If you’re considering getting into eCommerce, there are numerous platforms to choose from. With a multitude of options, it can be difficult to determine which eCommerce platform is the most ideal for your business. 

Both Shopify and WooCommerce are among the most popular eCommerce platforms available today. Each comes with its own unique advantages and disadvantages, which makes it important to know which platform is right for you based on your individual needs.

To help you make the right choice and point your business in the right direction, the following is a breakdown of Shopify and WooCommerce, including the pros and cons of each across a range of categories.

What Is Shopify?

Shopify is a comprehensive all-in-one eCommerce solution that allows business owners to easily develop an eCommerce store, setup and accept payments, and keep track of and update inventory. Additionally, this platform takes care of everything from security to web hosting, which takes the headache out of having to manage this yourself.

What Is WooCommerce?

If your business is on a WordPress site, you’ll needs to add the WooCommerce plugin. This platform enables you to manage your store using the most reliable content management system (CMS) available.

Using WooCommerce, you can easily customize every element of your online store. On the other hand, WooCommerce users may need to add additional plugins to enhance the functionality. Additionally, you’ll need to have a separate merchant account established, such as authorize.net and/or PayPal for example to accept online payments.

The Pros and Cons of Shopify vs. WooCommerce

As mentioned, both platforms offer certain benefits and downsides, depending on what you’re looking for as an ideal solution. Here we’ll review the different aspects of each and compare the two platforms.

Design

One of the first considerations when choosing between Shopify and WooCommerce is comparing the two from a design perspective.

Shopify offers plenty of versatility when it comes to site themes, with a multitude of store templates available, both premium and free. In addition, you can modify each theme, making the design possibilities nearly endless. Outsourced professional web designers can customize the chosen theme to match your visual objectives, and all themes are mobile-responsive to make them compatible with mobile screens.

WooCommerce also offers a wide range of potential designs through WordPress. While WooCommerce is simply a shopping cart plugin that enables you to sell products and services in exchange for online payments, you can leverage the design elements of your WordPress site to optimize the user experience. WordPress, like Shopify, offers a multitude of themes to choose from, both paid and free. Many WordPress themes are specifically geared toward Ecommerce and come with the WooCommerce feature built in. 

Generally, you’ll have more options when it comes to themes and design elements when you use WordPress. Although Shopify has a myriad of themes, you can find even more options through WordPress, which tend to be more customizable and less expensive than Shopify themes as well.

Cost

When choosing the right eCommerce platform, cost may be a consideration. Luckily, both Shopify and WooCommerce are both relatively affordable options.

Shopify offers a few main plans, depending on what you require. The Basic Shopify plan is just $29 per month, or you can choose the Shopify plan for $79 or the Advanced Shopify plan for $299. All plans include web hosting, SSL certificates for security, along with custom domain integration. Additionally, you can easily sign up with Shopify to accept credit / debit card payments right from within the Shopify dashboard. 

 

WooCommerce is a bit different from Shopify in that it is a plugin is added to your WordPress site. What you’re paying for beyond the design development of your theme is your website domain (same as Shopify), along with an SSL certificate and web hosting (included with Shopify). You can buy a domain for around $14, but you’ll need to spend around $8+ per month on web hosting and about $60 a year on an SSL certificate. 

Ease of Use

Your eCommerce platform should also be easy to use to help you get the most from it and efficiently manage your store. 

Shopify is easy to use, enabling you to get into it by signing up on the Shopify website and going through a basic setup process. Shopify helps guide the setup by learning about the types of products or services you offer and providing some design and structure recommendations. You’ll then be able to control your store using the convenient dashboard where you can manage inventory, update offerings, and more.

In WooCommerce, you’ll likely find store management a bit more challenging than Shopify’s dashboard and often takes more time and effort to set up the store. Because it’s a plugin as opposed to all-in-one eCommerce solution like Shopify, WooCommerce requires users to take a few extra steps to set up their store. 

This entails signing up for a merchant account, hosting account, installing WordPress, and locating and installing a specific WordPress theme. All of this is considerably more involved than the simple setup experienced with Shopify, but you can work with a website development company to help ease this process.

Once you’ve set up your WooCommerce site, you’ll have access to a dashboard that allows you to manage your products, prices, shipping, etc., 

One nice feature of Shopify is that you get a robust set of analytics built into the dashboard, which is not the case when using WordPress. These key performance metrics are geared specifically to help ecommerce brands understand how well their site is doing. 

Scalability

As your business grows, your eCommerce store needs to be able to grow with you. Shopify and WooCommerce both offer a level of scalability to help you continually achieve your business goals, but there are some differences to keep in mind.

When using Shopify, this platform handles all the technical elements of your store, which eliminates concerns around security, performance, and scalability. If you need to at any point, you can upgrade to a new Shopify plan that offers additional resources and features. 

Meanwhile, WooCommerce also offers plenty of scalability, but at the cost of an increased need for in-house management. With WooCommerce, you’ll need to maintain the security, updates, and data backups of your site as you scale. 

However, this gives you more control over your site than what you would see with Shopify. You won’t need to worry about paying for more than you need, whereas Shopify offers more general plans that include a designated suite of resources, some of which you might not use.

Choose the Right Platform to Meet Your Needs

As you can see, Shopify and WooCommerce offer certain benefits that can help you successfully launch an eCommerce business. While subscription-based Shopify offers increased convenience without the need for as much in-house management, you can gain more a bit more control over your site, especially from a design perspective with WordPress. 

If you would like help with selecting the right platforms and getting your business off the ground, the experts at Gray Growth Logistics can help. Learn more about what we offer for eCommerce businesses in the frozen food and beverage space by getting in touch with us today.