Shopify vs WooCommerce – Which is the Better Platform?

Are you considering starting an online shop? Not sure whether you should use Shopify or WooCommerce? Shopify and WooCommerce are the two top eCommerce platforms in the market each with their own pros and cons. As a shop/business/online store owner, picking the right eCommerce platform that fits your business requirements is vital for your progress. In this guide, we will explain to you a detailed comparison of Shopify vs. WooCommerce. The purpose is to break down their benefits and limitations to help you decide the best option for your eCommerce store.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce platform that makes it easy for you to build an online store, accept payments, and manage your inventory all from a single platform without ever bothering about the technical aspects of managing a website such as a web hosting, security, caching, etc.

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce plugin built for WordPress. It allows you to leverage the most powerful content management system (CMS) and use it to run an online store. Because of the open-source nature, you can customize every aspect of your store and easily build custom extensions.

What to Look for in Your eCommerce Platform?

There are a few things that you absolutely need to keep in mind when starting an online store. These key factors will help you decide which platform is better suited for your needs.
  • Budget – The initial cost of starting a fully functional ecommerce store.
  • Ease of use – It should be easy to use even for absolute beginners.
  • Payment Methods – It should have support for multiple payment methods (e.g. PayPal, Stripe, other merchant processors).
  • Integrations – Number of services and third-party tools you can integrate to grow your business.
  • Scalability – The platform should be able to scale as your business grows. These are the very basic requirements that all online store owners must consider. However, depending on your needs, you may also want to look at other options like shipping, inventory management, invoicing, taxes, dropshipping, etc.
  • Cost: Shopify vs WooCommerce Cost is often the most important consideration for eCommerce website owners. You need to evaluate the cost of getting started while also keeping in mind the variable costs for add-on services and software.
Shopify’s basic plan starts at $29 per month, and you can upgrade to the Shopify plan for $79 or the Advanced Shopify plan for $299 per month. There are limitations based on plans. WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress.org (also known as self-hosted WordPress). It is open source and freely available as a WordPress plugin. However, you’ll need a domain name, SSL Certificate, and a WordPress hosting account to start a WooCommerce store. Typically, a domain name costs $15, SSL Certificate costs $40, and basic web hosting around $50 / annual. According to those pricing plans Shopify Basic package you will cost around $348 annually ($29 x 12). But for Woocommerce you will cost around $100 to $150 per annual. Yes, Woocommerce is the winner by cost.

Integrations and Add-ons: Shopify vs WooCommerce

No matter how robust an e-commerce platform is, you’ll always need third-party tools and services to grow your store. For example, an email marketing software, lead generation tool, analytics tools, outreach services, etc. Both Shopify and WooCommerce have a massive extensions directory, and they integrate with many third-party services. Shopify comes with a powerful API and an App Store where you can buy third-party add-ons for your Shopify store. They have hundreds of apps in the store covering every feature you’ll want to add to your store. WooCommerce is open source and built on top of WordPress. This gives you access to more than 55,000 free WordPress plugins and many more paid plugins. You can use these add-ons to add payment gateways, lead generation, SEO, performance optimization, and almost any feature you can think of. Due to the low barrier of entry, there are a lot more integrations and add-ons available for WooCommerce than Shopify. Almost all third-party tools and service providers have their own plugins to seamlessly integrate with your WooCommerce store. Winner: WooCommerce

Shopify vs WooCommerce Dropshipping

Dropshipping is an online business where an eCommerce store doesn’t keep the products in stock. Instead, it fullfills order by purchasing products from vendors and then shipping them directly to the customers. Due to its low overhead, dropshipping has become popular around the world. Many of our users asked us to compare WooCommerce vs Shopify for dropshipping and which one of them is better for a dropshipping business. Dropshipping with Shopify When building a dropshipping business, the front-end of your website will look just like any online store. Your users will be able to browse the products, add them to cart, and make payment, just like they would do on any other eCommerce store. Depending on the vendors you choose, you will then have to place user’s order for shipping. Shopify also has integration apps for several popular dropshipping marketplaces like AliExpress, Oberlo, Printify, and more. However, each of these product marketplaces has their own membership fees, shipping, and other charges that you need to keep in mind when building your dropshipping website with Shopify. Dropshipping with WooCommerce WooCommerce is a popular choice among dropshipping businesses. Mainly because WooCommerce allows you to install extensions that make order fulfillment a breeze. You can easily find extensions that allow you to instantly import products, fulfill orders from your website, and more. You can even create your own eCommerce marketplace allowing other vendors to sell on your website. Keep in mind, that your supplier and vendor may have minimum order requirements, membership fees, and other charges. You need to keep those in mind when adding products to your WooCommerce dropshipping store. Winner: WooCommerce

WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which is the Best eCommerce Platform?

Shopify and WooCommerce are both powerful platforms to start your eCommerce store. It truly comes down to your personal skills and preferences. Shopify is a lot easier to use. It doesn’t require you to install anything, and you can get started quickly. Setting up payments is easier, and they have easy to understand pricing plans. The disadvantage of Shopify is that you don’t have full control over everything. Your costs can go high with transaction fees, add-ons, and integrations. Your upgrade options are limited to select plans, and you cannot manage costs on a pay-as-you-grow basis. WooCommerce is an open source and gives you full control of your website. It costs a lot lower to start an online store with WooCommerce specially with these WooCommerce hosting companies. The disadvantage is that you’ll have to maintain the software. It comes with a bit of learning curve. However, millions of beginners are already using it, and they get over the learning phase quite quickly. If you are looking for a cost-effective solution, and you want to have full control of your online store, then WooCommerce is the best platform for you.  Check our best cost effective Woocommerce plans here.
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