When it comes to choosing between Shopify and WooCommerce, there is a big debate in the eCommerce community about which one is better, so it’s important to understand the differences and advantages of each as they relate to your business.
There are a lot of people in the WordPress world who swear by WooCommerce as the software of choice, and others who believe Shopify has better e-commerce features. In our opinion, the choice comes down to your specific business needs. For some, we recommend Shopify. For others, we suggest WooCommerce.
In this post, we are going to cover when you should use Shopify over WooCommerce or vice versa, specifically on a WordPress website. Yes, that’s right – both can run on WordPress!
One quick note before we dive into things – Shopify Online Store vs Shopify Buy Button:
When we think of Shopify, most often we think of Shopify’s Online Stores – the full website + e-store combo, where you can build a storefront and add products, customize the layout, add pages, etc. In this blog, however, we are discussing the Shopify Buy Button, which allows you to add your products and checkout process onto an existing website, such as a WordPress Site. There are many reasons one might choose WordPress over other options for websites like Shopify Online Store, and chief among them is that it’s open-source and therefore completely and unbelievably customizable. WordPress websites power 40% of the internet.Now that we’ve discussed the Shopify Buy Button, we can compare it with WooCommerce.
Shopify Buy Button: An Overview of The Benefits and Shortfalls
One of the top benefits of Shopify, according to some, is that it is very easy for users to get up and running with. In fact, many people find it very easy and comfortable to use instantly.
The downside of this, however, is that in order to be so simple, there is limited control over the look and feel of the e-store without coding knowledge.
Quick to Set Up:
If you do not have many products, this can be set up and implemented within a matter of hours to a few days. If you’re looking for something that is an instant up-and-running solution, Shopify is a great choice.
Shopify’s ease of use comes with a limitation: limited functionality. Compare this to WooCommerce’s ever-expandable capabilities and add-ons, Shopify does not give you the option to completely change the process of your e-store.
WooCommerce: The Benefits & Shortfalls
WooCommerce contains a multitude of features, so can take some time to get used to navigating. When we build sites for our clients, we equip them with tutorials and ongoing support so they’re comfortable the whole way through.
Takes Time to Set Up:
WooCommerce can be set up, similarly, within an hour or days. But to really gain the incredible, robust capabilities in styling and developing your e-store, time is going to be needed.
Almost Unlimited, Incredibly Powerful:
WooCommerce allows for an incredible level of customization, while also giving developers the flexibility to build exactly what a client needs. Whenever a client requests a unique set up, or anything beyond the typical “add to cart, checkout, be on your way”, we lean towards WooCommerce.
Additional consideration: INTEGRATIONS!
If you’ve got an incredible deal with your payment processor or POS system that you’ve invested blood, sweat, and tears setting up – you’re going to want to make sure they integrate with your e-store platform. Both WooCommerce and Shopify have built-in/out of the box integrations that you will definitely want to consider in your decision making.
To wrap things up, we’re going to share some hypothetical, but common, business set ups and which platform we would recommend:
Hypothetical Situation A: Jilly’s Perfume Shop
Jilly handmakes her own perfumes and has been selling them at local craft markets for the past 5 years. Recently, she was featured in a Cape Breton influencer’s top 10 favourites of Nova Scotia and received many orders via email and DM. She would like to set up an e-store and add it to her existing WordPress website to handle the sudden influx of orders from outside of her region.
Our suggestion: Shopify Buy Button
Why? Jilly has a simple business model – she sells to consumers only and has no extra functionality needed within her e-store. She doesn’t plan to sell wholesale as she is already busy enough making what she sells. This is the perfect example of an ideal candidate for the Shopify Buy Button.
Hypothetical Situation B: Jacob’s Interior Design Shop
Jacob has been consulting clients on interior design for decades. His brand is reputable, and his style is signature. He would like to expand his current website offerings to include an e-store of his own, custom made home decor items. Jacob would also like to sell his products wholesale to local furniture and home stores, and would like them to be able to log in and view custom wholesale pricing. Jacob would also prefer that his wholesale customers can see all of their past purchase history, tracking information, and favourite products within their account page by logging in.
Our suggestion: WooCommerce
Why? Jacob’s business model is multifaceted and requires a typical level of customization that would warrant using a more powerful platform such as WooCommerce.
Hypothetical Situation C: Cassie’s T-Shirt Shop
Cassie owns her own t-shirt shop and would like to launch an online store that allows her customers to upload their own t-shirt designs. Cassie would also like to sell wholesale to boutiques and online retailers. In addition, she would also like to offer a bulk discount on the products she sells in her shop.
Our suggestion: WooCommerce
Why? Much like Jacob, Cassie’s business model is unique. We would want a platform that is robust enough to handle these types of purchases, which is most certainly, in this case, WooCommerce.
When looking at your own business, we always suggest that our clients project their business plans about 2-3 years into the future. Setting up an e-store can be quite the endeavour, especially if you have quite a lot of products. Our team can speak with you about your needs and help design a strategy that will not only include an e-store but also incorporate all of your future needs. We have many years of experience in developing e-stores for both individuals and large corporations, so we will be able to help plan out your process.
PS: In this blog we evaluated the Shopify Buy Button and WooCommerce. There are more e-store platforms such as Magento and Ecwid. If you’re lost between the options, send us a note. As experienced website and e-store developers, we’d be happy to help navigate your best option.