WooCommerce vs. Shopify

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There are more than 24 million e-commerce websites worldwide, with the average conversion rate for e-commerce stores being 2.86%. It tells you that there is a lot of competition and you need to get your store right to get your visitors to convert. So, it is crucial to choose the right e-commerce platform before starting to build an online store.

Shopify and WooCommerce are the biggest e-commerce platforms on the internet right now. In this blog, we will be discussing the features, pros, and cons of both of these e-commerce platforms and will help you decide which platform is the most suitable for your current needs.

So without further ado, let’s get started!

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an open-source online plugin designed for small to large-sized online merchants using WordPress. It is highly flexible and easy to use, with about 82.5 million downloads. According to the data, WooCommerce currently powers over 29.35% of all online stores. Some of the popular brands currently using WooCommerce are:

  1. Porter And York
  2. Barefoot Buttons
  3. Root Science
  4. Merché Du Pre

Features Of WooCommerce

Currently, there are 4,414,537 websites using WooCommerce. Here are some of the key features of WooCommerce plugin.

  1. WordPress Integration
  2. SEO
  3. Blogging Features
  4. Extensions
  5. Pricing

WordPress Integration:

WordPress is the largest CMS on the internet. It is effortless to integrate the WooCommerce plugin on your WordPress website and turn it into an e-commerce store without any coding or technical knowledge.

SEO:

WooCommerce offers numerous SEO tools, and it runs on WordPress, which is recognized as the best platform in terms of SEO strategy.

Blogging Features:

WooCommerce enables you to publish your content and offers numerous blogging tools.

Extensions:

WooCommerce comes with an extensive library of extensions that provide your website with more functionality. It currently offers more than 400 extensions.

Pricing:

WooCommerce is available for free.

Pros Of Using WooCommerce

According to statistics, about 22% of the top 1 million e-commerce sites use WooCommerce. Here is a list of its pros.

Free Plugin: WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin, so you can download it without having to worry about paying even a penny.

Payment Gateways: With WooCommerce, you’re not limited to specific gateways as it supports most of the payment methods, including PayPal, Stripe, Square, and more.

Customization: WooCommerce is open-source, which means you can customize your website any way you want without any restrictions. You can either DIY or hire someone who can code.

Huge Community: The WooCommerce community is huge as millions of people use it. These communities can help you with any problems on multiple available forums.

Cons Of Using WooCommerce

WooCommerce is the most popular plugin on the entire internet with 68% usage distribution, but it has its weaknesses.

Additional Costs: Although WooCommerce is free, you have to pay for additional things like hosting, SSL certificates, web domains, and more.

Coding Errors: As WooCommerce is open-source, it allows coding, which, if not done correctly, can result in errors on your website.

Speed: With WooCommerce, you have to download extensions that can affect your page speed, making your website slow.

Support: Despite being a large platform, WooCommerce does not offer central support. So if you have an issue, the only place you can find answers is forums.

Shopify

Shopify is a Canadian e-commerce company started in Ottawa, Canada, in 2004 by three Canadians who were inspired by their poor online shopping experience. The Shopify platform offers online retailers services that include payments, marketing, shipping, and customer engagement tools. As of 2021, Shopify is the largest publicly traded Canadian company by market Capitalization. According to statistics, Shopify powered 20% of all e-commerce websites in 2020. Major brands that use Shopify are:

  1. Nestle
  2. Pepsi
  3. Unilever
  4. Leesa

Features Of Shopify

According to statistics, 1.75 million merchants sell on the Shopify platform, and 1.59 million live websites use Shopify. Shopify stores now run businesses in about 175 different countries. Here is a list of some of the features of Shopify.

  1. POS
  2. Analytics
  3. Security
  4. Mobile-Friendly
  5. Pricing

POS:

Shopify offers Point Of Sale feature, which can be used to plan and set up personalized marketing campaigns for in-store customers.

Analytics:

Shopify provides multiple analytics tools which can be used to view metrics like product

Security:

Shopify offers top-notch security to its websites as the company provides bits SSL Certificate and is Level 1 PCI Compliant.

Mobile-Friendly:

Shopify allows users to design, host, and manage optimized websites for smartphones.

Pricing:

Shopify is not available for free, but it offers a free 14-day trial. Shopify has three paid plans, and you can buy the one that best suits your business needs.

Pros Of Shopify

According to statistics, Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms on the planet, with a 23% market share in the US. Here is a list of pros of using Shopify.

Fully Hosted Platform: Shopify is a fully hosted platform. So you don’t have to pay extra fees for server maintenance or server hosting fees.

SEO: Shopify offers numerous SEO and marketing tools that help increase your website ratings on Google.

Available Support: Shopify offers 24/7 support through emails, live chats, and phone calls.

Themes: Shopify offers a wide range of themes. The themes are categorized according to the industries and have free as well as paid versions.

Cons Of Using Shopify

Shopify is a highly flexible platform with over 6000 available appson its app store, but that does not mean it is without its weaknesses.

Not Easy To Use: Shopify’s editor isn’t as intuitive and is difficult to navigate.

Overly Reliant On Apps: As Shopify does not offer as many built-in features, you’ll need to download apps to add extra functionality to your website.

Customizations: Shopify has customizations limitations as some of its features cannot be unlocked because of how the coding is set up.

High Transaction Fees: If you’re using Shopify, you’ll need to pay a hefty sum for transaction fees along with other payment gateway costs.

Which One Is Right For Your Business

CategoryWooCommerceShopify
PricingWooCommerce is an open-source plugin, so it’s free. But you do need to buy hostings, web domain, and SSL Certificate.Shopify is a paid platform that offers multiple pricing plans to choose from depending on your needs.
SEOWith WooCommerce, you can create a highly optimized site with full control over SEO aspects.Has main SEO options such as automatics sitemap generation, personalized URLs, 301 redirects, and more.
StorageWooCommerce storage depends upon the hosting.Shopify offers unlimited storage
Features And ToolsWooCommerce is a plugin that comes with built-in tools but you’d also have to download different addons and plugins for more functionality.Shopify has various features and tools such as POS, analytics, and security tools.
Apps And ExtensionsTons of extra free and paid extensions are available that enable limitless customization.About 400 extensions are available though, customization can be a bit difficult to manage.
SupportWooCommerce does not offer any available support, but it has a huge community, so answers can be found on and discussed on forums.Shopify offers 24/7 support through emails, live chats, and phone calls.

Now that we have compared both of the e-commerce platforms, the question arises, which one is right for your business?

Shopify is a paid SaaS platform that has all the tools to build up a new online store without any knowledge for coding. Shopify can be used for small local stores as well as for large multi-million dollar stores. It is great for stores that sell digital as well as physical products that require a minimal amount of configuration.

WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress plugin that is known for its flexibility. It is a free plugin that allows you to set up an online store in minutes on your WordPress site. WooCommerce can be used to manage local and international stores worldwide.

Shopify is a lot easier to use than WooCommerce, but it does not allow full control over everything. As WooCommerce is open-source, so you get full control but can be difficult to manage.

We at Genetech Solutions have helped numerous clients set up their online stores on both platforms over the years. We have recently helped Noor Kids set up an online publishing store on Shopify. Noor Kids is an educational publishing company that delivers character building books for young kids. You can view our case study to find out more about Noor Kids and how we helped them overcome numerous challenges while setting up an online store.

 

Conclusion 

I hope you were able to make a clear decision with the help of this blog. Feel free to contact us if you have any queries.

Minahil Aijaz

I am a medical student and an avid fiction reader, with a penchant for travelling. I am currently working as a junior content writer at Genetech Solutions, one of Pakistan’s leading Software houses.

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