The creation of an online store can be one of the best ideas that can be had as a business and as a company. Today, it is remarkably easier to sell online than at any other time in the history of the internet. Now I will tell you “Shopify vs WooCommerce comparison: Which is the top eCommerce in 2022?”
However, it is possible that we find ourselves with so many electronic commerce platforms that it is very difficult to choose one of them and know which one really suits us. In this sense, Shopify and WooCommerce are two of the most famous CMS (content managers) that exist in the market.
The idea is clear: we want to set up an online store. However, which one is the best for me? Can I regret it in the future and find out that maybe I should have created the store on another platform?
These are doubts that assail us before taking that important first step and our goal is to help clear them up throughout this article. We will perform an analysis of both platforms and compare the different features to help you make the final decision.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is, like WooCommerce, one of the most widespread e-commerce platforms in the world. Its origin is Canadian, being created in 2004, and it has had a long journey throughout the great online expansion of the last two decades.
It is the leading e-commerce platform in the market and the data proves it. Currently, statistics tell us that there are more than a million active users on Shopify and more than 600,000 stores in operation. A number is by no means negligible.
Although we are talking about an online store or an e-commerce platform, Shopify also allows the management of points of sale (POS) in order to be able to sell physical products. You can manage your physical store from anywhere with your administrator account.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is another of the most popular eCommerce platforms, although it might be better to refer to it as a plugin. Why? Because it is a platform added to WordPress, a content manager. That is, to work with WooCommerce you need to have a blog or a website created in WordPress.
This is the biggest difference between Shopify with WooCommerce. In the first, you only need to create an account and set up your store from scratch, while in the second you need WordPress installed beforehand to later work with WooCommerce.
This CMS previously started with a business model that offered templates to WordPress, hand in hand with WooThemes. It later evolved to become the preferred e-commerce plugin for many, so much so that today there are hundreds of thousands of stores managed with it.
Shopify vs WooCommerce comparison: Which is the top eCommerce in 2022
Installation and first steps
Broadly speaking, we are more or less clear about what we are talking about with each e-commerce platform. And now comes the interesting part: the creation of your online store. Where to start? It is important to take into account the ease and intuitiveness of the platform for its creation.
At Shopify, we have fully integrated features at our disposal that include hosting built into the creation of your store through a monthly subscription plan.
Once your account has been created and you have entered your credentials, the process is really simple and you will have a free 14-day trial without having to enter your credit card.
You will start with a default design and an empty store and then gradually start adding products, categories, shipping methods and a long etcetera. You don’t need more on your first day.
WooCommerce is not too complex but it does make tasks a bit difficult at the beginning. As we have mentioned before, in order to use it you need to have a site previously created with WordPress.
Once we have our own hosting, either contracted through the default WordPress or through our own search, we will have to go to the plugins section and install it. Afterward, the virtual assistant will take us through the first steps of our newly created store.
The undisputed winner in terms of the first steps is Shopify since we only need to enter our credentials to have our online store in five minutes, initially for free and without the need for another platform or additional installations, as is the case with WooCommerce. . In Shopify everything is done in the same window.
Easy to use
Ease of use is Shopify’s strong point. We have seen that its installation is simple and the subscription of the monthly plan saves us headaches by not having to worry about being aware of other functions, such as a manual installation on an external server or knowing the security system that we have chosen from our platform is appropriate.
Once the type of store and its initial design has been chosen in the registry, its dragging system will allow us to configure each section the way we want and we will have at our disposal all the sections of the store, such as the products, their price and the inventory clearly. The inbox is very easy to understand.
In WooCommerce, once the domain is installed and contracted, which takes longer than in Shopify and requires certain technical knowledge, we will have all its functions within the indicated tab. Just like Shopify, we are in control of our products, payment and shipping gateways.
On a day-to-day basis, both are easy to use. However, being a WordPress plugin, it is not as intuitive as Shopify. It is true that the functionalities are similar, but this is after a slower installation and its options are located within a specific WordPress tab. The design is done by WordPress so this is not a native WooCommerce feature.
In summary, both platforms are easy to use, but Shopify saves time on installation and is somewhat more intuitive to use, being a stand-alone CMS.
The showcase of your store is your company image, nothing more and nothing less. Offering a careful and professional design in your online store can make the customer stay on the website or leave never to return. Both e-commerce platforms will allow you great control.
Shopify’s template offering is quite extensive. Some are paid but there are others that are free. They are customizable, so that way you will avoid making your store look like any other as much as possible. You will be able to filter your search so that the designs that appear in your online store are the most appropriate for your type of product.
