If you’re starting an online store, choosing a commercial eCommerce platform is much more affordable and a lot easier than building a content management system (CMS) from scratch.
For this very reason, the majority of the world’s top retail giants, local stores, and hobbyists use eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce and Shopify to power their marketplaces.
But which is the best eCommerce platform in 2021: WooCommerce vs Shopify?
This guide will provide an overview of the two platforms and give you all the information you need to know to make the best decision.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a leading eCommerce platform, powering over 500,000 businesses in 182 countries.
Originally founded by Tobias Lütke and Daniel Weinand as an online snowboard store called Snowdevil Inc., Shopify launched its first version of a software system for running web stores on May 24, 2006.
In 2008, the company expanded to allow retailers beyond just small business owners access to their services with free apps that enabled anyone, regardless of location, to open a shop using this service.
This decision would lead to them becoming one of the most profitable tech companies during their rapid growth era from 2009-2013.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that enables eCommerce functionality on an existing WordPress website. It was created by WooThemes in 2011, which is now called Automattic Inc.
Since its release, it has grown to power over 300,000 online stores, and was downloaded more than 20 million times during the course of 2018 alone.
WooCommerce was primarily built for novice online stores but is often compared to Shopify for its ease of use and wealth of dynamic plugins.
Who is Shopify For?
Shopify is built for all online store owners. Generally speaking, it is more scalable than WooCommerce and may be a more ideal solution for rapidly growing online stores.
If you’re planning to start an ambitious online store or already own a very popular marketplace, Shopify may be the superior solution for you.
Who is WooCommerce For?
WooCommerce is an extension of WordPress, an easy-to-use CMS commonly used to build websites. As you can imagine, WooCommerce is also very convenient and simple to use.
This product is geared more towards beginners who may want to create their own stores, as compared to Shopify, where you’ll probably want to hire a developer. WooCommerce also allows users to create a content-centric website, much like WordPress.
That being said, WooCommerce is the perfect eCommerce CMS for small-to-medium-sized online stores.
WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which is Better?
Now that you’re familiar with both products, we’ll discuss some key factors in choosing the right eCommerce platform: price, scalability, plugins, ease of use, and security.
Here’s how WooCommerce and Shopify stack up in each category.
WooCommerce is more affordable than Shopify. WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, so it’s completely free to use – you’ll just need to factor in hosting and any other costs. With Shopify, subscription prices range from $29 to $299 per month.
Shopify’s scalability makes it an optimal choice for large online stores with hundreds of thousands to millions of visitors per day. WooCommerce may not be scalable enough in the future if your store becomes very popular and generates millions of dollars each year.
Plugins and Apps:
Both platforms have one-click solutions that are easy to set up without any coding knowledge, but they vary greatly when you actually delve into what plugins exist on either platform.
WooCommerce has over 80,000 free and paid extensions, while Shopify only has about 16,000 available App options (not including third-party services like Google Analytics or Facebook Login integrations). Many Shopify Apps also come with an additional ongoing monthly cost, which should be taken into consideration.
WooCommerce is incredibly easy to use and will require little to no coding knowledge. Shopify, on the other hand, can be challenging for novice users who may not know how to code or manage a website.
There are some differences in the security features that have been implemented by the two platforms, such as two-step authentication via password/fingerprint data scan feature (Shopify) vs brute force protection (WooCommerce). However, both WooCommerce and Shopify offer SSL encryption, which makes them equally secure.
So, Which Option is Better?
WooCommerce and Shopify are both excellent eCommerce platforms. The platform you choose to use will depend upon the structure of your online store and your business goals. If you’ve already made your decision, the next step is hiring a reputable website development agency to assist in your store’s creation.
With that said, we can help! Contact us today to learn more about our website development services.