Shopify vs. Woo-commerce – Which is a Better Platform for Your E commerce Store?

Starting an online store is not an easy task. The first thing you need as the foundation of your online store is the right hosting platform. There are plenty of feature-rich platforms available for the eCommerce. All of these platforms have their strengths set. But the two most recognized platforms are Woo Commerce and Shopify!


To put it in simple words, both of these platforms are the most accessible platforms available on the market. While both of these have their advantages and disadvantages, they are indeed, a perfect solution to establish your eCommerce store. The good part is that you can perform every step, on your own, and without the assistance of a professional developer or a designer.

In this post, we will compare the different features of both of these platforms. This post will help you in determining which eCommerce platform is the right choice for your online business.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – A Brief Overview


As stated earlier, both of these platforms are trouble-free to use, even if you are a beginner. So let's have a brief look at various aspects of each of these platforms:


This platform offers an open source plugin which is built on WordPress. When you use WooCommerce to run your eCommerce store, you get an opportunity to use the most potent and reliable content management system – CMS. In WooCommerce, you work in an open-source nature. It lets you customize all the different aspect of the store. You can also develop custom extensions to improve the functionality of your store.


Shopify is recognized as an all-in-one platform for your eCommerce store. It lets you create a secure online store, manage your store inventory, and accept payments. You can do all of this from a single platform. You can efficiently manage your website without worrying about any technical aspect such as caching, hosting, security, etc.

How To Choose Between Shopify And WooCommerce?


Well, which platform works best for you, depends on your specific needs and technical skill set. But there are a few factors that you must always keep in mind while choosing the platform, and before starting your online store.

All of these factors will not only ensure better user experience, but they will also improve your conversion rates. Here are the top five elements that will help you make the right choice.

  • cost of starting an efficient and fully functional e-commerce store
  • level of easiness that comes with each platform, considering beginners
  • multiple payment methods offered by each platform such as Stripe, PayPal, etc
  • check
    number of third-party tools and services that can be integrated for business growth
  • check
    scalability of the platform as your store grows

These are the essential components of an eCommerce platform. In this guide, we will discuss both Shopify and WooCommerce in the context of these five primary factors.

So, let's get started!


Shopify vs. WooCommerce - the cost


Cost is the foremost consideration in choosing the platform to establish your online store. There are two types of cost that you must keep in mind. First is the cost of availing the right to use and second is the variable cost that comes as add-on services or extensions.

The price of Shopify is straightforward. Their basic plan costs almost $29/month. But you can upgrade the plan in just $79, or you may get a more advanced plan in $299/month.

The platform of Shopify is about delivering out-of-the-box, efficient and single platform. It offers a just a few packages. All you need is to sign up and start using the shiny new eCommerce store straight away. Not to mention, everything you want is already offered on this platform from the get-go.

Each of the Shopify plans offers domain name, web hosting, and SSL certificate. You can quickly start your store by purchasing a basic plan. It provides enough features such as two user accounts, unlimited products, and unlimited file storage, etc.

WooCommerce


Since WooCommerce is an open source plugin, it is free. But you will have to incur the additional cost which is associated with establishing an online business. While WordPress is free, you may need to pay the price of hosting, a domain name, a theme and any other extension along with SSL certificate.

Typically, the cost of SSL certificate is $69.99, domain name $14.99, and web hosting $7.99/month. This cost is relatively a low price that you can pay to start an online store which means that even though, WooCommerce is free to use, running a proper eCommerce store will still cost same as Shopify or even less.

Last but not the least, you will have to pay a transaction fee (regardless of the platform you go with). Whenever there is a transaction, they charge you a small fee regarding transferring money to your account or for processing your payment.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – the level of easiness

Not everyone who starts an online store is a professional developer or a web designer. But even in that case, you need a platform that must be easy to use.




The biggest strength of Shopify is that it is a subscription-based online tool. It means, all you need to do is to visit the website, click on the signup button, run the basic setup wizard and it's done!


Shopify makes things easier by knowing the type of store you wish to develop. Using this information, it provides expert opinion about which structure/design to go with and how you can set up everything else. You don't need to install, update or manage this software on your own. By using the user-friendly interface, you can quickly start designing your online store, immediately after signing up.


You use the various customization features and add the features and products of your choice. The drag and drop interface helps you manage the inventory and sales. There are many add-ons available in the market which you can use to optimize the design and overall user experience.

WooCommerce is also a secure platform to use, but there is a catch. Even though you may find it simple to work with on a regular basis, the setting up of the store is not secure.

Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce is not a subscription-based solution. Hence, you must handle a few things before you start to work with this plugin. Mainly this may include managing updates, keeping backups, and ensuring the security of your online store. But you can always automate these tasks by using plenty of paid as well as free plugins available out there.

Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce is not a subscription-based solution. Hence, you must handle a few things before you start to work with this plugin. Mainly this may include managing updates, keeping backups, and ensuring the security of your online store. But you can always automate these tasks by using plenty of paid as well as free plugins available out there.
However, WooCommerce offers flexible customization. It has more than 50000 WordPress plugins to add functionality to your website. But you may not get a built it (drag & drop) design-builder.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – multiple payment options


Both of the platforms boast an extensive list of payment gateways. Hence, you may not notice the difference unless there is a niche situation.


This platform provides plenty of payment gateways to receive customer payments. It also offers its payment gateway known as Shopify payments – powered by Stripe - in addition to other third-party gateways.

However, you may need to pay an additional cost of 2% fees on every transaction that is made through an external payment gateway. This fee is on top of the payment gateway fee which is charged against every transaction of your online store. If you want to cut down this fee to 0.5%, you can avail the Advanced Shopify plan in $299.

Shopify provides support for all prominent payment gateways such as;

  • Authorize.Net
  • PayPal
  • Stripe

Not to be outdone, the platform also boasts its extensive list of various local payment gateways.


By default, WooCommerce offers PayPal and Stripe payment gateways. Also, you can use various add-ons to get access to other popular payment gateways. In fact, you can also avail some local and less famous payment option as almost every payment company has developed an add-on for WooCommerce.

With WooCommerce, you don't pay any additional fee regarding store transaction. This is a plus you get with WooCommerce only. However, you will be charged basic transaction fee by your bank or payment gateway.

Being a large community of plugin and open nature, you can avail hundreds of WooCommerce payment gateways. The most popular gateways include:

  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • Square
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    Authorize.Net
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    Przelewy24 – polish gateway
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    Postgiro – Swedish gateway

The chances are that you may not be familiar with many payment gateways offered by WooCommerce, but that's the point! WooCommerce provides you countless options of payment gateways both regional and globally popular.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – integration, and add-ons


Regardless of how robust a platform is, there is always a need for third-party services and tools. This is to grow the online store. For instance, a lead generation tool, an email marketing software, outreach services, analytics tools, etc.

This platform offers a robust API and a great App store where you can quickly get 3rd party add-ons. Here you can get countless apps, covering all features you would need to run your store. For lead generation, it offers integration with various software. It offers apps for product reviews, SEO, countdowns, discounts and more. It provides both free and paid apps.

WooCommerce


This platform is built on top of WordPress. It offers easy access to thousands of paid and free WordPress plugins. These add-ons can be used to add lead generation, payment gateways, performance optimization, SEO and any other feature you would like.

In comparison to Shopify, WooCommerce offers more add-ons, thanks to low barrier entry. Almost all service providers and third-party tools offer their plugins to integrate with a WooCommerce store smoothly. Since WooCommerce is more comfortable to customize, the process of submitting an add-on is much more natural for WooCommerce than Shopify.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – growth, and scalability


While both of these platforms are good to handle heavy traffic and many orders, they may not be created equal.


This platform tends to handle all the technical aspects of your store such as security, performance, and scalability. When you choose Shopify, you don't need to worry about backups, downtime, security, and updates. You can also get enterprise services through Shopify Plus plan.

While you may have to bear the cost of change of plan, this will save you the cost of hiring an entire technical team


With WooCommerce (self-hosted platform) you will have to manage the backups, updates, and security on your own. When the traffic on your website increases, you may run out of resources. But as you get complete control over your site, you can avail multiple options to manage your business growth.

While some owners prefer complete control over the purchase resources, others demand more hassle-free solution than the scalability of WooCommerce.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce: Which is the right choice?


Nobody can declare one of these platforms as the right choice since both offer unique functionality and support.

Reasons to choose WooCommerce


This platform offers excellent control and flexibility. But you may not need this flexibility if you run a small online store with limited products. In the case you run a big online store with lots of variations, pricing structures or checkout process, your best bet is to go with WooCommerce.

Another reason is that if you are familiar with WordPress, and you also like the support and plugin ecosystem of WordPress, it's better to go with the WooCommerce solution.

Reasons to choose Shopify


If you are a beginner-friendly and own a simple store, Shopify is your best choice. As long as you are selling a pure product, with no common variations, Shopify is a recommended option.

Moreover, if you don't have enough time for store maintenance or if you lack technical skills then you have another reason to choose Shopify over WooCommerce.

What do you think?

By now you must have got the basic understanding of both of these platforms. So what do you think is the best platform? Are you switching from one platform to another? Let us know what you have to say by commenting in the comment section below!


August 31, 2018

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