WooCommerce and Shopify are the two eCommerce giants that have multiple strengths and provide the perfect solution for an individual to build an eCommerce store. Shopify has more than 80,000 online stores under its name while WooCommerce is considered as one of the widely popular eCommerce platforms across the world. It depends on individual needs that which one of two is going to fit your specific needs better.
Starting with Shopify, it is a powerful, reliable, and easy to use eCommerce platform. With Shopify, you will know how much you will pay every month while the prices are also fair. Users will be able to access up to thousands of apps to extend your store. On the other hand, WooCommerce is the eCommerce plugin that turns any WordPress site into a powerful online store. It’s an open-source platform, and is thus free to install, which makes it ideal for cost-conscious users, but you’ll need to pay for things like hosting and security. Shopify includes hosting and security and it supports multichannel integration which means that you can sell on other channels like Amazon, Facebook, eBay as a built-in feature. In the case of WooCommerce, you can use code to customize your store. The extensions of this platform are reasonably priced and help you add greater functionality to your online store at a low cost.
Shopify is a hosted eCommerce platform which means that it takes care of the technical side of an operating store. Let it be your domain name, hosting, to any security certificates, Shopify has you covered. You don't need to take care of the installation or management of the software. On the other hand, for WooCommerce you have to source your web hosting and security, but that is pretty easy to do. WooCommerce is a technical platform that requires extensive knowledge to be used par excellence. Shopify, on the other hand, is accessible to every person irrespective of their knowledge of code.
If you want to set up your store in a matter of minutes, then go for Shopify. But if you are looking for more customization options, then WooCommerce is the one you must go for as you can tap into the code and access various parts of the store. WooCommerce provides you with more options to build everything in your online store. You must know how to handle the technical side of your site to keep it safe.
If you are a beginner and don’t want to get stuck with web hosting and hosting provider details then go for Shopify. But if you are looking to do certain experiments with your site and you are habitual of using WordPress then opting for WooCommerce will be a better option. Building a website on this platform is like more of a creative project.
For every website, a well-integrated UI/UX design is everything. It is the first impression that is made on the customer and if it doesn't have the right aesthetic, then a visitor will not trust your website. One of the greatest selling points of Shopify is its visual quality of themes. It is available with more than 54 store templates that vary from each other. The Shopify designs are not created in the house but are outsourced. WooCommerce, on the other hand, is the plugin created by the developers from WooThemes. It does not deliver any specific design of its own. Its entry theme, Storefront is fully responsive to mobile devices. How good your design looks on WooCommerce will depend on the hours you’re willing to put in. It offers limitless customization and has over 1,000 specific eCommerce themes.
Both the platforms provide you with the features you need to build an interactive online store. If Shopify payments are available in your region, then you must use them. If not, then Shopify will charge hefty transaction fees of up to 2%. The selection of payment providers is huge, so it is unlikely that you will not find your preferred one. WooCommerce features multiple payment gateways for the ease of users. Unlike Shopify, it doesn’t charge its transaction fees when you use a third payment gateway.
If you wish to set up an international store in multiple languages then there is a significant difference between these two platforms. Shopify requires a plugin. The most popular one is ‘Langify’, which is USD17.50 per month. For WooCommerce, there is WPML which is very well established and integrates easily with WordPress. It allows you to offer your product with multiple currency support. It is about USD79 for the first year and then is quite affordable and renews at a yearly rate of USD59.
In terms of SEO, Shopify has everything you wish for. Descriptions, customizable page titles, sitemaps, and 301 redirects. A small drawback is that Shopify always adds slugs like ‘products’, ‘pages’, or ‘news’ to your URLs. It will not affect SEO, but it will be nice not to use this syntax mandatorily. For WooCommerce, you need to install an SEO plugin. It will then give you complete flexibility over everything. It is also cheaper as compared to Shopify to get your structured data set up for things like ratings and additional product information.
Shopify provides you with 24/7 customer support via live chat, email, and even phone. You have a well-rounded support system for all your questions. WooCommerce also provides support, but you can only ask them questions if you have purchased a product. With WooCommerce you will have to figure out much stuff on your own.
Comparisons like these are not limited to a particular decision. As it will depend on what your goals and individual needs are. Beginners and people who want to avoid the technical approach will prefer using Shopify. People who have experience will appreciate the freedom that WooCommerce provides. Many international websites that support more than one language, as well as currencies, use WooCommerce. Though for most of us, Shopify will be a cheaper choice as WooCommerce tends to be very costly when you hire a developer.