Ever since Google Trends tracks its data WooCommerce and Shopify rise together almost hand in hand. Shopify is gaining a little advantage this year, but is it better solution for your business as well? While Shopify is claiming that more than 325,000 store owners can’t be wrong, approximately 27% of ALL websites globally and 65 percent of all content management system (CMS) websites on the Internet today use WordPress, which is a base platform for WooCommerce.
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There is no clear or easy answer to a question which platform is better, but the easiest explanation might be that we are talking about a match-up of simple vs. complex. It’s a match-up of two platforms, with plenty to offer, but only one of them has its limits.
It doesn’t matter if you are running an existing e-commerce or trying to start a new one, you have probably heard of both solutions. Both Shopify and WooCommerce are complete services / solutions offering various designs and features for your e-commerce. You will not mess up, if you pick either, but let’s have a look at some main differences between two.
Shopify was created in 2006 in Canada with a goal of creating a really simple solution to sell products online easy. Since then more than 325,000 stores using their services and according to Shopify, their solutions have helped to sell over 24 billion dollars worth of products. It’s obviously no small start-up and very trustworthy partner for your business. Shopify does not provide you with just a service, but also with a platform, which makes it easy to use even if you don’t have your own webpage already. On the other hand, they don’t offer any free solutions.
What about WooCommerce?
Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce is open source and completely free (to be fair, you might need to spend a little money, but we will get to that). If you are already using WordPress, then WooCommerce is almost no brainer for you as it is just another plug-in to add to your website. Since it’s an open source solution, you are guaranteed almost unlimited options of add-ons and designs coming from a word-wide community of users, but you are giving up a direct customer support in exchange and you rely on a community of users. If you take into consideration that according to stats from 2014, 76.5 million blogs were using WordPress, it’s no small group of users relying on each other with support.
Easy to set up?
As you might suspect by now, Shopify is hands down easier service to start your business. All features are available within a few clicks and it really depends only on how much you are willing to pay for all extra features. You have over 180 online store designs to choose from without need for any coding skills. All packages come with free custom subdomain. For example, MYONLINESTORE.shopify.com.
If you want to start your online business with WooCommerce, you will definitely need your own web host and buy a domain. You will not get far without at least some website building skills and depends on customization you might need some coding and design skills as well. To be fair, it can be a little overwhelming if you’ve never done it before. Although, don’t give up just yet. You can find hosting providers such as Bluehost offering a 1-click installation that automatically installs WordPress and WooCommerce for you. While it is not truly one click (or free) solution, you will get yourself set up pretty quickly.
Payments options and safety
The way you will get paid should be one of the most deciding factors to consider for your shop. As soon as you set up your Shopify store, you will accept PayPal Express Checkout as your payment option. Shopify Payments offers credit card processing. It’s a cheapest solution for your, otherwise you are facing extra fees (between 2% and 0.5% based on your package), but this service is available only in USA, UK, Canada and Australia so far. Which means that if your business is located elsewhere, you will have to rely on what they call a “payment gateway”, or a third-party service. With those third-party services come also extra fees, so you will need to do your homework on which one to choose.
That’s where WooCommerce has an upper hand on Shopify. You will not struggle to find variety of payment safe add-ons with plenty of payed, but also free options, like for example Stripe, which accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, JBC, and Diners Club cards. With that in mind, I’m sure you will find a perfect solution for you. After all, you are not the only one, who wants to get money from customers without paying fortune on extra fees.
Not everybody in the world speak English, or any given language. That’s why it’s important for e-commerce to be available in different languages. It makes for easier shopping for people all around a world and drives your profits up with minimal costs. Shopify has been dealing with this issue for quite some time until Langify app came along. Don’t clap your hands just yet as this solution will set you back $17.50/month.
If you are hoping that WooCommerce will offer multilingual solution for free, you will be a little bit disappointed. Although there is a reliable and well-established WPML plugin. It enables a complete multilingual solution and costs $79 the first year, and $39 thereafter. Not a bad deal, when you consider that you would spend more than 3.5 times more (just over first two years) for a same service at Shopify.
It has already been mention before that main difference between two is how much it will cost you. WooCommerce is free, but it doesn’t mean that it will cost you nothing. You have obvious costs as host and domain to cover to start with. But unless you want your e-commerce running on Shopify subdomain, you will have to cover those costs as well. Website Tool Tester have done a great job of breaking down costs of running your e-commerce trough WooCommerce.
Shopify offers packages starting at $29/month through $79/month to $299/month for most complete solutions and they all come with free subdomain. That’s of course without multilingual solution, mentioned before. You can also try if for free for 14 days and decide what to do next.
Which solution is better for you?
WooCommerce has a big advantage and you should use it mainly if you are already using a WordPress or if you are looking for more than just an online store. If that’s a case, you are probably familiar with its environment and adding WooCommerce will be easy and smooth. You will enjoy almost unlimited options of designs and add-ons from a big community from all over a world.
On the other hand, if you are only starting your online business, Shopify is easy way to get you started. You will get on your feet quicker with all around and easy to use platform, but it will come at a price of monthly fees.