The global eCommerce sales were about $5.2 trillion US dollars worldwide in 2021. The number is anticipated to grow at 56% and reach $8.1 trillion in 2026, as per Statista.
The above statistics indicate that this is the best time to join the eCommerce bandwagon. If you have decided to start an online store, one of the most challenging things is to determine an eCommerce platform. Out of all, WooCommerce and Shopify are very popular.
WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin that gets downloaded more than 30,000 times daily from WordPress.org. Shopify is one of the most well-known eCommerce platforms. Moreover, 4 million eCommerce sites are built on Shopify.
So, should you build your online store on WooCommerce or Shopify? You might have questions like, Is WooCommerce better than Shopify?, or Is it better to go with Shopify over WooCommerce? It is really challenging to choose between both.
Every platform has its own benefits & drawbacks. Therefore, you need to choose a platform that satisfies your business needs.
Here, we have compared WooCommerce vs Shopify based on the most crucial factors. But before we move on with that, let the look at the main difference between WooCommerce & Shopify.
So, here we go.
Table of Contents
WooCommerce is a popular open-source platform suitable for building an eCommerce store and developing custom extensions. Shopify is a hosted eCommerce platform that enables you to make an online store without stressing about hosting, domain, and more.
After looking at the main difference between both eCommerce platforms, we will compare WooCommerce vs Shopify in detail.
So, let’s start.
|Ease of Use||Lacks a built-in drag-and-drop builder, and most customization needs to be managed by the user.||Quick and easy to set up with basic customization and management without coding knowledge.|
|Build Time||Takes more time and requires technical knowledge to set up.||Can quickly set up a store by signing up, choosing a theme, and putting in your content.|
|Design & Themes||Can integrate with any WordPress theme.||Provides more than 100 themes, including nine free and 90+ paid themes.|
|Pricing||It’s Free, but you need to pay for hosting, domain name, other extensions, and security.||Offers a complete solution, including domain, hosting, and more, with pricing packages ranging from $29 to $299 per month.|
|Integrations & Plugins||Being a WordPress plugin, it has access to over 50,000+ plugins.||Shopify offers 1200+ free and paid plugins|
|Inventory Management||Offers more product variations.||Allows you to add single or bulk items and customers, orders, etc., manually or via CSV files.|
|Payment Gateways||Offers PayPal and Stripe as free payment gateways and allows integration of various regional and local payment services.||Provides 100+ payment options, including its free and easy-to-use Shopify Payments gateway.|
|SEO||Allows code optimization for search engines. A popular SEO plugin is Yoast.||Has limitations in customizing URLs but has clean code and a natural linking structure.|
|Dropshipping||Provides plugins like AliDropShip and DropShip.||Offers apps like Aliexpress, Dropified, and Oberlo.|
|Security||Has little built-in security, and it's the responsibility of the user or hosting provider to take care of the security.||Comes with many built-in features like SSL certificates and PCI-DSS compliance, ensuring secure payment processing.|
|Customer Support||Doesn't provide customer support via email, chat, or phone. Only documentation, guides, and a blog.||Has a dedicated help center, live chat, email, and phone support, as well as an extensive database of FAQs and a forum.|
|Marketing Tools||Offers various plugins for email marketing and allows connecting with marketplaces and advertising on Facebook.||Provides better marketing solutions with email campaign apps, multichannel selling, and direct selling through YouTube.|
Here we have compared WooCommerce vs Shopify based on some crucial factors.
People who want to establish an online store might be familiar with the basic details of eCommerce platforms. However, they are not experts and look forward to a platform that allows them to set up a store quickly and manage it well.
WooCommerce is not a hosted platform. Hence, it is somewhat complex to set up an online store and manage it effectively. However, you can use some free and paid plugins to make it easy to manage your WooCommerce store.
As WooCommerce is a WordPress Plugin, you need to look after several essential things before using it.
After you have completed these steps, you can install the WooCommerce plugin on your WordPress website. You must follow four simple steps to set up an online store and run it.
WooCommerce has a few drawbacks in case of ease of use. It does not come with a built-in drag-and-drop builder. Also, even after being a flexible platform, you need to manage most of its customization yourself.
Shopify is a hosted platform. Hence, it looks after the technical side of managing an online store. It includes domain name, hosting, SSL certificate, and more.
Due to the well-designed interface, setting up an online store is quick. For the same, you need to sign up, create a free trial account, set up a basic wizard, and you are good to go. The eCommerce platform asks you several questions about your business and helps you to set up all the essential things.
The best thing about Shopify is that you don’t need coding knowledge. Shopify’s drag-and-drop feature makes it easy to customize your online store and manage your product pages per your need.
So, in the battle of ease of use, Shopify wins. You can quickly start and run your online store on Shopify without having much technical knowledge.
