WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which is the Best eCommerce Platform?

November 21, 2020 - 3:00 pm - Post by Zignuts

As a business owner, Trying to choose between WooCommerce vs Shopify to start an online store? Selecting the best eCommerce platform that meets your business needs & goals is crucial for achieving success.

WooCommerce and Shopify are two powerful eCommerce platforms in the world. Both platforms have their merits & demerits, which makes it a critical decision for the business owners. 

In this guide, we will help you to decide the right eCommerce platform solution for your online store. 

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce plugin that works with WordPress. You can customize your store as per your needs and it enables you to leverage the most robust and scalable content management system (CMS) and quickly build custom extensions.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is one platform with all-in-one-package that makes it easy for you to create and publish your own online store, accept payment, and manage inventory entirely through Shopify without worrying about technical aspects.

What should you look for in an eCommerce platform?

While selecting the best suitable eCommerce platform for your online store, there are a few things you need to think about like your budget, your own technical skill, & your future business expansion plan. 

Once you’ve got the idea, you need to look out for the right feature in your eCommerce platform. There are some essential key factors that will help you decide which platform is best suited for your business goals. 

Ease of Use: WooCommerce vs Shopify 

This is an essential factor that needs to consider comparing Woocommere & Shopify because people who start online stores are not technically sound & web designers/developers. Users also want an online store that is easy to use & operate. 

Let’s see, which eCommerce platform is user friendly & easier to use?

Ease of Use – WooCommerce 

WooCommerce is an open-source self-hosted platform. This means you will need to set up hosting, connect your SSL certificate, install WordPress, and tweak the setting, install WooCommerce, install theme and plugins, manage updates, keep backups, and secure.

 

WooCommerce is more flexible in customizations than Shopify. You have overall control of the whole online store. You can manage any functionality to your website with the help of more than 55,000+ WordPress plugins.

One of the demerits of WooCommerce is that it requires more hands to manage the website. You also need to integrate payment options like Stripe/PayPal

Ease of Use – Shopify 

Shopify is a fully hosted eCommerce platform and it’s very useful because you don’t need to worry about the technical side of running a store like installation, manage, domain name, update any software, hosting to any security (SSL) certificates, performance, backups, and compatibility issues. 

With Shopify Basically, you need to do is,

  • Create a Shopify account
  • Select and Purchase a domain or sync an existing domain name
  • Choose your theme

 

After that, It assists you to pick a design according to your need for the website. After that, Shopify designs a dashboard to help customize and then help you add products, change product’s price, name & description as well as an image of the product.

Shopify has an intuitive drag and drop interface and also helps widgets to guides for editing and personalizing stores. 

One of the demerits of Shopify is that you only can use the design & development tools given by Shopify or add-ons accessible in their marketplace. 

Winner: Shopify

Budget: WooCommerce vs Shopify 

The cost is one of the important factors for business owners before launching their online store. You need to estimate the variable cost for add-on services and software. So how much does WooCommerce or Shopify cost?

Cost to Run a Wocommerce Store

With Woocommerce online store, You have to download the WooCommerce plugin which is open-source and freely available as a WordPress plugin. 

The next thing you will need to start a WooCommerce store is a domain name, SSL Certificate, and WordPress hosting account. 

The cost of launching a basic WooCommerce store is lower than Shopify. Once you have selected the theme, you need to choose WooCommerce add-ons & Plugins. WooCommerce also doesn’t charge you a fee for your transactions like Shopify. 

But the cost might start adding up as you need a bigger hosting plan and purchase paid addons and plugins. 

However, definitely WooCommerce is the winner when it comes to cost because there are a number of alternatives to paid extensions that help you in controlling cost.

Cost to Run a Shopify Store

With Shopify online store, You wouldn’t have to worry about web hosting, domain name, SSL certificate, themes, or plugins because each of these is included in your pricing plan.

 

However, You can see the pricing doesn’t include add-ons and other third-party tools, While growing up your business you might need to shift from the basic Shopify plan to the Advanced Shopify plan to take your Shopify store to the next level which is a bit costly for most users. 

Additionally, Shopify will charge more for third-party payment gateways or your own merchant account, which is a flat fee of 2.0% for all transactions. You can reduce this fee to 0.5% by purchasing the Shopify Advanced plan which costs $299 per month.

Winner: WooCommerce 

Payment Methods: WooCommerce vs Shopify 

For online stores, payment gateways options are an important part of both WooCommerce and Shopify Platforms when customers pay Because payment gateways should be suitable for both owners as well as customers.  

Let’s have a look at both eCommerce platforms which are the best suitable for multiple payment options. 

Payment Options in WooCommerce 

 

WooCommerce offers free PayPal & Stripe extensions by default while it also supports other solutions like Authorize.Net, Amazon Payments, or Braintree. Plus point is that WooCommers allows any payment company add-ons to integrate and provide support for it.

As a self-hosted platform,  Bank charges, and charges by your payment gateway will apply. WooCommerce never charges you a % fee on your store transactions which is a major plus.

Payment Options in Shopify

Shopify gives lots of payment options like third-party payment gateways, such as PayPal, Amazon Payments, and native Shopify payments powered by Stripe that you can use to receive payments. 

Shopify charges an extra 2% per transaction if you use a third-party payment gateway. This is on the peak of transaction fees charged by the payment gateway. It can be reduced by upgrading Advanced Shopify plan 0.5% fee per transaction by paying $299 per month.

