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Shopify vs WooCommerce: Which ecommerce platform should you choose?

Making the decision to start selling online can be tough - so many platforms, options, and add-ons. This article compares Shopify and WooCommerce, to help make your decision a little bit easier.

Written by

Caroline McQueen ACIM

Shopify vs WooCommerce

what's in store

Deciding to start selling online is a big one. There are so many options available, that it can be hard to decide which ecommerce platform is right for you. In this post, we will compare Shopify vs WooCommerce, two of the most popular ecommerce platforms on the market. We’ll look at each platform’s features, pricing, and ease of use to help you decide which one is best for your online store.

What are Shopify and WooCommerce, and what do they offer?

Shopify is an ecommerce platform that enables you to create an online store. Shopify offers a customisable platform with a wide range of features, including abandoned cart recovery, responsive themes, and support for third-party apps and plugins.

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that turns your WordPress site into an ecommerce store. WooCommerce is a more hands-on platform, as you’ll need to set up your hosting and domain and install the plugin on your WordPress site. Although WooCommerce has fewer upfront costs than Shopify, it needs more work on your part to launch and start selling.

Source: Social Curator

What are the main differences between Shopify and WooCommerce?

Shopify offers a wide range of features right out of the box, including abandoned cart recovery, Shopify Pay, support for gift cards and discounts, and a built-in blog. Shopify is also one of the most straightforward ecommerce platforms, with a simple interface and drag-and-drop design editor. Because Shopify is a hosted ecommerce platform, it also offers a simplified store setup process and easy day-to-day inventory management and all the features merchants need to get started are built-in.

WooCommerce, on the other hand, is a self-hosted platform that gives you more control over your store since it’s installed on your WordPress site. WooCommerce doesn’t have as many features as Shopify out of the box. But there are thousands of WordPress plugins and themes available that can add extra functionality to your WooCommerce store. However, this also means that WooCommerce can be harder to use for beginners, as you’ll need to install and set up plugins and themes yourself.

How much do Shopify and WooCommerce cost, and are there any hidden fees?

Shopify plans start from $29/month (billed annually) for the Basic Shopify plan, making it suitable for small businesses just getting started with ecommerce. But, if you’re scaling up, Shopify Plus plans start from $2000/month as these plans are designed for high-volume companies. Shopify also charges transaction fees on all plans except Shopify Plus, which has a flat-rate subscription.

By contrast, the WooCommerce plugin is free to download and use. However, you will need to pay for hosting for your WooCommerce store, which may cost as little as $15/month to get started. However, unless you use a plugin or theme that provides built-in support for WooCommerce, you may need a web developer to help you set up and customise your store.

Shopify has no setup costs, while WooCommerce has widely varying costs for hosting. And hosting fees can cost equally as much as (or even more than) a Shopify plan if you need a dedicated server for your product line.

Do you choose Shopify, with its all-in-one design and easy to use interface? Or WooCommerce, which is more customisable but requires more work on your part?

Which platform is better for businesses that are just starting out, and which one is better for more established businesses?

Shopify is the better platform for businesses just starting out, as it’s easier to use and has more features than WooCommerce. Shopify also has a lower learning curve, so you’ll be able to get your store up and running quickly. And when your Shopify store is up and running, you can sell wherever your customers are – including online, in person, and everywhere in between.

WooCommerce may be the better platform for more established businesses, as it’s more flexible and customisable. With WooCommerce, you’ll have more control over your store. You can add any features or functionality you need through its vast array of plugins. However, because WooCommerce is more complex than Shopify, it may take longer to set up and get your store running and reap the benefits of its flexibility. There is also the issue of site speed to consider when using numerous plugins.

How easy is it to set up a store on each platform, and what kind of support can you expect if you run into any problems?

Shopify is easier to use, with a simple interface and drag-and-drop design editor. Because Shopify is a hosted ecommerce platform. It also offers a simplified store setup process and easy day-to-day inventory management. Shopify also has 24/7 support available through its help centre, live chat, and phone support.

Conversely, WooCommerce is a bit more complex as it’s a self-hosted platform installed on WordPress. This means that you’ll need to set up WooCommerce yourself, which can be time-consuming and confusing for beginners. But don’t fret. With numerous resources available to help you get started, including the official WooCommerce documentation and support forum. If you’re willing to nerd out by learning code, you could have a WooCommerce store set up in a few months. In addition, because WooCommerce is built on WordPress, you can also find help from the vast WordPress community.

So, which eCommerce platform should you use for your business?

Do you go with Shopify, with its all-in-one design and easy-to-use interface? Or WooCommerce, which is more customisable but requires more work on your part?

If you’re just starting out and want an easy-to-use platform with a wide range of features, we recommend Shopify. If you’re already familiar with WordPress and have the time and resources to set up and customise your store, WooCommerce is a good option. We hope this article has helped make your decision easier.

If you need any help getting started, don’t hesitate to contact us – we’re happy to assist!

Meet the author
Caroline McQueen ACIM
I help ambitious founders launch and scale unforgettable brands that effortlessly attract customers around the web and offline — without blowing the budget on social ads (Zuck that!) Off the clock, I enjoy Netflix marathons, French lessons, and exploring my local farmer’s market for culinary adventures.
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