Shopify vs WooCommerce the ultimate comparison

Shopify vs WooCommerce the ultimate comparison

Comparing Shopify to WooCommerce is in a way like comparing Apple to Microsoft, both are leaders in their fields with different approaches to tackle the same problem. Let’s compare these two, but leave the decision which one comes on top to you, the reader.

WooCommerce is a powerful ecommerce plugin for WordPress. While calling it a plugin may be underwhelming, in reality it’s a complex piece of software that turns basic WordPress website into an e-commerce powerhouse. The platform is free to install and operate, however you still have to pay for hosting, security and management.

Shopify on the other hand is a software as a service platform that takes care of everything for you – from installation, through hosting to management. The SaaS model means that you have to pay monthly premiums to make it work, but in return everything is hassle free.

Pros of Woocommerce

  • Unlimited personalization – what makes WooCommerce a powerful ecommerce tool is the fact that in the right hands it can turn into a tailored solution for half the price of a bespoke software. Read more.
  • Easy to scale – WooCommerce was made with scalability in mind. It’s famous for its flexibility that allows your shop to grow with the demand.
  • Value choice – Base product is open source, which means it’s free forever. You can focus all of your budget on personalization and world class hosting without ever thinking about licence fees.

Cons of Woocommerce

  • Not for beginners – With great power comes… complex configuration. It’s rather impossible to configure and manage WooCommerce without proper coding knowledge and experience. No worries though, as this is where White Label Coders step in to do it all for you at a low, fixed price model.
  • Requires assistance – unlike Shopify, Woocommerce itself doesn’t offer any assistance. Again, this is where WLC comes to rescue the day again. We offer flexible service level and support agreements.

Pros of Shopify

  • Comes with hosting – as a SaaS, Shopify comes with all the blows and whistles, including hosting and powerful, easy to use wizards that will allow you to configure your shop without any coding knowledge.
  • 24/7 support included – Shopify assistance department works around the clock to resolve all your tickets and issues and keep you happy.
  • Multichannel integrations – Shopify comes with built-in multichannel integrations with platforms like Amazon, eBay or Facebook. Paid extra, unfortunately.

Cons of Shopify

  • Less customization options – as opposed to Woocommerce, Shopify is a closed-source platform, which can be customized only in a limited number of ways. Whether it is sufficient, depends on complexity of your business.
  • Expensive – While a great piece of software, Shopify may end up just way too expensive for most customers. Costs may snowball quickly when your business starts to grow or your needs expand.
  • Takes transaction fees – this is the deal breaker for most people. Shopify takes a small fee from every transaction. That means that the better you are at selling, the more you end up paying to Shopify. We could easily call it a success tax.

Which should you choose? Shopify or WooCommerce

If you need to setup a basic store for B2C market, you can hardly find a quicker option to start selling online than using a SaaS platform. Shopify is without doubt one of the best options available in this model. It still leaves quite a lot of space for customization. But if your business requires less typical solutions, you may hit the wall someday. And then you’ll find yourself locked into a proprietary solution.

WooCommerce in turn gives you complete freedom to choose one of thousands of service providers available worldwide, to help you with tailoring the e-commerce platform exactly to your business needs. If you cannot find a ready-made plugin for your needs, you can hire someone to create one for you, and customize the store configuration and functionality in the finest details. This will result usually in a longer time-to-market though.

Do you have an exciting new project coming up?

Agata Kędzierska-Zawisza Senior Marketing Manager