficiently.

Magento on the hand relies on Content Delivery Network (CDN) and DDoS protection. It also offers generous bandwidth allowances and even offers New Relic APM Pro for thorough Performance Monitoring and Blackfire.io Enterprise for the purpose of Performance Testing without any restrictions.

Magento 2.0 is scalable but priced accordingly for on-premise deployments that require solution architects to accommodate highest peaks in traffic, even though for a single day every year. But every change to the system impacts the scalability of the architecture.

2. 24*7 Support

Shopify Gold gives access to launch manager along with a dedicated account manager who can guide you with immediate assistance.

Magento also provides 24×7 monitoring of your system and renders email support for application and cloud infrastructure. The support is inclusive in the USD $3399/ month plan only.

3. Cost Effective

Shopify Gold has priced at 0.4% of monthly sales or a fixed price amount of Rs. 65000/ month, whichever is the higher amount, to a maximum levied a charge of Rs.130,000/ month covering all licensing & support costs involved.

Magento Commerce Starter licenses start from $1999/ month or about Rs. 130000 while Magento Commerce Pro is priced at nearly Rs. 2,20,935 per month. Shopify hence is priced at nearly half the price of Magento making it a very cost-effective platform.

4. Easy to Start Platform

Shopify Gold allows users to deploy their store within weeks and without much technical knowledge. Shopify’s templating language is quite intuitive and hence does not require development experience. It also allows for private app development and even quick and easy cart scripting for complex customizations.

Magento, on the other hand, is accessible and can be deployed by technical users only since the system can be deployed by someone who knows programming. Implementation times for Magento 2 usually takes up 4 to 8 months and also require technical resources including, developers, deployment specialists, QA and testing professionals, etc.

5. Better Reporting

Shopify Gold has a strong reporting dashboard for adding different elements including revenue, orders etc.

Magento uses third-party tools for reporting purposes.  Shopify Gold is the stronger option of the two as they have dedicated app for merchants for the purpose of reporting and order processing along with a robust SDK for mobile applications. But in terms of reporting, both platforms have third-party apps that attend to the need of custom reports. As mentioned earlier, Magento 2 needs comprehensive technical knowledge too.

6. Marketing Friendliness

Most marketers do not have a technical background so if the platform needs to be leveraged for creating product descriptions, and even to edit website copy, one needs a platform that is easy to use for the average marketer.

Shopify Gold definitely offers a marketer-friendly option, better than Magento EE, giving access to key functions from the admin panel, and create conversion pixels for tracking of relevant social media campaigns, discount code generator, and other extensions.

Magento EE has no default functionalities and features need to be created, causing the marketer to rely on developers to get their work sorted. Shopify Gold though as per research is still the easiest platform for the marketing team.

7. Performance

Shopify-hosted websites have faster loading speed than Magento. According to selfstartr.com, Shopify boasts a 1.98 seconds loading time while Magento sites take an average of 5.05 secs to load.

In terms of Google page loading times, Shopify achieves a rating of 63 while Magento achieves 51. In terms of mobile friendliness, Shopify scores again with 94 points to Magento’s score of 81. Needless to say, Shopify outscores Magento on performance.

8. POS Integration

Shopify Gold has powerful POS integration capabilities and is seamless enough to sell on multiple platforms including social channels and sites, mobile avenues, and other marketplaces. Magento, on the other hand, has decent capabilities for POS integration but Shopify outscores the platform by a large margin.

Additionally, Shopify boasts of PCI Level 1 Compliance security along with better SEO capabilities than Magento making it one of the most useful e-commerce platforms. One can preferably opt for Shopify because it is one ideal e-commerce platform that is cost-effective, has scores of apps that can be deployed by non-techies and even features easy customizations that can be used for specific businesses.

What can you do with AngularJS?

AngularJS is a JavaScript framework introduced by the giant Google. It is an open source framework that uses HTML as a backbone. It excels at building single page web applications and the dynamic ones.

why-choose-angularjs

The newer version i.e. AngularJS 2.0 is a big change when compared to the previous version. The developers can see a notably major change in components, directives, injections and a lot more. The more functionalities, the more you can achieve with this version.

