Nowadays, eCommerce has turned into an important platform for businesses to give their products and services a good exposure and make them available to their customers 24/7. The platform has opened a whole range of opportunities from advertising to finding new customers. With eCommerce, it is convenient and easy to target potential customers.
Although there are plenty of choices available when it comes to choosing an eCommerce platform yet most people often get confused between Shopify and WooCommerce. Both are the renowned platforms available with their own pros and cons.
If you are planning to launch an online startup, this article is going to help you decide which is one is absolutely best for startups or small businesses. So let’s begin their comparison with small business in mind.
Pricing: Shopify vs. WooCommerce
Often, pricing is one of the most important considerations for small businesses. Before you go with any platform, it is necessary that you analyze the cost of add-on services and software which you may require later on, not just the cost of getting started.
There are 3 plans offered by Shopify. The basic plan, Basic Shopify starts at $29 for a month which you can upgrade to Shopify plan at the cost of $79/mo. Whereas the most advanced plan, called Advanced Shopify charges the monthly bill of $299. Here it is worth mentioning that Shopify also charges a transaction fee.
Along with hosting, all these plans include a domain name and an SSL certificate.
Shopify pricing is one of the most confusing things for small businesses. Even if we compare Squarespace vs Shopify in terms of pricing, Squarespace low cost makes it more appealing option for small business regardless of its features.
WooCommerce is a free eCommerce plugin from popular CMS platform WordPress. Though it freely available yet you will require to have a domain name, an SSL certificate and a reliable WordPress hosting to begin your online journey with WooCommerce store.
Everywhere the cost of a domain name ranges between $10 to $15 while the cost of a shared hosting plan can be expected somewhere around $3 to $5 for a month.
There are few hosting providers that offer specialized WooCommerce plans that can reduce the overall cost to a great extent. With such providers, you can you can expect to start your online store as low as $7 to 10 for a month.
WooCommerce is a clear winner in this category because with WooCommerce you get the liberty to go as high and as low as you can. Moreover, unlike Shopify, WooCommerce doesn’t charge you a percentage for a transaction. In addition to this, there plenty of free themes and add-ons that you can use with your WooCommerce store.
Ease of Use: Shopify vs. WooCommerce
Most of the newbies prefer to go with a platform that requires less manual customization and web coding.
With Shopify, you don’t require to install or download any kind of software or script. Indeed, it is a subscription-based online tool that walks you through a simple customization and lets you add your product very easily. It supports drag-and-drop feature that helps you manage product, sale, inventory, etc, effortlessly.
WooCommerce is not a hosted platform like Shopify. To run an online store with WooCommerce you need to install this eCommerce plugin, create backups, and manage updates. However, with plugins, these tasks can be easily handled.
Shopify is a big winner in this category as its drag-and-drop feature provides enough ease. However, in terms of customization, WooCommerce is more flexible than Shopify.
Design: Shopify vs. WooCommerce
An eye-pleasing design can help you engage your customers and bring an aesthetic visual appeal to your online store.
Shopify comes with stunning but limited theme options. There are only a few themes that are free. And for premium themes, you will have to pay around $100 to $180. Moreover, the scope of theme customization is just limited to changing layout and colors.
As WooCommerce is a WordPress service, it has an upper hand in terms of theme options. There are thousands of free and paid themes available that you can use to create an online store of any business niche. The best thing is you can modify themes in any way you like
Both platforms seem perfect in this category. However, WordPress is a big open source platform you always have more design options with WooCommerce.
Features: Shopify Vs. WooCommerce
It is necessary to know which features you are going to get with your preferred eCommerce platform.
Being an online eCommerce Software, Shopify comes with various essential eCommerce features and add-ons for your store. Its various applications let you bring various features and functionalities to your store. With Shopify applications, you can do the followings without paying any additional costs.
- Create discount codes
- Sell your products or services on Facebook
- Customize shipping options
- Offer gift cards
- Print orders
In addition to this, the platform also offers 24/7 customer support for its all plans.
The main strength of WooCommerce is its flexibility. As it is an open-source platform you can add custom built plugins on your store to get various functionalities.
Some of the key features of WooCommerce are:
- Built-in blogging feature
- Endless customization as you can edit almost everything from homepage to ‘buy’ button.
- Single-click refund option for customers.
In case you get into any issue while using WooCommerce, you can jump into their forum section to find the answers to your queries. Since WordPress has a vast community, your query might be already answered there.
We would say, it is a tight-run contest. Both WooCommerce and Shopify provide sufficient features to build a powerful online store.
Which Option is Better for Small Businesses?
Both Shopify and WooCommerce are powerful platforms to begin an online journey. Which platform will be the best option for you genuinely depends on your skills and expertise. If you are not much familiar with PHP or CSS Shopify will be much easier to use as you don’t need to install anything and can get started quickly. However, the biggest drawback with Shopify is you don’t get complete control over your site.
On the other hand, WooCommerce offers you full control of your online store and is cheaper too (When you choose Woocommerce hosting plan). So, it is totally up to you which way you want to go.
Here it is worth mentioning that WooCommerce has a big market share than Shopify and there are many successful stores running on WooCommerce.