Are you planning to finally jump onto the eCommerce bandwagon and start your online store? If yes, that’s awesome.
First things first, if you want to start an online store, you need an eCommerce platform that offers all the necessary tools that you need to run a successful online store.
WooCommerce and Shopify – to put it simply, these are the two eCommerce giants in the industry and most commonly used because of their extensive features. Shopify currently powers over 800,000 eCommerce stores while WooCommerce is considered as the most popular eCommerce platform taking 28.43% of market share.
But when you have two excellent options available, choosing one is quite overwhelming. Each of them has their own pros and cons.
So which one should you choose? WooCommerce or Shopify ? Which one is better? Or if you’re on a tight budget, which one is a cheaper option?
Well, answering these questions isn’t as easy as it seems like.
When it comes to Shopify vs WooCommerce comparison, there is no right or wrong option. It all comes down to your business requirements and needs.
For example, if cost is your top-most concern, you might be inclined to ask questions like:
- How many does the cheapest Shopify plan cost?
- How much does the cheapest WooCommerce plan cost?
To find the answers of the questions mentioned above, let’s dive deeper to explore the finer details and the main differences between the two eCommerce platforms. We hope it will help you to determine which eCommerce solution aligns perfectly with your requirements and needs.
Shopify vs WooCommerce : An Overview
Shopify, an all-in-one eCommerce solution that enables users to create and run an online store. It is a cloud-based SaaS platform, it not only offers primary eCommerce tools, but handles all the technical aspects of your online store like speed, hosting, and security.
WooCommerce, a WordPress.org plugin. If you’re not familiar with WordPress yet, it’s basically a self-hosted, free CMS. Enter WooCommerce, a popular WordPress plugin that offers all the right and necessary tools to turn your blogging site into a full-fledged eCommerce store.
Now it’s time to get into the finer details to find out the key differences between Shopify and WooCommerce.
Ease of use
Shopify is identified as an easier to use regular eCommerce platform. Since it’s a hosted eCommerce solution it means it also looks after all the technical aspects of your store. From hosting and domain name to security, it takes care of everything.
On top of that, you don’t have to worry about updating or managing any software. Neither you have to worry about backups or security, either.
In contrast, with WooCommerce, you have to put in some extra effort just to set up your store like sourcing your own domain name, web hosting and SSL certificate – but that’s not something very difficult to do.
We recommend users using WP Engine or Liquid Web to power their WooCommerce store. These two are most reputable and WordPress dedicated web hosting companies in the market.
When it comes to putting things into action, we want the ball rolling quickly. Or are you willing to invest valuable time to have more control?
To put it briefly, Shopify allows you to get your eCommerce store live quicker than WooCommerce.
If you have limited technical skills and you’re starting from scratch, you should go with Shopify. Getting your online store live is far easier and quicker. You have your hand held once you start setting up your store, and can give it a personal feel and look by choosing and customizing themes.
Whereas, setting up a store on WordPress requires a lot of time and the process is quite technical. WooCommerce is suitable for those merchants who aren’t looking to bring in masses of sales instantly after setting up their store.
However, you get more creative freedom and control in WooCommerce than Shopify. You can customize your store to make it truly your own.
In Contrast, with Shopify, WooCommerce’s setup wizard provides you with basic information and cannot solve your complicated issues. You should be able to handle the technical aspects to seamlessly run your online store.
Themes and design
Looks matter a lot in this industry. Both Shopify and WooCommerce’s elegant themes give your eCommerce store a polished look and feel.
Shopify offers over 70 free and premium themes for you to select from. If you count in the variations, the total is over 100. Shopify themes are very elegant and professional looking – because it’s a dedicated eCommerce solution, and the themes are designed to help you sell.
Premium Shopify themes price starts from $140. Though it seems quite expensive, it’s a one-time investment. It will help you to bring in more sales and generate more revenue which will cover-up the cost. If you’re on a tight budget,there are plenty of free striking themes to start with.
WooCommerce’s default theme, Storefront is a clean, fully mobile responsive theme and comes with a fresh layout. How striking your storefront looks depends upon the time you’re willing to invest in, as well as your technical skill set.
Since it’s an open-source eCommerce platform, theme designers from across the globe make valuable contributions, therefore the sky’s the limit. Alone on ThemeForest, you’ll come across over 1000 eCommerce themes to choose from.
While WooCommerce has plenty of fantastic options, Shopify’s offering is more systemaized. Shopify developers take time to build those themes that are going to work best for your online store.
Remember, both the platforms offer striking themes but the main thing is how much can you customize a theme.
Integrations and plugins
Installing plugins or apps enables you to add additional features to your eCommerce store. On both, WooCommerce and Shopify you can install apps or plugins to add extra functionality to improve your business operations, including, marketing, SEO and shipping.
But who offers better and more apps? Shopify or WooCommerce?
As WooCommerce is an open-source platform, it heavily relies on plugins. If you visit the official WordPress plugins directory you’ll find over 50,000 options both free and premium, allowing you to build a custom-tailored store without many limitations.
Whereas, Shopify offers over 1,200 free and premium apps that all are profound and reliable. However finding out the right apps for your store is a pretty frustrating task. Therefore, we always advise users to check the user reviews or star-ratings.
