About to launch a new or redesigned e-commerce store? Check out our extensive comparison of 3 of the most popular platforms used Worldwide.
WooCommerce, Magento, and Shopify are three of the most popular eCommerce solutions in the market, collectively running more than 2.5Million online stores!
All three platforms are functional, scalable, offer nice design options, and offer a broad range of eCommerce functionality.
All three eCommerce platforms have billion-dollar companies behind them, so just because you may hear terms like open-source, you can be confident that they will be around to update and enhance the software going forward.
While all three tools are popular and well-supported, they all have big differences when it comes to their strengths and weaknesses. They are also very different in the way they’re structured, how you can get started with each, and what sort of user and project they’re best suited for.
Whilst we have endeavoured to stick to facts and figures, a lot of feedback analysed around topics like ease-of-use and design, was often subjective and anecdotal. However, we are confident to submit that the following is generally held to be true:
WooCommerce holds a 22% market share, putting it slightly ahead of Shopify for first place. WooCommerce was acquired by Automattic in May 2015, the company behind WordPress.
WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin, although you may need to purchase some extensions depending on the functionality required.
WooCommerce gives your website eCommerce functionality out of the box. You can upload products including images, descriptions, prices, variable attributes, and set up shipping zones and more.
With regards to design, most WordPress themes support WooCommerce out of the box. There are also thousands of dedicated WooCommerce themes for every niche business. WooCommerce really excels with extensions, offering 50,000+ free plugins, as well as thousands of premium options.
Founded in 2004, Shopify holds a 21% market share when you look at eCommerce sites in the BuiltWith Top 1 Million, which puts it in second place behind WooCommerce.
Shopify offers a streamlined approach to setting up an online store. You can just sign up for an account, choose a theme and start adding products. Shopify’s hosting service is high quality and includes unlimited bandwidth, a built-in CDN, and automatic site backups. Shopify also handles updating and maintaining the underlying software for you
Shopify offers themes that work like WordPress themes, providing a template for the design of your site and some base functionality. Shopify currently offers 72 official themes, eight free themes and 64 premium options priced between $140 and $180.
As with WordPress, you can also extend your store’s functionality with apps. The Shopify App Store contains thousands of apps for a variety of uses, including live chat, drop-shipping, automatic currency conversion, variable shipping rates and accounting software. While some apps are free, many of them require you to pay on a monthly basis.
You also don’t get direct access to your server and underlying software for full customization like you do with WooCommerce and Magento.
Shopify requires payment processing fees (see below) to use the official Shopify Payments service. If you want to use the likes of Stripe or PayPal, Shopify charges an extra fee on top of what that payment processor charges, varying from 2% to 0.5% depending on your plan.
Features its own analytics system, and can also be integrated with Google Analytics.
Shopify is the way to go for users who don’t want to deal with a complicated setup process and need premium support. The service guarantees a smooth ride at the expense of a monthly subscription.
Founded in 2008, Magento has most recently been acquired by Adobe in 2018. Magento powers ~9% of eCommerce stores in the top million sites, which puts it in third place behind Shopify and WooCommerce.
Magento comes with a considerably steeper learning curve than Shopify or WooCommerce, so you will need skilled developers to work with this platform. Magento is quite complex and you’ll need a developer to perform even simple tasks, such as installing extensions.
Similar to WordPress, Magento uses themes to determine your site’s design, and extensions to enhance functionality. The official store offers a good selection of themes and extensions, or you can buy from third-party marketplaces.
However, themes and extensions for Magento can be expensive compared to WordPress equivalents. For example, it’s common to see extensions or themes cost $300+-plus (though you can find cheaper options, as well).
Magento is considered the most powerful eCommerce platform out of the three platforms analysed. It is basically a balance of the quantity of features it supports versus being complex (and expensive without in-house developers) to use.
Magento feels more geared towards developers than regular users. The steep learning curve might be too challenging if you’re not ready to either hire someone to help you with the platform or have the required experience yourself.
Based on data from:
https://trends.builtwith.com/shop/, https://www.shopify.com/, https://woocommerce.com/, https://magento.com/