WooCommerce vs. Shopify: A Detailed Comparison

2019-04-01T13:46:51+00:00By |Blog, Shopify, WordPress|0 Comments

Looking forward to launching a brand new e-commerce business? One of the first steps is to identify a perfect platform that offers comprehensive features, proves easy-to-use, and suits your needs.

Obviously, your search for the ideal e-commerce platform has yielded several options. But if you have done your research, you have probably shortlisted Shopify and WooCommerce.  Both Shopify and WooCommerce are exquisitely designed with excellent functions to ensure the ultimate user experience.

While the two are evenly matched and stand an equal chance against each other, you may find yourself at a crossroad unable to decide which is best. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, you must choose one. For that reason, it is imperative to consider the exact features offered in each case.

To help you select the perfect platform, here is a comprehensive guide that will intuitively compare and contrast the two e-commerce solutions.

However, first things first!

A Brief Sneak Peek

Just as mentioned above, in most aspects, both WooCommerce and Shopify are an equal match. First and foremost, they feature exceptional user interfaces, making them a great choice for novices. Their intuitive interfaces are cleverly designed for effectively handling basic yet crucial operations, such as:

  • Developing website pages
  • Managing orders
  • Cataloging merchandise

They also provide highly evolved documentation systems.

Despite their undeniable operative similarities, when it comes to the technical part of the two, Shopify and WooCommerce are worlds apart. Essentially, WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin. As a result, for you to employ this exceptional platform, you must have a WordPress site.

Unlike its major contender, Shopify is a standalone platform and does not need a 3rd party service provider to host it. With no intermediary hosts, launching Shopify is ridiculously easy. Precisely, the whole workflow is limitless as you will not be obligated to follow specific procedures when setting up this solution. In addition to that, Shopify’s unique design allows you seamlessly customize your blogging capacities.

Now you have a clear picture of exactly what we mean by Shopify and WooCommerce and can at least can start visualizing their differences and commonalities. However, to have an intuitive comprehension of the two, let’s dig down further.

In-Depth Look at Shopify and WooCommerce

As pointed out above, setting up Shopify is comparatively easier as it features a standalone design. For individuals with limited technical knowledge, Shopify would be a perfect choice. While this beginner’s platform does not offer a free plan, its affordable subscription plans and extensive feature list greatly make up for it.

At the very core of Shopify are incredible features, including:

  • Ample availability of professional themes
  • An exceptionally responsive design that features a smartphone integration function
  • A personal domain identity
  • Interactive site builders that enable you to uniquely modify your store’s outlook
  • Intuitive site and report analytics tools
  • Email and social media integration functions, among others
  • A comprehensive app store

While Shopify is a standalone e-commerce platform, on the opposite side, WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin. If you have already installed other WordPress plugins, you may not feel daunted about the setup process, which is relatively easy and involves installation and activation.

WooCommerce provides numerous features, such as:

  • Multiple subscription channels, including PayPal, cash on delivery and BACS
  • Free local shipping charges
  • An excellent reporting system which perfectly analyzes your inventory levels, inbound sales, and reviews
  • Numerous discount options for loyal customers, as well as usage limits
  • Supports a cross-marketing option
  • An extensive market target that enhances product diversification- you can vend both physical and soft goods

So How Does Shopify Compare with WooCommerce?

1. Setting up

Setting up Shopify is comparatively easier. From the moment you open an account, Shopify accurately guides you through the entire set up process. With this platform, you do not need any technical assistance when installing or navigating.

However, when it comes to WooCommerce, the process is not as straightforward. This platform first takes you through a number of stages. For starters, if you don’t have a WordPress website, the first step will be to set one up. Then you will need to download the WooCommerce plugin.

Fortunately, you can streamline the process by employing automated hosting service providers like Bluehost or hiring professional web developers and designers to set it up for you.

Setting up WordPress yourself? Avoid these 9 WordPress mistakes!

2. Price

Shopify will hit you with sticker-shock more than WooCommerce at first. That’s because Shopify offers flat-rate subscriptions that include web hosting and domain names. The WooCommerce plugin is free. Remember that you have to pay for your domain name, hosting, etc. when you choose WooCommerce. This means the monthly fees can vary depending on who you choose as a host, etc.

3. Themes

Themes are invaluable tools and absolutely indispensable when it comes to e-commerce. Functioning as a typical shop window, multiple theme options are indeed a great boost to your virtual venture.

Keeping in mind that Shopify is an all-in-one service, they provide a library of themes for you to use. Some are free and some require an additional one-time fee. WooCommerce is more open to customization, meaning you or your professional web development team can create a totally unique theme for WooCommerce. There are also hundreds to browse on theme marketplaces.

If you’re easily overwhelmed, that might be a drawback, and you may appreciate Shopify’s more conservative collection.

Want to see some of the best Shopify themes for 2019? Check out our roundup: Best Shopify Themes

4. Built-in features and third-party apps

With dozens of highly competitive contenders lurking at every corner, virtual commerce requires excellent merchandise presentation.

While both WooCommerce and Shopify designers perfectly understanding this, when it comes to product cataloging the two platforms meticulously created with incredible functions that allows you to:

  • Develop insightful merchandise descriptions
  • Effortlessly upload images as well as product clips in your content

Shopify comes with more built-in features, and if you realize you need something else, just browse the Shopify app store. WooCommerce comes with features as well, and because it’s an open-source platform, you can find additional plugins to help you with anything that’s causing trouble.

Need your products to effectively reach your customers? Read all about the 20 Best Cross Sell and Upsell Apps for Shopify.

Final Word

In summation, each of the two e-commerce platforms is cleverly designed to fill a unique market niche. In essence, either Shopify or WooCommerce would be a perfect choice.

However,we’ll share our final conclusion on who should use these platforms:

  • Shopify is great for beginners who do not have a technical background because it is very user-friendly.
  • WooCommerce is a better choice for people with technical knowledge who appreciate the opportunity for limitless customization.

If you find yourself needing help with either platform, contact us.

Now that you know the difference between Shopify and WooCommerce, check out our comparison of Shopify and Wix.

About the Author:

Matt is a marketer and WordPress expert. Founder of Scepter, Matt oversees the larger web dev projects for the company. Seeing innovative ideas come to life is his passion, and therefore he pushes Scepter ahead to help our customers bring their projects to life.

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