It’s is an oft-repeated question for all the right reasons. Both hold prominent positions in the eCommerce industry, are highly-functional, and can get you up and running with your eCommerce store in no time!
But which one is the right mix of functionalities and features for your store?
Well, in this article, we’ll be covering both the eCommerce platforms in terms of the features they provide. Hopefully, reading through the article will give you a serious grasp on both the platforms and prove as a catalyst to your decision-making process.
So, let’s start!
Shopify vs WooCommerce: At a Glance
Before we get to the good stuff, let’s give you an overview of the platforms.
A complete eCommerce solution for businesses, Shopify provides just about anything you need to get started and eventually succeed with your eCommerce venture. It provides all those features while taking care of all the technicalities on its end.
An open-source plugin for the ever-powerful WordPress CMS, WooCommerce is a highly customizable and functional eCommerce solution. If you have a WordPress website, you can get up and running with WooCommerce in no time.
With that in mind, it’s time we compare the two platforms in terms of features.
Shopify vs WooCommerce – Ease of Use and Customization
In terms of usability, Shopify is super easy! After you’ve signed up, all you have to do is pick a design and start with your operations. With Shopify, issues like hosting, server, security, compatibility, and others aren’t your concern.
In terms of customizations, Shopify doesn’t lag, but it doesn’t promise too much customization. Due to its closed source nature, it doesn’t provide you in-depth customizations. Moreover, you’re limited to using Shopify’s tools for customizations – making personal branding a challenge.
With WooCommerce, you have to set everything up yourself. Unlike Shopify, you have to purchase a domain name, hosting, installing WordPress, and then WooCommerce. On top of that, security, servers, compatibility issues, and more are very much a headache for you.
But where it lacks in ease of use, it makes up for in droves with customizations. From header to footer, WooCommerce gives you total control over the functionalities of your website.
Its vast collection of themes, page builders, and plugins ensure that your branding efforts are highly effective.
Shopify vs WooCommerce – Payment Methods
As a general rule, it’s best to have multiple payment options for your eCommerce store. Both Shopify and WooCommerce provide you this facility but with their variations. Let’s see which one can add more value to your store:
As discussed, Shopify provides multiple payment gateways but charges 2% on every transaction. Combine that with the fees charged by the payment gateway itself, and what you’re getting is significantly lesser in terms of the bottom line.
Similar to Shopify, WooCommerce supports multiple payment methods. Whether it be an international or local payment gateway, you’re covered by WooCommerce and its numerous add-ons for those methods.
The best part about WooCommerce’s payment integrations is that they don’t charge you any fees. All of what you’re paying for is the integration itself. The platform doesn’t charge you any percentage fees.
Shopify vs WooCommerce – Scalability and Growth
Growing pains are a severe problem for most business owners when their operations get bigger. Let’s see which platform provides more support for such growing pains.
While both can handle a scaling business’s traffic requirements, the platforms are very different in their approach towards it.
As discussed above, Shopify handles all the technical aspects of your eCommerce store. When it comes to scaling your website, this can prove beneficial since you don’t have to focus on the growing pains.
You can do that with the help of Shopify’s plans. If you feel that your current traffic is too much for your current plan, upgrade your account. Like any other hosted platform, the catch to this upgrade is that you have to pay extra to Shopify.
Since the platform is a self-hosted one, and you have to tackle the technical issues yourself, scalability can be a real drag on your operations.
A simple solution to scalability concerns on WooCommerce is to upgrade your hosting plan. If scaling is a problem even after you’ve upgraded the host, you can migrate to another, preferably a managed WordPress host, to curb those concerns.
Contrary to contemporary criticism, WooCommerce is very much scalable. The best part about it is that you can manage your growth incrementally – allowing you to grow just at the right time.
Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Support
Both platforms are relatively easy to use. If you find yourself in a pinch, there are tons of resources to use. But what if you wanted to do something new and needed an expert opinion? Which platform would let you do that?
If you’re looking to do something unique, then Shopify has your back with its extensive support. Since they’re the ones controlling the backend, they’ll provide you their expertise on any functionality you wish to integrate.
In terms of support, you get 24/7 support through multiple mediums. If you don’t want to go through the support process, you can read up on Shopify’s documentation, how-tos, and knowledge base tutorials.
Bear in mind that while Shopify does provide support, it only does so for Shopify’s native applications and not any third-party themes or plugins.
Being the most popular eCommerce platform, WooCommerce is not devoid of support options. They’re different, but they’re there when you need them.
First off, the WooCommerce website has an extensive collection of tutorials and guides that you can use to help yourself. From documentation, how-to’s, and knowledge base article, WooCommerce itself has no shortage of content in the matter.
Being a self-hosted platform, the only support option you have is in the form of asking your hosting provider about server issues. That’s it.
If you’re having trouble with your themes and plugins, then you can either ask the plugin developer or the multitude of WooCommerce support forums spread across the internet. Hopefully, a single Google search will put you in the right place.
Shopify vs WooCommerce – Integrations and Add-ons
While you can make do with an eCommerce store, you will always need third-party add-ons and integrations to grow your business. Suppose you want to rank for specific keywords or create a newsletter. In that case, integrations are your best friend.
Let’s look at both Shopify and WooCommerce and how they stack up against one another in this context.
Shopify comes with its app store, where you can purchase hundreds of add-ons for your site. On top of that, it also has a robust API that streamlines your business processes.
There are plenty of paid and free apps you can use. From lead generation tools to email marketing, SEO, and eCommerce specific applications – it’s got a comprehensive collection at the ready for you.
If you’ve ever used WordPress, you would know how useful it’s plugins can prove for your website. WooCommerce is built on top of WordPress and gives you access to the WordPress plugin store.
From payment integrations, lead generation, SEO, security, and performance optimization – WooCommerce is a class apart when it comes to its support for paid and free third-party features.
The only problem with the store is that sometimes, you encounter plugins and themes that are outdated and incompatible with your WordPress version. Because of this, it’s always best to select trustworthy plugins because it might lead to security issues in the future.
So, Shopify or WooCommerce? Who is the winner?
It will sound cliché, but the only possible winner here is you provided that you select the right platform. Both these platforms are great, but at the end of the day, if it doesn’t fulfill a user’s needs, it’s not worth it.
Hopefully, after reading through this post, you have an idea on how to get started with the right platform that’s made for you.