When setting up your online store, the platform you choose can be a critical factor in your business’ success. Each platform offers unique qualities and qualifications that might help you to strengthen, grow, and build your online business. Two of the most renowned eCommerce platforms are WooCommerce and Shopify.
WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress plugin that transforms an existing or new website into an eCommerce site. After its first launch in 2011, it grew in popularity due to its easy installation and low entry price. As of April 2021, WooCommerce is the market leader for eCommerce platforms with a 28% market share, according to Statistica.
Meanwhile, Shopify is an all-in-one, and subscription-based platform that allows you to create an eCommerce site from scratch with little to no experience. The Canadian company was founded in 2006 and has steadily grown to be an eCommerce powerhouse. Shopify held an 11% market share in April 2021.
Overview: Shopify vs WooCommerce
|Ease of Setting Up
- Beginner friendly, no coding experience necessary
- All-in-one subscription to build, host, and manage your site
- 17 free and 80 paid themes
- Designed for web-developers, has a learning curve
- Must use multiple plugins and an external webhost
- 3 free and 46 paid themes
|Ease of Management
- Create campaigns, use marketing automations, and natively view analytics
- Easy to upgrade subscription as your business grows
- Integrated methods to accept different payments
- No integrated campaign, marketing automation, or analytics features
- Must manually change webhost to accommodate more traffic
- Must install payment plugins
|Advanced Capabilities and Integrations
- 10 Shopify app limit
- Shopify manages security and prevents site crashes
- Unlimited plugins, but recommended to limit to 5
- Manual security updates and site backups
- Subscriptions at 3 price points
- Transaction fees for all sales
- Additional costs for a custom domain name, third party applications, and themes
- Free to setup and install
- Payment plugin may have transaction fees for sales
- Additional costs for domain name, SSL certificate and hosting
Ease of Setting Up
Onboarding and Site Creation
Shopify offers a wide range of ways to set up your online business. The onboarding process is simple and straightforward, which lets developers start building and marketing their service or product right away. Developers are given both a Shopify-hosted domain name that can be accessed upon publishing your site and unlimited file storage to hold all site assets.
On the other hand, WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce platform, meaning any developer can contribute directly to the platform’s source code. The platform offers limitless customizations and modifications with robust support from the developer community. With that, users can build their site on their own based on the existing assets and themes. They also have to set up a hosting service and purchase a domain name.
Shopify allows developers to customize and preview a theme on their website even before purchasing it, helping them choose the perfect layout to make their business stand out. The platform offers 17 free themes (8 for Online Store 2.0) and 80 paid themes (74 for Online Store 2.0) that range from $150 to $350. With these, you can add and test out as many free themes as you want. You can also purchase themes from third-party vendors, but these cannot be previewed on your site beforehand.
Meanwhile, WooCommerce offers 49 themes – three of which are free – directly on their website. As WooCommerce is an extension of WordPress, there are serval third-party merchants that sell easy to use theme templates to customize your online store. Of course, if you already have a WordPress site or have the coding skills to build one from scratch, you can make a beautiful site for free that is compatible with WooCommerce.
Ease of Management
Marketing and Organization
Shopify makes marketing a breeze. This platform allows entrepreneurs to build campaigns with floating banners, homepage pop-ups, and promotional discounts to boost sales. Additionally, with the Shopify Advanced plan, you can create marketing automation to send customized emails with just a click of a button and track how they affect their business performance.
In contrast, WooCommerce does not offer the same convenience. Notwithstanding, developers can install applications which have similar functions but which require manual configuration.
Both Shopify and WooCommerce accept all major payment methods in the Philippines. Shopify connects with these payment gateways as Shopify partner payment providers to give your customers the easiest checkout experience for any Shopify product object.
For WooCommerce, you have to use your own discretion in choosing which payment plugin you want to use to accept payments. There are many reputable plugins, such as the official PayPal Payments plugin, which each have its own capabilities. For instance, installing a WooCommerce payment plan plugin such as WooCommerce Deposits gives customers the option to purchase an item using a deposit or in several payments.
Advanced Capabilities and Integrations
Shopify Apps vs WooCommerce Plugins
Shopify Apps are built by trusted Shopify partners and available through the Shopify App Store. More than half the 7,000 apps have a free plan available and integrate seamlessly into your existing store. This makes it easy to increase customization options for your products, display your Instagram feed directly on your site, and convert currencies. Shopify has the option to custom build your own apps or to commission a Shopify Expert to build an app just for you.
There is a WooCommerce plugin for everything imaginable. WooCommerce itself is a WordPress plugin and is compatible with countless other plugins ranging from practical business boosters like MonsterInsights, a Google Analytics service, to just for fun aesthetic tools like Valentine’s Day Hearts. There is even a free AliExpress Dropship plugin for WooCommerce to make selling products simple.
The main difference between Shopify Apps and WooCommerce Plugins is the developer. Shopify carefully evaluates all apps submitted to be part of their App Store, while anyone can publish or sell a WooCommerce plugin.
Money is a big consideration for growing businesses, a resource that should be spent wisely where it can return the best value.
WooCommerce is free to set up through WordPress, but the real challenge is in manually configuring everything for your site. The main cost would be for the hosting platform and the SSL certificate, which both are required for your eCommerce site to be accessed online. Some companies offer these in an affordable bundle, such as BlueHost. Still, you’ll need to monitor your site’s growth to make sure your chosen hosting platform can handle the traffic.
You may also have to purchase or use a paid subscription for necessary WooCommerce plugins and themes to make sure your site is functional. For instance, you may want to use PayPal Payments, the most trusted payment plugin in the Philippines, to receive money from your customers. Despite being free to install, they will charge a transaction fee for each purchase on your site that ranges from (1.9% to 3.49%) + a fixed fee (2.5 to 25 PHP), according to the PayPal site.
Alternatively, Shopify Philippines offers excellent value-for-money all-inclusive monthly subscription packages. There is a flat monthly fee per package plus a variable fee applied per transaction on your site. The Basic plan is best for a business with a small management team, while the Standard (Shopify) and Advanced plans are perfect for stores that are ready to take their site to the next level with more detailed reports, more inventory locations, and smaller transaction fees. The Advanced plan adds unbeatable functionality with eCommerce automations and built-in duties and import tax calculations to give your customers total cost clarity.
Shopify Plans and Pricing
|Shopify Monthly Plan
|Shopify Transaction Fee
|International Card Fee
||3.9% + 30¢ USD
||3.6% + 30¢ USD
||3.4% + 30¢ USD
As of May 2022
This includes the credit card fee, which is charged regardless of the payment processor, and Shopify transaction fee. This can be removed by using Shopify Payments to charge customers, with which Shopify will still earn the credit card fee. Please note that this is only available in certain countries NOT including the Philippines.
It will cost extra to purchase a custom domain name, such as wanting my-business.com instead of my-business.shopify.com, but this isn’t necessary as Shopify is an established and reputable business. There may also be additional costs for website themes and apps to build a robust site.
Conclusion: Shopify vs WooCommerce
Based on the aforementioned analysis, Shopify is the better deal because of all the built-in functionality and easy workflow to bring your business from an idea to a functional online store. The up-front costs may be intimidating, but the downside of Shopify’s management system and the all-in-one platform is that it is unmatched in the eCommerce industry.
Whichever platform you choose, Bambu Digital Marketing Agency is here to make sure your online store is the best it can be. Our expert designers and search-engine optimization engineers will make sure your site is professional, easy to manage, and ready to bring your products to the world.