Dropshipping is thriving worldwide and rapidly becoming the most popular type of operating an online store.
According to google trends, the dropshipping search trends are continuing to rise and hit the highest point in February 2020.
Why dropshipping is preferred by so many people who want to start their online business? Because it is simple. Read on to see if any of these may apply to you.
There is no need to invest in warehousing capacity to store what retailers sell on their online stores. And what's more important is they don't ever worry about inventory management, which can be a tough job. By leveraging the dropshipping business, retailers can rely on it to cover all these time and money consuming works.
The only things that need to be done by retailers are having an e-commerce website, doing marketing to acquire orders, and having orders paid. The dropshipping platform will take care of the whole order fulfillment process and ship orders directly to end customers.
Sounds easy, right? But all these based on a well-optimized e-commerce store. When it comes to building an online store, using e-commerce platforms seems to be a better chance:
More flexible than third party marketplaces
Running an online store within third-party marketplaces means complying with the rules of the market. Well, unlike marketplaces, the e-commerce platform will allow you to make more space for business flexibility.
Brand image building & Customers accumulation
It is ideal to combine self-built stores with dropshipping business and social networks, which are monetized by driving traffic to stores, especially when you have a certain number of followers on social networks.
Now, it is time to choose an excellent platform to maximize the ROI, which e-commerce platform is best for you? There are the many e-commerce platforms available on the market, among which Shopify and WooCommerce both are good alternatives. From the sellers' perspectives, what are the differences between them, and how do sellers choose the most appropriate platform based on their business requirements?
We will cover the following six aspects of Shopify and WooCommerce in this article.
Templates & design
Search engine optimization
Before we dig into Shopify and WooCommerce, let’s take a look at basics first.
Shopify is an integrated e-commerce platform that allows you to easily create online stores, manage your inventory and receive a payment within one platform without worrying about the technical aspects of managing your site such as web hosting, security, etc.
WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce plugin built by WordPress. It allows you to take advantage of the most powerful content management system (CMS) and run an online store. Thanks to its open-source feature, you can customize the store and quickly build custom extensions.
Shopify has revolutionized the world of e-commerce. Shopify is so popular that they are committed to making it a simple thing to create e-commerce stores, and every theme they offer is centered around e-commerce sites.
WooCommerce, on the other hand, is slightly tricky to use. WordPress is a plugin, a software platform designed to make blogs, not specifically designed for an e-commerce store. So if we use WooCommerce to build an e-commerce site, it may need some code skills in order to reconstruct the framework, which may also cause some incompatible issues if we can't deal with it properly, especially you are new to WooCommerce.
So if you're new to WordPress and don't know anything about creating a site, Shopify fits you better.
Templates & designs
All WordPress themes available apply to WooCommerce; there are also about 1000 themes for sellers. Sellers can also get an elegant theme from ThemeForest.
There are nine site templates for sellers to use for free, while the paid ones are $140 per.
Search engine optimization
WooCommerce is generally regarded as an SEO friendly platform because it provides sellers with a variety of customizations and provides online source code access.
And Shopify has also done a lot of optimization for search engines. It provides a variety of different features to meet various SEO needs.
You should provide various online payment methods to make sure that every customer can purchase from you, so it is crucial to choose an e-commerce platform providing multiple payment methods. Let's compare with the payment aggregation of WooCommerce and Shopify.
Shopify offers several payment methods that can be used to accept payments. It also has its payment solution, Shopify Payments (supported by Stripe), and all the popular third-party payment gateways.
But Shopify will charge 2% of the total for each transaction through a third-party payment gateway, while the advanced users will be charged 0.5%.
WooCommerce offers PayPal and Stripe payments by default. It also supports all other popular payment services. WooCommerce even supports many regional and less popular payment services. With no barriers to entry, any payment company can provide payment service for WooCommerce. It is worth mentioning that sellers won't be charged for any transactions through WooCommerce.
Shopify allows you to start an online store quickly. Their basic plan starts at $29 per month, and you can upgrade to the $299 Shopify plan for $79 per month.
Each of these plans includes domain names, SSL certificates, and web hosting.
The basic plan has enough features to set up a new online store. You can add unlimited products, two user accounts, unlimited file storage, etc.
However, this pricing does not include third-party tools and plugins required to bring Shopify stores to the new level. As your business grows, these costs will begin to increase, and you will soon pay more than the basic plan.
Payment is another factor that affects your cost. Shopify offers its own Shopify Payments solution at the price of 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction.
If you want to use a third-party payment gateway or your merchant account, you will be charged a fixed fee of 2.0%. You can use the Shopify premium plan to reduce this fee to 0.5%, and the monthly payment is $299.
When using external payment gateways, these payment processing fees are quite high. However, if you are just starting and want to use the Shopify payment solution, it is comparable to popular platforms like Stripe and Braintree.
WooCommerce is an e-commerce plugin for WordPress.org (also known as self-hosted WordPress). It is open source and can be provided for free as a WordPress plugin.
However, you need a domain name, SSL certificate, and a WordPress hosting account to start the WooCommerce store.
Generally, the domain name fee is $14.99, the SSL certificate fee is $69.99, and the website hosting fee is $7.99 per month. This is not cheap, especially when you are just getting started.
However, compared with Shopify, the annual cost of WooCommerce stores is much lower than Shopify. WooCommerce also does not charge you a percentage fee for the transaction.
However, when you purchase a paid extension, WooCommerce's fees begin to increase. As the online store grows, so will your hosting costs.
Affected by the open system architecture, WooCommerce provides limited customer support. However, if the seller needs more support assistance, WooCommerce allows customers to submit specific support service requests.
In terms of customer service, Shopify's performance is more desirable. It provides 24/7 customer support for all users, and sellers can contact customer service staff at any time via email, online chat, or phone.
Shopify and WooCommerce are both powerful platforms to launch e-commerce stores. It comes down to your skills and preferences.
Shopify is easier to use. It does not require you to install anything; you can get started quickly. Setting up payments is more manageable, and they have easy-to-understand pricing plans.
The disadvantage of Shopify is that you cannot fully control everything. Transaction fees, surcharges, and integration fees can be high. Your upgrade options are limited to choosing a plan, and you cannot manage compensation costs based on growth.
WooCommerce is an open-source and gives you complete control of your website.
The disadvantage is that you must maintain the software. It comes with a little learning curve. However, millions of beginners are already using it, and they quickly completed the learning phase.
If you are looking for a cost-effective solution and want to take full control of your online store, then WooCommerce is the best platform for you.
If you want something infinitely scalable, then Shopify is the best platform for you.
If you are a beginner, don't waste time on platforms like WooCommerce, it is a lot more challenging to navigate. For example, you would need to upload all the necessary photos for products and set up your homepage by using the Elmentor plugin. Although the file is directly displayed by drag and drop, it is easier said than done. Therefore, the decision to choose between the two platforms depends entirely on your needs and skill level.