There are many ecommerce platforms to choose from. With so much variety, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and lose sight of what you’re looking for. Which platform should you use? Is there a clear winner between WooCommerce vs. Shopify? This article answers those questions and more.
With the explosion of e-commerce in recent years, it’s no wonder why online shopping has become vital today. In 2021, around 2 billion people did online shopping, and by 2022 it will reach $6 trillion. These facts indicate that there is a brighter future ahead.
Online attention is at its peak. People are familiar with buying online, and around 69% of customers today have purchased at least once online. It is a perfect time for anybody interested in growing an online ecommerce business.
The booming e-commerce growth has even brought competition in the e-commerce development platforms. Today, there is an extensive list of e-commerce platforms from which you can choose any according to your budget and requirements.
But WooCommerce and Shopify are immensely popular nowadays, and entrepreneurs are confused about choosing between them. Both the platforms have an intuitive design, robust features, and a low cost of entry.
So, to make the right choice between the two top contenders, you need to do extensive research. This article will compare Shopify and WooCommerce to understand which one is the top choice for ecommerce development.
Here, we will learn:
- Major things to look for in the best ecommerce platform.
- An Overview of Shopify and WooCommerce, including pros and cons
- Detailed Comparison of WooCommerce and Shopify.
Now, Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Major Things to Look in the Best ecommerce Platform:
Budget: If you are starting, you must choose an affordable solution. Both WooCommerce and Shopify offer free versions of their software and premium options if your business requires more features.
Payment Methods: The ecommerce platform you choose must offer a wide range of payment methods, including credit cards, PayPal, and Stripe.
Ease of use: The chosen platform should be easy to use with a user-friendly interface.
Integrations: Integrating your online store with other apps and services can be a huge time saver for entrepreneurs already using various third-party tools in their business. For instance, WooCommerce and Shopify offer integrations with Facebook, MailChimp, QuickBooks Online, UberConference, and Zendesk.
Scalability: If your business suddenly experiences a massive surge in sales, you will need to make sure that the platform can handle increased traffic and order volume accordingly. Shopify offers excellent scalability with Enterprise-level features for businesses that require them, while WooCommerce is less flexible in this regard.
Ease of use: The chosen ecommerce development platform should be easy to use with a user-friendly interface.
Set up time: If your business does not have much free time, the ecommerce platform you decide on must have an intuitive setup process. Shopify and WooCommerce both have excellent setup times, especially with the help of their customer support teams.
SEO Options: If you plan to sell your products online and optimize your store for search engines like Google, the platform must offer built-in SEO options such as custom URLs or meta tags. The main SEO factors that count are your product’s page titles, keywords, description, image alt text, and site’s load speed.
WooCommerce vs. Shopify: An Overview
Before getting into the features of each platform, let’s take a look at some high-level facts about Shopify and WooCommerce.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an all-in-one ecommerce platform that was created in 2006. It allows entrepreneurs to develop their online stores without any programming knowledge. Today millions of businesses are using it.
It is a hosted solution that provides users with their own “mini-website.” You can customize your online store using pre-made templates provided by Shopify or design your pages from scratch if you have the skills required.
Top Clients- Budweiser, Nestle, RedBull, and Tesla Motors.
Pros of Shopify
- An intuitive design that entrepreneurs find easy to use without programming knowledge.
- Robust features include a wide range of payment gateways, shipping options, and built-in SEO features.
- Low cost of entry with monthly plans starting at $29/month
- Excellent customer support with a wide range of options, including phone, email, and chat.
- No transaction fees on sales made through your online store
- Ability to use the platform as a POS (Point of Sale) system with their proprietary Register app
- Sell both online and in-person with Shopify POS features
Cons of Shopify
- Limited design customization options – If you want to make significant changes to the look and feel of your store, you will need to hire a Shopify developer.
- Hosted Solution – You will need to create a new account with Shopify each time you sell online.
