Woocommerce and Shopify are two giants in the eCommerce platform industry, allowing hundreds of thousands of users to quickly create a functional online store. So, it is natural that dropshippers would come to them as a platform to start selling.
But, which is the better option to do dropshipping, especially with its special nature? Everything from the storefront, supply, marketing, inventory management, and shipping needs you to focus on building, which can be a difficult task for even veterans in the game.
In this article, I will show you a detailed examination of both platforms with their own strengths, so you can pick out the best solution for your dropshipping business. You will know which has better pricing, which looks better, which is more flexible, and which one is the best for your needs.
Let’s begin by looking at the definition of dropshipping for the ones who are not aware of the eCommerce method.
What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping is an eCommerce fulfillment method in which the store doesn’t keep the products in stock. Instead, when it successfully sells a product using the dropshipping model, it passes the item order to a third party supplier – who ships the item directly to the customer. Therefore, the seller does not even have to handle the product directly at all.
The biggest difference between dropshipping and a standard retail model is that the seller doesn’t own, make, or stock inventory. Instead, dropshipping merchants buy inventory from a wholesaler or manufacturer, when needed, to fulfill orders.
Dropshipping is a profitable business model for entrepreneurs to start with because it is easy to start with a little budget. You can quickly test many different business ideas, which lets you learn a lot about how to target a niche market and pick winning products. In addition, you won’t have to take care of manufacturing or shipping, which can require a lot of time and effort.
However, dropshipping is not a get-rich-quick way; a platform and the right strategy is really important to succeed. There will always be obstacles that require some time to get through like profit margins, competition, and lack of control.
But, at the end of the day, dropshipping is still a low-cost and promising business model that is worth a shot.
Next up, let’s see which platform between Woocommerce and Shopify is suitable for your taste to start dropshipping.
Woocommerce vs Shopify dropshipping comparison
Here are the differences in benefits that you should consider when choosing Woocommerce or Shopify as your eCommerce platform for dropshipping.
- Woocommerce vs Shopify: Pricing
Woocommerce works with a free, open-source web-making software called WordPress, so it is naturally free as well. You will be surprised to learn that a whopping 28% of eCommerce websites are powered by WooCommerce, while Shopify is only used by 8% of eCommerce websites.
However, if you use Woocommerce, you will still need to pay for:
- Domain: $10 – $20 per year
- Hosting: $35 – $50 per year
- Security: $0 – $200 per year
- Extension: $0 – $100 per year
On the other hand, Shopify has set pricing, ranging from $29 to $299 per month. You can unlock more features with each upgrade, but all of the hosting, domain, extension, and security are included in each plan.
Considering aspects including pricing plans, hosting costs, and transaction fees, Shopify scored 3.5 out of 5 for money, while WooCommerce reached 4.4/5.
The winner: Woocommerce
- Woocommerce vs Shopify: Set up time
Shopify is easy to set up; you just need 30 to 40 minutes to sign up and create an online store for your dropshipping business. When it comes to WooCommerce, you can launch your store in about the same time if you choose a managed WooCommerce hosting. Otherwise, your expertise decides the time.
If you are starting from scratch with limited technical skills, Shopify is the better option. Getting your store up and running is a lot faster and easier. You have guidance when setting up your store, and selecting a theme can give a look you need. Unlike setting up a store with WordPress and Woocommerce, the process isn’t manual, so you would need some time to get things right. It assumes a good level of technical knowledge, and you will have to search for some answers.
The winner: Shopify
- Woocommerce vs Shopify: Themes
Both WooCommerce and Shopify themes can give your store a professional look – which is very important for an eCommerce website.
The quality of your design on WooCommerce depends on your technical level and time spent making. ThemeForest has over 1,000 eCommerce themes on the platform for you to test out.
On the other hand, the Shopify theme store has over 70 free and paid themes to choose from. However, if you include variations, the real number of themes is more than 100. Shopify’s themes are very well-designed – since this is a dedicated eCommerce platform, the themes are made to help you sell.
While WooCommerce’s versatility is great, Shopify’s themes are more curated for the eCommerce purpose..The themes have been selected carefully to create an amazing store. If you want to, you can check our list of the best Shopify themes for dropshipping.
