Shopify and WooCommerce both are the giant and most popular eCommerce platforms; where WooCommerce is known to be one the most popular among eCommerce platforms, and Shopify has been powering more than 80k online stores. Whether a business will bloom or not largely depends on the eCommerce platform.
Let's see who wins the deal when pitting both eCommerce platforms. In this article, we will compare both eCommerce platforms to simplify decision-making to start your own online store in 2023.
Overview of Shopify
Shopify is a single platform that allows you to create a store online, manage the inventory and accept payments. With Shopify development, there is no need to indulge in technical parts like caching, security, hosting, etc.
Shopify is the most reliable, easy to use, has excellent customer support, and offers brilliant templates.
Overview of WooCommerce
WooCommerce offers savvy plugins that can turn your WordPress site into an online store. WooCommerce is an open-source platform that makes installation free.
You can run your online store and leverage a powerful CMS(content management system). WooCommerce is more popular than Shopify. Since it is open source, one can customize it by adding extensions and altering different aspects of the store.
Things to Consider Before Opting For an eCommerce Platform
When starting an online business, it's essential to opt for the right eCommerce platform; here are some non-negotiable factors.
- Scalability: The platform must scale itself as the business grows.
- Integration: The platform must allow you to integrate third-party tools and several services.
- Budget: Budgeting is necessary to determine the initial cost of setting up a fully functional online store.
- Payment method: The eCommerce website must support various payment methods like Stripe, PayPal, etc.
- Ease of use: Even for beginners, it must be easy to use.
Shopify vs. WooCommerce: Comparing Top eCommerce Platforms
Cost of using each platform
Every website owner prioritizes the cost of the eCommerce website. One needs to consider the initial cost of getting started, variable costs, software, and add-on services costs.
Starting an online website with Shopify is very super. It costs around $29/month for the basic plan or $299/month for the advanced plan. Both plans come with web hosting and an SSL certificate. To use one's domain name, one must purchase it, and the price starts from $14/year.
One needs to purchase add-ons and third-party tools to upgrade their online store. As the business starts, prices will begin to hike, and you will pay a hefty amount. Shopify takes 30 cents/transaction for the basic plan.
WooCommerce is open-source; hence there are free plugins. To start a store using WooCommerce, you must purchase an SSL certificate, a domain name, and an account for WordPress hosting.
The initial cost will be $69.99 for an SSL certificate, $14.99 for the domain name, and $7.99/month for web hosting, which is quite pricey, considering you are just starting. There are several hosting plans for WooCommerce will helps in cost-cutting. There is no transaction percentage fee with WooCommerce.
Conclusion: WooCommerce is excellent in terms of affordability at some extent.
Ease of use
Users of eCommerce platforms are not always developers or designers. Hence the platform must be user-friendly.
Since the Shopify platform is fully hosted, one is not required to manage, update or install any software. You don't have to think about backups, compatibility issues, performance, or security. There are several Shopify themes to choose from.
The platform will allow you to customize and add products. The interface offers drag-and-drop options, making it easy to manage sales, inventory, and product pages.
The only downside is that it limits one's control. Apart from this tiny loop hope, it is optimized, polished, and guided. To start your online eCommerce store, Shopify provides sufficient themes.
With WooCommerce, one needs to look after the installation of plugins, keep backups, manage updates, and ensure that the website is secured. Most tasks can be easily automated as plenty of paid and free plugins are flexible to customize.
The downside of WooCommerce is that one needs to do a lot of hands-on management.
Conclusion: The initial onboarding is easier with Shopify, even though WooCommerce offers a helpful setup wizard.
Opting for an eCommerce platform with plenty of payment options is critical.
Shopify offers Shopify Payments powered by Stripe and other major leading third-party payment gateways. Transactions made using a third-party gateway in Shopify will cost an extra 2% per transaction.
WooCommerce offers Stripe payments and PayPal by default, along with WooCommerce payment. You can opt for other payment integrations like Square, Amazon Pay, Alipay, Authorise.net, etc. The transaction fee is charged by your bank or payment gateway.
Conclusion: Here is a tie between WooCommerce and Shopify.
Dropshipping has become popular nowadays because of its low overhead. The online store purchases products from vendors instead of keeping them in their stock.
Shopify provides several dropshipping marketplaces like Oberlo, Printify, AliExpree, etc. Each has its shipping and membership fee and other charges.
