Shopify vs WooCommerce: Which One Takes The Trophy Home?
Shopify vs WooCommerce
If you have your eyes on starting an online store, then Shopify and WooCommerce are the two best ecommerce platform options you can choose from. However, these platforms hold equal pros and cons that can stir confusion in people’s minds. Both the platforms are innovative and unique and provide full-fledged ecommerce solutions to users.
To address the issue, we present a comparison guide that can help entrepreneurs distinguish between Shopify and WooCommerce and opt the better of the two to host their E-stores.
What is Shopify?
We see people spiraling in the confusion of what exactly Shopify is. To answer precisely, Shopify is an ecommerce platform that serves as an all-in-one ecommerce tool to start, grow, and manage an ecommerce business.
It is a cloud-based software that operates on a monthly subscription model. It makes managing inventory and accepting payments possible from a single platform.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is a customizable, open-source, and free ecommerce plugin. It adds ecommerce functionality to your WordPress site so you can have an online store.
WooCommerce makes creating and managing an ecommerce store super easy. It comes with exciting features like inventory & tax management, secure payments, and shipping integration.
What To Look For In Your Ecommerce Store
Are you planning to start an online store? If yes, following is a list of factors you must keep in mind; as they can help you decide which platform is suitable for your online store.
- Budget – The original cost of starting a fully functional ecommerce store.
- Ease of Use – It should be easy to use, even for beginners.
- Payment Methods – It should support multiple payment methods
- Integrations – Number of services and third-party tools you can integrate to run your ecommerce operations smoothly
- Scalability – The platform should be able to scale as your business grows.
This list of factors is not exhaustive, thus if you want to choose what’s best for your online store, you should also keep the options of inventory, shipping, dropshipping, management, taxes, invoices, etc., in mind.
Following is a detailed guide which explains the core differences between these two platforms and which one would best suit your business objectives.
Cost: Shopify vs WooCommerce
Cost plays an essential role in making the final choice. The ecommerce store owners often have to keep the startup and additional variable costs in close consideration while choosing between Shopify and WooCommerce.
We have found many people asking, ‘is Shopify free?’ The answer is no. Shopify comes with fixed startup costing plans. However, they are highly feasible for a newcomer.
You can start your store with just $29 per month, their basic plan. Then move onto the upgraded plan, which is $79 per month, or directly to the Advanced Shopify plan for a higher efficiency, which costs $299 per month.
The Cost of Using Shopify
Irrespective of which Shopify plan you choose for your store, they come with SSL certificates, web hosting, and a Shopify branded subdomain.
At the same time, a separate subdomain with one’s name comes at an individual cost that regularly starts at $14 per year.
Now the question is that if Shopify is good for beginners? The answer is yes, it is. The basic Shopify plan provides the user with many advanced features that make an online platform more efficient.
Shopify’s basic plan also allows the user to add unlimited products to their store, add two accounts for management simultaneously, come with extensive file storage, and the list goes on.
Although, keep in mind that if you are planning to take your ecommerce store to an even more advanced level with add-ons and third-party tools, they will come at a different cost on the side.
It is also essential to keep the variable costs in mind that increase over the years as your business grows. As the years pass, you may even find yourself paying for more than what you started within the basic plan.
The Cost of Using WooCommerce
WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress ecommerce plugin that comes free of any cost, there will still be other costs of buying a WordPress hosting account, SSL certificate, and a domain name to start a WooCommerce store.
The specific costs of a domain name usually start from $14.99, $69.99 for an SSL certificate, and $7.99 per month for a web hosting domain.
So we can say that WooCommerce is relatively cheaper than Shopify but certainly does not come with an ideal package for someone who is newly starting.
However, you can now find specialized WooCommerce hosting cost packages from hosting companies that make the whole process easier and more affordable for many.
Although, from requiring paid extensions to changing hosting necessities that grow with a growing business. As time progresses and your business grows, the extra variable costs on top will start increasing.
Thus, we can conclude that with the number of free themes and free add-ons available for WooCommerce, it’s definitely wins the battle in this round in terms of cost.
Ease of Use: Shopify vs WooCommerce
Many users who start an ecommerce store have no experience in website design and development. Even those who are familiar with the basic skills need an easy-to-use platform.
Let’s see which platform is more user-friendly.
Shopify – Ease of Use
We have mostly seen that the ecommerce website owners are no different than you or me. Not professional developers or experienced designers, but just ordinary people with entrepreneurial ideas.
So what matters the most at the time of making a choice regarding which ecommerce platform will best suit one’s needs? Ease of use plays an essential role.
The ease and usability of Shopify make it stand at the winning end of the scale when it comes to Shopify. This one is an independent hosted platform that eliminates updating, managing, or installing software.
It is also effortless to use Shopify because of its ability to handle security, backups, compatibility issues, and performance without worrying the owner.
The designing process on Shopify is also straightforward because of the already available free themes and its ability to let you customize the site.
