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WooCommerce vs. Shopify: A Differentiating Guide for You in 2022

When you think about one of the most significant tech innovations in the retail sector, it is the surge of the eCommerce industry. The eCommerce market has seen massive growth recently, with more than $4.8 trillion worth of revenues in 2021. So, the attraction of building an eCommerce platform for your business makes more sense.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/379046/worldwide-retail-e-commerce-sales/

The debate of WooCommerce vs. Shopify is not new, and with more businesses looking to capitalize on eCommerce success, discussing it makes more sense. Both platforms offer excellent features and tools that help in creating reliable eCommerce online stores.

Shopify enabled several businesses to process more than $5.1 billion in sales for 2020. At the same time, WooCommerce is a platform based on WordPress, which has been phenomenal in offering features for eCommerce development. In 2021, WooCommerce powered 175,000 sales for several businesses.

So, there is no denying that it can be a challenging task to decide on WooCommerce vs. Shopify for your eCommerce business. Here is a comprehensive guide on what to choose when picking up the right eCommerce platform between WooCommerce and Shopify. Let us start with a brief overview of both platforms.

WooCommerce vs. Shopify: An Overview

WooCommerce and Shopify both have several unique aspects that make them so attractive as a platform like,

  • Excellent integrations
  • Themes for styling
  • Plugins for functionality enhancements
  • Customizations and feature development
  • Payment gateway options.

We will discuss WooCommerce vs. Shopify based on features, third-party integrations, support for different deployment platforms, and even security. But first, let us examine each of them in brief.

What is WooCommerce?

WordPress is one of the most popular platforms, with more than 40% of the internet powered by it for website development. WooCommerce is an open-source plugin that you can use in WordPress to develop excellent eCommerce websites.

Due to the support for WordPress, and the amount of WordPress developers around, it becomes a more relatable option for businesses with websites already on the platform or looking to use it. What is more enticing is that WooCommerce is free to install and customizable, making the entire process of building eCommerce websites much smoother?

The only drawback that WooCommerce has is the need for technical expertise. As it is a WordPress plugin, you need to know the technical aspects of the platform for enhanced eCommerce development. This is where Shopify becomes an excellent option for business owners with little or no experience in WordPress.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a comprehensive eCommerce platform with several features like customizations of the online stores, functionality for payments, and third-party tools. Adding product pages according to categories, collections, and other such classifications becomes easy on Shopify.

The most attractive feature is how you can easily set up your online store without the need for any technical knowledge. However, Shopify also provides the ability to tweak code and customize your online stores.

Not just the technical aspects, but when you want to add specific features like online payment options, competitor price tracking, inventory management, multi-language support, and others, Shopify offers a complete collection of third-party apps for integrations.

Now that we know each of them let us dive into WooCommerce vs. Shopify comparison,

WooCommerce vs. Shopify: Ease of Use

When it comes to ease of use, Shopify has the upper hand due to its interface. It allows anyone without a technical background to set up their online store without worrying about the backend. So, all you have to do is signup for Shopify and start building your eCommerce website.

 

As you can see, adding products to the Shopify store is accessible through its straightforward options on the platform. You can add descriptions, product titles, categories and even add custom images through bulk uploads.

WooCommerce, on the other hand, is not that hard to use and works the same as Shopify for your daily usage. However, the store setup is not that swift, and you need technical expertise to create an eCommerce platform. WooCommerce also allows you to customize your store through designing and theming options.

WooCommerce vs. Shopify: Design & Themes

Right from searching a product, browsing through the categories for the right choice, and even making online payments, there are several vital features an eCommerce platform needs. So, when you think of choosing the right platform to build an eCommerce store, you need to keep in mind the features they offer.

WooCommerce: Features

  • It enables you with the ability to sell not just products digitally but physically as well.
  • Enables elegant styling and customizations for your storefront
  • You can create individual product pages and display different variations for each.
  • Allows you to track inventory and manage them through the WooCommerce dashboard
  • You can customize the shopping cart, add specific features like Wishlist, checkout pages, payment options with different currency options, etc.
  • Allows you to add shipping methods and manage them
  • You can manage product reviews, discount codes, coupons, and reward programs
  • Create a mobile-friendly eCommerce platform
  • Analytics to monitor platform traffic, sales, and revenue per transaction

Shopify: Features

  • More than 100 paid and free themes that provide enhanced styling for your eCommerce websites
  • Several payment gateways options to integrate into your Shopify store.
  • Cryptocurrency integration as a payment option for your online store
  • You also get options for customizing your shopping carts, multiple shipping, and fulfilment features
  • Compelling mobile-friendly features and apps to help run an online store.
  • Social media integration for customer support and interactions
  • Unlimited product addition and facility of different product classification.
  • More straightforward incorporation of rewards programs, loyalty points, coupons, and discounts

These are some of the features that WooCommerce and Shopify offer for your online store development. However, features are not the only differentiator for WooCommerce vs. Shopify, and your eCommerce store needs to be secure.

