Nowadays, the digital landscape of the retail market is growing more rapidly. According to the Forbes report, around 20.8% of retail product purchases are expected through online stores in 2023. Furthermore, it will increase to 24% by 2026, which suggests rapid digitalization.
Also, according to Statista, eCommerce sales exceeded 5.7 trillion USD in 2022. So, it is a golden opportunity for anyone to build their eCommerce store to take their business online.
The initial step for building the eCommerce store is choosing the right platform. Below, we will compare Shopify and WooCommerce when building an online store. We will compare the cost of creating a website, ease of use, third-party add-ons, and more. Revealing which is the best for your 2023 projects.
Overview: Shopify vs. WooCommerce
Before we move further, let’s briefly understand what Shopify and WooCommerce are.
Shopify is a fully hosted eCommerce platform allowing people to build and manage online stores. Shopify lets you manage the inventory, payment, dropshipping, etc. Allowing you to customize an interactive e-store for your business.
Also, you don’t need any technical knowledge since the Shopify stores are very easy to manage. Shopify has a team that manages hosting, security, backend operations, etc.
On the other hand, WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress plugin that allows business owners to convert their WordPress website into an eCommerce store.
WordPress is a well-known CMS (content management system) that allows users to manage websites without coding or technical knowledge. You can install the WooCommerce plugin with a single click. As WooCommerce is open-source, any technical person can customize the plugin code according to their requirements.
Factors to Consider While Choosing an eCommerce Platform
There are a few factors that you should consider before choosing an eCommerce platform for your online store. Some of the essential factors are
Business size and scale
The first thing you should consider is the scale and growth of your business. Also, you can choose the eCommerce platform based on whether your business is a small, medium, or well-developed enterprise.
Budget and long-term investment
Also, consider the cost of creating a website while choosing the eCommerce platform. Other costs, like domain costs, hosting, special features, etc., add to your budget.
Specific feature requirements
Before choosing any eCommerce platform, it is necessary to shortlist the features that you want compulsorily in your platform to meet your business goals. For example, you need multiple payment options like PayPal, Stripe, etc., for your eCommerce store.
Some eCommerce platforms require technical knowledge to manage the online store. So, choose the platform based on your technical expertise.
Service Cost of Shopify vs. WooCommerce
As a business owner, you should consider the cost of creating a website and its maintenance. It may vary based on your business needs. Let’s look at some cost factors of both platforms.
Service cost of Shopify
Here is the pricing structure of the Shopify eCommerce platform.
- Basic Shopify: $39 per month
- Advanced Shopify: $399 per month
Shopify provides web hosting services and SSL certificates in all the above plans. Furthermore, It also provides the domain of your choice with the extension of the shopify.com subdomain.
The domain cost can vary from $6 to $20 based on the plan you buy. Each subscription plan provides various functionality and scalability for your store.
If you are a small business owner, you can start with the basic Shopify plan, which can cost you around $39/month for the platform, an average of $12/year for a domain name, and 2% transcription charges for Shopify. You should also consider the third-party charges if you have any.
Service cost of WooCommerce
WooCommerce is a free, open-source WordPress plugin, so you don’t need to pay a single penny to use WooCommerce with your WordPress website.
You must have a domain and WordPress hosting to create a website. The domain may cost you around $14/year and $70/year for hosting. You should have your WordPress website set up and ready to customize WooCommerce.
Also, if you need to buy premium themes or any third-party plugin subscription, you can count it as an extra expense.
Overall, you can start the eCommerce store with WooCommerce with a limited budget.
Ease of Use: Shopify vs WooCommerce
Most business owners are not coders or technical people. So, anyone with basic knowledge should be able to start using and managing the eCommerce platform.
How is Shopify easy to use?
Shopify is a hosted eCommerce platform. So, business owners don’t need to deal with the headaches of installation, security, backup, or any other technical issues.
You need to sign up to the Shopify platform to get started, customize the dashboard according to your feature requirements, and start listing the products. Also, Shopify allows you to drag and drop custom elements like product name, color, description, price, size, etc. to build the product pages.
How is WooCommerce easy to use?
WooCommerce is different from Shopify. You need to install the WooCommerce plugin on your website. Also, you need to manage your WordPress website, provide security, and update the WooCommerce plugin. However, most hosting services provide SSL certificates with hosting and auto-updation of plugins. So, you don’t need to be concerned about website security and plugin updation.
You can also customize the theme of your WordPress website using plugins from its 60,000+ repository. If you are a technical expert, you can create your own WordPress plugin for your specific requirements and use it with your website.
Payment Options in Shopify & WooCommerce
It is important to look into the payment options provided by the eCommerce platform and check whether they provide particular payment methods used by your buyers. Sometimes, buyers prefer only regional payment; if your online store does not provide it, you may struggle to grow your business.
Shopify – Payment methods
Shopify provides their payment solution known as Shopify payments. However, you can integrate the popular third-party payment gateways with your online store.
The drawback of using the third-party payment gateway is that Shopify charges 2% flat on each transaction over the fees of the payment gateway. Upgrading the subscription plan may reduce the charges from 2% to 0.5%.
WooCommerce – Payment methods
WooCommerce comes with built-in PayPal and Stripe payment gateways. However, you can also integrate regional payment gateways if your buyers are from a specific region.
One of the main benefits of WooCommerce over Shopify is that you don’t incur any fees over payment gateway fees.
Integrations in Shopify vs. WooCommerce
If you want to scale your business, you may need to use third-party tools. For example, Shopify and WooCommerce may provide basic analytics reports, but if you need advanced and customized analytics reports, you can use third-party add-ons.
Third-party add-ons with Shopify
Shopify has its own Appstore that includes a variety of apps, providing various features.
You can install the application into your store and customize it according to the features you need. However, there are some paid apps also available in the store. The drawback is that it contains fewer add-ons than WordPress plugins.
Third-party add-ons with WooCommerce
WordPress offers a variety of WooCommerce plugins to customize your online store. You can find multiple plugins providing the same functionality so you can choose the most suitable ones for your distinct needs.
Also, you can develop a customized WordPress plugin if you require it or hire a WordPress plugin developer to create some.
We’ve outlined the key considerations business owners should bear in mind when selecting an eCommerce platform for their online shop. The primary consideration is the cost of website development. Additionally, the choice of platform can be influenced by its user-friendliness, scalability, features, and the payment options it offers.
While Shopify is user-friendly, WooCommerce offers a more cost-effective starting point. If you’re seeking greater customization for your online store, WooCommerce might be preferable due to its flexibility with custom plugins. Start your eCommerce store in 2023 by selecting the ideal platform for your eCommerce venture.