Shopify Vs WooCommerce: An Ultimate Comparison Guide in 2022

  • Updated on: May 26, 2022
Shopify Vs Woocommerce An Ultimate Comparison Guide in 2022

E-commerce is an ever-growing industry that is opening new avenues every year and making it accessible for nearly everyone to be a part of this industry. One of the latest trends that has gripped our society is the creation of online businesses. Nowadays, you do not need to be a big, multinational company with millions of dollars in capital to launch an online business, virtually everyone can do it, provided they have the basic equipment and resources. Moreover, these days the number of online businesses is growing faster than ever because it has simply become easier and more accessible to launch one and start making money.

Are you also planning to start an online business? If the answer is yes, then you will most likely benefit from an e-commerce platform that will help you with managing your online business efficiently and smoothly. In this regard, two e-commerce platforms have emerged as top players in the market:

  1. Shopify- A software that provides everything you need to set up an online business and start selling
  2. WooCommerce – A free plugin that turns your WordPress website into an online store

In this article, we will be taking an in-depth look at Shopify vs. WooCommerce by examining their pros and cons, and determining which is better for you to launch an online business. The main factors to consider when using an e-commerce platform are:

  1. Price
  2. Ease of Use
  3. Customizability
  4. Plugins and Extensions
  5. Support Quality
  6. Payment methods

 Furthermore, to give a clearer picture, we will compare both platforms side-by-side in 6 “rounds” in this Shopify vs. WooCommerce comparison. Furthermore, we will determine the winner for each round. In the end, we will give our recommendation on which platform, Shopify vs. WooCommerce, will be best suited for you.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce What is Shopify?

Shopify vs WooCommerce What is Shopify

Firstly, in this Shopify vs. WooCommerce comparison, let’s take a look at the platforms individually, starting with Shopify.

Shopify is a platform that will help you set up an online store in a matter of minutes by providing you with a website on which you can add the products that you wish to sell. In addition, Shopify will also provide you with all the tools, support, and accessories that are needed to run an online business. Moreover, once you subscribe to Shopify you will have access to everything needed to run an online business, from domain hosting to inventory management to product shipping. Therefore, Shopify, in the Shopify vs. WooCommerce comparison, is essentially a one-stop-shop for all your online business needs, you do not need to look any further if you subscribe to a Shopify account.

Some of the key features that bolster Shopify in the Shopify vs. WooCommerce comparison include:

  1.  Tools, APIs, and apps to help you manage payments, inventory, shipping, customer service, analytics, add extra features, and much, much more.
  2. Store templates to help you get started on building an online website
  3. Extensive customization capabilities using Shopify’s APIs and development tools
  4. 24/7 dedicated support services via chat, email, and phone
  5. Multiple subscription-based plans that suit your needs and budget
  6. Built-in blog and SEO capabilities that will allow you to reach more potential customers
  7. Site security and software updates are handled by Shopify, so you don’t have to worry about these aspects

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Pros of Shopify

  1. Easy to Set up – You can have a Shopify store set up very quickly and begin selling in no time, you don’t need to be a tech-savvy person to own a Shopify website.
  2. No Micromanaging Needed – Shopify will take care of all the technical sides of the website such as security, updates, hosting, etc. Thereby, leaving you to focus on what matters most: selling your products.
  3. 24/7 Technical Support – Shopify has a dedicated 24/7 helpline via email, chat, and phone, that will help you resolve any technical issues in case you face them. 
  4. Beautiful Storefront Themes and Templates – The website templates and themes in Shopify are some of the best in the market, this will help bring more customers to your online store.
  5. Shopify Plugin Store – Shopify has a huge collection of plugins and extensions that will help manage the technical and administrative side of your online store, leaving you to focus on more important things like sales and marketing.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Cons of Shopify

Shopify vs Woocommerce Cons of Shopify
  1. Expensive – Compared to other e-commerce platforms, Shopify may seem a bit expensive to use, especially for small, start-up businesses or for someone who is looking to sell online as a hobby.
  2. Limited Functionality and Customizations – Shopify does not offer the same depth and detail in customizations and functionality that other platforms offer.
  3. Costly Themes and Templates – Shopify has only 10 free store templates, you will need to pay a fee to use the other templates, which can go up to $350
  4. Barrier to Entry for Developers – It is fairly difficult to get a plugin listed with Shopify, this leads to fewer third-party plugins and apps available on the Shopify store
  5. Transaction fees for third-party payment gateways – Shopify will charge you a transaction fee of around 2% if you use a third-party payment gateway, this can be bypassed if you use “Shopify Payments”

Shopify vs. WooCommerce What is Woocommerce?

Shopify vs WooCommerce What is Woocommerce

Let’s now take a look at the second platform in this Shopify vs. WooCommerce comparison.

