Woocommerce and Shopify are the most common and easy-to-use eCommerce platforms available on the market. Both choices are robust eCommerce web solutions for building online stores. The best part about using them is that you can do everything on the platform on your own, and you can do so without any coding knowledge. If you are stuck and cannot decide which platform would be the best fit for your specific needs, we have got you covered.
Overview: WooCommerce and Shopify
Before we get started with detailed distinctions, let us go over the basics of the two platforms.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce solution, and this choice makes the development of online stores convenient for users. This single platform enables accepting payments, managing inventory, etc. The best part is that you will not have to worry about technical factors such as caching, security, etc.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is an open-source platform that is specifically built for WordPress. It enables the users to leverage the maximum benefits of the content management system. WordPress powers almost 43% of websites and is one of the most popular website builders. The platform’s open-source nature allows users to modify every aspect of the store that they are building. Using it, you can also add custom extensions.
What to Look For In Your eCommerce Platform?
You need to keep a few key points in mind before you start your online store through an eCommerce web solution. Below we discuss some aspects you need to consider when developing your store.
- Ease of Use: The platform you choose should be easy to use for beginners.
- Scalability: It should have scalable features that allow you to expand your store as your business grows.
- Budget: Consider the initial cost you will incur when starting an online store.
- Integrations: Third-party tools and services that the platform allows you to integrate.
- Payment Options: The platform should support numerous payment options, like Stripe, Paypal, etc.
As an online store owner, you need to consider some basic vital requirements. Though, based on your needs, you may have to consider other aspects, such as dropshipping, taxes, etc.
How Easy Is It To Launch Your Store on Each Platform?
When you develop an online store using WooCommerce, there are two things that you need to complete separately.
The first one is installing WordPress and then understanding the platform. The second one is installing and configuring WooCommerce. That said, you will have to think about a few things, like, finding a hosting provider, installing both the required software, looking for a WooCommerce theme, and then configuring the details. Having some coding skills and generally being tech-savvy is required to master the WooCommerce platform quickly, so if that doesn’t suit you, alternative platforms can be considered.
With Shopify, there is not much that you need to do before you start selling. All you need to do is to create a Shopify account, select and buy a domain name or you can choose a domain name that already exists, choose your theme, and you are all set. If you use the payment gateway of Shopify itself, it is straightforward to get started, and you can also accept credit card payments. You can set up a primary, functional store without eCommerce development services.
Shopify and WooCommerce both offer different plans based on your needs. You can choose a plan based on what you are looking for and can upgrade further at any point in time. Their basic plan starts from $29 per month, and the domain charges are to be incurred separately. The basic plan offers all the required features for starting an eCommerce store.
On the contrary, WooCommerce is more like a plugin for WordPress.org; it is open-source and is available as a free plugin. To start a WooCommerce store, you need a domain, SSL certificate, and a WordPress hosting account. In reality, the initial costs that you need to incur to start a store are not cheap, and some may not be able to afford that.
Ease of Use
Shopify is a platform that has everything, and you will not have to worry about installing, managing, or updating software. Furthermore, you will not have to worry about performance, security, backup, etc. It has a drag and drop interface that is intuitive for the users, and managing the products, inventory, sales, etc. is all a breeze.
Whereas Woocommerce is not fully hosted just like Shopify. It means that you will have to install the plugin, keep backups, watch for updates, and ensure that the website is secure. You will get plenty of free and paid plugins to automate several tasks for you. It doesn’t have a drag and drop interface, and you will have to use a page builder tool that further adds up the cost.
Shopify offers several payment options for users to use during checkout, and it has its payment gateway and supports other third-party options. One Of the significant drawbacks of using third-party payment gateway options is that it charges 2% for every payment made.
WooCommerce, by default, offers Stripe and PayPal payments, and it also has its payment solution. The platform for ease supports all other reputed payment gateways.
Shopify has a powerful API and an app store for buying third-party add-ons for Shopify stores. They have numerous apps available covering all essential features that you may want to add to your store. Both free and paid apps are available for users to decide. You can choose to opt for professional eCommerce development services for maximum benefits.
Woocommerce, on the other hand, is built especially for WordPress and is an open-source solution. With this option, you access over 59,000 free plugins and many more paid ones. It has a low barrier entry for third-party plugins, so more options are available for Woocommerce than Shopify.
Both WooCommerce and Shopify offer security options for you to make your online store completely secure. No matter what platform you choose, you will not have to worry about the level of security offered.
If you are building an online store for dropshipping, with Shopify, the front will look more like an online store. Users will browse through the products, add their preferred choices to the cart, make payments, and proceed. It allows integration from several popular dropshippers like AliExpress, Printify, and more.
Woocommerce is another popular choice for developing an online store for dropshipping. It offers flexible plugins that make the process of setting up an online store a cakewalk. You will find extensions for everything that you want to do.
Shopify is a fully hosted solution which means they control the software. They offer 24*7 customer support through various modes like email, phone, chat, etc. That said, they have their users covered. Furthermore, they offer comprehensive guides, extensive documentation, etc. The users don’t face difficulties during the process.
Woocommerce is one of the most popular eCommerce store-building platforms. They also have several support options that can be easily accessed when needed. The official website offers tutorials, documentation, guides, etc., for the users to find the solution to their every problem. Though, if you face any issues with the server, you will have to contact your service provider since Woocommerce doesn’t offer to host.
Conclusion: Woocommerce vs. Shopify – Which is Better?
Both Shopify and WooCommerce are powerful platforms that users can build an online store. The choice purely depends on your skills and preferences. To develop a professional-looking, fully-functional website, you can choose to hire an eCommerce development company to help you get started.
In short, if you are looking for a cost-effective solution and one that allows you to have complete control of your eCommerce store, Woocommerce will be your go-to choice. On the contrary, if you are looking for a hassle-free solution that offers infinite scalability, Shopify will be your ideal choice.
Arjun Solanki is a Business Growth Strategist at a Leading Software Development Company USA. He has experience in developing and executing digital strategies for large global brands in a variety of business verticals. Apart from working on a long-lasting relationship with customers and boosting business revenue, he is also interested in sharing my knowledge on various technologies and its influence on businesses through effective blog posts and article writing.