You might want to open an online store. Not sure if you should use WooCommerce or Shopify?
The best eCommerce platforms in the world are Shopify and WooCommerce. Each has its own pros and cons.
As a business owner, you need to make sure you choose the right eCommerce platform for your business.
In this guide, we’ll show you in detail how Shopify and WooCommerce are different. The goal is to list their pros and cons so that you can decide which one is best for your eCommerce store.
Shopify vs. WooCommerce: An Overview
Before a detailed comparison of the two most popular eCommerce platforms on the web, we need to cover the basics and point out what makes these platforms stand out.
Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce platform that makes it easy to set up an online store, accept payments, and keep track of your inventory.
With Shopify, you don’t have to worry about the technical parts of running an eCommerce site, like web hosting, security, caching, etc.
How does WooCommerce work?
WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress that is free and can be used by anyone. It lets you run an online store using the most powerful content management system (CMS).
WordPress is the most popular website builder in the world, powering 43% of all websites. WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform, which many people don’t know (even more popular than Shopify).
Because WooCommerce is open source, you can change everything about your store and easily add your extensions.
The platform you choose depends on your needs and how well you use it.
What Should Your eCommerce Platform Have?
When you start an online store, there are a few things you must always keep in mind. Based on these critical points, you can decide which platform is best for your needs.
- Budget: The initial cost of getting an eCommerce store up and running.
- Ease of use: People who have never done it before should be able to use it.
- Payment Methods: It should allow for more than one payment method (e.g., PayPal, Stripe, or other merchant processors).
- Integrations: The number of third-party services and tools you can add to your eCommerce business to help it grow.
- Scalability: The platform you use should be able to grow with your business.
These are the essential things that every online store owner needs to think about. Depending on your needs, you may also want to look at other options like shipping, inventory management, invoicing, taxes, dropshipping, etc.
In this article, we’ll compare Shopify and WooCommerce based on these basic requirements and help you decide which one is best for your needs.
So, with that out of the way, let’s compare Shopify and WooCommerce.
How much do Shopify and WooCommerce cost?
Cost is usually the most important thing for people who own eCommerce sites. You need to figure out how much it will cost to get started and how much extra services and software will cost.
How much it costs to use Shopify?
Shopify makes it simple to open an online store. Their basic plan starts at $29 per month, and you can upgrade to the Shopify plan for $79 per month or the Advanced Shopify plan for $299 per month.
Each of these plans comes with web hosting and an SSL certificate. It will have a subdomain with the Shopify brand (like https://your-store.myshopify.com).
If you want to use your own.com domain name, you’ll have to buy it on its own. Usually, the price for a regular.com domain name starts at $14 per year.
The features in the basic Shopify plan are enough to set up a new online store. You can add as many products as possible, have two user accounts, store as many files as you want, and more.
But these prices don’t include tools and add-ons from third parties that you’ll need to take your Shopify store to the next level. As your business grows, these costs will start to add up, and you’ll soon be paying more than the basic plan.
Your costs are also affected by how much you pay. Shopify has its payment service called Shopify Payments. The basic plan costs 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction.
If you want to use third-party payment gateways or your merchant account, you will be charged a fee of 2.0% for each transaction. Using the Shopify Advanced plan, which costs $299 per month, you can lower this fee to 0.5%.
These payment processing fees are pretty high when you use an external payment gateway. But if you’re starting and want to use Shopify Payments, the fees are about the same as for popular platforms like Stripe and Braintree.
Shopify also has a $9.00 per month plan called Shopify lite. With this plan, you can add “buy” buttons to any site or use Shopify to sell things in person in certain areas.
For example, you can create a WordPress site and add buy buttons from Shopify. But if you’re already making a website with WordPress, using WooCommerce would improve the experience.
How Much It Costs to Use WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is a plug-in for WordPress.org that lets you sell online (also known as self-hosted WordPress). It is free to use and has open-source code.
