Are you looking to start or shift your business to the online platform? And, looking to choose between WooCommerce vs Shopify ? That’s a complex one, I think. But, the right analysis of the two eCommerce platforms can help you understand them better and make a wise decision. Please note that the two platforms are an excellent choice, depending on the use cases and business types.
So, my intention here is to bring clear analysis including when to and not to use WooCommerce and Shopify; the pros and cons of WooCommerce and Shopify and what sets the two eCommerce platforms apart from each other. The bottom line is after going through the article, you will be confident enough to choose your preferred platform. But first, let’s understand the eCommerce market and the top players on the global eCommerce platform market.
WooCommerce and Shopify are the two most used eCommerce platforms across a wide range of business spectrum. WooCommerce leads the charge with the highest 24,000+ websites out of one million while Shopify follows it with 20,000+ second highest market share.
Here’s a list of eCommerce platform ruling the roost.
WooCommerce with 28.06% Market Share
Magento with 7.91% Market Share
Shopify with 19.67% Market Share
VirtueMart with 4.36% Market Share
According to SimilarTech, Woocommerce host 8.5 lakh + websites, while Shopify holds, 2.5 lakh eCommerce websites
The chart given above explains that you have taken a smart decision to choose between WooCommerce vs Shopify. Now, you need to understand the two platforms separately and it is better to start from the introduction of the two.
WooCommerce is the customizable eCommerce platform, having hundreds of free and paid extensions to meet all your specific needs. It’s a free plug-in that you can integrate it with your WordPress and add a number of eCommerce functionalities such as plug-ins and extensions.
An eCommerce platform largely used for online store and retail point-of-sale system, then Shopify is a complete eCommerce platform which enables owners to start, grow, and manage a business efficiently. The platform is very easy to use and has plenty of store builders and themes to customize your website.
It’s Free and Open Source: The WooCommerce plugin is free to use and customize it around any of your unique or customer business requirements. You have plenty of themes to customize your website and sell products online conveniently.
The plug-in, WooCommerce, is built on popular CMS WordPress, the largest CMS of the web, powering more than 34% of total websites on the internet, assuring owners that you are in safe hands.
WooCommerce promises to provide commerce with content and fulfill the expectations of owners to have everything-in-need in one place. This is obvious as it is built on the top of the world’s most popular content management system (CMS), WordPress.
Flexibility is one of the most important things that every owner looks for while integrating any plug-ins or tools. WooCommerce, keeping the needs in mind, provides you a set of themes and tools as a modular system so that you can choose what you want. At the same time, it works alongside the WordPress plugins, which means you don’t have to give up your desired features at all. Both can work simultaneously.
Whatever products or services you want to sell, WooCommerce promises to support. You have plenty of themes, plug-in to customize things to suit the business requirement.
Freedom to choose themes that fit your requirement, the WooCommerce provides countless themes from around the web including WordPress default theme produced every year.
WooCommerce never decides your website whether how your website should look like. It is you who has to do this. All the WooCommerce does is, gives you the freedom to customize the site by editing any part you want.
Build Brand with Built-in Blogging: You can publish anything directly on the web and get the chance to reach your customers to build a brand.
One of the largest benefits of WooCommerce is that your quick solution for any issue occurs -thanks to the worldwide WooCommerce community.
Shopify enables your work like a pro from the very first day of setup. It comes with easy setup and uses features that require no technical knowledge to work with. A complete solution at one place, Shopify makes things such as no development and hosting of the online store required to launch the website.
Shopify provides you excellent loading speed -thanks to the reliable infrastructure with optimized hardware and software. When the website loads content faster, it gives a boost to sales and increases customer engagement.
Shopify provides plenty of templates, which enables you to create a unique online store with attractive visual appeal. The store also offers themes, though they are less in number, you can take help of developers and designers to create an excellent UI and UX.
Shopify has a marketing edge over others and you get a set of SEO features including advanced eCommerce analytics tools, custom gift cards, discount coupons, email marketing for the target audience and so much more.
In case, you wish to add some extra features as per the business requirement, Shopify enables you to make such addition.
In today’s technological scenario, if you don’t have a responsive website or online store, you are missing the most important and potential customers. You have more mobile users than personal computer users today. Shopify offers themes, all are mobile responsive. That means your website or online store will be accessible across PC, Android, and iPhone users.
One thing you can’t ignore is the Reliability and security. Security is an essential element that one should look at while selecting a platform for an eCommerce site. Shopify provides intact security with regular maintenance and updates.
