The proliferation of eCommerce is no longer a matter of surprise to the world. With the consumerization of technology, the entire world has turned into a marketplace that is easily accessible for both, businesses and consumers.
As a result of this change, a number of eCommerce platforms have emerged and are now powering millions of eCommerce websites around the globe.
As the internet has become more accessible and our phones have turned smarter, it has opened many new avenues for the businesses. In fact, many online stores are making huge profits by catering to both website and app shoppers.
It is also noteworthy that with many tools such as Shopify mobile app builders for Android and iOS, businesses have become more accomplished.
However, before you proceed to enter the app market, you should establish your eCommerce store. With multiple options available online, it might be tough for you to choose the best platform to start.
To address this dilemma, we will guide you through a comparative analysis of WooCommerce and Shopify, the two leading eCommerce platforms. Stay tuned and find out the most suitable one for your business.
WooCommerce and Shopify: An introduction to the basics
There are a range of eCommerce platforms that cater to businesses aspiring to flourish in the online market. The industry includes many names like Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Wix, Big Cartel, etc.
However, today we will discuss about arguably the two most popular platforms, i.e., WooCommerce and Shopify. We have chosen these two names for our first comparative study for a variety of reasons.
These two platforms, despite having some very distinct qualities, are quite esteemed. Let us go through a basic introduction of the two, before analyzing various aspects in detail.
a. WooCommerce: The power of sublime simplicity
WooCommerce is actually an eCommerce extension of the popular platform WordPress. As an open source plugin, it empowers eCommerce websites that are built on WordPress. This is one of the simplest and most affordable solutions that appeals to all scales of businesses alike.
WooCommerce is quite new but it has managed to attract the maximum eye-balls in a very short time. According to Datanyze, it has the strongest lead amidst other eCommerce platforms and holds the first rank with 28.05% market share and 353,562 registered domains.
b. Shopify: The luxury suite of services
Shopify emerged in Canada, and over the years, it has been constantly evolving and expanding. This holistic retail point of sale and eCommerce solution is now spread across more than 170 countries. It holds the third rank and its market share stands at 10.90% with 137,444 registered domains.
The suite of services available under one roof, provide a luxury experience. Hence, Shopify, along with its advanced solution Shopify Plus has become the ultimate platform for niche businesses and brands.
The ten parameters that determine your convenience
There are a few factors and parameters, that determine the quality and goodness of an eCommerce platform. In order to make the most of your resources and choose the best for your business, you must be aware of all the attributes.
Let us start the comparative study of the core factors of WooCommerce and Shopify:
#1- Budget and Payment
The best thing about WooCommerce is that its base product is absolutely free. However, as you proceed to integrate advanced features and plugins, the budget keeps increasing exponentially.
You will have to purchase hosting and domain name, SSL certification and other extensions separately.
Shopify, unlike WooCommerce, has more rigid and fixed pricing plans. Once you have chosen your plan and subscription, your billing cycle is bound to reflect nearly the same amount every time.
This reduces the burden of additional expenses and as you proceed to purchase more advance plans, the benefits also increase.
WooCommerce is a hands down winner if you are looking for basic features that come for free. Besides, unlike Shopify that charges 2% per transaction for using third party gateways for customer payments, WooCommerce only has integration charges.
However, Shopify is the best if you are looking for consistent pricing plans and ease of regular payment cycles.
#2- Build-time and ease
WooCommerce consumes more time and requires more effort as compared to Shopify. If you want technical control and are ready to deal with the nuances, it is best.
You will have to start by building a WordPress website and then take care of most of the technical aspects yourself. With a wide range of theme support, you can highly customize your website.
If your technical knowledge is not very high, or you wish to invest little effort and time, then Shopify is the best for you. It is the perfect ensemble of ready to use tools that make the journey easier.
However, as most of the things are pre-fed or managed by the service providers, you might feel the lack of control over your online store.
Shopify is a clear winner when it comes to ease of building and time. However, if you want to invest yourself in the process and take control of it, then go for WooCommerce.
#3- Design and Performance
The quality of design often has a direct impact on the performance of the website. Fortunately, WooCommerce comes with endless theme and design support and the options are extensive.
You can put up an elegant store based on your design preferences. It also has a satisfactory load time and speed, for both desktops and mobile devices.
Shopify, as compared to WooCommerce, has limited options when it comes to themes and layouts to choose from. However, it has the perfect platter of the choicest themes that have been filtered overtime.
Besides, the performance of Shopify can turn out to be better, as far as the load time and speed is concerned.
While WooCommerce excels in the theme and design section, Shopify is a winner in the performance sector. However, the differences are very fine and the competition is really close.