Over the years, AngularJS has emerged the strongest in the single page apps world. It is used by over 9000 websites. It powers the top sites such as Intel, Virgin America, NBC, HBO, Google and many more.

Why Choose AngularJS?

Developers find this framework completely worth it. This framework is highly convenient, affordable, scalable and delivers good performance. There are so many notable reasons to use this popular JavaScript framework. Some are:

  • It has huge community and experts including development, testing and support team
  • It is a multifunctional framework following the MVC pattern
  • It can create big applications, once used with a right approach
  • It uses MVC architecture – simple to use and understand
  • It is the best solution for creating the single page applications
  • It can allow combining modules for creating applications
  • It has a declarative user interface
  • It is easy to learn and implement if you know JavaScript already
  • It makes testing simple

Now, that you know the benefits of using this framework. Let us find out what all can you do with AngularJS. Here are the seven wonders you can do with AngularJS:

1. Single Page Applications
AngularJS and single page apps are like a match made in heaven. You can develop a large scale application with a single page. It has a set of built-in validators and directives to create such apps. You can also define your own validators if needed. You can create a single page form application easily with its use. The controls and error handling are perfectly handled by this framework.

2. Mobile Apps
With the rise of the digital and mobile era, mobile apps are widely used. With AngularS, you can create mobile and web apps. All you need to do is install MongoDB and NodeJs on your system. Using a set of modules and REST services, you can create your mobile app. You can also bind AngularJS with the mobile framework LungoJS. And you are ready to create the awesome mobile applications.

3. Animations
AngularJS has a good set of directives. You can create animations and give styling to it with ng-style. You can use the ng-app, ng-animate and ng-style directives to create wonderful animations. Along with CSS3 transforms and these directives, you can perform cool animations.

4. Google Chrome Extensions
Normally, a Chrome extension generator creates the chrome extensions. But AngularJs also plays a part in it. The directive ng-CSP helps to create these extensions along with ng-app. You can add content scripts and background pages and bind the APIs. With all these, your desired extension is ready.

5. Firebase Powered Apps
Mobile development platforms have reached a new level with Firebase. The blend of AngularJS and Firebase gave rise to a real-time backend service – AngularFire. This service supports two-way binding on both client and server side. You can efficiently create real-time web apps and mobile apps with these two latest technologies. You can develop a real-time chat application and chatbots. Today millions of users use such apps and services.

6. Simple Web Application
You can also create a web app using Firebase and AngularJS. You can create a simple web application easily with AngularJS directives, components, resources, and services. With a sample data, you can perform the CRUD operations as well. Thus a simple and easy to use web app is ready from scratch. You can also create a web application using Firebase and AngularJS.

7. JS Apps
Like we all know already, AngularJS is easily testable. It is fully powered by the test scripts and suites. Karma and Jasmine are used for testing the AngularJS applications. They run and execute the unit tests for your developed applications.

5 Pros and Cons of Accelerated Mobile Pages

Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP is a global initiative for promoting faster mobile websites. This project brings a unique coding language to the fore with AMP HTML, which restricts code to boost loading speed and reliability. It is being supported rapidly by publishers, web technology providers  and several developers worldwide and has been embraced by BBC, Twitter, New York Times, and several headliners in the tech-media space.

amp

The differences in AMP pages are not directly obvious to untrained users but as they usually do not know where to look to identify the subtle differences. The speed of loading is the biggest clue to the fact of using AMP since it allows the page to load by up to 85% faster than other pages.

5 Pros of Accelerated Mobile Pages

1. Improves website load time
AMP aids in faster loading time of the pages, which is the primary aim of such pages. Reports suggest mobile users abandon a website that takes a long time to load – more than 3 seconds – hence businesses like to adopt AMP could help to drive mobile abandonment rates down and increase conversions.

