WooCommerce or Shopify? Both eCommerce platforms and both are best on their own. Are you confused about which to choose?? No Worries, we have come up with the advantages, drawbacks, similarities, differences, features, costs, and everything you need to know about them. In fact, this article will be based on the comparison between these giant eCommerce platforms aiming for users to help decide the one.
What is your purpose for creating a website? How much budget can you afford for a site? How large or small is your business? Are you just learning and exploring creating an online store? Do you want to earn money and make your brand? What type of user you are will let you decide the best; WooCommerce or Shopify. Let’s have a short introduction about WooCommerce and Shopify.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is the world’s most popular e-commerce plugin for WordPress. This eCommerce Plugin is founded by Woothemes in 2011. It powers more than 6.5 million websites and has been downloaded more than 211 million times. WooCommerce has the biggest market share with 24%. WooCoomerce is an open-source platform that is free to install and highly adaptable, easily customizable and gives you complete control over your site. There are currently 765 extensions in the WooCommerce library right now. Features like a shopping cart, checkout options, and product-adding functionality have the ability to transfer the WordPress site into an e-commerce business site. It allows you to sell digital and physical products, take secure payments, manage inventory, and sort all your taxes automatically.
What is Shopify?
Shopify was founded in Canada in 2006 by Tobias Lütke and Scott Lake. Over 4.4 million websites in 175 countries globally use Shopify as of 2023. As of the first three quarters of 2022, Shopify generated $1.4 billion US dollars in revenue. Shopify has the biggest market share with 26%. It is a fully-hosted, cloud-based E-commerce platform suitable for all sizes of business that lets you start, grow, and manage a business with no technical ability to use it. It is all set and ready to use immediately and no developer is required to manage it. With it, you can feel secure and stress-free about upgrading or maintaining software or web servers. Likewise, interested users even can purchase a domain name and website hosting with Shopify leveraging full controls and configuration to customize easily.
Cost: WooCommerce Vs. Shopify
WooCommerce: Being an open-source WordPress plug-in, WooCommerce itself is free. With WooCommerce you need to choose a hosting partner and purchase a domain name. Expenses can vary with hosting costs, domain, and SSL certificate. Primarily hosting costs range around $120 a year ($5-$25 monthly) and about $12/per year for registering a domain name. Some hosting providers even offer free domain names and free SSL certificates while purchasing web hosting. Another advantage of using it is, it doesn’t charge you a percentage fee on transactions. WoCommerce is cheap in cost though it needs additional extensions to run.
Shopify: Shopify is not a cost-free platform but it offers you a 14-day free trial to learn and explore it. The Shopify basic plan starts at $29 per month, and you can upgrade to the Shopify plan for $79 or the Advanced Shopify plan for $299 per month. Sometimes it offers discounts on pricing plans as well. Shopify is hosted platform so you shouldn’t pay for Hosting and SSL certificates as it comes with a plan. It comes with a free myshopify.com subdomain for all plans. If you want to use your own .com domain name, then you need to purchase at $14 yearly which is a separate cost besides plans. Similarly, if you want to use third-party payment gateways or your own merchant account, then you have to pay a flat fee of 2.0% for all transactions.
Customization/Easy of use
Shopify: Well, Shopify is a fully hosted platform so you don’t need to worry about installing, updating, and managing software. It is designed all set so you just have to work on some tiny settings for your store to run. Particularly Shopify takes care of security, performance, backups, and compatibility issues. If you have less time, less technical knowledge, sufficient budget, or a large business strategy, choose Shopify. But you can only use the design and development tools provided by Shopify or add-ons available in their marketplace. In comparison, Shopify is easy to use and easily customizable.
WooCommerce: Wocommerce is not hosted platform which is why you need to install it. WooCommerce is developed as an extension of WordPress so users should take care of their own web hosting and security. Further, it needs to be managed and needs technical expertise. On the other hand, users get full control of the whole platform and add any imaginable functionality and extend the core Wocommerce platform.
