While there are many options available today, WooCommerce and Shopify are two of the ultimate platforms for creating an online store in 2023 and beyond. With the power to optimise and facilitate your sales, understanding which platform is right for your business is key when getting started.
Allegro Logistics provides technology-led, e-commerce fulfilment solutions to retail businesses of all scales. If you’re thinking of launching an e-commerce business and need a little guidance on what platform is best, we’ve put together this handy guide to help you.
How to Choose the Best E-Commerce Platform for You
Let’s face it, choosing the right e-commerce solution can be a pain. Comparing shipping options, payment processors, functionality, SEO performance, costs and much more can turn into an overwhelming process that we’d just rather not deal with. In fact, for many founders, this is often the most challenging part of launching an e-commerce business due to the importance of such a decision. After all, your e-commerce platform can be the difference between you making sales and not.
For a large number of e-commerce businesses, the choice is between the two market-leaders in the industry: WooCommerce and Shopify. Of course, there are so many factors that come into play when comparing two platforms, with each business having its own needs and requirements from what they need from an e-commerce solution.
Before making any choices, it’s important to think through the following factors:
- Ease of Use.
- Customisation and Design.
- Payment Gateways.
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WooCommerce vs Shopify: Basic Difference
Before we head into comparing the use cases and features of both WooCommerce and Shopify, let us first summarise each:
- WooCommerce: An open-source e-commerce plugin developed for WordPress. This popular platform (now operating on over 5 million websites) enables users to take advantage of the world’s most effective CMS and leverage it to run an online store.
- Shopify: Unlike WooCommerce, this is a hosted platform that enables users with limited technical knowledge to create and run an online store all from one single platform. With over 9 million live websites using Shopify, this is proving to be a popular option for business owners.
Without further ado, let’s get right into the comparison guide.
Ease of Use
When it comes to setting up an online store, you want as seamless a process as possible. For those with limited or basic technical knowledge, Shopify may be the platform that works best for you.
Fortunately, with this platform, you really don’t have to worry about all the technical stuff at all. In fact, it was built for all owners, including those with no coding knowledge. The all-in-one platform has a clean, intuitive interface that generally provides a really good user experience. It features a drag-and-drop menu that makes everything super easy to manage. Pretty much everything can be done in just a few clicks.
Since WooCommerce isn’t a complete package and is self-hosted, site owners will need to manage each activity separately, from site hosting and security to managing updates and backups. With this in mind, WooCommerce could be better suited to site owners who have technical expertise and want more customisation and control from an e-commerce platform.
Customisation and Design
In the world of e-commerce, the design of your website can be the golden ticket to converting visitors into paying customers. Or if done badly, it can be the sole reason someone exits your site! With this in mind, it’s important that you have strong options to choose from when it comes to website designs, themes, and templates.
It cannot be denied that Shopify offers some pretty sleek, modern and alluring themes and templates. In fact, the visual aesthetic and mobile responsiveness of its themes is one of Shopify’s greatest selling points.
That being said, the downfall with Shopify is that there are only 73 of these to choose from. While these can be customised in a variety of ways, when you take a look at the design options from WooCommerce, you can quickly distinguish the winner.
With WooCommerce, there really are no limits when it comes to design possibilities. The platform has been built to cooperate with most themes on the market, meaning that users are able to select pretty much any WordPress theme they fancy. These can also be customised to suit any preferences.
The ability to offer flexible payment options and process payments seamlessly is absolutely paramount to business success. This couldn’t be truer in the world of e-commerce. If a potential customer experiences any friction when it comes to this stage, it could very quickly lead to a loss of sale. It’s a basic requirement that e-commerce businesses just simply have to get right.
Fortunately, both Shopify and WooCommerce offer over 100 payment gateways which are either build-in or added via integrations. WooCommerce by default accepts payments through Stripe and PayPal. WooCommerce does, however, also offer local payment options. WooCommerce’s self-hosted nature means that there are no additional transaction fees associated with it.
Shopify provides a number of payment gateways in addition to its own custom-built payment gateway that is powered by Stripe. Additionally, you have the option of using a third-party payment gateway, however, doing so will incur an extra transaction fee of 5% for advanced plans and 2% for basic plans.
Make sure the e-commerce platform you choose supports your SEO efforts if you want to make sure that your website appears high in the Google search results. Fortunately, it has been demonstrated that WooCommerce and Shopify both have useful SEO tools
Shopify features a built-in SEO plugin that supports fundamental SEO techniques like meta descriptions and site copy. On the other hand, WooCommerce is a platform that has been developed with highly-optimised SEO code. Its integration with WordPress also means that site owners have access to a wide variety of great SEO plugins. It’s also very easy to customise URLs and add detailed meta descriptions to help alert Google of the context of your web pages — all details which play a large role in improving SEO rankings. Whichever platform you opt for, you should be pretty safe when it comes to SEO functionality.
In recent years, in particular, dropshipping has become a popular e-commerce fulfilment method for many online brands due to its low overheads and convenience. It’s proving to be a super valuable business approach for entrepreneurs who don’t want to deal with inventory and stock maintenance.
Thankfully, when it comes to WooCommerce and Shopify, both platforms offer a wide range of feature-rich dropshipping options. Business owners can choose from a number of apps and plugins that send the orders received from customers directly to compatible suppliers, who then send the order on your behalf.
Dropshippers utilising WooCommerce can purchase plugins to immediately import products, process orders from your website, and more. Most of the applications have similar features but with over 8000 active installations, DropshipMe is a popular choice for many. Again, Shopify has a great choice of dropshipping apps, with Oberlo and Dropified being two of the most well-known.
WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which One Should You Go For?
So, WooCommerce vs Shopify — which is best for your e-commerce business? The answer to this really does greatly depend on your needs, requirements, skills and expertise.
If you’re looking for an e-commerce platform with high customisability, greater control over design, handy SEO and dropshipping features, and have more time to pay attention to the website, then WooCommerce could be the option to explore further.
But if you’re completely new to the e-commerce space, have limited technical knowledge and want a seamless, ready-to-go solution with dedicated support, then Shopify presents itself as a superb option.
Choosing the right e-commerce platform for your business is no easy feat. Before diving straight into a final decision, we highly recommend that you spend some more time taking a look at both the Shopify and WooCommerce websites, exploring all of the features (not just those explored here), and reaching out to their dedicated team for further guidance. Good luck!
E-Commerce Fulfilment with Allegro Logistics
Are you looking for a modern, integrated e-commerce fulfilment partner? At Allegro Logistics, we are fulfilment and logistics experts based in the South West with over 60 years of experience providing quality fulfilment support.
Our online platform, Mintsoft, integrates with over 50 popular e-commerce and courier platforms, uniting all your online fulfilment aspects on one system. From Shopify and WooCommerce to eBay and Amazon – we can integrate seamlessly with your chosen platform.
Our services range from domestic and international shipping to fulfilment, storage and PoS distribution. Get in touch with our team today for a custom quote!
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