Shopify and WooCommerce are probably the best solutions for launching an online shop as well as managing its products.
Both platforms might be the ideal solution for building, growing or marketing eCommerce projects from scratch. The systems serve the same purposes although in quite a different way.
A Quick Snapshot:
Shopify is an all-in-one SaaS solution that delivers all necessary features in the pack. The instrument has been initially designed as the tool for building digital stores of any size. The system has evolved over the years offering advanced product management tools, enhanced flexibility, and an array of features to implement. Shopify is actually a full-cycle website builder that has diverse flexibility in addition to third-party integration capabilities.
WooCommerce differs from today’s rival, as it is not actually a website building platform. WooCommerce is a separate widget and the #1 eCommerce solution for WordPress websites. The widget is compatible with any of the WP themes and templates. It comes as a simple product management and promotion instrument that lets users create fully functional online shops.
Both platforms serve eCommerce needs great. They have everything you might need to start selling online. They have some obvious advantages as well as downfalls. Which one would be the best bet to meet your particular preferences? Which one is easier to use? What are the downfalls? Our today’s review is to answer all those questions.
1. Ease of Use
Using both tools does not require special technical skills. They were developed to help newbies launch online stores without coding or programming. Both have a simple product management system although there are still some fundamental differences especially when getting started.
Shopify is a ready-to-use eCommercre website building platform. A user only needs to sign in, choose a plan and start creating a webshop with the help of ready-made templates. To get started, you only need to complete a simple registration and subscribe to a plan. The system offers a 14-day free trial to check how it works.
Shopify Store Launching
The registration procedure is simple and intuitive – just try it! Moreover, the software uses advanced technologies to provide the best-matching design solution based on user’s answers that describe shop type, goals, preferences, etc. In other words, the software acts as a digital assistant. Which makes the starting step very easy especially for newbies. Once you have signed in, you will get access to all Shopify features and tools determined by the plan.
WooCommerce is a bit more complicated to get started. As we have already mentioned, it is a plugin. It can be used together with your WordPress website. On the one hand, you do not need to choose a plan or subscribe. On the other hand, you won’t be able to use the plugin without the installed and set the WP theme. In other words, you will need to do the following:
- Get a domain name.
- Find a hosting provider.
- Have WordPress installed.
- Set the WP theme.
- Activate and set the WooCommerce plugin.
WooCommerce Store Dashboard
The steps might be a challenge, especially for newbies. On the other hand, you will need to complete them anyway if you decide to opt for WordPress.
Setting Your Store
Shopify is a good pick for newbies although settings the store might take a bit more time you expected. The system offers a ready-to-use working environment. You may choose from various ready-made templates with well-structured sections, integrated eCommerce capabilities, and apps. At the same time, you may design the product page of your own using the intuitive dashboard to add some elements, change page design and styles, remove or hide some of the website elements, etc.
Adding new products with Shopify is also easy. All the functional tools are located on the dashboard. You do not need to switch between different pages to edit product description and set a new price at the same time. The software lets you add new product images, add descriptions, set SEO settings, manage product types, vendors and other baseline information from a single control panel.
Shopify Adding a Product
A user may add as many products as he or she needs. The tool makes it easy to divide all products by categories, create relevant collections, and implement built-in catalogs using a special module that will automatically handle the product management.
WooCommerce is also very easy to use after you have activated the plugin. The Installation Wizard will take care of the setting up process for you. The automated system will guide you through 5 simple steps where you may indicate the key parameters of your digital shop including preset currencies, tax and shipping settings, payment options, etc. Once you have completed all the 5 stages, you will get a ready-to-use eCommerce platform integrated with your WP site. Now you may start selling online.
Product Adding in WooCommerce
Adding new products is actually the same as in Shopify. You have a similar content management system where you may edit product names, create new product categories, upload images, set attributes, links, etc. Editing product page with WooCommerce is as easy as editing any other WordPress page.
Shopify vs WooCommerce: both platforms are very easy to use with the exception of getting started. This is where WooCommerce might seem to be a bit more difficult, as you actually need to set a ready-to-use WordPress website. The process may require some time and knowledge. Shopify is faster to get started while the product management system is almost the same.