A payment gateway is a mechanism that communicates transaction information between the customer and the merchant. Online payment gateways are cloud-based software while in-person retail gateways are often included in POS systems. Which platform is more flexible in terms of payment?
Shopify: Shopify has its own payment solution called Shopify Payments (powered by Stripe). There is a difference between Shopify payments and other third-party payment gateways. When using Shopify Payments it has credit card fees, but no other transaction fees. Whereas Shopify charges an extra 2% fee on each transaction made through third-party payment gateways. Shopify payment charge depends on the plan you choose. The fee is 2 percent, 1 percent, or 0.5 percent for the Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify plans, respectively.
WooCommerce: WooCommerce offers PayPal and Stripe payments by default. WooCommerce even has support for plenty of regional and less popular payment services so that you can integrate multiple payment gateways if needed. Along with this, you can install payment integrations for Authorize.net, Amazon Pay, Square, Alipay, and many more. WooCommerce never charges you a % fee on credit card payments. This platform is highly flexible so any payments company can create add-ons for WooCommerce and provide support for it.
Plugins and Extensions
Yes, you need extra integrations to add more strings to your e-commerce store. Both platforms access you to add extensions but which one offers many and the best is the question, right?
Shopify: The most notable thing about Shopify is it comes with a powerful API and an App Store where you can get more than 1,200 free and paid apps and third-party add-ons for your Shopify store. It has plugins and extensions to improve customer experience or make your products appealing. Moreover, it has plugins for analytics, dropshipping, marketing, and for advanced store management. Likewise, they have integrations with software like OptinMonster which helps you grow your email list and reduce cart abandonment. There are also Shopify apps for search engine optimization, product reviews, discounts, countdowns, and more.
WooCommerce: WooCommerce is open source so you can integrate your desired plugins and addons to your store with ease. There are more than 59,000+ WordPress free and paid plugins allowing you to build a bespoke website without any limitations. You can integrate plugins and add-ons for marketing, SEO, security, social media, payments, shipping, Polylang, website building, and more. Due to the lower barrier of entry, there are a lot more integrations and add-ons available for WooCommerce than for Shopify.
WooCommerce: Definitely, Wocommerce is a feature-rich plugin. It has features like adding products with categories, checkout options, inventory management, marketing strategies, blogging, and support for geolocation. Another notable feature is WooCommerce’s built-in Analytics feature. The feature helps track your products, revenue, orders, variations, categories, coupons, taxes, downloads, and stock when you start receiving orders.
Shopify: It comes with awesome built-in e-commerce features. The number of features increases along with the advancement in Shopify plans. Its inventory management tracks make changes to the inventory after every order. The Transfers feature helps track and receive incoming inventory from suppliers and business locations. It has features like an abandoned checkout and dropshipping. Its multichannel integration increases its visibility and reaches a wider audience. Shopify’s Point of Sale lets you use the platform to sell not just online but in physical locations too.
Design and themes
Designs and themes allure customers to buy or use. So E-commerce platform must offer and create amazing and elegant themes to win the heart of customers. Let’s have a look at which platform wins the most.
Woocommerce: WooCommerce has thousands of theme options. It works with all WordPress themes on the market. Additionally, there is a WooCommerce Theme Store with 60+ templates specifically for online stores. Many web designers and developers have created numerous wonderful WooCommerce themes for various industries and purposes. You can choose from expertly made 1000 + beautifully curated themes and designs with ease. Furthermore, there are some marketplaces that offer hundreds of WooCommerce themes such as ThemeForest, Elegant Themes, WP Active themes, and TemplateMonster.
Shopify: Once you sign up for a Shopify account, you gain immediate access to over 70 free themes, as well as several paid themes. All Shopify themes are suitable for the latest version of the platform. Users can also access the theme’s CSS if they want to personalize the design further. Beginners will find it easier to create well-designed online stores using Shopify but it has limited customization options.
