WooCommerce vs. Shopify
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce platform that offers a quick solution for creating an online store, managing your inventory and accepting payments all from one platform. Shopify will take care of all the technical tasks of handling a website hosting, security updates, back-ups, caching, and more.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce plugin built for WordPress. It is highly flexible and leverages the robust CMS WordPress platform to run an online business. Since it is open-source, you can easily build custom usable extensions and customise almost every aspect of your store. See more about Custom Ecommerce Website Design.
Which is best?
It is not the case that one is "better" than the other, although most people will have their preference. The situation is that one platform is probably going to be the better option for your particular circumstances. To help you decide which platform will be best for you, consider some of the following questions:
- How important is the ability to customise the shop?
- How important is it to customise the look of the shop?
- What features do I need?
- Is the long term or short term costs more important?
- Is flexibility important?
- Do you know a professional who can help you with your eCommerce solution, if you run into difficulties?
You will also want to consider the following factors:
- Ease of use - How technical competent are you? Are you willing to learn? Do you have someone that can support you in that journey?
- Budget – What is your initial budget?
- Integrations – What particular services and third-party tools do you need to integrate with your eCommerce store?
- Payment Methods – Both solutions offer multiple options for payment gateways but do check your preferred platform is included.
- Scalability – Do you have future plans to scale your business?
- Inventory Management- Do you need to integrate the online store with an inventory system for an existing physical store?
- You might also want to consider selling via existing platforms such as Etsy or other multi-vendor platforms
Here are the Pros and Cons of each platform
- Fixed monthly payment see Shopify pricing
- Access to thousands of Apps to extend your store.
- Plenty of Beautiful themes to choose from.
- Shopify handles and maintains site from hosting to security.
- Quick to launch your store.
- Dropshipping integration with Shopify is a breeze.
- Less control over your site - you don't "own" your website but you can migrate your content to another platform. For example: Migrate from Shopify to Woocommerce
- Customization is limited
- Offers full control and customization.
- Huge community support online as WordPress is open-source.
- Simple configuration on WordPress.
- The plug-in WooCommerce is free
- If you are not familiar with WordPress there may be a bit of learning curve.
- Many of the custom plugins used with WooCommerce to extend the functionality have charges.
- Updates and Managing site from hosting to security and maintenance to backups can be costly
Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce solution. It is built to give you everything you might need to set-up and start running an online store. Shopify makes it simple for starters as it eliminates the complications and technical aspects of setting up an online shop. It also introduces quick and easy-to-use tools. Your store can literally be launched and set up in a matter of minutes. The big downside however with this tool, is you do not have the freedom and control over your site as you may want.
If you’re looking for more flexibility and customisation options, as well as complete ownership, then WooCommerce is the way to go. WooCommerce gives you control of your eCommerce store. This can be very important in terms of scaling your business in the future. WooCommerce also allows you can build your store with a WordPress blog to drive traffic organically to your website. The freedom you get from WooCommerce though comes with a price: You will need to handle the technical side of your site or take a website care plan with a WordPress designer.
In conclusion, the decision about which platform will be best for you will depend on your needs.