- No built-in Reporting Features – If you need basic sales reports, inventory management tools, or customer loyalty programs, you will have to use an external application.
- Price-Shopify’s price can be a bit high for small businesses starting.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress that was created in 2011. It allows entrepreneurs to develop their online stores using the WordPress platform. Over one million businesses are currently using WooCommerce.
WooCommerce is a self-hosted solution that requires installing it on your WordPress website. WooCommerce gives you a great deal of flexibility in design and functionality, allowing you to create a store that looks and feels unique to your business.
Top Clients- Samsung, Ford, and The Guardian.
Pros of WooCommerce
- A wide range of features, including the ability to sell digital and physical products, set up subscriptions, track inventory, and manage taxes.
- No transaction fees on sales made through your online store.
- Wide range of design customization options – if you are comfortable coding or using WordPress themes/plugins, you can create a store that looks exactly how you want.
- Excellent customer support with a wide range of options, including phone, email, and chat.
- Ability to use the platform as a POS (Point of Sale) system with their proprietary WooPOS app.
- Sell both online and in-person with WooCommerce POS features.
- Open-source and free to use.
- It is excellent for small businesses starting as it is low cost and has a wide range of features.
Cons of WooCommerce
- Requires technical knowledge to set up and manage – If you are not comfortable with coding or using WordPress themes/plugins, you will need to hire a wooCommerce developer.
- Self-hosted Solution– You will need to install WooCommerce on your website and manage updates and security yourself.
- No built-in reporting features – If you need basic sales reports, inventory management tools, or customer loyalty programs, you will have to use an external application.
- Less Popular- It is less popular than Shopify and has a less intuitive interface for entrepreneurs without programming knowledge.
WooCommerce vs. Shopify – Detailed Comparison
#1. Popularity- Kickstart Your Business With Robust Yet Popular E-Commerce Platform
Shopify and WooCommerce are both very popular, but it seems that WooCommerce is more widely used. It has had 30 million+ downloads since its inception compared to Shopify’s 14 million downloads.
As of 2021, the number of active stores using each platform looks like this:
WooCommerce- 5,000,000 million stores,
WooCommerce is popular because of its free plan and expansive list of features. Shopify has over 60,000 apps in their app store if you are looking for something specific. There’s no need to build it yourself with WooCommerce. Shopify also owns the very popular “ShipStation,” shipping software.
“WooCommerce is more popular because of its free plan and expansive list of features.”
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#2. Cost- Do You Want a Budget-Friendly E-Commerce Platform?
Shopify has three pricing plans: $29, $79, and $299/month. All of these include a free trial period. The most popular plan is the “Basic” plan at $29/month, allowing you to have up to two staff accounts and sell an unlimited number of products.
WooCommerce is available for free, but you will need a hosting plan and domain name, ranging from $60/year to hundreds of dollars per year. You also need to pay for any premium plugins or extensions that you want to use.
“Shopify is more cost-effective than WooCommerce. You can use it for free with a 14 day trial period, and you only have to pay if your business succeeds”.
#3. Performance- How Fast and Smooth Your E-Commerce Website Performs?
Both platforms are very stable. They both can handle high volumes of traffic without any problems.
Shopify has the advantage here because it is more widely used. They have their hosting platform, which means they can offer better performance than most other companies that host Woocommerce sites.
Whereas WooCommerce is a little slower because it relies on the hosting company’s performance.
“Shopify is faster and more stable because it is widely used and has its hosting platform.”
#4. Security- Is Your E-Commerce Website SSL Certified?
Shopify and WooCommerce have several security options. They both offer SSL certificates that encrypt all data sent between the site and user’s browser to keep information safe from hackers.
Shopify offers a couple of extra features that Woocommerce does not: real-time malware scanning and 2-factor authentication (it requires a code sent to your phone in addition to your username and password).
“Shopify is more secure because it offers real-time malware scanning and two-factor authentication.”