Marketing is the basic entity to foster business. Tools of marketing help your business connect your brand with new clients and customers. What do you think, which platform ranks first on the marketing of Woocommerce and Shopify?
Shopify: Shopify comes with awesome marketing tools to increase traffic and convert visitors into customers. From the marketing section, you can see marketing key performance indicators, and top marketing channels, and create marketing activities and automation directly. With Shopify, you can run promotions with seasonal sales and flash sales to increase traffic and sales in your store. In addition, you can run numerous email campaigns using apps such as Seguno and Constant Contact. Shopify’s multichannel selling access users expose their business to potentially millions of social media users.
WooCommerce: WooCommerce relies on plugins for its marketing tools. You can easily find extensions that allow you to instantly import products, fulfill orders from your website, and more. Marketing tools and plugins are accessible with ease so you can install and make your own. You can also integrate your store with Amazon, eBay, and Instagram for $79, but you can also advertise on Facebook for free.
SEO is the art of upgrading a website to increase its visibility when people search for products or services. Which is more powerful at SEO Woocommerce or Shopify?
WooCommerce: With WooCommerce, you’ve access to a wide range of excellent SEO plugins but installation is required. SEO plugins offer helpful SEO guides and prompt you to rank number one increasing high traffic. In addition, SEO tools allow users to alter body content, URLs, meta descriptions, alt tags, and other on-page elements. WooCommerce itself inherits powerful blogging features from WordPress to significantly increase the visibility of your website online. Lastly, larger sites with excessive orders can get a variety of solutions in third-party services to fix speed and uptime for wooCommerce.
Shopify: It provides a wide range of apps to improve your SEO performance. Shopify has a built-in SEO plugin and helps with basic SEO practices such as meta information and site copy. This makes it easy to add basic SEO information to your store where you can add descriptions and titles for your images, products, and pages. With Shopify your website
robots.txt files are automatically generated, and themes automatically generate title tags that include your store name. Shopify provides merchants with a world-class CDN run by Fastly that ensures that your online store loads quickly around the globe.
Scalability and Growth
Shopify: No doubt, Shopify infrastructure can easily handle your growing business. It solely controls the technical parts of your store; performance, security, and scalability. You can grow and scale your business in the short run with all the outstanding sufficient infrastructures available there and be renowned globally. On the other hand, Shopify’s scalability is limited to the plans it offers. Basic and starter plans have limited scalability whereas advanced plans are top-notch with greater growth and scalability.
WooCommerce: WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform that makes you responsible for maintaining updates, backups, and security of your website. As WooCommerce is an open-source platform, there is no limit to how to build your store. You can make an online store of any size, from a small business to an enterprise. WooCommerce’s scalability is enhanced by the large gallery of plugins and extensions available there. It is you who manages the whole platform so you can scale the site the way you want.
WooCommerce vs. Shopify Bottom Line
Yes, every business has its own unique set of requirements, services, and delivery. In terms of business needs and business models, we choose the best that matches. Woocommerce and Shopify are the ultimate definitions of the “Battle of Giants” and both are neck to neck for your eCommerce business.
Shopify edges the battle with its built-in sales tools, superior ease of use, and quick build time, and doesn’t require installing anything. There’s no hassle with pricing, either – everything you need is included in its clearly priced plans. The drawback of Shopify is it offers limited flexibility and cost goes high with transaction fees.
WooCommerce is just a plugin that can transform an existing WordPress website into a powerful e-commerce platform. With WooCommerce, you can have complete control over your site. You can integrate a vast community of plugins, extensions, and themes of your choice. But WoCommerce requires a bit of technical knowledge and the setup process is a bit complicated.
To conclude, We recommend WooCommerce over Shopify if you want more flexibility with your eCommerce platform. It is budget-friendly, highly customizable, and highly scalable.
In contrast, you can choose Shopify if you don’t want to deal with a complicated setup process and need premium support. It is a beginner-friendly hosted platform with high-quality templates and apps.