Shopify vs WooCommerce: A Guide for Your Business

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Shopify Vs. WooCommerce

In our digital world, customers have almost endless options for how they would like to do their shopping.

All of a sudden, it seems everything from toilet paper to furniture is available for purchase online as well as in person. For some, shopping online then picking up their products in person is the perfect mix between the two. Because of this, the convenience of online shopping is something that is certain to stick around. 

At the same time, many brick-and-mortar businesses are left wondering what the benefits of an online business are. As a result, they may wonder if they should even have one. In any case, virtual businesses without a storefront must become well-versed in selling and building a business online. 

Needless to say, as people who work in digital marketing, we believe in the power of the online world. Generally, an online shop makes your products more available to customers. In addition, it gives you an opportunity to provide quick customer support. This also offers the option for flexibility when it comes to what products you offer and where they are available. It’s clear why an online presence is so necessary! 

Most importantly, it keeps you connected to customers, especially during times when a lot of communication happens online. This helps to meet the needs of those who prefer to shop online. This is all while helping to establish your brand. Even though there are all of these benefits, you may still feel wary about going digital. If you’re feeling stuck with all of the options for doing business online, don’t fear! 

That’s where we come in. In this blog, we will put Shopify and WooCommerce, two popular e-commerce options, head to head. Together, we will look at what makes each platform unique. We will also give suggestions on which platform you should ultimately consider based on your business needs so you can make an informed decision. Stick around to the end to find out which one we recommend overall.

Shopify vs WooCommerce

What is Shopify?

As we dive in, you may be asking yourself, what is Shopify? Maybe you’ve heard of other businesses using it or have purchased via Shopify. On the other hand, you may have no prior knowledge. Shopify is a versatile commerce platform that offers options for selling products both digitally and physically. Because it is versatile, all types of businesses can use it. Additionally, the online store is easily customizable to fit your current needs.

What is Woocommerce?

WooCommerce is an e-commerce platform that is built on WordPress. Similar to Shopify, it has many customization options. WooCommerce is available as a plugin on your WordPress website. WooCommerce offers extensions, plugins, and features to build a shopping experience that fits well with your business and overall mission. 

 

Molo Reviews: Shopify or WooCommerce

Ease of Use and Build Time

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WooCommerce
ease-of-use-and-build-time

When it comes to any new tool, the first question on your mind is probably about the ease of use. Let’s face it- as a business owner or employee, your time is so valuable and there’s not much of it to go around. Therefore, it is important to understand the time commitment to anything before jumping right in.

If you’re worried about a lack of experience and a learning curve, there’s good news for you. Shopify’s design allows it to be easily used by anyone – even if you don’t have a background in design or web development. With their ready-to-use themes and online store builder, they bear the burden of design so you don’t have to. Additionally, Shopify is a hosted e-commerce store. As a result, this makes it easier and faster to build.

If you’re looking for a generally more hands-on process and fully customizable option, WooCommerce may be the correct choice for you. WooCommerce is available as a plugin through WordPress. This plugin is fully customizable and turns your WordPress site into an online store. Assuming that you or someone on your team has experience with coding and/or web development, WooCommerce offers the ability to create a truly custom, large online store. However, if you have no prior knowledge of coding or web development, the learning curve will be steep and will take more tie to build the shopping experience you want your customers to experience.

On this occasion, we believe Shopify takes the cake! Because it was originally designed with e-commerce as the main goal, the overall user experience wins us over. Shopify doesn’t require much prior knowledge and the design is user friendly and beginner-approved. This ultimately allows you to get your online shop up and running as quickly as possible.

Molo Reviews: Shopify or Woocommerce

Limitless Customization & Plugins

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WooCommerce
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Shopify offers its users well designed, easy-to-use themes. These themes make customization nearly limitless. Because these are pre-built themes, there is not a lot of experience required to use them. Shopify prides itself on allowing enough customization to bring originality while not losing the common, well-known features accustomed to most users. 

WooCommerce features even more ways to customize. Though this platform requires more knowledge on coding and web development, this comes in handy for those who want ultimate customization. Both code and content is easily changed to best suit your needs. This enables you to customize your entire website. The plugins and extensions provide an even deeper level of customization and added experiences for your users. We recommend the following plugins for the open-source software:

  • Advanced shipment tracking for WooCommerce
  • Elementor Pro
  • Astropro (themes)
  • Checkout field editor for WooCommerce pro
  • CTX Feed Pro
  • Customer
  • Reviews for WooCommerce
  • WooCommerce store credit

Because WooCommerce allows for full, limitless customization, it is the clear winner this time. Although the learning curve may initially be steep, as long as you learn how to navigate the software and utilize the plugins, you are able to create a shopping experience that is completely unique to your business. 

Molo Reviews: Shopify or WooCommerce

SEO

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WooCommerce
seo

SEO is, in many ways, like the golden ticket for online marketing. It ultimately doesn’t matter how attention-grabbing your content is or how amazing your products are if your audience can’t find you. SEO is an essential when deciding what tools to use. Thankfully, Shopify and WooCommerce will both benefit your overall SEO if used correctly.

