Which one of the two is actually going to fit your specific needs better, Shopify or WooCommerce (for creating a fantastic online shop)? Which is more feature-rich? Which is cheaper? Which is better-looking? Which is more flexible? Which is the easiest to work with?
When you search through Google for reviews of WooCommerce and Shopify, you’ll find a lot of opinions from different business owners. While these insights can be helpful, the truth is that whether you choose WooCommerce vs Shopify will boil down to a few core differences.
For instance, the main difference between WooCommerce and Shopify is that Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce solution designed to give you everything you need to get started online.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for more customisation options, WooCommerce is a self-hosted software for eCommerce. This means that you can tap into the code and access various parts of your store.
WooCommerce gives you a lot of freedom to build everything into your store, that’s crucial for your team. It also means that you can run your business in conjunction with WordPress.
However, when you compare Shopify vs WooCommerce, remember that the freedom that you get from WooCommerce comes at a price. In other words, you need to know how to handle the technical side of your site and keep it safe.
If you’re starting out with a beginner, and you don’t want to look at things like web hosting and hosting provider details, then Shopify is a good choice.
Shopify is your choice if: You want an all-in-one package for your ecommerce store that gets you up and running quickly with lots of great features and apps.
How Shopify Does Design
One of Shopify‘s greatest selling points is the visual quality of its themes. In our opinion, they look absolutely great out of the box. Shopify comes with more than 60 different store templates, of which 10 are free. What's more, is that each of the Shopify themes has unique variations. Therefore, you're technically getting more than 100 separate designs.
The best part is that they are all mobile responsive and have a variety of different coloring options. They have a fashionably sleek and clean aesthetic, which makes it perfect for modern, forward-thinking websites.
Shopify's designs aren't created in-house, by the way. They're outsourced to a group of professional web designers who ensure they're as current and as engaging as they can be. We like this approach because you get creativity from a wide variety of companies and people, making for a better selection.
Unfortunately, the price tags on the premium Shopify themes go as high as $180. But what you get in exchange is a great design.
The main difference between Shopify pricing and WooCommerce pricing
To say this quite bluntly, Shopify pricing is very clear and straightforward. WooCommerce's isn't.
WooCommerce is a free open source software plugin. Yes, the plugin is free, but then you have to consider the additional costs that go along with making an online store. WordPress is free as well, but you have to consider things like hosting, the cost of a theme, a domain name, any additional extensions and an SSL certificate.
Shopify is all about delivering you a single, out-of-the-box solution with just a few pricing packages. You sign up, then you get to use your shiny new eCommerce store right away since everything you need is included from the get-go.
How Shopify Helps You Sell
Although you will probably need to install apps to make the most of the platform, Shopify offers significantly more free options. From the very start Shopify gives you:
Unlimited file storage
Automatic fraud analysis
Embedded Oberlo integration
Manual order creation
Free SSL certificate
Mobile commerce optimization
Editable HTML and CSS
Credit card payments
Adjustable shipping rates and taxes
Drop shipping capabilities
SEO-ready site structure
Individual product reviews
Facebook selling module
Social media integration (and a spicy new integration with Instagram)
Physical and digital products in the store
Unlimited traffic to your store
Site stats and product reports
Advanced reports (on Shopify and Shopify Advanced plans)
Fully featured mobile app
Product importing via CSV files
Different product variations
Gift cards (on Shopify and Shopify Advanced plans)
Abandoned cart recovery (on Shopify and Shopify Advanced plans)
In comparison, some of these free features, such as CSV uploads, shipping options, and bookings will set you back up to $500-600 with WooCommerce.
How Easy to Use is Shopify?
The main strength of Shopify is that it's a subscription-based online tool. In other words, to use it, all you need to do is visit Shopify.com, click the signup button, go through a basic setup wizard, and you're done.
Shopify is going to help you along the way, asking about the purpose/nature of your store (what you're planning to sell), and giving you some overall tips as to which design/structure to choose and how to set everything up.
Once you get through that initial wizard, you will get access to the main dashboard. It's from there that you can create your new eCommerce store, add new products, and so on.
Overall, the whole process is very straightforward, and most importantly, you don't need any design or site-building skills in order to get through it.
Later on – once you have the store running – you can access every crucial option from the sidebar of the dashboard.
This sort of organisation should make your daily work in the store very easy to grasp.
When it comes to adding new products to your store, handling sales and orders, it's rather intuitive. For example, when adding a product, all product parameters are available from a single panel, so you don't have to visit different areas of the dashboard to set things like the name, price, images, stock levels, and etc.
Here's what the “new product” screen looks like:
Overall, Shopify is a solid solution, and the best thing about it is that you can sign up and create a store right away, with no unexpected interruptions. The fact that you can just click the sign up button and then have the whole store set up within minutes is very impressive in Shopify.
How Shopify Helps with SEO
Shopify may come second when we look at the overall volume of SEO features available, but there's certainly no shame in the way that it presents content. It also handles basic SEO practices like meta information and site copy with ease. So long as your business is producing quality content, there's no reason to suggest you won't enjoy great results and strong user engagement.
Site wide, there are plenty of ways that Shopify proves to beat WooCommerce in the SEO game. It's actually renowned by developers as having some of the cleanest code and natural linking structure, which offers a smooth user experience and in turn enhances visibility in search engine rankings.
One interesting case that's worth pointing out is what happened to the Lost Cyclist, an eCommerce expert. When he moved his site from Shopify to WooCommerce, he noticed that the traffic dropped quite a bit:
What's more, Shopify is fast. Because it's a hosted platform that's built on huge infrastructure, Shopify offers each of its webmasters rapid loading pages. As a result, shops stand a better chance of ranking well and a better chance of leading customers to conversions.
WooCommerce vs Shopify Online Store Creation – Which is Faster?
Creating an online store is simple on both Shopify and WooCommerce. But, after comparing their procedures further, Shopify has proven to be miles ahead of WooCommerce.
Well, WooCommerce offers a friendly setup system. But, in all fairness, it’s not as intuitive as Shopify’s. Shopify uses a well-streamlined framework that takes you through the entire pipeline, from the beginning to the end, in the fewest steps possible.
Compare that with WooCommerce, which requires you to switch between multiple systems before you finally get your store up and running. You essentially start with domain set up, then WordPress installation, followed by WooCommerce plugin activation, before you ultimately customize the nitty-gritty.
That said, it’s worth noting that the time you take to create your ecommerce site depends on not only your skill levels, but also the corresponding approach.
How easy is it to migrate from WooCommerce to Shopify?
Migrating from WooCommerce to Shopify is a bit easier than the other way around. The reason for this is because Shopify has a dedicated support team that's eager to get you on their platform. Shopify also has online guides to walk you through the process, along with some apps that transfer data.
Is Shopify the Best eCommerce platform?
One thing’s for sure. Shopify is extremely popular, and online merchants love it for its exceptional balance between user-friendliness, flexibility, and practicability.
Shopify is not for everyone.
So, it all depends on your precise needs.
Go With Shopify If:
You appreciate a hands-off approach, where you can just sign up and have an eCommerce store launched as a result of it.
You don't want to have to deal with any of the setup yourself, and you don't mind paying a fee to have everything taken care of for you.
At the same time, you want a highly optimized solution that's in no way worse than what the competition has.
You want to have a reliable and fast-responding support team at your disposal, just in case you have any questions.
You just want it to work as expected, and be accessible to all customers and on all devices (mobile and desktop).
So who's for Shopify? We are for sure!