2. Features and Flexibility
Although Shopify and WooCommerce represent two different approaches, they all contain fundamental eCommerce features already integrated into the software. However, Shopify delivers more customization options and free features to make the most of your digital store if compared to WooCommerce.
As we have stated before, both platforms have almost similar product management systems. They all let users add product descriptions and titles, manage categories, upload images, etc. However, Shopify has some extra features that include built-in catalog modules. For instance, you are free to create separate product collections by simply setting prices and images. Ready-made catalog layouts will do the rest.
WooCommerce lets you edit only baseline settings although you are still free to create new catalogs manually. It may require more time to complete. However, the rest of fundamental settings including price and currency will be transferred automatically.
Both platforms let the user add an unlimited number of products as well as set prices, currencies, tax and shipping rates, etc. While WooCommerce supports PayPal and Stripe (the major payment options), Shopify offers a list of third-party payment service providers that may be integrated with your digital store. This is where Shopify might seem to be a solution that is a bit more flexible.
Apps and Add-Ons
You might want to add some new features to boost users’ acquisition or make the store more interactive. This is where the Shopify App Store may come in handy. Users are free to choose from a variety of widgets available on the eCommerce Marketplace. Here you may integrate Customer Service Helpdesks, cart abandonment recovery tools, image galleries, countdowns, business chats, product promotion tools, etc.
While being a part of the WordPress environment, WooCommerce works together with thousands of different plugins. While Shopify delivers its custom apps, WooCommerce works with third-party products. For this reason, you should opt only for trusted plugin providers to reduce the risk of software malware and errors.
Analytics and Reports
This is probably one of the most important features when it comes to eCommerce projects. Both systems are able to generate detailed reports although in quite a different way. While Shopify has a built-in function that generates automated reports, WooCommerce requires extra plugins in case you need more info on your sales.
Using Shopify lets you monitor sales, identify the most successful traffic and revenue sources, track promotion, and ad campaigns. At the same time, WooCommerce integrated reporting looks a bit limited. You may require more detailed info on your sales. This is where you might need extra repotting plugins like Advanced WooCommerce Reporting or Metorik.
They will let you schedule your reports, send them via emails as well as keep an eye on all the crucial shop stats. Installing and activating new plugins will hardly be a hassle However, it is always great to have such functions ready for use as in Shopify.
As we are discussing two popular digital eCommerce platforms, some users may want to go beyond digital sales. This is where Shopify may come in handy thanks to its POS system developed for physical sites. WooCommerce does not have such capabilities although both platforms let users take the fullest of their Facebook pages letting you turn social accounts into fully functional digital stores.
Another feature that Shopify has and WooCommerce does not is the AR-based 3D Warehouse technology. It lets visitors feel and sense the product in real size evaluating its real-life quality, colors or other essential characteristics. The good thing about WooCommerce is that it comes as a part of the open-source CMS. It means that you may actually integrate any fiction or feature you need in case of good HTML/CSS knowledge.
Shopify vs WooCommerce: Shopify comes with more already-integrated functions and features while WooCommerce may require additional plugin installation. Moreover, Shopify has extra functions for physical stores as well as AR-based 3D visualization technologies. You may not need any such addition. On the other hand, it is great to know you actually have them.
|Number of Themes:||59||102|
|Free Themes||✔ YES||✔ YES|
|Paid Themes Cost:||$140-$190||$29-$300|
|Responsive Design||✔ YES||✔ YES|
|Sort by Industry:||✔ YES||✔ YES|
|CSS Code Editing:||✔ YES||✔ YES|
The difference between the two instruments in this particular section results in the fact that they represented different platforms. While Shopify is a separate website building platform, it offers a range of ready-made templates with a set of integrated features. On the other hand, WooCommerce is a plugin that only offers eCommerce functionality. In other words, it does not offer web design alternatives in the way we are used to.
At the same time, WooCommerce is a plugin that works with any official WP theme whether it is free or Premium. Moreover, some eCommerce WordPress templates come with already installed WooCommerce plugin. In other words, it is your theme that will define the future style of your digital store but not the plugin.
