My answer to a complex question.
Generally speaking, I recommend Shopify for businesses that are: 1. Focused solely on eCommerce; and 2. Have ambitious eCommerce growth plans.
A Shopify store is easier-to-manage than a WordPress/WooCommerce one. You don’t have to worry about web hosting because this is all part of your Shopify subscription, which includes fast cloud hosting on Shopify’s impressive global infrastructure, plus 24/7 support (a big bonus when something goes wrong with your store and you need help fast).
Shopify comes with a host of in-built marketing tools/tips and training guides/courses to help you grow your online business. There are many cool Shopify apps that will help take your online marketing to the next level.
My clients love Shopify and find it fun, bug-free and intuitive to use.
However, while Shopify themes are beautiful, user-friendly and conversion-optimised, they don’t allow for the same design flexibility and design customisation as WordPress websites (unless you’re going to invest in a custom Shopify theme developed specifically for you). So if you want a custom look and feel to your website (but don’t want to invest in custom development) then WordPress / WooCommerce might be a better option for you.
WordPress / WooCommerce
I recommend WordPress / WooCommerce to businesses that want a shop add-on to their website (ie they’re not focused solely on eCommerce) or those that want a completely custom look and feel without the big price tag of a custom eCommerce development built from scratch.
The framework I use to build WordPress / WooCommerce online stores allows for complete design flexibility, resulting in a unique store and website, built specifically for your brand, but which costs much less (and is quicker to build) than a custom eCommerce development or custom-developed Shopify theme. However, WordPress is a bit trickier to manage than Shopify (because it’s not aimed purely at eCommerce like Shopify is) and you will need to arrange your own web hosting.
In a nutshell
Shopify Pros: Easy and intuitive to manage; purpose-built for growing eCommerce businesses; web hosting is taken care of; 24/7 tech support; big collection of free and premium Shopify themes.
Shopify Cons: Doesn’t allow for complete design customisation, so it’s hard to build a truly unique store unless you invest in expensive theme development. Not the best option for businesses that only want a shop as an add-on to their website.
WordPress / WooCommerce Pros: Allows for complete design creativity and a unique look and feel, without the need for expensive custom theme development. You 100% own all your website files.
WordPress / WooCommerce Cons: Harder to manage than Shopify as it’s not built solely for eCommerce. You need to manage and arrange your own website hosting and website backups, which can be challenging for new online store owners who know nothing about web hosting. WordPress websites generally have more bugs than Shopify ones and break more often, so you probably need a web developer on hand to help you when / if things go wrong.
Don’t worry – I’m here to help you decide on the right platform
When you work with me to build your online store, we will decide on the best platform that aligns with your business and your goals. All my online store packages include training, where I show you how to manage your online store (on Shopify or on WordPress / Woocommerce). I also include 30 days support so I can help you with any teething problems that occur. My number one goal is to create a solution that works for your unique business and that you can take over smoothly after launch.
Contact me here and I’ll send you my pricing guide.