If you’re planning to start an E-commerce store, choosing the right platform is crucial for its success. Two of the most popular platforms are WooCommerce and Shopify, both offering unique features and benefits. In this article, we’ll compare the two platforms in detail to help you make an informed decision on which one is the best fit for your E-commerce store.
Whether you’re a small business with a tight budget or a large enterprise with complex requirements, follow along to discover which platform can meet your specific needs.
- Key Differences
- Which Platform Is Easier To Use?
- Shopify vs. Woocommerce Pricing
- Which Platform Has The Best Features?
- Which Is Better For Dropshipping?
- Which Platform Has Better Customer Support?
- Which Is More Customizable?
- Which Platform Is Better For Marketing?
- WooCommerce vs. Shopify Pros and Cons
- Wrap Up: Who Is The Winner?
These are the main differences between WooCommerce and Shopify:
- WooCommerce is a free eCommerce platform that can be integrated into your WordPress website without any charge, while Shopify provides a 3-day trial period for its new users.
- In order to use Shopify, you must choose a subscription plan, whereas WooCommerce requires the purchase of a domain and hosting plan for your website, which can be more expensive than Shopify’s subscription costs.
- While WooCommerce is exclusively online, Shopify offers an offline option through its Point of Sale (POS) feature, allowing you to use it both online and offline.
- WordPress is an open-source platform that enables you to make any adjustments to your website using your coding expertise, while Shopify is a closed platform that restricts you to its built-in features.
WooCommerce provides support for over 80 payment gateways, while Shopify only accepts payments through its own official payment gateways, and if you opt for any third-party payment gateways, transaction fees will apply.
Which Platform Is Easier To Use?
When it comes to E-Commerce platforms, ease of use is crucial to ensure a positive experience for consumers. So which platform, between WooCommerce and Shopify, is more user-friendly? Let’s explore the differences below.
Shopify is a user-friendly platform that offers a free trial, and you can set up your Shopify store within 30 minutes. Here are the simple steps to create your Shopify store:
- Create a Shopify account.
- Choose a free or paid theme and customize your store according to your business needs.
- Add the products you want to sell by adding the product name along with the necessary information.
- Configure payment gateways, shipping zones, shipping rates, and other necessary settings.
- Choose from thousands of marketing applications available in Shopify to help increase your sales.
Shopify’s easy-to-use interface makes it simple for users to create an online store without any coding knowledge. You can design your store according to your requirements, and it offers several marketing applications to help you increase your sales.
WooCommerce, on the other hand, is an open-source platform that can be difficult to use for someone who is not familiar with technical aspects. Here are the steps you need to follow to create a WooCommerce store:
- Install WordPress on the domain where you want to use WooCommerce.
- Choose a hosting plan from any hosting provider like BlueHost, Hostgator, Namecheap, etc.
- Purchase and register your domain name.
- Choose from a range of free and paid themes to design your store.
- To add extra functionalities to your store, such as payment gateways, shipping processes, and subscription features, you will need to install separate plugins that come at additional charges.
Winner: When it comes to ease of use, Shopify is the right choice. A Shopify website can be created within a few simple steps in less than 30 minutes, whereas creating a store on WooCommerce requires some technical knowledge and involves several steps.
Shopify vs. Woocommerce Pricing
Shopify: Shopify operates on a subscription-based model that allows users to choose a plan based on their needs. Each Shopify plan includes all the necessary components for launching an online store.
Additionally, Shopify offers a free trial. The key features of Shopify plans include shipping support, payment gateway integration, and any other functionalities needed for an E-Commerce store. Shopify provides five primary subscription plans, which are listed below:
WooCommerce: Woocommerce provides a step-by-step process for setting up a store, with different pricing options based on your needs. The first step involves selecting a hosting plan, which can range from $4 to $5,000 per month depending on the size of your store. Once you have chosen a hosting plan, you need to register your domain, which typically costs around $15 per year.
To design your WooCommerce store, you can choose from a variety of free or paid themes, with prices ranging from $0 to $100 per year. In addition to these costs, you will also need to purchase essentials such as a Shipping extension and Payment gateway.
While you can start a basic WooCommerce store for free, it will cost around $10 to $20 for more advanced features. If you want a fully-featured WooCommerce store, the cost can go up to $1,000.
Winner: If you are on a budget, WooCommerce is the platform to choose, as it allows you to customize your pricing based on the features you require. Therefore, WooCommerce is the winner in terms of affordability.
Which Platform Has The Best Features?
When creating an E-commerce store, the features play a major role in various aspects such as sales, marketing, and customer service. Let’s compare the features of two popular platforms to determine which one has the most useful features.
Shopify comes with a plethora of built-in features that are essential for running an E-commerce store. These features include unlimited products, staff accounts, 24/7 support, manual order creation, Shopify analytics, unlimited contacts, 256-bit SSL certification, and more.
In addition, Shopify also offers some unique features such as abandoned checkout recovery, customizable orders, order history tracking, discount codes, Shopify POS app integration, theme customization, and search engine optimization. Moreover, Shopify has a fast loading website speed and a mobile-friendly interface, making it convenient for users to browse and make purchases from their smartphones.
