SureCart vs WooCommerce: Which is Best for WordPress?
When it comes to a decision between SureCart vs WooCommerce, choosing the right e-commerce platform can feel like a daunting task.
Each option has its own strengths. But as any seasoned online business owner knows, the devil is in the details.
Whether you’re setting up shop for the first time or considering a switch, understanding the nuances between SureCart and WooCommerce could be the game-changer your online business needs.
In this article, I’ll help you dissect these two e-commerce plugins for WordPress, ensuring your next move is as informed as it is strategic.
- SureCart is easier to use
- SureCart offers a more simplified sales process and is better optimized for conversions
- SureCart will not slow down your website like WooCommerce can
- WooCommerce has an easier way for customers to leave reviews and feedback on your business products
- WooCommerce is better suited to large stores with an extensive range of digital and physical products
My Experience Using SureCart and WooCommerce
Before I got into blogging and affiliate marketing, I used to build WordPress websites for clients. I’ve created a few ecommerce sites for clients too, and I used WooCommerce to pull that off.
While WooCommerce is a good plugin, it comes with a learning curve with not great support to back it up. WooCommerce can also be resource intensive, and it doesn’t have great page load speeds straight out of the box.
So, when the SureCart team reached out to me to test out their WooCommerce alternative, I was keen to give it a go to see how it matches up.
Personally, I’m really impressed with the ease of use of SureCart compared to WooCommerce. It’s definitely a great option for beginners or technophobes.
Another huge tick for me when using SureCart is that it doesn’t slow down my site. SureCart use their own secure servers to host your products, so this saves a lot of resources.
If you’re wondering if you should switch over from WooCommerce to SureCart, then keep reading and I’ll help you to see if this is the right ecom plugin for you.
SureCart vs WooCommerce: The Key Differences
Alright, let’s talk shop about the big differences between SureCart and WooCommerce.
Both are great ecommerce plugins, but there are some distinct differences you should know about if you’re thinking to use either one.
1. Separation of Backend and User Interface
SureCart operates on a principle where the heavy lifting of e-commerce transactions is handled off-site, on dedicated secure servers, which then seamlessly integrate with your WordPress site.
This separation means that the operational core of your e-commerce activities doesn’t reside within your site’s infrastructure. This, in my book, is a good thing because it potentially means a boost in your site performance and a smoother experience for your users.
Your site remains agile and unencumbered by the complex processes that typically go on behind the scenes of an online store.
Conversely, with WooCommerce, everything is hosted on your site. As a result, your site can become bloated and slow. And, if your site doesn’t have fast load times, then this can significantly impact your conversion rate.
2. Streamlined Selling Approach
Unlike the traditional e-commerce route where products are added to a product catalog and selected for a cart, SureCart simplifies the process.
It allows for direct sales through custom checkout pages that can be embedded anywhere on your site.
This approach is akin to having a ‘Buy Now’ button that leads directly to a purchase, rather than navigating through multiple pages and selections.
It’s a more direct, possibly more conversion-optimized pathway that does away with the shop archive and cart page altogether.
3. Customizable Checkout Experience
With WooCommerce, customization of the checkout experience can be somewhat limited without delving into additional plugins or custom coding.
SureCart, on the other hand, offers a more flexible checkout form that can be tailored to each product or service, embedded directly onto the page where it’s needed.
This could mean less friction for the customer and a checkout process that feels more integrated with the overall user journey on your site.
4. Gathering Customer Feedback
Product reviews and customer feedback are essential for any online business.
SureCart’s model doesn’t include traditional product pages where customers can leave reviews. However, this doesn’t preclude the gathering of valuable customer insights.
Whether through direct feedback forms, social media platforms, or email requests, SureCart users have various ways to collect and showcase customer testimonials, albeit through a more manual process.
5. Handling Product Variations
For businesses with a smaller inventory or fewer product variations, SureCart’s model of creating separate products for each variation might offer a more straightforward user experience.
However, for stores with extensive product ranges and multiple variations, WooCommerce’s system of adding variations to a single product might be more manageable and scalable.
Detailed Comparison of Features
SureCart and WooCommerce offer distinct features that cater to different business needs. Let’s break down these features to help you make an informed decision.