The winner: Shopify
- Woocommerce vs Shopify: Features
Both platforms provide the features needed to build an efficient online store. If you are looking to open a small online business or start an eCommerce empire, neither will disappoint.
WooCommerce has more than 75,000 plugins available. As an open-source platform, WordPress is well known for allowing third-party developers to create a variety of extensions and additions.
Shopify has only over 1200 Apps. Most apps have a 15-day free trial, after which you pay a flat monthly amount for the app. But, the difference is that Shopify comes with many eCommerce tools built-in.
Just sign up with Basic Shopify, and you’ll get impressive features that you need to pay for if you use Woocommerce, including:
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Unlimited Products
- Discount codes
- Website and blog
- More than 100 payment options
While both platforms cater to the merchants’ needs to sell online, Shopify’s features are built-in conveniently. They are ready to use right from the moment you sign up so you can start dropshipping quickly. In comparison, Woocommerce’s plugins cost can add up quickly if you don’t pay attention.
The winner: Shopify
- Woocommerce vs Shopify: SEO options
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the key to attracting customers for eCommerce businesses. You always need to make sure your store has a high position in Google search results. When buyers enter words related to your product, you want your company’s name to show up.
WooCommerce is built using SEO optimized code – which is integrated with WordPress, and there is an impressive number of SEO plugins available. You can dig deep with your site’s content and add better meta descriptions or titles to let Google know about your site.
Both Shopify and WooCommerce offer apps and integrations to boost your store’s ranking. Shopify has fewer apps on the App Store, but you can still scan your store and fix problems that may harm your site’s performance.
I won’t go too much into details because SEO is a broad area, you can read a more detailed article about Shopify vs WordPress SEO comparison. For dropshipping, both platforms are great.
The winner: Draw
- Woocommerce vs Shopify: Plugins & Apps
Installing an app or plugin allows you to add more functionality. On both platforms, you can install apps to improve many areas of your dropshipping business, including shipping, marketing, and inventory management. But which one is better?
As an open-source platform, WooCommerce relies on plugins heavily. There are over 50,000 apps available, allowing you to build your own website to the fullest. However, there aren’t many dropshipping apps, with the most notable app is WooCommerce Dropshipping at $49 per year.
Shopify has over 1,200 trustworthy apps (free and paid). Since the platform was made with dropshipping in mind, there are both dropshipping apps from Shopify and third-party companies. Many are really helpful like Oberlo, Proofo – Social Proof, Spocket, Avada SEO Suite, and more, which can solve many dropshipping problems.
There is a growing trend in using Shopify as a dropshipping platform, as well as you get direct app support from Shopify, so it is really helpful when starting dropshipping.
The winner: Shopify
- Woocommerce vs Shopify: Help & Support
WooCommerce has no official support. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get support. As a free and open-source software, there are plenty of forums available where you can ask any questions about WooCommerce or WordPress. There are many users out there, so if you Google, you can find the solution to your problem.
On the other hand, Shopify provides 24/7 support via email, live chat, and phone, which is really good for both new users and savvy ones. If you have any problems, simply contact Shopify Support, and they will help you in a few minutes.
For dropshipping, the markets change constantly, so if you want to save some time trying to figure things out by yourself, Shopify is the better option with great support.
The winner: Shopify
In this article, I’ve shown you all the differences between Woocommerce and Shopify dropshipping. Both are excellent platforms for dropshipping and start selling online. In my opinion, Shopify is the winner of this battle with built-in sale tools, ease of use, clear pricing, and great support, which will help you start dropshipping more efficiently.
But what do you think? Which is the better candidate for your dropshipping business? Share your thoughts in the comment section, and thanks for reading!
Chance is a marketing specialist at Avada Commerce – a fast-growing eCommerce solution provider, whose goal is to never write a boring article. His enthusiasm for online business has spanned over two years, accompanying his articles with in-depth knowledge about eCommerce. He also enjoys drinking tea and playing Exploding Kittens in his free time.
Check out my guide on how to start your business right with tons of useful tips I learned by successfully starting, building, and selling multiple companies.