WooCommerce vs Shopify:
WooCommerce vs Shopify has been a hot topic nowadays. Let’s explore what suits best to your needs.
After COVID, there is a huge trend of online shopping. So businesses are in desperate need of an online presence.
There are several e-commerce platforms in the market that give you a solution to your online presence. WooCommerce and Shopify are the most prominent of all. It all depends on your business model while choosing a platform.
If you already have a website in WordPress, it would be better for you to add the functionality of e-commerce to your WordPress.
You have to install WooCommerce and your normal WordPress turns into an e-commerce store. By doing this, you save a lot of time and money. If you do not have a website already, then Shopify is better for you. It has plenty of advanced apps and features. Due to these apps and features, you can easily control the sales and marketing process of your store and your life becomes easier.
Let’s dive into the details to explore the two platforms.
WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which one is better?
Although almost 40% of total websites are built using WordPress. To build a WooCommerce store, you need a WordPress site. WordPress is being adopted by many store owners to build their stores. Remember, Shopify is purely an e-commerce website builder. You can create an excellent store in minutes using Shopify.
Shopify has 24/7 support and if you are not much experienced in maintaining the technical side of the store, they can help you with their technical staff. It offers a 14-day free trial to you to test its awesome features.
To build a WooCommerce vs Shopify store, a WordPress website is a prerequisite. Through WordPress, you can have direct access to many other functionalities. There is a great variety of themes in WordPress. WooCommerce and Shopify are not the only options for an online store.
There are many other e-commerce platforms that may be a better solution for your business. But WooCommerce and Shopify stand at the top.
WordPress (WooCommerce) Positive aspects:
Open Source and Free:
WooCommerce is an open-source and absolutely free platform. It is the best choice for startups and small businesses that want to create their online presence. It seamlessly integrates with WordPress. The code of it can be easily altered, so a designer or a developer can do the changes in it according to their requirements. Although WooCommerce is free there are certain extensions that you can only get for your store after paying a subscription fee.
Woocommerce vs Shopify Customization:
A huge variety of professional and high-quality themes is available in WordPress. You can choose according to your needs. It’s up to you what look you want to give to the various sections like header, footer, checkout, products pages of your store. You can change the style of your store by altering the CSS. Also, you can also customize the PHP style code and HTML. You can even customize the plugins added to your store.
Woocommerce vs Shopify Incredible Plugins:
Plugins used at the WordPress WooCommerce store are incredibly helpful for the sellers. These plugins can make the functionality of complex tasks easy. WooCommerce itself is a plugin. It converts a WordPress site into an e-commerce store that you can customize according to your needs. WooCommerce plugin makes the process of uploading products easier.
Plugins make the process of uploading products to your store easier. Yoast plugin can be integrated for better optimization of your store, and for email marketing, you can integrate WooCommerce MailChimp.
You can also integrate Google Analytics to track the performance of your WooCommerce store.
Flexible Inventory Management:
Through WooCommerce you can do the sale of both physical and digital products. You can add products at a regular pace in your store setup at WooCommerce. As WooCommerce has a WordPress-centric user interface, it allows the store owner to keep a record of stock-level. WooCommerce makes it easy to manage day-to-day inventory.
WordPress is having mobile-friendly designs and themes and it is responsive on mobiles. As of now, search engines love to rank higher on those sites that are optimized for mobiles.
One can benefit from its responsive web technology and surprisingly no need to create a new website.
Woocommerce vs Shopify Extensions:
WordPress offers lots of extensions. You can choose a variety of free or paid extensions according to the needs of your business.
Extensions are helpful in order to increase the experience of your user and you even do not write a single line of code. For the WooCommerce store, you can add extensions for management, product pages, shopping cart, payments, etc.
SEO has become an easy task in WordPress (WooCommerce). It offers many plugins and extensions that one can choose according to his needs.
Using SEO plugins, you can do the on-page SEO of your site easily without any technical knowledge. These extensions and plugins are regularly updated by their developers. Due to regular updates, these extensions are secure and efficient.
Hackers adopt many sophisticated methods to steal the data of you and your clients from your site. Consumers are aware of their rights when it comes to their privacy.
So WordPress (WooCommerce) offers a secure and trustworthy environment for its users.
WooCommerce regularly gives updates to cater to the issues of security. These security updates are aligned with newer versions of WordPress.
Payment Gateways and Currency Supports:
Geolocation support is provided by WooCommerce. You can accept multiple currencies across the globe.
If you are running a store that offers services worldwide, then multiple payments and shipping options provide attraction to your customers located in different geolocations.
This helps you to boost your sales and in return revenue. From the customer’s point of view, it gives them the flexibility to pay in their currency. It becomes a win-win situation for you and your customers.
Drawbacks of WooCommerce:
Lacking Advanced Features:
WooCommerce cannot be used as an e-commerce content management system (CMS). Developers use it to build online stores only.
It lacks some essential advanced features to make store management easier. To improve the user experience in your store, you have to purchase themes and features that increase the expenses of your store.
