Woocommerce vs Shopify: Which Should You Go For in 2022?

Web design on a computer

Woocommerce and Shopify are two ecommerce tools which allow you to open an online shop – but which is a best fit for your business? For our money, Shopify is definitely the one you should go for, as its website and sales features scored better than Woocommerce’s in our research. Shopify was also rated higher than Woocommerce by customers we surveyed.

We’ll admit that the playing field is not entirely level here. Woocommerce is an ecommerce software, unlike Shopify, which is a full ecommerce/builder platform. To put it simply: Woocommerce will render your online shop operational, whereas, with Shopify, you’ll be able to build your webstore from the ground up.

Woocommerce’s plentiful plugins will appeal to the cyber-savvy and customisation aficionados, but Shopify’s design features and ease of use are out to please even the most code-averse business owners. In our research – which included both in-house testing and customer-sourced feedback – Shopify scored an amazing 4.7/5 against Woocommerce’s 3.8/5.

While looking into which ecommerce solution is best for you may be daunting, we’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to. With 10+ years of experience, we tested both platforms and you can find the takeaways of our research below. Just read on.

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Woocommerce

Shopify

Score
3.8
Score
4.7
Best For

Those looking to work on their own

Best For

Sales-specific features

Price Range

Platform itself is free, but associated charges could average $31/month

Price Range

$7-$2,627+/month

Key Features
  • Plugin coupled with WordPress CMS
  • Allows for extensive tinkering
  • 24/7 text-based support
  • No set prices – you only pay for what you need
Key Features
  • Self-hosts its sites
  • Wide multichannel integration
  • Stock-monitoring
  • Advanced specialist customer support
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free trial
Free trial

Woocommerce vs Shopify: Head-to-Head

Woocommerce allows room for deeper customisation and offers more hands-on support than Shopify. These qualities make it great for small businesses, self-starters and design-centred shops.

For medium and large businesses, Shopify’s scale and advanced reporting makes it a better option than Woocommerce. Shopify’s sales features trump what Woocommerce offers, despite Woocommerce’s support being more comprehensive than Shopify’s. Overall, we think Shopify’s the best between the two.

WoocommerceShopify
Website Features

(Winner: Shopify)

Doesn’t provide them on its own. Rather, they’re provided by partner company, WordPress.Provides the websites, hosts them, and allows you to buy your own domain – all within its quarters.
Sales Features

(Winner: Shopify)

Integrates with five major payment platforms.Integrates with three major payment platforms, plus allows sales via social media and in-person.
Design Functionalities

(Winner: Shopify)

52 native themes, plus plenty of customisation, but requires tech-savviness.92 native and quite customisable themes that look pristine.
Value for Money

(Winner: Woocommerce)

Customisation of spending allows you to work out a personal way to get more for your investment.Fixed-price tiers are easier to budget for, but costs are on the higher end.
Help and Support

(Winner: Woocommerce)

24/7 support available to all versions along with very hands-on with a thorough knowledge centre.24/7 support (though not accessible to all plans). Knowledge centre could be more detailed.
Customer Score

(Winner: Shopify)

Platform’s intricate nature was a thorn in the platform’s side when it came to customer feedback.Shopify’s customers were impressed with the user experience and highly likely to recommend it.
Ease of Use

Tie

Steep learning curve can demand a lot of time and effort (and potentially external help).Hassle-free and filled with useful automation during the set-up process.

The difference between the tools can bring strategic advantages. For instance, Woocommerce is based on the popular content management system WordPress. If you already have a site there and want to develop it into a store, we’d be hard-pressed to give you an easier way to do so.

That said, for someone starting fresh, and without a site, Shopify offers an overall service which allows you not only to create one but also host it and integrate it with ecommerce.

Woocommerce Overview

Woocommerce is an ecommerce software which enables you to turn a WordPress site into an online shop. It’s free – so if you already have a WordPress site, that’s a cheap way of getting into ecommerce. Extensions allow for deep customisation, but require a tech-savvy person to set them up. It’s best for small businesses owners, who can rely on its excellent customer support. Unlike Shopify, it doesn’t offer website building or hosting of its own but it provides better value for money.

Woocommerce logo
Woocommerce
3.8
Pricing Free, but associated charges could average $31 per month
Quick overview

Woocommerce is an ecommerce software that allows customers to turn a WordPress site into a webstore. It was designed as a plugin to expand the possibilities of WordPress - whose team developed it before it branched out - and therefore is of great benefit to the userbase of this popular content management system. It scored 3.8/5 in our research, with its help and support in particular scoring a perfect 5/5.