WooCommerce is an open-source, free WordPress plugin that turns your WordPress website into an online store by adding various e-commerce features such as creating products, setting prices, product shipping, payment methods, etc.

Woocommerce has the largest market share of any online store creator in the world, and this popularity is due to 3 main reasons:

  1. It is free
  2. It is also used by the most popular platform to build a website, WordPress.
  3. It has a huge development community with third party support

Unlike Shopify, Woocommerce is not an independent e-commerce platform, you will need to have a designed, functioning, and hosted WordPress website to be able to use the functions of WooCommerce. In addition, with WooCommerce you have much more control over almost every aspect of your online store, from customizations, software updates, plugin installation, and website security, WooCommerce gives you the freedom to make your online store exactly as you want it without any restrictions. The only drawback in this arrangement is that you need to be fairly competent with technology and software. 

Some key features in favor of WooCommerce in the Shopify vs. WooCommerce comparison include:

  1.  Integration with WordPress, which is where the majority of websites are built on
  2. The freedom to micromanage all aspects of your online store, you are not restricted in any way
  3. Selling all kinds of products, such as simple products, virtual products, variable products, etc.
  4. Extensions and plugins that will add more functionality to your e-commerce store
  5. A SEO friendly environment since WooCommerce is integrated with WordPress
  6. An Open-source software that users can extensively customize and modify according to their need 

Shopify vs. WooCommercePros of WooCommerce

Shopify vs WooCommerce Pros of WooCommerce
  1. Free – the main benefit of using WooCommerce is that the plugin in question is absolutely free, however, this does not mean that running a WooCommerce online store is completely free, this will be discussed further in “Round 1” in this article.
  1. Extensive Customization Options – With WooCommerce you can customize almost all parts of your website without any restrictions thanks to the open-source nature of WooCommerce.
  1. Compatible with WordPress – WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress, which is the most popular platform to create a website.
  1. Huge selection of Plugins – You can choose from hundreds of plugins, both paid and free, that will increase the functionality of your WooCommerce online store.
  1. Third-Party Apps – Since WooCommerce is an open-source software, there are also many third-party plugins available on the platform, in addition to the plugins developed by Woocommerce.

Shopify vs. WooCommerceCons of WooCommerce

Shopify vs WooCommerce Cons of WooCommerce
  1. Not Beginner-Friendly – WooCommerce does require its users to be knowledgeable in information technology (IT) to be able to manage all the aspects of your online store.
  2. Basic Design and Functionality – WooCommerce on its own is a very basic software, to truly make an amazing online store that operates at optimum capacity, you will need to add some plugins and extensions
  3. Plugin Management – Managing your plugins and their updates can be tricky in WooCommerce, especially if you have a lot of plugins installed since a lot of plugins lead to conflicts, speed issues, etc.
  4. WordPress Updates – Since WooCommerce is built on WordPress, the constant updates on WordPress will require you to fine-tune your plugins every time there is an update.
  5. Weak Support System – Woocommerce does not have a centralized support channel, every aspect of a WooCommerce online store has different channels to resolve issues

Now that we have a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of these two platforms, let’s take a look at how Shopify vs. WooCommerce fare against each other when compared side-by-side.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce Round 1: Price

Shopify vs WooCommerce Round 1 Price

In this round of the Shopify vs. WooCommerce comparison, we will compare the most important factor when it comes to choosing between any two products: Price. Ideally, you will want to go with the platform that is the most budget-friendly, after all, if you are just starting an online business, you will need to make sure you have sufficient money to cover all the costs that come with starting a business. Furthermore, the last thing you want is to go over budget at the very beginning of your business setup.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Price of Shopify

Shopify vs WooCommerce Price of Shopify

A Shopify account can be from as low as $29 per month to as high as $299 per month, with the more expensive plan giving you additional features such as reduced transaction fees when using third-party gateways. Furthermore, the subscription price includes an online storefront, web hosting, site security, 24/7 support, a free SSL certificate, and much more. So even with the most basic plan, you are still getting a fully hosted store that is ready to start selling your products from the get-go.

