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Shopify vs WooCommerce – We Have Our Winner

So you want to sell online? Smart move! With the amount of e-shoppers in SA growing as fast as a line for free coffee at Starbucks, an e-commerce platform for your business is becoming one of the best ways to attract new customers, trade round the clock and keep that cash rolling in. Ka-ching!

But where to start? First things first. You need a functional online store. One that is aesthetically pleasing, but also provides shoppers with all the nifty bells and whistles that make online shopping a joy.

Two of the most popular e-commerce solutions for achieving this are Shopify and WooCommerce. But which to choose? Well…

Shopify is a basic, subscription-based service that hosts your online shop for you. Whether you’re experienced in the e-commerce space or just bringing an offline store online to grow your business, the easy-to-use service has a range of tools you’ll need to create a successful online shop.

WooCommerce (or Woo-Hoo-Commerce as we like to call it!) is a plugin that requires hosting and a working WordPress installation to run. WooCommerce lets you modify your store freely and is entirely flexible when it comes to customisations. There’s also the bonus of adding any functionality imaginable to your website with the help of more than 50,000 WordPress plugins. Score!

At Coffee, our Web Developers are kinda famous for creating every web miracle known to man and womankind. They understand that with great power comes great responsibility. This is why we choose to use a platform that allows us to whip up web wonders (try saying that 5 times fast) without restriction – WooCommerce.

Here are 3 reasons why WooCommerce is the obvious choice for Coffee Creative Studios and its clients.

1. Designs that Dazzle

You’re a business like no other, so your online store should be too. Using WordPress we can create for you a one of a kind design that reflects your business’s style and personality to a T. From your colour scheme and typography, to layouts, visuals and other areas that affect the aesthetics of your site – everything is 100% original. It also means that of the 644 million active websites, you will be the only one with your theme, making your brand instantly identifiable to online shoppers.

2. Cool to Customise

At Coffee, we’re always down with the latest and greatest trends in the web development space. Why? Because we want our clients to stay current and have the best online platform possible. With WooCommerce we can custom build you the online store that does everything you want it to. From hosting unlimited products and incorporating discount codes, to SEO, social media integration and more – we know what it takes to execute successful design, web development and maintenance.

3. Bang On the Money

WooCommerce is the more budget-friendly of the two. Shopify charges set monthly fees, but WooComerce on the other hand is a subscription-free service that has many free plugins available, although you do have to pay for some. What makes WooCommerce great is you don’t have to pay for features you may not even need.

If that isn’t enough, Shopify also charges a transaction fee for each sale made via your online and WooCommerce does not.

Now that you know who our clear winner is for building those web wonders, pop into our studio for cuppa and let’s chat about building that online store of your dreams.

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From Garage to Greatness

Once upon a time in a garage far, far away (well, not really, just on the other side of the hill in Westville), a couple of ambitious (and crazy) youngsters took on a freelance job. They had no idea at the time that this little job would be the beginning of an epic adventure.

If you’d told us six years ago that we’d be sitting in a super chic office in the middle of Umhlanga with a staff of sixteen, that we would be the creative agency for The Sharks and would have just landed an incredibly exciting project with The SPAR Group, we absolutely would NOT have believed you.

But, here we are, going from strength to strength and still loving what we do!

From working in a leaky garage to an office in La Lucia and then a move to Umhlanga, it’s been a journey of epic proportions that has certainly kept us on our toes! There has been plenty of laughter, tears, late nights, moments of “what the heck are we doing” and of course, copious amounts of coffee.

Over the last six years, we’ve been fortunate enough to work with some really inspiring brands and people, some of which have included well-known names like, FutureLife®, The Dolphins, Belgotex Sport and Fidelity Security and start-ups, including Republik and We Are Food. In addition to awesome clients, we’ve also been surrounded by a great team of staff (who we consider family)!

Our team of Coffee Beans are the life and soul of our business, after all, without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Their passion and commitment to each job has been phenomenal, and every one of them adds their unique flavour to our Coffee Culture. Thank you, Beans, for being an integral part of this crazy, exciting journey.

So, on our sixth birthday, we want to raise our glasses (and mugs) and toast to each and every one of you, big, small, start-up, and everything in between and thank you, from the bottom of our caffeine racing hearts, for trusting us with your brands and business, and allowing us to walk along side you as we help you achieve your business goals!

Here’s to another six and many more to come!

What Is E-commerce?

Exciting. Economical. Efficient.

Just a few reasons why e-commerce is a growing retail trend in South Africa and around the world.

In fact, according to MoneyWeb “online retail continues to grow at a rapid rate in South Africa, having maintained a growth rate of above 20% since the turn of the century.”

So what exactly is e-commerce and how do you go about making it work for you and your business?

To start, it is important to define what e-commerce is.

E-commerce is defined as a “commercial transaction conducted electronically on the Internet.” So, simply put, online shopping.

E-commerce offers a wide variety of benefits to both customer and seller.

Here are just a few:

For the Customer

  • Around the clock availability
  • Accessible
  • Convenient
  • Offers variety
  • Fast delivery

For the Seller

  • Efficient
  • Reduced costs
  • Local and international reach

Sounds like a win-win right?

And it is, well, rather it can be. But only if you have the right strategy and tools in place to really leverage your brand and reach your desired audience.

To do this you will need to develop a solid, professional, easy-to-use e-commerce website that effectively reaches your target audience.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Choose a company that has experience in developing and setting-up e-commerce sites (Hi there!)
  • Ensure that you discuss and outline all the requirements of your online shopping experience upfront
  • Product display
  • Capturing orders
  • Billing
  • Shipping
  • Start the conversation with your bank (you will need to apply to be an online merchant and this can take some time to finalise)
  • Choose the correct payment portal for your business (your chosen developers should be able to assist with this)
  • Get sufficient training on how to maintain and operate your online store
  • Develop an online strategy to promote and advertise your store
  • Integrate this with your offline processes
  • Partner with an experienced agency who can help you implement your online and offline marketing strategy

Following these steps, we have successfully assisted some great local brands with their e-commerce businesses, including Jitterbug, We Are Food, and Canvas Print Co.

Each of these sites is unique and was developed to suit the specific offering of the brand to help them successfully achieve their business goals.

“Products can’t all be marketed and sold the same way. This understanding is crucial as the first stepping-stone when starting an e-commerce project.  We have to understand the product, its market (how to sell it), and only then, define the scope of the project. We create custom solutions that suit the specific needs of each of our clients, including unique product delivery functionality and pricing structures.

It is great working with our clients and developing exciting solutions that will assist in making their business goals and dreams a reality”- Scott Smith, Head of Development (Coffee Creative Studio).

Looking to start an e-store? Give us a shout and let’s chat about how we can assist you in achieving your e-goals.

“The best website developers in the country! Thanks to you my new website is absolutely stunning. It is definitely something to be proud of. Thanks so much for your hard work and dedication.” – Tamlyn Doig, Jitterbug