Woocommerce's greatest asset is its low price tag - the tool itself is free - and high customisation, both in design and functionality. Unlike most of its competitors, its features are priced separately, not as parts of set tiers, which means customers can pay only for what's useful for them therefore reducing the investment.

Its Achilles' heel, however, is the steep learning curve the platform poses to new users, as the wide possibilities it offers require some degree of technical knowledge to be unleashed - something even its happy customers pointed out.

Shopify Overview

Shopify is a full ecommerce/builder platform with which you can build and host your website as well as equip it for ecommerce. It’s offered in five priced tiers, with no free option. For business owners who haven’t got a site yet, it’s a neat solution to get started despite the need of initial investment. It suits medium to large businesses owners, which will appreciate the detailed stock and reporting capabilities of the platform. It’s not as customisable as Woocommerce but its set-up is more intuitive.

Shopify logo
Shopify
4.7
Pricing $7-$387 per month
Quick overview

Shopify is an integrated web builder and ecommerce platform that offers customers the chance to set up an online shop with very little hassle. It scored 4.7/5 in our research, being praised by customers for its intuitive layout and spot-on backend automation. Its website and sales features also scored high among the criteria we surveyed.

Shopify's strongest suit is integration, in the sense that you can manage a considerable part of your business in one place and expand its potential through various plugins and additional software. Of note, one of these allows for customers to sell straight from their social media accounts - a handy tool for self-starting small businesses that doesn't require a lot of spending. Despite being a big name on ecommerce, it also integrates with its own POS system platform, designed with in-person sales in mind.

Shopify's provided in five priced tiers. For all the features it offer, it requires a considerable initial investment - something that made it score lowly in our value for money assessment. Its help and support, while extensive, is not available to all users - and in Canada, it lacks the phone option available to markets such as the US and Australia.

Woocommerce Pricing vs Shopify Pricing

Packing various features for a small initial investment – or none if you already own a WordPress site – Woocommerce offers the best value. In our research, Woocommerce scored 4.3/5 against Shopify’s 3/5 on value for money – a result influenced by Shopify’s lack of a free version and high price on its Advanced plan. As Woocommmerce’s pricing varies, it’s difficult to compare it to the competitors’. Shopify’s pricing, however, puts it on par with BigCommerce but is more expensive than Wix and Squarespace.

Woocommerce Pricing

Potential Woocommerce users are wooed by its price tag: the platform is free. But, unlike Shopify, Woocommerce doesn’t host the websites using it, so you’d have to pay for hosting, which averages $21 per month if you’re aiming for an ecommerce-tailored one, and likely for extensions, which average $79 per year. There’s also a high chance of you needing a paid theme for your shop, which averages at $38 per year.

With all of the above taken into account, Woocommerce would only be free if you’re already paying to host a WordPress website, and you don’t require any paid extensions or themes.

This structure means that, on one hand, since Woocommerce doesn’t work with set prices, it can be difficult to budget for your requirements. On the other hand, because every feature is provided separately, you can buy only what works for your business and get more for your investment.

Shopify Pricing

Shopify’s pricing is more streamlined than that of Woocommerce – and it includes web hosting. Shopify comes in five packages: Starter, which is $7 per month; Basic, which is $38 per month; the medium-tier (titled simply Shopify), which costs $103 per month; Advanced, which costs $387 per month; and Plus, its bespoke plan aimed at larger companies, which starts at $2,627/month.

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Starter

Basic

Shopify

Advanced

Plus

Price (Paying Annually)

$7/month

Price (Paying Annually)

$34.17/month

Price (Paying Annually)

$89.08/month

Price (Paying Annually)

$350.08/month

Price (Paying Annually)

From $2,627/month

Best For

Adding a buy button to your existing website or social media

Best For

Starting a small online store

Best For

Growing your business

Best For

Larger online stores

Best For

High volume merchants, large businesses

Key Features
  • Get “shoppable links” (URLs) to sell your products on social media and more
  • Product pages
  • Basic order management
  • Customer support
Key Features
  • Unlimited products
  • Four inventory locations
  • Two staff accounts
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Domestic credit card rate (online): 2.9% + 30¢
Key Features
  • Ecommerce automations
  • Five inventory locations
  • Five staff accounts
  • Domestic credit card rate (online): 2.7% + 30¢
Key Features
  • 15 staff accounts
  • Eight inventory locations
  • Advanced reports
  • Third-party calculated shipping
  • Domestic credit card rate (online): 2.4% + 30¢
Key Features
  • 99.99% uptime
  • Built-in AR, video, 3D media on product pages
  • Automation for complex processes
  • Faster checkout
Transaction Fees

5%

Transaction Fees

2%

Transaction Fees

1%

Transaction Fees

0.5%

Transaction Fees

0.15%

These costs are based on the monthly costs of an annual plan – if you decide to pay monthly, the bill could go up 50% depending on the plan you choose, which is worth bearing in mind.