If choosing your own merchant account and using a third-party gateway is important for you, then you will save A LOT of money by using WooCommerce. But if you’re a small store and willing to use Shopify Payments which has the same credit card rates as Stripe / Paypal, then it makes no difference.

Winner: Tie between both

Integrations and Add-ons: WooCommerce vs Shopify 

Every eCommerce needs to integrate something from an app store. No matter how strong an eCommerce platform is, you wouldn’t get everything in Both Shopify and WooCommerce. 

You require to integrate many third-party service tools to improve your business and online store services like lead generation tool, email marketing tool, analytics tools, outreach services, etc.

WooCommerce’s Integration and Add-ons

WooCommerce is open-source and developed on WordPress. There are many free WordPress plugins which are more than 55,000 and many paid plugins.

You can use these add-ons for marketing automation (MailChimp, Conversio, Klaviyo, Drip), add payment gateways, lead generation tools, SEO, performance optimization, and almost any feature that you can imagine. 

WooCommerce allows any third-party service provider company to create their own plugins and integrate with WooCommerce stores. so there are a number of plugins and integration available more than Shopify. 

You can create plugin & integration as per your online store needs through the help of WordPress developers because it’s a lot easier to customize. The process of submitting a plugin for WordPress is more favorable than submitting an app to the Shopify store. 

Shopify’s Integrations and Add-ons

Shopify has a great API and an App Store where you can buy third-party plugins for the Shopify store. They have a number of apps in the store including every feature you’ll want to add to your online store.

They have integration software for lead generation like OptinMonster that helps you expand your email list and decrease cart abandonment. 

Shopify offers both paid apps & free apps, where charges for paid add-ons are based on monthly subscriptions. Free apps are created by third-party companies that have their own charges, and the app only integrates your store to their APIs. 

Winner: WooCommerce

Scalability and Growth: WooCommerce vs Shopify 

This is most important that you must think of while choosing an eCommerce solution because the eCommerce platform must be able to grow and scale with your business. 

As your eCommerce business grows you will need more resources to handle large amounts of traffic and orders. Let’s look at which eComm platform has more capacity to handle the scalability of a business. 

Scalability on WooCommerce 

WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform that makes you liable for managing updates, backups, and security of your website.

The best part is that you have lots of alternatives to maintain growth as you are in full control of your website. Beginning with greater control of resources with caching to upgrading your hosting plan to more robust servers.

Your WooCommerce hosting costs will rise, but you will have greater control of resources, and you can make sure that you are not spending on means that you don’t want. You can use WordPress hosting providers like WP Engine or LiquidWeb to help grow your WooCommerce store. Some business owners only prefer a trouble-free solution Despite control that WooCommerce offers.

Scalability on Shopify

Shopify handles the technical stuff of your store including web hosting, backups, updates, security so you don’t ever have to worry about performance and scalability. 

Once your business starts expanding, you can just switch to an advanced Shopify plan, which also adds to your cost of business. Your costs will increase, and you’ll have to plan accordingly.

The great part is that you don’t need to hire/manage a tech team or hosting provider so you actually end up saving money too. 

Winner: WooCommerce 

SEO: WooCommerce vs Shopify 

When shoppers type in words related to your product, you want them to find you. SEO is the most important factor that all online store owners need to keep updating. 

How WooCommerce helps with SEO

WordPress is originally a content creation platform, and it’s renowned by SEO experts as one of the secure options available. It’s simple to add and update content and meta information to assure that pages have a powerful possibility of ranking for particular keywords.

With plugins like Yoast, you can make your WordPress site extremely optimized and be in control of every small detail that’s related to SEO.

In the end, WooCommerce provides you numerous SEO-specific alternatives overall, completely because of the truth that it’s built on top of WordPress.

How Shopify helps with SEO

Shopify comes second when we look at the overall SEO features available. It also handles basic SEO practices like meta information and site copy with ease.

Shopify also offers great SEO functionality, but I would like to bring two points that you should consider:

Rich snippets: These metadata enable search engines to better understand the content of pages and provide appropriate rankings in the SERP. Rich snippets carry information like product availability, manufacturer, feedback from customers. To isolate this information in Shopify, you require applications or dive into the code.

The URLs of pages: Shopify does not permit you to easily customize store level page URLs. For the blog, it is compulsory to display the folder as/blog/news/, which is not a great structure for SEO optimization. For regular content pages, Shopify requires /pages/ in the URL.

Winner: WooCommerce 

WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which is the Best eCommerce Platform?

WooCommerce and Shopify are both robust platforms to launch your eCommerce online store. It really comes down to your individual abilities, skills, and decisions.

Shopify doesn’t need you to install anything, and you can get started instantly. Setting up payments is hassle-free, and they have clear understandable pricing plans. The downside of Shopify is all about full control, that you don’t have full control over everything. Your costs can increase with transaction fees, plugins, and integrations. Your upgrade choices are confined to select plans, and you cannot maintain expenses on a pay-as-you-grow basis.

WooCommerce is an open-source and gives you the full power to control your website. It is more inexpensive to start an online store with WooCommerce especially with Zignust Technolab. The downside is that you’ll have to manage the software. It comes with a bit of a learning curve. However, millions of newcomers are already using it, and they get over the learning immediately.

If you are searching for a cost-effective eCommerce solution, and you want to have the full power to control your eCommerce online store, then WooCommerce is the most favorable platform for you.

If you want eCommerce that’s completely trouble-free that has immense scalability, then Shopify is the most favorable for you.