Shopify Vs WooCommerce: Choosing the Best Ecommerce Platform for 2017 and Beyond
The universe of eCommerce has been expanding rapidly for the past few years. Every business, be it a start up or a popular one, has its presence on the internet. You might be planning to make your presence felt on the internet amongst other brands too. But before you launch an ecommerce platform for your business, several questions might pop up in your mind as to — “Who is a good hosting provider?”, “Which theme to go for?”, “Which domain to purchase?” etc.
Shopify Vs WooCommerce — choosing one of the two is one of the biggest dilemma that business owners face. Some might suggest choose Shopify and some might ask you to go for Woocommerce. This is because both of these are top-notch ecommerce platforms and both are well-accepted amongst business owners for having a simple and efficient user interface. Through this blog, we will provide you with some clarity about each of these platforms, and acquaint you with their strengths as well as drawbacks. It might help you to come up to a decision.
Understanding Shopify and WooCommerce
You might have heard a lot about Shopify. It was launched in the year 2008 in Canada and is currently providing Shopify ecommerce store development solutions to more than 150K businesses. For all those who are unaware, it is a web based ecommerce platform that provides the businesses with a hosting platform and manages all the hosting requirements for them.
You can feel free to choose the domain name of your choice. As Shopify provides with a readymade platform, it becomes easy for the ecommerce store owners to have an online store without having technical knowhow. It has its own app store from where you can purchase different themes based on your requirement and budget.
WooCommerce is an open source plugin for WordPress users. In order to use WooCommerce, you will need a self hosted website and WordPress installed within. If you like WordPress and are aware of its plugins, WooCommerce is a good option. But if you have still not decided which option to choose, you should know about the features of both the platforms.
Shopify Vs. WooCommerce: A Comparison
1. User friendliness
When it comes to user friendliness, Shopify is always the first choice. As soon as you create an account with Shopify, they navigate you to complete the setup, manage your hosting and help you with Shopify customization based on your choices and requirements. You can completely rely on Shopify to do an errorless job of setting up an estore for you. Needless to say, you don’t even need to have any technical knowledge to set up your ecommerce store. However if you want a custom look for your store or want any custom features you would have to opt for competent Shopify development services.
Setting up WooCommerce is not difficult either. It is just that the process can be a little prolonged as you need to install and update WordPress and install the WooCommerce plugin. If you haven’t embarked upon a task like this before, you might find it difficult.
2. Flexibility and themes
Every business owner likes to have an attractive looking ecommerce store and themes are a prerequisite for that. Shopify has its own theme store from where one can choose from more than 180 different themes. Several themes are available for free. However, if you want to go for the exclusive ones, you might have to pay for them. You can also customize the look and feel of these themes without any coding.
WooCommerce doesn’t provide with a theme store but you can consider a third party option like Themeforest which provides with more than 600 Woocommerce themes ranging from $29 to $64. You also might find free themes, but then you might have to work on customizing them on your own as you cannot get any support.
3. Product features and presentation
Shopify and WooCommerce rank the same when it comes to providing options for uploading pictures, writing product descriptions, adding product details like size, colour etc. But as WooCommerce works inside your WordPress theme, some of the images might not look great. So you need to keep yourself aware about the same. This doesn’t happen with Shopify.
4. Making Payments
Shopify charges extra fees if you use an external payment processor to process credit cards. But you can use external payment processors only in countries like US, Canada, UK and Australia. So if your business is located somewhere else, you might have to go through a payment gateway or a third party service. The charges of Payment Gateway vary according to different countries. So do your research before you decide one for yourself.
WooCommerce provides with different payment gateway extensions. Try adding Paypal through Stripe. You can also opt for Authorize.Net, Braintree, Amazon Payments and other payment gateways by paying a price of $79 annually. Hence, you can find an array of payment options in both the platforms. But it also depends on your location, your budget and extra fees that you need to spend.
5. Language flexibility
For a long time, Shopify users have found it difficult to offer multi language support on their ecommerce store. The only option was to duplicate the store and add sub domains which proved to be expensive. Now, it provides with a Langify app, which costs $17.50 per month.
WooCommerce wins here due to its popular and reliable WPML plugin. It offers a multilingual solution at $79 during the first year and $39 thereafter. This option is quite cheap as compared to Shopify.
6. Tax Settings
Shopify and WooCommerce both provide you with an option to display prices with or without taxes. Both the platforms do the math and calculate the tax rate based on your location which makes it easy for you to decide the final figure.
7. Page Speed and Uptime
You must be aware that websites whose uptimes are low have to pay a fine to Google. Shopify undoubtedly provides with the best speed. But the speed of a WooCommerce website will depend on your web hosting service. In case you are hosting the WordPress site for yourself, you need to make sure that you reach an uptime of 99.95% or more. If you are hosting from outside, the hosting companies will give you an agreement mentioning the guaranteed uptime.
So the question is, what should you choose? WooCommerce or Shopify? Go for WooCommerce if you are using WordPress, like its plugins, need multilingual support and want to make the best out of SEO.
In case if any of the above points are not a part of your strategy, go for Shopify. Extremely easy to set up, cost-effective, entails a lot of features and provides support. Once you have clarity about the kind of ecommerce platform you want to have, it will be easy for you to take the right decision.