AccessAlly vs. WooCommerce: a comparison
Our fans tell us AccessAlly allows them to sell better and earn more from their online courses and membership sites. We think you’ll love AccessAlly’s power features, along with its’ sophisticated interface.
But you might be wondering if you need to use both WooCommerce AND AccessAlly? Which one is right? This comparison guide will show you that it’s not all or nothing, and help you design your ideal tech stack.
Why you might consider using both AccessAlly and WooCommerce (And how they work together)
AccessAlly and WooCommerce both offer a WordPress eCommerce and order form plugin that lets you sell products and services online.
You really only need to use one of these two solutions to sell online courses or memberships, but there are certain cases where you might want to use WooCommerce to take payments and AccessAlly to deliver your content.
Let’s take a look at the scenarios where both tools make sense running side-by-side:
- You use WooCommerce to sell physical products, which connects to your fulfillment methods.
- You already have subscriptions running on WooCommerce and you don’t want to re-invent the wheel or switch systems mid-stream.
- You need more of a “cart” functionality where people can add quantities or remove items while shopping.
WooCommerce + AccessAlly Integration
If you plan to use both WooCommerce and AccessAlly, it’s important to know how the two talk to each other. The answer? Through your email marketing platform.
AccessAlly has deep 2-way street integration with the top automation marketing tools, so your WooCommerce checkout process only needs to be able to pass on an email address and a tag to get AccessAlly in sync.
If WooCommerce doesn’t natively integrate with your CRM, you might need an additional add-on plugin to close that loop.
If you plan to take payments with both system, it might mean having two separate areas where customers can see their purchases and update their credit cards. That could cause confusion, but if you label the sections clearly it can work.
What is AccessAlly known for?
AccessAlly is the #1 online course and membership WordPress solution for industry leaders. It handles everything from taking payments, delivering courses, and managing the integration with your email marketing platform.
What is WooCommerce known for?
WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that powers the majority of e-commerce sites on WordPress. Since it’s free, a whole marketplace has developed around it that provides themes, add-ons, and more.
The benefits of choosing AccessAlly to take payments + Deliver your memberships and courses
Reduce the number of plugins and add-ons required
Although WooCommerce is free, most people tend to require additional paid add-ons and themes. There are nearly 2000 themes, and over 1400 add-ons and extensions, some paid and some free.
For example, you might need a plugin to connect WooCommerce to your email marketing platform (like InfusedWoo or WPFusion), one for subscriptions, one for abandoned cart follow-up, another for dunning, and one more for memberships.
With AccessAlly, you’ve got everything you need in one plugin to handle a seamless checkout process from payment, delivery, and integrated email automation.
More importantly, you don’t need to worry about how everything connects together or keeping all of the various add-ons and plugins up to date as things shift.
Built-In 2-way street integration with your email marketing platform
WooCommerce offers add-ons to do one-way integration with a few email marketing automation platforms or leaves you to figuring things out with Zapier or other 3rd party plugins, while AccessAlly was built with an integration-first approach.
With WooCommerce, you can enable an integration and then pass the customer’s email address onto a list after purchase… but you can’t do the finely tuned tagging automation that can trigger a campaign or unlock content in both directions.
With AccessAlly’s deep CRM integration, an action inside the membership site can update your CRM’s automation tags and when someone clicks an email or segments themselves they can see different content inside the members area.
This deep 2-way street integration makes for more meaningful member interactions, and can increase or reduce the amount of emails people get based on their engagement.
Flexible drag-and-drop order form design that's mobile friendly
WooCommerce comes with a standard look and feel for its’ shopping cart, so you can immediately start taking payments. But if you want to design something that matches your brand, you’ll need to invest in a Woo specific theme or custom development.
With AccessAlly’s order form designer, you can decide what fields you want to collect during the check out process… and style the forms to match your brand and colors.