Shopify vs. WooCommercePrice of WooCommerce

Shopify vs WooCommerce Price of WooCommerce

The WooCommerce plugin is completely free to download and install. However, while the WooCommerce plugin and its host site, WordPress, may be free, you will still need to pay some fees here and there to have a proper functioning WooCommerce store. The fees will usually go toward web hosting, additional plugins, transaction fees, site customization and development, extra security, etc. However, some of these fees are either very little or non-recurring.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Conclusion and Winner

Although Shopify does give you a lot of features in its subscription plan, you simply can’t beat free! This is exactly what the WooCommerce plugin is, and even though you may need to pay a nominal fee here and there, the overall price to set up a WooCommerce store is still less than a mid-tier Shopify account. Therefore, our winner is WooCommerce for this round of Shopify vs. WooCommerce.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce Round 2: Ease of Use

Shopify vs WooCommerce Round 2 Ease of Use

The second most important thing to consider when buying a new product is “ease of use”. Before purchasing something, it is an understatement to say that you should be able to use, operate and navigate the ins and outs of the product. The same principle applies to e-commerce platforms, the question to ask yourself is: will you be able to effectively use the platform to sell your product?  Therefore, in this round of the Shopify vs. WooCommerce comparison, we will compare how easy it is to use each of these platforms.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Ease of use of Shopify

Shopify vs WooCommerce Ease of use of Shopify

Shopify is very beginner-friendly, right out of the box you can set up an online store and begin selling in no time thanks to Shopify’s intuitive and interactive nature. Furthermore, you don’t even need any technical knowledge to run a Shopify store since Shopify will take care of the technical side of your store, such as plugin compatibility, updates, security, hosting, etc.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Ease of use of WooCommerce

Shopify vs WooCommerce Ease of use of WooCommerce

In the case of WooCommerce, it is not as user-friendly as Shopify, as it does need some technical know-how from the user’s side. In addition, with a WooCommerce store, you will have to manage all the technical and administrative aspects of your store, which can be a difficult task for someone who is not skilled in information technology. Lastly, you will need plugins to make your store more functional, the challenge here is that the more plugins you install the more complex it becomes to manage your store. 

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Conclusion and Winner

Shopify vs WooCommerce Conclusion and Winner of ease of use

For a seasoned IT professional or even someone with basic IT skills, running a WooCommerce website will be a very simple task. However, for complete beginners, it can be very challenging to get around the complexity of smoothly running a WooCommerce site. On the other hand, Shopify simplifies creating an online store by taking care of the technical side of running an online store, leaving its users free to focus on selling products. Therefore, the winner is Shopify for this round of Shopify vs. WooCommerce due to its simple, user-friendly, and intuitive design. 

Shopify vs. WooCommerce Round 3: Payment Methods

Shopify vs WooCommerce Round 3 Payment Methods

Another important part of the Shopify vs. WooCommerce comparison is how you accept money from your customers, i.e. payment methods. Whether you accept cash, checks, or credit/debit cards, you need to ensure that the payment from your customers reaches you safely and on time. 

Both Shopify and WooCommerce feature all the major payment gateways such as stripe, PayPal Braintree, Bit pay, etc. as well as first-party payment solutions, through which the customer data is securely transmitted to the merchant. Therefore, in this round of the Shopify vs. WooCommerce comparison, we will look at which of these platforms have better payment facilities.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Payment Methods in Shopify

Shopify vs WooCommerce Payment Methods in Shopify

When using a third-party payment gateway in Shopify, you will be charged a transaction fee that ranges from 0.5% to 2% depending on your plan. However, Shopify’s payment gateway, “Shopify Solution” does not have any transaction fee from Shopify, you will only need to pay the credit/debit card transaction rates which are associated with every credit/debit card transaction.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Payment Methods in WooCommerce

Shopify vs WooCommerce Payment Methods in WooCommerce

WooCommerce, on the other hand, does not charge any transaction fee for credit/debit card payments from either third-party gateways or its first-party payment solution (“WooCommerce Payments”). The only costs you will incur will be associated with the third-party payment providers, such as credit/debit card transaction fees. 

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Conclusion and Winner

Shopify vs WooCommerce Conclusion and Winner of payment method

Both these platforms offer all the major payment solutions such as Stripe and PayPal. But in the end, the transaction fees from Shopify for using third-party gateways prevent it from taking this round. Therefore, the winner is Woocommerce, for this round of Shopify vs. WooCommerce, because it does not charge any transaction fees for any of its payment solutions.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce Round 4: Customizability

Shopify vs WooCommerce Round 4 Customizability

When deciding on buying a new product, one very useful feature is if you can make some cosmetic changes here and there so that your particular product stands out from the rest. The same can be said about e-commerce websites, ideally, you will want a website that you can customize to a certain degree. For example, you may want to change the theme color or font style on your website to match your brand image. Shopify and Woocommerce both offer customization options to change the look and functionality of your online store as you please.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Customizability of Shopify

Shopify vs WooCommerce Customizability of Shopify

Shopify does offer extensive customization options in areas such as themes, check-out page, product display, discount offers, etc. While there might be a lot of customization options in Shopify, there are also certain limitations in place that prevent you from making advanced customizations to every single detail. However, you are also able to add customization plugins to further make your store more customizable, but this will come at an additional cost.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Customization of WooCommerce