Product Pages and Shop Archives
WooCommerce operates on a traditional e-commerce model where every single product has its own page with comprehensive product descriptions that include product details like benefits, features, and what’s included, as well as product images, and additional information.
These product pages are then automatically organized into a shop archive, allowing customers to browse, filter, and add items to their cart.
SureCart takes a different approach.
It eschews individual product pages and a centralized shop archive for a more streamlined process.
Instead of browsing a product catalog, customers are directed to a sales page or a section of your website where they can immediately purchase the product or service.
Checkout Page Customization
Customization is key in e-commerce, and WooCommerce provides a single checkout page that can be customized to a certain extent with additional plugins.
However, through our testing we found that SureCart allows for a more flexible checkout experience.
You can create multiple, custom checkout forms tailored to specific products, services or multiple product options and embed them anywhere on your site, offering a more integrated and potentially less disruptive buying process.
Alternatively, you have the option to customize and use one single default checkout form, if you like to keep things simple.
Product Reviews and Variations
In WooCommerce, product reviews are a staple feature, allowing customers to leave feedback directly on the product page.
This feature is absent in SureCart, which requires a more creative approach to collecting customer testimonials, such as through feedback forms, social platforms, or direct email requests.
When it comes to product variations, the core WooCommerce plugin shines with the ability to add multiple variations to a single product, making it easier to manage a large inventory.
SureCart, at the time of writing, requires each variation to be set up as a separate product, which could simplify the buying process for stores with a smaller selection but may not be as efficient for those with a broader range.
Security and Data Hosting
Security is a top priority for any online business. WooCommerce stores all data on your own hosting environment, which means you’re responsible for its security and compliance.
SureCart, on the other hand, stores transactional and product data on its own secure servers.
This can offer an additional layer of security, as the data is managed by a dedicated team, but it also means you’re entrusting your sensitive data to a third party.
In fact, Adam Preiser stresses on SureCart Facebook group that ecommerce is an interconnection of platforms and services. By this, he means that it’s almost impossible to engage in e-commerce activities without your data being handled in multiple secure places.
Ideal Business Types for SureCart
Here’s a look at who stands to gain the most from adopting SureCart as their e-commerce platform.
Digital Product Sales
Bloggers & Content Creators
- Ideal plugin for selling e-books, courses, templates, and downloadable content.
- Streamlined delivery of digital goods directly after purchase.
- Simplified checkout process enhances the customer’s buying experience.
Course Creators & Educators
- Seamless integration with LMS platforms for selling courses.
- Recurring subscription management for ongoing course access.
- Automation capabilities for course enrollment post-purchase.
Consultants & Coaches
- Set up one-time or recurring payment plans for consultations or coaching sessions.
- Customizable checkout forms to include additional client information.
- Ability to bundle services with digital products for comprehensive packages.
Freelancers & Agencies
- Simplified invoicing and payment collection for services rendered.
- Option for clients to add gratuity or tips through the payment form.
- Flexibility to offer different service tiers and add-ons during checkout.
- Membership Sites
- Integration with membership plugins for restricted content access.
- Automated proration for subscription changes, upgrades, or downgrades.
- User-friendly dashboard for members to manage their subscriptions.
- Automate account creation and access upon purchase.
- Support for multiple payment gateways to cater to a global audience. No need for third-party plugins or extra plugins.
- Robust infrastructure to handle high-volume transactions.
Physical Goods & Handmade Products
Artisans & Crafters
Direct sales approach without the need for complex inventory management.
Custom checkout experiences that highlight the uniqueness of handmade items.
Ability to sell limited edition items or custom-made products with ease.
- Charitable Foundations & Causes
- Easy setup for accepting donations with predefined or custom amounts. Users have the option on the donation check-out form to select a preset dollar amount or opt for a custom amount of their choosing. No need for a donations plugin.
- Transparent and secure transaction process for donors.
- Potential for integration with event management for fundraising activities.
Why Switch from WooCommerce to SureCart?
When considering a switch from WooCommerce to SureCart, it’s essential to weigh the advantages that may align better with your business needs.
Here’s a non-biased look at why some businesses might consider making the switch:
Simplicity and User-Friendliness
SureCart offers a streamlined experience for setting up an online store. Its interface is modern and intuitive, making it easier for you to manage hundreds of products and connect with payment gateways like Stripe or PayPal without the need for dozens of plugins or additional plugins.
