Struggling with choosing among WooCommerce vs Shopify? Are you planning to launch an eCommerce store? Then we are sure that you’ve come around these two eCommerce platforms as they were, by the numbers, the two most popular eCommerce platforms across the world.
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Both platforms have their own benefits, which made it a very complicated decision, mainly for something as important as an eCommerce store. To assist you to pick the solution which is perfect for your store, we will fully exhaust this post digging into every platform and contrasting and comparing the two so you can be optimistic when you take your final decision.
WooCommerce vs Shopify: How Each Platform Approaches Ecommerce
Such as when comparing website builder platforms like Wix and Squarespace to WordPress as a whole, WooCommerce and Shopify go through two different core approaches to making and managing your store:
- WooCommerce is fully self-hosted, it means your store’s files can be located over your own server and you are free to adjust everything on your store as you view fit.
- Shopify is hosted. This means Shopify manages and hosts the software for you and, while you can have much flexibility, you’re limited to just creating the changes which Shopify accesses to make.
What’s the practical difference between these approaches?
WooCommerce is too flexible, yet not as beginner-friendly. Shopify is the contrast – it’s more beginner-friendly, yet has some tough limits which you never encounter over WooCommerce. As we run throughout some more certain comparisons, you could view this theme play out again and again.
Ecommerce Market Share
It is even interesting to have a look at the eCommerce market share. Obviously, you can’t pick a solution simply depending on popularity, yet it will help you to look at the trends on what your competition might utilize. As per BuiltWith, since December 2018, of the popular 1 million sites, 21% of the web utilises WooCommerce to fuel their stores. Which is followed in second by Shopify at 18%.
Although, if we see at the top 10k websites, just 6% utilize WooCommerce, where 23% utilize Shopify. So it looks that Shopify is used heavily on higher authority sites. Yet this also means that there is much room in the enterprise space for both of these platforms to expand.
Starting at Google Trends for the past 5 years, we can find that both have had effective steady growth, however Shopify seems to consist slowly of exceeding WooCommerce.
How Easy Is It To Launch a Store on Each Platform?
In the matter of how simple it is to move from nothing to a fully-operational store which is ready to process payments and take orders, Shopify is the clear winner.
When you make a WooCommerce store, you need to do two separate things:
- Install WordPress and know about WordPress interface (if you’re not so far thick with WordPress, that is)
- Configure and Install WooCommerce and know about WooCommerce interface
Normally, before you can start receiving orders, you are responsible for:
- Discovering hosting
- Installing WordPress
- configuring and Installing and WooCommerce
- Discovering a WooCommerce theme
- Configuring nitty-gritty information like tax calculations, payment gateways and more (though something known as WooCommerce Services made few of this simpler)
Now – none of this is much intimidating, and the huge WordPress community created it simple to find support. Yet there is a clear learning curve – mainly if this is your beginning WordPress site. Ensure to also check out our huge WooCommerce guide to assist in boosting your sales.
By Shopify, there is a very little getting over way of you making your first product and beginning to sell it.
Basically, everything you do is:
- Make a Shopify account
- Pick and Purchase a domain or else syncing an existing domain name
- Pick your theme
And presumably, you’re utilizing Shopify’s own payment gateway, it is simple to begin accepting credit card payments from very day one.
Shopify created it easy to begin accepting payments. It’s difficult to beat the clarity of Shopify.
How Much Control Do You Have Over Your Website’s Functionality?
As far as hosted platforms go, Shopify is definitely one of the more flexible solutions. Although it still can not come closer over control which you achieve with a self-hosted WooCommerce site, that is why WooCommerce is the definite winner in this section.
By WooCommerce, you have some ways to personalize your store’s functionality:
- Your theme
- Over 50,000 WordPress plugins, along with plugins and extensions which are specifically made for WooCommerce
- Custom code (one of the advantages of a self-hosted solution)
So what does this make you do? You can, for instance, do like Qüero Handmade Shoes and sell customized products on a scale which could be greatly impossible with Shopify.
Likewise, WooCommerce’s flexibility is even evident once it comes to things as product variations. By WooCommerce, there is no hard limit over the number of product variations which you can utilise, while Shopify will put a hard cap about 100 variants per product, 3 whole options per product no matter whatever Shopify plan you’re with
You already have seen one defect of Shopify above – product variations.
Yet, how flexible is the remaining of your Shopify store? As WooCommerce, you can personalise your Shopify store with:
- Themes: You can discover both third-party themes along with themes at the Shopify Theme Store.
- Apps: These are likewise to WordPress plugins in concept and are all gathered at the Shopify website.
Shopify also allows you to include custom HTML yet only to your store’s homepage, which is truly a limiting factor.
Where these tools do offer you the best deal of extensibility for a hosted platform, you are still going to hit a few walls – as the mentioned product variation limits – which are impossible to work across. Which never happens with WooCommerce.
What Payment Methods Does Each Platform Offer?
