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Shopify or WooCommerce?

Shopify or WooCommerce

In our current time, without being able to have your doors open, stores are scrambling to find ways to sell online — and rightfully so.  Over the last few weeks, it’s been a non-stop barrage for me @ setting-up Shopify websites and WooCommerce websites for our customers.  I have an intimate and detailed (and realistic) level of experience with both systems and I understand them both inside and out.  I’ve fixed countless websites setup by others and I’ve seen the real-world benefits and drawbacks to both shopping cart options.

Reality

Nothing has changed though — the following are still true:

  • Shopify isn’t a sweet, sweet candy you can gobble up and get rich from (vendors, stop trying to sell people this — yeah, YOU!!!  You know who you are.)
  • WooCommerce is accessible to more of you than you thnk.
  • Selling online isn’t a “Buy, click, done!” sort of thing.
  • You can do online sales WITHOUT EITHER Shopify or WooCommerce (and I’ve seen a lot of really creative ways to do so).

Right off the top, I want to outline some pros and cons about each, but first, here is a simple list of questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I already have a website?
  • Is my website built on WordPress?
  • Is my consignment software vendor compatible with either/both?  (Note: It’s not the end of the world if your consignment software isn’t compatible — it’s totally doable either way!)

Pros and Cons

K, so my pros and cons list…

First, my pros for Shopify:

  • You can create a Shopify account and have a ‘temporary’ store URL in minutes.
  • If you have no website at all, it’s really easy to quickly have *some* sort of website going.
  • It connects to Facebook and Instagram, so you can have customers shop on Facebook and tap-to-buy on Instagram.
  • You have HTTPS right away.
  • Creating shipping labels is easy.
  • Credit card payments are built-in via PayPal.
  • Apple Pay and Google Pay are built-in.
  • ‘Collections’ make it easy to gather your consignment store’s Categories into simple groups.
  • It integrates with Peeps’ Software, Liberty, and ConsignmentTill.

Next, my pros for WooCommerce:

  • Many websites are built on WordPress, which means WooCommerce is already baked-in.
  • It’s free.
  • It connects to Facebook and Instagram, so you can have customers shop on Facebook and tap-to-buy on Instagram.
  • It fits in to your existing WordPress website, so you don’t have to re-do or link-to a new website.
  • WordPress has free plugins for everything you need/want for your website, from contact forms, to Instagram feeds.
  • Credit card payments are built-in via PayPal.
  • It integrates with Peeps’ Software.

Now, my cons for Shopify:

  • There are a lot of nuances to getting things working the way you want, from the theme, to shipping, to connecting it to Facebook and Instagram, to ‘orphaning’ your old/existing website (or convincing your current website company to link to your Shopify site).
  • In many situations, you are paying for two separate websites (ok for the short-term, but long-term, you need to commit and ditch the old website, to move to Shopify completely).
  • It’s a paid, monthly subscription service.
  • You have to buy additional add-ons to make it do basic things.

And lastly, my cons for WooCommerce:

  • If you don’t already have a WordPress website, you can’t use it.
  • WordPress needs to be properly secured or it’s a matter of time before your website is breached.
  • HTTPS isn’t on out-of-the box.
  • There can be a lot of manual work to do, if you’re not familiar with WordPress or don’t have a WordPress expert running your site.

It’s Not Black or White

When it comes to figuring out if it’s Shopify or WooCommerce, it’s not a simple, “Yep, that one!” answer.

WooCommerce is accessible to a lot of you and within 20 minutes, you can have an online shopping cart that integrates with Facebook and Instagram.  In this current time, not having to spend any money on something new, while gaining a WHOLE LOT of power, is extremely beneficial.

Shopify isn’t going to just change your life and work right out of the box — you have to do/configure a lot, so don’t get conned into thinking Shopify is your savior.

WooCommerce can be a challenge if you’re not the one managing your own WordPress website, or if you don’t have someone to go to to get things working for you in an instant.  So you can pay for it with time-spent.

Shopify is easy to start using right away, but you pay for that in literal dollars.

Peeps Can Help for Free

There is absolutely no charge to talk about which one (if either) would work for you, how each one fits-in with your current mode of doing things, and how to get the most out of either, as quickly as possible.

I don’t give a crap about making money — this industry is an important part of my life and I want us all to succeed.  I want to see stores make quick, smart, effective decisions, even if they’re only short-term, because right now, being able to do something, is better than nothing…or wasting days and weeks on something that isn’t going to work for you.

I've been helping consignment & resale store-owners since 2003. I started The Computer Peeps in February of 2010. After 16+ years of working with consignment stores, I understand the unique challenges consignment & resale store-owners face. From electrical issues in old building or strip malls, to advocating for them when their consignment software keeps crashing. I now manage over 600 computer systems, servers & websites for store-owners all across North America and I am the developer/programmer of Peeps' Software -- the only software written FOR consignment & resale stores specifically.

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