November 21, 2019

WooCommerce vs Shopify – Which is Best for Dropshipping?

Choosing between the Gods of eCommerce can be confusing.

WooCommerce and Shopify are both equally good and can be a great solution for your dropshipping store.

However, it’s not about which of the two is better, but which one is best suited for your dropshipping business, which naturally depends on your business goals and circumstances.

In this article, we’ll be comparing both the platforms based on some parameters and by the end of it, you’ll be better positioned to decide which platform is right for your dropshipping business.

Here’s a quick glance at the parameters on which we will be comparing the two:

Let’s start!

1. WooCommerce vs Shopify: Design

Every website focuses on design as a point of attraction. If a website is not aesthetically pleasing, chances are your visitors may bounce off. As an owner, you want your site to look beautiful and work even more beautifully, right?

Shopify offers over 100 themes (90 premium, 10 free). These themes are professionally designed to look great and can be customized as per your needs. Moreover, it’s designed to work well on your mobiles as well. However, the premium themes can go up to $180.

You can also check out some of the best Shopify themes like Wokiee and Basel that provide clean and customizable designs.

The neat feature-set makes it pretty simple to change elements like colors and styles to fit your needs. You can also edit sections of your store without taking it offline.

It is designed to quickly load pages reducing bounce rates and increase conversions. But, if you want to make any major changes to the designs, you can only do so by learning their specialized ‘Liquid’ language or hire a coder.

Shopify also supports Right-to-Left languages if you wish to change your language but, it’d require some amount of coding.

WooCommerce, on the other hand, in aspects of design, offers thousands of themes, a lot of which are free.

You can choose custom themes as well from ThemeForest, Artemis for a price.

It allows you to freely manage front-end elements like colors and navigation tools to enhance the user experience.
You can customize the design as per your needs and it looks great on mobile phones as well.

Any major changes you want to make to the designs, you’d need a developer to do it. However, the coding language required is popular and common unlike Shopify’s exclusive ‘Liquid’.

WooCommerce lets you switch to ‘Right-to-left’ language by simply installing an RTL plugin and ensuring your theme supports it.

Winner?

Both the platforms give a clean and professional feel to your site. But, if we had to choose one, it’d be WooCommerce since it provides design flexibility at a low cost.

2. WooCommerce vs Shopify: Price

Are you starting a new business or on a tight budget?

Pricing is an important factor to consider when it comes to deciding which platform to use while starting your business.

Shopify pricing plans

Shopify offers three plans for your dropshipping store:

  • Basic plan: Allows you to sell unlimited products with $29/month and charges 2% transactional fees for non-Shopify payments.
  • Standard plan: Starts at $79/month and allows you to provide gift cards, access professional reports and charges 1% fees for non-Shopify payments.
  • Advanced Shopify plan: Starts at $299/month. It comes with automatic calculated reports and shipping rates. Charges 0.5% for non-Shopify payments.

You can try Shopify for 14 days before opting for one of the plans. Once you have chosen your plan you have to pay on a monthly subscription model.

As your business grows, the prices will also increase significantly since you’d be purchasing more add-ons, third-party plugins, and tools.

WooCommerce is a free, open-source plugin. While the plugin is free, there are additional costs you’ll have to bear in order to run an online store.

 You’ll need a web hosting (average: ~$8.5/month), a domain name (~$10/year), and an SSL Certificate (~$7/year) along with a dropshipping plugin like AliDropship Woo (~$89 one time payment) and a theme like Flatsome (~$59).

Remember, your prices will increase as you scale your store. But, with WooCommerce, you can usually find free alternatives for the paid add-ons or extensions.

Winner?

If price is a huge concern, we’d recommend using WooCommerce for your dropshipping store.

3. WooCommerce vs Shopify: Features

When it comes to features, both WooCommerce and Shopify provide essential features to run a dropshipping store. But, there are minor differences.

Shopify offers powerful features like:

  • Add and sell Unlimited products from your dropshipping store.
  • Flexible shipping methods to choose from and automatic shipping fee calculation 
  • Generate as many Discount codes as you want by default.
  • Sell physical and digital products through your store.
  • Advanced reports/analytics regarding sales, profits, etc. to give you an overview of your business.

These are some of the basic features Shopify offers. However, you can extend these base features by purchasing plugins through Shopify Apps.

For advanced functionalities like email marketing, in-depth financial and inventory analysis, etc, there are several third-party apps available at your disposal.

In the case of WooCommerce, it offers pretty much everything that Shopify does. While it may not offer all the features upfront like Shopify but, mostly, there are plugins you can download which offer the functionalities you’re looking for.

Whatever function you need, a plugin is usually available. But, in case you don’t find one, there’s a sea of WordPress developers who’d love to create one for you.

Let’s see what you’ll get with WooCommerce:

  • Supports all WordPress themes
  • Flexible shipping methods to choose from and automatic shipping fee calculation 
  • Built-in payment options – PayPal and Stripe
  • Add and sell unlimited products through your dropshipping store.
  • Complete control over your website to change things as per your needs.

Winner?

Both of these platforms offer similar core features and are great when it comes to additional functionalities.

So, it’s a Draw!

