Shopify Vs WooCommerce: Detailed Comparison (2021)

In 2020, over two billion people bought items or services on the internet around the world, with e-commerce sales surpassing 4.2 trillion dollars worldwide. Global retail e-commerce sales increased by more than 25% in 2020.

In a world in which e-commerce has become a necessity, retailers have only two options:

  1. List their products on marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Walmart
  2. Sell to consumers directly through their website (online store)

Any retailer needs to sell their products directly from their website (their e-commerce platform) instead of using third-party platforms to avoid high fees and maintain control of their brand.

The first step for any e-commerce store owner is to build their website. The website is the first touchpoint for retail customers and therefore its design, content, and performance are key factors in a retailer’s success.

We’ll compare Shopify vs WooCommerce, two of the most popular e-commerce systems, side by side on several criteria.

Let’s get started!


Overview: Shopify vs WooCommerce

Shopify and WooCommerce are two of the most popular platforms for creating e-commerce stores. While they both allow users to sell products online, they differ in how customers shop on their sites.

WooCommerce is a free and open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress that provides an easy way for users to get started selling products online with minimum hassle. It is designed for small to large-sized online merchants using WordPress.

Shopify provides an easy way for users to start selling products online with minimum hassle. It allows you to create your store in minutes with its simple one-page checkout process and website templates. It provides a more robust solution that allows you to maintain full control over your website


10 Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Shopify and WooCommerce

When it comes to choosing the right e-commerce platform, there are a lot of important things to look for and take into consideration.


Creating Storefront

The platform should provide you with a lot of options when it comes to choosing the design and layout for your store. It should offer a wide range of customizable templates that allow you to create a unique storefront.

Shopify

Shopify’s store builder is powerful and easy to use, allowing merchants to maximize the success of their site.

Shopify offers a ton of different options in terms of design. You can choose from various pre-designed templates and even add your design elements.  It also has smooth customization features that allow you to tweak designs and style on the fly, which is great when it comes to making changes when needed.

This platform comes with a ton of different features that let you create a successful storefront such as social media integration, analytics tools, customer loyalty program, and more.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is also very flexible when it comes to design, with hundreds of beautiful themes available for free. While Shopify offers more options in terms of designs, WooComemrce gives you enough freedom to create a unique storefront by easily customizing your store’s design.

You can tweak themes and styled them with CSS code. If there’s something that needs to be changed, you can do so by opening the theme’s CSS file and making edits.

Its simple settings allow for quick changes if needed, but Shopify offers better customizability than WooCommerce.

Verdict

Shopify is a clear winner when it comes to the ease of creating a storefront.


Ease Of Use

The platform should have a simple user interface to allow you to create your store quickly. The simpler it is, the easier it will be for you to manage and update your site as time goes on without having to rely on developers every time you need some help.

Shopify

Shopify is intuitive and easy to use. As soon as you log in, it allows you to start working on your store right away. The user interface is simple and there aren’t any unnecessary features that might confuse a regular person with no tech background

Its back-end is also straightforward to use, allowing merchants to control most of their store’s settings without having to rely too much on developers.

WooCommerce

The WooCommerce platform is also easy to use, but not as intuitive as Shopify. However, you don’t have to be a tech expert to understand how it works.

It is pretty straightforward to navigate. Most of its settings and features are laid out in a way that’s easy to understand.

Users might find the back-end a bit confusing and complex, but there’s a lot of documentation available that can help you set it up.

Verdict

Shopify offers a more intuitive user interface and is easier to use.


Pricing

The e-commerce platform should be affordable. It costs you money to pay for the software and services, so it only makes sense that the price of the solution is reasonable. If you are just starting, don’t invest too much in your website before you know if it will work or not.

Shopify

The pricing of this platform varies, depending on the store’s size and the number of products it has. You can choose from four different plans.

Basic Shopify Plan starts at $29 per month.

Shopify Plan for advanced users that offer unlimited products and bandwidth starting at $79 per month.

Shopify Advanced has unlimited access to all its features at $299 per month.

Lastly, for merchants with basic needs, there’s Shopify Lite which costs $9 per month for collecting payments via payment button and POS transactions.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is free. It’s an open-source plugin, which means you can download it for free and use it to power your online store. However, there are third-party services that might charge you extra to customize the platform or have access to additional features.

Integrations In WooCommerce such as shipping, payments, SEO, etc. are provided by third-party services which you can integrate with your store for a fee.

Verdict

WooCommerce starts at $0 and is completely free, making it a budget-friendly solution. However, the lack of support and some extra features that come with Shopify might be an issue.


Integration

The e-commerce platform you end up choosing should be able to integrate with any other tools or services that are important for your business. The more integrated it is, the easier it will be for you to manage things like inventory management, payment processing, etc.

Shopify

The Shopify platform offers plenty of built-in integrations for various business needs like shipping, payment processing, CRM tools, and e-commerce solutions.

