Why Shopify Instead of WooCommerce? Trying to make sense of the hype.

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Hey guys..

I'm about to get started on a few e-commerce stores and will be focusing on Print on Demand.

A lot of the tutorials/courses etc. that I've come across recommend Shopify for this.

Something tells me that the fact that they can get recurring affiliate commissions for a Shopify recommendation is a big reason why I see it being hyped so much.

For someone who is already paying for hosting and is comfortable working with Wordpress, is there any benefit to using Shopify instead of WooCommerce?

It seems to be that by using Shopify, I'd be adding a lot more to my operating expenses to essentially do what I can do for free with WooCommerce.

And, after chatting with support, I found out that in order to run multiple Shopify stores, you need to pay the monthly Shopify fee x the amount of stores you have.

So.. 5 stores works out to 5 x $29/$79 .. PER MONTH.

Why would anyone who's technically savvy use this?

What am I missing?

Is it really THAT much better than the free WooCommerce solution?
#hype #make #sense #shopify #woocommerce
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  • Profile picture of the author yintegriti
    Here's my take on this.

    One of the main reason it appeals to majority of people is the ease of use.

    Then there's incentive to promote. But they do not offer recurring commission, just 100% commission for the first 2 months.

    Basically these are the primary reasons why Shopify is more popular initially. As it becomes more popular, another huge advantage emerges, apps integration. There are more high quality apps being developed for Shopify because of market demand.

    But I don't think it's significantly better than WooCommerce. If operating cost is your concern, go for WooCommerce. It works just fine.
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    • Profile picture of the author DripRevenue
      Originally Posted by yintegriti View Post

      Here's my take on this.

      One of the main reason it appeals to majority of people is the ease of use.

      Then there's incentive to promote. But they do not offer recurring commission, just 100% commission for the first 2 months.

      Basically these are the primary reasons why Shopify is more popular initially. As it becomes more popular, another huge advantage emerges, apps integration. There are more high quality apps being developed for Shopify because of market demand.

      But I don't think it's significantly better than WooCommerce. If operating cost is your concern, go for WooCommerce. It works just fine.
      I agree with yintegriti with Shopify being easy to use. Personally, it is the only platform that I have used. I know nothing about WooCommerce. A lot of people find it simple to integrate dropshipping products to Shopify, including myself.

      Since you mentioned print on demand, have you looked into sites like GearBubble and Viral Style? Might be something you want to look into if you don't want to build out a full website.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeTG
    There are many reasons - but mainly it's just a lot faster and simpler. Yes, as you add sites it becomes a growing expense - but then again if you can't recoup 30 or 80 bucks from an ecommerce store in a month then perhaps that's not the right business?

    Main advantages are quite easy to list:

    1. Quick setup, no worries you will screw up anything and the site will not work. With Wordpress + plugins you always have the risk that things will just not function the way you intended - especially if you customize a lot.

    2. No headaches about infrastructure & hosting - each Wordpress site has to be hosted and a good host is an added expense. WP Engine would set you back $35 for one site and up to 25,000 visitors in a month cap. On Shopify you have no caps and guaranteed uptime + unlimited file hosting - so you can upload pretty much anything you want and serve it to millions of people (if you end up driving that many) without worrying whether your host can handle it.

    3. Apps and plugins - it's a closed environment + it's popular so not only do you have a ton of extensions but they are generally compatible and won't screw up your site. Wordpress / Woocommerce offer a ton of 3rd party solutions as well but they not only can cost you more (and often do) but also create problems and incompatibilities of their own.

    Yes, you will get more flexibility - if you know what you're doing - but that comes at the expense of time and money.

    4. Integrated payment processing - speaking about plugins, Shopify quickly and seamlessly integrates with various payment processors so you have that problem off your head as well. Granted, checkout looks the same on all sites (what is a big drawback IMHO) but, then again, you don't have to worry about doing the integration on your own site - and checking whether it works properly for all visitors.

    Shopify just gives you a lot of things out of the box - especially the critical elements - what means you have this many problems less. Of course with WC you could try to save some money - if your stores are small - but in the longer run I don't think it's really feasible. Hosting + possibility of technical issues are pretty threatening, especially for small businesses just starting up.

    I think it makes a lot more sense to start with Shopify and consider any other platform after you've grown a fairly sustainable business.
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    • Profile picture of the author smartadset
      Originally Posted by MikeTG View Post

      There are many reasons - but mainly it's just a lot faster and simpler. Yes, as you add sites it becomes a growing expense - but then again if you can't recoup 30 or 80 bucks from an ecommerce store in a month then perhaps that's not the right business?

      Main advantages are quite easy to list:

      1. Quick setup, no worries you will screw up anything and the site will not work. With Wordpress + plugins you always have the risk that things will just not function the way you intended - especially if you customize a lot.

