When we talk about making an online store, we often ask – how to choose the platform to be set up? The answer, however, depends on the preferences and requirements that the e-action needs to fulfill, as well as numerous technical parameters.
In this article, we focus on the two most popular platforms – Shopify and WooCommerce. We will look back on their basic functions, opportunities provided by online store owners, as well as user experience and options offered to future customers.
Please note that these two platforms are not the only ones that exist. There are also many other advantages, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages, but since WooCommerce and Shopify are most often used, I will devote myself this time to expose the dilemma of which is more appropriate for your e-store.
What Are SHOPIFY And WOOCOMMERCE?
It is about web platforms designed to create functional online stores. Although they are in many respects similar, there are still many differences between them. The biggest difference is that the Shopify platform exists for itself and is made up of a complete web site without the need for previous technical knowledge, but it can not be used free of charge (except for the original trial period of 14 days).
On the other hand, WooCommerce is a free plugin for an open source code based on WordPress, which means that developers are constantly devoted to developing and improving their functions through the GitHub platform. For already existing sites set up in WordPress, as well as for those that will just be created on it, the ability to create a complete e-commerce store is added.
This results in a few more differences in the field of pre-made themes available, domain security and site hosting, implementation of various online payment options, use of internal and external applications and add-ons, the price range for the platform’s use plan and more a lot of it.
Domain And Safety
To use the WooCommerce platform you need to have a domain already and to use third-party site maintenance services. On the other hand, Shopify also provides domain purchasing (it is also possible to transfer its existing domain) as well as maintaining the site for all its users.
How many e-stores are already using these platforms? According to official data, Shopify has more than a million active users around the world, while WooCommerce adds more than 43 million people, and currently, more than two million active e-shops are based on this platform.
The aesthetics, the design and the vivid look of an online shop, besides the ease of use and the unrivaled user experience, are what should be the best place for any electronic store. When it comes to selecting the theme that will be the basis for the setting, Shopify offers about 60 different themes, some of which are free to download and adjust, while other water as premium and are paid extra. Some of the themes also have unique variations, bringing the total number of themes available to around 180. Each of them provides an almost visual solution for the complete site with an elegant and modern design.
The negative side of all this is the fact that a lot of sites are placed on the Shopify platform, much larger than the existing number of themes. Although themes are customizable, some of the users have begun to complain that their e-commerce looks a bit like many others built on the same platform.
With the WooCommerce plugin, there are no such problems. Given that the WordPress platform offers thousands of different themes, most of which are free and can be used for WooCommerce-based web sites, and developers are constantly developing topics specifically designed for WooCommerce, web design capabilities are impeccable.
There are currently over 600 different WooCommerce themes ranging from 29 to 64 US dollars and can be found on the Themeforest platform. Among them are free themes, but there is usually no technical support for them.
Another important item in support of the WooCommerce platform is that it can make a web site starting from scratch, completely unique and tailor-made to the needs of your online store, which in that case will not look like any other. Unique visual solutions, in any case, can greatly contribute to positive user experience and success in online sales.
Easy To Use
From the moment you open a Shopify platform, the site layout is made easier with the instructions you are referring to, leading you through the whole process, step by step, starting with selecting a platform plan, choosing a theme and customizing it, selecting your payment method, delivering and other parameters, all without the need for technical knowledge or use of program code. Within a few minutes, your store can be set up online and open to the public or prospective buyers on the Internet.
Shopify certainly offers quick and easy solutions, but keep in mind that they are in a certain and restrictive way. Because, on this platform, you can not do anything more than what has already been defined and allowed by the platform itself.
On the other hand, WooCommerce is also very easy to implement, and there are no restrictions. You can use your online merchant to pay as you like. On this platform, e-store owners are those who have complete control over site information and all parameters, not the platform itself.
Before you start setting up for WooCommerce, you have to fulfill several prerequisites. First, you need to have your own domain on the WordPress platform, then install a free WooCommerce plugin and ensure site maintenance. If you have not previously encountered WordPress and have no experience with this content management system (CMS), you may need a little more time than someone who is a WordPress expert. In any case, you can also engage professionals to set up and activate your online store to save time and make sure everything is set up properly.
Presentation And View
What’s the most important for an e-shop? To provide their customers with a positive experience while staying on the site, including:
- Visually recognizable and detailed insight into all available products
- Unprepared search section
- Product categorization and sorting by price, size, color, similarity …
- Clear navigation without too many steps to take for shopping
- View available billing options
- The safe entry of personal data
- The possibility of setting up actions and certain special offers
- Integration with social networksEach of these items is also provided by Shopify and WooCommerce, as well as many more.
Price Of Platform Use
Although WooCommerce is a free add-on for WordPress, it should be noted that before it is used, it is necessary to purchase a domain and provide site maintenance at a monthly level, along with implementing SSL set-up, which means that at least $ 30 is needed for startup.
