WooCommerce vs Shopify. They’re the two biggest e-commerce content management systems. The former has over 4 million active installations, while the latter powers over 800k online stores. They both have their pros and cons, but which one is right for you?
Shopify is a great platform. It offers a wide range of templates and its customer support is fantastic. You pay a monthly cost ranging from $29 for Shopify basic all the way to $299 for their advanced offering.
WooCommerce is a free e-commerce plugin that turns any WordPress website into an online store. It is widely customisable as it’s built on an open-source platform but requires more set up during the development phase.
Shopify – Pros
Shopify is a hosted solution
They provide 24/7 support
They have an app store
Analytics is built-in
WooCommerce – Pros
WooCommerce is open source. Unlike Shopify, it’s not a closed platform
Full code access. Change anything without limitations
There’s a huge range of free and premium plugins to expand the functionality WooCommerce is built on the worlds biggest and best content management system
There is no denying that Shopify is easier to get started with. As it is a closed platform, it’s easier to get to grips with. With WooCommerce, the learning curve is steeper however a wide range of themes still ensures that no coding knowledge is needed.
Shopify includes hosting as part of their packages. With WooCommerce, you’ll need to source your own hosting provider and get things up and running, however, that’s not difficult to do with one click installations offered by most hosting providers.
Shopify is the clear winner here. Getting your e-commerce store up and running is certainly quicker with Shopify. With WooCommerce, there’s more of a process with installing and configuring your theme however this can all be done within the WordPress dashboard.
When it comes to design options. WordPress/WooCommerce wins the battle. Whilst Shopify offers over 100 themes for you to choose from, WordPress/WooCommerce offers thousands upon thousands.
This is down to being an open-source platform which means anyone can contribute to the code. In turn, this means there are thousands of developers all creating their own themes for you to use.
Both Shopify and WooCommerce have costs involved, however, both offer a selection of free themes. Shopify’s premium themes start from around $140. A premium e-commerce theme for WordPress normally retails for $59 and because it’s open-source, there are various digital marketplaces that sell these themes.
Plugins and added functionality
The chances are, at some stage, you are going to want to customise your theme and add increased functionality. From cart abandonment to custom pricing modules, the options are endless, but Shopify is a closed platform which means the selection of added features are much smaller than what you will find for WooCommerce.
If you want to future proof yourself in terms of what can and can’t be added, then WooCommerce comes out on top. Think of it as the app store for your Apple phone. There’s literally an app for everything. The same applies to WooCommerce. Pretty much anything you think of, there is a plugin to achieve the functionality you’re looking for.
Unfortunately, both platforms are going to incur transaction fees on every sale made. The percentage you pay with Shopify will be based on what plan you’re signed up to. The charges are very similar between the two e-commerce platforms but it’s not as clear cut. Let’s dig deeper.
The charges you pay with Shopify depend on what plan you have and what payment gateways you offer your customers.
Using Shopify’s own payment gateway vs Stripe (The most used on WooCommerce) the charges are virtually the same.
However, when you start to add in external payment gateways such as PayPal, Amazon Pay or Klarna, Shopify will charge you additional fees between 0.5% and 2%.
With WooCommerce, there are no additional transaction fees. WooCommerce is the clear winner here.
Shopify’s customer support is far superior to what you will find with any open-source platform. They provide 24/7 support over the phone, live chat and via email.
For WooCommerce you can submit support tickets but there is no phone or live chat support. However, as WooCommerce is a plugin on WordPress which is the worlds most used open-source content management system, there are huge communities from which you can get support from.
Shopify has a first-class checkout experience. It’s more pleasing on the eye and is the same design used in all premium themes.
WooCommerce, unfortunately, uses an outdated checkout design but it is possible to get the Shopify checkout page in WooCommerce through the use of a plugin.
Pricing comparison depends on what plan you sign up to with Shopify. However, even their basic plan at $29 per month is more expensive than what you’d pay for your own hosting. SiteGround, which is rated as one of the best in the industry offers hosting plans from as little as $10.49 per month.
If you want full control over your website which means not being tied in, cheaper transaction fees on every sale made and far superior flexibility in customisations, then using WooCommerce in conjunction with WordPress is the way to go.
If you’re happy with the higher charges, being tied in but the ease of use in getting setup, then Shopify is the solution for you.