If you’re in the eCommerce business you know the difficulties that come with not only building your site, but in making it work for your audience. This means hours of customization that doesn’t always come so easily. Cue Shopify and WooCommerce, which are both platforms that help with those customization and site building needs. However, deciding which one works best for your needs is often a difficult task.
That’s why we put together a breakdown of each platform and what can be considered as benefits, drawbacks, and features to choose from. Read on and we’ll help you figure out which platform may work the best for your business.
What Is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is a flexible, open-source commerce solution built on WordPress. Originally started in 2008 as WooThemes, in 2017 they transitioned to focus exclusively on eCommerce. With a global presence, WooCommerce is an all-remote company working to empower small and medium businesses to build exactly the store they want and sell online.
Below is a breakdown of benefits and disadvantages to consider with WooCommerce. We’ve included some top points from features and functionality to even ease of use.
Benefits Of WooCommerce
Plugins/Integrations - As an open-source platform, this means that WooCommerce was designed to utilize plugins and extensions. There are even more than 55,000 options to choose from their Plugin Directory.
Customer Support - WooCommerce has a robust customer support option that offers 24/7 live chat, phone support, and knowledge center.
Price - WooCommerce may be a cheaper option in some respects, especially depending on what you need from the start. However, much of this should be based on overall features.
Disadvantages Of WooCommerce
Limitless Options - While this may seem incredible, limitless customization options do have drawbacks. For example, let’s say you want to break down your site and customize as much as possible to fit your needs and brand guidelines. However, the time you spend on customizing eats into time that should be spent in managing your business and boosting sales.
Less Integration, More Plugins - Again, as an open-source platform, WooCommerce is full of potential plugins and extensions. However, Shopify’s platform provides the ability to integrate these tools rather than adding them on over time. The goal of integration is to simplify, and at times the plugin features may become cumbersome.
What Is Shopify?
Shopify is a complete commerce platform in which you can create and customize an online store, sell in multiple places (web, mobile, social media, brick and mortar locations), and manage products, inventory, payments, and even shipping.
As a fully cloud-based and hosted platform, you do not have to worry about upgrading or maintaining software or web servers. You can even try Shopify at no cost for 3 days, no credit card required. From there, you can choose from one of their packages depending on the size and stage of your business.
Below is a breakdown of benefits and disadvantages to consider with Shopify. We’ve included some top points from features and functionality to even ease of use.
Benefits Of Shopify
Easy Use - Very beginner friendly as Shopify is a platform with hosted software. Plus, you don’t have to be a coder to get started, it has intuitive design and functionality.
Design Functionality & Themes - While WooCommerce provides limitless customization, Shopify has paid themes that appear more cohesive and streamlined for business owners as they want to efficiently build their site.
Customer Support & Guidance - Shopify does a really good job of interacting with the user and guiding them through the process. Web building is never the easiest task, but it shouldn’t be impossible! Shopify makes it seamless to figure out your problems quickly, without making you wait for hours or days for a response.
Disadvantages Of Shopify
Pricing - There are three plans to choose from and all differ in pricing and features. Think about how much you can afford to start out and you can always pick a higher price range if you need additional features from those plans.
No Email Hosting - This certainly isn’t a dealbreaker for most, as Shopify is a go-to platform for so many companies. However, without email hosting, it’s something to think about if that is a big driver in your business.
What Makes A Good eCommerce Platform?
While everyone has their own preferences when it comes to a good eCommerce platform, there are some top points to consider before diving in and choosing the first one you see. You may want to consider looking at:
- Price - A low cost may seem appealing, but think about what you’re getting for what you’re paying. Just starting out? Perhaps go with a lower package to feel out the functionality and see if it aligns well with what you originally envisioned.
- Integration Features - Look to see if the platform offers integrations and plugins that can aid you with payment/shipping, CRMs, emailing, and ever promotions. This will further streamline your site and leave one less thing to worry about down the road.
- Performance & Scalability - Does your eCommerce platform perform for a fast experience? Or, are there slow load times and errors that you have to constantly account for? Choose a platform that is robust enough to handle content and pages as you scale.
- Ease Of Use - Can you navigate the platform easily without confusion? While there may be a learning curve in the beginning, it’s best to choose a platform that feels intuitive to you. If you can’t navigate the platform, then it will make the whole process that much more difficult as you attempt to build out your own site.
WooCommerce vs. Shopify Similarities
Both platforms do have parallels for users to consider. For example, WooCommerce is endless with plugins and customization features, but this doesn't always work for every eCommerce site. Some need a bit more
However, their similarities in customer support is quite robust. WooCommerce features 24/7 customer support and Shopify does as well. Shopify’s approach features for hotlines depending on different regions. Users can communicate through email, their hotline, or live chat depending on the preference and time of day.
WooCommerce vs. Shopify Differences
Shopify seems to have a bit more when it comes to mobile capabilities and aligned themes. This may make it easier for beginners to have some customization, without it being too overwhelming.
On another note, Shopify has free trial options but WooCommerce does not. You may look at WooCommerce as more of an intermediate platform option for those with some coding experience. However, Shopify is for all levels but more intuitive for beginners. Similarly, if you are having trouble with your site, you may want to contact a professional in the industry for guidance.
As a Shopify partner, at Replo we create ultra customizable landing pages for serious eCommerce teams. We have hundreds of built-in templates that we’ll teach you about customizing all of them, or building a page from scratch. Plus, ask us about our integrations feature to extend your Shopify pages.
How To Choose? Let Replo Help!
The idea of choosing one platform over another may be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! At Replo we can help you simplify the process thanks to the help of our Library of Templates and expertise in crafting even more immersive and highly customized Shopify pages.
Our Core Benefits: Built For Marketing Teams
Get Started In Minutes - Start in less than 5 minutes with one of our expert-designed templates or build from scratch. Incorporate unique layouts and assets without spending hours in code.
Performant And Powerful - Replo’s high-performance pages don’t slow down the rest of your Shopify store. Saved sections and design systems help your team create digital experiences that feel consistently on-brand.
Designed For Shopify - Replo pages are Shopify pages, so your analytics work out of the box. Replo pulls product data directly from your Shopify store, so you only have to manage things in one place.
To get started today, Schedule A Demo and we’ll discuss your site and how to supercharge your Shopify store to rank and entice your customers!