Shopify V/S WooCommerce – Which is the Better Online Shopping Platform?
With global e-commerce sales skyrocketing and reaching $4.28 trillion, there has never been a better time to start an online store. However, choosing the best online platform between Shopify vs WooCommerce can be a daunting choice. For this reason, we have come up with a helpful guide to compare these 2 popular e-commerce platforms. However, there are some differences between the 2 platforms. Using this guide, you can easily decide and choose between Shopify vs WooCommerce.
Before we start our detailed comparison between the 2 most popular e-commerce platforms, it is important that we also focus on the basics and highlight the factors that will make each of these platforms stand out.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an all-in-one e-commerce solution that enables you to create an online store, accept payments, and properly manage your inventory, all these functions are performed from a single platform. With Shopify, there is no need for you to stress about the technical aspects of managing an e-commerce site such as web hosting, security, and catching.
What is WooCommerce?
Compared to Shopify, WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce plugin that is built for WordPress. It enables you to support the most powerful content management system and use it for running an online store. We all know that WordPress is one of the most popular website builders powering almost 43% of all websites, and not many people know that WooCommerce is the most popular e-commerce platform. Since WooCommerce is an open-source platform, you can easily customize every aspect of your store and even add custom extensions.
If you are still struggling between Shopify vs WooCommerce, remember that the choice depends on your needs and skillset.
Important Factors to Look for When Starting an Online Store
Starting an online store is not a cakewalk. It requires a great amount of dedication, detailed research, and patience. And for this reason, we have made a list of different factors that you need to keep in mind when starting an online store. These factors will help you in making an informed decision.
- Budget- This will cover the initial cost that you will incur while starting a fully functional e-commerce store.
- Ease of Use- Even beginners should be able to use it.
- Payment Methods- It should offer different payment options for instance- PayPal, UPI, etc.
- Integrations- The total number of services and different third-party tools you can easily integrate to grow your e-commerce business.
- Scalability- The platform should be able to scale as in when your business grows.
Mentioned above are the basic factors that the online store owners must consider. However, it is all based on your needs, and you can also opt for other options like shipping, inventory management, invoicing, taxes, and dropshipping.
The ultimate aim of this article is to take an in-depth look at how Shopify and WooCommerce work and stand on these basic factors, and which platform will suit your needs the best. Let’s start the comparison between
Shopify vs WooCommerce.
- Cost- Shopify vs WooCommerce
Cost is the primary consideration for e-commerce website owners. You must be able to evaluate the overall cost right from getting started while also keeping in mind the variable costs for add-on services and software.
- The Actual Cost of Using Shopify
Shopify is a popular choice because it makes it very easy for business owners to set up their online stores. Moreover, the basic plan starts at $29 per month, and you can easily upgrade to the Shopify plan for $79 or even the advanced Shopify plan for $299 per month. Each of these plans consists of an SSL certificate and web hosting. Moreover, it will come with a Shopify branded subdomain. In case you want to use your domain name, you’ll need to buy it separately. For your knowledge pricing for a regular .com domain starts at $14 per year. The basic Shopify plan comes with sufficient features that will be enough to set up your new online store. Furthermore, you can add unlimited products, 2 user accounts, unlimited file storage, and much more. But the pricing does not consist of third-party tools and additional add-ons. Once your business starts growing, these costs will start adding up, and you will end up paying more than the basic plan. Similarly, even Payments are a crucial factor that affects your costs. Shopify offers their own payments solutions which cost around 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction for the basic plan. In case you want to make use of third-party payment or your merchant account, then you’ll be charged a flat fee of 2.0% for all your transactions. Shopify also offers a plan called the Shopify Lite which costs $9.00 every month. This plan will allow you to buy buttons to any site or use Shopify for in-person sales.
- The Actual Cost of Using WooCommerce
As already stated above, WooCommerce is an e-commerce plugin for WordPress. It is open source and also available as a free plugin. But, you’ll need a domain name, SSL certificate, and a WordPress account to get you started. Ideally, a domain name will cost you somewhere $14.99, while an SSL certificate will cost you $69.99, and web hosting around $7.99 every month. And we know this is not an affordable option especially when you are just starting. But, there are a variety of different companies now offering special WooCommerce hosting plans that will reduce the overall costs to a great extent.
Well, BlueHost is one such company that has agreed on offering its users a free domain name, free SSL certificate, and an impressive discount on web hosting. And this will start your online store for as low as $2.75 every month.
Final Outcome- As you can see that the cost of starting the basic WooCommerce store is comparatively lower when compared to Shopify. Also, keep in mind that WooCommerce will start charging you once you purchase paid extensions. Therefore, with a range of free themes and free ad-on, WooCommerce is the winner.
- Ease Of Use
Well, most of the people starting their online store are not web designers or developers. People who are familiar with basic concepts still need a comprehensive platform that is easy to use and understand. Now, let’s see which one is more user-friendly whether it is Shopify or WooCommerce.
