Are you having difficulty choosing between WooCommerce and Shopify? Don’t worry, I have got your back.
Shopify and WooCommerce are two big names in the eCommerce industry. Shopify is currently catering to more than 1.2 million shop owners in 175 regions, whereas WooCommerce is helping around 1 million shop owners grow their business.
Shopify offers simple and easy-to-use eCommerce features for any type of seller. If you want more SEO-specific options, WooCommerce is the best option available. However, this is not the only difference.
In this post, I have done a side-by-side comparison between WooCommerce and Shopify, covering all the important aspects so you can decide which option is best for you.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- WooCommerce vs Shopify: Ease of Use
- WooCommerce vs Shopify: Pricing Comparison
- Who offers the Best Features?
- Who Offers More Customization Options?
- Which Platform is Best for Dropshipping?
- Which One Offers Better Inventory Management Tools?
- WooCommerce vs Shopify: Customer Support
- Which Platform Offers the Best Marketing Solutions?
- Who Offers more third-party Integrations?
- WooCommerce vs Shopify: Payment Options and Transaction Fees
- Final Verdict: Which One to Choose?
WooCommerce vs Shopify: Ease of Use
While using an eCommerce platform, a simple UI and UX leave a positive impact on the customers. Let’s see which one is more user-friendly?
WooCommerce is a customizable open-source plugin for WordPress designed to be used by small to large-sized merchants. But it can be a little hard for those who are not into technical stuff. In order to create an eCommerce store on WooCommerce, you need to follow a few steps:
- You must sign up for a new WooCommerce account in the same existing WordPress account.
- Select a plan to host your domain. You can select from your favorite hosting providers such as WP Engine, BlueHost, Kinsta, etc.
- Purchase your domain name and complete the registration process.
- Select a suitable theme to give a design to your store. WooCommerce offers a variety of free and paid themes. You can also customize it according to your needs.
- You can add additional functionalities such as the shipping process, payment gateways, and membership features. But for each additional plugin, you need to pay extra charges.
On the other hand, Shopify is a user-friendly platform. From beginners to professional merchants can easily use all its features without any technical knowledge. It also offers a 14-day free trial, so you can create your store and try its features. You can create your online store by following a few steps:
- Enter your email address and store to create your Shopify store.
- Design your store with a customizable theme. You can find thousands of free and paid themes to choose from. You can customize a beautiful theme according to your niche and requirements.
- Add product(s) to your storefront for selling. You can add products manually or import them via CSV file (if you have more than five types of products to sell).
- Add product descriptions and authentic images of that particular product.
- You can add the necessary plugins (such as payment gateways, sales estimator, competitor analytics, etc.) from the Shopify app store. You can find both free and paid plugins from the app store. After adding crucial plugins, your store is ready to be launched.
- If you want to market or promote your products, you can also find hundreds of marketing apps from the Shopify app store.
Verdict: After comparing all the elements, Shopify clearly wins the round. You don’t need any sort of technical knowledge to operate the Shopify platform as you need for WooCommerce. You can configure your Shopify store within 30 mins.
WooCommerce vs Shopify: Pricing Comparison
Pricing plays an important factor in making customers decide which platform is affordable. However, every platform has its own pricing plan for giving a platform to sell. Similarly, let’s compare both platforms from their pricing aspects.
In order to create an online store on WooCommerce, you need to go through a multistep process where you’ll meet different types of pricing structures.
- While creating your store on WooCommerce, you’ll need to select a hosting plan which ranges from $4 to $5000, according to your business size and requirements.
- After purchasing a hosting plan, you need to buy a domain for the website, which costs around $15/year.
- Next, you customize your store with free or paid themes. The paid theme prices range between $35 to $150.
- If you start with WooCommerce free plan, you may still have to pay $10-$20 for essential functions. A fully-fledged WooCommerce store costs around $1000 for all advanced functionalities.
- Apart from all charges, you might have to pay for a few necessary plugins, such as payment gateways and shipping extensions.