#5. Scalability- Do You Want to Expand Your Business in the Future?
Shopify is more scalable than WooCommerce. It can handle larger traffic volumes and can add new users very quickly.
WooCommerce does not offer as many features as Shopify for scalability. If your store experiences a sudden increase in traffic, you may need to upgrade your hosting plan. You will also need to upgrade your plugins or buy new ones to handle the increase in traffic.
“Shopify and WooCommerce can handle high traffic, but Shopify is more scalable.”
#6. Ease of Use- Is Your Website User-Friendly?
Shopify is much easier to use than WooCommerce. It has a very user-friendly interface, and you don’t need any coding skills to set up a store.
WooCommerce can be difficult for beginners to learn. There are many different plugins and extensions to choose from, so overwhelming. You also need to change the site’s HTML and CSS, which requires some coding knowledge.
Shopify is easier for beginners because it has a user-friendly interface, and you don’t need any coding skills to set up a store.
#7. Add ons: Integrate Additional Features For Better Performance
Shopify has a lot of add ons that you can use to improve your store. They have plugins for accounting, marketing, shipping, and many other features.
WooCommerce also has a lot of ads on but they are not as well-developed as Shopify’s. You may need to find different plugins or extensions to get the features you want for your store.
“Shopify has more well-developed add-ons than WooCommerce.”
#8. Payment Method- Provide Multiple Payment Method to Attract New Customers
Shopify has a lot of different payment methods that you can use. They have partnerships with PayPal, Stripe, and many other companies.
WooCommerce also has a lot of different payment methods, but they are not as well-developed as Shopify’s. You may need to find various plugins or extensions to get the features you want for your store.
“Shopify has more well-developed payment methods than WooCommerce. It offers better features for larger businesses”.
#9. Dropshipping- A Retail Fulfillment Method For Higher Sales
Dropshipping means that you can have products shipped directly to your customers from the manufacturer or wholesaler. This means that you do not need to keep any inventory for your store.
Shopify is a better choice for dropshipping because it has more features to make the process easier. It has an app that you can use to automate the process, and it integrates with many different shipping companies.
WooCommerce does not have as many features, and things may get confusing when trying to set up your store if you are new to dropshipping. It also doesn’t integrate with as many shipping companies as Shopify. You will also need additional plugins or extensions to work with different shipping companies.
“Shopify is better than WooCommerce when you are looking for a platform that offers dropshipping capabilities.”
#10. Support Options- Time Saving Option for Both Customers & Company
Shopify offers customer support 24/hrs a day through an online chat feature. They have email support and phone support if you prefer to talk to someone over the phone. You can also find many helpful documentation and tutorials on their website.
WooCommerce doesn’t offer as many different ways to get in touch with them for support. They do not provide any chat options, only email and phone support you can use during business hours.
“Shopify has better customer service than WooCommerce because they have more ways to contact them for help if something goes wrong with your store.”
#11. SEO Options- Do You Want to Rank on Top SERPs?
Shopify is easier to use for SEO because it has built-in features that make your store more searchable. Some of these features include:
-SEO enhancements like meta tags and sitemaps
-Analytics tools that help you see how people are finding and interacting with your store
-A built-in blog for creating content to improve SEO
-An app store where you can find apps and extensions to help with SEO.
-SEO tools like Yoast for optimizing your site.
WooCommerce doesn’t have as many SEO features. You will need to find different plugins or extensions to get the advanced SEO capabilities you want for your store. It does not integrate with any analytics platforms, so it’s hard to see how people find and interact with your store without additional tools.
“Shopify has better SEO options than WooCommerce because it offers more built-in tools and apps for improving search results on Google/Bing.”
#12. Set-Up Time- How Quickly can You Start your eCommerce Business?
It will probably take longer to create your website on WooCommerce than on Shopify because you need to find different plugins and extensions for the site to function correctly. You may also have trouble finding apps and extensions compatible with WooCommerce.