_ Check out our Article : Top Shopify Apps to Successfully Grow your eCommerce Store in 2020_
Being an individual or business owner, you need to learn both WordPress and WooCommerce to make the most out of it. You may require taking help from professionals.
WooCommerce is not CMS or complete solution; it’s a plug-in that you need to integrate it with WordPress to use.
Even though the WooCommerce is free to use, there are premium themes and features which could be costly for small business and startups. You can use plenty of free themes and plug-ins. It is possible that you may not need additional themes or plugins.
WooCommerce has a worldwide community, but it doesn’t have central support. Using WooCommerce is cost-effective (almost free if you don’t use premium themes) at the initial stage, but it could be costly.
If you are not sure how much you can make out of the online business, then using Shopify can be costly for small businesses and startups. However, if you are already in the market and want to shift to an online store, then there is nothing wrong with giving it a try.
Scalability has been a concern for Shopify users. Starting with Shopify goes great, but when it comes to scaling through business, it creates scalability issues. As a result, you are left with two options: either cope with what you get from Shopify or switch to other platforms.
For an online store, it may be a serious concern, I think. The search mechanism provided by Shopify is not so efficient and may not be liked by common users. For example, when a users search Winter Jackets, he/she would get the list of jackets, but they may not be able to narrow down the search to only black or brown jackets.
_ Check out our Article : Shopify Setup Checklist for your eCommerce Store -Top 20 Steps to Check_
|Cost||Initially, you don’t have to pay for anything. You can integrate the plug-in with WordPress for free, though if want to use the premium plug-in, then your charges may apply.||Shopify is not free to use, though you can use it free as a trial provided by the vendor. As it’s a complete solution, you need to pay charges as per the plan you select.|
|Hosting||No Hosting, subdomain integrated||No free Hosting and subdomain included with every plan (e.g. YOURSTORE.shopify.com)|
|Ease of Use||WooCommerce is easy, but initially, you may have to learn. In fact, you need to learn two technologies together. For example, it is the plug-in for WordPress and they both require knowledge to get the most out of it. You may need professionals if you are not technologically advanced.||Shopify is relatively easy to use. The most important part is its Mobile app which enables us to make changes, edit, delete and add right through the app. In short, you can manage the store on the go. However, it has some difficulties when you try to edit HTML or CSS. Shopify operates through own programming language “Liquid” which is not easy for business and individual to master.|
|Scalability||Yes, you can scale through the platform.||Scalability has been an issue with Shopify.|
|Security||WooCommerce is the plug-in and the actual plug-ins do not come with security features at all. However, it works along with WordPress and the CMS offers intact security to users.||When you have your store on the Shopify platform, security is the part of Shopify. Being a hosted eCommerce platform, Shopify promises to provide security and ensure users that their data are safe.|
|Integrations||Integration is possible with WooCommerce follows a modular system.||Integration is possible, but it’s complete solutions and hence, you will have everything in there you need.|
|Learning Curve||Provides extensive documentation, tutorials, and guides along with huge community support forums||Provides 24/7 support via live chat, phone, email, and Twitter|
|Community Support||Hard to learn||Easy to learn|
|SEO Support||Best SEO Friendly||Comparatively less SEO Friendly|
WooCommerce and Shopify are the two most used eCommerce platform today. But, they are not equal, and hence cannot be used in similar conditions. Both have different features, functionalities, and usabilities. Here’s a suggestion about whether when to use WooCommerce and when to use Shopify.
- If you have your online store already established on WordPress
- When you want to have complete control over your store
- If you have a team to tackle technical issues when the needs arise
- If you are a startup or have a smaller budget
- If you don’t need 24/7 customer support
- If you want to start from the beginning or don’t have a website or online store
- If you have a budget
- If you don’t have to do with the technology side
- If you require customer support, almost at every step
- Blue Star Coffee Roasters
- Porter and York
- Santa Monica Pier
- Dark Horse
- Spectator Magazine Shop
- Live Chic
- The Economist
- Penguin Books
- Tesla Motors
- Red Bull
From above points you will get pretty clear about whether when to use WooCommerce and when to use Shopify for your eCommerce site. WooCommerce vs Shopify are the two most commonly discussed eCommerce platform today. As they are not equal, and hence cannot be used in similar conditions. Both have different features, functionalities, and usabilities. These are some of the most important aspects you should consider while selecting the eCommerce platforms.
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