Should you choose Shopify or WooCommerce for your online store?

Shopify and WooCommerce are the two most popular ecommerce platforms in the world. And you don’t have to look far to see all the comparisons that users make. In reality, neither platform is the reigning champ of ecommerce since they each have their strengths and weaknesses.

So the real question is: Which one is best for you?

Which platform provides you with the features you need without breaking the bank? Which gives you the sleek, modern design that you desire? Which will put your products online and in front of customers as fast as possible? We’re here to give you a rundown of each platform’s top aspects.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has led to a 13.1% spike in online retail sales in the UK. With health and safety at the forefront of public concern, people are relying on the web more than ever for purchases they used to make in person.

By 2021, 93% of web users in the UK are expected to participate in online shopping. The UK is on track to have the highest online shopping penetration rate in all of Europe. Shopify and WooCommerce allow you to capitalize on the influx of customers coming online by offering easy-to-use ecommerce solutions that don’t require the assistance of outside help from developers or professional designers.

Follow our comprehensive breakdown of Shopify and WooCommerce to find out which platform is the perfect solution for you.

Basic Overview of Shopify and WooCommerce: What You Need to Know

Let’s talk about what Shopify and WooCommerce were designed to offer. Shopify was created as an all-in-one solution that promises to get the show on the road as fast as possible. Think of Shopify as a starter kit for ecommerce—it gives you all the necessary tools you need to get your online store up and running in a matter of minutes.

On the flip side, WooCommerce is a self-hosted software that you can run in collaboration with your WordPress blog. Now we’re talking about customization and the power to control your site—right down to the nitty-gritty technical aspects. However, be warned that not all of the new tools at your disposal will be easy to use if you have no relevant experience.

Let’s break it down into the key advantages and disadvantages of each platform.

What are the pros of Shopify? 

  • Quick setup. A few clicks and you’re good to go. 
  • Transparent pricing model. You know what’s included in your package and at what price.
  • A hands-off approach. Shopify takes care of the technical aspects of running an ecommerce store, including hosting and security.
  • Responsive support team. Shopify has one of the best support teams in the business.

If simplicity sits right with you, and time is of the essence, Shopify is the way to go. But there are a couple of drawbacks to keep in mind. 

The cons of Spotify:

  • Less control and customization. You don’t have the flexibility of other platforms such as WooCommerce.
  • Monthly fee. Shopify seals the deal with a monthly payment that sticks around and is susceptible to increase.
  • Let’s take a look now at Shopify’s most popular competitor. 

What are the pros of WooCommerce?

  • Complete control and customization. You’ll never run out of space to customize your unique online storefront, especially with the endless number of themes and plugins available.
  • Simple to configure. If you have an existing WordPress blog, setting up WooCommerce is a matter of clicks.
  • Massive online community. WordPress blogs have upwards of 400 million monthly viewers.
  • Free for download. The WooCommerce plugin costs absolutely nothing. 

WooCommerce is perfect for you if you’re planning to incorporate ecommerce with an affiliate site and to run them both under one roof.

The cons of WooCommerce

  • At least a couple hours of setup. A time commitment is necessary to get the ball rolling.
  • Learning curve. Getting started with WooCommerce requires some degree of technical knowledge.
  • Costs can add up. Plugins, hosting, and themes can quickly become pricey when taken as a whole.

Key Aspects of an Ecommerce Platform

Next, let’s talk about what Shopify and WooCommerce bring to the table in terms of design, price, and the features they offer.

1. Design 

One of Shopify’s most successful selling points is in the aesthetics department. Shopify offers upwards of 54 different store templates, 10 of which are free. Each template has unique variations, however, so the number of separate designs is endless.

WooCommerce doesn’t deliver templates on its own, but it is compatible with your existing WordPress theme and the majority of themes on the market. While Shopify has themes with high visual quality, you’re limited to what you can find in its Theme Store. With WooCommerce, you’re free to pick up themes from the ocean of developers who offer them.

2. Price

Shopify follows a conventional pricing structure with a sliding scale of packages. As you might expect, the more extensive the range of features, the higher the monthly fee. The most basic package is $9 per month, while the most advanced is $399 per month. 

The plugin for WooCommerce is free, but don’t forget costs like hosting, security, themes, an SSL certificate, and any additional extensions. While you only pay for what you need, choosing WooCommerce isn’t always the more pocket-friendly option.

3. Features 

Shopify and WooCommerce both offer the essentials for ecommerce. From the start, Shopify is focused on functionality and ease of use. Shopify gives you the features you need right off the bat, including unlimited products, adjustable shipping rates, and credit card payment capabilities, among others.

As an open-source platform, WooCommerce taps into a whole array of exciting extensions and plugins created by third-party developers. Whether your next goal is Facebook Marketplace or email marketing, WooCommerce can help you meet it.

Need Help Deciding? Globalgraphics Can Help

Today, having access to a reliable ecommerce platform is more important than ever. COVID-19 has revealed just how valuable online shopping is to the world as a whole.

But deciding whether to use Shopify or WooCommerce is a difficult choice. So, why not trust the team at Globalgraphics to help you out?

Are you interested in learning more about Shopify vs. WooCommerce? Globalgraphics is a leading ecommerce web design agency based in Birmingham with over two decades of experience in the industry. Get in touch with our team today to learn more.