On the other hand, Shopify offers subscription-based plans that can be chosen according to sellers’ requirements. Unlike WooCommerce, Shopify includes all the necessary features (such as payment gateways, shipping support, standard reports, etc.) you need to run an online store. Currently, Shopify offers five different plans to their customers.
- Basic – $29/month (best for beginners)
- Shopify – $79/month (best for growing small businesses)
- Advanced – $299/month (best for professional sellers and established businesses)
- Shopify Lite – $9/month (includes basic features, suitable plan if you have an existing website)
- Shopify Plus – $2000/month (tailored plan for high-end brands)
Verdict: In this section, WooCommerce is the winner. The reason is that you have to pay for what you need while building your online store. With Shopify, you pay a straight subscription fee, and advanced hosting plans are a bit expensive.
Who offers the Best Features?
Providing the best features is the top priority of a hosting platform. Well, it is also necessary while creating an online store. Let’s compare which one offers the best features.
If you want fully customized features for your stores, WooCommerce is the best choice. You can find tons of free and paid customizable themes to give an aesthetic look to your store. You can also find some cool features such as discount coupons, displaying relevant products, and recently viewed pages to the customers. If you want to make your store fully featured, you can add some advanced features like a language translator, product add-ons, WooCommerce bookings, currency converter, and many more. There’s no limit to adding products to your listings, making it suitable for beginners and professionals.
Talking about Shopify, even the basic plan has a lot of built-in features that are enough to run an eCommerce store. You can find the necessary features such as unlimited products, multiple user access, unlimited contact leads, 256-bit SSL encryption, 24/7 support, and many more. Talking about the eCommerce features, Shopify is two steps ahead of WooCommerce by offering abandoned cart recovery, POS application, order history analytics, discount offers, search engine optimization, and many others. Shopify also offers lightning-fast page loading speed on both mobile and web versions.
Verdict: Shopify easily wins the round by offering a plethora of standard and advanced features with the subscriptions.
Who Offers More Customization Options?
Customization is the most critical part of building an online store. If you have fewer customization options, you won’t be able to build your eCommerce store as expected. Let’s see what WooCommerce and Shopify offer for customization.
WooCommerce all features are built for in-depth customization. As I already mentioned above, you pay for what you need on the WooCommerce platform and whatever you purchase is fully customizable. You can professionally customize themes, landscape and portrait views, the layout of the items you list, checkout page, phone view, and many others. You can also install advanced plugins for store customization, such as Elementor and WooBuilder.
On the other hand, Shopify offers fewer customization options. Even if you have to customize a theme for your store, you need to go through multiple procedures. Popular Shopify store owners recommend not to go through too much customization because it can cause you several complications such as low page loading speed, or you might face difficulty launching updates and ad campaigns.
Verdict: WooCommerce wins the round by offering more customization capabilities for store building and selling products.
Which Platform is Best for Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a popular business model where you can start an online store without much effort and investment. In this model, you don’t have to worry about inventory or shipping. You find drop-shippers who maintain your inventory, and when someone places an order, they ship the product directly to the customer’s doorstep. Let’s see who offers the best dropshipping program.
WooCommerce offers 10+ different dropshipping plugins for users. You can add an extension for dropshipping and import multiple products to your store. You can use the browser extension for free. However, you need to pay $10 monthly to host your website with WooCommerce dropshipping. Compared to other platforms, WooCommerce offers sellers a much more affordable drop shipping plan.
Shopify offers a dropshipping platform with every subscription. You just need to add a dropshipping plugin to your store which helps you import products from the drop shippers. You can start dropshipping even with a basic plan which starts at $29/month.
Both platforms also integrate with a number of Print-on-demand partners such as Printful, TeeLaunch, Art of Where, Custom Cat, and many more.
Verdict: WooCommerce can be an excellent option for dropshipping to go with if you are low on budget.
Which One Offers Better Inventory Management Tools?
Inventory management is one of the most important things that every online shop owner needs to take care of. That’s why they should consider inventory management tools when choosing between WooCommerce and Shopify.