Created by WooThemes developers, WooCommerce will be reviewed as part of the WordPress CMS. Both Shopify and WP have free and paid templates. However, WP offers more themes while the list of Shopify free layouts looks extremely limited (only 10 available themes). The access to the website’s HTML/CSS might be a good solution to the problem only if you have enough knowledge and programming experience. Opting for paid Shopify templates might also be a good way out. The collection of themes includes about 60 layouts that will cost you approximately $190.
On the other hand, WordPress has thousands of free themes related to the eCommerce category. While free themes look pretty the same, you may also choose Premium templates that cost from $29 to $300 depending on the type, structure or web design.
Shopify vs WooCommerce: In both cases, templates come with mobile-friendly design and run smoothly on different types of mobile devices. The key difference is that Shopify templates are ready to use and do not require settings or installation while WP themes may take more time to install and fine-tune.
4. Customer Support
The situation with customer support is quite different. While Shopify has proved to have a caring and experienced support team available 24/7, WooCommerce does not offer customer care in the way we are used to.
If you use Shopify and have some urgent issues to resolve, you are free to use:
- Live Chat.
The support team claims to be available round the clock, At the same time, the platform has its own knowledge base with articles, guides, and tutorials that cover all major aspects of getting started, setting or deploying your digital store.
As WooCommerce is basically a free plugin, which means no support for free customers. However, paid subscribers may count on customer support assistance available via traditional ticketing system. If you do not want to overpay, you are free to visit numerous WordPress forums and find the answer there. In addition, you may create a free account on WooCommerce.com and contact developers there to find a resolution.
Shopify vs WooCommerce: Shopify wins this round thanks to round-the-clock support team available via several channels. However, WooCommerce users will hardly be left stranded thanks to numerous discussions and WordPress forums available on the web.
5. Pricing Policy
Price always matters especially when it comes to commerce. While WooCommerce is initially a free plugin with a small set of baseline features to start selling online. Users might need extensions and extra features at some point, especially when growing their business.
This is where Shopify fixed plans might be a better solution. We do not consider the Lite plan costing $9 per month as it does not refer to eCommerce needs. The starting price for a fully functional digital store package foes from $29 monthly. It comes with the baseline functionality that is enough for a small or medium online shop. The rest of the plans are as follows:
- Shopify – $79/month for unlimited products, detailed reports, promotion and marketing options.
- Advanced Shopify – $299/month for growing and scaling online projects.
If compared to extra costs that may come with using WooCommerce, Shopify might look like a more cost-effective solution. Let’s say you want to create a professional WordPress online shop. You will need a domain name and a proper hosting that will cost you about $10 and $60 annually. You will also need a professional theme that supports WooCommerce. The best bet is to opt for Premium templates that are around $30-$50.
As we have stated before, you may require extensions for your baseline features. They are also paid. For instance, integration tax calculation system like TaxJar or WooCommerce Bookings to schedule appointments will cost you about $50 more. As a result, a fully-customizable WP digital store with enhanced WooCommerce support will cost you about $100-$120.
Shopify vs WooCommerce: the things with Shopify are easier. You pay only once for the plan that suits your needs and get full access to all eCommerce features. The situation with WooCommerce is a bit more complicated. While the plugin is free, it requires extra costs to make the most of it.
Shopify and WooCommerce serve your digital store goal perfectly. They have proved to be among the best platforms to deal with whenever you want to start selling online. Choosing the one will depend mainly on your CMS preferences whether you are a dedicated WordPress fan or looking for an all-in-one website building kit.
Shopify is easier to get started with. It initially has a full set of features you may need. At the same time, it comes as an all-in-one kit with managed hosting and domain solution, free and paid templates, simple product management system, AR-based technologies and extra features to grow an online business.
WooCommerce is a part of the WordPress CMS, which means some difficulties during the setting up process as well as a separate domain and hosting management. The plugin is very easy to use. It brings everything you need for eCommerce projects out of the box. However, it may require extra costs for extensions and enhanced functionality.
It’s up to you what to choose, as both systems will let you handle your eCommerce websites with ease. However, WooCommerce is still a plugin while Shopify is a full-cycle website building platform developed for creating, deploying, and marketing digital stores online.
Overview Comparison Chart
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