Shopify offers multiple apps to assist with SEO in their app store. One of these is SEO Booster. Depending on if you use a free or paid plan, SEO Booster assists with many aspects of optimization. This includes alt-text, meta tags, keyword research, and more.

When using WooCommerce, you have another powerful SEO tool at your disposal – Yoast. Yoast is a plugin that assists with SEO through keyword optimization, suggestions for internal links, insights, and more.

When it comes to SEO, both WooCommerce or Shopify offer tools that will help your content be easily searchable. In this case, you cannot go wrong with either option here.

Molo Reviews: Shopify or WooCommerce

User Experience and Responsiveness

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WooCommerce
ux-and-responsiveness

As you know, it’s important to keep your customer in mind when making decisions for your business. Your online shop may be the first, and only, impression your business has on a potential customer. Because of this, it’s important to examine the user experience and responsiveness of each potential platform. 

Shopify was originally designed as an e-commerce platform and takes a human-centered approach. As a result, it provides a smooth and clean UX (user experience). For example, the responsiveness allows past users to automatically login and provides auto-fill fields. 

WooCommerce also delivers an enjoyable user experience. However, to achieve this, more backend work has to be done in order to get the experience as smooth and simple as Shopify. 

As a busy business owner, your time is important and should be guarded. Even more importantly, you want your customers to have an enjoyable, seamless and memorable experience. For this reason, Shopify is the clear choice when it comes to obtaining a smooth and impressive user experience without the front-load of time.

Molo Reviews: Shopify or WooCommerce

Marketing Promotions and Sales

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WooCommerce
marketing-promotion-and-sales

Needless to say, marketing is a large consideration when choosing an e-commerce platform. Giving your customers and potential customers reminders, updates about discounts, inventory, and more are an added bonus to ensure the highest chances of sales, driving your business. 

Shopify includes many internal tools to assist with marketing and promotion. Did your customer’s late-night shopping get interrupted? No worries. Abandoned cart recovery reminds customers of items they were considering via email. This is included as a standard feature of Shopify. This platform is also easily integrated with social media. Importing your products to Facebook, Instagram, Google Merchant, etc. is far simpler as Shopify makes the process as automatic as possible. Additionally, email campaigns can be done right from your Shopify account, no need to add plugins. 

WooCommerce offers similar opportunities, yet, requires the download of the appropriate plugins. Once the appropriate plugins are added, Abandoned Cart Recovery, email campaigns, and discount codes are as simple and smooth as Shopify.

Both Shopify and WoCommerce have much to offer in the realm of marketing that will help to bring users to your shop. Once set up appropriately they will both be effective in promotion and sales.

Molo Reviews: Shopify or WooCommerce

Analytics and Reports

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WooCommerce
analytics-and-reports

You aren’t doing e-commerce correctly if you aren’t utilizing data. Your work should be strategic and intentional, which requires data. E-commerce analytics is truly the key to all eCommerce success. 

Shopify gives its users in-depth analytics and reporting. The reporting is also formatted in a way that is easy to access and navigate. An overview dashboard offers a report of key financial information. The other reports available depend on which Shopify plan you are utilizing. You can also tailor the reports to get the exact information you need when you need it. 

WooCommerce also provides data for its users. Their new reporting and data analysis tool are available for versions 5.4+. Some of the metrics available for viewing include Total and Gross Sales, Items Sold, Shipping Tax, and much more. They also offer advanced filters to customize the data you see. 

Though both platforms offer different data and analytics, Shopify gives reporting that is easier quicker to find, understand, and provides more specific analytics. Overall, we mark Shopify as the winner for analytics and reports.

wp-shopify-plugin

How to Integrate Shopify into WordPress

Lastly, if you are already using a WordPress website, integrating Shopify is simple. In 2016, Shopify released a plugin that allows users to use Shopify with WordPress. This included three WordPress themes powered by Shopify. After setting up the Shopify store and configuring basic settings, you can add the Shopify Buy Button, easily integrating the two. This makes it easy to use a pre-existing site, which is equally important. 

The second option is to use a subdomain on your Shopify store. This is our preferred choice. By setting up a subdomain and directing it to your Shopify store, you can add to your menu and point to the store. Additionally, you may choose to make the two sites more seamless by customizing the fonts and colors of a theme. 

Molo Reviews: Shopify or WooCommerce

And the winner is:
Shopify

Ready for a winner? Drumroll, please! All in all, there are many options for your business as you consider going online or switching platforms. Between Shopify and WooCommerce, you have multiple points to consider when making a decision. Using the tools provided will assist you as you work with SEO, the user experience for your customer, data, and more. Though both have many perks, there’s one platform we typically choose to work with. All things considered, our clear winner when it’s all said and done is Shopify!

To sum up, because Shopify was originally designed as an e-commerce platform, we believe the overall user experience and built-in tools make this platform come out on top despite the perks of both options. However, it is important to consider what tools are going to help set your business up for success! At any rate, helping businesses thrive on the web, whether WooCommerce or Shopify, is what really gets our blood pumping! If you need guidance on SEO, user experience, website design or setting up your online shop, we are here for all of your web-based needs. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Reach out today! After all, there’s no time to waste when it comes to your online presence! 

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