Thinking to launch your e-commerce store but not sure whether you need to choose Shopify or WooCommerce? Everyone is struggling to choose between these two platforms when you are going to start your first e-commerce store. Of course, it’s all due to their popularity. Both platforms have advantages that make it more difficult to choose between Shopify Vs Woocommerce. You must choose the one that fits your business needs. Choosing the right platform is also crucial for your success. In this article, we will compare and contrast both platforms that help you making your final decision.
Overview: Shopify vs WooCommerce
Before digging into each platform, we will discuss what makes these two e-commerce platforms stand out.
Shopify is a hosted platform that makes it easy for the user to create an e-commerce store, accept payments and manage your account from this platform. The user does not need to worry about web hosting, caching, and other technical aspects. But the user is limited to make the pre-defined changes that this platform allows.
On the other hand, WooCommerce is an e-commerce plugin that is built for WordPress. With WooCommerce, you can leverage the powerful CMS (content management system) to run your e-commerce store. It is an open-source platform that means the user can customize everything and build custom extensions.
The decision to choose between Shopify or WooCommerce depends on your skillset and your business needs.
Shopify vs. WooCommerce
In this Shopify vs. Woocommerce guide, it becomes clear that both e-commerce platforms have pros and cons. Let’s get into these attributes that each platform offers.
- Its pricing is fair, and users know how much he/she will need to pay every month.
- You can access plenty of apps that help you extend your store.
- It offers a variety of beautiful themes.
- It handles the hosting, caching, security, etc.
- You can launch your own store in a couple of minutes.
- Dropshipping is simple and easy with this platform.
- It offers the best support for your eCommerce business.
- With Spotify, you haven’t as much control over your eCommerce website.
- Customization can be done better with other eCommerce platforms.
- It offers monthly payment that is going to get higher.
- It offers complete control and customization.
- It is a plugin of WordPress which has a huge community as it powers 40% of all the websites over the web.
- It offers plentiful plugins and themes. And anyone can make and sell them on the web.
- It is easy to configure on WordPress.
- The best thing about WooCommerce is that it is available free of cost.
- WooCommerce can be expensive due to the hosting, plugins and themes.
- It is an eCommerce plugin of WordPress that may have a learning curve.
- You need to manage everything on your own that include security, maintenance, hosting and backups.
Ease of Use
Most people that start their online store are not web developers or designers. So, a user who knows the basic concepts needs a platform that is user-friendly. Let’s explore how these two platforms stack up in terms of ease of use.
Shopify is a hosted platform-means user doesn’t need to install and manage any software. Moreover, the user will not have any backups, performance, compatibility, and security issues. When you sign up for Shopify, you can pick up a design that you want for your website. After picking up the website design, you can customize every aspect of your website and add more plugins. It comes with a built-in drag and drop interface. You can manage your sales, products, and inventory with ease. Shopify gives you a polished, highly optimized, and guided user experience, but it limits your control. It gives you development, design tools, and other adds-on and only allows you all these features to develop your website. However, it is not bad at all because it offers an array of themes and extensions that are enough to get started and build your e-commerce store online.
Like Shopify, WooCommerce is not a hosted platform which means you need to install this WordPress plugin and then keep backups, make your site secure and manage updates. It offers a wide range of paid and free plugins that help to automate tasks. This platform offers great flexibility-means you can customize whatever you want. And, you have full control of the platform, unlike Shopify. You can add any functionality to your website that you imagine using over 55,000+ plugins of WordPress.
Unlike Shopify, it doesn’t offer an intuitive drag and drops design-builder. But you can use Beaver builder, which is a WordPress page builder, but it adds to your overall cost.
But the major downside of its flexibility is that it has a learning curve and requires more concrete management for your website. The user also needs to sign up for a merchant account or other similar services like Stripe or PayPal.
However, WooCommerce setup wizard can be helpful for the users, but Shopify is a definite winner when it comes to ease of use or user-friendliness.
What payment methods does each platform offer
Both Shopify and WooCommerce offer a wide range of payment gateways. However, you need to pay an additional cost if you use an external payment gateway. It can be a great consideration because Shopify does charge a 2% high fee.
WooCommerce offers tons of payment gateways because of its large plugin community and open-source nature. It supports all the famous gateways, including PayPal, Authorize.Net, Stripe, and Square. Beyond support for big payment players, you can also access plenty of niche payment gateways such as Postgiro and Przelewy24, which is Sweden, and the Polish payment gateway as well. You can say that WooCommerce not only supports big payment gateways but regional gateways as well.
Shopify has its native payment gateway that needs no configuration. But Shopify also supports third-party payment gateways that include PayPal, Authorize.Net, and Stripe. Moreover, it has a long list of local payment gateway as well. But you need to pay extra costs for using a third party or external payment gateway.
How much does each platform cost
For the e-commerce site owner, the most important consideration is cost. So, when you are getting started, pay attention to the variable cost for software ad add-on services. Each platform has variable costs, so it is hard to say which platform is the best.
You can’t pin down what the exact cost for the WooCommerce store is as there are too many edge cases and scenarios. You need to pay fixed costs for hosting, your domain, and whatever you pay for external payment gateway. Also, you may end up paying for premium plugins and a premium theme.
But one of the upsides is that you will pay one time only for purchasing WordPress plugins while Shopify apps use monthly payments.
The core pricing of Shopify is easy to plan for, but there are some things that can increase the costs.
Its themes come with a one-off cost.
You can find free apps, but many of these apps need extra monthly payments.
Moreover, you need to pay more if you use external payment gateways.
WooCommerce vs. Shopify: Which one should you choose
Here, we are not sure which one you should choose. There is no single right answer to this question. It means you can’t make a single recommendation. That’s why; here, we will discuss the reasons to use both platforms.
Reasons to use WooCommerce over Shopify
When it comes to choosing WooCommerce over Shopify, the biggest reasons are control and its flexibility. If you want to sell your products with minor variations, you perhaps will not need that flexibility. But if you want to sell products that go beyond simple- either checkout process, variation, and pricing structure, its flexibility are appreciable. Some products also banned by Shopify also. Shopify is a hosted platform which means you are at the whims of their decision-making team. That’s why some manufacturers get banned over there. The other reason to use WooCommerce over Shopify is that you like using WordPress and its plugin ecosystem. You might go with WooCommerce due to all these reasons.
Reasons to use Shopify over WooCommerce
Shopify can be a good choice for those who want to launch an e-commerce store in a beginner-friendly way. If you have no plan to sell products with plenty of variations, the Shopify ecosystem supports you. Moreover, if you don’t have much time to maintain your store or don’t want to think about technical aspects, you might choose the simplicity of Spotify.
So what do you think? Every e-commerce platform comes with merits for certain situations. If you like flexibility and ownership, WooCommerce is the best choice for you, but if you value simplicity, then Shopify is your best bet. Now, it depends on you whether you choose WooCommerce or Shopify.
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