So you’ve finally decided on embarking on the world of eCommerce to grow your business online. Whether you are new or an existing brand, taking your business to the digital arena might just be the wisest decision a business person could make today.
With the technological advancement that we have today, creating your online store has now become easier. Anyone can practically do it. Since you planned on selling online, you will need to consider which eCommerce platform you want your online store to be built in.
When it comes to eCommerce platforms, Shopify and WooCommerce are the leading popular platforms that eCommerce businesses use at present. In this article, get to know more about what makes these two platforms best known in the world of eCommerce. We will break down everything that you need to know about these two including the pros and cons of each platform and what makes one better over the other in hopes of helping you decide which platform is better for your eCommerce business.
Before we dig into details, here’s a quick overview about eCommerce and what this is all about:
What is eCommerce?
Ecommerce, in its simplest definition, refers to transactions, such as buying and selling of any goods, through online services or via the Internet. This means that every time you buy or sell anything or avail and offer services online, you are engaging in eCommerce.
What are eCommerce Platforms?
As retailers, one of the most straightforward ways to engage in eCommerce is by having an online storefront that online shoppers can visit. Ecommerce platforms allow retailers to build effective online stores where they can showcase their products and services to the consumers.
Shopify VS WooCommerce: An Overview
Shopify and WooCommerce are only two of the many eCommerce platforms that offer retailers the opportunity to engage in the eCommerce business by allowing them to build their online stores that are eCommerce ready. These platforms are two of the most used eCommerce platforms today due to their features and functionality.
Here’s what you need to know about these two popular eCommerce platforms:
What is SHOPIFY?
If you are not into coding, Shopify is an easy online tool that enables retailers to build their online store easily from scratch within the platform. This eCommerce platform has a user-friendly and self-generated interface and offers retailers tons of templates that they can use for their stores, flexible shipping rates, multiple payment gateways, and an automatic taxing system.
In addition to these features, Shopify is fully hosted and has built-in SEO features, making it ideal as an all-in-one ecommerce solution for SMEs for offering various items and services.
What is WOOCOMMERCE?
WooCommerce is not actually an eCommerce platform like Shopify but is rather a free eCommerce plugin of WordPress that turns your WordPress built website into an eCommerce store. This is made possible by adding eCommerce features such as a shopping cart, product brochure, inventory management, etc. Since it is basically a plugin of WP, it is an open-source platform that you can only use if you have a working website powered by WordPress.
WooCommerce offers a wide range of templates that can help you customize your online store. Not only templates, but it also includes features that can help you display unlimited products, manage orders, free shipping options, and unrestricted customization.
What was stated above is just descriptive information about the two eCommerce platforms and you probably still have a lot of questions in mind. Such as which one is better at pricing? Which is more flexible? Easier to use? and more…
To answer some of your underlying questions, let’s dig deeper about what they can offer:
Shopify VS WooCommerce : The Pros and Cons
User-friendly; no need for prior knowledge in coding
Includes hosting and security
Includes 24/7 Customer Support
Allows you to integrate with other channels for the market such as
Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and Pinterest
enforces its transaction fee, unless you use Shopify Payments
Installing it is free, other extensions are priced reasonably
There is no limit to customization, you can use code to customize your store
Flexible features, including WordPress plug-ins
Not beginner-friendly; would require at least basic coding skills
Factors to Consider When Looking for an Ecommerce Platform
If you are still confused as to which platform is better, here are some factors to look at when choosing between Shopify and WooCommerce as the eCommerce platform that you would want to build your store with :
Ease of Set-up and Use
With Shopify, you can start building your online store without many technicalities. Meaning you don’t have to worry about any coding and all the other IT stuff. Since it already has a hosting, there’s no need to install or update any software. From your domain name and hosting to security and backups, Shopify will take care of everything for you.
In contrast to Shopify, you will need to source out a web hosting and SSL Security that works well with WooCommerce. It is a more technical platform that may require at least some basic knowledge on how to use it such as coding. WooCommerce is also actually easy to learn once you get the hang of WordPress.
Design and Themes
Shopify and WooCommerce both offer users a roster of stylish themes and great website designs that would make your online store look professional and polished. With Shopify, you can access over 70 free and paid themes that you can use as the template for your store. If you go on Premium, you can access more themes that would best suit your online store.
If you know how to code, you can also customize your Shopify theme. WooCommerce on the other hand also has a wide range of ready-to-use themes to choose from. But if you want to create a new theme for your website, there is no limit on how much you can customize your online store.
Since WooCommerce is open-source software, it does not cost anything upfront. However, you will have to find and set up your own hosting which will include fees for you to avail. The cost of hosting may vary depending on the scale of your store. WooCommerce plug-ins and extensions that you may need to install also cost more than upfront since they are offered as one-time licenses rather than a monthly subscription.
Customization of your online store with WooCommerce does not have a limit, thus, should you need to add on some expertise to take your online store further, Gler Media Pro Ecommerce development team is a group of experts in making your eCommerce business successful starting from building a competitive online store that is perfect for your business.
On the other hand, Shopify offers its services in a month to month subscriptions. They officially have three basic plans which are priced at $29 for the Basic Shopify Plan, which include some start-up features, the Shopify Plan, priced at $79 which includes features that a growing business needs, and the Advanced Shopify Plan at $299 which has the more advanced features needed to scale your business.
Shopify offers various payment gateways that customers can use to pay and they are already on the site. For some Shopify plans, small transaction fees are actually being levied per sale made. WooCommerce can also work with multiple payment gateways but they need to be installed as plugin extensions.
Security of Transaction
Every legit online business must assure their customers that all of their transactions, including especially their personal information, will be secured and protected. Adding SSL Certificates will ensure safe transactions between the customers and the platform.
SSL Certificates are already included as one of Shopify’s built-in tools while in WooCommerce, these will have to be bought and installed separately.
In a Nutshell:
If you want a faster and easier way of creating your eCommerce store, Shopify can offer you a hassle-free journey of launching your new eCommerce venture. On the other hand, if you already have a WordPress website but want to turn it into an eCommerce website, as well as have the freedom on how much you can customize your website, WooCommerce best fits the purpose. Both platforms can make your eCommerce business possible in their different but efficient ways.
Running an eCommerce store is a huge undertaking and choosing which eCommerce platform to use can make or break your eCommerce business. However, as long as you go with a platform that can address your needs and you think will be promising for your business, for sure you are on the right path.