To best understand complicated solutions, it’s best to simplify them down to the basic differences between them. Doing so quickly removes unsuitable ones from consideration. From there, spending extra time digging deeper to narrow the final choice is possible.
With eCommerce, two of the most commonly used options are WooCommerce and Shopify. They hold close to a 20 percent market share each as an eCommerce platform, so you instantly have reassurance that they’ll be sticking around for the long-term.
Here are four significant differences between Shopify and WooCommerce that are worth thinking about.
WooCommerce effectively bolts right into WordPress as a plugin. So, for existing WordPress users – a CM that powers roughly 1/3 of all sites today – it’s extremely handy. Many thousands of WordPress themes and plugins have been tested for compatibility with WooCommerce – they improve how it looks and functions beyond the basic features. However, it’s more complicated than Shopify and there’s a learning curve.
Shopify, on the other hand, is a platform in itself. The company takes care of the operation of the site. It’s an all-in-one solution that appeals to less technical people, but may frustrate those with technical abilities who prefer flexibility. The company also hosts the website – but the domain remains yours.
Customer Service & Support
WooCommerce is a plugin that is widely used but it also relies on someone else’s WordPress installation, configuration, and hosting. Therefore, it’s more difficult to provide support for issues that may arise. Subsequently, it’s necessary to have the perseverance to work through any problems yourself.
Shopify has a brand to protect and is responsible for the end-to-end solution. As such, the buck stops with them when something doesn’t work as described. From a customer service standpoint, their service level needs to remain high to maintain a strong reputation. They also regularly deal with new customers who aren’t tech-savvy and their service levels reflect this requirement.
When thinking about eCommerce, how payments will be taken is an important consideration.
WooCommerce can be tied into either Stripe or PayPal. When paying with PayPal, customers don’t need to have an account with them – payment can be made by credit or debit card while using PayPal as a payment gateway alone. While there are plenty of plugins that extend the functionality of WooCommerce, these are the basic payment choices.
There’s no store fee per transaction with WooCommerce (Stripe and PayPal do have fees).
Shopify has its own Shopify Payment system which uses Stripe to process payments. This lacks the extra charge for use of a third-party payment gateway. The platform also has access to 100+ third-party payment gateways. Shopify provides the integration necessary to pass on the payment information to the gateway to complete the transaction.
There are additional fees of 2% above the other costs for third-party gateway usage (it can be reduced through a monthly plan) with Shopify. So, Shopify tends to be more expensive for stores with fewer monthly transactions.
Multi-Channel Integration and Data Sharing
When you’re trying to decide which platform to choose, it’s worth considering issues like multi-channel integration and data sharing in the cloud.
Shopify integrates well with Amazon, Facebook, and others. However, WooCommerce struggles to offer the same level of multi-channel integration.
On the data sharing side, it’s useful for different apps and SaaS solutions to communicate through the cloud. This ensures contact information and other important details are shared between systems when this is desired. To achieve this, PieSync offers the best approach. It brings existing integration to a whole new level.
When looking carefully at the major differences between eCommerce platforms, the choice becomes clearer as to which solution is appropriate.