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WooCommerce or Shopify? Why PA Stands Behind WooCommerce

Jan. 21, 2022 | Jailyn Glass

The popularity of ecommerce continues to soar, evidenced by eMarketer’s market forecast predicting that ecommerce sales in the U.S. will grow to 23.6% of all sales by 2025. Therefore, choosing a web merchant solution provider gives your online business a much-needed boost in a highly competitive climate. 

WooCommerce and Shopify are two of the most prominent names in ecommerce merchant solutions. Each enables you to create and run an online business through user-friendly features and services. However, there are some major differences between the two. Whether your business’s targets, budget, or existing ecommerce experience, WooCommerce is a full-packaged online merchant solution that provides more than Shopify.

This is why PA recommends and stands behind WooCommerce.

WooCommerce for Ecommerce: Its Capabilities at a Glance

WooCommerce is an open-source ecommerce software for WordPress. The solution’s open-source structure provides unlimited customization — a highly advantageous capability to elevate your online business. This makes WooCommerce our choice if you seek greater creative control over your business direction. On top of having creative control, WooCommerce offers plenty of additional features.

Open-Source Software & Plugins

The WooCommerce platform is a part of the WordPress open-source software. It offers diverse, reasonably priced extensions that will help you enhance your ecommerce store according to specific business functions. These specialized extensions include subscription management and booking services. 

The platform offers plugins for customizable features and configurations for improved performance. While inexperienced ecommerce business owners may face challenges in selecting the most suitable plugins for their stores, PA can choose from over 50,000 options to create your perfect ecommerce experience.  

Alternatively, Shopify only offers around 1,200 available apps, with a significant limitation to design control. On top of that, they also require either monthly or annual costs, installation, and configuration and are owned by the Shopify software.

SEO for Website Optimization

WooCommerce offers a broader range of SEO capabilities out-of-the-box compared to Shopify. Additionally, WooCommerce offers further SEO with plugins that have built-in guides and prompts to help you optimize your store’s online presence. In comparison, Shopify has limited SEO capabilities, placing its ecommerce stores at a disadvantage against WooCommerce competitors. Having a robust SEO strategy can help your ecommerce rank well on Google to draw desired site traffic. 

Aside from WooCommerce’s extensive range of SEO plugins, the platform runs on code optimized for search engines. PA goes a step further with our WordPress Base Code, which is completely optimized for speed and performance, which are two of the top search engine ranking factors.

The effectiveness of WooCommerce’s SEO capabilities powers your store’s promotional outreach without requiring costly advertising campaigns. 

Omnichannel Marketing

The WooCommerce ecommerce solution works with major email platforms like Mailchimp and inbound marketing tools like HubSpot. You can conveniently create and manage omnichannel marketing campaigns from a WooCommerce account. According to Google, multichannel strategies drive an 80% higher rate of incremental store visits.

Added Benefits of WooCommerce

User-friendliness should always be a priority. Some ecommerce business owners struggle with piecing together the elements in their digital store, resulting in a poor customer experience. With WordPress, you have complete design control to optimize your online store for the best user experience.

WooCommerce can optimize payment methods, integrations, and scalability. Each of these factors helps your business adapt to the changing demands of running an online store while creating a positive experience for your visitors. An estimated 6.8% of the top million websites (based on average site traffic) use WooCommerce, making it the most popular ecommerce platform because it offers greater flexibility and seamless usability. 

Challenges With WooCommerce

As with most customizable solutions, WooCommerce requires some coding knowledge to fully benefit from its advanced capabilities. You might find yourself at a loss during the website development and maintenance processes without core technical skills, which PA can provide. 

Unlike Shopify, which operates as a hosted software, you must source website security and hosting providers for WooCommerce stores. While this is a challenge, dedicated hosting lets you completely own your website and its code. We offer affordable dedicated hosting and monitoring for all websites we develop.

The Shopify Platform: Its Capabilities at a Glance

Shopify is an all-in-one solution that provides a frictionless experience for absolute beginners in ecommerce. The website platform includes many integrated features, so you can essentially start your online business without in-depth development experience. 

Software Hosting 

Shopify offers hosted software and built-in security features so you can set up your ecommerce business almost out of the box. However, this means you are renting your website and extensions from the Shopify platform instead of owning it with dedicated WordPress/WooCommerce hosting.

Drag-and-Drop Builder

Shopify provides you with a “drag-and-drop” approach to website building, enabling you to create a simplified ecommerce site. You can start running a store by selecting a preset Shopify theme (which functions as the skeleton of your store) and populating it with specific content for your business. However, this can cause bloated code, affecting your site’s speed and SEO performance.

Challenges with Shopify

Despite the capabilities of the Shopify platform, you should consider some potential downsides before going ahead with a subscription. For example, website pricing is a huge differentiating factor between the platforms. Mainly, Shopify carries costly transaction fees, and the gradual addition of apps may result in pricey annual bills. 

While both website platforms enable business owners to utilize third-party payment gateways (e.g., Stripe and Square), WooCommerce provides external payment services without deducting transaction fees. In contrast, Shopify charges 2% per transaction unless users upgrade their Shopify membership (ranging from $299 – $2,000+ per month, depending on the membership type) or use the site’s built-in gateway, Shopify Payments.    

Shopify operates with set payment plans that enable you to track spending and manage ecommerce accounts. While this is the case, you will have minimal flexibility in selecting the elements/features with each Shopify subscription plan. Alternatively, WooCommerce enables you to mix and match hosting, security, extension, and domain specifics based on business needs, giving you more freedom and control.

Optimize Website Building With PA

A lack of ecommerce knowledge might cause you to overlook the unlimited possibilities of using the WooCommerce platform. By collaborating with a reliable external partner, we can help you overcome the learning curve and start optimizing your WooCommerce experience. 

At Perfect Afternoon, we specialize in helping you build quality customized websites that drive seamless store management and improved conversion rates. We offer over two decades of expertise as a full-service web design agency with extensive experience in WooCommerce site-building. 

We will help you navigate the steps required to establish a secure and high-performing ecommerce site suited to your business. The professional results will help attract quality visitors and keep your store operating in top form. Our specialized services may include:

  • Sourcing the most suitable SSL certificates for your website so your site accepts credit card payments according to legal guidelines. We will help you select the most reliable hosting and security arrangements based on your business profile. 
  • Powering your WooCommerce customer service quality with PA, which offers real-time assistance via phone and email.
  • Migrating Shopify ecommerce to WooCommerce. We will provide the most seamless process to help you transition to optimize your store performance. For example, you might want to upgrade your Shopify store as your business expands, making a WooCommerce shift a practical solution. 
  • Maintaining your WooCommerce site by managing software updates, backups, and security standards. We maintain open communication to ensure that your ecommerce store continues to succeed as a bespoke solution. 

How Our Agency Can Assist

Perfect Afternoon works closely with you as your partner on creating and optimizing your WooCommerce website while offering the most powerful plugins and software integrations. As the digital world continues to provide opportunities to engage the digital crowd, you deserve a tailored solution that makes your store stand out for the best results. 

Shopify might be suitable for small, beginner online stores. On the other hand, WooCommerce provides a diverse range of tools and customization required for maintaining and developing your sites for the long term.

Regarding the long-term sustainability and growth of your ecommerce business, we recommend WooCommerce as the preferred solution. Contact us if you choose WooCommerce for ecommerce as the best option for your business!

Photo Credit: Envato Elements