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WooCommerce vs. Shopify

Consider your level of technical skills when choosing between these e-commerce platforms.

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that boasts millions of downloads with hundreds of extensions. But you’ll likely need some experience coding or with web design to take advantage of its integrations to customize your website.

On the other hand, Shopify is designed for users without any technical expertise. All you need is a computer and Internet access.

How do WooCommerce and Shopify compare?

Which should I choose?

Choose WooCommerce if you use WordPress.

Choose Shopify if you’re setting up an online shop for the first time.

Overview

A good option for e-commerce businesses comfortable with open-source developer tools.

A good option for small- to medium-sized businesses with no technical background looking for a hosted e-commerce platform.

Solutions

  • E-commerce
  • In-store
  • Mobile
  • E-commerce

Products

  • Website builder
  • Inventory tracking
  • Payment processing
  • Website builder
  • Inventory tracking
  • Shopping cart software
  • Shipping software

Monthly prices start at

Free

$9/mo

Contract required?

No

No

Pros

  • Free. WooCommerce’s core features, including three Storefront themes, are free with WordPress.
  • Easy to get started. Install the WooCommerce plugin to your existing WordPress site with only a few clicks.
  • Customizable. Over 400 extensions let you fully integrate WooCommerce with your site. Though you’ll pay for most extensions, and require some technical skill.
  • 24/7 support. Contact Shopify support any time by phone, e-mail, live chat and Twitter.
  • Multiple sales channels. Sell on multiple platforms — like Instagram, Facebook, Amazon and eBay. Shopify will automatically sync inventory and track sales.
  • Shipping discounts. Save on USPS, UPS and DHL shipping rates with discount tiers depending on your Shopify plan.
  • Web hosting. With the exception of Shopify Lite, its plans include website hosting.

Cons

  • Limited website integration. You can only use WooCommerce on an existing WordPress account.
  • Limited tech support. Get in touch with WooCommerce by submitting a support ticket. You may find yourself in a pickle if you need immediate help.
  • Find your own host. Website hosting, backups, maintenance and security are your responsibility.
  • Monthly subscription. After a 14-day free trial, Shopify costs between $9 to $2,000 per month, depending on your service tier.
  • Limited users. Most Shopify plans limit the number of users.
  • Transaction fees. If you opt to use a third-party processor to take payments, you’re charged a transaction fee for each order.

Tools

  • Inventory management. Track stock levels, hide out-of-stock items and get notified for low and out-of-stock items.
  • Tax calculations. Automatically calculate tax based on your store’s address or your customer’s information.
  • Coupons. Create coupons for whole carts, specific products or free shipping.
  • Refunds. Process one-click refunds from your WooCommerce dashboard.
  • Reporting. See your top products and view sales analytics.
  • Business name generator. Choose and set up your domain name.
  • Online store plugins. Directly integrate Shopify with over 3,200 apps and plugins to increase your website functionality.
  • Business marketing. Create digital marketing campaigns to reach your target audience.
  • Free stock photos. Access Shopify’s high-resolution photo collections to find images for your online store — all royalty free.
  • Custom storefront tools. Expand beyond your online store and add Shopify to games, apps or websites.

BBB letter rating

No BBB page

A+

Trustpilot rating" class="tooltip-format">

★★★★★

2.8/5

Based on 26 reviews

★★★★★

1.4/5

Based on 1,001 reviews

Reputation and customer reviews

  • Reviews are mixed.
  • Customers praise its versatile features and seamless integration with WordPress.
  • Customers complain about bugs from plugin updates.
  • Reviews are mostly negative.
  • Customers praise its usability and the ease of setting up a store.
  • Customers complain about transaction holds and account closures due to high-risk transactions.

Support

  • Email. The WooCommerce tech is limited to email.
  • Phone. Merchants in North America can call 855-816-3857 to speak with a Shopify rep.
  • Email. Fill out a secure online form on Shopify’s website for a response within one business day.
  • Live chat. From Shopify’s website, open up a live chat window to connect with a Shopify rep.
  • Twitter. Tweet at Shopify for a direct response from the support team.

Bottom line

WooCommerce is a good option if you already have an existing WordPress website and are looking to set up an online store. But if you’re not tech-savvy, Shopify may be a better option to host your website and set up your store in one fell swoop. And high-risk businesses may want to consider other merchant services to avoid account closures.

Frequently asked questions

Can you use WooCommerce without WordPress?

No, you can’t run WooCommerce without WordPress.

How many products can WooCommerce handle?

In some cases, over 100,000. WooCommerce can manage a substantial number of products. These stores had great hosting support and an optimized website.

When does Shopify release your funds?

Shopify takes two business days, from the time a customer places an order, to send the funds to your bank account in the United States.

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