The amount of time required to set up an online store is a major concern among people who want to set up an online store quickly.
If you don’t want to gain a lot of sales in a short time, WooCommerce is a good option. Compared to Shopify, setting up a store using WooCommerce requires more time as you need to be more creative and set up the entire store yourself.
WooCommerce offers various options for eCommerce personalization. However, the WooCommerce setup wizard only guides you in basic customization. To resolve more complicated issues, you are supposed to have technical knowledge. And it requires significant time to gain such understanding.
If you have limited technical skills or want to establish a store from the beginning, Shopify is a great option. It is really quick to set up a store using Shopify. You have to signup, choose a theme for your business, give a specific look and feel, and your store gets ready.
Shopify’s in-build themes, like the Dawn theme, are easy to customize. Initially, you’ll only need to put your content, and you can go live.
Shopify wins in build time as well. It allows you to set up your store faster than WooCommerce.
Design is an essential thing in any eCommerce store. It helps you to attract an audience and can make or break your eCommerce store. Now, let us know the difference between WooCommerce and Shopify in terms of design.
WooCommerce is a plugin developed by WooThemes. Talking about the design and theme availability, it is the same as other eCommerce platforms.
However, there is a catch. WooCommerce is a platform that you can integrate with any of the themes available in the market. You can choose any WordPress theme available from the market and ensure it works well with WooCommerce.
There are some essential themes available for WooCommerce directly. ThemeForest is a platform that offers such themes for your WooCommerce store. You can choose from more than 1000 eCommerce themes. But again, it all depends on you. If the design is the most crucial thing for your store, you can choose a theme built mainly for WooCommerce.
Storefront is one such theme that is highly responsive and works well with mobile devices. It consists of an intuitive and modern layout. With the time you invest and your technical skill, you can make an attractive online store with WooCommerce.
Shopify consists of more than 100 themes on its platform. Out of which, it has nine free and 90+ paid themes. All of these themes are highly responsive and offer various coloring options. These themes look modern and are suitable for a futuristic online store.
The best thing about Shopify is that it gives the work of theme design to external web designers. Hence, you will see a wide variety of creative and stunning designs for your store.
The price of the premium themes starts from $140. It might look expensive to you initially, but it is a one-time payment that can help you generate good revenue for your store.
If you have a low budget, you can quickly get started with any of the free themes. To customize your theme, check out Shopify theme customization.
The winner in themes & designs is Shopify, which offers stunning designs for your online store, and you can customize them to make them your own. WooCommerce also allows you to customize your theme, but you may require more creativity as these themes are not quite good.
eCommerce website owners often place a high priority on cost. When getting started, you have to consider what it will cost to add additional services and software and the initial startup costs.
WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress plugin. It is entirely free. However, it also requires additional expenses to set up your eCommerce store. These include hosting, domain name, and security.
You can purchase any domain and hosting service based on your budget and online store requirements. Besides, you need to pay extra for every extension you integrate into your WooCommerce store.
The overall pricing of WooCommerce will vary based on the hosting, domain, and security you purchase for your store. Besides this, you need to invest sufficient time to set up the store, which ultimately affects the costs.
Shopify is such an eCommerce platform that offers you a complete solution in one place. It comes with various pricing packages. You don’t have to worry about the domain, hosting, and more.
Shopify packages start from $29 per month and go up to $299 per month. Shopify’s basic plan itself comes with a lot of features and functionalities to start your online store. These Shopify plans do not include the cost of third-party tools that you’ll require to upgrade your store.
We have a detailed guide on the different costs of Shopify. You can check out this guide about Shopify website costs.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your eCommerce store is; you still require many plugins or integrations to add new functionality and grow your store. These plugins can be related to email marketing, third-party services, and more. Here, we will compare WooCommerce vs Shopify based on the number of integrations.
WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress plugin. It comes with more than 50,000 plugins that you can utilize to build a comprehensive website for your business. As WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that doesn’t have much built-in functionality, it obviously requires more integrations to work seamlessly.
Shopify, on the other hand, offers 1200 free and paid plugins. You can take benefit of these plugins to establish a robust eCommerce store for your business. However, not all plugins are recommended, but if you want to scale up your Shopify store, you can use them with prior research.
WooCommerce wins here as it offers plenty of plugins required to make your online store perfect. Shopify offers more in-built functionalities and doesn’t require much help from plugins, so it has fewer plugins.
In order to keep an eCommerce business healthy, inventory management is vital because it ensures there is rarely an overabundance or shortage of inventory, which prevents stockouts.
WooCommerce provides an excellent level of adaptability and control over your inventory. The platform enables you to make inventory reports and make any changes to the existing reports with the help of the WordPress editor.
