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February 4, 2020 at 2:57 pm #85166Participant@aruorihwo
With everyone trying to get an extra buck or two, there has been as increase in the number of entrepreneurs, most of which are into online sales, thereby increasing the number of online stores. There has never been a better time to open an online store than now, with the number of resources available out there. Now, anybody can start and create their stores themselves without the need of a developer, all they need is a laptop, internet connection and patience.
WooCommerce and Shopify are two of the most popular and most powerful Ecommerce platforms. This post would come in handy if you are looking to set up an online store and are confused as to which one to go with.
Before we look at the major differences, let’s take a look at the basics of each of this platforms;
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is a plugin found on WordPress. WordPress is one of the most popular website building platforms, it is an open source content management system that caters for building and managing contents with a dynamic website.
Wordpress is very popular because of its large library of add-ons called plugins of which WooCommerce is one of them. One of the catchiest things about WooCommerce is that it’s free to create as both WordPress and WooCommerce are open sourced. Because WooCommerce is open source, you can easily and freely customize every aspect of your store. You would need to spend some money on website hosting though.
What is Shopify?
Unlike WordPress, Shopify was created specifically to be an Ecommerce platform. It’s an online tool that enables anybody with basic computer skills create and manage their online store without any coding required.
Shopify covers every aspect of Ecommerce such as creating the store, accepting payments, managing inventory. With Shopify, users don’t have to worry about any of the technical aspects of running and managing a website such as hosting, security etc.
Now that we have an idea what each of them are, let’s look at some of the major differences between the two.
This is the most important factor to consider, especially if you are a small business just looking to start out. You need to consider the more cost effective option that best suits your business.
Shopify’s pricing is much more straight forward than that of WooCommerce. With Shopify, you know exactly what your total cost is going to be from the onset and you can plan accordingly. Unlike with WooCommerce which even though it’s free to use, comes with other added cost that crops up along the way, like the cost of hosting a domain, getting a domain name, security, and other add-ons you might need to setup to get your store running.
The benefit of WooCommerce is that the pricing is flexible, you can choose what you absolutely need at the beginning and keep adding plugins as you go along and grow. There are also quite a number of plugins that offer a free basic option, you can start off with this when you just begin, and upgrade as you go along. Pricing with Shopify isn’t flexible, it comes with three plans to choose from, and you can upgrade as you expand your business. The payments can be made monthly, it also comes with a free 14 days trial period. The plans range from 29USD per month for the basic Shopify plan, 79USD for the Shopify plan and 299USD for the advanced Shopify plan. For a new online store, the basic plan comes with all you would need to set up and run your store comfortably. As your business grows though, you would need to spend more on needed third party add-ons.
Summary: When starting out, and you don’t have a lot of money to spend, it’s a bit more cost effective to use WooCommerce since you can control what you spend and spend on only what you absolutely need.
EASE OF USE:
Say you are just starting a new business, probably want to try it for a while, to see if you can successfully run the business and you decide it would be great to have a website to sell your items. But you don’t have a lot of money to hire a developer and you decide to do it yourself, you would be forced to ask, which of this two platforms is easy to use?
Shopify is by far easier to use than WooCommerce. It was built to cater for everyday regular Joes, who want to build a store without the stress of worrying about the technical aspects of building a website, such as coding, hosting, security etc. As soon as you sign up, it would walk you through the process of picking a template for your website, customizing it and adding products. Shopify uses a drag and drop format so it’s quite easy to set up. However, Shopify limits your control, you can only use tools and add-ons provided by Shopify or that are available in their marketplace.
WooCommerce on the other hand, is a little more technical. Since it’s not a hosted platform, you would need to manually install WooCommerce, manage updates, handle security and backups. WooCommerce is not a drag and drop platform so you would need to do a lot of legwork to get up and running. There are site builders you can use but that would ultimately add to your cost. WooCommerce is super flexible when it comes to customization, you have full control over every aspect of the platform and you can let your imagination run wild as to what you would like your site to be able to achieve. There are almost a 100,000+ plugins for you to do as you please. However, it’s flexibility requires a level of technical know-how and hands on management.
Summary: If ease of use is your most important criteria, then you should certainly go for Shopify because it is way easier to use that than it is to use WooCommerce.
Making sales is the whole point of starting a business and if after getting your prospective buyers to visit your online store, they find it difficult to make payment, it can cause a lot of damage for your business.
Shopify has a lot of payment gateways, they have their own solution called Shopify payments as well as other third party solutions such as paypal, stripe etc. Using any of the third party solution attracts a fee of 2% this is in addition to the charge given by the third party. If you are on the advanced Shopify plan though, it is reduced to 0.5%. Shopify Payments on the other hand has a flat rate for credit cards and no other transaction fees. It charges 2.9% + 30¢ on the basic plan and reduces with the other plans.
WooCommerce doesn’t have any transaction charges, it’s absolutely free to use any payment solution on WooCommerce, the only charges you would need to pay are those from your preferred solution. There are a lot of less popular payment solution available on WooCommerce for you to choose from, since any payment solution provider can create a plugin and provide support for it. So you are not forced to use the more popular more expensive choices.
Summary: Both platforms offer a wide range of payment solutions for you to choose from. If you are using a third party payment gateway, you would save a lot of money with WooCommerce but if you don’t mind paying the extra transaction fee on Shopify then by all means use that.
Dropshipping has become a very popular way to sell products around the world because of it’s low overhead cost. On the outside, your dropshipping store appears like a normal regular store, it’s what happens behind that makes the difference. Both WooCommerce and Shopify have several integration apps to support this mode of business.
Shopify has several market place apps such as Aliexpress, Oberlo, Printify to name a few. Each of these apps come with their own membership fees which you have to consider when building your dropshipping store.
WooCommerce is much more popular among dropshipping businesses, this is because it allows you to install extensions that makes it easy to import products, fulfil orders from our website and much more.
Summary: WooCommerce has more resources to enable you build a thriving dropshipping business.
When it comes to support, Shopify takes the cake. With Shopify, you get access to live chats, rapid email responses, phone support, twitter support etc. They are on standby 24/7 to offer whatever assistance you may need. There is also a large data base of documentations, how-to guides, video tutorials and forums available to you. You can also hire a Shopify experts to help you with third party integrations.
WooCommerce is the most popular Ecommerce platform, therefore there are tons of resources out there to help guide you along. WooCommerce support is divided among the various service providers. It is self-hosted that means your hosting company provides support. Themes and plugins are provided by developers so each one provides their own support. Since it is very popular, there are a lot of WooCommerce expert you can hire to assist with your store.
Summary: In terms of support, it is easier to get an all-round support system on Shopify than it is on WooCommerce.
If you are looking for an easy to use platform, that handles every aspect of setting up your store, so all you have to worry about is finding the right products and you don’t mind paying a little extra then Shopify is for you. But if you are more hands on and want to the freedom to do with your store as you wish, with a cheaper, more cost effective option then WooCommerce is for you.
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