It’s also compatible with third-party services such as Google Analytics and Facebook Ads Manager. Plus, you can easily integrate the platform with your custom-built tools.

So, if you are interested in customizing your website to the most extent with additional features and plug-ins, Shopify might be a better solution for you.

WooCommerce

When it comes to integration, WooCommerce allows you to use third-party services to enhance your website. It comes with more plug-ins and extensions, which are available for free.

However, if you want some extra features or a more complex extension, you will have to pay for it.

There are hundreds of WooCommerce plugins that provide various solutions like inventory management, shipping, and payment processing.

Verdict

Both of these platforms are quite similar when it comes to integrations. If you want to have a fully functional e-commerce store that can be easily customized, then both Shopify and WooCommerce should offer enough options for you.


Technical Support

When things go wrong, you want a friendly and knowledgeable person to help you resolve your issues as quickly as possible. This can be achieved by choosing a platform that offers great customer service.

Shopify

Shopify staff is available to help with any kind of inquiries or issues 24/7. Plus, it provides a dedicated support team that specifically works on Shopify Plus users’ needs.

The company also provides valuable information via free educational resources like video tutorials and guides for beginners.

WooCommerce

The WooCommerce team is quite active on social media and answers most questions within a few hours. However, they don’t provide phone or chat support.

This means you might have to wait for an email response or spend time searching for the right answer on their site.

Verdict

Both platforms are easy to use even if you are a beginner. However, if you prefer having phone or chat support, Shopify will be your best choice.


Website Speed

Your site should be able to provide fast loading speed since users leave sites that take too long to load.

Shopify

Shopify’s hosting platform can handle fast page loading times even for high-volume stores. It offers blazing-fast performance with CDN services and caching your webpages, images, and code so it doesn’t slow down even if you receive a ton of visitors on your website.

So you can rest assured that your website will be lag-free no matter what kind of traffic it gets.

WooCommerce

Although WooCommerce is open source, if you choose the right web host (which is one of the most important aspects of website performance) then you should be able to provide a great user experience with high speeds.

You will have to rely on external CDN providers like Cloudflare or KeyCDN. The good thing is that you will be able to set them up yourself and choose a plan that best fits your needs.

Verdict

Shopify offers reliable and better performance regardless of the page size. This is what makes it the right choice for growing businesses that want to provide fast loading speeds along with a great user experience.


Fulfilment

An e-commerce platform should make it easy and transparent for you to sell, ship, and track the purchases made on your site. You should be able to easily integrate with the most popular shipping carriers and tools.

Shopify

With Shopify, you will be able to handle all orders and shipping within your platform. You can choose from many different fulfillment providers like Shipwire, FedEx, USPS, etc.

The great thing is that you don’t need any coding knowledge to set up your shipment settings. You just have to select the carrier and service, then let Shopify handle the rest.

Shopify also offers discounted shipping rates on all the major carriers. So, you won’t have to worry about expensive shipping prices while fulfilling orders.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce also integrates with popular carriers including DHL Express, FedEx, USPS, etc. It lets you manage your shipments from within your WordPress account, so there won’t be any additional apps or logins required.

One of its most valuable features is the ability to add sale prices when using different shipping providers. This way you can provide free or discounted shipping for specific regions, which is pretty handy if you are dealing with international orders.

Verdict

Although both Shopify and WooCommerce let you choose from many popular carriers, the fact that Shopify makes it easier for you to set up your shipments makes it the better choice.

In addition, Shopify’s discounted shipping feature is a great way to attract new customers from different countries.


Payment Gateways

A gateway is an application that allows you to connect securely with your payment provider and process online transactions. It’s one of the most important features that you should consider when choosing an e-commerce platform.

Shopify

Shopify’s payment system allows your customers to checkout with ease, so they can complete their order without having to leave your site. It offers multiple payment options including Stripe, PayPal, Amazon Pay, etc.

If you want to choose a custom gateway for your business, Shopify lets you integrate with any other payment gateway service to get the best rates.

To keep your customers secure, Shopify is PCI compliant and offers support for secure payment gateways like HTTPS.

WooCommerce

Even though WooCommerce is an open-source platform, it lets you set up advanced payment gateways by using extensions. You can choose from Braintree Payments, PayPal, Amazon Pay, Stripe, etc.

Just like Shopify, WooCommerce’s checkout process provides a secure environment for your clients and prevents online fraud. One downside is that WooCommerce doesn’t have detailed PCI compliance information regarding its payment process, so you will have to rely on third-party payment gateways.

Verdict

Shopify is a better choice for you if you want your customers to be able to checkout with ease from your e-commerce platform. In addition, its PCI compliance and support service makes it more secure for both your business and customers.


Scalability

The platform you choose should allow you to grow your business without having to switch services in the future. It can be used for small businesses or companies that have thousands of orders coming in every day.

Shopify

Shopify is a great option for both small and large businesses. You can start by using its basic plan that costs $29/month and includes unlimited products, 2 staff accounts, and unlimited bandwidth.