Considering its all-encompassing nature (which helped it become one of the best overall ecommerce platforms in Canada), Shopify packs a punch, especially for medium to large businesses, which can benefit from the features available on its top tiers, despite their sizable price tags.

Woocommerce vs Shopify: Which One Has the Best Free Plan?

Woocommerce has the best free plan – if only for the fact it has one while Shopify doesn’t. That said, despite its nominal $0 cost, Woocommerce’s regular usage likely entails payments for extensions, as well as hosting and templates to render your online shop operational. While lacking a free plan, Shopify does offer a 14-day free trial.

Best for Website Features: Shopify

Shopify takes this one mainly because, unlike Woocommerce, you can build and host a website there. Being a plugin, Woocommerce websites are actually WordPress ones and their hosting is handled by third-party companies (BlueHost is their recommended choice), which is a technicality worth mentioning. For its ability to set up shop wholesale with less faff, Shopify’s a clear winner.

WoocommerceShopify
Score3.94.2
Key FeatureHosting is provided by WordPressHosts website and allows for domain purchase
Shopify website builder
Shopify offers a website builder as well as a hosting service

Best for Sales Features: Shopify

While Woocommerce does have more payment options (it offers or integrates with five major payment platforms: Amazon, Stripe, Square, PayPal and Apple Pay), Shopify’s ability to set up shop pretty much anywhere more than compensates for the three payment platforms it currently works with (Stripe, Square and PayPal). With Shopify, you can also sell directly through social media, so it wins this one too.

WoocommerceShopify
Score44.7
Key FeatureIntegrates with POS systemsIntegrates with POS systems and social media platforms
Shopify TikTok integration
Shopify integrates with social media platforms such as TikTok

Best for Design Functionalities: Shopify

Design-wise, Shopify’s greatest asset is the fact that it allows you to have a slick website even if you’re the most code-averse of business owners. The templates look pristine and highly customisable. Woocommerce’s customisation, while extensive, will require more time and effort. As far as we can tell, it’s third time lucky for Shopify.

WoocommerceShopify
Score2.53.9
Key FeatureDesign is bound by tech knowledge of the userPlentiful responsive themes with no need for coding input
Shopify logo maker
One of Shopify's design features, Hatchful, allows you to create your own logo

Best for Value for Money: Woocommerce

Compared to Shopify’s set price tiers, Woocommerce allows you to build a set-up which works for you while allowing for the spending to be very compartmentalised – and therefore more manageable. Also, it’s worth noting that Shopify charges payment fees of its own while Woocommerce doesn’t, which ended up hurting the former’s cost-benefit assessment. Therefore, Woocommerce wins in this category.

WoocommerceShopify
Score4.33
Key FeatureFeatures are priced separately so pricing can attend specific needs for lessPricing is set into tiers that gravitate towards the dear end
Woocommerce plugin store
Woocommerce's features are pay-as-you-use and you can go only for those useful to you

Best for Help and Support: Woocommerce

Woocommerce’s 24/7 live chat is a key pro of the platform, plus the knowledge centre is very thorough and provides a lot of answers – this comes in handy if you don’t feel like speaking to someone. Shopify also offers 24/7 support but not for all plans – Starter users don’t have access to it – and its knowledge centre doesn’t cover as much ground, so Woocommerce comes out triumphant here.

WoocommerceShopify
Score54.4
Key Feature24/7 text-based support available to all users24/7 text- and phone-based support available to most users
Woocommerce support page
Woocommerce's help and support is stellar despite lacking a phone contact

Best in Customer Score: Shopify

Beyond our own testing, we also reach out to fellow users of the platforms with a survey so we can compare our findings to that of an outside audience. Our research into this topic shows that users side with Shopify. Users highlighted that  Woocommerce was an intricate platform, with many customers saying they either required help from a dedicated professional to run it, or needed to set time aside to learn it for themselves. In the end, Shopify’s intuitive layout won over the clientele.