2. Increases Mobile Ranking
Although AMP has not established itself as an independent ranking factor, it can be judged with respect to its mobile friendliness and faster page load speed times. As AMP improves page loading times, it is evident that AMP pages will be rewarded with higher rankings than others.

3. Improves Server Responses
If your site generates immense traffic from mobile, AMP can help in reducing the load on servers and boost performance. This helps in improving server responses and faster load times as stated earlier.

4. Boost CTR (Click Through Rates)
Wired apparently saw a 25% boost in CTR from mobile search results, with while the CTR in the overall AMP stories rose up by 63%. Some companies are now quite clear about using AMP ads, but to those who can use it efficiently, AMP can increase ad performance and boost CTR considerably.

5. More Ads Viewability
A recent DoubleClick study involving 150 publishers found 80% and more realizing higher ad viewability rates with AMP pages in comparison to other pages. This proves that AMP pages are simplified and secure thus able to deliver better advertising to eyeballs.

5 Cons of Accelerated Mobile Pages

1. Decrease in Ad Revenue
Though AMP Project supports ads, the potential in reining revenue is limited since it is difficult to implement ads on AMP-run pages efficiently.

2. Not easy to Implement (Excluding WordPress)
AMP is a restrictive framework and the implementation effort is tough. Yes, the gains can be good but the performance boost of HTML web pages be prioritized more. Focusing on performance optimisation needs to take centre stage. Those implementing AMP pages need to follow Google’s guidelines to the tee.

3. Analytics is stripped down
AMP supports Google Analytics under different tags and hence take a lot of time and hassle to place these tag to collect and analyze data.

4. Google Cache Server(They are using CDN so create dependency)
AMP pages get loaded through Google cache servers thus keeps all web pages depending on Google. Since no company can control their server, it leads to dependency that might affect detrimentally in the long run.

5. No Leads and Subscribers
AMP pages will not show email popups and optin forms, any sidebar widgets, strategically placed social share buttons, posts and much more. One might lose email subscribers and leads in the process too.

For a better user experience, one can go with AMP although one has to lose on other features like lead generation, connected ads, widgets, etc. Without AMP, one should make sure that the website is mobile friendly with the help of WP Touch plugins or responsive themes.

Should you need any help in AMP Implementation on your website or apps, feel free to contact us

Top 10 Shopify Apps for Social Media Marketing

Social media is playing a huge role in marketing activities along with SEO, branding strategies, and online lead conversion.

Each of the social media channels is crucial in marketing products on e-commerce sites like Shopify. A seamless social media strategy will go a long way in diverse marketing approaches and sales channel support.

Shopify has a huge number of apps, which assist in social media marketing and saves time and effort in the process in many ways.

We have curated the Top 10 Best Social Media Apps for Shopify:

social media shopify apps

1. Outfy
Pricing: 2.5 cents/ share

Outfy presents a fantastic way to boost the social reach of products, drive traffic & overall sales. The app helps product promotion 10+ social networks under a single canopy. One can schedule the posts for every day, month and year. It is a powerful, robust, and effective tool to automate social media marketing for your Shopify-based store.

2. Social Sharing Buttons 

Pricing: Free

Social Sharing Buttons developed by Zotabox connects multiple social accounts including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many other sites. The Shopify app comes in multiple styles, sizes, and colours. These mobile-friendly buttons are part free and part premium. Social buttons, contact forms, popup, Facebook Live Chat, Promo Bar and Slide Box features are a free while after a 14-day free trial; the premium buttons include easy popup pro, email capture bar, countdown timer bar, testimonials, easy banner and store locator.

3. Shoppable Instagram Galleries
Pricing: Free

Shoppable Instagram allows shoppers to make purchases through Add to Cart option directly from Instagram. One can even embed shoppable Instagram galleries on different sites and includes multiple Instagram options for Shopify-based sites. Every small store owner would love its simplicity and ease of use along with enterprise-level attributes.

One can create galleries with hashtag and curate images with tags through the dashboard. Your best performing Instagram images derive best user attention with a Homepage carousel, Product gallery, tags, layouts and user-generated content too.

