woocommerce vs shopify

woocommerce vs shopify

woocommerce vs shopify: Which Is Right for Your Online Store?

As a business owner looking to get your business online, and launch your next eCommerce store, you’ll no doubt run into one of these two worthy competitors. They power most of the social commerce that has become part of our daily lives.

And when deciding between the two, choosing the right one for your business will mean either success or failure of your online store.

WooCommerce and Shopify are both very popular eCommerce solutions for entrepreneurs all over the world. and for good reason, they are both very powerful and give a complete suite of tools for making an online storefront.

So in this article, let’s look at their respective features, ease of use, support, and pricing, see how they compare to one another, and help you make the right choice for your business.

woocommerce vs shopify: General overview

When you’ve decided on creating an e-commerce website, e-commerce platforms will help in making the design process fast, easy and painless, as opposed to writing HTML and CSS code from scratch.

They act as frameworks that you and your development team can follow to create a website function at different stages in your business.

With most platforms being web-app oriented, means that your teams can collaborate in real-time, work remotely and push updates without having delays in the website itself. This opens up opportunities to learn and course-correct as you learn more about your customers, their spending habits, and the products they want to buy from you.

With that in mind, let’s examine the differences, similarities, and uniqueness between woocommerce vs shopify matchup.

Who is WooCommerce for?

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If you want an e-commerce solution that gives you complete control over the configuration of your website then WooCommerce is for you. Boosting more than 400 extensions and leveraging the power of WordPress – a content management system – you’ll have over 900 plugins to help you build the most bespoke website you can imagine of.

As a Shopify alternative, WooCommerce is open-source – meaning you can use it for free -, a fully customizable plugin, that enables you to turn a WordPress Website into an e-commerce solution. Supporting over 22% of all online store websites, with an e-commerce market share of over 23% and powering more than 5 million websites, WooCommerce is a powerhouse to be reconned with.

Who is Shopify for?

Since its founding in 2006, Shopify has risen in the e-commerce space to become a leader in online store building, inventory management, sales tracking, and cart-abandonment recovery, making it a complete package when it comes to an e-commerce platform. Our in-depth Shopify review goes into detail about all the features and pros that make it the choice for most business owners.

And not-just-that, but as our Shopify vs square review, shows, they give the option of a point of sale, to help you if you have a brick-n-mortar store.

woocommerce vs shopify: Features

Features are the benefits you get to enjoy when you choose one platform over another. For example, does one platform accept payments out of the gate, while another requires third-party integration? How about product management? How does one handle this feature versus the other?

Let’s take at those differences now.

What WooCommerce offers

WooCommerce lets you sell unlimited products, and in different categories, like physical products, digital products, membership subscriptions, and even calendar booking for appointment setting.

As we’ve mentioned it has over 400 extensions, and is fully customizable, with the right development team, you can build a very simple or complicated website as you would wish.

WooCommerce runs on the WordPress framework, which is an awesome content management system, after extending its functionality with WooCommerce, you can easily accept payments, calculate taxes, set shipping and delivery terms, and compute sales in a straight-forward manner.

woocommerce vs shopify
Image Source: Woocommerce screensot-author

WooCommerce also lets you manage products and fill orders via the dashboard, in a straightforward manner. You can also access live shipping rates and calculate taxes by integrating the right plugins.

You also have access to more plugins, some being paid options, that let you tackle inventory management, and product orders and even find shipping partners easily.

WooCommerce also gives you a free shipping tool right from the dashboard that lets you offer different shipping methods in your store.

You have access to more shipping solutions like Fulfillment by Amazon by making use of the extensions made available by other parties.

 

What Shopify offers

Shopify helps you manage every aspect of your online business, from creating your own e-commerce site to managing an online store.

It makes it easy to get started and manage your site, it’s no wonder it powers more than one million sites and is trusted by the world’s most successful brands that use it to sell, ship, and process payments anywhere.

As we started earlier, Shopify also has a Point-Of-Sale (POS) system to power brick-n-mortar businesses and help you sell via your store in garage sales, fairs, and shows.

But where it excels is in Shopify omnichannel tools, where you can sell to your customers wherever they are – online or offline. And the constant innovation like letting you expand to new markets like TikTok via the TikTok Sales Channel, or sell on Meta platforms via the Shop Pay + Instagram/Facebook Partnership.

Extend your reach by listing your store as an Amazon seller, this will allow you to integrate so that you can sell on both channels from one single interface.

On top of that, Shopify Payments, enable you to take payments online. You’ll have access to over 100 payment gateways, the likes of PayPal, Stripe, Bitcoin, etc.

Additionally, you will also get access to reporting and analytics which give an even deeper e-Commerce key performance indicators. KPIs like what sales channels are driving the most revenue, best-performing products, the rate of returns and cancellations, etc. This enables you to make better decisions as you understand your customer’s lifetime value.

 

Shopify Exchange, a marketplace where you can acquire existing businesses, allowing you to buy revenue that has already been deleveraged.  - esty vs shopify
Shopify Exchange, a marketplace where you can buy stores IMG SRC: Screenshot by Author

And what if you would like to buy revenue instead of growing it? With the Shopify Exchange, a marketplace where you can acquire existing businesses,  you can buy revenue that has already been deleveraged.

You can find all sorts of e-commerce stores here, filtered by industry, niche, revenue, and even time in business.

You could also use Shopify Exchange as an exit strategy, allowing you to sell your store after you have been in business for more than 18 months and kept steady profits since.

