Shopify vs WooCommerce – Choose the best option for your store

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Shopify vs WooCommerce comparison

Make the best decision for your e-commerce platform and compare Shopify vs WooCommerce. Whether you are creating your e-store for the first time or moving away from platforms such as Amazon FBA to your own website, you will need to decide on the infrastructure of your e-commerce business.

Moving away from Amazon FBA or eBay can seem daunting. Perhaps you are creating a website to work alongside your existing online presence or maybe you want complete control from your business’ day one. Whatever your reason for wanting a shopfront you create it can seem hard to see which of the big e-commerce platform you should use. Both Shopify and WooCommerce can be extremely powerful tools with your preferences having the casting vote.


Advantages of Shopify

If you are currently at square one and want to get your store up and running as quickly and as easily as possible, Shopify is a great option. Your Shopify monthly plan will include SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates and hosting, so you won’t need to set up a separate website.

Speaking your language

It can also be integrated with many tools such as Xero, A2X and other e-commerce platforms such as eBay and Amazon. You can even migrate seamlessly from WooCommerce to Shopify, allowing you to change your mind without any regret.

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Shopify has built-in SEO that will bump your store up the sales rankings and can manage your inventory. It will also take payments directly, avoiding additional Stripe fees or similar.

Abandoned cart

Customers who abandon items in their cart on a Shopify store receive an email prompt to finish their sale with ease. These messages have become such a frequent site in recent years that it is worth noting that they are only available on Shopify.

Cons of Shopify

If you want to truly customise your store, you’ll need to have some Liquid coding skills. If you already have the know-how then this may be an advantage, as it allows unlimited options, but if you aren’t adept at coding you may end up paying an outside party to customise your store to your liking. Outside of the coding customisation, you can purchase Shopify themes, but these range from free to US$180. While it may seem smart to go straight for a free pre-set design, you may end up with a site that looks distinctly similar to many other e-commerce stores, and as such your branding won’t be as prevalent.

Shopify pricing

Initially, you can take advantage of a free 14 day trial, then Shopify has three tiers of pricing. Shopify has three tiers of pricing. You can launch your e-commerce store for US$29 a month, but as you grow your business you will need to branch out into the US$79 a month package, which allows up to 5 locations. Once your business is flourishing, the top package is US$299 a month and has reduced fees and up to 8 store locations allowed. Additional apps may be required, and these may have additional costs.

Compare Shopify and WooCommerce


Advantages of WooCommerce

WooCommerce currently has a slight edge in popularity as it is a WordPress extension, rather than a hosting system in its own right. While this does have potential downsides, it means that you can easily customise it with WordPress themes or coding as you see fit. WooCommerce calls itself “the world’s most customizable e-commerce platform” due to the ease of use with aesthetics.

WooCommerce doesn’t charge transaction fees, which may make a significant difference to your profit margins.

Additionally, WooCommerce also boosts in-built SEO, but who comes out on top changes frequently.

WooCommerce disadvantages

Shopify vs WooCommerce is a bit of a mismatch in terms of customer support. While Shopify has a helpline available to all customers, WooCommerce has a ticket system via email. This can lead to frustrating delays when you need help most. As it is a WordPress add-on you may well run into issues as updates arrive and clash with existing architecture on your WordPress site.

The degree of IT skills needed to truly make the most of WooCommerce are far greater than those needed for Shopify. A basic understanding of WordPress and its extensions is required, and you may need to input code or tweak existing website functions to ensure functionality is optimal.

WooCommerce pricing

WooCommerce isn’t as straightforward to price, as you may well need several extensions such as payment gateways alongside your hosting and SSL certificate. WordPress recommends Bluehost, which has an e-commerce package that covers your hosting, SSL, and WooCommerce for a reduced fee of £5.71 a month for 36 months and then £11.50. If you are going down this route it is worth taking advantage of their free store setup phone call to have you up and running as smoothly as possible.

You can read about WooCommerce in more detail here.

Shopify vs WooCommerce

As you can see, Shopify vs WooCommerce is far from a simple choice, but it is worth noting that once you have got past the initial setup, the day-to-day running of the stores requires around the same time and effort. It comes down to whether you want full customisation without learning to code in Liquid (WooCommerce) or simply a quick and easy way to get started (Shopify).

Next steps

If you have decided which e-commerce platform is right for you, it’s time to start making your e-commerce business grow. We specialise in supporting e-commerce businesses with their accounting needs and our team will be happy to help you with any and all accounting decisions. Get in touch today and we’ll help you take the next steps in your business journey.

The best time to act is now.

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