4. Auto Post by Posting.ly
Pricing: $9.00

Posting.ly posts Products on Social media channels on a regular basis for the products that you want to share on social media and even schedule it accordingly. The app also works with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even LinkedIn. The app imports products with the relevant pictures and descriptions. Just create definite “Posting Rules” to specify the actions of the app to post products on your social media channels and accounts. It also automatically detects new products on the Shopify Store.

5. Facebook Product Feed
Pricing: Free

The Facebook Product Feed automatically syncs your e-store with the Catalog and even generates Facebook ads for the products. The app works with the new Shopify Facebook Pixel Setting too, through Facebook Business Manager.

One can just sync the Shopify Store with the Facebook Product Catalog using a systematic, dynamic feed to populate products. One can promote multiple products on Facebook, on all the devices too. Also one can use a unique creative for each product without the need to configure each and every ad. Set up campaigns and reach people with the ads regardless the original touchpoint. Apply Google product categories and populate about 1000 products at a time in a single feed. The app also offers unlimited product promotions with feed pagination and auto-image resizing for the product images.

6. Twitter Feed
Pricing: Free

Twitter Feed displays all widgets individually or together with each other. The app provides custom design options including colours, backgrounds etc. to match with the store. This is a tool that helps in interaction with customers with promotional tweets for products, offers, etc. Adding a relevant Twitter Feed is beneficial to your business since it provides a clear channel of communication with users. The social channel includes the option to like, tweet, re-tweet, reply, etc.  The Twitter feed app is used to notify customers, direct traffic to the website and even used to garner feedback.

7. Facebook Store – Easy Social Shop
Pricing: Free

Facebook Store is one easy social shop that extends reach customers on social networks. The app helps organizations to drive sales through Facebook. One can let shoppers share products and their details on diverse social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

The app allows Shopify users to convert their online store into a Facebook store and one can get selling their products on Facebook within 3 clicks. The store products will be updated on the Facebook store and one can customize as one wants it to be.

8. AddThis Sharing Tool
Pricing: Free

AddThis Sharing Tool is one efficient app that enables visitors to become marketers through their preferred social networks. One can measure activity on each of the sites in real time through the app and even aids in driving traffic and engagement to the storefront. One can share content to 300+ social network and bookmarking sites and is quite popular in among 12 million domains worldwide. The app also measures user engagement along with actions on social channels with an effective real-time analytics dashboard.

9. Bestsellers
Pricing: Free

Bestsellers automatically tweets driving product sales. One can customize tweets, messages, and posts and even schedule their posts on a specific time period and also set its recurrence. The app is easy to set up and is quick and reliable.

10. Instagram Feed
Pricing: $4.99/ month

Instagram Feed app showcases Instagram photos on the store and includes the auto-update system feature too. The app can show latest photos from your account on a real-time basis. The app helps Shopify users to connect to their audience with the store making Instagram shoppable. There is a slideshow gallery for the account, new templates, and is extremely customizable too.

Magento 2.2 – All you need to know about it!

Magento 2.2

 

While many online businesses are looking to Migrate from Magento 1 to 2, platform developers are already updating the version with new functionalities.

The new version iteration focuses on B2B development as mentioned in the company webinar held in June.

Magento developers are excited about the launch of version 2.2 to leverage the technology better for clients in more brand new ways than ever. Here are some improvements introduced in the latest version:

For Businesses

  • Account management – B2B merchants can now support client accounts with diverse buyers in different organizations with efficient self-service tools
  • Quote engine – Allows for negotiations as customers can now convert a cart to quote instead of orders. Merchants can then ascertain prices with comments.
  • Credit purchases – Companies can now choose payment on credit while merchants can adjust credits and edit those options on a constant basis.
  • Custom catalogs with prices. Merchants can now control products and their categories and price lists even sending in different price lists for different companies
  • Revamped API for ERP integrations – Web APIs are now available that expand on the feature set for company accounts, users, credit limits & transactions. The APIs are also available for quotes and requisition lists. The bulk Tier Price API can now update several product prices quickly.