Shopify comes with an incredible drag and drop interface. One can easily manage products, sales, inventory in Shopify.
One downside of this platform is that it limits your control. You can only use the tools provided by Shopify or add-ons available in their marketplace.
However, it’s not that bad. The vast collection of available themes and extensions in Shopify is enough for most users to start and grow an online store.
WooCommerce – Ease of Use
When it comes to WooCommerce, the scenes are entirely different. It is not an independent ecommerce platform like Shopify.
You will have to install, manage, and update the plugins and software if you choose this option as well as keep track of backups and security issues at the same time.
However, you will have some help from the plenty of paid and free plugins to automate a number of the tasks, as mentioned earlier.
There is no built-in builder for drag & drop customization. You have to rely on different WordPress builders at an additional cost.
The major downside of flexibility is that it requires more hands-on management of your website. The user also has to signup for payment methods like PayPal, Stripe, or similar services.
Payment Method: Shopify vs WooCommerce
Another vital factor that first-time website owners closely consider is payment methods and security. Some of the extensive payment methods available on both platforms may be of your use, and some may not.
So at the time of choosing between Shopify and WooCommerce, it is essential to interrogate the extent of payment methods on both WooCommerce and Shopify that will best suit your business needs.
Payment Options in Shopify
In trying to understand what Shopify is and how it works in terms of payment options, we have discovered plenty of options that can cater to all types of customers.
You will find it all on this platform, from third-party payment methods to its built-in payment gateway called Shopify Payments (powered by Stripe).
However, there is still a con to choosing Shopify. Shopify deducts an extra fee of 2% on every transaction made through third-party payment methods.
On top of that, there will be additional charges deducted by the third-party gateway on every transaction as well.
Payment Options in WooCommerce
In the case of WooCommerce, you can get Stripe and PayPal payment methods by default. Other than that, there is another payment method of their own called WooCommerce Payment powered by Stripe.
Not only that, but WooCommerce also supports all other payment methods from third-party getaways like Alipay, Authorize.net, Square, Amazon Pay, and many more.
You can also get the option of other less popular and non-regional payment methods with WooCommerce. There are no limitations for any payment company on this platform, and they can quickly create an add-on in WooCommerce.
There are no additional payment deductions from WooCommerce’s website, although there will be some deductions from the bank or other payment gateway’s side.
Not only that but unless you are using WooCommerce payments, there will be no additional % fee charges through credit card payments on this ecommerce platform.
Integration And Add-Ons: Shopify vs WooCommerce
When an online store starts growing, it needs additional plugins and add-ons to include more features and efficiency in the store.
For instance, once your store grows an extensive customer base, you will need email marketing software, analytics tools, lead generation tools, and outreach tools, etc.
Let’s see which platform is better suited for your business in terms of add-ons and integrations by comparing Shopify and WooCommerce in front of you.
Shopify – Add-Ons And Integration
When we talk about Shopify, you can find a separate App Store and API on this platform, making it easy to buy third-party add-ons.
At Shopify App Store, you can find both paid and free apps. However, the number of add-ons and integrations in Shopify is still lower than that of WooCommerce.
Not only that, but the process of submitting an add-on app on Shopify is way more complicated than the process of submitting a plugin on WooCommerce. Experts say it can be tough to get any app listed on Shopify compared to WooCommerce.
WooCommerce – Add-Ons And Integration
WooCommerce being a part of WordPress, gives easy access to more than 58,000 other WordPress plugins. It is already an open-source platform built on WordPress.
The process of submitting for a plugin in WooCommerce is relatively easy compared to Shopify because the entry barriers of getting a plugin listed on this platform are shallow.
Hence, there is no doubt that WooCommerce is way ahead of Shopify in this department. If you are looking for a platform that can help you integrate advanced plugins and add-ons to make your store efficient and customized to your likings as time passes, then WooCommerce is the best option.
Scalability And Growth: Shopify vs WooCommerce
From the looks of it, starting an ecommerce store can sound to be a mere walk in the park with low startup costs and easy usability of the platform. But as time passes and the business grows, you will face increased challenges and require more resources to tackle them.
Hence, we now need to see which platform is better for handling unprecedented challenges and compare them in terms of scalability and scope of growth.
Scalability On Shopify
Being an all-in-one ecommerce solution, Shopify is an easy-to-use platform that takes care of all the technical aspects of the website. You will not have to worry about anything from scalability, performance to security.
It is also effortless to upgrade to advanced Shopify plans as the business grows and requires advanced features to tackle the growing challenges.
Shopify is built with an infrastructure that handles all the technical aspects without worrying the owner. Everything is integrated into this advanced platform, from security, downtimes, and updates to backups.
However, it is essential to keep in mind that Shopify can be the most supportive platform for growth, but it is also costly on the side. As the business and the resources to handle unprecedented challenges grow, your budget will increase.
Scalability on WooCommerce
Whereas, when it comes to WooCommerce, this one is more of a self-managed and self-hosted platform that requires manual security checks, updates, and backup management.