WooCommerce is a great option for those who want a customized E-Commerce store. It offers numerous free and paid themes, allowing you to create your dream website. With the help of various plugins like WooCommerce Bookings, Language Translator, Currency Converter, and Product Add-ons, you can easily implement complex business models.
WooCommerce also comes with some exciting features, such as displaying related products to customers, creating coupons, highlighting featured products, and showing recently viewed pages. You can list unlimited products and showcase product reviews with verified owner titles, as well as utilize the blog section for optimal results.
Winner: While WooCommerce excels at providing customization options, Shopify is the clear winner when it comes to inbuilt features necessary for an online store.
Which Is Better For Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a business model favored by those who wish to start a business with minimal investment of time, money, and effort.
With Shopify, you get a ready-to-use platform for dropshipping, where you can add products to your store through dropshipping apps and adjust settings according to your requirements. The basic Shopify plan costs $29 per month, which is sufficient for dropshipping.
WooCommerce is a free plugin available on WordPress, and to create a dropshipping store, you need to add a dropshipping extension such as WooDropship to import products to the store. The only cost associated with WooCommerce dropshipping is website hosting, which starts from $10 per month. It is considered an excellent option for dropshipping and is more cost-effective compared to other platforms.
Winner: Since dropshipping is often preferred by people on a tight budget, WooCommerce is the ideal choice for creating a cost-effective dropshipping store.
Which Platform Has Better Customer Support?
Offering excellent customer service is crucial for any business to succeed. Let’s compare the customer service provided by Shopify and WooCommerce.
Shopify offers 24/7 customer support through email, phone, and chat. Customers can also find help from the Shopify Community, Facebook groups, and Reddit groups for any queries related to customization or third-party apps.
WooCommerce provides customer support through email and live chat for product-related queries. They also have forums and communities to assist users with technical questions related to the platform.
Winner: Shopify provides the best customer service since they are available round-the-clock to respond to customer queries through various channels.
Which Is More Customizable?
When it comes to creating an online business with complex ideas, customization is essential for E-commerce companies. Let’s compare each platform and see which one offers the most options for customization.
Customizing a Shopify store is a complicated process that requires multiple steps. To customize Shopify themes in the store, freelance Shopify developers provide theme customization services. This process involves getting access to the store, installing Shopify CLI and authenticating, downloading the Shopify theme to be customized, making necessary changes, previewing, obtaining approval from the store owner, and publishing the updated theme. Due to complications like reduced loading speed, difficulty launching campaigns, and difficulty managing updated versions, store owners tend to avoid Shopify customization.
WooCommerce is the best platform for customizing your store. It offers a wide range of customization options, including both free and paid themes. The Storefront Theme customization feature allows you to customize your website’s design without coding. You can customize every part of the store according to your taste and business requirements in WooCommerce, including editing the layout of products, creating a landscape and portrait view, customizing the home page of the store to suit phone view, checkout page, and more. Some effective plugins for customizing the WooCommerce store are WooBuilder, Elementor, and Storefront Blocks plugins, and WooCommerce Storefront themes.
Winner: Considering all of the features mentioned above, WooCommerce is the best platform for website customization.
Which Platform Is Better For Marketing?
In the world of e-commerce, marketing plays a vital role in the success of a business. Let’s take a look at which platform provides the best marketing features.
Shopify offers a wide range of marketing features such as Shopify-Facebook Integration, retargeting ads, push notifications, and emails to promote your products and increase sales. Additionally, there are various marketing apps available on Shopify like Candy Rack, Referral Candy, Smile.io Rewards, Omnisend, and many others.
On the other hand, WooCommerce also has several extensions to help with marketing processes, such as Beeketing for WooCommerce, WooCommerce Instagram, Automatewoo, MailChimp, AffiliateWP, Remarkety, YoastSEO for WooCommerce, and more. Furthermore, WooCommerce has a blog feature that attracts customers with relevant content.
Winner: While WooCommerce offers great SEO capabilities and a blog feature, Shopify has a broader range of marketing apps for every function, ensuring that businesses have access to everything they need to succeed in marketing.
WooCommerce vs. Shopify Pros and Cons
Below are the advantages and disadvantages of using WooCommerce and Shopify for creating an online store:
Advantages of WooCommerce
- Provides complete control over website customization.
- Benefits from WordPress’s vast community and plugins.
- Easy configuration on WordPress.
- WooCommerce plugin is free to use.
Disadvantages of WooCommerce
- Premium plugins can be expensive, increasing the total cost.
- Requires managing hosting, security, and other aspects of the website.
Advantages of Shopify
- Affordable and pre-determined pricing.
- Offers a wide range of apps through the app store.
- Provides numerous free and paid themes.
- Allows for quick launch of an online store.
- Supports dropshipping.
Disadvantages of Shopify
- Offers limited control over website customization.
- Provides fewer customization features compared to WooCommerce.
Wrap Up: Who Is The Winner?
When it comes to choosing an E-Commerce platform, WooCommerce and Shopify are two popular options. Both platforms offer a good user experience when utilized according to the specific requirements of a business. It is important to select the right platform based on factors such as the niche of the business, business size, required features, and budget.
For those looking to start a simple online business with a limited budget, Shopify is the ideal choice since it provides all the necessary functionalities within the platform.
On the other hand, if your business concept is complex and requires more customization, WooCommerce is the recommended option. It offers the best platform for businesses