Low Pricing (weighted 11%)
Zero fees are required when acquiring WooCommerce. It works as a plugin that you download and install on your WordPress dashboard.
The plugin is a completely open source tool, meaning you can use blogs, tools and extensions that are created from people all over the world. Some of the default features that come with the plugin are mobile compatibility, currency controls, unlimited product support, automated tax calculations, geo-location support and five payment gateways already installed on the system.
Many WordPress themes are particularly made for the plugin, you don't have to pay any transaction fees and CRM tools are included.
It's a standalone WordPress plugin, whereas Shopify is a commercial product, with monthly fees and many built-in features.
9 USD/ month + 2.9% + 30¢ credit card fees
Upload however many products you want, but you don't get an online store. Receive the Shopify Buy button, support for discount codes and manual order creation tools.
29 USD/ month + 2.9% + 30¢ credit card fees
Create however many products you want, and receive an online store. A website and blog come along with this plan, as well as discount codes and Pinterest buttons.
79 USD/ month + 2.6% + 30¢ credit card fees
Create however many products you need, run an online store, sell on Facebook and create your own website and blog. Gift cards are available, along with professional reports, abandoned cart recovery and Pinterest buttons.
299 USD/ month + 2.4% + 30¢ credit card fees
Sell as many products as you want, post products on Facebook, run a blog and sell gift cards. Run abandoned cart recoveries, use the advanced reports builder and access real-time shipping information.
Each plan has zero transaction fees, a 14 day free trial, a point a sale and retail package. In addition, you receive unlimited storage for your site, get 24/7 support, manual order creation, fraud analysis tools and discount codes.
Design (weighted 11%)
WooCommerce offers over 52 themes in its library, some of which are free, while most of them you must pay for. The minimum price is generally around $39 for a premium theme.
Themes look wonderful, and they integrate perfectly with the shopping cart plugin. The themes are not as easy to use (compared to Shopify,) unless you have at least some experience with WordPress.
You must customize every aspect of your theme, and possibly even use your own code or third-party plugins to gain functionality for some areas.
However, more themes are available for WooCommerce, since it's open source and lots of people are making them online. Access to CSS and HTML is available. Link your site to an FTP client if needed.
Select from around 21 free themes, and browse through about 116 paid options. This doesn't come close to the third-party offerings for WooCommerce, but you can expect all of the themes to look great and work well.
Change the themes with the built-in features, or go into the CSS/HTML settings to get more advanced. An FTP account is not offered.
Frontend Features (weighted 11%)
The frontend look and feel of your site all depends on the plugins, extensions and themes you utilize, since not much is built-into the plugin except for the shopping cart and product management functionality.
A few items are included, however, such as mobile responsiveness and automated tax calculations. Product reviews, coupons and calculations are also provided.
Although the packaged features are not vast, plugins, extensions and themes are available to do just about anything.
Mobile responsive layouts are included, and the elegant checkout system is there to move your customers through your site quickly.
Social media selling (Facebook, Pinterest and the Shopify Buy button) is provided depending on the plan you go for. Run your own website and blog, and accept gift cards and discount codes.
To create a true customer profile you must install an app. Real-time shipping and a reliable frontend with minimal clutter goes a long way.
Backend Features (weighted 11%)
WordPress users shouldn't have any problems with the backend, since the plugin simply adds a new tab to the left hand side of the dashboard.
The WooCommerce tab reveals various options for things like Reports, Settings, Add-ons and Orders. The Shopify dashboard actually looks somewhat similar to the WordPress layout, but Shopify has more helpful links and hints along the way.
Creating a product is rather simple, with the ability to add tags and categories, along with inventory and videos. Additional features tie into shipping, attributes, inventory and linked products.
The backend is one of the best parts of Shopify, since it's easy to move around and manage your orders and products.
It looks similar to WordPress, except Shopify provides several steps to show you the most important task when you get logged in. Beginners can quickly modify settings, while advanced users can get in there and customize code.
Some of the tabs in the dashboard include notifications, gift cards, checkout, payments, general settings and notifications. Direct links are offered to the theme and app stores, and the product making process only takes a few steps.
For example, a product page has settings for managing inventory, generating gift cards and making collections. Other areas provide support for vendors, product types, media, shipping and tags.
Marketing (weighted 11%)
Since the plugin works with WordPress you can expect some of the best SEO features on the market.
Even though WordPress generates items like title tags and meta data for you, it requires manual work if you'd like to customize it through a plugin like Yoast SEO.