The mobile-first designs mean that your customers can buy from any device, and experience a smooth transaction that builds trust in your brand.
You can also include AccessAlly’s flexible order forms on any page, and have customers walk through a 3-step check-out or a fast-track one page check-out, it’s up to you!
Abandoned cart follow-up and individual expiring coupons
There are a ton of 3rd party add-ons for WooCommerce that allow you to set up and manage abandoned carts… but each one will mean adding another tool to your tech stack.
With AccessAlly, you’ve got built-in abandoned cart follow-up which you can customize through your existing email marketing platform… so you can have the best stats about your sales and marketing efforts.
WooCommerce allows you to create coupons, but if you want to run evergreen promotions you’ll need to purchase another scarcity-style add-on.
With AccessAlly you can create any number of coupons, including ones that are generated for each person and set to expire after a set time. This makes it easy to have an effective funnel that converts.
1-Click upsells, order bumps, and offer toggles for payment plans
WooCommerce is set up as a full shopping cart, which means people can add items and remove them before checking out. This is important for physical products or things that need fulfillment.
AccessAlly takes a different track and focuses instead on making the first sale, and then increasing revenue by using 1-click upsells, order bumps, and offer toggles.
That means you can have people purchase and unlock additional content right inside your membership site with one click, add additional items before clicking “Buy now,” and also swap between offers and bundles.
One client's story about finding a wooCommerce alternative...
AccessAlly relieved a huge burden.
“Once I installed AccessAlly, I basically deleted five plug ins. I replaced WooCommerce and because I was using Infusionsoft, I had to use InfusedWoo to get all the products synced up.
Even when I was deleting these plugins off my website, I was still wondering how half of the things worked. I never fully understood how it all worked together. And it was just kind of a band aided thing that mysteriously worked. And if it broke I would just be like, “I have no idea what’s happening right now.”
My favorite thing is that AccessAlly automatically integrates with my new email platform, Active Campaign. That’s saved me a ton of time. It streamlined my whole process. AccessAlly relieved a huge burden.“
– Enrico Cecala
Multiple currencies, International Language Support
WooCommerce has a huge international user-base, so you will find many paid add-ons for offering multiple currencies and languages.
You might be noticing a trend here: AccessAlly has this functionality built in. AccessAlly allows you to pick a default currency, but also offer different currencies on the same order form for international customers.
That way you can cater to different client bases, and even switch the default language of your order forms and website to match the target language of your ideal clients.
Currently AccessAlly is available in Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
All-In-One Recurring Subscription Management
With WooCommerce’s subscription add-on, you can start to take recurring payments and subscriptions easily.
But what happens when someone’s payment fails or you need to follow-up and make sure that clients update their credit cards on file? There are more paid add-ons to do it with WooCommerce.
With AccessAlly, recurring subscription management is simplified because it’s built-in and it integrates with your email marketing system.
You can easily set up email automations to have people come in and update their credit cards, or even remove access to the content they’ve purchased if they don’t.
AccessAlly also works with PayPal recurring subscriptions, and allows you to notify clients that their access will be revoked when they cancel, too.
Built-in affiliate tracking system and customizable affiliate centers
WooCommerce allows you to integrate with paid affiliate tracking add-ons like AffiliateWP (which can range from $99/year to $499/year for all the add-ons), but it doesn’t come with a built-in affiliate system.
AccessAlly’s built-in affiliate tracking functionality allows you to set up different affiliate tiers and commission structures per product, and track leads and sales.
From there, you can make it easy for your affiliates to sign up (just apply a tag!) and start promoting with a customizable affiliate center.
Affiliates can grab their links, see their stats, participate in contests with leaderboards, and download promotional resources… all in one place.
Selling bulk licenses or "group access" for teams and families
With WooCommerce, the focus started off on selling physical products. Now with WooCommerce Memberships, you can sell access to digital content… and with (yes you guessed it!) a paid add-on you can implement a bulk membership option in WooCommerce.