Over the years, as your business grows while getting massive traffic, there will be a need to perk up the resources and move to the advanced WooCommerce hosting plan.
However, if there are cons to self-management and hosting on this platform, there are pros too. With significant growth comes great responsibility, and WooCommerce features a more extraordinary ability of customization.
WooCommerce gives you the ability to have full control of your site, control the cost and resources you need, and cut costs on those you don’t.
So the crux of the story is that WooCommerce gives better customization and authority over your site but requires more effort and self-management. Whereas in the case of Shopify, it is entirely hassle-free and saves you from all the technical complexities.
Pros and Cons: Shopify vs WooCommerce
If we wrap it up with the statement that WooCommerce and Shopify are both extremely popular and robust ecommerce platforms for your store, it won’t be an unfair thing to say.
The final choice you make will solely depend on your business type and your preferences.
There are both pros and cons to both WooCommerce and Shopify. So let’s compare the pros and cons one last time before finishing off.
Shopify Pros and Cons
Shopify is a comparatively more straightforward platform to use. There are no lengthy installing processes, and it allows you to start your store in no time. Moreover, Shopify comes with easy-to-understand pricing and costing plans.
Using this platform has other cons: lack of control and authority over your site. High costs with transaction cost deductions, integration, and add-on costs. As the business grows, you cannot manage expenses, and the upgrade options are also limited.
WooCommerce Pros and Cons
On the other hand, WooCommerce is an open-source independent WordPress branded platform that allows complete control over your site. The startup costs are less than Shopify and can go even lower with WooCommerce hosting companies.
Whereas the con is that WooCommerce requires immense customization and management to maintain the software. As well as the technical aspects of this platform are immense, which you can learn over the years of using it.
Conclusion: Shopify vs WooCommerce
In conclusion, if you are looking for a platform that gives you complete control and customization abilities and starts up at a lower cost, then WooCommerce can be the right pick for you. With WooCommerce, you would be well-aware of all the technical aspects to leverage them to your best use.
On the contrary, if hassle-free and infinite scalability and growth options are more of your preference, Shopify can be just the right pick.
If you are not a developer, designer, and technical website aspects go above your head, pick Shopify. Given you have enough budgetary limitations to handle all its startup and growing costs.
Frequently Asked Questions
1- How easy is it to migrate from WooCommerce to Shopify?
Shopify is an all-in-one ecommerce solution and self-hosted and managed ecommerce platform, making all the technical aspects way easier. It is effortless to migrate from WooCommerce to Shopify. Here’s how you can do it:
- Export all the data from WooCommerce before importing to Shopify
- Import all the data at once and collectively on the Shopify platform
- Analyze and check that all the data has been successfully imported. If not, then you can also manually add products on Shopify.
2– How easy is it to migrate Shopify to WooCommerce?
The migration from Shopify to WooCommerce can be extremely time-consuming, requiring extensive manual labor. However, it can certainly be a relatively straightforward migration process that requires minimal costs. Here’s how you can do it:
- First, Install and setup WordPress manually
- Export and download all your products and data from Shopify
- Import it all to WordPress separately
- Customize and manage your WooCommerce store according to your likings
- Setup redirects from Shopify to WooCommerce
3– What is the difference between WooCommerce and Shopify?
There are many differences between Shopify and WooCommerce. From the difference in setup and advancing prices to flexibility and scope of scalability, self-management, and hosting in Shopify, manual management in WooCommerce and payment methods are equally robust but different platforms.
4- Is Shopify better than WooCommerce?
Shopify and WooCommerce are both equally solid and powerful platforms but different from each other. However, we can’t say which one is better and which isn’t because the end decision depends on the site owner’s costs, preferences, technical knowledge, and needs. Explore both the platforms thoroughly and then choose according to what you like and dislike.
5- Can I use Shopify with WooCommerce?
Yes, you can undoubtedly use Shopify with WooCommerce in a way. Shopify Connector is a plugin in WooCommerce that allows individuals to add their Shopify data to WooCommerce.
It makes WooCommerce the catalog and sends the purchases to Shopify. Not only that, but this way, you will also get other WooCommerce features like linked products, reviews, and others in Shopify.
6- Is Shopify the Best Ecommerce Platform?
Yes, Shopify is a hassle-free and complete ecommerce platform widely preferred around the globe. It is a self-managed and hosted platform that saves time and gives you full control over the store’s structure.
7- Does WooCommerce work with Shopify?
Yes, WooCommerce can be connected with Shopify for better efficiency and more features. WooCommerce is a WordPress branded platform that allows you to add Shopify products and WooCommerce products and work highly effectively.
8- Should I switch from WordPress to Shopify?
If you are looking for advanced features, a self-managed and hosted platform, hassle-free processes, but do not have any cost concerns, then Shopify can be just the right pick for you. There are more scalability and growth options in Shopify compared to WooCommerce, and it takes less time than managing a WooCommerce branded ecommerce store.