Shopify vs. WooCommerce

Michael MicheliniBlog, Business, Ecommerce0 Comments

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Over the years, e-commerce has been made a lot easier – more and more dynamic solutions were created, including readily available selling platforms. You can find many e-commerce platforms, but, to date, Shopify and WooCommerce both reign supreme in the e-commerce industry.

To give you some background, here are some key figures:

Platform Shopify WooCommerce
Number of Users 1.2M 2M+
Price Starts at $13/month Free
Number of Powered businesses 500k 2M+
Extensions/Plugins/Apps 1800+ 460+
Number of Years in E-commerce 13 9
Set Up Self-hosted / Web-based WordPress plug-in/ Stand-alone software

It’s obvious how WooCommerce gains the upper hand over Shopify – but does this mean WooCommerce is the best platform for your online store? Maybe. Maybe not.

We will review both in terms of features, pros and cons, flexibility/accessibility, SEO, design, customer support, and cost.

Shopify and WooCommerce Comparison

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FEATURES

Shopify WooCommerce
Products Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth & Diskspace Unlimited Depends on your web hosting
Fraud Analysis Yes Yes
Discount Codes Yes Yes
Pre-installed Payment Gateways Yes Yes
Blogging Platform Yes Yes
Built-in Analytics Yes Yes
Shipping Fee & Tax Calculator Yes Yes
Dropshipping Free Starts at $25
SSL Certificate Free Starts at $4.99/year
Email Templates Yes Yes
International Transactions Yes Yes
Open Source (unlimited modifications) No Yes
Shop Managers/ Staff Accounts Yes, max of 15 Yes
Facebook Store Yes Yes

PROS & CONS

Shopify Pros

  • Easy to Use – It’s an e-commerce solution for everyone – even those who are completely non-tech savvy
  • All-in-One Tool – Everything you need is in one place – domain name, hosting, reports, user-friendly interface, blogging platform, etc.
  • Amazon FBA integration
  • Amazing support team
  • Numerous third-party apps for additional store functionality
  • 30-day free trial
  • 99.99% uptime

Shopify Cons

  • Limited – No total control over the website. Your website fully relies on Shopify.
  • Quite pricey – The monthly fee starts at $13, domain name starts at $8, and then there are fees associated with third-party apps and themes.
  • The programming language used by Shopify, called Liquid, is a complex language, especially for non-tech savvy users.
  • 2% additional fee if you choose external payment gateway
  • Many features are only available through third-party apps – most of these apps aren’t free

WooCommerce Pros

  • Free / money-saving solution – As long as you have a domain name and a hosting plan, you can use WooCommerce for free
  • Better content marketing – WordPress has a wide range of SEO capabilities you need, hence better content marketing
  • You have total control over the website – Including total customization of the theme
  • Numerous third-party plugins
  • Offers wide range of analytics tools
  • Detailed e-commerce analysis

WooCommerce Cons

  • Most third-party plugins are not free
  • You have to familiarize yourself with both WordPress and WooCommerce
  • No free hosting, uptime depends on the web hosting you choose
  • You are responsible for your online store’s security and maintenance

FLEXIBILITY & ACCESSIBILITY

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Both Shopify and WooCommerce have user-friendly / self-explanatory user dashboards. Shopify has a 30-day free trial, which you can navigate around and get familiarized with. Meanwhile, WooCommerce is a free plugin to use, but you have to have your own domain name and webhosting to try it out.

WooCommerce is only a WordPress plugin; therefore, you have to set up a WordPress site first. For a beginner, WooCommerce can be quite difficult. Overall, when it comes to ease of use / accessibility, Shopify is a lot more simple and straightforward. However, in terms of flexibility, WooCommerce wins over Shopify for its vast customization options.

SEO

WordPress is known for being SEO friendly. Apparently, between Shopify and WordPress, WordPress does a lot better on search engine optimization – WooCommerce as well. However, Shopify has dedicated servers, making the overall performance better than WooCommerce. Which works best? Personally, I’d go for WordPress/WooCommerce if it’s about SEO.

DESIGN

Both Shopify and WooCommerce have a wide variety of themes to choose from. However, Shopify has limited free themes and it uses Liquid as its language template, which could be tough to edit for beginners. On the other hand, WooCommerce runs on WordPress, and your theme depends on your WordPress theme. There are thousands of WordPress themes you can find online, and most integrate well with WooCommerce.

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

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Customer support is one the important factors you need to consider in choosing the best platform, because when something goes wrong, you might need help.

For Shopify, customer support is easily accessible with its 24/7 support team via email, live chat, and phone. What’s nice about Shopify’s customer service is that they can help you with just about anything, regardless of the pricing plan you have.

Meanwhile, the WooCommerce customer support team can be reached by submitting a support ticket – and honestly, based on my personal experiences, support tickets never get quick responses, unless followed up. Moreover, given that WooCommerce runs on self-hosted WordPress, you are basically responsible of everything in it, and WooCommerce can’t possibly help you with specific issues with your hosting.

Shopify is certainly better when it comes to customer support.

COSTS

Shopify

Plans Basic Shopify Shopify Advanced Shopify
Monthly Price $13 $54

$107

Premium Theme: starts at $56
App: starts at $25

WooCommerce

Domain name: Starts at $8/year
Hosting: Starts at $39/year
SSL Certificate: starts at $4.99/year

Optional:
Premium Theme: starts at $35
Extensions/Plugins: start at $25

Which shopping cart do I use? Shopify or WooCommerce?

To wrap it up, both work fine as an e-commerce platform, they have almost the same features, and really work well.

Shopify works best for beginners as it don’t really require major technical knowledge to set up your store. Nevertheless, Shopify is great with both small and large companies. You just need to explore this platform to get the best out of it.

On the other hand, WooCommerce works best for sellers who like total control over the website to meet distinctive needs, and who have enough technical knowledge to get the site up and running. However, both are merely selling platforms. At the end of the day, the success of your website depends on how you market and advertise your products 🙂

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