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WooCommerce or Shopify? How to Choose the Right Platform for Your Business

There are currently 2.1 million online retailers in the U.S. and 7.9 million in the world. Without a doubt, building an online store is an exciting undertaking. It’s a great opportunity to expand your reach, gain new audiences, and further research and develop your product or services.

The key is to make sure you partner with the right providers and companies from day one. If you’re considering tackling this task, you might’ve run across WooCommerce and Shopify, two top contenders in the world of e-commerce. Collectively, these giants boast billions of dollars on a global scale.

So, how do you choose between the two platforms? Research, and lots of it. Even if they are industry-leading platforms, no product is perfect and every business owner has unique needs. You will need to determine which one is best suited to your situation, business type, and goals. The following insights will help you get started.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce

As discussed, Shopify and WooCommerce have long positioned themselves as the best e-commerce platforms. When merchants look for a company to partner with as they build their online store, they typically think of these two platforms. They both have top ratings, create a user-friendly experience, and provide the support you need to take your online store to the next level.

While they have several similar features, WooCommerce and Shopify also have many differences too. WooCommerce, for example, is known for being customizable. That creativity, however, does come with a price tag. Meanwhile, Shopify offers a more complete package for business owners who are not interested in diving into the technical side of website building.

Here are a few more details that will help you decide which route you want to take:

  • Free Trial Length. You can try Shopify for free for 14 days, no credit card is required. WooCommerce is free, open-source software.
  • Transaction Fees. WooCommerce requires you to choose a hosting partner and purchase a domain name fee; hosting costs are around $120 a year, and $15 for a domain name. Shopify offers different pricing options, Basic Shopify $29/mo., a middle package for $79/mo. and an advanced reporting package at $299/mo.
  • Online/Offline Usability. WooCommerce can only be used online, while Shopify can be used online and offline.
  • Payment Methods. WooCommerce currently provides 80 payment gateways. Shopify is linked to the business owner’s bank account. 
  • Hosting. WooCommerce does not include hosting, but Shopify does.
  • Support. WooCommerce features an in-depth support tab and loads of online forums. Shopify also includes an easy search feature and direct contact with an expert for questions/assistance.
  • SEO. WooCommerce makes SEO simple with SEO plugins and the service provider Yoast for instant feedback. Shopify makes editing title tags, meta descriptions, and URLs for blog posts and webpages easy.
  • Blog. Both WooCommerce and Shopify include a website blog.

Above all, make sure the platform you choose is used by other businesses like yours. For example, if you’re operating a CBD shop, make sure the platform is successfully used by others in your industry. You want to make sure that they provide the customization and features that meet your unique needs (e.g. Shopify cbd).