For Developers

  • Performance Toolkit – New changes related to profiles update, quicker generation, B2B entity support have pushed performance levels upward.
  • Minimized core around plugins – Call parameters are added to plugins with minimized core around them, making it easier to debug with minimal clicks.
  • Enhanced Deployment flow – The function will allow export configurations in different environments and upgrades will happen in seconds.

For Security

Removal of Unserialize() calls – unserialize() calls are now removed from all except for performance code for reducing vulnerability issues.

Upgraded hashing algorithm – Hashing algorithm was upgraded to upgrade security for the most sensitive values.

Other major upgrades include the addition of extended reports with an advanced reporting module, so that data can now be stored in graphs with the required metrics. The changes also provide the opportunity to identify and eliminate roguish orders with 100% protection on chargebacks.

There are a number of index improvements while customers can even browse the store shop while the indexing process is on. Magento will also drop support for the latest PHP versions 5.6 and PHP 7.1 along with MySQL 5.7 and Redis 3.2. Magento also highlights and improves deployment process with its latest update.

Magento with the 2.2 version, is now becoming a better and more comfortable tool for transforming online businesses for the best. Magento concentration on the B2B approach is bound to usher in bigger opportunities to clients.

Best eCommerce Platforms for 2018

best-ecommerce-platforms-2018

You finally want to migrate to an online store instead of a physical store.  But taking the leap into the online world of eCommerce is tricky, as you need to figure out an efficient e-commerce platform that could work for your online store.

With a variety of e-commerce platforms in the market, it is evident that there is no one-size-fits-all eCommerce solution. Each platform boasts of some pros and cons, depending on the feature set and functionality that you are looking for in your website.

We reached out to 25 eCommerce Experts and learned their three best eCommerce Platforms:

Best eCommerce Platforms as voted by 25 eCommerce Experts -

Best eCommerce Platform

25 Experts share their thoughts on top eCommerce Platforms trending in 2018

1. Andrew Youderian : [Website | Twitter]

The top three carts I would recommend for independent merchants would be Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento – in that order.

  1. Shopify is my overall favorite as they’re a hosted solution that eliminates technical headaches while providing you a very robust, customizable cart.
  2. WooCommerce is ideal if you want to host your own cart and want a lightweight solution.
  3. And if you need a fully customizable solution (and don’t mind some server and IT overhead) Magento is worth considering”.

2. Richard Lazazzera : [Website | Twitter]

The three platforms I’d recommend are Shopify, BigCommerce and WooCommerce.

  1. For the majority of businesses, I think Shopify has really proven themselves and are leading the pack in terms of innovation, features and the future of ecommerce in general.
  2. BigCommerce is a great platform as well overall with similar features and functionality to Shopify.
  3. WooCommerce for WordPress provides you nearly unlimited customizability.

3. Nicole Reyhle : [Website | Twitter]

  • I’ve always believed that variety is a good thing, and this is particularly true when looking for the right e-commerce platform.
  • There are many to choose from and each have their pros and cons based on your unique business – which is one may be right for one business while another may be better for a different business. Among my favorites include Big Commerce, Woo Commerce and Shopify.com

4. Anuj Dalal : [Website | Twitter]

Selecting an eCommerce Platform is a tough task since there are multiple eCommerce platforms available in the market that are good enough in their own right.
Each of these platforms has their own benefits and features that one should consider before choosing the best fit as per their requirement.