WooCommerce vs. Shopify: Security

The security of an eCommerce online store is essential as financial transactions occur on such platforms. For example, as an eCommerce website, you need compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). It is a standard that ensures high security for financial transactions across websites.

When it comes to security features, SSL certificates are essential aspects that you need to consider. SSL or Secure Socket Layer is an encryption-based security practice that secures the communication between browsers and users’ devices. It ensures that the data exchange is anonymous and hidden from hackers.

Not just the security part, SSL certificate is also essential for SEO purposes as Google has a specific set of guidelines that need websites to have HTTPS attributes. If you compare WooCommerce and Shopify in terms of SSL certificate, both have diverse types of offerings.

Shopify comes with pre-built SSL certificate, while WooCommerce does not have in-built certificates. As WooCommerce is an open-source plugin for WordPress websites, you will have to install the SSL certificate through a third-party vendor. You can also leverage hosting service providers that come with built-in SSL certificates.

Installing different SSL certificates can be costly and challenging if you have several subdomains for sales, marketing, and other departments. So, you can opt for GeoTrust Wildcard SSL Certificate for your WooCommerce online stores to avoid such issues.

When it comes to cost, security-based certificate is not the only aspect that can affect your budget. Both Shopify and WooCommerce do come with premium plans that incur some costs.

WooCommerce vs. Shopify: The Price

Shopify offers tier-based pricing for premium services, including everything from hosting, security, and other aspects of the eCommerce store. The first tier is the basic plan which costs around $29 per month. The basic plan comes with additional charges at the rate of 2% on all the payment providers other than Shopify payments. In addition, you get four location support with two staff accounts.

https://www.shopify.com/pricing

However, the tier-2 plan offers international pricing and support for five locations. It will cost you $79 per month. The advanced plan comes with all the top features, including a 76% discount on shipping, 0.5% fees on payments through other gateways, and support for 15 staff accounts. It costs you $299 per month.

At the same time, WooCommerce is an open-source platform, so there is no cost to install it. However, additional charges include domain name registration, hosting services, SSL certificate, the need for premium plugins.

Such costs can add up to your eCommerce development costs which are otherwise not present in Shopify. This is due to an all-inclusive pricing plan from Shopify. In addition, most eCommerce websites need premium plugins to add new functionality, where integrations become essential.

WooCommerce vs. Shopify: Integrations & Plugins

When we discuss integrations, it is about the additional features that come with such plugins or add-ons. For example, you can integrate multiple currency exchange features for your eCommerce store across locations by integrating a plugin in the platform.

Shopify is an easy-to-use platform that allows you to add such integrations with third-party applications quickly. It offers more than 1200 such third-party apps for the integration of functions into your eCommerce website.

At the same time, WooCommerce comes with a massive resource of more than 55000 plugins based on WordPress. These plugins are both paid and accessible for the integration of different functionalities. There is no denying that adding such functionality can help you improve customer experience, but does that ensure scalability?

WooCommerce vs. Shopify: Scalability

Both WooCommerce and Shopify do offer you fantastic scalability. WooCommerce can help your scaling needs through code customization in the WordPress website. You can also upgrade hosting services to manage more traffic for your eCommerce online store built on WooCommerce.

It also allies you to scale your business ecosystem through different plugins that can be easily integrated. Another important aspect is how WooCommerce comes with options of scaling the payment on your eCommerce platform. It allows you to add more options for payment, making the business agile and scalable for users across demographics.

On the other hand, Shopify is an entire suite of services that allows you to scale quickly without any additional effort. Some several applications and tools help your eCommerce platform scale soon as per the requirements. Not only the scaling part, a great eCommerce platform like WooCommerce or Shopify can also help you expand into new markets like dropshipping.

WooCommerce vs. Shopify: The Time to Build a Dropshipping Store

Dropshipping model allows eCommerce owners to directly sell products from the manufacturers to the customers without inventory. So, the cost of storage, inventory management, and product handling reduces to a great extent. This is the reason many businesses are looking to explore this model.

WooCommerce has the edge over Shopify when it comes to the dropshipping store. So, if you are on Shopify and create a dropshipping store, replication of the same is not possible, and you have to build another store on the platform from scratch. While WoCommece allows you to replicate the dropshipping store through a duplication plugin.