As discussed above, WooCommerce is a highly customizable platform that is easy to install, configure and maintain. If you are aware of WordPress, it can become easier and smoother for you.
As you take care of several aspects like hosting, security, maintenance, etc., you get absolute control over the website. Also, it comes with hundreds of additional extensions to choose from.
Shopify brings ease and comfort to the table as most of the work is handled automatically. There is less manual interference and thus lesser scope of changes.
As a result, Shopify lags behind WooCommerce when it comes to customizability. You can still go for it if you do not wish to optimize your website more often.
Clearly and undoubtedly, WooCommerce gets a strong edge over Shopify when it comes to customizability.
The scope of parallel growth of your website, as your business grows, determines its scalability. As WooCommerce is highly customizable, you can easily adapt it to the growth and expansion of your business and consumer traffic.
Shopify also allows advanced plans that suit your need of scalability. As most of the things are managed by Shopify itself, you also get to shed the work load.
Both the platforms are scalable and can be optimized to suit the growth of your business. For automated processes, you can select Shopify, and for customizable alternatives you can go for WooCommerce.
#6- Extended Features
Extended features such as Payment Gateway integrations, lead generation, analytical support, addons, etc., are highly and easily accessible on WooCommerce. These features leverage the performance of the site and strengthen it further.
Shopify, though less flexible, comes with a range of add on features that provide the extra mileage and support. Both free & paid add-ons, and extended tools are available on the Shopify store that can be included as a part of your subscription.
Both the platforms provide ample extended support that can enhance the functionalities of your site. However, it is easier to integrate customized features and plugins on WooCommerce.
#7- SEO Support
As you get manual control over the entire site, you upload most of the data yourself. This includes product meta data and site information where you can use keywords. As a result, you get added benefits of SEO. You can also use the tools meant for this purpose.
As Shopify is automated, you cannot feed in much customized data that can help you with the SEO optimization. However, the SEO amplification plugins, smart and SEO friendly system, and viable tools can help you master this part without any hassle.
SEO plays a significant role in driving traffic for your website. Considering this factor, we can say that the optimized SEO support from WooCommerce can help you rank higher on the search engines. However, Shopify has SEO tool extensions that can do the same for you.
The security aspects of the website need to be taken care of manually for WooCommerce. If you host the domain yourself, you are primarily responsible for SSL certification, PCI-DSS Compliance, etc. If you don’t have a service provider, it can get tricky.
Shopify is one the safest solutions as it already comes with SSL certification and PCI-DSS Compliance. Most of the security aspects are managed by Shopify itself which ensures a sense of safety.
Clearly, Shopify stands as the winner when it comes to the security aspect of your eCommerce websites. It is noteworthy that Google gives a special preference to websites that are safe and secure.
#9- Customer Support
As stated in the sections above, WooCommerce takes a more individual approach when it comes to managing and handling the nuances of the website. Hence, there isn’t much one-on-one consumer support, except the help sections and community forums.
Shopify has a winning and unparalleled approach when it comes to thorough and extensive consumer support. You get to communicate directly with the support team and experts through a round the clock set up. It includes 24×7 live chat, email and phone support alongside detailed tutorials and guides.
Evidently, there isn’t much to debate and Shopify can be declared as the winner hands-down when it comes to customer support. In fact, it is one of the best and finest in the industry.
#10- Overall Experience
As WooCommerce accounts for a major share in the market place, we can say that it is a tool meant for the masses. Its simplistic appeal and the robust partnership with WordPress, makes it a great choice for all businesses, big and small.
The market share and realm of Shopify is rapidly growing. If you are willing to invest money, instead of efforts and time, it can be a great option for you. It is best for businesses that seek more wholesome and luxury solutions, most of which is automated.
Shopify and WooCommerce are quite different from each other and yet stand in close contest on almost every aspect. Both the platforms have their own charm and offer a distinct bouquet of benefits.
Depending on your business goals, resources and plan of action, you can choose either of the two eCommerce platforms to set up your online business.
Whatever your choice is, we have you covered!
With this, we have come to an end of our analytical tour where we discussed the core aspects of WooCommerce and Shopify. These two eCommerce platforms have their own charm and suit the needs of various businesses differently.
If you wish to make your mark in the eCommerce realm, the first step is to setup your online business by creating a WooCommerce website or a Shopify store. Once you have accomplished this, you can also venture into mCommerce and ensure roundabout success.
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Proceed to build Android & iOS apps for WooCommerce without coding, or create one for Shopify. Offer a 360-degree solution to your clientele and become the go-to source for all their retail needs. Build and publish your app now!