Where both WooCommerce and Shopify boast prolonged lists of payment gateways. Except you have the best niche situation, you likely never notice a difference. Shopify does charge an extra fee if you utilize an external payment gateway, but, which could be a big consideration due to that fee can be as huge as 2% (over top of what your payment gateway imposes).
Due to WooCommerce’s large plugin community and open nature, you can discover a wide range of WooCommerce payment gateways.
At First, WooCommerce favour all the popular gateways like:
But other than support for the big boys, one of the main merits of WooCommerce is that you can approach to several niche payment gateways like:
- Postgiro (This is Swedish gateway)
- Przelewy24 (This is a Polish gateway)
We are aware that you’ve definitely haven’t heard of those last two – that is the whole point! WooCommerce have both the popular names and regional gateways too.
Shopify has its own payment gateway which mainly needs zero configuration. But if you prefer to utilize a third-party payment gateway, Shopify even supports all the big guns like:
And not to be outshined, Shopify even boasts its own prolonged list of local payment gateways.
Shopify can charge you extra if you utilise an external payment gateway, throughout. As we said, this can be worth paying attention to.
Who Controls Your Data On Each Platform?
Due to WooCommerce being self-hosted, WooCommerce offers you significantly much ownership and control of your data.
There’s nothing left for us to write here – with WooCommerce you own anything. Which means, if required, you can also dig throughout your database and gain the raw data.
While Shopify offers you allowance to your entire data, the live copy still sits over Shopify’s servers. Which means you can’t really entirely control your data.
With that being discussed, Shopify isn’t going to offer you a variety of ways to access your data, which is better than several hosted platforms. You can:
- Easily Export a CSV file of your products
- Backup your site through an app (but not the core Shopify interface)
- Connect with your data through an API
How Does Each Platform Handle Ongoing Maintenance?
Where Shopify is a hosted solution, its maintenance is more massive care-free than WooCommerce.
As we told you that WooCommerce offers you the best ownership and control of your store. Actually, the tradeoff of all that extensibility is that you are the one who’s in charge for securing and maintaining your store.
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But you don’t need to do this by yourself – in fact, hosts like Brad Advertising offer managed WooCommerce solution. But, if you help over development work, which is when you need to outsource it to an expert.
Shopify manages securing and maintaining your store, so there will be very few required maintenances for you to panic about. Considering everything, you should need to stay over top of any apps which you utilise on your store to ensure that they continue to function properly.
How Much Does Each Platform Cost?
Due to the variable costs of every platform, it’s tough to announce a winner here.
It’s tough to nail down an exact cost for a WooCommerce store due to there being many edge cases and scenarios and. So technically, the only fixed costs are:
- Your domain
- However, you pay your payment gateway
But you’ll also probably end up paying for:
- A premium theme
- Many premium plugins
One merit is that WordPress plugins regularly are a one-time payment, where many Shopify apps utilize recurring monthly payments.
Shopify’s core pricing is transparent and clear that make us easy to plan for:
Although there are a bunch of things which can maximise the cost of your store:
- Premium themes: These are normally a one-off cost.
- Apps: Many of these need an additional monthly payment, yet you can also discover free apps.
Also, Shopify can charge you much if you utilize an external payment gateway.
WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which One Should You Choose?
There is definitely one right answer here. So rather than trying to create a single suggestion in one way or further, we will run through a few scenarios where every platform generates the most sense.
3 Reasons To Use WooCommerce Over Shopify
The main reason to pick WooCommerce rather than Shopify is control and flexibility. If you’re thinking of selling simple products with minimum variations, you definitely don’t need that flexibility.
But if you’re thinking of selling things which can go beyond “simple” – whether in terms of the checkout process, pricing structure and variations – you’ll definitely appreciate WooCommerce’s flexibility.
Another main reason is that few products just flat-out are prohibited from Shopify. As Shopify is a hosted solution, where you’re at the impulse of Shopify’s decision-making team, that has seen few cosmetics manufacturers get prohibited.
Ultimately, if you like utilizing WordPress and value the WordPress ecosystem of support and plugins, which can be another reason to go along with a WordPress eCommerce solution.
2 Reasons To Use Shopify Over WooCommerce
If you just need the easiest, a most beginner-friendly method to launch an eCommerce store, Shopify is absolutely the best choice. As long as you’re not planning on selling complicated products with tons of variations, you could be fine through Shopify’s ecosystem.
Also, if you don’t need to spend time about the maintenance of your store (or just normally don’t need to think of technology at all), which is another reason to think about Shopify’s simplicity.
Migrate From Shopify to WordPress
If you’re currently utilising Shopify and are seeking for a simple way to migrate to WordPress (WooCommerce), these are a couple of plugins we suggest checking out.
- Cart2Cart: Shopify to WooCommerce Migration
- LitExtension Shopify to WooCommerce
So What Do You Think?
Finally, every eCommerce platform has benefits for certain situations. If you value ownership and flexibility – WooCommerce is definitely your effective bet. If you fully value simplicity – Shopify is definitely the one and only for you. Now the choice is yours – when the table turns to WooCommerce vs Shopify, which do you go for and why?
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