To start a WooCommerce store, you will need a domain name, an SSL Certificate, and a WordPress hosting account.
A domain name usually costs $14.99, an SSL Certificate costs $69.99, and monthly web hosting costs around $7.99. This isn’t cheap, especially if you’re just getting started.
Luckily, several hosting companies now offer WooCommerce-specific hosting plans, which cuts the cost by a significant amount.
A basic WooCommerce store is much cheaper than a Shopify store. WooCommerce also doesn’t charge you a percentage fee on transactions, which is a very nice feature.
Remember that the costs of WooCommerce start to add up as you buy paid extensions. As your online store grows, your hosting costs will also go up.
But one clear benefit of using WooCommerce is that you can often find free alternatives to premium themes and paid extensions. You can also keep costs down by buying tools and plugins only when needed.
WooCommerce is the clear winner when it comes to price since it has a lot of free themes and free add-ons.
Shopify vs. WooCommerce in Terms of Ease of Use
Most people who open an online store are not web developers or designers. Even people who know the basics need a platform that is easy to use and doesn’t get in their way.
Let’s compare Shopify and WooCommerce in terms of how easy they are to use.
Easy to Use – Shopify
Shopify is a fully hosted platform, which means you don’t have to install, manage, or update any software. You also don’t have to worry about security, performance, backups, or compatibility.
When you sign up for Shopify, you can choose a design from many free themes. After that, they help you customize your store and add products.
Shopify has a drag-and-drop interface that is easy to use. Inside Shopify, it’s easy to keep track of your product pages, sales, and stock.
One problem with this guided, polished, and well-thought-out user experience is that it gives you less control. You can only use Shopify’s tools for design and development or add-ons from their marketplace.
But it’s not quite as bad as it sounds. Most users will find that Shopify’s many add-ons and themes are more than enough to start and grow their online store.
Easy to Use – WooCommerce
WooCommerce is not like Shopify, which is a hosted platform. This means installing the WooCommerce plugin, handling updates, keeping backups, and ensuring your website is safe. Most of these tasks can be done automatically for you by free and paid plugins.
When it comes to making changes, WooCommerce is very flexible. You are in charge of everything on the platform. With the help of more than 59,000 WordPress plugins, you can add almost any feature you can think of to your site.
But there is no drag-and-drop design builder built in. You can use a page builder for WordPress like SeedProd or Beaver Builder, but it will cost you more.
The biggest problem with having more options is that you must learn how to use them and manage your website more. You must also sign up for a merchant account or a service like Stripe or PayPal that works the same way.
Even though WooCommerce’s guided setup wizard is helpful, it doesn’t come close to Shopify in terms of how easy it is to get started and use.
Methods of Payment: Shopify vs. WooCommerce
You can use many different payment gateways to accept payments online. Some payment methods might not work for you, or your customers might be unable to use them.
Because of this, the platform you choose must have more than one way to pay. Let’s look at how the payment integrations of Shopify and WooCommerce compare.
Payment options in Shopify
Shopify gives customers a lot of ways to pay when they are checking out. Its payment system is called Shopify Payments, which Stripe powers. It also works with the most popular payment gateways from other companies.
The problem is that Shopify adds 2% to each transaction made through a third-party payment gateway. This is in addition to the fees the payment gateway charges for each transaction. If you pay $299 monthly for the Advanced Shopify plan, the fee will go down to 0.5%.
Shopify Payments charges fees for credit cards but not for any other types of transactions. The basic plan for a credit card has a rate of 2.9% + 30, but other plans have lower rates.
Payment option in WooCommerce
By default, WooCommerce lets you accept payments through PayPal and Stripe. They also have a Stripe-powered WooCommerce Payments system.
It also works with every other popular payment service. You can add payment integrations for Authorize.net, Amazon Pay, Square, Alipay, and many more.