The templates are developed by professional designers and will be updated when Shopify updates its version of the platform automatically, so you don’t have to worry about buying or installing a design and it will be compatible with future versions.
WooCommerce is a strictly eCommerce plugin, so its design function is relegated to WordPress. That said, the plugin works perfectly for most themes that you can install with WordPress. It is very adaptive in this sense.
There are several places to download WooCommerce themes:
- Wow. the default store
- Storefront. Child themes to add to your store
Being an open-source plugin, there are numerous additional options to download codes made by other developers and that you can apply to your store. For this, you will need basic knowledge of web design.
Both platforms are experts in offering attractive, elegant and professional designs, but Shopify is once again somewhat easier than WooCommerce in this section. It does not require technical knowledge and does not depend on another platform.
Features and functionalities
Okay, we have a nice window display and an excellently designed store. The next step is to know what the characteristics of each e-commerce platform are and what they offer us.
Later we will see the plugins, so in principle, we will highlight what are the functionalities of a newly created store, without additives.
When contracting a plan with Shopify, it offers you the following (among others):
- Unlimited file and product storage
- Product variations
- Sale of physical products
- Customer profiles
- Adaptability for mobile commerce
- Ability to edit HTML and CSS code
- Credit card payments
- Configurable taxes
- Specification of different shipping rates
- An SEO-ready store
- Customer reviews of your products
- Unlimited traffic to your store
In turn, WooCommerce offers:
- Open source code
- Payment via built-in PayPal
- Configurable shipping rates and taxes
- Unlimited amount of products and categories
- Inventory control
- Mobile adaptability
- Facebook extension
Both platforms are created for electronic commerce and work perfectly in this field, how could it be otherwise.
Apps and extensions
Called apps by Shopify and extensions by WooCommerce, their function is the same: to add additional functions to the store. Both platforms have a large market of add-ons to install in your online store with very diverse functionalities depending on your type of business.
Shopify App Store
We start with the Shopify App Store, where we find a catalog divided into categories and collections. In the first, the apps are divided according to the function they have and in the second, Shopify has decided to include all those add-ons that serve a specific objective.
A specific example of the latter is the “Works with Shopify POS” collection. As we have seen before, Shopify POS allows you to manage a store with physical products. Within this section, you will find all the apps for the point of sale.
The installation of the apps in Shopify is completely automatic and you will not have to worry about having the latest version of the platform.
WooCommerce has a store for its extensions divided by categories and the most popular at that time appeared on its front page. As in Shopify, its functions are very diverse and you can find extensions for different types of products, customer service, marketing, taxes, languages, international trade, PayPal payment button and much more.
Among its extensions, those created by the Woo team, the creators of the platform, stand out.
Both have hundreds of add-ons or extensions and fulfill their mission perfectly. You will find what you need, depending on what you are willing to pay. Indeed, not all add-ons are free and some are more expensive than others. It is up to you to consider the initial outlay that you can afford.
Keep in mind that the fundamental difference between Shopify and WooCommerce is that in WooCommerce you will need to be aware of the compatibility of your extensions with your latest version of the installed platform and not in Shopify. You will need once again to have the technical knowledge and the time required for its management.
We can say little about the importance of a secure and efficient payment method for your online store, so we are going to make a direct comparison between both platforms. How will our customers pay?
When you first set up your Shopify store, it’s highly recommended that you enable PayPal’s Express Checkout option. It is one of the most used payment methods on the internet and provides security and reliability to millions of users around the world. Your store cannot be the exception.
The highlight here is Shopify Payments, the main payment gateway from which you can manage your credit card payments. A small portion of that charge will be remitted as a commission to Shopify. Depending on the plan we have contracted, it will vary slightly. If you use a third-party payment processor, Shopify will charge you additional fees.
And WooCommerce? In a similar way, it allows you to incorporate different payment gateways such as PayPal through extensions. Stripe is the default service for credit card payments to customers and offers great reliability.
If you want to add more payment gateways like Amazon Payments, it will cost you a subscription or an additional cost to be able to install them in your online store. In turn, integration with bank payments is done through the Redsys system.
In the USA, the winner in terms of the payment gateway is clearly Shopify Payments, since it is a more than established, reliable service with robust security endorsed by hundreds of thousands of people.
The customer and the shopping cart
Shopify and WooCommerce allow you to make a purchase either as a guest user or as a registered user. Customers will decide what is best for them, but without a doubt, the possibility of making a purchase and not having to register with a new account will alleviate that feeling of rejection of unnecessary bureaucracy.
