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Shopify vs. WooCommerce: What Should You Choose?

We've built our fair share of websites and tested a lot of eCommerce platforms in the past. This led us to create this comparison between two popular platforms: Shopify vs Woocommerce. Keep reading to find out which platform will fit your business needs best!

Shopify VS WooCommerce At A Glance

Features

Shopify

WooCommerce


Ease of Use

Shopify is a hosted software that includes hosting and security. Plus, its website builder is perfect for beginners who don’t know how to code.

If you don’t have coding knowledge, you might struggle to create your store with WooCommerce unless you have the technical skills.


Build Time

Shopify guides you step-by-step through the process and is equipped with all the necessary capabilities, so your store can go online more quickly.

Because you have to check every aspect of your online store, this process might take a little longer.

Design and Themes

Shopify has a more tailored appearance than WooCommerce thanks to its 70 premium themes.

Because WooCommerce is an open-source platform, you have complete freedom to design your store any way you see fit.


Sales Features

Abandoned cart recovery, discount coupons, unlimited products, a website and blog, and more than 100 payment options are all incorporated into Shopify.

The built-in multichannel integration lets you easily sell on other channels like Amazon, Facebook, eBay, and Pinterest

You'll need plugins and extensions to access sales capabilities, some of which might be pricey when totaled together.

Plugins and Integrations

With Shopify’s app store you get access to over 3,200 apps

WooCommerce is open-source, therefore its functionalities are plugins and extensions. Its Plugin Directory has 55,000 more possibilities than Shopify's App store.

Payment Options and Transaction Fees

Unless you use its own gateway, Shopify Payments, you’ll be charged transaction fees

WooCommerce does not have transaction fees for third-party gateway payments

SEO

Shopify has enough SEO tools for most basic stores

WooCommerce is developed for SEO and offers tons of SEO plugins and tutorials.

Security

Merchants will find their stores are SSL Certificate and PCI-DSS Compliant by default

Merchants will need to get security certificates themselves

Customer Support

Unbeatable 24/7 support lets merchants have their issues resolved around the clock

WooCommerce provides excellent 24/7 live chat and phone support, as well as an extensive knowledge center.


Pricing

Can get expensive since your monthly plan, app plans, and transaction fees can all add up

Slightly less expensive as it’s free to install with lower-priced extensions and no transaction fees

Shopify is a fully-hosted web-based eCommerce platform that allows you to build an online store, sell products and services, accept payments, and view analytics.

It also integrates seamlessly with WordPress so you can use the same website for both your blog and your eCommerce site. However, it does not allow you to customize your theme unless you pay extra for a premium theme option or hire a designer.

Meanwhile, WooCommerce is an open-source platform for WordPress that lets users sell products or services online through their own websites by using customizable themes and plugins as well as adding features like customer accounts or gift cards.

The biggest difference between Shopify and WooCommerce is that Shopify requires users to pay a monthly fee while WooCommerce is free!

Both are useful for small businesses because they are easy to use and integrate with third-party apps like social media marketing tools. 

Ease of Use and Build Time

Shopify’s strong point comes from the ease of use. Even if you don’t know much about web design or coding, it will be easy for you to get started with Shopify because it offers a simple drag-and-drop interface. Users can create their first shop within minutes from scratch.

Shopify is the clear winner in this category. With Shopify, you can easily add products and pages to your store, change prices, and use different types of payment methods.

WooCommerce is however more flexible than Shopify because it supports multi-vendor stores and allows for more detailed customization and encourages building custom extensions for specific needs.

This might also mean that building your website takes longer so if you don’t have the luxury of time, Shopify would be the better option.

Design and Themes

Both WooCommerce and Shopify provide attractive themes that can give your business a professional appearance and feel.

There are more than 100 premium themes available in Shopify's theme store. They're all built and optimized to help you sell because it's a dedicated eCommerce platform.

Currently, premium themes start at $140, which may seem pricey, but it's a one-time cost that you should consider an investment in your shop. If you're on a limited budget, there are also free themes to get you started.

Meanwhile, for WooCommerce, the quality of your design on WooCommerce will be determined by the number of hours you're prepared to put in as well as your technical skill level.

The choices are unlimited because designers are always producing fresh WooCommerce themes. For example, ThemeForest offers over 1,000 eCommerce themes to choose from.

WooCommerce's range is amazing, but Shopify's selection is more carefully crafted. For your convenience, Shopify has pre-selected a variety of themes that will work best for your specific business or niche.