WooCommerce gets ahead of Shopify in terms of the total number of product variations. These are nothing but the attributes that you give to the product. For instance, if you sell a smartphone, you may provide different sizes of memory and colors. All of these things fall under the attributes. To take maximum advantage of WooCommerce, you need to utilize some third-party plugins.
Just like WooCommerce, Shopify also offers complete control over the entire inventory management system. It allows you to monitor stock, get stock alerts, automate purchase orders, generate reports, and more.
Additionally, Shopify is a platform that enables you to add single or bulk items and customers, orders, etc., manually or via the help of CSV files.
Talking about product variations, Shopify gives you the option to include 100 variants. To enhance the cap, you need to use third-party apps.
Both WooCommerce and Shopify offer a good inventory management system to manage your product stocks.
Successful processing of payment is the ultimate goal behind running any eCommerce business. It doesn’t matter what type & size of products or services you sell; you aim to convert visitors into customers through successful transactions. Here we will know the difference between Shopify and WooCommerce based on the payment gateway.
WooCommerce provides two payment gateways: PayPal and Stripe, free for any eCommerce store. The majority of the online stores are good to go with these options. If you want to integrate any other payment gateway, the platform allows the integration of various leading payment service providers via add-ons.
One of the best things about WooCommerce is that it also allows the integration of various regional and local payment services. Moreover, you can build your own payment gateway and integrate it into your store. Besides this, you don’t have to pay any processing fees to WooCommerce. You only have to pay the processing fee to the payment gateway or the bank.
Shopify provides an option to integrate more than 100 payment gateways into your online store. However, the platform charges 0.5 to 2 percent transaction fees based on your monthly plan. If you go with a higher plan, you need to pay low transaction fees.
For instance, you need to pay 0.5 percent transaction fees if you opt $299 per month plan for your store.
The eCommerce platform provides its own payment gateway, known as Shopify Payments, and it is absolutely free and straightforward to use. Opting for this option means you don’t need to wait for any third-party payment provider to get approval before processing the payments.
Once you set up Shopify payment on your store, your funds will instantly synchronize with the sales and inventory. It also enables you to include the Shopify Pay button.
Moreover, some Shopify features will drastically help you grow your business if you are selling products worldwide. Like there is a feature that includes tax prices in the store considering the customer’s country. It also has a feature to set different pricing for different countries.
It’s a tie between Shopify and WooCommerce in payment options availability. Because where WooCommerce allows you to integrate some local payment gateways, Shopify also offers 100+ payment gateways.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO tool is a highly essential eCommerce feature to attract customers to your store. It ensures that your store ranks higher on search engines. Further, it allows users to discover your store while searching for the products you sell.
WooCommerce has code optimized for search engines out of the box. Using the WordPress editor, you can modify the meta title & description, optimize the ALT tag, and do various essential things.
Out of various plugins, Yoast is one of the most popular SEO plugins. It has many great features and helps you improve your store’s SEO.
Shopify has some limitations if we consider the number of SEO features available compared to WooCommerce. Indeed, Shopify only enables you to customize the URLs partially. Because of its rigid URL structure, you can’t update several sections of your Shopify store. In addition, it is somewhat challenging to make sub-categories on Shopify.
Despite the limitations, Shopify has ahead of WooCommerce in many ways. The platform has developers with clean code and a natural linking structure, which provides a robust user experience and improves visibility on search engines. It allows you to integrate primary SEO details like meta titles, descriptions, images, products, and more.
In addition to that, Shopify offers various SEO plugins in the App Store. All of these plugins are quick & easy-to-install. For instance, Shopify has a plugin known as SEO Booster, which scans the entire online store and provides fixes for various errors that may harm your online store.
If we compare WooCommerce and Shopify based on SEO, it is challenging to decide the best among them. Both offer similar SEO capabilities.
If you intend to sell physical products, offering a flawless shipping experience increases the value of your brand. Both the platforms, Shopify and WooCommerce, enable you to ship products across the globe. However, Shopify is better than WooCommerce as it has made collaborations with USPS, DHL Express, UPS, and Canada Post.
Dropshipping is an order fulfillment method where you don’t need to keep the products in stock. Instead, you can purchase the items from the vendor and send them directly to the customer. Now, let us compare WooCommerce vs Shopping based on dropshipping.
If you choose WooCommerce, you will have access to numerous plugins that instantly import products from third-party marketplaces, complete orders from the store, and do various essential things. Out of multiple plugins, AliDropShip is one of the most popular ones that integrates well with AliExpress. But the most fantastic plugin is DropShip, with more than 8000 active installations.
If you have decided to go with Shopify, you will find dedicated extensions and add-ons from the leading marketplaces to start Dropshipping. Out of various apps, Aliexpress, Dropified, and Oberlo are highly popular. You can integrate any of these plugins into your store to get access to many features to run your Dropshipping business and expand it quickly.
