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ecommerce platform showdown

WooCommerce vs Shopify

Ecommerce,  Web Design,  Web Development

29 Jun, 2020

Online business is here to stay. But which ecommerce platform is best for your website?

We compare Shopify and WooCommerce, so you don’t have to.

Choosing an ecommerce platform is like buying your first smartphone: it might seem overwhelming at first, but you’ll look back in a week and wonder how you ever got by without it.

It’s remarkable, if you think about it – your business can go from being limited by physical location to offering 24 hour access to your products, whether your customers are in the Bay area, New York or Thailand.

Don’t just take our word for it though. Research has shown that:

  • 80% of internet users have used an ecommerce store to buy goods or services
  • 89% of B2B buyers search online when they have to make a purchase
  • By 2040, it’s estimated that around 95% of all purchases are expected to be via ecommerce websites.

Yes, you might feel a bit daunted as you first try to work out the bells and whistles, but just like your first smartphone, it’s better when you have someone to walk you through it. So we thought we would – as a web design agency, we’re pretty intimate with ecommerce websites, after all.

For a powerful website, use a powerful platform. Let’s look at your options.

When it comes to building a website, Shopify and WooCommerce are two of the most popular ecommerce platforms on the market, and for good reason.

Both will allow you to spread your wings as a business, taking care of sales, online marketing and communication with your customers – without you having to be there. It’s magic, really.

When it comes down to it though, you’ll find differences between the two that allow you to choose the right one based on your business needs, your time, your technical skills and budget. Let’s look at your options.

Hands-on vs all-wrapped-up

It’s time to think about what you really want from your ecommerce platform. When comparing Woocommerce and Shopify, we like to think of it as hosting a dinner party, compared with going to a restaurant.

WooCommerce is a self hosted ecommerce platform. In other words, you are the host. This requires more engagement on your behalf, but the results can be suited to your business’s needs – right down to the tiniest wee details.

Shopify, on the other hand, is a fully packaged, hands-off solution. It’s a hosted platform, which means a lot of the details and decisions are taken care of for you. Like security, for example. It can be set up in a matter of minutes, but you do have less control overall – like rocking up to a restaurant and ordering off the menu.

So how does this look in practice?


Known as “the world’s most customizable ‘ecommerce platform’, WooCommerce is open-sourced, which means the sky’s the limit. Whatever you can imagine for your website, you can have it, from intricate design to advanced user experience tools.

The code is available, and all the potential that comes with it, but you do need to know how to work with it. Using an experienced web design agency will let you make the most of this creative freedom.

Luckily, at State Creative, we can code like nobody’s business, and we’ve got years experience with WooCommerce. Reach out to the team, we’d love to help you get the most of your WooCommerce platform.

The pros

  • Limitless customization. As we said before, the sky’s the limit. This will allow you to build a flexible ecommerce website and insert add-ons as you go.
  • There are WordPress themes specially designed for WooCommerce, with endless design options. WooCommerce sites also have access to WordPress blog infrastructure and templates, so you can edit your site’s metadata and tap into the power of SEO and Google rankings.
  • No transaction fees. This one’s pretty self explanatory – you don’t have to pay every time a customer buys something. Makes for a happy balance book.
  • It offers flexible pricing. It starts free, but comes with extra costs, including hosting, plugins, and security. In other words, you pay for what you’re using.

The not-so-pros

  • Unfortunately, there’s a lack of customer support when using WooCommerce. Instead there’s a large online community of WooCommerce users, with endless threads and forums to help answer your questions.
  • No in-built security. Because you host the platform, you manage the security. This can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.

Working with a web design agency means you can have your cake and eat it too. In other words, have someone plan your ideal dinner party for you, down to the music, lighting and security.

At State Creative, we can help you tap into all the design and development potential of WooCommerce, and take care of the complicated stuff.


While there’s less flexibility, Shopify offers the undoubtedly simpler option of the two ecommerce platforms. It’s like going to a restaurant – while you have less choice (unless you own the joint), you can still pick the style, the price and your meal off the menu.

At State Creative, our experienced team of web developers and designers know both platforms like the backs of our hands, so let us take the hassle out of yours.

The Pros

  • It’s easy to use and quick to set up. If you’re starting from scratch, or have less time to spend on developing your site, it can be easier – both on you and your budget.
  • More built-in ecommerce tools, including discount codes, blogs, payment options and abandoned cart recovery. This last one is an important one as it let’s customers complete an abandoned order without filling out their details again and sends them an email reminder to finish the sale. With 23% of online shoppers abandoning their cart if they have to create a new user account, that’s worth thinking about!
  • Mobile optimization. All of Shopify’s themes are mobile responsive, which makes sense – 77% of their traffic was found to be through mobile devices.
  • Customer support. All their plans come with personalized support via phone, email and live chat.

With a web design agency helping you get the most from your ecommerce website, you won’t have to think about help centers. Our team can take care of all the grimy details, from kick-off to launch, through to maintenance and troubleshooting.

The not-so-pros

  • Less control over design and functionality. While it is still flexible, there are certain walls that you may hit. For example Shopify puts a hard cap of 100 variants per product, and 3 total options per product.
  • Shopify has set monthly pricing ranging from $29 to $299, which could be a pro or con depending on how much you are tapping into the offerings of your price bracket. You will also need to pay extra for premium themes and plug-ins.

All that being said, the secret sauce is not just in the platform, but how well you use it.

That’s where we can help. State Creative is an award winning web design and development agency, and we create ecommerce websites that work for your business.

We won’t just build you an ecommerce website (though we’ll do that too). From day one to project launch, our team works with you to discover the true potential of your business’s online presence. We integrate strategy, design and development to make truly beautiful websites.

Using WooCommerce or Shopify, we can design, build and maintain an ecommerce website that engages your customers, generates leads and boosts sales.

Let’s tap into the potential of your ecommerce website. Talk to our team today.

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