Both eCommerce solutions offer plenty of great features you need to build and design an effective online store. If you’re planning to sell products or even services on the internet, neither will let you down.
Where Shopify and WoCommerce differ in features, particularly sales features.
Abandoned Cart Recovery
Abandoned cart recovery is one of those features that Shopify include as standard while WooCommerce doesn’t. When choosing between Shopify and WooCommerce, it is important to allow your customers to complete abandoned orders without filling out the contact details again.
It also sends a soft email reminder to customers inviting them to complete the abandoned order. Having an abandoned cart recovery feature is just like fixing the leaks in your pipeline – sales aren’t going to leak out through those cracks.
Both eCommerce platforms enable you to sell on eBay, Amazon, Facebook, and Instagram. The only difference is that WooCommerce charges $79 to install them apart from Facebook. While Shopify doesn’t charge you a single penny if you integrate these channels on your store.
Providing seamless shipping experience can do wonders for your brand and its reputation. WooCommerce and Shopify allow you to offer free shipping on your store and sell internationally. But Shopify offers more than this,it goes an extra mile with it’s partnership with international courier companies including DHL Express, USPS, Canada Post, and UPS.
In a nutshell : Compared to WooCommerce, Shopify comes with far better sales features. Just all you have to do is sign up with basic Shopify and you’ll get access to the impressive features that will help you to sell, including:
- Discount codes
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Website and blog
- Unlimited products
- Over 100 payment processing options
Most of these features are already included in Shopify. However you might have to pay for them in WooCommerce.
But there plenty of other features that WooCommerce offers including:
- Built-in blogging
- One-click refund
- Unrestricted customization
While both the solutions offer features that meet the needs of the users, Shopify features are built-in and ready to use from the moment you sign-up.
If you want your business to succeed in this competitive industry, you need to understand it needs to grow. Using right marketing tools can help you to expand your business, connecting with new customers and clients.
But which eCommerce solutions let you shout the loudest?
With Shopify, you can run multiple email marketing campaigns using built-in apps like Constant Contact and Seguno. Similarly, WooCommerce relies on plugins even for email marketing features. It offers integration with plugins like MailChimp, allowing you to run personalized email campaigns.
Social Media Integrations
As we mentioned earlier, both eCommerce platforms support multi-channel selling, enabling users to integrate your store with Amazon, Facebook, eBay, and Instagram. This helps you to open up your business to a whole new audience.
With WooCommerce, you can integrate your store with Instagram, Amazon, and eBay for $79, but it also allows you to advertise your brand on Facebook for free.
Shopify or WooCommerce, which is a cheaper option. As an entrepreneur you definitely want the best value for each buck you spend.
Let’s analyze both eCommerce platforms in terms of their price.
Starting from Shopify, it has set fixed prices for each plan, whereas WooCommerce is far more flexible. Shopify offers three price plans to choose from, each comes with a different set of options.
As you can see, Shopify charges a fee if you want to use the platform to start your business. For an entrepreneur, the transaction fees might feel a little costly. However, Shopify’s prices are outweighed by the remarkable benefits and service they offer.
On the contrary, WooCommerce is a free to install eCommerce platform but there’s a catch. Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce comes with some hidden charges which you un-box later. Though it is a free to use eCommerce solution, it doesn’t mean you literally don’t have to pay anything.
Before you start building your online store on WooCommerce, you first need to find a hosting service and domain.
Hosting plans usually range from $10 to $30 per month. The domain name will cost you around $5 to $12 per year. Plus, you need to buy an SSL certificate if your hosting provider is not offering one for free.You need to install an SSL certificate otherwise the payment process won’t work. It can cost you $70 – $80.
So, if you do the math now, you’ll see the starting price of WooCommerce and Shopify (basic plan) are nearly the same.
However, if we are only taking the basic cost into account. Prices get more complicated to calculate and compare once you scale your business and start adding more features to it. For that we need to take the cost of plugins and apps, themes, custom development works, and maintenance cost.
When you face technical challenges, you want solutions that can quickly get you back to running your business and bringing in sales. For this reason, you need a customer support team 24/7 to help you when you face any technical or non-technical difficulties.
Shopify offers 24/7 customer support via live chat, phone, and email. On top of that you get free access to a community forum, helpful user guides, and a setup wizard. That’s definitely a lot of support you get.
Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce is a WordPress ‘free’ plugin. This means all the support you’ll get is from WordPress forums. However, WooCommerce allows to create a free user account to get support from WooCommerce.com
Plus, if you Google, you’ll discover hundreds of thousands of helpful blogs that cover almost every aspect of WooCommerce. It’s an amazing platform for those who avoid talking to customer support and prefer to find solutions on their own.
Moreover, you can submit tickets to get general tickets to get direct support from WooCommerce.
Which eCommerce platform should you choose? WooCommerce or Shopify?
So coming back to your question Shopify or WooCommerce, which eCommerce platform is better?
Honestly, there is no definitive answer to this billion dollar question. It all comes down to the needs and demands of your eCommerce business. If you have already chosen your right option, we hope this guide was handy for you.
If you would like to share your opinion, please feel free to tell us in the comments below.