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If you have decided to start selling online and looking for the best solution to help you set up your online shop in 2019, this guide is just for you! Shopify and WooCommerce are two of the most popular and widely-used eCommerce platforms. Both have their own features and benefits which can make them the ideal solution to build your online store. The best thing about both these platforms is that you can start your business without the need of any professional developer or designer and with a very small budget.

I’ve been using both systems in the past few years and I can give you an objective comparison, with detailed pros and cons of both systems. Currently I operate two online shops: one is built on Shopify, and the other one is built on WooCommerce. Both are great solutions for beginners, but your choice will depend on your own skills and priorities.

In this article, I’ll compare Shopify Versus WooCommerce to aid you make an informed decision about which works the best for you.

Shopify Vs WooCommerce Review

Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce platform designed to offer you an easy solution to create an online store, manage inventory and accept payments from one place without having to deal with the technical sides of creating and managing a website. WooCommerce is another easy-to-use solution for building an online store. It is an open-source eCommerce plugin for WordPress. It lets you use the Content Management System to run an online store.

Pros & Cons

Shopify Pros

  • No coding knowledge needed
  • Can be set up overnight
  • Hosted eCommerce software
  • Solution designed specifically for running an online store
  • Loads of advanced plug-ins for improved shopping experience, abandoned cart etc.

Shopify Cons

  • Monthly fee

WooCommerce Pros

  • Limitless customization
  • Powerful SEO capability
  • No monthly fees

WooCommerce Cons

  • Tech support or good tech knowledge is needed to set everything up and keep running smoothly

Features

Both Shopify and WooCommerce offer powerful features required to build an online store. Neither of these will let you down if you are looking to start a business online. The difference between the two lies in the standard features included. Shopify includes more ecommerce tools as a part of the Basic package:

  • Unlimited products
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • More than 100 payment options
  • Website and blog
  • Discount codes

Shopify’s sales features are quite powerful. It offers a lot of tools to help you sell, based on years of experience and analytics about online shopping. It is hard to beat them in terms of experience: this Canadian company has serviced over 150k businesses to date.

A strength of WooCommerce lies in its flexibility. Being an open-source platform, it offers limitless custom plugins, as well as options for customization beyond existing plugins. You should, however, invest some time and money to create your store using this service.

Some of the key WooCommerce features include:

  • Unrestricted customization possibility
  • One-click refund function
  • Embed products and checkout on a large number of pages
  • Integrated blogging

Abandoned cart feature, allowing customers to complete an abandoned order without having to enter the details again, is quite important for sales and is available as standard in Shopify and not WooCommerce. Shopify has better features considering the selling needs.

Design and Themes

While both Shopify and WooCommerce are capable of giving your online store a professional look, there are some key differences in this respect as well. Shopify offers more than 180 free and paid polished themes to choose from. Most of these offer customization options and you can change their look and feel without having to code anything. With over 600 Shopify templates, you are not limited to design capability.

WooCommerce does not have a dedicated theme store but you can get them using third-party tool. You can find WooCommerce themes ranging from $30 to $65. There are some free themes as well but they come without any support.

Ease of Use

One of the easiest solutions to building a complete online store is Shopify. They guide you through the setup right from the moment you sign up. They handle your hosting and even let you play around with the store before actually publishing it. You can get started in no time without any technical knowledge. Shopify’s dashboard allows non-technical users to manage their store and offers a lot of widgets to help you edit and personalize it.

WooCommerce is also easy to use. However, there are a few upfront steps to take care of before using it. You should install WordPress on the website and install the plugin for WooCommerce. This can be a little overwhelming for first-time store creators. This means Shopify is a clear winner when it comes to ease of use.

Payment Options

You can use a variety of payment gateways to accept payments online. Shopify offers a large number of payment options to receive payments from customers. You accept PayPal Express checkout as soon as you set up your store. Shopify Payments allows processing credit card payments pretty well without any charges.

WooCommerce allows adding credit card and PayPal support for free. Other payment options are available but charge a transaction fee.

Integrating new payment providers with WooCommerce can cost a lot of money while Shopify might include them as standard. Shopify is better at payment options with the use of Shopify Payments.

SEO

When you have set up an online store, you want to see which platform helps you get more customers. And this is where SEO is important. You want to make sure your store ranks high on search engine rankings.

When considering SEO, both Shopify and WooCommerce are robust platforms and make sure your products are easily appearing before the right audience. While WooCommerce gives you complete control over the SEO aspects of your store, Shopify also makes it easy to optimize your store.

Shopify offers a range of plugins for SEO in the app store. WooCommerce lets you work on SEO using the WordPress tools.

As faster sites rank better on Google, Shopify wins the battle due to its excellent load times and performance offered by dedicated servers. It also includes SSL certificates which turn your store into an HTTPS, denoting customer data protection. Google rewards you by boosting your store’s ranking. This means Shopify is a ready-made SEO-friendly platform to create a store and makes it easy to optimize your store.

Pricing

One of the most important comparisons, pricing of Shopify and WooCommerce; is rather unclear. This is because WooCommerce does not have a clear pricing model. Shopify’s pricing is clear and you see what you pay. The Basic plan starts at $29 and includes everything except the premium themes or apps you buy. There are no hidden charges and it is your monthly bill for running a fully-functional online store.

With WooCommerce, it is a little difficult to predict what your monthly bill comes out to be. While WooCommerce is a free plugin for eCommerce development, one needs a number of add-ons to get a store ready and start selling. You may need to purchase hosting, domain name, extensions, SSL certificates and more. These things come included in Shopify’s plan. Though estimates state that you can create a store and start selling with WooCommerce for less than Shopify, knowing what it will cost is difficult. Moreover, you need to invest a lot of time in setting up your store. And when you grow, you need access to more advanced features, costing you more.

This is why Shopify is a better option when it comes to pricing. WooCommerce is more complex in this regard and needs working on a budget when creating your online business.

Conclusion

Comparing Shopify Vs WooCommerce is not about deciding which one is the best platform. It is more about identifying which works the best for you. Shopify offers a free trial while WooCommerce offers a money-back guarantee of 30 days. You can use these offers to try the platforms yourself and experiment with the features and offerings.

However, if you are looking for a quicker way to start up online, Shopify is the best option for you. It is a one-stop solution for all your ecommerce needs. It is also the right choice if you want to stay away from technical stuff to maintain your store. WooCommerce can be a suitable option for those who have a WordPress site and know some coding.

If you are still not sure if starting an online store is the right business for you, check out my brand new course on Udemy: What Online Business to Start in 2019 (and How). By clicking this link, you will access a special limited offer from me, which will cost you close to nothing given the amount of knowledge and experience locked in in this course.

(Review) Shopify vs WooCommerce, the Best Software For Online Shops 2019
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