WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which E-commerce Platform Is Better For You
All platforms have their pros and cons, but which one is right for you and your business?
Choosing an e-commerce platform is quite a challenge. All platforms have their pros and cons, but which one is right for you and your business? In this blog post, we’ll be comparing what WooCommerce and Shopify offer.
First, let’s look at WooCommerce. It’s a plugin for the open-source WordPress software. Integration with the world's most popular content management system has its benefits and shortcomings. Here are the reasons why so many people choose WooCommerce:
- Free, open-source software offers limitless possibilities as long as the developer has sufficient coding experience.
- Though working with a developer is always best, you could do this on your own. Choose a host, install the software, install a theme, add your content and you’re off!
- A WooCommerce-based storefront is flexible and scalable. It is a good fit for any e-commerce type and inventory size. Moreover, there’s a wide array of plugins that add various functionalities, and they can be switched out and replaced as the business grows and changes.
- With WooCommerce, you have complete freedom to update the checkout process and customize other website areas. You can pick and choose what you want to have on your website. As a result, your storefront will have a unique look and feel, helping you stand out from your competitors.
- It offers the best value since installation is free and most plugins are relatively inexpensive. Of course, there are inevitable expenses associated with running a WooCommerce store (they will be mentioned further), but generally, this platform is incredibly cost-effective for both small and large businesses.
All in all, WooCommerce is a fantastic platform for any business that wants to have a unique, fully customized online presence. It allows a lot of flexibility in the way your products and services are presented.
Other areas of the website are also entirely customizable. For example, being able to update the checkout process is huge. In comparison, all Shopify checkouts will look exactly the same short of a custom color scheme.
It’s best to hire a developer for Woocommerce
However, WooCommerce storefronts offer several challenges. Here they are:
- Coding knowledge is required to take full advantage of the platform. As mentioned previously, you could do this on your own, but your site won’t be as good as it can be.
- You will need to purchase hosting and an SSL certificate before you can go live. Additionally, it will require manual integration with payment processors and gateways.
- As a result, setting up a storefront may take longer. And since it’s less geared toward beginners, you may have to spend valuable time learning about setting up a store rather than running a successful business.
In short, WooCommerce setup requires some know-how. However, setting it up will be a breeze for an experienced coder or a web designer who can take full advantage of the platform’s potential. Someone with no coding experience, on the other hand, might struggle with it at first.
Additionally, it will take some time to get things ready. Doing the research alone can take quite a bit of time, and setting it all up is not easy. That delay can be avoided by hiring a professional web development studio and having them design a beautiful website using WooCommerce and WordPress.
Shopify is another popular choice for many e-commerce businesses. However, unlike WooCommerce, it is a standalone platform. That, in turn, creates its own set of cons and pros.
- Shopify has an intuitive setup. It has everything that you’ll need in one place, starting with design themes and ending with apps and extra features.
- It is incredibly beginner-friendly, and no coding experience is necessary to get a store up and running.
- Creating a storefront takes literal minutes. A brand new shop is ready for business as soon as you add your first listing and fill out your billing information.
- It offers marketing features such as built-in abandoned cart recovery and e-mail campaign integrations for free. It also has free fraud-protection tools. And if you need other useful functionalities, you can download apps to your website.
Shopify is a very straightforward e-commerce platform. You will have a simple yet functional e-commerce storefront right away. It will look modern, and it will be mobile-optimized, which is great for search engine optimization.
However, Shopify has its limitations too.
- It tends to be a bit more expensive, and transaction fees depend on the plan used. Some of the apps use tiered pricing models, meaning that the total cost is based on sold products or traffic.
- Shopify has less 3rd party specialized functionality to choose from (approximately 1,200 apps as opposed to over 50,000 apps available for WooCommerce.)
- There are more limitations on the customization of content and functionality. Blogging features are also somewhat limited in comparison with WordPress.
- Shopify websites tend to be more streamlined and uniform, unless you’re building from the ground up, and creating your own design and theme. Most attempts to customize a standard storefront will require subscribing to apps or purchasing paid, unique-looking themes.
Shopify websites are easy to create but are a lot more challenging to customize. Associated costs can get pretty high when factoring in the price of a Shopify plan, transaction fees, and necessary apps. Add-on functionalities are also somewhat limited. However, all marketing and SEO basics will be covered.
What's best for you?
At Studio Umbrella, we work with both platforms and deliver great results to our clients regardless of the platform they choose. You can see some examples of our work in our portfolio.
Shopify is great for companies that need a simple and efficient store as soon as possible if they don’t have time or resources. It will be quickly set up, and it will be ready for business almost right away. Customization is a little more limited. However, a lot can be achieved with the help of experienced developers. You can sign up here for a free trial!
So it’s safe to say that Shopify covers everything a new business may require to build its customer base and grow its operations. After all, a simple e-commerce website that works now is better than a uniquely customized site that takes forever to develop. Shopify offers everything a new store may need, and then some. For example, built-in abandoned cart recovery will increase sales and help retain customers at no additional expense or effort.
On the other hand, WooCommerce is a great choice for those who have a very particular vision for their storefront. It has a ton of unique add-on features and perks. However, many of them will need to be manually set up and integrated. Open-source software creates infinite customization options and SEO fine-tuning, but coding experience is required to make many of the modifications.
If you're curious about comparing and migrating from Woocommerce over to Shopify, read more here.
If you’re still not sure which platform is better for you, we can help you make the right choice since both platforms are great. Contact us today to request a quote for a custom website.