Both platforms have a shopping cart recovery functionality, that is, all those who do not complete their purchase are sent an email as a reminder whenever specified. In Shopify, it is enabled by default, but in WooCommerce you need to install an extension to enable this functionality.
Scalability and hosting
Scalability is defined as the ability of servers to handle higher (and sometimes unexpected) client traffic. Imagine that we are at Christmas time or on Black Friday. We do not want our store to suffer, start to slow down and this makes our customers leave.
Without a doubt, the data shows that one of the biggest reasons why a potential customer leaves a store is due to its poor design or operation, but also because of its slowness in loading products or difficulty in the payment process.
Well, in Shopify there is no need to worry about anything like that. Their servers are perfectly prepared for every day of the year and the increase in the bandwidth of your page will not affect the clients. The platform handles all aspects of your hosting maintenance.
WooCommerce, initially, offers more freedom when hiring a hosting (whether by WordPress or on your own) but you will have to make sure that the contracted server can cope with the increase in traffic and its fluctuations, adding the knowledge technicians necessary to be able to do it efficiently. You’ll also need to make sure to perform any necessary manual updates.
Although Shopify plans may seem more expensive at first, since in WooCommerce and WordPress you only pay for your hosting and domain, you save time and effort and allow you to focus where you really need it: on the sale.
Our online store can hardly prosper without a robust security system for payments and to protect our customers’ data.
At Shopify, we will have at our disposal an SSL certificate when we buy the hosting, in order to protect ourselves against malicious attacks and work at all times through a secure connection that offers peace of mind to our customers.
WooCommerce isn’t as clear on security features as it relies on WordPress again, so you’ll need to make sure you’ve purchased hosting with the proper security, either through them or through a third-party provider. Being open-source, it is more vulnerable to malicious attacks. For this reason, it is essential to keep the latest version of WordPress updated.
After all, both platforms offer secure connections and protection for your customers, but Shopify wins the battle again by offering us everything included in the same package.
Optimizing search results for our products and services is equally important for online sales. Appearing on the first page of Google results must always be our goal when the client searches for something that we can offer.
To do this, Shopify lets us edit various SEO parameters such as the meta-title (what actually appears as the title in the search engine results) and make redirects. Several of its add-ons also allow you to go deeper into editing SEO parameters for more advanced control.
It should be noted that the infrastructure of the Shopify servers is excellent in any subscription plan that we have and the speed and reliability of it means that we are automatically considered by search engines as a quality website.
With WooCommerce you will need a little more work and somewhat higher technical knowledge for editing the SEO parameters. In its store, you will also find extensions designed exclusively to help you in this purpose, such as the famous Yoast SEO.
As WooCommerce is based on WordPress, many of the search engine optimization features are based on it and therefore, we will have to make sure that our hosting servers can support the necessary bandwidth at certain times and that they do not affect our negative SEO score.
What happens if we have a problem with the online store? Is there someone on the other side? The answer here is simple: it has Shopify.
WooCommerce does not have an official customer support service, while Shopify has it built into the contracting of their plans. The only support you would have in WooCommerce would be from the creator of some specific extension or template.
Shopify, without a doubt, stands out as a winner. It is true that WooCommerce is a powerful plugin for e-commerce and that it can help us when setting up and managing an online store, but Shopify saves a lot of time on technical details.
Shopify’s most basic plan costs $29 per month and already includes an unlimited number of products, store management by two people from the company, an SSL certificate for added security, and personalized customer support.
WooCommerce, although at first, it seems cheaper since you only need to pay for the hosting and the domain, in the long run, the costs of the different extensions that we want to add, the hours invested in the most technical sections of the store and the lack of personalized support.
It is a preferred option for many for the management of your online store, which offers a more personalized design focused on content management and the product variations that the platform allows are a great advantage.
Now you know ” Shopify vs WooCommerce comparison: Which is the top eCommerce in 2022?” With the rise of headless e-commerce, that is, the separation of the front-end aspect of the web store to offer merely the most practical functionalities of the store (an example is a purchase through voice recognition that does not require a storefront), Shopify will end to reach WordPress.
It is very likely that using WordPress to manage an online store in the future will no longer be such an attractive option, except perhaps for wanting to use it to introduce personalized payment gateways.
We hope that this comparison has cleared up any doubts you had about both platforms and don’t forget that we are here to help you as Shopify experts. Contact us and we will help you with everything you need.
Shall we try?