Shopify vs WooCommerce: Which is better for your dropshipping business? We’ve done the research and written this guide. Read this comprehensive guide to find out which platform is a good fit.

Dropshipping

If you are just starting with dropshipping, then you have likely already heard about the most popular eCommerce platforms on the market today, Shopify and WooCommerce!

These are the two of the biggest eCommerce platforms in the world. Here is the current eCommerce usage distribution in the top 1 million sites. In other words, this is the distribution for websites using eCommerce technologies.

Source

As you can see, 21% of these sites use Shopify, while 28% use WooCommerce to power their online stores. This means that both of these platforms are great and super popular, have multiple strengths, and can be the perfect solution for you to build an eCommerce store.

More than that, choosing either Shopify or WooCommerce gives you the chance to do it all independently without any help from professional designers or developers.

You may have some questions about Shopify and WooCommerce. Here are a few:

Which one should you use, Shopify or Woocommerce, for your dropshipping store? Which is cheaper, which has more features that work for you, and which one is better for your dropshipping business needs?

This guide will answer all these questions, clear your doubts, and help you decide which platform, Shopify or Woocommerce suits the needs of your dropshipping business.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is an all-in-one ecommerce platform that gives you all the tools and features you need to set up your online store from the ground up. So, you have everything you need to manage your store within the platform, from web hosting to security, to marketing apps and fulfillment solutions among others. 

This means that a Shopify store is easy to set up as you won’t need any technical skills or other external help to run your store.

Shopify

How to Start with Shopify

Starting your dropshipping business with Shopify is straightforward, you just have to follow these steps:

  1. Create an account on Shopify 
  2. Purchase a domain name and simply integrate it with Shopify
  3. Choose your Shopify theme, install and then configure it
  4. Set up your shipping and payment settings and other Shopify features
  5. Import your products
  6. Start selling

Pros of Using Shopify

  • Fixed pricing plans that you can pay monthly or yearly.
  • Numerous beautiful free and premium themes are available.
  • Shopify will take care of everything, from hosting to security.
  • Multiple apps to extend your store and a huge apps marketplace.
  • Easy to launch and manage.
  • Dropshipping is easy with Shopify. 
  • Excellent customer support.

Cons of Using Shopify

  • You have a monthly payment that can get higher in time.
  • The free themes are really good but the best ones are very expensive.
  • There aren’t a lot of options for customization. Adding new functionalities would be complicated.
  • Besides your monthly/yearly subscription, you will also have to pay; a small fee (0.5-2% based on the subscription plan) that can be added to your invoice.
  • Shopify payments are not available in every country. The service is only available in the United States, Canada, Australia, and a few other countries.

Some Amazing Features of Shopify

  1. Mobile-Friendly Design
  2. Easy to use Website Builder
  3. Dropshipping Capabilities
  4. Blogging Capabilities
  5. Beautiful Free & Premium Themes
  6. Integration with various email marketing software
  7. Secure Payment Gateway
  8. Reliable Hosting with SSL Certificate

Pricing

A basic plan to get a Shopify ecommerce store up and running is $29 per month and can get up to $299 a month. On top of that, if you don’t have

one, you may need to purchase a domain for your site and can do that within Shopify at a starting cost of $14 a year or you can use a platform like

GoDaddy or NameCheap to get your domain but the prices are pretty similar.

So to sum up, the initial cost to set up a very basic Shopify ecommerce store can get to $43 if you decide on the Basic Shopify plan. That means the minimum price would be $43 for the first month and it will go up if you decide to install any new app or paid theme.

Related: How to Start a Shopify Store Great For Beginners

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is the most popular ecommerce solution out there because it is a WordPress plugin that was solely built for this platform and most importantly, both WordPress and WooCommerce are free to use. So, if WordPress users want to change their website into an ecommerce store they simply need to install the WooCommerce plugin.

WooCommerce

How to Start with WooCommerce

To start a dropshipping business with WooCommerce, you just have to follow these simple steps:

  1. Purchase a domain name and web hosting (Bluehost is recommended)
  2. Install WordPress
  3. Install WooCommerce plugin
  4. Pick a theme, install and then configure it to look according to your needs.
  5. Set up the WooCommerce features and settings, such as payment methods, tax rules, and shipping zones. 

Pros of Using WooCommerce

  • You have complete customization and control 
  • Access to a huge online community 
  • Endless themes and plugins 
  • Once you have a WordPress website, it’s easy to install and configure WooCommerce
  • Both WordPress and WooCommerce plugins are free 
  • Cheap developers if you need extra help compared with Shopify which is 2-3x more expensive

Cons of Using WooCommerce

  • It takes time to learn the basis of WordPress.
  • WooCommerce may end up being more expensive at the beginning due to plugins and themes but at least you pay for them once and not monthly.
  • You have to manage everything, be it hosting, security, maintenance, or backups.
  • Hosting is one of the main costs to run a WooCommerce store and it might be difficult at the beginning to configure it properly if you don’t have any experience with it.

Some Amazing Features of Woocommerce

  1. Mobile-Friendly Design
  2. Plenty of free and paid plugins
  3. Control over your data
  4. Many Payment Gateways
  5. Blogging Capabilities
  6. Allow you to sell both physical and digital products
  7. Beautiful Free & Premium Themes
  8. Integration with almost all kinds of third-party services and platforms
  9. Adjustable shipping rates and taxes

Pricing

It is a misconception that Woocommerce is completely free of cost. It’s a free WordPress plugin that you don’t have to pay for. But you do need a domain name and hosting for your website, which means you have some initial costs to get started with WooCommerce as well.

So if you are planning to launch a one-product store or a store around a small niche with just 40 or 50 products then you can work with a basic shared hosting that cost only about $5 to $20 per month.

You would also need to buy a domain name which costs around $10 in the first year. This gives us an initial cost of around 15 to $30 to get up and running a basic store with WooCommerce. Of course, you would pay more if you want to add a premium WooCommerce theme or any paid plugins for some extra functionalities.

Which is the Best Ecommerce Platform for your Dropshipping Business (Shopify vs WooCommerce)

Let’s get to the point. Which platform should you choose for your dropshipping venture? (Shopify or WooCommerce)

Shopify and WooCommerce are both excellent e-commerce platforms. It will depend on the needs of your business and which one works best for you. Below are two conditions that will help you choose one of them.

Which is Cheaper for New Dropshipping Business?

If you only look at the costs, which we know how important are if you’re just starting, then both platforms are affordable in terms of setup costs.

But if you are serious about dropshipping and you want to do this for a long time, then you may choose WooCommerce as it’s much cheaper in the long run and more customizable.

Which Platform is Best for Newbies?

If you are starting in this eCommerce and dropshipping world and are looking for a user-friendly platform that can help you set up a store from scratch without having a technical background, then Shopify is

the perfect choice for you, especially if you want to launch your store super fast. But if you have a technical background, WooCommerce is a perfect fit.

Final Conclusion

Now, let’s jump to the conclusion Shopify or WooCommerce?

Again, it all depends on so many things, from the costs and features of each platform to the needs and technical skills of the drop shipper.

So, if you look at the features and how easy it is to use them, then you will probably choose Shopify. The fact that so many retailers chose Shopify in the last 4-5 years, which is also the ecommerce platform with the highest growth, proves that this solution is great and would be more than capable to fit your business needs.