Shopify and Woocommerce are two of the major platforms most SMB companies are considering for their eCommerce store and Woocommerce is now by far the most used eCommerce platforms moving into 2017 and beyond.

WooCommerce now powers almost 2 million stores (probably more, that is just from Builtwith) and is 41% of total eCommerce sites tracked by Builtwith.

 

WooCommerce usage

 

Although WooCommerce is the most used platform by far, I honestly don’t think it is a great fit for most businesses because it is not quite as scalable as a platform like Magento, and is more cumbersome to maintain than a simpler SaaS solution like Shopify.

However, in the right use cases, WooCommerce can be a great tool, especially for content heavy sites that also need an eCommerce element to their business and website.

So without further ado. Here are the major advantages and disadvantages I see between both platforms.

Shopify:

Avantages:

  • eCommerce First (designed for eCommerce)
  • Easy to install apps
  • Easier to use and navigate for beginners
  • Easy catalog management
  • Theme setup is much simpler and easier to use out of the box themes
  • Hosting and SSL included
  • Can connect to their POS system
  • More out of the box payment and shipping integrations
  • 24/7 Customer support

Disadvantages:

  • Lack of complete flexibility
  • Weak CMS capabilities for larger content sites
  • More difficult / impossible to do certain things outside of core feature set and app market
  • Weak catalog scalability for large and complex catalogs
  • Fees can increase dramatically as you increase your Shopify version
  • Transaction fees if you don’t use Shopify payments

WooCommerce:

Advantages:

  • Much better CMS capabilities
  • Full control of code base for customizations
  • Massive plugin options of almost 50,000
  • Can handle more complex catalogs
  • No transaction fees
  • Massive open source community contributing to progress

Disadvantages:

  • Requires hosting
  • Requires constant updates of core software and plugins
  • Not an eCommerce first platform
  • Requires a lot of maintenance to stay secure
  • Plugin conflicts can become a major problem
  • Will rely more heavily on a developer to maintain and improve
  • Weaker support through email

Conclusion:

WooCommerce: For technically savvy merchants WooCommerce could be a great option for people who want more control to add & customize plugins, customize their theme and other elements of the software in order to become an eCommerce powerhouse. Additionally, if you are a content heavy site that relies on blogging and other types of content like ebooks, but also have a need for eCommerce, WooCommerce makes a lot of sense.

Shopify: For businesses that want an eCommerce site first, with content and blogs being secondary, Shopify is a great choice and will probably work better than WooCommerce in most use cases by being easier to use and more cost effective to scale.

However, if your business requirements are very complex, looking at a more enterprise platform like Magento may also be necessary.

For help deciding on which platform to use please reach out to us at hello@trellis.co!

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