Too Many Updates:
There are regular updates in WordPress for the optimal security of the system. Too many updates in WordPress make it more time-consuming for you to handle the security issues of your store.
Due to updates, you must prepare yourself to cater to the issues of data backup and testing WordPress plugins.
Not a Beginner-Friendly:
If you are not a techy person, then WooCommerce is not friendly for you. As the design, development, and maintenance of WordPress are challenging, WooCommerce is also no exception. WooCommerce has very little maintenance support.
You must have a comprehensive knowledge of WordPress and WooCommerce to start your online store. For the customization of the store, you need coding knowledge.
If you don’t have coding knowledge, you need to hire a web developer to make the process easier for you and it will cost you extra.
For the smooth functioning of your WooCommerce store, you need to install too many plugins at your store. Some of them are paid plugins that increase the overall cost of your store.
Plugins take a lot of memory which slowdowns the speed of your store. This makes the whole process frustrating for you. Before downloading any plugin, you need to know the pros and cons of that plugin.
Mobile Responsive Themes:
Shopify offers 10 free and 64 premium themes. The price of premium themes starts from $140. All of the themes are mobile responsive making your store Google-Friendly.
Most of the shopping nowadays is done through mobile phones and Shopify themes are well-optimized for the smaller screens also. The themes in Shopify are built in different styles to match the brand of your stores.
According to different searches conducted, a customer waits for only 3 seconds to load your store on his screen. If it takes a longer time, he will simply abandon it.
Shopify understands the needs of customers that is why Shopify provides 100% SSL to keep your store safe and fast. Most of the customers pay through their credit cards. If you have no SSL installed on your store, they will not make a purchase.
Shopify has a great team of cybersecurity consultants to keep their systems hack-proof. Their team constantly looks for the issues of security as per customers’ point of view to keep check-out fast and secure.
In-House App Store:
More than 1200 plugins and apps are in-app stores of Shopify. You can find free options as well as paid options according to the needs of your store. These apps are helpful for you to make the business process easier for you. The sales process can be automated with these apps. You can also boost the processes of accounting, inventory, management, and shipping for your store.
Shopify assigns you a custom domain after you sign-up. You can choose a custom domain as per your business needs. This gives you ease to handle your domain at the same site location as well as your domain store.
Shopify offers plenty of analytics features that help you to track the behavior of your customer at your store. It helps you to check different metrics regarding customer behavior like conversion, returning customer rate, online store sessions, total sales, etc.
You can track the performance of different sections of your store through these analytics. You can optimize your store for better results by analyzing these analytics features.
24/7 Customer Support:
Shopify hosts millions of stores around the globe. Shopify provides efficient customer support to each store owner. You can have access to a huge database of FAQs. You can access them via email, chat. It also provides phone support to its customers.
With the scalability option, Shopify provides the services to its customers to expand their business to the next level. Shopify can handle easily the sudden or steady increase in traffic at your store. All this can be achieved without changing the design of your store.
Shopify has several subscription plans based on the needs of a customer. The basic plan starts from $29. A basic plan has only basic features to run the functionality of a store. Secondly, $29 is not cheap for every store.
Shopify supports multiple payment gateways. If you want to use a payment processor other than Shopify owns, you have to pay a fee for the integration of that payment processor.
Also remember, Shopify offers only 10 free themes. If a free theme does not suit your needs, you have to pay a one-time fee to get paid theme.
Limitations in Customization:
Although Shopify is customizable according to your needs, if your business has additional features, you have to hire a Shopify expert to do the coding for you. This will cost you extra money.
Steeper Learning Curve:
The learning curve of Shopify is slightly steeper than other platforms. Shopify uses a little bit of complex terminology. Instead of “Categories”, Shopify uses “Collections”. This may confuse some customers. It unnecessarily complicates the UX through its terminology.
Filtering and Categorization of Products:
Shopify has millions of users on its platform, so its search algorithm should be much efficient. But unfortunately, the process of filtering products is much poor.
When you search for a category, but you cannot properly narrow down your search by filtering. If you apply a filter for one product, it will apply to all the products. This will implement a negative effect on the customer and he may leave your store.
Lack of Email-Hosting Facility:
Shopify does not offer email hosting features. You cannot have a domain-based email. Alternatively, you can set up an email forwarding from your domain-based address to your regular email address. From there you can answer the queries of your customers.
Woocommerce vs Shopify Summary:
You cannot choose simply between the 2 e-commerce platforms (WooCommerce & Shopify). Both have advantages and disadvantages.
Shopify is the best e-commerce store builder, offering excellent support to its customers with its technical staff. On the other hand, WooCommerce is a better choice for those who have a WordPress-powered site.
In the end, I can say, it all depends on the specific needs and requirements of your business. I have tried my best to clearly describe the advantages and disadvantages of both Shopify and WooCommerce. After reading this article, I am confident, it will guide you to choose the right e-commerce platform for your business.