  1. Shopify : Since the last couple of months, Shopify has become the number #1 preferred Hosted eCommerce Solution owing to its host of its features & Community Support.
    The reason I like Shopify is that you as a store owner don’t need to have any technical Knowledge to keep your site running smoothly – which is a Big Convenience of Store Owners – since you do not need to get in touch with Shopify Developers to make any small or big changes. (Saves time and money both).
  2. Magento : Magento has been proven to be the best Open Source eCommerce Platform since the last couple of years. If you are looking to build something Big and highly Customised eCommerce Store – Magento Platform can be an excellent choice.
    Magento Community Edition is completely free software. However, it will require web development knowledge or Skilled Magento Developers to create the Online Store. Magento is a great fit for store owners who are planning to create medium to large eCommerce sites with some customized/specialized features and having a good budget for development & maintenance.
  3. WooCommerce : WordPress, the most popular open source Content Management System (CMS) allows users to make online shopping cart website using the highly popular WooCommerce plugin.
    It offers the ease of Shopify to manage store admin and also allow us to customise the source code like Magento to achieve desired features on the store. If you are looking for small to medium size e-commerce store solution, you should take WooCommerce Shopping Cart into consideration.
    But in my humble opinion, the above three transcend all other e-commerce cart solutions in more ways than one.

5. John Jantsch : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Infusionsoft is a robust automation system that not only includes e-commerce, but email management, automated marketing, sales, and other features as well.
  2. Shopify is easy to set up and offers numerous features to help you grow your business.
  3. WooCommerce is one of the most customizable platforms for growing your online business.

6. Jamie Turner : [Website | Twitter]

There are a lot of good e-commerce solutions available today — many more than in years past.

  • For me, I look for a combination of features and ease of use. Both those traits allow me to work quickly, without getting bogged down.
  • With all that in mind, my favorites are Shopify, Magento and Six, all of which provide varying degrees of flexibility and ease of use.”

7. Brian Jackson : [Website | Twitter]

If I had to recommend to someone the top 3 platforms for eCommerce you should try, I would say WordPress, Shopify, and LemonStand (in that order).

  1. WordPress is currently used by 28% of the entire web. It is completely free to use and the ability to instantly implement eCommerce solutions such as WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads make it a quick win.
    According to BuiltWith, WooCommerce in fact already powers over 41% of all online stores! The customizations within the WordPress platform are almost unlimited, as their repository has over 50,000 plugins which can help extend your website.
  2. Shopify would be my 2nd recommend as they do one thing and do it well, which is provide eCommerce solutions to business owners. And they have a long history of doing so. They make it quick and easy to launch your store.
  3. My last recommendation would be LemonStand, which most of you probably haven’t heard of. This is definitely the newest one out there, but if you are just diving into the eCommerce space, this platform makes it about as easy as can be.
    If you want something that will help you sell products, create a blog, loads fast, and keeps both digital and physical products in mind, you might want to check it out.

8. Steve Wiideman : [Website | Twitter]

Finding an E-Commerce solution that satisfies flexibility in design, friendly user experience and maximizing search engine optimization focal points has been a real challenge for brands we’ve worked with.

  • Over the years, we have tapered our list down to one solution that always crushes it with SEO, UX, and elasticity: Cirkuit Commerce. Visit Bobswatches.com to see a website that started from scratch in 2010 and now earns upwards of $20 million per year.
    The solution offers everything from product feeds for Google Merchant, automatic 301 redirecting, to customizable XML options for efficient indexing by web crawlers.
  • If we had to choose two other solutions, they would be Shopify, which is improving many of the SEO limitations it originally came bundled with, and Magento, which will feel like an extension nightmare by the time you’re done setting everything up.
    The really helpful SEO extensions for Magento require recurring fees, so you’re locking yourself into continuity forever if you go this path. Plan on SEO affecting your ROI, when historically the cost was just labor time.
  • Avoid home-grown solutions, which can become vulnerable to security hacks, and could leave you having to rebuild if your developer(s) decide to go elsewhere. Cirkuit Commerce is really the way the go if you want an E-Commerce solution that’s perfect out of the box.

9. Dennis Wagner : [Website | Twitter]

  • There are certainly many E commerce platforms available for business owners to choose from in 2017. The single most important step in choosing the correct E commerce platform is to take as much time as you need to do your research on which platform fits your wants, needs and desires best.
  • Based on price, ease of use, performance and features here are three E commerce platforms that are the total package, #1 Shopify #2 BigCommerce, and last, but certainly not least is #3 Volusion. Keep in mind that every business is different. Do your research and Happy Selling!