So it’s a tie. Shopify and WooCommerce both support white-label items, import products, and order fulfillment. However, the marketplaces have their own charges for dropshipping. So, you must keep that in mind if you are starting a dropshipping store with any of these two platforms.
Security is highly crucial if you are running an eCommerce store. It is because you are not just processing customers’ payments but also holding their personal information. Moreover, many users have questions like Shopify or WooCommerce: which platform offers better security?
Here we will look at the level of security available on both platforms.
WooCommerce, an open-source platform, offers little security. The entire work of security lies in your hands or the hands of the hosting provider. To enhance the security of your store, you need to get an SSL certificate, configure your site, two-factor authentication, PCI-DSS compliance, and more.
Here, you need to take the help of several best security plugins. Out of various plugins, the Sucuri security suite is higher popular. Once you activate the plugin, it distinguishes directories, plugins, themes, and core files on your online store. If anything wrong occurs, the plugin alerts you instantly.
Shopify is a hosted platform, and it comes with many built-in features to secure an online store. It takes care of your security concerns and ensures your store stays safe from cyber attacks and hackers. The platform consists of an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate which ensures that all the data transferred between the client and you remains encrypted.
Another crucial thing is that Shopify has PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant. It means your store can easily accept payments from debit and credit cards.
Shopify wins in Security features. It offers better security than WooCommerce, and you don’t have to worry about any security breaches.
Running an eCommerce business is not always easy, and you may face challenges, and you need support to resolve them. Let’s see what WooCommerce and Shopify have in case of customer support.
Like various other open-source platforms available in the market, WooCommerce doesn’t offer support for email, chat, or phone numbers.
However, the platform offers some of the best resources for support. It has official documentation which explains all the essential things necessary to run a WooCommerce store.
The platform offers a New WooCommerce Store Guide, which is highly beneficial for newcomers. Besides this, there is also a WooCommerce Blog with technical and non-technical posts.
Shopify is competitively simple to use compared to WooCommerce. If you need any help, Shopify provides a dedicated help center with various blogs, guides, and more.
The platform provides top-notch support through phone, email, and live chat. Moreover, the platform also has an extensive database of FAQs and a Shopify Forum for enhanced support.
The winner is Shopify. The WooCommerce platform offers no official customer support, but Shopify offers it via live chat, email, and phone.
After building an online store, the next important thing is marketing to reach the target audience. Let’s check which platform offers better tools for marketing.
WooCommerce provides various plugins for email marketing. You can consider MailChimp to send tailor-made emails to customers effectively. Besides this, WooCommerce allows you to connect your store to Amazon, eBay, and Instagram for $79. Moreover, it also allows you to advertise on Facebook without any cost.
Shopify also enables you to run email campaigns with the help of apps like Senguno, Constant Contact, and more. The platform also assists in multichannel selling, allowing you to integrate your store into Facebook, Amazon, eBay, and Pinterest. Moreover, it also allows you to advertise on these channels. You can also integrate your Shopify store with YouTube and sell your products directly through YouTube.
Shopify comes with better marketing solutions as it allows you multichannel selling, whereas you’ll need plugins help for marketing in WooCommerce.
Until now, we have done a detailed review of WooCommerce vs Shopify. Now, it’s time to choose the best platform amongst WooCommerce or Shopify for your online store.
WooCommerce can convert your existing WordPress website into an eCommerce platform. If you want better scalability, personalization, SEO features, and adaptability, choose WooCommerce development. Moreover, if you have good technical skills and want control over the design and the hosting, WooCommerce is the best. Apart from this, if your ultimate goal is to get massive traffic on the website, go with WooCommerce.
If you want to set up your eCommerce store quickly and don’t want to be involved in technical stuff, consider Shopify development. Also, if you wish to access a wide range of themes and customize them for your store, Shopify is a great option. And the best thing is Shopify offers 24*7 support via different channels and enhanced security.
We hope that you have enjoyed our detailed comparison of WooCommerce vs Shopify. You also would have understood the essential factors that differentiate both platforms.
If you are still confused about choosing a suitable platform between WooCommerce and Shopify, feel free to contact us.
Webdesk Solution is a leading eCommerce store development company. We have a highly talented team of developers with years of experience. Hence, we can understand the need of your business and provide you with a suitable solution.
WooCommerce offers better scalability over a long time due to its customization ability. Shopify is also highly scalable, but it is costly.
Absolutely, you can migrate your store from WooCommerce to Shopify and vice versa. However, you cannot perfectly switch from one platform to another. Moreover, you can automate the entire process of switching from one platform to another.
Shopify provides an option for a 3-day trial. After this, you need to signup for a paid plan. WooCommerce is entirely free to download and use. However, you have to pay for hosting, domain, security, and more.
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