Make sure you don't overlook the importance of a good theme in the battle between WooCommerce and Shopify.

Sales Features

Shopify's abandoned cart recovery is a functionality WooCommerce lacks. When deciding between WooCommerce and Shopify, this is essential since it allows customers to complete an abandoned order without re-entering their data. It also sends a reminder email to complete the sale.

Both platforms support Amazon, eBay, Instagram, and Facebook. The only difference is that with WooCommerce, you'll spend $79 to install all of them except Facebook, which is free. With Shopify, it's free to link your store with these channels.

When it comes to shipping, both platforms allow you to offer free delivery and sell internationally. But Shopify's connections with USPS, DHL Express, UPS, and Canada Post save you time and money selecting your own carrier.

In short, Shopify has more eCommerce capabilities built in.

Plugins and Integrations

Apps and plugins allow you to extend the capabilities of your e-commerce platform. Both platforms allow you to add more functionality to your business, such as shipping, SEO, and marketing, through the use of apps.

WooCommerce relies extensively on plugins because it is an open-source platform. It is possible to create an entirely unique website with more than 50,000 options to select from.

Over 1,200 applications, both free and premium, are available for Shopify users to choose from. When in doubt, always verify the app's star rating or user reviews before downloading it.

Security

Because Shopify is a hosted solution, they take security very seriously. Their development team is constantly working to ensure that their product meets the highest standards of security and privacy in the industry.

Shopify has a dedicated security team and blog, plus daily posts on best practices for keeping your store safe. They also have online forums where you can ask questions or offer suggestions on how they could improve their software's protection from hackers.

Additionally, Shopify has an extensive documentation section covering everything from SSL certificates to payment gateways, so if you need help learning how to make your site more secure then there's no better place than here!

Payment Options and Transaction Fees

Adding payment options to your online store is a must if you want to make money selling online. Both WooCommerce and Shopify provide over 100 payment methods, including PayPal, Apple Pay, Square, and major credit cards.

However, when using a third-party gateway, Shopify charges 2% for every transaction. You can lower this by subscribing to a more powerful Shopify plan or by using Shopify Payments.

WooCommerce doesn't impose transaction fees for third-party payment gateways, unlike Shopify. Bank and payment provider fees still apply (like PayPal).

WooCommerce is better for high-volume sellers. It attracts vendors that desire their own merchant accounts. But if you are already a fan of Shopify payments, then you can stick with that.

Customer Support & Resources

Shopify's customer support is one of the best in the business. They have a well-developed system for making sure you get help from the right person and that you can find answers to your questions online 24/7.

WooCommerce has no shortage of ways for you to get help if you need it, they have 24/7 live and chat support, as well as an extensive documentation resource and an active community forum.

Pricing & Fees

Shopify is more expensive than WooCommerce, but the price you pay is well worth it. The monthly fee for Shopify gives you access to their robust eCommerce platform with all its bells and whistles.

WooCommerce provides more flexible pricing than Shopify. Shopify costs $29-$299 per month. As you upgrade, you get more advanced features.

Shopify's fixed price plans make budgeting easier. WooCommerce is open-source, free software but you'll have to pay for hosting, security, domain, and extensions.

Most of these fees are already covered by your Shopify plan.

Below is a summary of both:

Shopify

WooCommerce (powered by Bluehost)

Shopify Basic ($29/month)

Starter ($13.99/month)

Shopify ($79/month)

Plus ($17.99/month)

Advanced Shopify ($299/month)

Pro ($31.99/month)

Final words

When it comes to choosing an eCommerce platform, there are a few key factors to keep in mind. First and foremost, you’ll want to consider your needs as a business owner. Are you looking for more control over the design and layout of the site? Do you need a more secure platform? Do you have existing products or services that need to be integrated into an existing website?

If these questions describe your situation, then WooCommerce might be the best choice for you. However, if they don’t apply to your business model (or if they could easily be answered by changing one or two things), then Shopify will likely serve as a better option.

Shopify allows users who aren’t interested in learning how web development works to manage some of this functionality through their admin and dashboard interface, a feature that WooCommerce does not offer out-of-the-box.

Now if security concerns are important then we recommend using Shopify instead because it's easier than implementing these protections yourself.

This is a very important decision that you need to make when choosing the right platform for your online store. We hope this guide has helped you!

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