While building an eCommerce website using Shopify, you must consider the dropshipping website. You will need to place the shipping order based on the user's chosen vendor.
WooCommerce is popular for dropshipping. It offers flexible plugins for dropshipping, which makes the setup and the process easier.
Some extensions will allow you to fulfill orders, import products, etc. The vendor and suppliers will have a membership fee, minimum order placement requirement, and other charges.
Conclusion: Eventually. Both platforms are compatible with dropshipping operations. WooCommerce and Shopify make it simple to set up a dropshipping store.
Growth and Scalability
As the business grows, the owner will handle new goals and challenges. Both the eCommerce platform is excellent when it comes to tackling huge orders and traffic.
Shopify looks into the technical part of the online store, like security, scalability, backups, downtime, updates, and performance.
You can upgrade the Shopify plan as the business grows, but the expense will also increase. You can ignore the growing price as you don't need to hire any technical team to manage the website.
With WooCommerce, you are responsible for handling security, maintenance, and backups for your website. The hosting plan will run short of resources once the business grows.
The hosting cost will increase, but you can control the needed resources without paying for extra resources. Several hosting providers can help you to scale the WooCommerce store.
Conclusion: Small business prefers less hassle and hence will opt for Shopify.
Shopify and WooCommerce are user-friendly. Let's see what kind of support is provided by both the eCommerce website when needed.
Since Shopify is fully hosted, they have complete control of their software. It provides 24/7 customer support via email, phone, chat, and Twitter.
Shopify offers guided video tutorials, forums, a knowledge base, and extensive documentation if the user wants to fix anything. To integrate third-party software or for extra help, one can hire Shopify experts.
WooCommerce is a popular eCommerce platform that provides plenty of support options. You can find tutorials, guides, and extensive documentation on the official website.
If you purchase a premium theme or extension, you can avail of chat support 24/7. If there is any issue with the hosting, it needs to be fixed by the hosting provider.
For Extension or theme-related support, support from developers is needed. You can find developers who can fix your issue from freelancing websites.
Conclusion: Shopify is the clear winner because of its hassle-free process.
If you want to create a powerful store and set up things quickly, you need to opt for a platform with better build time.
Shopify is an excellent choice for people starting from scratch. Your store will go online easily and quickly. Shopify has everything under one roof, so you can easily set up the store, unlike WordPress.
If you are looking for something other than great sales quickly, then WooCommerce is a clear choice. When you are building a store on WooCommerce, it is more like a creative project. You will have full control of the store.
Conclusion: The build time of Shopify is better, safer, and faster.
Shopify and WooCommerce both provide effective sales features that will satisfy you. WooCommerce and Shopify are great for starting small businesses or selling products online.
Conclusion: Shopify has in-built features which make it more accessible. For any big business, abandoned cart recovery is a vital feature that WooCOmmerce does not provides.
Search Engine Optimization helps to attract customers to the virtual shelves. It is a tough call to make between WooCommerce and Shopify when it comes to SEO.
Shopify offers a wide range of SEO plugins. It allows adding basic SEO-related details easily to the store. You can add titles and descriptions for the pages, products, and images.
WooCommerce has been built using code optimized for SEO, and WordPress integration allows access to impressive SEO plugins. One can add titles and informative meta descriptions to the pages.
Conclusion: It would be a tie here. WooCommerce has impressive SEO with great SEO prompts and guides. But on the other side results have shown that Shopify is not behind in SEO friendliness.
UX and Store Set Up
The UX and setup play a huge role in picking an eCommerce platform.
For general people, Shopify is a great choice. Shopify has set step-by-step guidance, and the website will be ready once it is done. It has easy to navigate dashboard. Adding new products is intuitive, as all you need to do is follow the details.
WooCommerce is an excellent choice for programmers. WooCommerce has a steep learning curve. It is easy to add products and navigate using the WooCommerce dashboard. Before you can start, you need to perform some integration.
Conclusion: Shopify is an easy and better choice in this sector.
WooCommerce and Shopify are immensely powerful platforms that one can use for their eCommerce store. It now comes to preference and personal skills.
Shopify is great if you are looking for infinite scalability and less hassle. WooCommerce is the best for people looking for complete control of the online store and cost-effectiveness at the initial stage.
Choosing the best from top platforms could be a nightmare for many aspiring entrepreneurs and established brick-mortar businesses.
If you looking for complete consulting for your next e-commerce venture? Feel free to get in touch with us. We would be happy to assist you with all-inclusive e-commerce development.