The ecommerce world is booming and today’s people are now more eager than ever to start their ecommerce business and sell products online. Most of them are looking for a simple dropshipping option and many others are looking to sell their own manufactured products on retail or wholesale prices. To run an ecommerce business online, for every single one, it always comes down to this decision about which platform will provide a better use case and be affordable in the initial phase of the business.
When we as IT professionals think about running e-commerce, there are only two names that come to our mind – Shopify and WooCommerce. Most business owners evaluate these two to run their business with very few technical things required to be done. In this article, we will differentiate the form factors of Shopify vs WooCommerce platform that will help you choose the right platform according to your needs.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a turnkey ecommerce platform that allows business owners to set up and run their own e-commerce store online in just hours. To run a successful Shopify e-commerce store, you don’t need to have an experience in technical background.
There are lot many predesigned themes and default customization options offered by the Shopify platform that you can easily use such as payment processing, shipping, etc. On top of that, Shopify offers many useful features and a wide range of third-party apps that can simply integrate with your e-commerce store and operate smoothly.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is a plugin offered by WordPress that runs on a WordPress content management system (CMS) and lets you create an e-commerce website easily without much of a hassle.
Just like Shopify, most business owners prefer WooCommerce over other ecommerce platforms like Magento, Prestashop, Drupal, BigCommerce, etc. It is most popular among startups and new businesses that want to enter the online e-commerce world. WooCommerce also offers built-in features such as payment processing, shipping integration, and third-party plugins and extensions.
Shopify vs WooCommerce: Ease of Use
Shopify is an easier platform to use, hands down. With Shopify, you can create an online store in minutes without any technical knowledge or experience. Whereas, the WooCommerce platform requires some hands-on knowledge in running a WordPress site.
WooCommerce comparatively needs regular updates and maintenance of the store’s backend than Shopify. However, once you’re familiar with some features of WooCommerce, it gets as easy as Shopify to customize and maintain.
Shopify vs WooCommerce: Features
Both Shopify and WooCommerce offer a great deal of features that are useful to run a successful e-commerce business. Some of the key features that both platforms offer include built-in payment processing, shipping integration, customer service tools, apps and plugins, and technical support from a community of experts.
Winner: Shopify and WooCommerce
Shopify vs WooCommerce: Apps & Plugins
Shopify has an app marketplace called Shopify App Store that has over 4500 their own and third-party apps available to install on your store. WooCommerce also has its own plugin marketplace that has more than 50,000 free and paid third-party plugins.
However, because WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, it also has access to the thousands of plugins that are available for WordPress. This gives WooCommerce a little advantage over Shopify when it comes to apps and plugins.
Shopify vs WooCommerce: Customization
WooCommerce is an open-source platform, which means that you have unlimited customization options. Shopify, on the other hand, is not open-sourced, which means that you are limited in terms of code customization. But you can use many good 3rd-party Shopify apps or hire a Shopify expert that will let you customize the store and also take control of your Shopify store access. If you are looking for a platform that you can fully customize to match your brand, then both Shopify and WooCommerce are good choices.
Winner: WooCommerce and Shopify
Shopify vs WooCommerce: Available Themes
Shopify has over 60 themes to choose from, while WooCommerce has over 300 themes to choose from. However, because WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, it also has access to the thousands of WordPress themes that are available.
Shopify vs WooCommerce: SEO & Marketing
Shopify and WooCommerce are both great platforms for SEO and marketing. However, Shopify has a few default unique features that WooCommerce doesn’t offer. For example, Shopify offers built-in product reviews, automatic sitemaps, and automatic redirects. WooCommerce does not offer these features out of the box, but there are plugins that you can install to add these features.
Shopify vs WooCommerce: For B2B+B2C Store
If you are looking to run a combined B2B + B2C WooCommerce or a Shopify wholesale store, then Shopify is the better platform. Shopify offers features such as inventory management, wholesale pricing, and bulk discounts. WooCommerce does not offer these features out of the box, but there are plugins that you can install to add these features.
Shopify vs WooCommerce: Technical Support
Both Shopify and WooCommerce offer excellent technical support and help center resources such as support articles, user guides, how-to guides, etc. Also, both e-commerce platforms offer a community experience where questions are asked by store owners and answered by the experts or the e-commerce platform partners. People can also discuss apps and plugins in these communities.
Winner: Shopify and WooCommerce
Shopify vs WooCommerce: Pricing
Shopify and WooCommerce both have different pricing structures. Shopify is a subscription-based platform with three different tiers – Basic, Shopify and Advanced. The cost of these plans ranges from $29-$299 per month. However, WooCommerce is a free platform. But to enable the basic features and successfully run a WooCommerce store, you’ll need to buy the WordPress hosting package, a domain name and other required 3rd-party plugins and services.
Winner: Shopify and WooCommerce
The Conclusion: Which platform is right for you?
Shopify and WooCommerce are both great platforms with their own pros and cons. It really depends on your needs as an online store owner as to which platform is the best for you. If you need an easy-to-use platform with no prior experience, then Shopify is the best choice. However, if you are looking for a more affordable option with access to thousands of plugins and themes, then WooCommerce is the best choice for you.