Choosing the right e-commerce platform for your website – Shopify Vs WooCommerce

There has been a significant increase in revenues for e-commerce websites. You must use a robust framework for your e-commerce platform. Among the several available options, you can choose from among WooCommerce and Shopify. They are easy to configure and allows newbies to design a website themselves. This article will discuss Shopify vs WooCommerce and how they stand against each other.

What is WooCommerce?
It is an open-source e-commerce platform built for WordPress. It helps to customise your online store and add extensions easily. There are several plugins and themes to help developers and offers complete control while designing the website.

What is Shopify?
It is an all-encompassing CMS that allows the owner to create the store, manage inventory and accept payments without elaborate coding. There are several apps to customise the store, and they can handle all aspects of your e-commerce business – from security to hosting.

Shopify vs WooCommerce: Spotting the differences
Both CMSs are renowned for their simplicity and allow developers to design credible designs to improve conversion rates for online businesses. Shopify eases the complicated workflows in developing a website and replaces them with easy-to-use tools. WooCommerce allows several customisation options to enhance your store. We will now compare Shopify vs WooCommerce and assess their capabilities.

You can work on more than 100 themes for your Shopify website. They are aesthetic and responsive and allows you to customise according to your needs. You must customise the designs so that your website is different from the others. It has a Theme Editor and you can hide sections not needed for your Shopify website.

With WooCommerce, you can select any WordPress theme specifically designed for this platform. The free default online store theme Storefront is flexible too and is deeply integrated with WooCommerce.
In all, WooCommerce has an advantage over Shopify as the latter has limited themes.

Ease of use
Shopify is a hosted platform with no hosting and backup issues. Once you sign in, you can customise any of the themes and get started. There is a drag and drop interface that makes it easy. There are several extensions and add-ons too for customising your store.
WooCommerce is flexible to customise, but you must keep backups and manage plugins. It does not have any built-in drag and drop builder. The platform has a learning curve, and you will require a seasoned developer to design your website.
WooCommerce had a guided wizard, but the onboarding workflows of Shopify are better. Moreover, no worries about hosting too.

Sales Features
One of the essential sales features in Shopify is the abandoned cart recovery. Customers can finish an abandoned order without re-filling the details. Both these CMSs provide several shipping options, but Shopify has partnerships with several couriers.
Other impressive sales features of Shopify include support for discount codes and unlimited products. On the contrary, you must buy similar features for your WooCommerce website. Some crucial WooCommerce features are one-click refund, embedding products and checkout for different store pages.
Shopify has inbuilt features that keep it a bit ahead of WooCommerce.

If you are looking for faster growth, then Shopify is your option. The infrastructure is such that you need to only bother about your Shopify website. Enterprise services are offered through the Shopify Plus plan. With WooCommerce, you must handle the backups, maintaining updates and website security. Gradually, the hosting costs will increase too. You may need to use a managed WordPress hosting service provider too.
As a small business, Shopify can provide a hassle-free solution.

Add-on features
Shopify has an App Store and powerful APIs to allow modules to be added to your website easily. But, with WooCommerce, you have access to over 58,000+ plugins that enable you to add several features to the website quickly. This makes customisation easier on WooCommerce.
Your Shopify website can have interfaces for dropshipping across several marketplaces like Oberlo, AliExpress, etc. However, WooCommerce has several ready plugins to allow setting up dropshipping quickly. Extensions can easily import products and fulfil orders.
Both platforms offer several payment options. Shopify has its payment gateway, named Shopify Payments. However, Shopify charges 2% fees for transactions through third-party gateways. WooCommerce supports Stripe payments and PayPal by default. Your WooCommerce website can support several other payment options and easily interfaces with Amazon Pay, Square, Alipay, etc.

WooCommerce, being associated with WordPress, comes free, but you will need to incur additional costs for hosting and security. There are ways to reduce costs as several hosting companies provide low-cost hosting plans for your WooCommerce website.
Shopify provides 24X7 support over email, chat and phone. It also has a detailed knowledgebase for developers. WooCommerce also has adequate documentation, and support allows you to address issues quickly. Shopify does not provide support for third-party applications.

Both CMSs are powerful platforms for e-commerce businesses. Shopify does not allow you to have complete control over your website. But WooCommerce requires you to maintain the website. Shopify provides better scalability and is hassle-free. However, WooCommerce is cost-effective, and you have control over your online store.


By Sanjay Das (An Information Technology Consultant with IndusGuru Network Partners)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of IndusGuru Network Partners

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