      2. No headaches about infrastructure & hosting - each Wordpress site has to be hosted and a good host is an added expense. WP Engine would set you back $35 for one site and up to 25,000 visitors in a month cap. On Shopify you have no caps and guaranteed uptime + unlimited file hosting - so you can upload pretty much anything you want and serve it to millions of people (if you end up driving that many) without worrying whether your host can handle it.

      3. Apps and plugins - it's a closed environment + it's popular so not only do you have a ton of extensions but they are generally compatible and won't screw up your site. Wordpress / Woocommerce offer a ton of 3rd party solutions as well but they not only can cost you more (and often do) but also create problems and incompatibilities of their own.

      Yes, you will get more flexibility - if you know what you're doing - but that comes at the expense of time and money.

      4. Integrated payment processing - speaking about plugins, Shopify quickly and seamlessly integrates with various payment processors so you have that problem off your head as well. Granted, checkout looks the same on all sites (what is a big drawback IMHO) but, then again, you don't have to worry about doing the integration on your own site - and checking whether it works properly for all visitors.

      Shopify just gives you a lot of things out of the box - especially the critical elements - what means you have this many problems less. Of course with WC you could try to save some money - if your stores are small - but in the longer run I don't think it's really feasible. Hosting + possibility of technical issues are pretty threatening, especially for small businesses just starting up.

      I think it makes a lot more sense to start with Shopify and consider any other platform after you've grown a fairly sustainable business.
      I'm not here to bash on Shopify but let's just make few things clear :

      1- You can get hourly database backups so you can always work and get the previous version if something is wrong. This can't be stated as a fact since you can screw things up with Shopify codes aswell.

      2- Wrong, Many hosting companies charges less than $10 for a super fast host , Don't fall for the wordpress hosting solution. Oh Also you won't have any probelm receiving more than 25K visitors, if you do much then you can upgrade at any time (will still cost less than Shopify).

      3- Again wrong, The majority of plugins are free and updated on a regular basis, I understand if you're getting nulled or old ones, but on their plugins page you can get every module needed to run a successful ecommerce store.

      You've talked about flexibility and being a result of a lot of work, Wrong again, today Woocommerce Themes offers demo layouts which you can use and modify the content. The design customization and modifications are one of the most critical factors in the success of a website, Halas Shopify is very limited.

      4- Woocommerce offers a default Paypal integration system and you can get Stripe for Free. I partially agree with you on this point since the price of 2CO plugin is $49 for one single website. But if you search the interenet you'll find a free snippet to integrate 2CO.

      Now let's talk about the real advantages of Shopify. Recently a lot of people started to run their stores using Shopify due to the Hype it gets from gurus and media. They run a very agressive marketing campaign targetting people interested in Dropshipping, Yes exactly. Shopify is a very good platform, but only if you wish to start a dropshipping store. You won't see big companies (there are some) using Shopify, the majority goes with higher compeling solutions such as prestashop & magneto (sometimes woocommerce). You may wonder why , the layout is the answer. A store needs to be updated on a regular basis to reflect the latest updates (new products, coupons, deals...) and very often you can't go with the same banners (images, POSITIONS, design..) all the time.

      Shopify is a great solution to dropshipping business since it offers all the tools you need to run a dropshipping store. The major ones are products submission & orders fulfilment , and that's it. Every other advantage can be found on other platforms, and please don't bring the SSL and the unlimited hosting to table because it's just stupid.

      Bottom line:

      - Shopify: Dropshipping business
      - Woocommerce, Prestashop, Magneto, Bigcommerce, Cscart ......: Real eCommerce business.
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeTG
        I know multimillion dollar brands who started and have grown on Shopify - and no, they're not into Dropshipping.

        1. It's very hard to screw anything up on Shopify. It's very easy to screw up Wordpress even if you know what you're doing. Simple plugins like Visual Builder can suddenly start working properly and **** up a day's work on the website if you're not careful or are unable to find a bug in the code.

        2. There's no such thing as super fast host for $10 unless you buy from a site like Digital Ocean and are technically competent enough to set up your own hosting with them. Period. There is no fast host for $10. These are shared hosting accounts at best which tout "unlimited" traffic but can only handle a few hundred concurrent connections at best - after which your site will go down.

        Managed hosting solutions start from around $20-30 depending on the company - and can grow significantly. But they are the only ones that guarantee regular backups, staging environment and full security.

        Self-hosting Wordpress is otherwise asking for trouble because as the most popular CMS it is the constant target for malware and hackers. You can install all security plugins in the world and your site will still be vulnerable. So you need a built-in backup solution - and that puts you in the higher tier of hosting services.

