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WooCommerce vs. Shopify for Dropshipping Businessby@lanamiro
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WooCommerce vs. Shopify for Dropshipping Business

by Lana MiroDecember 10th, 2019
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The search interest in this term reached its highest point in 2019. As a mediator, you should focus a lot on the marketing side. Reaching the clients with a convenient, modern website that works without bugs is effective. Both WooCommerce and Shopify are good, though not perfect. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of taste. WooCommerce vs. Shopify is an online store builder. It ensures selling all types of goods/services. It is possible to sell products on the Shopify website, Facebook, Amazon, and eBay. With Shopify Payments, you avoid transaction fees.
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We already discussed the principles of the dropshipping and risks related to it. Although it indeed carries risks, it’s a developing eCommerce form. It is involving more people on three sides: buyers, intermediates, and producers. 

Is dropshipping alive?

Definitely. According to Google Trends, it is thriving worldwide. The search interest in this term reached its highest point in 2019. 

Source: Google Trends

Is dropshipping profitable? 

Definitely, if you make it so. As a mediator, you should focus a lot on the marketing side. Reaching the clients with a convenient, modern website that works without bugs is effective. 

For this purpose, a first step should lie in using a reliable platform. In this article, we will consider two of them: WooCommerce and Shopify. A spoiler – both of them are good, though not perfect. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of taste. 

In my turn, I’ll make an unbiased overview of these two guys covering their strong and weak sides. So, to get some insights from the experienced user, keep on reading. 

What about the next steps? I’ll also talk about them in a while. 

Shopify: Pros. Cons. Peculiarities. 

Shopify is an online store builder. It ensures selling all types of goods/services. 

You can: 

  • organize them in many ways
  • adjust the store to the brand’s conception 
  • accept online and credit card payments
  • track the orders 
  • communicate with the customers

There are dozens of features that don’t harm the performance.

Among its main advantages are: 

  • ease of use. The interface is clean and modern. There is no chance of being confused. 
  • accessibility to the beginners and advanced users. Have no coding skills? You will enjoy the drag and drop nature of the platform. Need to change CSS or HTML code? You are welcome.
  • included hosting. Shopify is a hosted solution. It offers reliable hosting that ensures a smooth website’s work. 
  • ease of customization. Shopify allows adjusting the website to the brand’s conception. You can change the store’s look, the products’ organization. There are large add-ons libraries. 
  • 100+ optimized store designs available from the official provider 
  • strong integration with other sell channels. It’s possible to sell products on the Shopify website, Facebook, Amazon, and eBay
  • “Buy Button” option. There is an opportunity to add a “Buy Button” to a third-party website. 
  • own payment system. With Shopify Payments, you avoid transaction fees. Although, not every country supports this payment system. 
  • over 100 third-party payment gateway providers. There are countries that don’t support Shopify Payments. In this case, turn to third-party gateway providers. Shopify supports 100+ of them. 
  • digital and physical products sale
  • “point of sale” and hardware. PoS stands for selling online and offline also. With Shopify, you can sell on market stalls, in retail outlets and showrooms, on events. It has the necessary hardware for that. 
  • data import from a CSV file. It’s handy for bulk upload or data transfer from another online store.
  • diverse product categories. For instance, you can create automated collections based on product titles, tags. It’s convenient and saves the customer’s time. 
  • abandoned cart recovery. You can track the orders that were not completed. This option is useful for contacting the clients who gave up on the order at any stage. Sending emails with special offers or information with similar products makes sense. 
Shopify platform is amazing.

Still, there are a couple of cons to consider

  • payment system pitfalls. Shopify Payments are available in a limited number of countries. Payments through the third-party getaways charge credit card rate fees. The fees vary and can be as high as 3%. 
  • confusing Shopify-Facebook integration. You can sell using Facebook and Messenger. Still, through Facebook, you only can sell shippable products. Plus, buying with Facebook isn’t that convenient for customers. For instance, there is no Add to Cart option. A person can buy only one item at a go.
  • images edit issues. Shopify doesn’t crop images with different aspect ratios. Images of different sizes don’t look attractive. The only solution is to crop them yourself in an editing program. It is exhausting, especially if you upload dozens of images.  
  • a limited number of the product options. There are only three product options, though there are 100+ variants of a single product. If you are choosing a coat, you only can limit a search with three filters. Solution: use third-party apps or add a 'line item property' code.
  • no free plan – only free trial 
  • no email hosting
  • advanced features at a higher price
  • all apps are also paid. 

In general, Shopify is a good choice for both beginners and advanced users. It has store templates for all niches. It’s easy to use and customizable. Plus, it offers a large number of dropshipping apps. The apps make the process of sourcing suppliers and selling the goods easier. This article contains a super detailed Shopify overview. 

WooCommerce. Pros. Cons. Peculiarities. 