Concerning payment gateways, WooCommerce even works with many regional and less well-known services. Since there is no barrier to entry, any payments company can make add-ons and support for WooCommerce.
As a self-hosted platform, your payment gateway or bank is the only one that will charge you transaction fees. WooCommerce doesn’t charge a fee for credit card payments unless you use WooCommerce Payments. This is a big plus.
If it’s important to you to choose your merchant account and use a third-party gateway, then WooCommerce will save you A LOT of money.
It doesn’t matter if you have a small store and are willing to use Shopify Payments, which has the same credit card rates as Stripe and Paypal.
Shopify vs. WooCommerce for Integrations and Add-Ons
No matter how robust your e-commerce platform is, you’ll always need tools and services from outside sources to grow your store. Software for email marketing, tools for getting leads, tools for analyzing data, outreach services, etc., are all examples.
Shopify and WooCommerce have a directory of add-ons and work with many third-party services.
Add-ons and Integrations for Shopify
Shopify comes with a powerful API and an App Store where you can buy add-ons for your Shopify store from third-party developers. They have a store with hundreds of apps for every feature you might want to add to your store.
For lead generation, they integrate with software like OptinMonster, which helps you grow your email list and decrease the number of people who abandon their shopping carts. Shopify apps for SEO, product reviews, discounts, countdowns, and other things.
There are both free and paid apps in the Shopify app store. Third-party services make most free apps at their prices, and the app connects your store to their APIs. Paid add-ons cost different amounts, and most apps have monthly subscriptions.
Shopify has fewer add-ons and extensions than WooCommerce or WordPress because getting an app into its store can be challenging.
We’ve been through the process of submitting a WordPress plugin and an app to the Shopify store, and we can say that the Shopify process is much more complex than the WooCommerce process.
Add-ons and Integrations for WooCommerce
WooCommerce is built on top of WordPress and is free to use. This gives you more than 59,000 free WordPress plugins and many more paid plugins.
You can use these add-ons to almost any feature, like payment gateways, lead generation, eCommerce SEO, performance optimization, social media integration, etc.
Because WooCommerce is easier to use, there are many more integrations and add-ons for it than for Shopify. Almost every third-party tool or service has a plugin that makes it easy to work with your WooCommerce store.
We’ve been through the process of submitting a WordPress plugin and an app to the Shopify store, and we can say that the Shopify process is much more complicated than the WooCommerce process.
You can also hire a WordPress developer to create an integration or plugin for your website.
Overall, it would help if you remembered that WooCommerce is much easier to change than Shopify.
Growth and the Ability to Grow: Shopify vs WooCommerce
You’ve probably heard the phrase “growing pains” used by CEOs and business owners. As your business grows, you will need more resources to meet new goals and deal with new challenges.
Shopify and WooCommerce can be made bigger to handle more traffic and orders, but they are different. Let’s see how these two eCommerce platforms compare in terms of their ability to grow.
Which is the best eCommerce platform, WooCommerce or Shopify?
Both Shopify and WooCommerce are important ways to start an online store. It depends on your skills and what you like.
It’s much easier to use Shopify. You don’t have to install anything and can start using it immediately. Setting up payments is more accessible, and their pricing plans are easy to understand.
You don’t have complete control over everything with Shopify, which is a drawback. Transaction fees, add-ons, and integrations can drive up your costs. You can only upgrade to specific plans and can’t pay as you go to keep costs in check.
WooCommerce is free and gives you complete control over your website because it is open source. WooCommerce makes it much cheaper to open an online store, especially with these WooCommerce hosting companies.
The downside is that you’ll have to keep the software updated. It takes a little time to get used to. But millions of people who are just starting are already using it, and they learn it pretty quickly.
WooCommerce is the best platform for you if you want to run your online store without spending a lot of money and have complete control over it.
Shopify is the better platform for you if you want something that doesn’t require work and can grow to any size.
This article should have helped you weigh the pros and cons of Shopify and WooCommerce.