If you’re in the process of starting an eCommerce store, you might be wondering which platform is best for building your website. The two most popular eCommerce platforms on the market are Shopify and WooCommerce, so we are going to outline their main differences to help you decide which is best for you.
So firstly, what is Shopify and WooCommerce?
is an all-in-one online service for eCommerce businesses, where you can build your website, manage your store inventory and take payments.
WooCommerce , on the other hand, is an eCommerce plugin which allows you to trade on your WordPress website.
Let’s take a closer look at them both …
CUSTOMISATION VS. USER-FRIENDLY
To put it simply,
is a great platform choice for those who are less experienced in web development and design. Shopify delivers a straightforward platform where you can choose from a variety of website templates, tools and inventories.
The great thing about Shopify is you don’t have to be on top of software updates or worry about backups – it’s all done for you. It’s great customer support and ease of use makes it a great platform for beginners or people who don’t have the time or skills to create a website from scratch.
WooCommerce , however, is appropriate for the more experienced website designer (or keen learner). WooCommerce gives you full control over the look and function of your website with its abundance of features and access to 50,000+ additional WordPress plugins.
This far more hands-on management system does mean YOU are in charge of updates and saving backups for security (although there are other plugins that can do this for you) and it doesn’t have the same 24/7 customer support service as Shopify. But overall, WooCommerce is the more flexible and highly customisable option.
In conclusion, although Shopify isn’t as customisable as WooCommerce, it is rich in choice of themes and features. So even if you are not a web designer, you can still have an awesome looking website. However, with WooCommerce, the world really is your oyster! That’s why we recommend WooCommerce for those who want total control over their website.
offers a range of pricing plans, starting from Basic Shopify at $29 per month up to Advanced Shopify at $299 per month. Each monthly plan includes a domain name, an SSL certificate and web hosting, however the option you choose will depend on the level of features you require.You should also be aware of the additional Shopify extensions that you may need to purchase from the
Shopify App Store
. As your eCommerce business grows, you are likely to find yourself requiring extra extensions to help manage your online store, such as accounting apps, inventory management, reporting and product sourcing apps.
Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce is free, as is WordPress. But don’t be fooled – you will need to make initial payments to get your website up and running first. Your website will require a domain name, SSL Certificate and a WordPress host, which can be rather expensive. In saying that, there are other platforms that offer cheaper hosting packages for your WordPress store, such as Bluehost. And being an open-source platform, there are also many WordPress extensions that can be installed for free.
PAYMENTS AND PERCETAGE FEES
There are two other payments you should be aware of when it comes to choosing the right eCommerce platform – credit card rates and transaction fees. It is not unusual for eCommerce platforms to charge you these percentage fees for each transaction made through your website, such as a customer purchase.
Shopify has a flat credit card rate, somewhere between 1.75% + 30ç and 2.9% + 30ç depending on your monthly plan. Shopify also charges you an additional 2% transaction fee if you do not use their own payment gateway method, called Shopify Payments. This fee is lowered to 0.5% when you move to the $299 per month ‘Advanced Shopify’ plan … you see the payments creeping up?
When it comes to WooCommerce , you will only be charged a transaction fee by your payment gateway or bank. In other words, WooCommerce do not take a cut themself. WooCommerce offers PayPal and Stripe as their default gateway, however it supports most other payment providers including privately owned payment gateways.
The verdict? Shopify and WooCommerce certainly both have their pros and cons, but it ultimately comes down to your experience with website development, your online store needs and how customisable you require your online platform to be. While Shopify is great for its simplicity, support and ‘all inclusive’ experience, you may find yourself limited with how much you can grow and personalise your website further down the track, in which case WooCommerce may be a better choice for you.
If you would like to discuss with our team which eCommerce platform is best for you, please do not hesitate to call us on 07 3274 0469 . Our friendly staff are always happy to help!Keep up to date with what’s going on in the design & digital world with our expertise, freebies & resources!