In the age of digitalization, the e-commerce market has grown larger than ever.
Brick and mortar stores have switched to the digital platform to become more agile to the growing demands of time.
Despite the staggering figure that e-commerce sales have brought by the year 2021, there are still numerous opportunities out there for people who want to make money online.
If you’re a newbie to the digital market, a good place to start would be drop shipping or print-on-demand.
Once you’ve sourced out the kind of products that you want to sell, the next task that you need to face is setting up your online store.
While this process may be intimidating at first, there are already easily accessible e-commerce tools to help you set up your store easily.
Two of the most popular eCommerce store solutions are WooCommerce and Shopify.
In this article, we’ll help you decide which among the two is the right pick for your online store.
What is WooCommerce?
Before differentiating the two, it’s best to identify first how each of the two works.
Starting with WooCommerce, this platform is a suite of WordPress plugins.
Yep, that’s right.
WooCommerce is just an upgraded, e-commerce ready version of the classic WordPress.
As a background, WordPress was released back in 2005 and was used by writers to feature their own work on a blog site.
The platform has grown tremendously over time, making it even more feature-reach.
People have been using the software to create different kinds of websites.
WordPress websites are customized by twitching two things: plugins and Themes.
Plugins would create an improved functionality of the platform.
This means that using WordPress doesn’t mean you have to learn and master how to write all the codes necessary for your website anymore.
You can simply choose a plugin that will create that specific functionality for you.
Themes, on the other hand, are necessary to customize the feel and aesthetic of your website.
Depending on your taste and requirements, you can choose the feel of your website by selecting your own theme.
What is Shopify?
On the other hand, Shopify is not a byproduct of an existing website.
It’s a standalone platform where you will have to use the service itself to host and launch your website and has all the tools that you need.
Shopify has readily accessible actions that you need- from setting up and listing your products to designing and choosing your own payment method.
At first thought, Shopify may be the easy winner between both.
It’s obviously a lot easier and more accessible as compared to WooCommerce.
The catch, however, is that there may be some features that you need from WooCommerce that aren’t in Shopify- depending on the needs of your store.
That being said, it’s important to weigh all your options before committing to a platform to build your first e-commerce tool.
Ease of Use
When it comes to this, there is a clear winner.
Shopify is relatively easy to use. After signing up, you’ll have everything that you need at your fingertips without having to learn a lot of things.
Shopify definitely offers better accessibility & ease of use for users.
WooCommerce on the other hand, begs the question, “Are you willing to learn how to make a WordPress website?”
This means that in one way or another, you will have to go through the steep learning curve of knowing the basic codes and practices to navigate your way to WooCommerece.
Moreover, you will have to tweak a few plugins and settings to get the right theme that you want for your store.
One of the most important factors to consider is the design and appearance these two can offer for your store.
While an online store may be heavy on the content, the look and feel of your site, as well as the ease of navigation are also essential factors.
Your customers simply won’t trust a website that looks subpar.
One of the strengths that Shopify has to offer is the variety of themes that it has available for its users.
If you have zero design skills, Shopify has over 80 themes that are available in their store for you to choose from.
Not to mention, 9 of them are free to use.
The themes are well-designed and are perfectly optimized for mobile.
On the other hand, WooCommerce specializes in customization.
They do not have ready-made themes like Shopify.
You are pretty much on your own when using the platform.
It doesn’t have a specific style that’s ready for use.
Instead, it takes its causes from your WordPress theme.
At first, this may look like a complete disadvantage from Shopify.
However, if you want to customize your website to look a certain way, WordPress has hundreds and thousands of themes and designs that you could choose from.
This means that depending on your needs, WooCommerce may be your platform of choice if you want to customize your own store.
Web hosting is a crucial factor for your website.
If you use poor-quality web-hosting, you will suffer the consequences in the long run.
Because of the complexity of WooCommerce, which involves a lot of plugins, you may need to choose the right hosting company that can meet your needs, especially as your website grows in traffic.
Not to mention, moving to a better website after growing can be a painful process.
This means that choosing the right host will be one of your preliminary steps.
When it comes to this aspect, Shopify has a better offer for website hosting.
Since the platform itself takes care of all the complicated servers for you, it can scale any amount of traffic automatically.
SEO and Content Marketing
When it comes to promoting your online store, content marketing and SEO are necessary tools to keep your content relevant to search engines, which result in a higher rank on the search results page.
WooCommerece takes advantage here, where you can optimize your content using different plugins and customization tools.
This is the forte of WordPress- making your content as relevant as possible using the right SEO best practices.
While Shopify has several apps that enable SEO tweaks, it definitely couldn’t stand in competition to a dedicated blogging framework like WordPress.
Let’s Wrap it Up
While one may outshine the other in certain areas, it’s definitely a better option to look things through the needs of your own personal store.
Shopify can be a much more accessible option, especially for newbie store owners.
However, WooCommerce can give you more customization options not only for your design but also for content marketing.
Weighing your options based on your store’s needs will be your best criteria in choosing the right e-commerce platform for your online store.