WooCommerce vs Shopify comparison will help you select the most suitable eCommerce platform. Here we have covered five major aspects of WooCommerce vs Shopify.
Developing an online store needs a lot of considerations. One of the most critical considerations is- which eCommerce platform should you choose for your online store? You may find this question difficult because there are many options available in the market these days. Without knowing the technical specifications, pros, and cons of every eCommerce platform, it is not possible to select the most suitable one for your online business.
In this article, we have shortlisted the two most liked platforms for developing a user-friendly and feature-rich online store. We will also compare them in detail to assist you to choose the right platform for your eCommerce store. These platforms are WooCommerce and Shopify.
Let’s dig deep into the top points of comparison between WooCommerce vs Shopify. We will start with their introduction.
Introduction of Shopify and WooCommerce
As a few of the most popular eCommerce platforms to date, Shopify and WooCommerce have gained ground among the developer’s community and entrepreneurs alike. Here we highlight the pros and cons of the individual platform before initiating the head-on-head comparison.
Shopify – All-in-one Platform
This robust and reliable platform makes all the eCommerce processes including managing inventory and accepting payments easy. You can manage your online business from a single platform without worrying about web hosting, caching, and website security as the platform takes care of these aspects. However, this platform is a bit costly as compared to other open-source eCommerce platforms.
Shopify- Pros & Cons
- There is no need to use any code to build an attractive online store.
- Shopify offers web hosting and security.
- You can get 24/7 support from Shopify developers to resolve your issues.
- Shopify enables you to sell products on other channels including Amazon, eBay, and Facebook.
- It is the only platform that asks for a transaction fee (except its gateway Shopify Payments)
- Shopify apps are costlier than the same for other platforms
WooCommerce- Power of WordPress Within
It is an open-source eCommerce plugin from WordPress. It enables you to leverage all the benefits of WordPress CMS, the most powerful CMS to date. Customization and modification of WooCommerce-based online stores are easy and WordPress developers can also build custom plugins for adding desired, customized features.
WooCommerce – Pros & Cons
- Through coding, developers can customize your store anytime.
- WooCommerce online store is highly scalable with the utmost flexibility for changes.
- As an open-source platform, it offers excellent value for money.
- At least some coding knowledge is necessary to build a WooCommerce store from scratch.
After going through the pros and cons of both platforms, let’s start the comparison – WooCommerce vs Shopify.
WooCommerce vs Shopify- Top Points of Comparison
Shopify is a costly platform as its basic plan starts at $29 a month. The regular version costs you around $79 a month, and the advanced plan costs $299 a month. All these plans include an SSL certificate, web hosting charge, and domain name. Also, the basic plan enables you to add unlimited products, unlimited file storage, and two user accounts.
Shopify has its Shopify Payments solution that costs 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction. If you want to integrate third-party payment gateways like PayPal, then you need to give a flat 2% of all transactions. This rate can be reduced by 0.5% by using the Shopify Advanced plan.
WooCommerce is an open-source plugin and freely available. But then, you need to take a domain name, WordPress hosting, and SSL certificate. Altogether, you need to spend around $15 a month. However, some hosting companies offer WooCommerce hosting plans to reduce these monthly costs significantly. Also, there is a possibility to find free alternatives to the paid plugins in WooCommerce. It helps you keep the cost in control. WooCommerce also offers many free themes and free add-ons for desired features and functionality.
2. Payment Options
Shopify offers many payment options including its own solution known as Shopify Payments. Here the problem is the platform charges 2% extra fees on every transaction done through a third-party payment gateway. You need to opt for an Advanced plan of $299 a month to reduce this fee to 0.5%. Shopify Payments, on the other hand, has flat fees for credit cards, but there are no other transaction fees. Credit card fees start from 2.9% + 30 cents for the basic plan.
WooCommerce offers Stripe and PayPal methods by default while supporting all the popular payment gateways through add-ons. As WooCommerce is an open-source platform, any payment company can create add-ons for WooCommerce. Here the major point is WooCommerce never charges a fee in percentage for your transactions. So you have to pay transaction fees to payment gateways or the bank only. Simply put, if you want to use a third-party gateway, then WooCommerce can help you save a lot of money.
It is imperative for a dropshipping business that the front-end of your business website should look like any online store. Your customers can easily find the products, add them to cart and make payment as they do on any other eCommerce websites. They can choose the vendors and place the orders for shipping. Shopify has dedicated apps for some popular marketplaces like AliExpress, Printify, and the like. But then, you need to pay shipping and membership fees for these respective marketplaces.
In WooCommerce, you can easily find WooCommerce plugins to import products, fulfill orders, and even create an eCommerce marketplace. WooCommerce extensions can make the shopping experience pleasant by making order fulfillment convenient for users and business persons alike. Here, you need to take care of minimum order requirements and other conditions of suppliers and vendors.
Shopify is a fully-hosted platform and its developers know their platform the best. Shopify provides 24/7 support through live chat, phone, Twitter, and email. Extensive documentation, how-to guides, video tutorials, forms, and a vast knowledge base are other useful resources that the platform offers. However, the platform does not provide any support for third-party apps or themes.
WooCommerce is the most popular platform around the world with a thriving WooCommerce developers community and tons of support options. The official website contains a lot of blogs and tutorials to help yourself in case of trouble. Support forums of WooCommerce are also very active, and you can get help from other users. What’s more, the hosting provider can also provide support for issues with the server because WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform. You can easily find and hire WooCommerce developers at affordable rates to fix major issues.
Shopify can handle all the technical aspects of your online store. You can remain assured of performance and security. Also, the robust infrastructure of Shopify can easily address your growing business and changing needs without throwing downtimes or frequent security updates. Shopify Plus plan includes enterprise services. You can save time and effort in hiring or managing an in-house team for your online store. In a way, Shopify offers a hassle-free solution for scalability.
Talking about WooCommerce, it is a self-hosted platform, which means that you need to maintain all the updates, scalability, and even security of your online store. It is fairly possible that your basic WooCommerce hosting plan gets exhausted once your store starts getting more online traffic. There, your WooCommerce hosting costs can increase, but you can have better control over resources as you can select the resources for which you need to pay. You can also opt for a managed WordPress hosting provider like WP Engine or Liquid Web for scaling your online store up.
Finally, let’s go through the key factors to consider while selecting the most suitable eCommerce platform for your online store.
What are the important factors to consider while choosing an eCommerce platform?
Starting an online store itself is a herculean task. We have seen the top ten points of comparison in WooCommerce vs. Shopify. Now, if you want to decide which platform is more suitable for your business needs, you can keep the following factors in mind:
- Budget: The platform should be cost-effective.
- Ease-of-Use: The platform should build a simple yet elegant and easy-to-use online store.
- Payment Gateways: The platform needs to support all prevalent payment methods like Stripe or PayPal.
- Third-party Integration: The platform should support many services and third-party tools or software to ensure better functionality of your store.
- Flexibility and Scalability: The platform you choose must be highly flexible and scalable to handle a lot of online traffic and provides easy customization as and when they are necessary.
Useful Read: Top WooCommerce Blogs That You Should Follow In 2020
Both WooCommerce and Shopify are powerful eCommerce platforms. WooCommerce is an open-source platform that offers you full control of your eCommerce website and you can start an online store with it at a much lower cost. In other words, WooCommerce is the best platform if you are in search of a cost-effective platform that offers you full control of your online store. On the other hand, if you want a hassle-free platform with infinite scalability, then Shopify should be your choice.
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