The plugin is easy to use, but most people complete manual inputs when creating posts and pages.
No social media support comes with this shopping cart plugin, however various extensions and plugins are available for you to get the ability to sell on places like Facebook and Pinterest.
In addition, social buttons and sharing links are found in plugins.
No newsletter features are included once you install WooCommerce on your site. However, several paid and free newsletter solutions are provided if you go through the WooThemes store. Not to mention, WordPress plugins usually solve this problem.
Built-in promotion options
A few settings are programmed in to help out with promotions. For example, a simple coupon system assists with removing or including tax with discounts, and discount codes are supported for when customers want to punch them in.
Also, product reviews are accessible, along with owner verification for reviews that people make. If you'd like other features, such as wishlists, points and rewards, go through a plugin or extension.
Support of other selling channels
WooCommerce doesn't have anything for selling through other channels. However, you can always go to a plugin or extension for this.
As an example, a Facebook Selling app is in the extension store for placing your products on Facebook.
SEO isn't much different in Shopify, with title tags, custom URLs and meta descriptions. Create alt tags and image file names, along with a robots.txt (and sitemap.xml) file for telling the search engines about any changes.
Automatically generate Canonical URL tags to eliminate duplicate content.
The only social media options you receive are the Pinterest Buy button and the ability to sell through Facebook.
If you'd like more social selling and sharing settings, an app is required. Many of the apps are available for free download in the app store.
The app store is filled with newsletter options, and Shopify actually provides a bare-bones newsletter signup form that you can combine with services like MailChimp.
It's not all that intuitive, but it works as a quick solution, and you don't need an app.
Built-in promotion options
Accept discount codes and gift cards. That's about it in terms of built-in features. However, much like with WooCommerce, you can go to the app store and find various options for promotional technology.
Support of other selling channels
Sell your products through the Google Products page. Keep in mind that it takes a little support and tech knowledge to get this going.
All other selling channels are available through the app store, but not much else is built-into the Shopify system. For example, you can sell on Amazon and eBay by implementing a few apps.
Statistics (weighted 11%)
Statistics work rather well, with several reports for viewing numbers for net and gross sales reports. The WordPress dashboard offers a quick view area for seeing instant details on sales orders and traffic to your site.
Sales and growth trends are available through detailed reports, but if you'd like to expand this functionality, an extension is required. For example, plugins and extensions are available for things like cost of goods, Google Analytics, EU VAT, report emails and cart reports.
Several reports come with Shopify, beating out WooCommerce in terms of built-in offerings. Reports include stats and analytics for looking at the health of your online store.
View where customers come from, and check on gross sales based on product titles and product SKUs. Break down orders by hour, channel and billing address, and check on traffic based on location, landing page, UTM campaign and referrer.
Hosting & Security (weighted 11%)
The plugin has no hosting included, so you must go out and find your own hosting company that also provides domain names. The process works by signing up for a hosting plan, then buying a domain and installing WordPress on your host.
After that you can upload the WooCommerce plugin to WordPress. Security is based on the hosting company you choose. Even though the plugin code is frequently audited, you must find a host with PCI Compliance and powerful security.
All hosting is offered through your plan, along with a domain name of your choice. Level 1 PCI compliance is provided, and a content delivery network ensures your site loads up properly when large amounts of traffic come through.
The hosting goes through ServerCentral, which is an enterprise level host, and automatic backups protect you in case of a crash.
Extensibility (weighted 11%)
Choose from hundreds of extensions through the store and even consider installing plugins that work with the original WooCommerce plugin, all of which are sold through the plugin store.
Each one requires you to download it to your computer and upload it to your WordPress site, which may take a little technical knowledge. Thousands of other plugins and extensions are made by third-party vendors.
Hundreds of apps are offered through the Shopify store and they are all vetted by the company for quality.
This is not the case with WooCommerce WordPress plugins. Although the WooCommerce plugins and apps are far more plentiful, you can still find lots of options for things like accounting, marketing, receipts and more.
Support (weighted 11%)
No 24/7 support is offered from the company, but you do gain access to support through the My Account tab in the dashboard. Several documents and knowledge base items are provided through the company website, including a blog.
24/7 support is available, through live chat, email and the phone. A blog and a website called Ecommerce University are helpful, and the strong forums allow you to talk with other store owners.
Shopify also does a good job with updating its blog to keep users up to date and learning more about the system.