Shopify vs WooCommerce is a recurring confrontation that people who intend to create electronic commerce consider. These two platforms are most suitable for those with little experience and experts.
According to Built With, it is estimated that 39% of the first million most popular virtual stores are concentrated on the two platforms. In this sample, 21% of virtual stores use WooCommerce and 18% use Shopify.
But if you take the top 0,000 most influential e-stores, only 6% use WooCommerce and 23% use Shopify, making the larger retailers ‘preference for Shopify clear.
However, to know how to choose the most convenient platform for you, you must know the characteristics of each one and discern the one that best meets the needs of your business. Next, I show you everything you need to know about these two options for your virtual store.
Let the Shopify vs WooCommerce battle begin!
Features and differences between Shopify vs WooCommerce for e-commerce
Both alternatives present similar services. However, several differences can be more or less beneficial for different types of businesses.
Easy to use
Most people reading this article need to be expert web developers. For this reason, setting up e-commerce cannot be too complicated a task and is only within reach of a few with training in the subject.
The platforms to put your virtual store must be handled intuitively and have good technical assistance. So we must consider ease of use when comparing WooCommerce to Shopify.
With WooCommerce, you are on an open-source, self-hosted platform. When you start from scratch, you have to set up hosting, connect your SSL certificate and domain name, install WordPress and adjust settings, install WooCommerce and all the other plugins you need, install your theme and all that.
Most people spend two weeks or more If they are WordPress beginners. Sure, there’s a setup wizard, but it won’t teach you how to tune PHP when you get a 101-line error. It won’t install WordPress and another plugin for you, either. You will have to learn the basics before you can do anything. And you will spend a lot of time on trial and error.
With Shopify, however, getting the necessary experience is easier as you get deeper into page setup. Anyone can enter the platform and know what to do immediately. Setting up a store can take just a few hours with Shopify.
Another important thing is customer service. Depending on the problem, everything can be solved through fluid communication through chat or email, although this applies to both platforms.
However, the experiences of many users circulating on the internet claim to have had problems with payment processors in WooCommerce and have received poor assistance.
Shopify vs. WooCommerce: Control and functionality
Among the most attractive features of WooCommerce are its integrated SEO tools. Customers can sell unlimited products, both digital and physical. It also offers a nice site search feature, ratings and reviews, zoomable product images, up-sell and cross-sell. All are incorporated without the need to pay extra.
Customers in stores built with WooCommerce technology enjoy site searches. The integrated tools could be better, especially for stores with a high volume of products. But they work, and hundreds of free plugins exist if the client needs something better.
However, your finances will take a hit when you need to add enhancements like one-click purchases, custom products, importing and exporting your products via CSV file, and subscriptions. Some of these are essential features of an eCommerce site.
Too bad they are not free in WooCommerce.
But with this platform, you have to pay or manually edit your products one after another. Offering custom products and one-click shopping are features I would want to keep going, but again, in WooCommerce, you have to pay for that.
The features that Shopify offers in its plans are the basic ones to start your virtual store. Among others, it offers email and a shopping cart, elements for which you would need a plugin on other platforms.
The platform also allows you to export and import your products via CSV files, real-time shipment tracking, ratings and reviews, and zoomable product images without extra costs.
But you must also pay for many other things, such as cross-sell functionality, one-click purchases, great product searches, and other SEO tools. Also, you have to pay if you want to give reward points or offer subscriptions.
If you plan to jumpstart your marketing with personalized products, you must pay for that. It is seen, once again, that Shopify only makes the most basic tools free. Some of their checkout tools are things that every store will need, like the on-site search feature, for example.
In addition, sellers of digital products will have to use an app. It’s not built in, but it’s free. However, I wish there was an integrated software solution for this.
Payment methods accepted by each platform
The payment methods for both sites are quite similar, although there are variations depending on the country you are in. You can accept credit cards on both platforms and connect with Stripe and PayPal. The main difference is that Shopify has its payment method, known as Shopify Pay.
You incur transaction fees every time you take a credit card payment online. I tell everyone to cut credit card fees in their pricing strategy. You should be aware of the additional transaction fees from your e-commerce platform.
A massive problem for Shopify is transaction fees (which you can avoid using the Shopify Pay feature). Some platforms don’t charge for this, as with WooCommerce. You’ll be charged 2.0%, 1.0%, and 0.5% on all three Shopify plans, from Basic to Advanced.
However, using the Shopify Payments payment gateway will only pay something. Although if you set up certain cross-reselling apps, you can’t use the Shopify Payments gateway, so you’re again paying something other than the Shopify fee.
Control over the data uploaded to the platform
WooCommerce, a self-hosted platform, gives you full control and ownership over your online store data—a plus point in the Shopify vs. WooCommerce battle.
For its part, Shopify gives you access to all your data. However, the preliminary information is on the platform’s servers, meaning the platform controls your data.
One advantage is that you can access your data in the following ways: export a CSV file of your products, back up your website with a separate app from the Shopify interface, or use an API to access your data.
Continuous maintenance of each platform
In WooCommerce, the owner is responsible for maintaining and managing the security of his online store. For example, to do specialized development work on your site, you must outsource it to an expert. This is a point against this platform in the Shopify vs. WooCommerce battle.
In the case of Shopify, the same platform maintains and manages the security of your online store. Therefore, you should be fine with the administrative tasks of the site. Besides, the platform will be aware of the applications you use in your store so that they work correctly.
The total cost of each virtual store platform
The total cost of a virtual store is difficult to determine due to the multiple scenarios that can occur. In general terms, the fixed costs in WooCommerce are the hosting, the domain, and the payment gateway charges.
Besides this, the cost can be increased with premium themes and plugins. One positive thing is that WordPress plugins are generally a one-time payment.
Shopify has three plans: Basic Shopify, Shopify and Advanced Shopify; this makes it a clear platform and easy to plan. The cost of the store can be increased by premium themes and different apps that may require a recurring monthly charge.
I hope you enjoyed this Shopify vs. WooCommerce and that with all this information, you have things clearer. Generally speaking, WooCommerce is ideal when you sell products with very specific features. At the same time, Shopify is a more friendly ecosystem for those who are just starting and don’t plan on selling very sophisticated products.
Also, Shopify has the advantage of not requiring much administration, while WooCommerce may be more attractive to many because WordPress powers it.