AccessAlly allows you to sell bulk licenses or group access where an administrator can invite their teams or families, directly.
AccessAlly also allows you to design the “member management” dashboard to your liking, including custom operations to kick off automations directly by group administrators.
In this case, a team leader would be able to see student progress, quiz results, and even notes or questions asked.
AccessAlly Pro also makes it easy for students to upload homework attachments, like PDFs, Word documents, or other files for the administrator.
Built-in learning management system and progress tracking
AccessAlly Pro comes with its own built-in LMS so you can track member progress, offer quizzes, unlock content, and autogenerate PDF certificates of completion.
You can also have members submit homework that you can review and give individual feedback on. You can also add video bookmarks for videos, and do advanced automations in your CRM when someone hasn’t logged in for awhile or completed a module.
With AccessAlly, you’ve got the flexibility of a tag-based system, and a beautiful user-friendly front end for students to learn and stay on track.
Track your most important metrics natively
With WooCommerce you’ve got a slew of options to track your metrics, from Google Analytics integrations, to monthly paid SaaS options that range from $49/month to $249/month.
Your data is available to analyze, you’ll just need to decide which add-on or platform you want to use to visualize your most important metrics.
AccessAlly has its’ own built-in metrics dashboard, which means you can keep track of all your most important sales and marketing numbers.
See the conversion rate from free to paid members, look at churn and retention, and your predicted revenue month to month.
You decide how to design your metrics dashboard with the drag and drop editor, you can break things down by product or show overall trends.
What the leading WordPress and membership site expert has to say
AccessAlly may be The only plugin that thinks about billing in a way that matches the industry as it works today
“One of the things I like most about AccessAlly is that Nathalie Lussier has thought about the entire lifecycle of supporting clients when you’re selling online courses or membership sites. It’s not just content protection, it’s also about the offers.
Most solutions are great about monthly billing, but when you realize you need multiple offers (2, 3 & 4 payment options), things get tricker. AccessAlly is great about supporting installment payments.
AccessAlly is a complete solution for courses. AccessAlly isn’t really a plugin. It’s a business in a box. It works hard to deliver a total solution for customers.
Among all the WordPress plugins out there, AccessAlly may be the only one that thinks about billing in a way that matches the industry as it works today. Check it out.”
– Chris Lema, ChrisLema.com
Looking for something that integrates both ways?
Marketing automation tools are here to stay.
Use your marketing automation tool to power your course and membership program by taking advantage of AccessAlly’s deep 2-way street integration.
It’s built to help you sell more, teach better, and engage with your students longer.
Your workflow on AccessAlly vs. WooCommerce:
- Set up your WordPress site with your favorite customizable theme
- Install the AccessAlly plugin on your WordPress membership site
- Run through the AccessAlly onboarding wizard to integrate with your CRM and select payment settings
- Create your first offering with the Offerings Wizard and add your content
- Create emails in your CRM or in AccessAlly
- Install the plugin on your WordPress site
- Research and compare different WooCommerce themes to customize the look and feel of your order forms
- Install WooCommerce Memberships plugin
- Install WooCommerce Subscriptions add-on
- Start configuring the add-ons, and realize you need to connect with your CRM
- Install the add-on to connect with your CRM
- Start setting up a product offering, but realize you need another add-on for abandoned cart follow up
- Research and compare different add-ons for things like abandoned cart, bulk licensing, etc.