WoocommerceShopify
Score3.84.8
Key FeatureUsers highlighted the intricacy of the platformCustomer praised its intuitive layout

Best for Ease of Use: Tie

Both platforms score 3.5/5 in this category. Shopify allows for a relatively hassle-free start and you can make it work without coding knowledge. However, the design bit can be a bit clunky and overwhelming at times, which isn’t ideal.

Woocommerce’s set-up is not easy, requiring considerable time and effort. While usage gets progressively smoother, even fans of the platform note these growing pains.

WoocommerceShopify
Score3.53.5
Key FeatureLearning curve can be steepStart is relatively hassle-free

Woocommerce vs Shopify: How Do They Compare to the Competition?

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Shopify

Wix

BigCommerce

Squarespace

Woocommerce

Score
4.7
Score
4.6
Score
4.4
Score
4.3
Score
3.8
Best For

Sales-specific features

Best For

Creating a good-looking website with excellent sales features

Best For

Multichannel selling

Best For

Selling digital products or portfolios

Best For

Those looking to work on their own

Price Range

$7-$2,627+/month

Price Range

CAD$28-$49 per month

Price Range

$38-$376/month

Price Range

CAD$29-$63/month

10% off with code EM10

Price Range

Platform itself is free, but associated charges could average $31/month

Key Features
  • Self-hosts its sites
  • Wide multichannel integration
  • Stock-monitoring
  • Advanced specialist customer support
Key Features
  • Plentiful design tools
  • Lots of features for your money
  • Strong social media integration
  • Limited automated sales tax
  • No transaction fees
Key Features
  • Focused at larger businesses
  • Integrates with marketplaces like Amazon and eBay
  • Provides SEO guidances
  • More in-built tools than most competitors
Key Features
  • Highly detailed templates
  • Unlimited storage space
  • Plentiful marketing tools
  • Improved ease of use
  • Allows for members area and subscriptions
Key Features
  • Plugin coupled with WordPress CMS
  • Allows for extensive tinkering
  • 24/7 text-based support
  • No set prices – you only pay for what you need
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free trial
Free trial
Free trial
Free trial
Free trial

According to our research, Shopify is the best overall among the platforms we looked into. Big Commerce, due to its focus on large scale orders and ultra detailed inventory features, is still the best choice for large businesses but, apart from these, Shopify covers you.

Wix and Squarespace are other massively popular alternatives that get high praise for their design and, like Woocommerce, it also appeals to self-starters. It’s Shopify’s inventory features that trump them all. It’s also worth mentioning Squarespace’s cheaper price tag beats Shopify and puts it close to Woocommerce in value for money.

And the Winner Is... Shopify

For the numerous solutions it offers, alongside a sleek design and advanced sales features, Shopify trumps Woocommerce here. Woocommerce does lend itself better to self-starters who are keen on customising a digital storefront to perfection, but Shopify is an all-around platform that ticks more boxes without sacrificing user-friendliness.

However, Woocommerce’s customer service is top-notch and its compartmentalised pricing means that you  can personalise your shop with precise investment – the savings can be even bigger if you have a WordPress site. This is not a common feature among the ecommerce tools we surveyed so, if it sounds interesting to you, check Woocommerce’s website to know more.

Due to its scalability and insightful reports, Shopify is a platform which can benefit medium and large businesses that are looking to expand and consolidate. Its priced tiers include various native and integrated functions, which is key to achieve these goals. If your business is at this stage, head on over to Shopify’s website to know more.

Woocommerce vs Shopify FAQs

Is Woocommerce better than Shopify?
It isn’t. Shopify scores higher than Woocommerce in most of the categories we researched and it’s the best between the two.
Which is most popular: Woocommerce or Shopify?
With over 6 million live websites using it, Woocommerce is more popular than Shopify, which ranks up short of 4 million live websites at the time of writing. That said, Woocommerce’s popularity could be more related to the fact that it’s coupled with a popular content management platform (WordPress) than its ecommerce features.
Which is Shopify's biggest competitor?
Currently, both in popularity and research-backed approval, Wix is a runner-up on the market in which Shopify thrives
Can you switch from Woocommerce to Shopify?
You can. Shopify accepts migration from most platforms, provided that the extracted files from them are compatible with it. It has also published a guide on how to do this.
Can you switch from Shopify to Woocommerce?
You can but, unlike Shopify, Woocommerce doesn’t have a native tool for you to carry this out. You’d have to resort to third-party software, such as Cart2Cart or LitExtension, to do it.

Lucas is a Brazilian-born journalist and Expert Market’s go-to writer for all things EPOS and merchant accounts. Having covered business, politics and technology for many years, he’s driven by his passion for the written word and his goal to help people make well-informed decisions.