Shopify vs WooCommerce
What is the Best Choice
If you are considering selling online you have realized there are two main options. WordPress (usually with something like WooCommerce) and Shopify and I dearly love both platforms. I enjoy helping clients in either one. But I often get asked which one is the best, or which one is right for a particular client. The answer is… it’s complicated. This post is a quick overview of the platforms to help you decide which one might be for you. I’ll be digging into the particular pros and cons of each in other posts.
First, let’s take a look at WordPress. There are a lot of options for selling on WordPress but the most common one is WooCommerce. WooCommerce is a plugin that adds an e-commerce aspect to your website. WordPress is at its core a blogging platform. It has expanded over the years but at its heart, that is still what it is. It allows people to express themselves and share thoughts and information with the world. WordPress powers almost ⅓ of the websites on the internet. This means that there are a lot of options and opportunities with WordPress.
WordPress allows for a lot more customization and flexibility than Shopify. It is generally better for SEO. If you are hoping to drive organic traffic to your website WordPress is better equipped for that. WordPress also gives you a wider range of options for your content.
Shopify is strictly an eCommerce platform. You can set up a blog there, and there are plenty of themes and options which allow you to customize and express yourself. But at the end of the day, the purpose of Shopify is to sell stuff. Shopify powers around 20% of eCommerce sites. It is growing and catching up with WordPress. The simplicity and ease of set up combined with the ability to connect various marketing channels are appealing to a lot of people.
Shopify is typically easier to use and set up than WordPress. With Shopify you can everything all in one place, they handle hosting and domains. Shopify also provides a lot of support and guidance. Shopify requires less technical skill to maintain and manage.
Which one should I choose?
Choose WordPress if… selling is only one component of your business. Let me explain. If you are selling, blogging, adding various pages to your site to build a brand that is more personal and less commercial WordPress is the best choice.
Of course, anyone trying to make money online is selling something. There is a big difference between building a brand based on you and building one based on what you sell. If you are a coach, service provider, or marketer then WordPress is going to allow you the flexibility to express yourself and build a community around your brand. This is also a good choice for a brick and mortar store that wants to establish a more personal relationship with their customers rather than having an “online” option.
Choose Shopify if…selling things is the core component of your business. Usually, this describes product sellers. Shopify allows you to set up inventory, run discounts and sales, process payments, and handle shipping and delivery all in one spot with seamless integration. If you are selling physical or digital products Shopify has got you covered. This is also a great option for brick and mortar stores who want to offer an “online” option, but don’t necessarily want or need to build a following around their brand.
LET’S BREAK IT DOWN…
WordPress is the way to go if you have a website with a store. Shopify is the way to go if you have a store that is your website. Both platforms offer great options for online businesses and brick and mortar businesses. Yet, the experience is very different. A loose example would be…imagine you want to buy some specialty cheese.
One option is to go to a local dairy. You can meet the cheesemakers, pet the cows, and buy some cheese. That’s WordPress. Or you can go down to your local market, say hi to the clerk, and buy some cheese. That’s Shopify. Either way, you are getting cheese it’s the experience that is different. The end result for both sellers is the same too. They have both sold something and (hopefully) made a profit it’s the way that they present their products and businesses that is different.