Opening an eCommerce store to sell merchandise can be very exciting and highly lucrative. However, there are a lot of different online platforms out there to choose from. How do you know which one is the best for your brand?
Two of the most popular options for those just starting to sell online are WooCommerce and Shopify. Both are easy and affordable for eCommerce stores just getting ready to launch. However, while they do share a few similarities, there are quite a number of contrasting elements between the platforms, too.
Our CAKE team has put together a list of similarities and differences to help you decide. While this is not an exhaustive list of everything that varies between the two, it still provides a good picture of what to expect. Let’s get started!
WooCommerce is a basic eCommerce platform built on top of WordPress, a very popular open-source content management system that’s used by a large number of businesses and personal websites throughout the globe. According to industry statistics, around 7.75% of online stores in the United States are powered by WooCommerce.
Most WooCommerce experts will tell you that the benefit of using this platform for your eCommerce website is that you have total control of the design. This is true, as the framework is completely customizable, and there are many wonderful premium WordPress templates out there that support it. Plus, it is free to use, and there are no monthly charges other than what you have to pay to your hosting provider.
However, to make an accurate comparison between Shopify and WooCommerce, we have to look at a few of this platform’s downsides. A few of the most important to consider are:
- WooCommerce is self-hosted, which means you are fully in charge of the security of your website. If you don’t have the right plugins or protections, you could find yourself in a huge mess should you ever become a target of hackers.
- There is no out-of-the-box payment platform, which means you’ll have to use PayPal or some other option and add it to WooCommerce.
- You are responsible for handling all technical details on your own, and there is virtually no customer support.
In comparison, Shopify is much different from WooCommerce. For starters, it is a separate platform built for the sole purpose of selling products online. And it’s popularity is easy to see. Currently, Shopify powers nearly 17% of all online stores in the United States. They are also a publicly-traded company on the stock exchange.
While there is a monthly fee to use Shopify, the number of features and benefits associated with it make the eCommerce platform a better choice overall. For example, they handle payment processing on your behalf, which makes getting started as a brand much easier. There are also thousands of third-party apps available that help you add extra features and elements to your online store for better customer engagement and higher sales.
A few of the most important benefits of Shopify include:
- There are multiple sales channels built into the platform. This means that you’re able to sell on your Facebook page, Amazon, Pinterest, and other platforms without any additional coding or technical work.
- An expanded abandoned cart functionality allows you to edit emails and send them to customers to help regain potentially lost sales.
- Shopify integrates with many POS systems, which is especially important if you also have a brick-and-mortar retail location.
- There is native support for multiple languages, which is important if you sell products globally.
The big downside to Shopify is that not everything is as customizable as it is with WooCommerce. However, with a little bit of help from a Shopify expert, you can easily transform your online store’s look into one that is eye-catching to customers and reflects your brand vision.
The Winner Is...
According to our eCommerce experts, Shopify is the preferred platform. Why? From a customer perspective, Shopify offers more robust features and a better list of add-on applications than WooCommerce.
Additionally, not having to host the site yourself plus free SSL and payment processing is a huge deal. And Shopify knows what a big deal page speed is for customer experience and search engine ranking, which is why they are constantly working on upgrading their servers for faster load speeds and mobile optimization.
Whether you’re just getting started in eCommerce or you’re looking to improve your current online store, Shopify is your best bet for a successful endeavor.
Let Our CAKE Team Help with All Your eCommerce Needs
The good news is that you don’t have to embark on your journey alone. Our CAKE team offers a full range of eCommerce consulting services to ensure your success. We are Shopify experts and can assist with everything from planning and designing your store to customizing photography, copywriting, checkout processes, gift cards, and so much more.
Best of all, as a Shopify marketing company, we work with you past the initial launch or remodeling phase of your eCommerce store. It’s our goal to help you find your perfect marketing mix, which starts with having a super sweet website and evolves into having the right level of Email Marketing, Shopify PPC, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and other key ingredients of digital marketing.