Shopify vs. WooCommerce: 3 Businesses on Why They Switched to Shopify

Moving from WooCommerce to Shopify

The technology you use to run your business should make your life easier, not harder.

Time spent troubleshooting software is time you could be spending on higher-impact activities for your business—and ideally, your software can help you identify what those activities are, too.

That’s why so many merchants turn to the robust, turn-key platform provided by Shopify over stitching together similar functionality through plugins and third-party services with WooCommerce.

With built-in hosting, analytics, marketing features, shipping services, live 24/7 support, and a carefully curated app store, Shopify is made for entrepreneurs who want to build and sell, not manage an ever-growing list of tools.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce: a full comparison

  1. Scale on a reliable platform that’s easy to use
  2. Get 24-hour support so you can focus on selling
  3. Streamline your checkout for the most conversions
  4. End sales lost to slow-loading pages
  5. Eliminate the complexity of web hosting
  6. Sell everywhere from anywhere
  7. Shopify vs. WooCommerce at a glance
  8. Move from WooCommerce to Shopify to grow your business

Scale on a reliable platform that’s easy to use

When you’re just starting out, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Platforms lacking an intuitive interface also come with a big learning curve. Getting bogged down with a platform you can’t figure out can quickly suck the excitement out of starting a business. And when you begin to scale, you’ll come across new tasks your online store needs to handle and new security threats to safeguard against. Consider long-term growth goals even at the earliest stages in your business.

🚫 WooCommerce

WooCommerce appears familiar because many people know WordPress. But it’s an add-on to a platform that’s a native content management system (CMS). A CMS has different requirements than an ecommerce site, so while Shopify was built as a dedicated online store builder, WordPress’s came as an afterthought.

Plugins sound good, but they don’t always play nice with your site. It’s easy to accidentally break something and not always as easy to fix it. This high learning curve makes it an intimidating platform for even the savviest online entrepreneur.

Plus, WooCommerce isn’t PCI compliant, which leaves merchants on their own when it comes to ensuring their site is in line with PCI guidelines. You’ll need to take extra steps to ensure your business is safe from hackers and fraud. Not to mention, scaling is limited.

As you need countless plugins and apps to build a fully functioning online store, you’ll find fewer options with WooCommerce than Shopify.

✅ Shopify

Shopify is one of the easiest and most intuitive ecommerce platforms out there. Choose from ready-made themes, customize your own look and feel, or hire a Shopify Expert to do it for you. Regardless of how you build your site, mobile-responsive themes are available for free, so you can cater to shoppers on the go.

And whether you’re just starting out or moving your brick-and-mortar business online, Shopify has a suite of tools that make it easy to sell online, everywhere, in style:

  • Business name generator. Don’t get hung up on choosing your business name. Search for names or generate new ideas and then purchase the domain name when you’ve found the perfect one. 
  • Hatchful logo maker. Create high-resolution logos, even if you don’t have any design skills. There are hundreds of templates and icon and color combinations in our design studio.
  • Oberlo. Find products to dropship and sell online from your brand. You can even buy a ready-made store so you can get up and running right away. 
  • Handshake. Browse products from wholesale suppliers who have been carefully vetted and handpicked for their high-quality goods and customer service. Then connect directly with the makers to get the products into your warehouses and ready to sell.

The homepage of the Shopify App Store, which features many great apps for customizing your ecommerce website

Plus, the Shopify App Store features thousands of vetted, professionally developed apps that can handle every business task imaginable. And unlike WooCommerce plugins, Shopify Apps are simple to add to your site.

Sell with confidence on Shopify, no matter your stage of growth. You get an ecommerce platform with advanced business management features, unlimited bandwidth, and PCI level 1 compliance.

Get 24-hour support so you can focus on selling

When you’re faced with a challenging technical question, you want answers that can get you back to running your business and making sales. That’s why you need a support team that’s around to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by phone, chat, or email.

🚫 WooCommerce

WooCommerce customer support isn’t readily available to troubleshoot issues or guide you along the way. For custom functionality, you’re likely better off hiring a WooExpert—which also adds to your ongoing costs.

✅ Shopify

24/7 support is one of the main reasons Erik Morin, co-founder at Massage Guns, a tool that helps athletes recover after strenuous workouts, made the move from WooCommerce to Shopify.

Homepage of Massage Guns, featuring their video which showcases the product

"Our page load times continually rose, and WooCommerce customer service was absent for the entire year, so we migrated our whole website to Shopify,” Erik says.

“The question wasn't if, but rather when we’d make the move to Shopify. We knew the day would come when our WooCommerce website couldn't keep up with our popularity."