If we compare this with the Basic Shopify platform ($ 29) per month, we come to the conclusion that the initial setting for both platforms is about the same.
In addition, Shopify offers two more packages – Shopify for $ 79 a month and Shopify for Advanced Users for $ 299 a month.
Both platforms offer their users a handful of additional tools, plug-ins, and customer support, marketing, social networking, sales enhancements, bookkeeping, and more. Supplements are however charged extra.
It is also important to note that the Shopify platform assumes commission from each product sold, ranging from 0.5 to 3% of each transaction executed through this platform. The amount of commission depends on the payment method, but also from the country where the online store is registered, so these costs should also be taken into account when assessing the overall usage of the platform.
In contrast, WooCommerce does not in any case take commission on the sale.
Online Payment Options
We come to very important items for every e-shop, which online payment options provide customers? Can you pay only with credit cards or can I use services such as PayPal and so-called digital wallets?
WooCommerce and Shopify offer their customers a choice of payment methods. Both platforms support a large number of relevant options available for online payment.
The core payment processing process on the Shopify platform is done via the Shopify payment option, which only works in the United States, the UK, Canada, Australia and some of the more developed countries, while in other countries it receives commissions on transactions. All other features include a third party, which entails a larger commission for Shopify when sold. One of the main options offered here is PayPal Express Checkout, for direct payment through PayPal.
WooCommerce also offers various add-ons that increase the ability to pay over third parties. However, adding and using PayPal and Stripe on this platform is completely free, while online payment options such as Authorize.net, Amazon Payments or Braintree cost at least $ 79 a year.
The delivery cost on both platforms varies in relation to whether it is local or global, whether a one-day delivery is required, whether a real-time shipments tracking is required, and a precise time when the courier will deliver the shipment to a particular address. However, it should be borne in mind that WooCommerce charges more advanced requests through add-ons, while Shopify offers some of them only with an advanced $ 299 monthly payment package.
Multilingual Shop: Yes or No?
Shopify owners have long been unable to create a Multilingual site. They still do not fully, though, but the situation has changed since they offered their users a Langify app that allows you to choose your language and currency when making payments. The application is paid $ 17.5 per month.
Thanks to the development of the WordPress platform, WooCommerce in this segment has a great advantage because it offers its customers a reliable and well-known WPML (WordPress Multilingual Plugin) plug-in. This extension, it is possible to raise a complete multilingual site, paying $ 79 for the first year and $ 39 for each of the following.
Summary of use analysis
The comparative analysis of the two platforms we conducted here undoubtedly led us to certain conclusions. Well, let’s cut it.
Both platforms provide online shop owners the opportunity to:
- Sell everything they want – physical and digital products, services and more.
- Unlimited number of products
- Categorization and detailed product descriptions
- Responsive web site adapted to all devices
- The possibility of creating special offers and coupons for discounts
- Statistical sales reports
- Variable delivery rates depending on the different parameters
Shopify gives its users:
- A complete online subscription-based online store setup
- Sale of products and online, via Shopify POS package
- Non-stop customer support for site administrators, through dialing, messaging, and telephone conversations
- Closed platform – users are limited in options and Shopify controls all the data on their site
- About 180 different themes for e-action look
- Site maintenance is included in the price
- Implementation of the SSL certificate included in the price
- Unlimited storage for data storage
- About 70 online payment optionsWooCommerce provides its users with:
- A complete online shop setting based on a free widget for WordPress
- Sell products online only
- Non-stop customer support for site administrators, through asked questions, online forums, and numerous written tutorials
- Open-source platform – users can easily change everything they want on the site and have complete control over all the data on the site. There are no restrictions.
- Thousands of different themes for e-action look
- Site maintenance is additionally paid and secured by third parties
- Implementation of the SSL certificate is additionally paid and provided by third parties
- The storage space depends on the site maintenance service package
- Payment options include PayPal, Stripe, PayPal, Cash, and Pay Per PayConclusion
The two platforms I have compared on this occasion are, of course, the only ones that exist. The online store can also be set up on platforms such as Magento, BigCommerce, Demandware, Volusion and many others. However, Shopify and WooCommerce are definitely the most popular and most used, and we have dedicated this opportunity to them.
Which platform to choose and which is better for your online store?
It could be said that in some way – equated.
Because, depending on what parameters are important to you as an e-shop owner, it will also depend on the platform selection.
If you are a beginner in online sales and you have no knowledge of the WordPress platform, and you want one step to get an all-in-one theme, a secure billing system and easy-to-use, low-cost shopping – Shopify is the right choice for you.
If you already own a Web site on WordPress (or you plan to run it), you have your domain and you want a trusted content management system with which you are already familiar with your e-commerce, and you would like to keep everything in your hands and operate without any restrictions – WooCommerce is the ideal solution for you.