See How AccessAlly and WooCommerce Features Compare
We’re a digital marketing software company built by marketers and software engineers. With our particular background and expertise, we’ve designed AccessAlly to give you everything you need in an easy to use, powerful package.
|Protected course content|
|Built-in Recurring Stripe and PayPal payments|
|Course builder for modules, lessons, and topics|
|Automatically creates tags, pages, and menus|
|Deep 2-Way Integration with Infusionsoft, Ontraport, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, and Drip|
|Multiple currencies, automated expiring coupons, and order bumps||With paid add-ons|
|Cart abandonment automation||With paid add-ons|
|Progress tracking, and progress-based unlocking content|
|Multiple types of quizzes, and auto generated certificates of completion|
|Course Licensing with Teams or Umbrella Accounts||With paid add-ons|
|Searchable member directories and editable custom fields through profiles|
|Gamification where members can earn points, and activity-based automation, login tracking|
|Media player, video bookmarks, tagging automation on quizzes|
|Cross-selling dashboards, with 1-click upsells||With paid add-ons|
|Built-in affiliate tracking with multiple tiers, links, and reporting||With paid add-ons|
The true cost of WooCommerce
When choosing a course or membership platform, looking at the WooCommerce vs. AccessAlly pricing boxes can be deceiving.
With WooCommerce, the advantage is that you only pay for the add-ons and plugins that you need.
However, your business needs likely go beyond simply taking payments and gating content, so with WooCommerce you’ll end up adding additional tools (each with an added cost!) to make things work the way you need them to.
AccessAlly Pro comes in at a fraction of the price, with no add-ons required.
WooCommerce Memberships might be right for you if...
- You’re a developer who is comfortable installing and maintaining multiple plugins, add-ons, and themes
- You need a bare bones membership site, and don’t plan on adding learning management, gamification, or member directories
- You enjoy duct-taping solutions together, and using a lot of different plugins to achieve your goals
- You don’t need a ton of customization for the look and feel of your order forms
AccessAlly might be right for you if...
- You want everything to work seamlessly from one end to the other (payments, courses, and memberships) with as few plugins as possible
- You know keeping your client information centralized inside your CRM will help you scale
- You’re looking to create an amazing customer experience, that’s functional, profitable, and helps you stand out in the marketplace
Marketers all over the world are loving AccessAlly
Truly the best platform out there
“I LOVE AccessAlly. It has become the cornerstone of my online business, I was on CustomerHub before AccessAlly Pro.
Since being on AccessAlly, my membership site has tripled in the number of members. The ability to do one-click upsells alone generates 1/4 of my revenue.
The mobile-friendly component is huge, as CustomerHub was not mobile-friendly. Plus, the quizzing functionality from AccessAlly Pro allows me to sell my membership program to corporations which also added an other 20% in revenue in the past year.“
my clients absolutely love it and i do too!
“I’ve tried a TON of different membership softwares and AccessAlly is by far and away the best-looking, most functional and most strategic one.
I was so fed up with my last membership site because the user-interface was terrible for my clients (and it didn’t look good, which bothered my over-achieving perfectionist self).
Now, I’ve gotten an unbelievable amount of customer feedback from my clients telling me how much they absolutely love it… and I do too!“
– Amanda Goldman-Petri, MarketLikeANerd.com
Migrating from Another WordPress plugin like WooCommerce to AccessAlly is easy
With the AccessAlly migration wizard, you can take an existing WordPress membership site and convert existing members easily.
Similarly, you can also import members directly from your marketing automation platform, and AccessAlly’s migration wizard will ensure all of your members have the right tags and permissions.
Then you can run through the Offerings Wizard to import existing course content, and you’ll be ready to showcase your new members area.
Researching Course Platforms on Your Own Is Great, but if You Want to Talk to Someone, We’re Here to Help!
If you’re wondering whether you’re on the right track or not, we can help you sort out all of the different options.
We’ll let you know if AccessAlly is a good fit or not, too. Not sure what AccessAlly is? Watch the video to find out now, then book a call to discuss further:
Didn’t find an answer to your question? Just reach out to us, we’re happy to help!
Do you have comparisons to other platforms and plugins?
Yes, we’ve done the research so you don’t have to. Here are some options to consider:
Can I see examples of AccessAlly sites?
You can find videos and case studies with screenshots and descriptions of how people are using AccessAlly on our showcase page here.