If you want to scale your operations in the future, it provides several scalable plans with great add-ons and reduced transaction fees. If anything goes wrong, Shopify has an excellent customer support service team to help you solve any issue within minutes.

All Shopify plans are affordable, so you won’t have to worry about scaling your business in the future.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce’s scalability depends on the features you are using. If your business needs only basic e-commerce functionality, its free version is best for you.

However, WooCommerce starts to show its limitations if you want to add advanced features such as customizable products, infinite categories, and product sliders. In this case, you will have to look for a scalable solution provided by a WooCommerce plugin.

Although WordPress is an open-source platform that offers thousands of free plugins and themes, the quality of these extensions varies a lot. This makes it difficult for you to find a plugin that will work as expected.

Verdict

If you want to grow your business and scale up in the future, Shopify is a better choice as it offers multiple scalable plans and more affordable pricing rates. WooCommerce’s custom build option might be suitable for some users, however, it could create some problems if your online store grows in the future.


Security

The platform you use should provide e-commerce security features like Secure Socket Layer (SSL) security certificates and 2-factor authentication to keep your data safe. The platform should have secure connections so that customer data is protected at all times.

Shopify

All Shopify plans come with an SSL security certificate that is installed on your site automatically. It also offers 2-factor authentication to provide stronger security for each user’s account.

In addition, it has a data encryption policy that protects all sensitive information including the name, phone number, and credit card details of your customers. This makes sure that your client’s information is kept safe from unauthorized access.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce also comes with an SSL security certificate that secures all customer data. However, you will need to install this separately.

It also offers 2-factor authentication to improve security for your site.

However, if you are running an unsecured network, your sensitive data will be at risk as WooCommerce doesn’t encrypt all customer information by default. If any hacker tries to access your website’s backend, they will see all of your customers’ names and credit card details without any encryption.

WooCommerce doesn’t have detailed PCI compliance information regarding its payment process so you will have to rely on third-party payment gateways

Verdict

Both Shopify and WooCommerce have SSL security certificates that help secure sensitive customer information.

However, with WooCommerce you will need to install the certificate separately on your site. The platform has weaker security measures as compared to Shopify so if you are willing to increase the security of your website, this might be a downside for you.


Marketing Tools

The platform you use should have built-in marketing tools to allow you to attract new customers and sell more products. It should help you build your brand by allowing you to create custom pages, blogs, and email lists so that you can promote your business.

Shopify

Shopify has all the advanced marketing tools built into its platform. It offers multiple integrations with third-party services so that you can build your brand, market your products and increase sales.

Shopify allows you to set up popups, email capture forms, social media integrations, exit-intent popups, etc., for promotions. These features can help you promote your business at a very affordable rate.

In addition, Shopify offers inbuilt Google Analytics tools so you can track each step of the customer journey and optimize conversions.

If you want to get started with marketing on Shopify, it provides a video tutorial and an extensive knowledge base. This will allow new entrepreneurs to start quickly without any problems.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce also offers customizable marketing features to help you grow your business. It has inbuilt cart recovery emails, abandoned cart recovery emails, coupon tools, sales reports, and referral program integrations with third-party platforms.

WooCommerce requires you to integrate third-party tools for marketing purposes. Some of the popular choices are MailChimp, AWeber, Facebook Pixel, etc. It also offers inbuilt Google Analytics features to help track customer data.

Verdict

Both Shopify and WooCommerce offer extensive marketing features but if you are looking for more advanced platform options, then Shopify is the right choice for you.


WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which One Should You Choose?

With both Shopify and WooCommerce, you will be able to build an online shop that sells products.

It is wise to choose the platform that best fits your needs.

If you are just starting with your business, WooCommerce is the right choice for you since it offers lower costs. WooCommerce will allow you to customize everything yourself but it requires some training and experience before you get started.

If you do not want to go through this learning curve, then choosing Shopify can provide a better user experience for new entrepreneurs. Shopify has a lot of features to help you start, manage, promote, and scale your business. It provides all of its users with free marketing tools and multiple integrations to help grow their business.

You can look at both platforms’ features and decide which one will help you achieve success in your online venture.

It all comes down to what goals you have set for your business. Once you know them, choosing the best platform becomes easier because it will be better tailored towards your specific requirements.


Conclusion

The most important thing that a business needs in today’s world are a reliable, responsive, and safe e-commerce website. When it comes to choosing between two great platforms, Shopify and  WooCommerce, choosing just one can be a tough task. 

As you can see, they are both competent services that have their advantages and disadvantages. The right choice will depend on your business goals. You can’t go wrong. When in doubt, try them both to see which one fits best for your needs.

If you need help with designing your e-commerce website or any other web development task, then contact us today at Pixel Street – Web Design Company!

We have helped many businesses with their online presence so feel free to get in touch! 🙂 Thanks for reading through this post. Stay tuned for more awesome stuff!