4. WooCommerce vs Shopify: Ease of Use

Here we talk about the ease of setting up and managing your dropshipping store with either of the platforms.

Shopify dashboard
Source: Pagely.com

Shopify is very easy to use. All you have to do is log on to their site, signup through the subscription, go through the basic setup wizard and you’re set! 

You don’t have to worry about hosting, SSL Certificate or any of the technical abilities. Shopify takes care of it all. You can take your dropshipping store live in no time!

The interface is clearly laid out – it allows you to add products and make edits.

WooCommerce dashboard
Source: www.pagely.com

WooCommerce is pretty easy to set up as well. Whilst managing your store is as easy as Shopify, setting up your store is a slightly tedious process.

There are a few steps to complete before you can begin.

Steps:

  • Get a domain name
  • Buy a web hosting
  • Install WordPress
  • Install WooCommerce
  • Install the needed plugins

Also, the interface is pretty straightforward – you can easily add new products, make edits to pricing, payments, and many other things.

Winner?

WooCommerce is as easy to use as Shopify. However, setting up your dropshipping store may take a little longer, unlike Shopify which only requires you to sign up.

We believe, Shopify takes this one by a knick.

5. WooCommerce vs Shopify: Support

Despite the fully-functioning dropshipping store, you may run into trouble or hurdles once in a while and you may need help solving those hurdles or challenges.

Shopify takes pride in offering excellent customer care. It takes great efforts to offer 24*7 customer support via emails, calls or live chats to help you out.

As for WooCommerce, there’s no official support system in place. But, this doesn’t mean you can’t find solutions to your problems.

You can always find support on their forums or by creating a free account on WooCommerce. Since WordPress and WooCommerce are open source, you can always contact the developers who create plugins and themes for support.

Winner?

Well, Shopify has an upper hand in terms of Help & Support.

6. WooCommerce vs Shopify: Security

When you’re running an online store, security is a huge concern since you’re processing transactions through your store. Great problems can arise if your site or customers’ data is compromised.

You don’t want a data breach fiasco like The Home Depot on your hands, do you?

WooCommerce doesn’t come with any in-built security measures. You need to get your own SSL certificate, ensure that the hosting company has secure servers, and install security plugins to avoid any breach of data and ensure safe transactions. Also, you’d have to get your store Payment Card Industry(PCI) Compliant on your own.

In the case of Shopify, it takes care of the security aspect. You don’t have to worry about getting an SSL certificate or about someone hacking into your website. It covers everything right from the start. Moreover, Shopify is Payment Card Industry(PCI) Compliant.

Shopify Security
Source: www.websitetooltester.com

Winner?

Clearly, Shopify provides hassle-free security for your dropshipping store.

7. WooCommerce vs Shopify: SEO

People landing on your page when they google for a product is of utmost importance for any business.

Well, for that to happen, your website needs to rank higher on Google which is possible only through good SEO.

So, the basic SEO functions like Meta descriptions and Tags work perfectly fine on your Shopify powered dropshipping store. However, it restricts your freedom to choose your URLs.

Shopify also offers popular apps like SEO Doctor to improve your google ranking but, these apps are expensive.

On the other hand, WooCommerce increases the chances of your page ranking higher on Google for specific keywords. You can simply add and edit meta information and content.

Using WordPress gives you an advantage to simply add SEO plugins that are free and comes with advanced features like Yoast SEO to optimize your product and rank higher on google.

Winner?

From a SEO perspective, WooCommerce proves to be a better choice for your dropshipping store.

8. WooCommerce vs Shopify: Ownership

As an owner, you’d always want to be in control of your dropshipping store, wouldn’t you?

With Shopify, you’re neither hosting the website or domain yourself. If you violate any of their policies, you can end up losing your store and investments. You do not have absolute control of your store.

Whereas, with WooCommerce, you’re in full control of your website and are free to do whatever you want.

It’s like, with Shopify, you’re just renting the apartment, while with WooCommerce, you own the house!

Winner?

We’d recommend WooCommerce as it allows you to be in control of your store.W

WooCommerce Dropshipping vs Shopify Dropshipping – Comparison Table

ParametersWooCommerceShopify
Design4/53.5/5
Price4/53/5
Features4.5/54.5/5
Ease of Use4/54.5/5
Support3/54.5/5
Security3.5/54.5/5
SEO4.5/53.5/5
Ownership4.5/53/5

Some alternatives?

Both WooCommerce and Shopify are the big players. However, you can also test the other alternatives like BigCommerce, Wix, Volusion, etc. for dropshipping.

The Final Takeaway…

Both WooCommerce and Shopify are an excellent choice for setting up a dropshipping store. The difference is very minute.

WooCommerce is recommended if you want SEO friendly, within the budget and full ownership of your website, whereas, Shopify comes with good support, best level of security and easy to use interface even for a non-technical person.

The choice is yours; just let us know which one you decide to go for and why!



Disclosure: Some of the links in this blog post might be affiliate links. When you purchase through a link on our website, we receive a small commission, at no added cost to you, which helps us run Epitrove and keep producing great content. This does not influence our recommendations; we only recommend products we work with or love. Thank you for your support!

Love Shah
Love Shah

I can't function without tea, books, and movies. When not working, you'll find me weaving stories.

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