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin for turning a website into an online store. It was downloaded 80 million+ times. Now, it powers 22% of all stores. 

Its key features are: 

  • WordPress integration
  • a modular system that allows using only certain options
  • open-source nature – make any changes 
  • managed on GitHub 
  • powerful SEO 

It stands out with its optimization potential. You can add related products and highlight them. It’s possible to add coupons and edit a dashboard. SEO optimization is another WooCommerce’s strong side. 

Besides, there is a bunch of perks you’d enjoy:

  • 400+ official extensions. Easy to use and download. There are extensions for shipping and payments, as well as for marketing and accounting. 
  • powerful REST API management system 
  • unlimited customization options. WooCommerce is known to be the most customizable eCommerce platform. You can edit almost everything. It’s possible to either change the code or enjoy the drag and drop nature.  
  • countless themes. WooCommerce and dozens of third-party marketplaces offer an unlimited number of themes. There are solutions for different tastes and pockets. I’ll talk about the worthy ones later. 
  • diverse product categories, tags, and attributes. You can make the process of choosing the product easy and convenient. +100 to UX and your karma. There are also awesome product sorting and filtering options. 
  • libraries with unlimited images 
  • unlimited number of items to add 

By the way, you can sell both digital and physical items. 

  • data import/export with a CSV file 
  • diverse payment and shipping options. The customers can choose between online and credit card payments, as well as between pickup, local delivery or shipping. 
  • free 

Despite a large number of pros, there are also some cons to consider

  • no built-in hosting. Though the plugin is free, the hosting is paid. It’s approximately $10 per month. 
  • shipping restrictions. Though the shipping policy is quite flexible, there are some restrictions based on location. 
  • no official support. There is no phone support. Instead, you can apply for tickets or solve an issue yourself. 

In general, WooCommerce is a good choice. Keep in mind that it works together with WordPress. It’s amazing if you already have a WordPress website. Then, you can switch it to an online store in a matter of clicks. Otherwise, you need to make up a WordPress website first

Shopify vs. WooCommerce 

Both of them are okay for creating a store. They are easy to use, have libraries with dozens of extensions and themes. Their websites show good performance and are optimized for speed and search engines. Still, there are some differences that might help you to make a choice in favor of one of them. 

WooCommerce is cheaper. 

What you need to pay for sure using WooCommerce is hosting. A reasonable solution will cost you $10 per month. The cheapest Shopify plan is $29. The difference might be imperceptible when you run one website only. Still, you will feel it when you have 5+ websites.

In this case, “cheap” doesn’t stand for poor quality. 

WooCommerce has more themes 

Shopify has 60 themes that suit the dropshipping concept. 10 of them are free. The second platform offers 1000+ of solutions, most of them are free. 

WooCommerce has more free extensions 

Shopify has 1200 paid apps with a free trial. In its turn, WooCommerce has 75,000 extensions. Most of them are free. 

Shopify has 24/7 support 

WooCommerce has only tickets support which is super inconvenient. Still, it has a large community with forums where you can get an answer to any issue.

As a bottom line, I’d say that both of the builders are good for an online store. WooCommerce suits people with some tech background. An existing WordPress website simplifies the process. Still, Shopify is an amazing alternative, especially for non-techies. 

Now, as I promised, I disclose worthy providers of the themes for two platforms

Where to Get Shopify & WooCommerce Themes?

Hundreds of providers offer free and paid WooCommerce themes. Here, I share the worthiest ones. 

WooCommerce themes providers: 

Official WooCommerce website

There are up to 20 themes on the official portal. There are items for different business niches. There are free and paid solutions. 

TemplateMonster

There are 700+ WooCommerce themes on this marketplace including the famous WooStroid. I usually buy themes from these guys. The choice is wide indeed and I often find something suitable. 

ElegantThemes 

There are 14 layout packs with 100+ layouts for different purposes. Divi+WooCommerce integration ensures an easy and stress-free web building process. 

Themify 

Here are a couple of worthy multipurpose solutions from Themify. 

WPZoom 

This provider offers a modest number of themes but the quality is good indeed.

Now, I’d like to share a couple of resources with Shopify themes: 

Official Shopify website 

Free and paid solutions from the official party. 

TemplateMonster 

Again, these guys beat the records. 800+ solutions for different niches. The quality is outstanding. 

Envato 

Another rich collection with Shopify themes. . 

ThemeForest 

One more great collection of themes for your future store. 

Sum Up

It’s hard to give an exact answer to 'Which platform to use for a store?' question.

As I said, if you are sure about your technical skills, you can try WooCommerce. These guys have no technical support. Still, they stand out with the SEO and speed optimization, customization options, numbers of extensions and themes. If you don’t choose it for some reason, Shopify is the best alternative. 

Disclaimer: I do not have a vested interest in any of the projects mentioned above