Why I moved from WooCommerce to Shopify for my candle business
Moving from Woocommerce to Shopify was a huge decision for me and my candle, wax melt and room spray business but once the move was finally complete, I knew that it was the best decision I could make for my business's future.
A bit of background
For those of you who don't know me, I was (and, of course, remain) the blogger behind Swoon Worthy - an interior design and DIY blog that I started back in 2010. Yes, I was pretty much an OG blogger, long before Instagram came along and I had an incredibly successful decade (and then some) doing what I loved - teaching people how to create a beautiful home, no matter what the budget.
Despite the successes I had enjoyed (including 5 industry awards, countless magazine and interior design book features, talking in front of crowds at the Ideal Home Show, working, travelling and collaborating with hundreds of brands and being a regular guest on BBC Radio to name a few) by the time 2020 had rolled around, I was itching for change and a new challenge.
I had accomplished more than I'd ever dreamed possible with my blog but after more than a decade, one thing I hadn't really done was design and create my own line of products. I've always had a flair for design and I've always been creative across a wide range of mediums - one of those mediums was candle-making. When lockdown hit in 2020, I lost almost all my freelance work and many of my collaborations were cancelled or put on hold indefinitely. Facing an uncertain future and with plenty of time on my hands, I decided there was no better use of that time than to make the dream of creating my own product line a reality.
Fast forward 10 months of learning and testing, Swoon Worthy Scents launched with a small line of 5 beautiful scented candles. As my blog was already receiving strong traffic, it seemed silly to consider an entirely new platform. I knew WordPress well and had managed to design my own website on Divi, nearly from scratch.
Why I started with WooCommerce
Despite the fact my website was a bit old and weighed down with loads of plugins, I didn't want to spend even more money than I already had investing in this new project. Candle testing is a long and expensive process with many trials over many months to get the perfect combination of wax, wick and oil and along with packaging, SDS, equipment, labels, and more - well, I'd already invested quite a bit of money into this new endeavour. WooCommerce was 'free' out of the box (although I came to realise quickly that all the additional plugins I required would cost me more in the long run anyway!).
And so I installed WooCommerce. Out of the box, WooCommerce is a bit basic. It would probably suit many different industries but as someone for whom aesthetics and beauty in design was always important, I didn't love the basic out-of-the-box design.
Aside from this, it seemed to lack a lot of features I thought would have been integral to running any basic ecommerce site. So, the search began for more plug ins just to make it do what I needed.
As a result, the site got even more weighed down with all the plugins I needed to add just to make it do what I needed it to. I was okay with some of the basics of web design but I had to then pay for additional plugins or additional design help. With these additions, the site was just getting slower and slower!
By the time I swapped to Shopify, I had more than 40 product offerings and things were getting more complicated. I needed more functionality which meant adding more plugins which then needed to be constantly updated. I still didn't love how it looked but I did my best. The site just got slower and more cumbersome.
I was also blogging much less than previous years as everything seemed to be moving to social media platforms and less people were reading blogs on an everyday basis like they used to.
Why I moved over to Shopify
After 2 years of reducing my blog posts and increasing how much time and energy I was putting into Scents, I realised my focus had fully tipped in the direction of my home fragrance line as I was spending much more time there than I was on the interior design elements. I wanted to stop running my business like it was just a side hobby and start running it like a business.
I knew in order to do this, it needed to be on a platform that was actually built for ecommerce straight out of the box, rather than a truly basic offering with the need for endless plug ins that constantly needed to be updated alongside their annual and monthly costs. I found I wasn't really saving money or time with using WooCommerce and it was so much harder to maintain.
I found a gorgeous theme that I loved and set up was so straight-forward. From the time of my theme purchase to launch was one week. The things I wasn't entirely sure how to do, I found help via Fiverr and costs were incredibly reasonable. I couldn't quite believe how fast I had a beautiful, well-functioning and fast website with pretty much everything I needed to get up and running.
5 Reasons Shopify is better than WooCommerce for a candle or wax melt business
So I thought I'd clarify with 5 reasons why you might choose Shopify over WooCommerce for your own candle or fragrance business:
1. Simplicity and ease of use
Shopify is designed to be an all-in-one ecommerce platform, meaning that it is easy to set up and use without needing technical expertise. On the other hand, WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress, which can be more complex to set up and maintain, particularly if you're not familiar with WordPress.
2. Security and reliability
Shopify provides a secure and reliable hosting environment for your ecommerce site. This means that you don't need to worry about managing security updates or backups, which can be time-consuming and costly with WooCommerce.
3. Payment gateways and integration
Shopify has a wide range of payment gateway options, making it easy to accept payments from customers all over the world. It also integrates with a variety of third-party apps and services, such as email marketing tools and shipping providers. While WooCommerce also offers payment gateway options and integrations, Shopify tends to have more options available out of the box.
4. Mobile-friendly and responsive design
Shopify provides mobile-friendly and responsive design themes, making it easy to create a great-looking and functional ecommerce site that works well on all devices. While there are mobile-friendly themes available for WooCommerce, it may require more customization work to achieve the same level of mobile optimisation as Shopify.
5. Support and community
Shopify provides 24/7 support to help you with any issues or questions you may have. In addition, there is a large community of Shopify users and developers, which can be helpful for getting advice and finding solutions to common problems. While there is also a large community of WooCommerce users and developers, the support may not be as readily available as with Shopify's dedicated support team.
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