While starting your online store, you will mostly come across two leading solutions: Shopify and WooCommerce. However, if you are trying to choose between the two, how do you decide which one is right for you? Each has its pros and cons, and as an entrepreneur, selecting the right eCommerce platform that fits your needs is vital for success.
Shopify has 800k online stores, while WooCommerce claims to be the top-most web e-Commerce platform—so which one is better? Shopify is preferred among the two. Besides being powerful, user-friendly, and reliable, it offers stunning templates and matchless customer support. However, that’s not it. WooCommerce doesn’t hold back in the race. This robust eCommerce plugin converts any WordPress website into an online store, and since it’s an open-source platform, it is free to install.
This guide will show you a detailed comparison between WooCommerce and Shopify to help you choose the best option for your online store.
An Overview: WooCommerce Vs. Shopify
Before comparing the two most popular platforms, let’s get to know them first.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce plugin that turns your WordPress into an eCommerce platform. It enables you to use the most reliable and robust content management system to run an online store.
Launched in 2011, WooCommerce gained attention within the eCommerce industry, and today it’s one of the most famous eCommerce solutions, with over 3.8 million users. Its success is due to powerful features, unlimited customization options, and user-friendliness. But most importantly, it lets you use WordPress, the most famous CMS in the globe, to manage your online store.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an all-inclusive eCommerce platform that makes it easy for you to build an online store, manage your inventory, and accept payments - all from a single platform. Shopify doesn’t let you worry about the technicalities of operating an online store, such as caching, web hosting, security, etc.
Shopify doesn’t offer an open-source solution but various features that cater to multiple needs. Released in 2004, Shopify is a bit older than WooCommerce, and over 1 million Canadian-origin businesses use this platform as it offers up-to-date features.
The platform is easy to create from scratch and caters to novices with limited to zero coding skills. However, if you decide to tailor your Shopify store, you might need a bit of professional guidance.
Both WooCommerce and Spotify are great places to commence your online store. However, you can drive more conversion when integrating your WooCommerce or Shopify store with marketplace giants such as eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and more. But, selling on platforms like Shopify or Wix isn’t easy as it can hamper your business. Hence, the best solution is to use a multi-channel selling platform to help automate the repetitive processes and manage everything from one dashboard.
Who wins the battle - WooCommerce or Shopify?
Several users have difficulty picking an eCommerce website builder because they don’t know what they are looking for. Hence, we have gathered all the details for you to make a rational decision before choosing one.
1. Page Speed
Research shows that WooCommerce has a slower page load than Shopify. While the WooCommerce web pages load in about 776 milliseconds, Shopify’s web pages load in 309 milliseconds which is the ideal page loading speed for any website since Google suggests an average of 500 milliseconds of page loading time.
However, enhancing the loading speed in WooCommerce is up to your chosen hosting plan. If you select a cheap hosting plan, you can’t expect it to be quick no matter how much you pay your SEO experts to improve the page speed. Hence, concluding that Shopify surpasses WooCommerce in terms of page speed.
2. Easy to use
Since WooCommerce is not a hosted online store, you have to manage a few things like installation, updates, storing backups, and ensuring that your store is secure. Installing WooCommerce is somewhat complex because first, you need to install WordPress. After completing a few steps, you can activate the WooCommerce plugin on your WordPress platform. Once WooCommerce is activated, a pop-up will appear, and you will require to finish five steps to run your store.
3. Inventory Management
WooCommerce offers a high level of flexibility, and so does its inventory management feature. WooCommerce enables users to create inventory reports and modify any product attributes. You can create and manage endless variable products. Nonetheless, you will need support from third-party apps to boost your WooCommerce store performance.
Like WooCommerce, Shopify allows retailers complete control over the Shopify inventory system. You can access stock alerts, track stocks, in-house revenue reports, and automated purchase orders. Moreover, Shopify users can benefit from a chock-full of inventory applications to run their business smoothly.
WooCommerce shows all its power in this area. It acquires all creative writing blog functions from WordPress, the most reliable and famous CMS. You can create a blog for WooCommerce by adding a post from the WordPress Admin dashboard. Moreover, you can also enhance customers’ blogging experience by using storefront templates.
Unlike WooCommerce, Shopify has a standard feature for blogs and content. Creating a blog post on Shopify doesn’t require much effort and time. You can quickly customize your blog design via Shopify’s website design theme or download apps like PageFly - a famous Shopify app for more custom-made options.
Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce has tremendous advantages for SEO. Using WordPress Editor, WooCommerce users can modify body content, meta descriptions, basic URL redirections, alt tags, and other elements to enhance site pages. Moreover, WooCommerce offers multiple SEO plugins to optimize your store.
Shopify has a few limitations for SEO. Shopify users cannot fully customize their URLs due to rigid structure. Also, it is somewhat tough to create sub-categories on this platform. Nonetheless, Shopify has all the integral features you need for eCommerce SEO, and they are pretty simple to use.
6. Applications and Plugins
WooCommerce users can access WordPress’s massive plugin library, which has more than 58k free and paid plugins. Besides, WooCommerces provides 592 extensions mainly designed for WooCommerce.
Shopify includes 5899 applications and extensions developed by both 3rd party developers and in-house teams. These apps are divided into several categories: shipping, sales, conversion, inventory management, etc.
Shopify takes care of updates and security issues, as it comes with an SSL certificate in-built, meaning all the data transferred between you and your clients are encoded.
Whereas with WooCommerce, most security falls into your hands. This means you will have to get your SSL certificate, configure your website security plugin, PCI compliant, 2-factor authorization, and other things to secure your website.
Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce isn’t very customer support-friendly as it doesn’t offer email, phone, and live chat options. But for retailers who want to control their support strategy, WooCommerce provides several resources. WooCommerce users can instantly seek support from a vibrant community of developers, WooExperts, and peers in case of emergencies.
Shopify is well-renowned for its top-notch customer support services, which are available round-the-clock for email, live chat, and phone. Shopify has massive FAQs database and Shopify Forum, which is always willing to answer your queries.
Which one should you choose - Shopify or WooCommerce?
Before you decide which platform to choose, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when starting an eCommerce store or hiring an e-commerce website design agency in the USA.
Page loading speed
These are the fundamental needs of a store owner, and other things you might want to look for are security, inventory management, payment gateway, customer support, etc.
Our objective was to provide a profound understanding of which online store might be better for your business by drawing a detailed comparison between the two. There are a lot of reasons why people use both Shopify and WooCommerce. They both offer different things, so it depends on what you need. If you just want to start selling online, then Shopify might be more suitable as it’s easier to set up than WooCommerce. However, if you want to add extra features to your website, such as product reviews, then WooCommerce is probably a better option.