WooCommerce and Shopify are the two most popular and widely-used eCommerce options available. Together, these two platforms power nearly 40% of the top eCommerce sites.
Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, so deciding which one is right for you and your store is a hard decision to make. Depending on your personal needs, one might fit your site better than the other. Here are the pros and cons of each platform.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce platform that makes it incredibly easy for you to create an online store. It accepts payments, manages your inventory, and even helps you market your business on Facebook and Google. With a convenient dashboard, you can manage everything you need for your business.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce plugin that is built specifically for WordPress. It is ideal for people who already are using WordPress, which is the most popular and powerful content management systems (CMS) available. Because everything is open-source, you can completely customize every detail of your store and build extensions. However, because everything is so flexible, that means there is more of a learning curve, and you will have to be more hands-on in the management of the website.
Cost: Shopify vs. Woocommerce
Before you start creating a website, you should consider your budget. Starting and maintaining a site can be expensive, so you should bear in mind the costs of add-on services or software you might need.
The cost of using Shopify
Shopify has three different plans you can choose from that cost $29, $79, or $299 a month. No matter which plans you choose, they all come with a domain name, SSL certificate, and web hosting.
Shopify’s lowest tiered plan - Basic Shopify - provides adequate features for businesses who want to start a brand new store. Through this plan, you can have uncapped file storage, two user accounts, and can add unlimited products. However, it is important to consider that this plan can get expensive as your business grows.
No matter what Shopify plan you choose, you will have to pay credit card rates on all payments. Prices range from 2.4% to 2.9%, as well as a $.30 set fee. You can choose to use Shopify Payments, but if you opt for another payment provider, you will have to pay between .5% and 2.0% in additional fees. While these fees for external payment providers is a bit steep, it is comparable to other eCommerce platforms.
Shopify makes it very easy to purchase a package, with up-front information about how much it will cost to run your eCommerce store.
The cost of using WooCommerce
Because WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress, there is no set package plan that you purchase to get started. All you need is a domain name, SSL Certificate, and a WordPress hosting plan to begin. You can buy these from any WordPress hosting provider or third-party you want.
Luckily, many hosting companies specialize in WooCommerce eCommerce web hosting plans and will offer free a domain name and a free SSL certificate with the cost of a hosting package. Some of these plans cost less than $10 a month. It is cheaper to get started with a basic eCommerce web hosting plan per month than a Shopify account.
Another advantage of picking WooCommerce is that there are many free versions of paid extensions. This can help keep your costs down because you only will have to purchase tools as your store grows and you need them.
Having a well-put-together site is essential for most e-Commerce sites. Customers might not be willing to enter in their credit card information and personal data into a site that doesn’t look appealing or functions well. Therefore, you should consider how well a platform can create a website.
Shopify’s design options
Shopify offers high-quality themes. The platform provides more than 50 store templates, 10 of which are free. The themes are all mobile-friendly and have a modern, sleek aesthetic. If you do choose to pay for a theme, it can get costly. Some of their premium themes cost up to $180.
Because there are only ten free themes available, it is recommended that you customize it so your site stands out from others and doesn’t look the same. Shopify offers a Theme editor that allows you to edit and hide sections easily.
WooCommerce design options
Because WooCommerce is a plugin, it doesn’t offer any specific design traits, but it was built to work with nearly every theme on the market, as long as it follows the standard recommendations and best practices. Therefore, you should be able to select any WordPress theme available to work with your eCommerce store powered by WooCommerce.
There are also themes available that are built specifically for WooCommerce and are tailored specifically for helping to showcase products and services. The themes range in price from free to over $100 or more.
Because WooCommerce is an open source it has an advantage over Shopify when it comes to design. While Shopify is easy to navigate and faster to set up, WooCommerce has more free options and designs available.
Dropshipping has become more popular in recent years. This strategy is when an eCommerce store doesn’t keep a product in stock but instead fulfills the order by purchasing a product from another vendor and shipping the product directly to the customer. Because of the extremely low overhead, it has become a popular option for many businesses.
When you are starting a dropshipping business, the front-end of your store will look and function just like any other e-Commerce store. Shopify has apps that make dropshipping easy, but many do charge additional membership fees, shipping, or other costs that can add up when you choose to dropship through Shopify.
WooCommerce makes dropshipping easy thanks to a variety of plugins and extensions that you can install to make order fulfillment go smoothly. You can find extensions that help you to import products and fulfill orders. You can choose to create an eCommerce marketplace that invites other vendors to sell on your website.
However, you will have to pay attention to the minimum order requirements and fees that your supplier and vendors might charge, because those costs can add up.
Choosing between Shopify and WooCommerce will depend on your personal needs. They are both powerful platforms that offer strong design, apps, and customer support. However, if you are looking for a more affordable option with full control over every aspect of your store, you should consider WooCommerce. If you want to create a store quickly and with no hassle, then Shopify might be the better platform for you.