In terms of time to set up, WooCommerce allows you to set up an online dropshipping store in just 15 minutes through its managed hosting service. At the same time, it also offers over 75000 plus extensions, which make the entire dropshipping store building seamless. Developing an eCommerce store also needs a reliable marketing campaign to ensure maximum reach amidst customers.

WooCommerce vs. Shopify: Marketing Tools

ECommerce marketing is one of the essential aspects as it helps you reach more customers and promote unique features. Both WooCommerce and Shopify come with several different marketing tools which help with insights regarding the traffic, performance of marketing campaigns, total revenue per interaction, etc.

Shopify Marketing Tools

1.       Sixads

https://apps.shopify.com/sixads-net

Sixads is a tool offered on the Shopify store that allows you to track traffic on your eCommerce website. Not just the traffic, it also allows you to,

  • Display of product ads on partner stores for more customers
  • Increase in conversion rates through traffic insights
  • Tracking of ad campaigns with performance analytics
  • Improve sales through the display of ads that fit the entire campaign strategy
  • Analytics that allow fine-tuning the partner products

2.      Vwala

https://apps.shopify.com/vwala

Vwala helps eCommerce businesses leverage insights from influencer marketing campaigns and improve their outreach. It offers a dashboard that allows marketers to,

  • Track performance of influencers
  • Handle pay-outs
  • Manage entire campaigns
  • Use analytics to improve on campaign performance

3.      Spin-a-sale

Have you ever experienced the spin a wheel feature on eCommerce platforms like Amazon or others? You can leverage the same gamification phenomenon to attract customers to your eCommerce platform through Spin-a-sale. It allows you to,

  • Gamify your email marketing campaigns
  • Increase sales through discount coupons
  • Improve customer engagement

WooCommerce Marketing Tools

1.       Omnisend

https://wordpress.org/plugins/omnisend-connect/

Think about a marketing automation tool that helps you trigger emails and SMS automatically according to your customer’s behaviour! Omnisend is a plugin for WooCommerce that allows automation of emails and SMS. It also enables,

  • Pre-defined workflow that offers seamless automation
  • Easy integration with your eCommerce platform
  • Intuitive interface that comes with drag and drops features

2.      Cartflow

Want to improve your conversion rates through excellent checkout pages on WooCommerce? Cartflow helps you build a customized checkout workflow for improved customer experience. It also allows you to,

  • Pre-designed templates for checkout pages
  • Customizable designs and complete control on the checkout workflow
  • Excellent interface for easy to access features

3.      AutomateWoo

https://woocommerce.com/products/automatewoo/

AutomateWoo is a one-stop automation tool for all your eCommerce marketing needs on WooCommerce. It allows you to automate emails, follow-ups, remarketing campaigns, and others. Some of its features are,

  • Automate cart abandonment emails
  • Generate dynamic coupons for your customers
  • Instant SMS notifications for your customers.

WooCommerce vs. Shopify: Help and Support

So, if you are stuck with a technical problem or an issue with your eCommerce store, Shopify offers 24/7 support for you. All you need to do is contact the official channel for help, and they will get back to you immediately.

Though WooCommerce does not have a dedicated support channel for your website, you can always ask for any critical issue on WordPress forums.

Conclusion 

Knowing the difference between WooCommerce vs. Shopify and choosing the right platform may not seem difficult. But some aspects can make the decision far more complex. This guide will help you consider several vital factors and decide the best one for your business. However, each company has different requirements, and that is why you need to pre-assess your business needs before choosing either of them.

 

FAQs

Which is the best platform to choose?

The choice depends on the specific requirements of your business. For example, if you want more control over the customization and better scalability, WooCommerce is the best choice. At the same time, Shopify is the best choice if you need more integrations in your eCommerce store.

Which platform offers more features?

Both offer equal opportunities for your business to add more functionalities. However, Shopify comes with a store including 1200 apps that help create unique features for your website. At the same time, WooCommerce offers 75000 extensions to make it a worthy choice.

Can you migrate from Shopify to WooCommerce?

Yes, you can easily switch between platforms without having to make too many changes. You can even automate the entire process.

Are these platforms paid?

Both are free to use; however, there are additional costs that may incur. For example, Shopify comes with a 14-day trial period that needs to be backed up by a subscription to a premium plan. While WooCommerce needs extra costs like hosting, domain, and others.

Can you scale your business with these platforms?

Shopify comes with a feature to customize the code of your online store, which helps you adjust your platform according to the scaling needs. Similarly, WooCommerce, already a WordPress-based platform, allows you to scale your eCommerce website quickly.

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