The customer support team at Shopify is ready when Erik needs it. And he’s not alone—many merchants tell us our customer support is the reason why they choose our platform. Our support team isn’t just there to troubleshoot technical issues. We’re invested in merchants’ success as much as they are. That’s why Shopify Support Advisors also offer advice and guidance to any independent business that needs it, beyond the tech stuff.

Streamline your checkout for the most conversions

One of the most important conversion moments for your store is the checkout process. You want to streamline it, removing as much friction as possible, so it’s easy for customers to give you their money.

🚫 WooCommerce

Seamless checkout is one of the reasons Mayank Jain, ecommerce and IT manager at Ibkül, was happy to make the move from WooCommerce to Shopify. “We were having trouble getting all of these different payment systems up and running—that became one of the key reasons we moved to Shopify. We wanted to offer multiple payment options, including Apple Pay and Google Pay, which was a struggle to configure on our WooCommerce website.”

✅ Shopify

One of the fastest and highest-converting native checkout experiences on the internet, Shop Pay makes it easy for customers to check out with saved payment and shipping information. And it’s more widely used than you might think. In fact, more than 20% of your customers are already set up with Shop Pay. For women’s lingerie brand LIVELY, that figure is closer to 40%.

After adding Shop Pay as a checkout option, LIVELY’s average order value (AOV) for those customers was 6% higher than customers who used different payment methods. Plus, Shop Pay customers bought over 35% more than those not using Shop Pay.

Chart showing that checkouts on Shop Pay convert 1.72 times better than normal checkouts
Our data shows that checkouts going through Shop Pay have a 1.72x higher average checkout-to-order rate.

Shopify Checkout is also optimized for other accelerated options, as well as for customers shopping on their mobile device. It can also accommodate subscription-based selling, digital wallets, and multi-currency.

Speaking of subscriptions, there are many apps built for Shopify’s lightning-fast checkout. Not to mention apps for upselling and cross-selling to further increase your AOV.

End sales lost to slow-loading pages

Data shows page load times can have a dramatic impact on your conversions. Visitors are 32% more likely to instantly leave your mobile website (or “bounce”) as page speed increases from one to three seconds, according to Google. Plus, Google considers page speed when ranking search results—and you want to be on its good side to get visibility in search.

That’s why site speed matters so much in ecommerce: slow page speeds cost money.

🚫 WooCommerce

A WooCommerce site can quickly become overloaded with plugins, scripts, code, and more. WooCommerce itself is a WordPress plugin, so it inherently slows down your site the second you install and activate it. Shopify, on the other hand, is a native ecommerce site builder—no extra plugins or downloads necessary.

✅ Shopify

Shopify is constantly working on ways to improve speed for all of our merchants. That means you can spend less time worrying about speed and more on building and growing your business.

When Ibkül made the switch to Shopify, it noticed a boost in page speed almost instantly.

“In terms of site performance, we’ve done much better compared to when we were on WooCommerce, without much direct work on it as a team,” says Mayank. “Primarily because Shopify uses a content delivery network (CDN)."

Brian Podolak, a former consultant for high-growth businesses like DeliverLean and Funky Farms and now a full-time business development manager at Arise Bioscience, noticed benefits for multiple clients who moved from WooCommerce to Shopify.

“One client had about 25 different WooCommerce plugins installed, so the speed of their store just crawled to a halt, and things stopped working.”

“We took all the different WooCommerce plugins they were using and trimmed things down to seven different apps that covered everything in Shopify, so it was a lot simpler,” Brian says.

Deliver Lean's homepage, which features an overview of their sample meal plans

Podolak’s client also had a list of new functionality they needed to add to their store, and doing so would have required adding yet another set of plugins to WooCommerce. Given their site was already loading slowly and that some plugins would likely conflict with others, the move became necessary.

While any site can take advantage of the improved speed offered by a CDN, it’s an enhancement we’ve built into Shopify to speed up your site, save you time, and take one more technical task off of your to-do list. You can spot-check your Shopify site speed at any time in the admin.

Eliminate the complexity of website hosting

When you have a site, you essentially have to store its information on a server, so it’s accessible on the web. This storage and access are essentially what we call hosting. Every website is hosted somewhere, meaning it has dedicated server space with a provider.

🚫 WooCommerce

WooCommerce sites are non-hosted. They’re built on WordPress, which doesn’t host your domain. Instead, your domain is hosted via a third-party. Or you can host the domain yourself. This makes ongoing website maintenance unnecessarily complex—not to mention the convoluted process of changing hosts.

