Kia ora Chef,
I think you’re thinking along the right lines and it’s great to see your willingness to adopt change in an industry as impacted as yours is.
Our mantra is about embracing transformation, getting online and changing how you do things, to survive and thrive, so we understand where you’re coming from.
Many people are simply building an e-commerce store, but being able to intertwine valuable content could differentiate you in a powerful way in the marketplace. It’s surprising that often even megabrands fall short on achieving this.
I believe the success of what you’re trying to achieve will primarily be done based on your content and it’s surrounding marketing strategy. However, to support that content it’s vital to pick a good flexible website platform that can support that strategy.
All of the key areas you mentioned (blogging, recipes, e-books, entertainment, cooking classes, VIP) would necessitate a highly flexible content-based CMS. We have good experience across a range of platforms, so are well-positioned to judge the pros and cons of each.
Magento and Shopify are very eCommerce focused and whilst very powerful, adapting them to such flexible content requirements will be more challenging (and expensive).
Our own ecommerce platform Zest would be able to do what you ask. But, without doing a deeper analysis, my initial sense is that WordPress/WooCommerce could be the best choice overall since:
– At its heart, it is a content-based CMS and has some of the most powerful but easy to use publishing features. This will let you achieve beautifully designed layouts with an easy navigational architecture.
– WooCommerce is the most popular e-commerce platform in the world so it pretty reliable.
– Flexible – it can be completely customised to do just about anything but fairly cost-effectively.
– Integration – if a platform doesn’t have a premade integration with WooCommerce then if likely doesn’t integration with others.
**Social Media Integration**
Adding social media to your website is super simple regardless of what platform you’re on. But again if you’re looking for more advanced integrations e.g. with the Facebook marketing/ad platforms then WooCommerce is great too.
If you’re serious about a top-flight CRM, this would necessitate a far bigger discussion as the best choice here is very dependent on your specific business requirements and your budget.
However, if you want a powerful but cost-effective solution for maximising engagement and ROI then Klaviyo is arguably the most powerful eCommerce email marketing and CRM platform at the medium enterprise level. Open-source platforms, again such as WooCommerce, have the best integration with this (and other similar Email or CRM software).
I hope that helps!