Have a WordPress site you’d like to turn into a fully functional eCommerce store? Great! The next step is choosing an eCommerce platform that will give your store the functionality it needs to conduct business. There are lots of platforms available that will take care of the basics, but if you’re here, you’ve probably already narrowed it down to two of the most popular: WooCommerce vs. Shopify. Now, it’s a matter of choosing the one that meets your store’s distinct requirements and gives you the flexibility to develop your store as you see fit (not as the platform dictates).
One quick note before we get into the weeds: Your eCommerce platform will serve as the backbone of your store, enabling the front end (what your customers see) and the back end (where you take orders and process payments) to work together seamlessly. WooCommerce is built on WordPress and therefore is naturally compatible with most WordPress plugins and themes.
The value of easy compatibility between WordPress and your eCommerce platform shouldn't be overlooked; it can mean the difference between a good experience and a bad one for both you and your customers. Click To Tweet
So keep that in mind as you continue to evaluate Shopify vs. WooCommerce as potential platforms.
Love the idea of having complete control over your payment process and your eCommerce platform? See how much flexibility you get with a BlueSnap gateway.
What are some of the other differences between the two? Let’s take a closer look.
WooCommerce Vs. Shopify
It’s important to understand one fundamental difference between these two platforms:
WooCommerce is an open-source platform, which means that a) it’s free to use and b) anyone—you and/or your developer(s) included—can modify it in any way you want. As a result, pretty much everything about your store will be completely customizable.
Shopify is a paid, proprietary platform that’s fully functional out of the box. That means it’s less technically complex, and it offers the same prebuilt themes and functionality to all merchants who use it.
The ability to have a greater degree of control over their stores is important to many eCommerce merchants, and I’m guessing it’s important to you as well, simply because you chose WordPress for your site to begin with! There are lots of benefits associated with having greater flexibility and control over your store, including:
1. You have the ability to create a unique online store that truly reflects your brand.
It’s great to have a lot of templates available if you have no technical expertise, but sometimes drag-and-drop design builders produce sites that look similar. It will be more challenging to produce a distinctive store design using only templates. On the other hand, the unrestricted customization offered by WooCommerce will help you stand out from the crowd. The PowerPlane homepage, hosted on WooCommerce, combines images, videos, product closeups, and illustrations for a site that is both informative and unique.
2. You have control of your payment gateway.
Accepting payments is a vital part of conducting business online; therefore, many eCommerce merchants prefer to have some choice in which payment gateway they use. Shopify offers limited payment gateway choices, and they prefer you use Shopify Payments. Those few gateway options may not serve the countries where you do business. You’ll also miss out on sales-boosting features offered by other payment gateways, like intelligent payment routing and sophisticated fraud protection. WooCommerce offers a choice of 85+ gateways, which means companies like GizmoLife can be strategic about choosing one that will help you make the most sales.
3. You have the ability to customize your store design to optimize sales.
User experience plays a big part in whether or not your customers not only stick around to shop, but if they’ll actually pay for whatever they intend to buy. (28% of shoppers abandon their shopping carts because of a too-long or too complicated checkout process.) Some stores may do better with specific checkout customizations—for example, displaying a special message during the process, changing the order of the form fields, or using a pop-up checkout form on any page. There’s very little you can’t do in WooCommerce. Understand your visitors, test out your ideas, and watch your sales increase as a result.
Sounds good, right? If you’re still torn over Shopify vs. WooCommerce, ask yourself the following:
- Do you sell globally, or do you plan to in the future? If the answer is yes, WooCommerce is a better fit. You’ll be able to choose a gateway—like BlueSnap—that can help you optimize global sales better than the standard gateway provided by Shopify.
- Do you envision an online store that is unique to your brand? Having a customized storefront can elevate your brand no matter what you sell. But in particular, if you have a niche offering, a distinctive design created using WooCommerce will better showcase your wares.
- Do you have the technical skills and/or resources required to work with WooCommerce? If you’re already using WordPress, chances are good that you do. Plus, there is extensive documentation available for the site to help you along the way. If you feel confident you can take advantage of everything WooCommerce has to offer in the way of customization, it’s a good choice for you.
WooCommerce + BlueSnap: The Perfect Pair
With WooCommerce as your eCommerce platform and BlueSnap as your payment gateway, you’ll have a powerful online store that will allow you to sell to anyone, anywhere in the world.
Our extension comes with multi-currency support to increase conversions, and an embedded checkout form that can be put directly onto your checkout page, letting you start accepting international payments with no development required. Subscription and pre-order capabilities are also supported to ensure that you can generate recurring revenue. And the best part of all: WooCommerce merchants can download and install the BlueSnap for WooCommerce plugin for free!
To find out more about a WooCommerce + BlueSnap integration, contact us.