The main point of difference between WooCommerce and Shopify is probably the fact that the former is self-hosted while the latter is hosted. This means that in WooCommerce, you will need to host the store yourself while in Shopify, the need to purchase a separate hosting package is eliminated. However, these are not the only points that differentiate these platforms as many other factors are mentioned below.
1.Ease of use
WooCommerce: Firstly, WooCommerce is a hosted platform and this means that you will need to manage many things all by yourself. Factors such as your store’s security, installations, management of updates, backups, and the like will all have to be managed by you. To set up WooCommerce, you will first need to install WordPress which makes it quite complex. You must get a domain name via WordPress, register for a hosting account, install WordPress, and a theme. Only after you have completed these steps can you go ahead and set up the WooCommerce plugin. Once it is activated, a popup will be displayed where you will be required to run your store through the five steps. Choosing a reliable WordPress hosting service is suggested because the process will be simplified for you to a great extent.
Shopify: Shopify can be regarded as an intuitive platform because it is a built-in store and comes with an ergonomic interface. To create a store using Shopify, you need to go to the official website and follow the basic instructions after which you can sign up for an account, create a store, and start selling. Sounds simple right the good news is that it is simple which is why there are so many online sellers who prefer this platform. Creating and managing a store using Shopify indeed feels like a breeze. Most of all, Shopify is designed mainly to help all store owners build an online store easily without the need for any coding knowledge.
Therefore, when it comes to ease of use, Shopify certainly takes the lead miles ahead of WooCommerce mainly because one of its main purposes is to simplify the process of setting up and managing an online store.
2. Page Speed
WooCommerce: As per the performance tests, it’s been reported that the page speed of WooCommerce can be slow which is a huge bummer. The average loading speed of the cart page is reported to be 1.32 seconds while the average loading speed of all monitored stores is reported to be 776 milliseconds.
Shopify: Shopify’s web pages, on the flip side, are reported to load in 309 milliseconds which is considered by Google to be the ideal loading time as it recommends a loading time of 500 milliseconds. Therefore, the loading speed of Shopify is fast which enables stores to deliver a better customer experience.
Online shoppers of the modern age can be regarded as impatient because they abandon any store that requires more than. seconds to load and if your store falls in this category, well, the loss is real. A slow-loading store can cost you new customers as well as your old customers. You can optimize your loading speed as per the hosting plan you choose in WooCommerce but a low-priced plan will certainly have a low loading speed. So when it comes to the page loading speed, Shopify again takes the crown.
3. Design and Templates
WooCommerce: When it comes to WooCommerce themes and templates, rest assured, you will be introduced to a whole new world thanks to the attractive and mesmerizing themes offered by the platform. Moreover, you have a wide variety of themes to choose from and the themes present in other third-party platforms can also be easily integrated with WooCommerce. You can also select a WordPress theme and integrate it with your WooCommerce store.
Shopify: Akin to WooCommerce, Shopify also offers an extensive range of free and premium themes and templates which is sure to attract your attention and the attention of your customers too. Another thing worth pointing out is that each Shopify theme comes with many variations so you will have access to more than 100 designs for your store. Shopify themes are elegant, feature-rich, mobile-friendly, and tidy because they have all been created by professional Shopify Plus developers. Also, you can customize themes easily through the Shopify admin panel and the theme editor.
The appearance of your online store is one of the most important things you should never neglect and it is also one of the main factors that have the power to attract new customers. When it comes to themes, both WooCommerce and Shopify host a plethora of magnificent themes and it ultimately boils down to the kind of designs and vibe you prefer for your store.
WooCommerce: WooCommerce is created by WordPress which means that when it comes to SEO, you can be certain of its efficiency. You can modify many elements of your WooCommerce store such as the meta descriptions, URL redirections, alt tags, body content, and other elements using the WordPress editor to optimize your product pages. You can also gain access to numerous plugins through WooCommerce using which, you can optimize and enhance the performance of your store.
Shopify: In the context of SEO, Shopify URLs cannot be customized entirely mainly because the URL structure of Shopify is rigid and few sections of the store URLs cannot be modified. Nonetheless, the platform gives you access to all other necessary SEO features which are easy to use and can help your store be optimized for the search engine too.
Without a properly optimized site, customers may not be able to find you because the search engines won’t be able to locate and rank your site. As such, SEO is certainly very important and just by a few miles, WooCommerce takes the lead in this one.
5. Inventory Management
WooCommerce: Inventory Management: WooCommerce is regarded to be a highly flexible platform and hence, you can expect a similar experience with its inventory management too. You can create inventory reports, modify attributes of products, and more without any limitations related to the variable products you need to create and manage. However, if you want your store to deliver its best performance, it is imperative to integrate it with third-party apps.
Shopify: With Shopify, you can gain full control over the inventory tracking system of the platform. You can perform many tasks such as accessing stock alerts easily, generating in-house revenue reports, automating purchase orders, tracking stock, and more. You can also add customers, single or bulk items, orders, and other data manually or via CSV file. There are many other inventory apps that you can integrate seamlessly with your Shopify store too.
When it comes to inventory management, Shopify is undeniably the preferred choice.
WooCommerce: If you want to sync your online store with other platforms like eBay, Amazon, social media, and more, WooCommerce can certainly come in handy but it does not support Google shopping which can be a drawback. Through your WordPress dashboard, you can manage all these different channels using free extensions but it does not facilitate an in-built POS system for users. Therefore, this is something you will have to access via other providers.
Shopify: With Shopify, you can integrate your store easily with Instagram, Facebook, or Google in an instant after a few clicks and you can do all of this smoothly without any hassle.
Both WooCommerce web developers and Shopify plus developers allow you to perform seamless integrations and enable your store to perform better.
WooCommerce: WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform so all of the security of your online store is your responsibility. This means that getting the SSL certificate, configuring your store’s security plugins, ensuring the store is PCI compliant, performing two-factor authentication, and all the other steps required to secure your store become your responsibility.
Shopify: With Shopify, you do not need to worry about any hassles mentioned above because it is a hosted platform and it will automatically take care of all the security issues and updates so that you do not have to. It supports an SSL certificate, which is encrypted and it also runs on a server that is Level 1 PCI compliant which is a compulsory requirement for accepting debit and credit card details.
Therefore, when it comes to the security of your store, Shopify is certainly a better and simpler option than Woocommerce web developer where you have to take care of all things by yourself.
WooCommerce: WooCommerce, being an open-source platform, does not support phone, email, and live chat. Therefore, you will have to get help from customer support through various other resources. You can go to the FAQ section to find answers to the queries you have and because it is already a huge community with many people using the platform, you can always find forums or discussion groups with developers and fellow users who might be willing to help resolve the issue you are having.
Shopify: With Shopify, you can expect tremendous customer support that is available 24/7 and you can contact them via email, phone, or live chat. You can also access the FAQs which host a huge database of answers to common queries so you might find some help through this source as well. If that’s not enough, you can also check out the Shopify Forum.
When it comes to customer support, both these platforms offer different kinds of services. You may prefer contacting fellow users of WooCommerce or you may find it more feasible to contact Shopify customer support.
The e-commerce industry is sure to dominate even more in the future and having an online store can certainly be highly profitable in the long run particularly when digitization will become more prevalent in coming years. However, if you are confused about which platform you should choose to set up and manage your store, you can take help from the factors above and see which platform suits your needs the most.