WooCommerce offers amazing flexibility when it comes to managing inventory. You can easily create inventory reports and change the attributes of any product. There is no restriction on creating & managing different variables of products. However, you will still need the help of third-party plugins to bring out the best in your WooCommerce store.
Shopify gives you complete control over its inventory tracking system, just like WooCommerce. It also allows you to automate purchase orders, track stock, access the stock alerts, create revenue reports, and so on. You can also import CSV files to add the data of stock and customers into the system. You can also find multiple inventory management apps in the Shopify store app to run your business more smoothly.
Verdict: Both WooCommerce and Shopify offer similar inventory management tools.
WooCommerce vs Shopify: Customer Support
Having reliable customer support leaves a significant impact on customers. Let’s see who offers more dedicated customer services.
WooCommerce offers solutions to customers’ technical issues through blogs, forums, and communities. If you have queries related to store customization or product listings, you can get your problems solved through email and live chat.
Shopify offers 24/7 customer support through email, live chat, tickets, and phone. You can also join social media groups and communities to get your problems solved by e-commerce experts.
Verdict: Shopify offers a variety of customer support for web and mobile users, so they win the round.
Which Platform Offers the Best Marketing Solutions?
Marketing is a game-changing element for any e-commerce business. Let’s see what both platforms have for you.
WooCommerce offers over 160 extensions regarding different marketing solutions. You can add multiple marketing extensions for advertising, promotions, automation, CRM, email, social, SEO, etc.
On the other hand, Shopify is more concerned with the marketing field, which is why they offer more than 1500 plugins and apps for different types of marketing. If you search thoroughly in the Shopify app store, you can find every type of marketing app for your online store.
Verdict: Both platforms offer advanced marketing solutions, but Shopify gives an advantage to users by offering a much broader selection of marketing apps and plugins.
Who Offers more third-party Integrations?
Integration is a much-needed component that should be included with any type of eCommerce hosting platform. Without third-party integrations, it is impossible to scale an eCommerce business to its potential. Let’s see who is more resourceful with their integration.
WooCommerce offers 750+ third-party apps to integrate with an eCommerce store. What makes it better than other platforms is that it offers most of the extensions to be integrated for free.
Compared to any hosting platform, Shopify offers the most number of third-party apps for integration. It offers around 7300 third-party apps, in which 60% of apps are free for integration while others are paid. You can find many easy-to-use apps to automate your workflow in your store.
Verdict: Both platforms offer a vast number of third-party apps that integrate directly with their e-commerce store. Shopify wins the round by the numbers, but WooCommerce offers you significant modification and customization with their third-party apps.
WooCommerce vs Shopify: Payment Options and Transaction Fees
Offering a number of payment gateways gives flexibility to both shoppers and merchants. Let’s see who offers the most number of payment processors.
WooCommerce offers many options for payment processing, such as PayPal, Stripe, Square, Amazon Pay, AfterPay, etc., along with a built-in payment gateway. They charge 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction for US-based credit cards as a payment processing fee. If you’re using cards from outside the US, you will need to pay an additional 1% with the primary transaction fee.
Shopify also offers a wide range of payment processor apps such as PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Pay, WorldPay, Apple Pay, Facebook Pay, etc. Shopify also offers an in-house payment gateway that charges 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. You will charge an additional 2% for using other payment gateways.
Verdict: This round is a tie. Both WooCommerce and Shopify offer the same number of payment gateways, and the transaction fee is also the same.
Final Verdict: Which One to Choose?
So, this is my head-to-head comparison between two well-known big names, WooCommerce and Shopify. I have tried to cover all the crucial aspects for the comparison. Both offer a great platform to start a fully-fledged online store. However, the platforms don’t target the same customers.
If you just want to create a simple online store, Shopify is your way to go. You will get all the necessary features along with any subscription plan. And if you’re into technical stuff and have creative business ideas, WooCommerce is the best option to choose. It offers more customization capabilities, and you pay for what you need. So it is up to you to decide which one to go with.