Results

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Both platforms give you different options to go with. WooCommerce is focused on the business owner who wants control over website assets, Shopify features, on the other hand, give you the opportunity to build your business all from one place, not just the website, but the complete e-commerce business.

The winner in this category is depended on what you as a business owner find more appealing – although we have to say Shopify does make a compelling offer for getting up and running quickly without the need for technical skills.

woocommerce vs shopify: Support

Support plays a pivotal role whenever you are embarking on the task of creating an online store.

Even more importantly, is the intricacies that go into building an online business that you’ll need more help with, so how do these two fair in offering support?

What WooCommerce offers

WooCommerce does offer the following resources for support:

  • WooCommerce Support via your WordPress website
  • WooCommerce Contact Us Page where you can get someone to point you in the right direction
  • WooCommerce Help Desk lets you ask specific questions
  • WooCommerce Help you help yourself, is a resource where you find self-aided help via tutorials

What Shopify offers

Shopify has these support options:

  • Shopify Help Center: available to customers only, this option enables you to contact support for your store
  • @ShopifySupport: For a quicker response try this Twitter handle
  • Phone & Email Support: This is a better way to get support via a phone call or email.

Results

WooCommerce is open-source, which limits its ability to offer support. Although you will find resources online to help you tackle most questions you might have, Shopify has a dedicated team to help you resolve issues fast. It does have a better support system, so it takes this one

woocommerce vs shopify : Ease of use

If you plan to build an online store, the platforms’ ease of use is a huge factor. It’s how easy it makes it for you to do basic and advanced actions, like create, edit, update and delete website elements, manage inventory, attach tracking, handle shipping and incorporate handling into your store.

So how do these two compare in terms of ease of use?

What WooCommerce offers

If you are familiar with WordPress, then setting up WooCommerce is easy. All you do is add it as a plugin, activate it, and start setting up your store – store name, add products, write product details, don’t forget to include product pictures and you are ready to sell.

The WooCommerce interface and Dashboard is easy to navigate. From here you can do things like order fulfilment and product management. With over 14 unique analytics and data-points

This simple interface makes it easy to use.

If you want further functionality, there are over 900 extensions to choose from.

What Shopify offers

Shopify dashboard tries to fit in all the features and stats you’ll need to make sense of your e-commerce venture. Although new users might find it intimidating at first, once you get used to it, you’ll enjoy the benefits of having everything on one screen.

Shopify makes lightspeed websites both on the front-end and back-end of things, this allows you to have a better user experience and hence enhances your ease of use as compared to WooCommerce.

You can also by integration get more information on the dashboard from extensions like e-commerce email marketing tools, although this added advantage does come with complexity when it comes to ease of use.

Results

For the simplicity it offers, WooCommerce takes this round. Shopify’s online store builder and dashboard interface are built to give advanced users the data they need to make business sense, but that does come at the cost of ease of use for new users.

woocommerce vs shopify: Pricing

So, what about the cost? How much will it cost to have one of these platforms as your e-commerce solution?

What WooCommerce offers

WooCommerce is free and open source. You will not pay a penny to use it.

The only cost is for a domain name and web hosting service.

Other costs may occur from development costs and other paid extensions you might want to use.

They have what they call a listing fee, a transaction fee, a payment processing fee, and a commission per transaction fee.

And then, on top of it is the usual plans.

Here is the Etsy pricing breakdown:

  • Product Listing: Free
  • Commission:  Free
  • Transaction Fee: Only applies to WooCommerce Payments

What Shopify offers

Unlike WooCommerce, Shopify is a paid option.

The plans are as follows:

  • Shopify Lite – $9/month, as of this writing,  the base price lets you get started selling for as little as $9/month, with transaction fees of 2.9% or $0.30
  • Basic Shopify – $29/month, gives you the same benefits Shopify Lite provides with the added advantage of adding two more account managers to help you manage your store.
  • Shopify  – $79/month, with transaction fees at 2.6% plus $0.30 per transaction, with five account managers and gift cards activated as well.
  • Advanced Shopify – $299/month,  the transaction fee drops to 2.4 % plus $0.30 per transaction, with 15 account managers added. You also get advanced reporting.
  • Shopify Plus – Playing big? Get a custom quote by contacting Shopify directly for the Plus tier.

Results

WooCommerce is free.

woocommerce vs shopify: Integrations**

Integrations offer you the ability to expand on the behavior and capability of your store. Let’s say you want to send emails for marketing purposes, integration with an email service provider gives you the capability to communicate with your customers via email.

So let’s take a look at how these two platforms adapt to different integrations.

What WooCommerce offers

WooCommerce gives you over 400 extensions and 900 plugins to integrate with to make your website more custom.

You get to integrate payment processing gateways.

You even get a PDF for producing invoices and printing receipts

What Shopify offers

Shopify on the other hand, has most of what you’ll need in-built. But in case you want more functionality, the Shopify App store provides a resource where you can find different apps to integrate with.

There are all sorts of apps from inventory turnover ratio to order fulfillment, productivity, reporting and  e-commerce marketing,

Plus you can also code your own custom apps using Shopify Developer Network.

 

Results

Shopify provides more options to integrate with, so it takes this round as well.

Conclusion: woocommerce vs shopify

WooCommerce provides a great way for people with digital products, physical products, memberships, and appointment settings.

Shopify on the other hand gives you the ability to build your e-commerce business all from one platform

Your choice will be based on what you need.

If you want to build a really successful e-commerce business, Shopify is a clear choice.

So, which platform will you use to build your e-commerce business? Let us know in the comments below.

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