Shopify is a complete platform and offers everything you need to get your store up and running without having to search for additional plugins or extensions.
“Shopify is easier to set up than WooCommerce because it has all of the features that you need built-in, while WooCommerce requires you to find additional plugins and extensions.”
#13. Integration- Can You Integrate 3rd Party Apps with Your Site?
Shopify has more integrations than WooCommerce. You can connect your store to over 100 third-party applications, including major shipping companies like FedEx and USPS, marketing tools like MailChimp, accounting software like QuickBooks Online, and social media platforms.
WooCommerce does not have as many integrations. You can connect your store to a limited number of third-party applications, including major shipping companies like FedEx and USPS, and some marketing tools like MailChimp.
“Shopify is better for integrating different apps and services because it has more integrations than WooCommerce.”
#14. Multi-Currency Support – Target International Customers & Earn Profit
Yes, you can use different currencies on Shopify. You can set your store to accept payments in over 100 currencies, and Shopify will automatically convert the prices into your local currency.
WooCommerce does not have multi-currency support at this time. You have to make payments in one specific currency, and WooCommerce does not offer any automatic currency conversion.
“Shopify is better for multi-currency support because you can use different currencies on the platform.”
#15. Multilingual Support- How many languages do your e-store support?
Shopify supports multilingual stores for a monthly fee. You can set your store to display in multiple languages, and Shopify will automatically translate the pages into different languages based on what language is being used by visitors from that country.
WooCommerce does not have built-in support for translating content into multiple languages. If you want to create a multilingual store, you will need to find a plugin or extension that can do this for you.
“Shopify offers multilingual support for stores, while WooCommerce does not.”
Final Winner- Which is Best for your eCommerce Business, WooCommerce or Shopify?
WooCommerce vs. Shopify, which will win in 2022? It’s hard to say, but both platforms have a lot to offer businesses of all sizes. The two platforms are very different in pricing, performance, scalability, and other factors.
They have pros and cons, so it depends on what you need from the platform. Ease of use may be more important if you start, while scalability will be necessary for larger stores.
Shopify may be the best option if you are starting because it offers many features and is easier to use than WooCommerce. If you have a big store with high traffic or require extra customizations, Shopify will not work well for your business. In this case, Woocommerce would be a better option.
At last, it all boils down to your requirement. Depending on your needs, you can go with anyone you want, Shopify or WooCommerce. Both are good in their way.
For better assistance, you can always contact an eCommerce development company for guidance on which platform is better suited for your requirements. You can also ask for a free quote or estimate of how much it would cost you to develop an e-commerce store using WooCommerce or Shopify.
Q- Is Shopify Better than WooCommerce?
Ans- Yes, Shopify is a complete ecommerce platform that offers everything you need to get your store up and running without having to search for additional plugins or extensions.
Q- Which One is cheaper – WooCommerce vs. Shopify?
Ans-Both platforms have plans for as little as $29 per month, but Shopify is more comprehensive and offers additional features for marketing your ecommerce business.
Q- How much does it cost to set up a store on Shopify vs. WooCommerce?
Ans-It will probably take longer to build your website on Woocommerce because you need to find different plugins and extensions to have all of the features you need.
Q- Can I run my store on WordPress?
Ans-You can only use WooCommerce with a self-hosted WordPress website, while Shopify is an independent platform and does not require WordPress.
Q- How many languages are supported by Shopify vs. WooCommerce?
Ans-Shopify supports multiple languages, while WooCommerce does not have built-in support for translating content into various languages. You will need to find a plugin or extension that can do this for you.
Q- What are the main differences between Shopify and WooCommerce?
Ans-Shopify offers a more comprehensive platform with additional features for marketing your ecommerce business, while WooCommerce is better for digital downloads and has a wider variety of product types. WooCommerce also does not have multilingual support at this time.