Ecommerce platforms are making opening an online store easier than ever. And there is no shortage of platforms for online sellers to choose from – each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Two well-liked solutions are WooCommerce and Shopify. WooCommerce vs Shopify: Choosing between the two depends on the unique needs of your online business.
WooCommerce and Shopify both provide sellers with appealing designs, SEO and marketing features, payment gateways, and extensions and plug-ins to enhance your store. Deciding whether WooCommerce vs Shopify will work for you will take some in-depth comparisons of features, cost, support, and ease of use. Let’s get started.
WooCommerce vs Shopify
Whether you are computer savvy or a relative novice, both WooCommerce and Shopify make it easy for you to create your online store. They both offer a user interface that allows you to create pages, list products, and check your inventory and fulfillment. Setting up is easy and user-friendly.
The biggest difference is how they’re used. WooCommerce is a plug-in for WordPress. That means you must have a WordPress website, install the WooCommerce plug-in, and then you can set up your store. The difference with setting up is that Shopify is it is self-hosted, which means you won’t have to find a web host, install a plug-in, and then add Shopify.
Woocommerce is One of the Best Shopify Alternatives
Let’s take a look at WooCommerce’s features more closely. It is a WordPress plug-in that runs on the freemium model, which means the core WooCommerce plug-in is free. You can then choose from various Woocommerce add-ons for extra features for your site, depending on what your specific needs are. You can obtain some of the add-ons at no cost, while others are paid.
The following features are part of the core Woocommerce plug-in:
- Product variations and the ability to sell physical and digital merchandise.
- Cross-promotion and upselling of products.
- User reviews, usage limits, and discount options.
- Free or flat-rate shipping and tax settings.
- Various payment gateways including PayPal, BACS, and Cash on Delivery.
- Reporting that includes inventory, sales, reviews, and store performance.
There is no shortage of design options for your online store with WooCommerce. WordPress offers numerous themes that have been optimized for WooCommerce sellers. But sellers can also use any other WordPress themes if they choose to, because WooCommerce can be integrated into all of them.
Help is easy to find for WooCommerce users. There is thorough documentation for sellers, a community of users who can help, and developers who are focused on continually improving and extending WooCommerce with new add-ons.
Add-Ons and Extras
The WooCommerce core plug-in offers its basic features at no cost, and they are more than sufficient to get started selling. If you want to maximize your store’s possibilities though, you will want to look at add-ons and extensions.
You can easily scale up with all the choices in the add-on store. Selling on Facebook, integration with MailChimp and QuickBooks, creating subscriptions, and many other options await you. The cost of add-ons ranges from free to more than $200.
While WooCommerce itself is free, it does have costs associated with it. Because you have to have a WordPress website, you have to purchase a domain name and pay for hosting. The overall cost will depend on the add-ons you choose and the hosting plan you go with.
Now on to Shopify.
Shopify Remains a Strong, Reliable Option
Now we’ll look at Shopify a bit closer. It is similar to WooCommerce in the range of themes offered and the variety of add-ons and extensions you can choose from. Unlike WooCommerce though, there is not a free plan for Shopify, but it is still affordable.
The features you get with Shopify are:
- You can use your own domain name.
- Mobile-friendly design.
- Customizable design for the look of your store.
- Blogging platform.
- Easy integration with email marketing and social media.
- Product variations, customer reviews, and discounts.
- Detailed reporting and analytics.
Shopify offers an excellent selection of free and paid themes. The paid themes cost between $100 and $180. The themes offered don’t include as many features as some third-party themes that you can purchase elsewhere, but there is more than enough to choose from to get your store going.
Like WooCommerce, Shopify offers detailed documentation and an active community for support. However, Shopify also offers a 24/7 support team while WooCommerce relies mainly on support from its community.
Add-Ons and Extras
With Shopify, you have a good selection of free features that include discount codes, the ability to sell gift cards, a shopping cart recovery system, Facebook selling, and many others. Like WooCommerce, Shopify also offers paid add-ons for you to choose from to expand your site. Shopify comes with a free SSL certificate.
Related: Click here to learn how to make your Shopify store a hands-off selling machine.
Shopify has three different pricing tiers, ranging from $29 to $299. If you only plan to sell on Facebook, there is a basic plan for $9. Whichever you choose, you can test it for two weeks with Shopify’s 14-day free trial, so you can see if the platform will work for you. Your overall cost for Shopify will depend on which plan and which add-ons you decide on.
Which Platform is Best?
It may be a tough call for you in the WooCommerce vs Shopify comparison. They both have much to offer and are viable options for novice and experienced online sellers alike. The decision will come down to which features you need and want and your personal preferences. Both are worth considering, so check them out closely before you decide on what is best for your business.