Shopify, WooCommerce and Shopware in comparison

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Christian Waske, May 5, 2020

Shopify, WooCommerce and Shopware in comparison

Reading time: 5 minutes

The Corona crisis has taught many retailers and wholesalers something: If you have an online store, you are able to offer your customers adequate service even during an official no-contact period. It is not only since March 2020 that we have been advising our customers who are active in retail to set up an online store to expand their portfolio. 

Many users think that running a store is complicated: Digital inventory, photos, descriptions, payment processing, data protection, etc. open a lot of questions. However, most aspects are already clarified once you are taken care of by an experienced online agency like Golden Web Age. We take care of making the process of setting up a store as easy as possible for you. In order for you to know what options we offer, what advantages they provide and what points to consider, we will introduce you to three store systems in this article. 

Shopify - Goes fast, costs little

A frequently requested store solution is Shopify. This is known to many of our customers through the company's advertising. In contrast to WooCommerce and Shopware, Shopify is characterized by a modular principle, which you know in some form from various providers, for example. In principle, Shopify's system is built on the idea that everyone should be able to create and configure an online store independently. This is the basis of a very successful and advantageous concept.

  1. Simplicity. - "Simple" doesn't have to be bad. On the contrary, Shopify offers you a straightforward path to your own eCommerce. That means you don't have to do anything other than create an account. Shortly after signing up, you can create a Shopify-hosted site. Over 70 themes (i.e. pre-made color, font, and layout schemes) provide some variety for this. The user interface looks modern and user-friendly. 
  2. Mobile friendliness. - A created online store via Shopify is "mobile friendly" and thus can be accessed smartphone without any problems. In addition, there are some SEO options, selected marketing tools and the option to blog.
  3. Self-reliance. - "What if I want to do something on my own?" This is a question we get from a lot of customers. Shopify is built in such a way that you can add and remove listings from your online store on your own with (Really!) little training time. 

Shopify - Usability with limitations

As pleasant as it sounds, there are two sides to this coin as well. Shopify offers no more than three standard product attributes. Each product in the online store is defined by size, color and material. You can add many options for each of these parameters, but you can't create new ones.

Another point that is especially unpleasant if you have a sophisticated corporate identity refers to the limitation of design options. For the fact that the "store construction kit" saves you from mastering HTML and CSS, you have to live with the selection of themes that Shopify provides. Customizations are only possible within certain limits. 

One last point to consider is the technical side of search engine optimization. While keywords, interesting product descriptions and great headlines make your store findable for customers, you or we can't change anything about page load times or programming.  

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WooCommerce - A WordPress favorite

WooCommerce is a powerful eCommerce toolkit. It is designed to turn any WordPress website into an online store or connect one to your website. Pleasantly, this plugin a) runs robustly and b) works reliably. Besides, WooCommerce comes up with three aspects that are important for the success of a web store, both from a technical and SEO point of view. 

  1. Scalability. - This describes the flexibility of a website. If your web store is affected by heavy data load due to high requests, it would be convenient if the electronic store doesn't collapse under it. WooCommerce is designed not to collapse even with rapidly growing access rates by users. This is also important in the sense that, thanks to WooCommerce, your online store will be allowed to grow quickly without having to incur huge amounts of resource costs. - In short, WooCommerce simply works. 
  2. Customizability. - If you are considering running your business from overseas, this will require the connection of an appropriate payment gateway. You'll also need a shipping calculator connected to the small local shipping company you've decided to work with. Integrating such solutions can be done quickly via WooCommerce, without having to take into account any pre-made specifications.
  3. Logical richness of functions. - WooCommerce includes all the core features needed to run an online store without being bloated. From the simple action of adding and managing products to advanced inventory controls, tax rate calculations, and order management, WooCommerce does it all quickly.
  4. Individuality. - Unlike defined theme offers, we can integrate your design ideas into WooCommerce. A webshop embedded on a WordPress site via this plugin will appear in your company's corporate design, if you want it to. 

WooCommerce - Knowhow in demand

Again and again our customers inquire which is "the better choice": Shopify or WooCommerce? Apart from the fact that we can offer another alternative, Shopware, the question is justified but cannot be answered in this form. It always depends on what the customer or you want(s). 

WooCommerce is (seemingly) more complicated in direct comparison and offers an extended feature set. For example, it convinces with the feature of being able to set extensive reporting on incoming sales, reviews, stock levels and general store performance. In other words, it takes care of some of your logistics. 

At the same time, it requires certain technical know-how, because as with many online products, the same applies here: Individuality is nice, but it's not easy. That's why at Golden Web Agee we make sure to accommodate you at every point of the setup and management process, so that your work becomes all the more pleasant. 

Shopware - For professionals and those who want more

Shopware is a highly scalable, robust and customizable eCommerce solution that allows users to (more or less) easily and quickly create their own online stores, regardless of their specifications and other business needs. It seems to us, Shopify and WooCommerce are still geared more towards merchants (being able to) manage their eShop independently as well. Shopware systems, on the other hand, should be monitored and edited by someone who has the necessary time as well as knowledge. 

This enterprise-level e-commerce solution is used today by a number of the largest online stores on the market, whose users include major international brands such as L'Oreal, Segway and Euronics. The customer portfolio results, as it were, in requirements that those place on the system, which we can declare as a clear benefit aspect. 

  1. Scalability. - Shopware has a proven ability to handle "tons" of incoming data at peak times, as well as a huge increase in orders. This scalability is feasible thanks to Shopware's tools, including a varnish cache, clustering tools, and more. 
  2. Extensibility. - Since it is a modular eCommerce system, you can add numerous extras to increase Shopware's functionality according to your needs. With Shopware you can start your online business small and expand the software's functionality as your business grows. It's not an exaggeration to say that with Shopware there is no limit (at least technically) in the field of online store solutions. 
  3. Individuality. - Shopware is integrated into existing systems. Your customers will not know that you are working with this eCommerce solution; but they will notice it. According to your wishes or the necessities, we present products optimally and adapt the processes. 

ShopWare - Performance has its price

The complexity of the eCommerce solution offers an incredible range of possibilities to serve a wide range of customers. This requires corresponding resources, which ShopWare provides for a certain surcharge. After a certain point (in the Enterprise Edition), this can be defined and requested on a modular basis. 

In addition, ShopWare requires intensive maintenance and can hardly be managed without prior knowledge of programming and store set-up. For this reason, we advise entrepreneurs who decide to use ShopWare to have all technical aspects of the online store managed externally or to hire an employee separately. 

Do you have further questions about the store systems, our offers or would you like to arrange a consultation appointment? - Write to us or give us a call. We are happy to be there for you and implement your project with you.

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Christian Waske

Managing Director & CRO expert

Christian is Managing Director of Golden Web Age GmbH and an expert in search engine optimization. With his knowledge, he has already been able to place many well-known companies on page 1 of Google.

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