Shopify vs WooCommerce Customization of WooCommerce

WooCommerce is extremely customizable, you customize even the most minute details in the store theme, plugins, extensions, and much more according to how you want the store to look and behave. However, to make the more detailed customizations, you will need some knowledge of coding, otherwise, you may end up creating more problems for yourself. It may be worthwhile to hire a professional to make the advanced customization if you are not comfortable making the changes yourself.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Winner and Conclusion

Shopify vs WooCommerce Winner and Conclusion of customizability

Shopify offers extensive customization options with additional plugins, but the customization process is very straightforward and beginner-friendly. On the other hand, WooCommerce is highly customizable, but the average person may struggle to make many of the advanced customizations. It all depends on whether you like limited-but-easy or unlimited-but-complex. Therefore, we have to declare a tie between both these platforms for this round of Shopify vs. WooCommerce.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce Round 5: Plugins and Extensions (Apps)

Shopify vs WooCommerce Round 5 Plugins and Extensions Apps

No matter what platform you decide to go with, you will need to get additional plugins and extensions to make your online store more functional and grow your business. Plugins and extensions can add features to your store such as analytic reports, lead generation emails, social media integration, secure payments, cart modification, store alerts, product variations, inventory management, and much more. Both Shopify and Woocommerce have large libraries of apps, some paid and others free, that can make your online store more streamlined.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Apps of Shopify

Shopify vs WooCommerce Apps of Shopify

Shopify has a large collection of apps that can be used to make your store more efficient, functional, and aesthetically pleasing. The apps on Shopify include themes, product display apps, marketing analytic apps, shipping solution apps, and much, much more. In addition, Shopify has a very strict barrier to entry for app developers, this process makes sure that only the best, reliable apps get listed in Shopify’s app store. Overall, there really is no major downside for the app store in Shopify.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Apps of WooCommerce

Shopify vs WooCommerce Apps of WooCommerce

Similarly, WooCommerce also has a huge library of plugins and extensions. Since WooCommerce is built on WordPress, it can integrate with almost all the plugins that are available on WordPress. Furthermore, similar to Shopify, the plugins available for WooCommerce add extra functionality to your online store by providing or improving functions such as shipping methods, payment solutions, marketing, and much more. However, the downside for WooCommerce apps is that if you install a lot of them, then it becomes difficult to manage all the different plugins on your website. In addition, the more plugins you install, the slower your website will become. Lastly, the responsibility of making sure your plugin is compatible with your website is entirely on you.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Winner and Conclusion

Shopify vs. WooCommerce Winner and Conclusion of apps

Although Woocommerce may have a larger selection of apps, it can become challenging to keep track and manage all the apps if you download too many. Therefore, due to hassle-free installation, seamless integration, and quality control from Shopify regarding app installation, the winner is Shopify for this round of Shopify vs. WooCommerce.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce Round 6: Support Quality

Shopify vs WooCommerce Round 6 Support Quality

While using a multi-featured e-commerce platform like Shopify or WooCommerce, you will most likely run into a few issues from time to time. In this case, it really helps to have a solid support structure to help you resolve these issues. For example, you may face an issue where your plugin suddenly stops working on your website, in which case you will need to contact the support team for the respective platform. Both Shopify and WooCommerce have support options, but they function differently.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Support Quality of Shopify

Shopify vs WooCommerce Round 6 Support Quality

Since Shopify is a self-hosted platform, Shopify’s dedicated technical support team is well-equipped and knowledgeable in resolving any software-related issues. Furthermore, Shopify offers 24/7 customer support via chat, phone, and email. In addition, Shopify also offers documentation, video tutorial, and Shopify experts in case you need extra resources to fix your problem. However, Shopify does not provide support for third-party apps.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Support Quality of WooCommerce

Shopify vs WooCommerce Support Quality of WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a self-hosted software, this means your hosting provider is responsible for server issues such as server speed and security. Although WooCommerce does have a support team, they can only be contacted on support forums and not directly. Furthermore, if you’re facing issues with a certain plugin, you will need to contact the developer of that plugin to fix the issue since the developer is responsible for providing support. However, it is relatively easy to find a freelancer who will fix your problems on WooCommerce since the platform is very popular.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Winner and Conclusion

Shopify vs WooCommerce Winner and Conclusion support quality

WooCommerce may have support options in this Shopify vs. WooCommerce comparison, but they are very lackluster when compared to the dedicated support network of Shopify. Since Shopify is a paid service, you are more likely to get quality support from Shopify since you are a paying customer, and that’s a very valuable asset for a business. Furthermore, with Shopify, you have 24/7 direct access to the support team and for third-party apps, you can always hire a developer to fix your issues. Therefore, the winner is Shopify for this round of Shopify vs. WooCommerce.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce Final Conclusion

Shopify vs WooCommerce What is Shopify

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