Non-hosted WooCommerce sites can quickly become not only cumbersome but also costly. Website hosting services cost money, eating into your margins. Plus, hosting services may offer tiered pricing structures, offering little support for those on the most affordable plans. This can leave you in a lurch at the most inopportune times—fingers crossed your site doesn’t crash after a viral social post.

✅ Shopify

Shopify offers a hosted platform, so you don’t need to worry about the mess of self- or third-party hosting and additional fees. Website hosting is included in every Shopify plan. And there’s no preferential treatment here. Everyone gets the same benefit from our infrastructure—fast hosting without throttling or charges for extra traffic.

All Shopify updates are automatic and hassle-free, so your site will always be up to date.

With Shopify, you also get unlimited email forwarding to addresses at your domain. This will save you time and help your business look professional.

Sell everywhere from anywhere

Buyer journeys are constantly changing, and merchants have more ways to sell their products than ever before. Modern merchants need the flexibility to sell everywhere while making it easy for customers to start and continue their purchase from any channel. To do that, you need a system that can create a truly omnichannel experience and connect the dots between all your data inputs.

🚫 WooCommerce

WooCommerce uses a series of disjointed systems and plugins to allow merchants to sell on their website, social media, third-party marketplaces, and in-store. This makes it difficult for businesses to remain nimble and maintain accurate data. Bad data is trouble for merchants.

✅ Shopify

Shopify gives you a single place to manage your business, so you can easily manage data from online and offline channels. You’ll be able to handle all your in-store point-of-sale needs, track inventory across multiple locations, and help customers with their purchases no matter where they made them or where they’re coming to you for help.

That’s one of the main reasons Benjamin Hills, owner of Flying Crow Coffee Co. in Springfield, Vermont, made the move to Shopify.

Samples of Flying Crow Coffee Co's various brews available to buy

“I had been trying to integrate gift cards for online and in-store use between my café and my online store,” says Benjamin. “There was no integration between my previous payment provider and WooCommerce’s gift card options, so if a customer bought a gift card online, they couldn’t use it in store, and vice versa.”

Moving from WooCommerce to Shopify helped Benjamin skip the process of trying to navigate multiple tools and plugins to integrate his in-person retail with his online store and gave him a single place to track and manage all of his inventory and purchase data.

Benjamin isn’t alone. Retailers who connected their online and in-store sales with Shopify saw revenue increase by 30% year over year.*

With Shopify, all the information you need is at your fingertips. Use Shopify’s built-in analytics to track your sales and growth and learn about your bestselling products, abandoned carts, and more.

Tahwii Spicer, founder of The Eco Baby, gets a lot of value from Shopify’s built-in analytics tools compared to what she was using with WooCommerce.

“I really appreciate the home dashboard, where it tells you how many people are on your site right now and where they’re coming from,” says Tahwii. “One of the biggest things I learned was that I have so many organic visits from Pinterest. I would never have known without digging deeper into my analytics, and as a one-woman show, I don't have time to do that very often. That knowledge alone is worth the monthly price I pay for Shopify, in my opinion.


* Includes combined online and in-store sales for Shopify merchants with physical store locations making a POS transaction in each of the 12 months of 2018 and 2019.


Shopify vs. WooCommerce at a glance

WooCommerce

  • Ease of use. More cumbersome setup and management; requires a WordPress website first and then the WooCommerce plugin.
  • Features and customizability. Completely customizable themes; requires plugins and apps for most things beyond that. 
  • Apps and integrations. Thousands of free and paid apps that require lots of updates. 

Shopify

  • Ease of use. Simple and intuitive interface that requires minimal technical skill.
  • Features and customizability. Includes an entire ecosystem of business tools for online and in-person selling, such as shipping, fulfillment, local delivery, online payments, and more.
  • Apps and integrations. Thousands of free and paid native and third-party apps to run every aspect of your business. 

Move from WooCommerce to Shopify to grow your business

Moving from WooCommerce to Shopify is a significant decision for your business, and when you’re ready, we want to make the switch as effortless as possible. 

To import your WooCommerce store to Shopify:

  1. Open a Shopify store.
  2. Select “WooCommerce” when asked what platform you’re coming from.
  3. Export your WooCommerce data.
  4. Upload the file in Shopify.
  5. Review and update your imported data.

Learn more: You can directly import your WooCommerce store to Shopify without any external apps or services—it’s included for free on all Shopify plans, including trials.

Focus on your business, not on the technology

Step-change growth happens when you have the headspace needed to work on your business, not in your business dealing with the technology that was supposed to save you time. There are enough big hurdles and tricky to-dos you need to wrangle when starting and scaling a business—troubleshooting your technology stack shouldn’t be one of them.


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