10. Craig Campbell : [Website | Twitter]

There are many E-Commerce platforms to choose from, but being an SEO expert I have my own reasons for picking the following three.

  1. WordPress/Woocommerce For small business owners who don’t have thousands of products this is a great platform to work with. Not only is WordPress one of the most SEO friendly platforms on the market, it’s also very easy and simple to use if you are not a designer.
    It’s simple and easy to use and can integrate with most common payment gateways, with a clean easy to use interface you can add your products, prices, get reviews and anything else that you would expect to see on an E-commerce website. This platform is one I use daily for small E-commerce websites.
  2. Magento I would tend to go for Magento for a bigger E-Commerce website, again this platform is very SEO friendly, but you are likely to require a developer for this platform to get the site the way you want it. But it’s a much more stable platform for a big online shop and again there are so many add-ons you can get for Magento that this will do anything any other platform does.
    Again it’s a nice simple to use interface with many online tutorials to help you add your products and get selling online. Just ensure you have a decent server to host this site on as it does use up a lot of memory.
  3. Shopify is my third choice a great off the shelf platform with FREE templates where you can get your online shop up and running in no time. Very simple and easy to use, even for those with no real design or website experience.
    Shopify is for those beginners who don’t have a huge budget and want something up and running fairly quickly.
    You can integrate with most common payment gateways and its very simple and easy to add your products, and there is no real limit to how many you can add, so Shopify can be used for small or large online shops.
    There are a wealth of others to choose from and it really comes down to your own budget and requirements.

11. Panos Ladas : [Website | Twitter]

I am a great friend of easy solutions, things that just work. That’s why I really like Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento.

  • Shopify is huge right now, it is the easiest way for someone to sell anything online. And it is inexpensive. And I believe that a platform that works almost immediately is one of the greatest benefits that a business might have, given that speed and agility are critical when it comes to online and eCommerce business.
  • On the other hand, WooCommerce and Magento allow for great customization and flexibility, they are robust platforms, well tested all over the world. These are amazing solutions as long that obviously come with a cost, both financial and in time to the market.

12. William Harris : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Shopify
  2. BigCommerce
  3. Woocommerce

13. Hassan Bawab : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Oracle Commerce Cloud
  2. Magento Enterprise
  3. Demandware Cloud

14. Kenny G : [Twitter]

  1. Woocommerce
  2. Magento
  3. BigCommerce

15. Tina Roth : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Shopify
  2. Shopify
  3. Shopify

16. Gabriella Sannino : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Shopify
  2. Magento
  3. YoKart
  4. Woocommerce

17. Craig Patterson : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Shopify for e-commerce sites.
  2. Lightspeed for POS and ecommerce support.

18. David sandusky : [Website | Twitter]

  • We use Shopify and think it is the best ecommerce platform.

19. Denisse : [Website | Twitter]

  • PrestaShop

20. Lori Wagoner : [Twitter]

  1. Shopify
  2. BigCommerce
  3. Volusion
  4. PrestaShop

21. Dolores Vela : [Website | Twitter]

  1. PrestaShop
  2. Magento
  3. Shopify
  4. Woocommerce

22. David J. Neff : [Website | Twitter]

  1. BigCommerce
  2. Episerver
  3. Magento

23. Jeremiah Cathey : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Shopify
  2. Magento
  3. BigCommerce
  4. Enterprises suites

24. Abel Premnath : [Website | Twitter]

  1. Sellmojo
  2. Nwebkart
  3. Martjack

25. Chuck Rouse : [Website | Twitter]

  • I would say it depends on the product and the longevity of the shop. If you want to trial a product use a service.
  • If you are thinking long term there is no point in renting a service build your own with a Magento cms or even WordPress.

I know there was a lot of information there, so here are the top 5 eCommerce once again:

Best eCommerce Platform

If you could only recommend three best eCommerce Platforms to build your eCommerce Store, which three would you choose? 

Are there any eCommerce Platforms you are using that weren’t mentioned above?

Let us know in the comments below.