Shopify is incredible because it gives you the option to create an entire website with no code or provide the option to edit websites using custom code if you choose to. The option to not use code and create an entire store from a theme can enable you to create a Shopify store far more efficiently than traditional websites.
Shopify is unique in that you can create an entire store using a theme without purchasing the theme itself. This means you extensively test your themes before investing hundreds of dollars into them. If you do find the perfect theme for your store that fits your unique needs, you can simply purchase the theme just before you launch.
Shopify has an extensive range of quality plugins to fit almost any use case. Yes, other platforms like WooCommerce on WordPress have plugins, but the difference between Shopify plugins and WordPress plugins is the quality. WordPress plugins frequently cause websites to become significantly slower, or worse, they compromise the security of your site. With Shopify plugins, you can do almost anything and do it right. This can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars on development whilst protecting the integrity of your store. We have not come across a feature that cannot be provided affordably through a plugin saving our clients a lot of money.
Traditionally when running a website there is a range of different things you need to manage from hosting to security, you are responsible for coordinating everything. If you choose a poor host you will end up with a slow site resulting in lost traffic and lost revenue. If you neglect your security Google will penalise you by not displaying you as highly in search results. With Shopify, you don't need to worry about hosting or security as Shopify manages all of this for you. This means you don't have to worry about site speed, your website crashing or the leaking of confidential information.
When comparing Shopify to WordPress it is night and day, we have encountered every possible security problem when it comes to WordPress, in the same time period we have never experienced a security issue with Shopify. We have had several clients come to us from other web developers with sites that have viruses on them, publicly display sensitive information or have a big "not secure" warning on the website. This is not always the fault of the previous developer, sometimes a client will accidentally install a poorly designed plugin, forget to renew an SSL certificate or any number of oversights possible to those who lack a comprehensive knowledge of WordPress.
We have used both Shopify and WooCommerce, both are great platforms, but there is a clear winner in terms of usability and ease. Both allow you to add, delete or update products. Both allow you to set pricing, create discounts and set product descriptions, one is just more user friendly and that is Shopify.
Anyone who has ever shopped online has likely used a Shopify checkout multiple times. This familiarity instils a sense of trust in your customers. Because they have seen the checkout before they are far more likely to be comfortable submitting their personal information to you and completing their purchase.
Out of the box, Shopify allows you to provide a range of payment options. To put it most simply, the more ways you allow people to pay the more people will be able to pay. The harder you make it, the more customers you will lose at the last moment. Shopify hence allows for PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Card Payments.
Whilst we as an agency avoid working with WooCommerce and encourage our clients to save themselves a few thousand headaches by opting for Shopify, we still know there are benefits to WooCommerce. Let's start by establishing that WooCommerce isn't as easy to DIY as Shopify, you will need a better than average understanding of websites to set up WooCommerce correctly. Hence, you will most likely need the assistance of a developer to get started. Having said that, over time WooCommerce can be more affordable, many of their themes are more affordable than Shopify themes if they arent already free. If you are a larger company making a high number of sales it may be worth the extra hassle of using WordPress as you can save money on payment processing.
Who is WooCommerce for?
WooCommerce is for those who have a good understanding of the web and code, have time and money to spend on Maintenance. For most, Shopify is going to be a far simpler option that is 100% worth the extra money spent.