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Shopify vs. WooCommerce: Which platform is right for you?

A lot of our customers are online retail companies, brick and mortar retailers who are moving online, and recently I have been getting asked:  

“Shopify or WooCommerce?”

To be honest both platforms provide similar functionality, but both shine in their own way.  Price is always going something to consider, but the best thing to do is assess your business requirements for building an ecommerce store.  I put these requirements in two camps by providing an overview of what each platform offers.

Shopify : Simple and elegant


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Shopify built their platform to make it simple and straightforward for building a ecommerce store and they pulled off what many companies have been trying to do for the last decade.  Things to consider when deciding to use shopify.  

Shopify has great templates and customization for setting up a store quickly without the technical know how. 

If you are not tech savvy and want to save yourself from messing with any hosting, complex integration of external web services into your store don’t fret.  Shopify’s fully hosted shopping cart make accepting payments secure and seemless.  Shopify’s app store has loads of plugins for setting up any additional services such as inventory management, or accounting software, mobile apps and so on.

One of Shopify’s defining features is it’s POS system that works with your physical store and online store.  Sadly, if you live in Southeast Asia you are out of luck for now as its not available currently.

There is a great selection of templates to choose from in shopify, but if you need a more customization, hire a designer to customize your site for you.  

“Shopify uses a templating language called Liquid. Liquid makes it easy to turn your HTML & CSS into a beautiful ecommerce website design.”

Also, not having to worry about the back end is great for people that just want to run their shopify store with no maintenance.    

WordPress : Customization and Power

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WooCommerce is an toolkit that gives you a ecommerce platform on top of wordpress CMS system.

WordPress is the king of CMS system these days so it is not surprising that so many businesses use it for their online stores as well.  As stated in the headline WooCommerce is a great platform for end to end customization from design to diving straight into the code and bending things to your will.  

From bloggers who sell niche products and services to large retail chains, wordpress is a platform that is very scalable and can grow with you as you go.  You can pretty much built a custom ecommerce solution with WooCommerce and the vast amount of extensions available.

Similar to Shopify apps, WooCommerce has extensions that allow you to integrate other services into your online store such as CRM systems, Accounting, SEO optimization, Inventory Management and more.

For designing your online store WooCommerce offers a huge library of free and paid themes that help you build a beautiful and modern online store.

If you need more template or themes options check out themeforest.com or creativemarket.com.  These two sites always have great selection to choose from.

eCommerce Platform Cost : Weighing value

You can check both prices for Shopify (multiple pricing options) and WooCommerce (Free).  One thing to note with cost is if you use additional WooCommerce extensions or shopify apps that are free or paid they may require a monthly subscription fee.  Just something to keep in mind.  Also, if you want Shopify themes or WooCommerce themes there are one time fees or fixed monthly plans for those as well.

These fixed cost can add up so I recommend putting away funds that will cover your services for 1-2 years if you are serious about growing your ecommerce business.  

  Good luck with your hunt for the right platform.  if you have any question drop me message via email or twitter.

Contact me at [email protected], [email protected] or my twitter

This is a guest post from Jon at onesixoneeight.asia ( sister company to qisc.us) who provide digital tailored solutions for businesses.


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