Shopify vs Woocommerce: What’s The Best eCommerce Platform?

By

Riarne Gale

|

Feb 23, 2023
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When setting up an eCommerce business, choosing your online storefront is a major decision and will impact how you operate and grow. So we’ve compared two of the most popular ones: Shopify vs Woocommerce.

We chatted to our members for real life advice and tips on which online storefront really is the best for eCommerce owners.

80% of eCommerce members outlined they used Shopify and WooCommerce while the remaining 20% use Squarespace, Big Commerce, Magento, Etsy, Amazon and a few on Wix.

Let the battle begin!

Choosing an online Storefront

Before you jump in, consider what are your must haves for an eCommerce platform:

  • Functionality – is it easy to use with a straightforward, responsive layout that looks good on any device?
  • Customisable – can you tailor pages to your brand’s style and desired customer experience?
  • Features – what apps and plugins are available to optimise conversion, enable analytics, SEO and personalisation?
  • Support – is there dedicated support and a community of developers trained in the platform?
  • Ecosystem – how well does it integrate with marketing, shipping, inventory management and accounting platforms?
  • Security – are you confident it can keep your customer’s data safe?

How did Workit Spaces members choose their first eCommerce platform?

Over 66% of Workit Spaces members polled, said they relied on the advice and recommendations of their peers. Founders and business leaders were also more likely to make their own decisions if they came from a tech or software background.

Did they make the right choice?

We found that 70% of Workit members are currently happy with their eCommerce platform and 67% don’t want to change storefront in the next 12 months.

If you’re looking to start an eCommerce business, or you’re thinking of changing platforms, let’s dive into the details.

Shopify

More than one million businesses worldwide currently use Shopify, with over 87,000 based in Australia. Shopify is a favourite among Workit Spaces members with over 60% currently using the platform.

According to Enlyft, Shopify’s top industries are:

  1. Retail
  2. Fashion
  3. Wholesale

We spoke with Adam Cordner, Chief Investment Officer of Podify, a sustainable coffee pod company. With a background in software, Adam knows his way around eCommerce shopfronts, having used BigCommerce and custom builds previously.

According to Adam, here are Shopify’s pros & cons.

Shopify Pros:

  • Ease of use – it’s very easy to add products to your store
  • Website functionality is great, set out in a simple, easy to understand layout
  • Quick setup – you can build your site and be live in a day
  • Menus are structured well
  • Easy to integrate products and add promotions
  • Great templates for pages
  • Built in analytics and product schema – required for Google Merchant/Google Shopping
  • Easy to optimise your store for SEO
Shopify vs woocommerce

Shopify Cons:

  • Shipping integration could be easier – can take time and is harder to set up
  • Localised integration could be better

Adam’s top tip: Check out the Unofficial Shopify Podcast – the best source for eCommerce knowledge. They interview successful stores and regularly give you updates on the latest new products and features available.

Pricing (in USD)

Basic AUD$40/month –

Shopify 108 – Advanced $407 –

Support: Shopify offers 24/7 phone support and a local Melbourne number to call

Woocommerce

Data from Search Engine Journal reveals WordPress as the leader in content management systems, powering 39.5% of all websites. Woocommerce is an open source plugin to transform your WordPress website into an online store. According to Datanyze, WooCommerce currently is the market leader worldwide, holding 23.13% market share.

Top Industries

  1. Retail
  2. Restaurants
  3. Hospital and Healthcare

We chatted to Belinda McPhee, CEO and founder of Blackbird Motorcycle Wear. Blackbird has a huge overseas following so it was crucial to implement a platform to handle many international purchases. What did she have to say?

Woocommerce Pros:

  • Loads of plugins to choose from with great functionality such as image resizing or geotargeting for different currencies. With so many to choose from you’ll find one that suits your stores goals, whether they are to reduce cart abandonment or to hack your growth.
  • Freedom in customising. You can customise the look and easily change the layout of pages.
  • Simple integration with your WordPress website

Woocommerce Cons:

  • If you add too many plugins, it can cause your page to glitch
  • Some plugins have big upfront costs
Shopify vs woocommerce

Pricing: Free but you’ll need plugins! Depending what you need they’ll range in price but there will be upfront costs to consider. For example, adding a plugin to give options to charge customers by country, weight and dimension will cost US$199.

Support: As it’s a free product, there’s no support team, but you can head to their documentation centre and forum board.

Shopify vs Woocommerce: The final result

There’s no one size fits all answer, it will depend on what is best for you and your business when comparing Shopify vs Woocommerce. But consider what your website skills are and if you’ll need access to support. Does your website run using WordPress?

If your website uses WordPress and you love the range of plugins, WooCommerce is a great choice for you but you’ll need a web developer on your team or access to freelancers/an agency to keep your online store competitive and running fast.

Feel like you’ll need access to a support team, a searchable plugin “app” marketplace, and prefer monthly fees to large upfront costs? Consider Shopify but expect to have less flexibility in website aesthetics compared to WordPress + WooCommerce.

Let us know what eCommerce platform you use and if you have any advice or tips by connecting with us on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.