This simplicity extends to the setup process, where you can start selling pretty much straight away without experiencing plugin conflicts.
This is a stark contrast to the multiple extensions and potential complexity of WooCommerce.
Performance and Speed
In the digital marketplace, speed is a currency when choosing an ecommerce plugin.
SureCart promises a more lightweight presence on your website, potentially avoiding the slowdown that can come with WooCommerce’s reliance on additional plugins or heavy plugins.
This performance boost is not just about user experience; it’s also about search engine rankings, as site speed is a factor in SEO.
Tax and VAT Management
SureCart aims to simplify the often complex world of taxes and VAT, especially for digital/non-physical products and services that may cross international borders.
As such, SureCart automates tax calculations, potentially saving you from the need to integrate third-party platforms or purchase additional extensions, as is the case with the core WooCommerce plugin.
Design and Customization
The visual appeal of your online store can influence customer trust and conversion rates.
SureCart provides a range of design options and allows for easy customization of checkouts directly within the WordPress editor.
This is great because it provides a more tailored shopping experience compared to the more basic and sometimes outdated options of WooCommerce.
Better Conversion Tools
SureCart integrates features designed to maximize profits, such as cart abandonment recovery, product bundles, and order bumps, directly into its platform.
While WooCommerce can also offers these kinds of features, they often require paid add-ons, adding to the cost and complexity of your store setup.
SureCart’s free plan includes several features that WooCommerce charges for, such as subscription services and donation acceptance. You don’t need to purchase a premium add-on plugin to sell subscriptions for recurring payments, like you would with WooCommerce.
This could result in considerable savings, especially for small businesses or startups that need more features at no additional cost, allowing them to manage expenses carefully.
Peace of Mind
SureCart emphasizes security and compliance, offering GDPR compliance and secure data handling as part of its service.
This can provide peace of mind, especially for businesses that may not have the resources to manage these aspects independently.
SureCart allows for the creation of a customizable customer dashboard within WordPress.
This is great because it gives you the flexibility to add tabs and features that cater to your customers’ needs, including a private contact form. This is something that WooCommerce offers only with premium plugins.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about using SureCart or WooCommerce:
Can I use SureCart if I have a large number of physical products?
SureCart is currently more suited for selling digital goods like downloads, courses, and subscriptions.
While it can handle physical products, it’s not yet optimized for managing large inventories or display products in a filterable catalog like WooCommerce is.
However, the SureCart plugin will be improved for this type of product in Q3 of 2023. If you sell tens or thousands of physical products, then WooCommerce is a better option.
How does SureCart handle product variations and attributes?
As of now, SureCart does not support the complex product variations and attributes that WooCommerce offers.
It’s more streamlined for simpler product offerings without the need for extensive customization options that involve product variables.
What are the migration steps from WooCommerce to SureCart?
If you want to migrate from WooCommerce to SureCart, then you can export your product data from WooCommerce and import it into SureCart, configuring payment gateways, and setting up tax calculations within SureCart’s system.
That being said, SureCart can also be used at the same time and alongside WooCommerce. These two WordPress ecommerce plugins can be complimentary to each other so you may not need to get rid of WooCommerce completely if you want to use SureCart’s suite of tools.
SureCart or WooCommerce: My Final Thoughts
As we wrap up our exploration of SureCart vs WooCommerce, it’s clear that each platform offers its own set of strengths tailored to different business needs.
Whether you’re drawn to the simplicity and direct sales approach of SureCart, or the robust, feature-rich environment of WooCommerce, your choice will pave the path for your online store’s future.
If you’re leaning towards a platform that values streamlined processes and ease of use, especially for physical, digital or subscription-based products, then giving SureCart a whirl might just be your next best move.
SureCart’s free plan invites you to experience the platform’s capabilities firsthand, without dipping into your budget, and without getting extra plugins.
If you sell products and desire both the conventional e-commerce shopping experience and custom order forms for selling your memberships or other recurring subscriptions, this hybrid solution is worth considering.
So why not take advantage of this opportunity and sign up for SureCart’s free plan today, and see for yourself how it can elevate your online selling game.