February 23

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Shopify vs WooCommerce: Which Ecommerce Platform is Best?

By Rob Palmer

February 23, 2020

shopify, woocommerce

Which is the best platform to found your online empire on? Here we look at the pros and cons of two of the most popular options.


The Ecommerce Showdown

So you’ve decided that Ecommerce is the best way to build an online business that creates all the financial, time and location freedom you need. That’s great. But what technology will you use to build your store?

There are many platforms out there, but for newbies to Ecommerce, the choice often boils down to two simple options. Shopify or WooCommerce? Both are great options, and billions of dollars are being generated on each. So which option should you choose?

As always, it’s a case of ‘horses for courses.’ Shopify is the perfect choice for some entrepreneurs, while WooCommerce may be the obvious choice for others with different needs. Here’s what you need to know to make your decision…

Ease of Use

We’ll start with ease of use, because this is a big factor if you are new to Ecommerce. You have enough to worry about in running your business without getting bogged down in tech details.

Shopify wins hands down in this case. Even if you are a total newbie, you can get a great-looking Shopify store up and running in minutes. The system is intuitive, and Shopify deals with all the techie stuff such as web hosting.

WooCommerce is a whole different matter, because it is a WordPress plugin. This means you have to buy hosting for your website, then install WordPress, then install WooCommerce as an add-on. You are forcing a platform designed for blogging to become an ecommerce system, and that doesn’t always end well.

Running Costs

When it comes to running costs, WooCommerce seems to win hands down. The WooCommerce plugin is free, while Shopify will cost you at least $29 a month. 

In terms of hard cash, there is no doubt that you will spend more with Shopify. If your store is successful, you will probably upgrade to a more expensive Shopify plan to get the advanced features, and you will also be paying transaction fees.

So WooCommerce may seem more attractive in this sense. But don’t forget that you have to pay for web hosting, and you will probably need some additional paid plugins to make your WooCommerce store function efficiently.

But that’s not all. If your store becomes successful, the tech complexity grows exponentially. You will need to move your store to a dedicated server, and as you add more plugins you will inevitably find that conflicts break your store. Fixing all of this can be expensive, not to mention an administrative nightmare.

With Shopify, on the other hand, your store can scale easily. You can let Shopify worry about the tech, while you worry about growing your business.

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Enterprise-Level Support

Many of the world’s biggest brands choose Shopify because it has the potential to support even the most demanding requirements. Shopify Plus is designed to support high-volume businesses, and has attracted brands such as Red Bull, Tesla, ColourPop and Kylie Cosmetics.

You may not be ready for that kind of high-level platform just yet, but Ecommerce has the potential to get you there. So it makes sense to choose  a platform that allows you to scale easily.

With Shopify, you can start with a basic plan, then upgrade seamlessly as your business grows. You could become one of the success stories like Gymshark and MVMT that grew from home businesses to global brands with the help of Shopify.

Making Your Choice

So which way should you go? A few years ago, it was a 50/50 decision - either choice would be a good one. But recently, the balance has tipped very much in favor of Shopify.

If you have some specific reason for wanting to use WooCommerce, then you should go for it, of course. But for a typical Ecommerce store, Shopify is likely to be the better choice. 

You will find it easier to get started, cheaper in the long run, and perfect for a business that is designed to scale. 

Ecommerce is a business opportunity second to none, and the opportunity is getting larger by the day. So make your choice, launch your store and set yourself on the way to massive success.

Rob Palmer

About the author

I help people start and grow highly-profitable Ecommerce stores, so they can turn their annual salary into their monthly income and live the life of their dreams.

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