        3. It doesn't matter if plugins are updated or not - some will just not work with each other and many will have bugs of their own - even the most popular ones. Not to mention that when you overload your site with plugins it can impact your performance. So, again, talking about super-fast hosting for $10 that can handle it? lol, you're joking.

        Of course big companies will generally go for custom solutions - but people who are starting on Woo or Shopify ARE NOT BIG COMPANIES. Saying that some solution is for "real ecommerce" only shows completely basic incompetence.

        Everything is "real ecommerce" - whether you're sweaters your grandma is making or running a multimillion dollar ecommerce platform.

        Of course big companies have the funds to keep internal technical teams to optimize their store and mobile app experience, endlessly test and modify their environment to keep their users satisfied.

        The whole point of Shopify is that it's a platform that does all the necessary stuff for you so you can focus on getting good products and selling them online, without extensive technical knowledge.

        Even woocommerce already requires more technical ability and understanding - as well as more money and more time to devote to maintaining and protecting your website.

        Every solution in the market can work well, depending on your capabilities. The question here was how much easier to use Shopify is - and it is a lot easier and could be significantly cheaper. Whether it's right for you or the op is completely dependent on individual situation and preferences.

        But to claim Woocommerce is not more complex and, ultimately, costly (in money and time) is completely misleading.
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  • Profile picture of the author roboscripts
    Simply for most its easier to use. I myself use WP and a ecommerce plugin, but i have experience and most dont.
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  • If you can deal with complexity (technically savvy?), then you will be happier with Woo because of the control it would offer you. As you say, there are no upfront fees.

    Shopify is great if you want everything (SEO, CRO, payment etc.) to work out of the box. If you have already used Woo, then nothing has changed as such, it still require about 100 plug-ins to be integrated (And your theme) together to get everything right between Woo and WP, before the next Woo release may break everything Woo can also be slow, if you're hosted on a cheap shared platform.

    It is a classic dilemma between DIY versus Out of the box functionality.
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    • Profile picture of the author Qqxx
      Is it possible to build your store on Shopify with zero technical experience.

      Im all for learning but worried it will take a long time for me to get this store going....within a few months.
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeTG
        Shopify requires the least technical experience of all solutions. Of course you have to be willing to learn SOMETHING but it should be easy.
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        • Profile picture of the author MuayThaiGuy
          Originally Posted by MikeTG View Post

          Shopify requires the least technical experience of all solutions. Of course you have to be willing to learn SOMETHING but it should be easy.
          Yea, I'm aware that it's the easiest to get set up.

          For beginners it seems like a great option.

          As someone who has set up WooCommerce sites before, is comfortable working with Wordpress and is already paying for a hosting plan.. I'm not sure it justifies all the recurring fees.

          Still looking into it though.
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    More important than anything, is the security and PCI compliance that Shopify affords. You never have to worry about security updates or plugins breaking after security updates with Shopify; they are done seamlessly in the background and you never even realize that the cart has been updated.

    If you are processing credit cards on the site (not sending them off to a third party like PayPal), you will find it almost impossible to meet the credit card companies' PCI compliance standards with WordPress/Woo, which will cost you extra every month in non-compliance fees. You don't have to worry about that with Shopify's hosted platform.

    All Shopify stores have an SSL security certificate included and the entire site is HTTPS out of the box.

    Finally, if I cannot afford $29-$79/month for each website business, the business was not worth creating in the first place.
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  • Profile picture of the author Business Ryan
    The main reason a lot of people prefer Shopify to Woo commerce is mainly because of the ease of use. Woo commerce for beginners is a lot harder to use but if you know or learn how to use it by all means use Woo commerce.
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  • Profile picture of the author MuayThaiGuy
    Yea, I went with WooCommerce. Very happy about my decision to do so. I tried to make sense of using Shopify due to all the hype, but since I'm comfortable working with Wordpress, the ease-of-use wasn't a huge selling point for me. There's just so many advantages to using WooCommerce..


    - Plugins are usually a 1 time fee vs monthly
    - More themes to pick from
    - No additional costs to build out multiple sites
    - More options when it comes to SEO
    - You actually OWN your site
    - You have more flexibility overall

    The icing on the cake was that Shopify will charge you an additional 2% if you want to use a payment processor besides their in-built one. Seriously? If you're paying their monthly fee, you should be able to use whatever processor you want.

    Shopify payments is only available in specific countries as well, so many people don't even have the option to use it. These people (if they use Shopify) will be paying around 5% just in transaction fees. Ridiculous.

    I find it funny how there are dozens of Youtubers referring to Shopify like it's a method in itself.

    "Shopify dropshipping, shopify dropshipping, shopify dropshipping".

    It's just a platform..

    They must have a really good affiliate program. The marketers are out in full force haha
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  • Profile picture of the author sickbaomei
    Some print on demand suppliers only have Shopify Apps and don't support other platforms which is a problem..
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