- Shopify- Ease of Use
Shopify is a completely hosted platform and it means that there is no need for you to install, manage, or update any software. You should not even worry about security, performance, backups, and compatibility issues. Once you sign-up, you can easily choose a design from different Shopify themes available. Then, you will be walked through the customization process where you can add products. With its easy-to-use drag and drop option, you can swiftly handle all the page operations.
- WooCommerce- Ease of Use
Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce is not a hosted platform. This means that you must install all the needed software, WooCommerce plugin, manage updates, keep all the necessary backups, and take all the steps to ensure the security of your website. But when it comes to customization, WooCommerce is a true rockstar in all regards. As a user, you have full control of the platform. Using more than 59,000+ WordPress plugins, you can add any functionality. But there is no in-built drag and drop option.
Final Outcome- Though WooCommerce is very helpful, it does not even come close to the overall onboarding experience and ease of use when compared to Shopify. Here, Shopify steals the show.
- Payment Options- Shopify vs WooCommerce
When it comes to payment getaways, there are endless options that you can use to accept payments online. Some payment methods may not be suitable for you, and other options may not be available to your customers. So that is why it is vital to choose a platform that can offer multiple payment options. Now let’s take a look at how Shopify and WooCommerce look when it comes to payment integrations.
- Payment Options in Shopify
Shopify offers a plethora of payment options that customers can use easily during the time of checkout. It has its payment solution called Shopify Payments. However, the problem is that Shopify charges an additional 2% fee on each transaction made through third-party payment getaways. However, you can easily reduce the fee to 0.5 % by opting for an Advanced Shopify Plan.
- Payment Options in WooCommerce
WooCommerce offers PayPal and Stripe Payments. Just like Shopify, even they have their WooCommerce Payment Solution powered by Stripe. WooCommerce also supports other payment providers. All you have to do is install their integrations. You can choose from Amazon Pay, Square, Alipay, and much more. As a self-hosted platform, WooCommerce only charges you for making payments by your payment getaway or your bank. WooCommerce never charges you a % of fees on credit card payments and that is a major advantage.
Final Outcome- It’s hard to make a choice when it comes to payment methods. So it’s a tie.
- Integrations and Add-Ons- Shopify vs WooCommerce
No matter how extensive your e-commerce platform is, you’ll always need third-party tools and services to grow your business and online store. For instance, email marketing tools, lead generation tools, and analytic tools.
- Shopify Integrations and Add-Ons
Shopify comes with a powerful API and an app store where you can easily purchase third-party add-ons for your Shopify store. They offer hundreds of apps in the store thereby covering every feature you’ll like to add to your online store. For lead generation, they have OptinMonster which will help you grow your email list. Similarly, there are various Shopify apps for SEO, product reviews, discounts, and more. To add to this, Shopify consists of both free and paid apps. Free apps are created by third-party services and they have their pricing.
- WooCommerce Integrations and Add-Ons
WooCommerce is open-source and is built on top of WordPress. And this will give you easy access to more than 59,000+ free WordPress plugins and various paid plugins. You can use these add-ons to add payment methods, lead generation, e-commerce SEO, performance optimization, social media integration, and almost every feature to lend you a wholesome user experience.
Final Outcome- After personally going through the process of plugins for WordPress and submitting an app to the Shopify store, we conclude that the process is more difficult on Shopify than WooCommerce. Also, remember that WooCommerce is easy to customize when compared to Shopify. Therefore, here WooCommerce is the winner.
- Growth and Scalability- Shopify vs WooCommerce
As your business will start growing, you’ll be needing more resources for handling different tasks and challenges. Shopify and WooCommerce can be easily scaled for handling traffic and orders.
- Scalability on Shopify
Shopify is responsible for handling all the technical operations which means that you don’t have to worry about performance, security, and scalability. Once your business starts growing, you can make a shift to Shopify Plan. Their infrastructure can easily handle your growing business and you don’t have to worry about downtimes, backups, updates, and security.
- Scalability on WooCommerce
Final Outcome– Shopify is the winner.
WooCommerce Or Shopify- Which Is Better?
After looking at the pros and the cons of both platforms, it would not be wrong to say that both Shopify and WooCommerce are powerful platforms. When compared to WooCommerce, Shopify is very easy to use. There is no need for you to install anything, and you can get started quickly. Payment getaway is very easy and they also offer easy-to-understand payment plans. However, the only disadvantage of using Shopify is that you don’t have full control over everything. Moreover, your costs go higher with transaction fees and additional add ons and integrations. And if we look at WooCommerce, it is open-source and offers you full control of your website. Furthermore, it costs a lot less to start an online store with WooCommerce. But the disadvantage with WooCommerce is that you have to maintain the software.
Therefore, if you are on the lookout for a cost-effective solution, and are seeking full control of your online store, then WooCommercr will be a perfect choice. But if you want something that is 100% hassle-free and comes with infinite scalability, Shopify will make a perfect addition.