When it comes to launching an eCommerce website in Malaysia, choosing the right eCommerce platform and hosting provider is extremely crucial.
Shopify and Woocommerce are two of the most popular eCommerce platforms in Malaysia today.
And, in this blog post, we talk about both platforms and which is best to launch your eCommerce business. Before we go into all the details, let’s quickly define both platforms.
Shopify is a compact eCommerce platform that allows users to create an online store, accept payments, and manage their inventory — all from a single interface.
With this platform, you don’t have to worry about the technical side of managing your site, such as web hosting, security, etc.
WooCommerce is an open-source plugin built for WordPress. It allows users to leverage the most powerful CMS, WordPress, to run an online store.
Because it is an open-source plugin, users can easily customize every aspect of their store and even build custom extensions.
The Basic Requirements to Look For in an eCommerce Platform
The following requirements will help you determine if Shopify or WooCommerce is better suited for your online store.
Budget This is the capital required for setting up a fully functional website (in this case, your online store).
Ease of use The platform must be easy to use or navigate, even for a first-timer.
Payment methods The platform must support multiple payment options. Example Stripe, Payoneer, PayPal, etc. Integrations The platform should be able to allow you to integrate other services and tools to help grow your business.
Scalability The platform should be able to accommodate/scale as your store grows in the number of products, visits, purchases, deliveries, etc. Those are the basic requirements.
However, other requirements you may need to look at include shipping, inventory, invoicing, taxes, dropshipping, etc. — depending on your needs. Now, in comparing both Shopify and WooCommerce, we’ll look at where both platforms stand based on the above requirements.
1. Budget: Shopify vs. WooCommerce
Shopify Shopify’s basic plan starts at $29/mo. There’s also the $79/mo plan and the advanced plan of $299/mo. Each plan includes the cost for a domain name, SSL certificate and web hosting.
The basic plan has enough features to get you well started on your online store with unlimited products addition, unlimited file storage, access for only two users, and more.
However, the pricing for all the plans doesn’t include third-party tools and add-ons that are needed to take your business to the next level.
Also, as your business grows with Shopify, the cost will increase making the pricing quite unpredictable.
WooCommerce To start a WooCommerce store, you’ll need a domain name, SSL Certificate and a WordPress hosting account in Malaysia.
This may not be cheap, especially if you are just starting, and you have a small budget.
Fortunately, several hosting providers offer specialized WooCommerce hosting plans, which reduces the cost significantly in the long run.
In addition to that, the pricing is usually not subjected to change.
Final Verdict The cost of starting a basic WooCommerce store is lower than Shopify. Also, WooCommerce will not charge you for your transactions, as Shopify does. The cost of WooCommerce will only begin to add up when you buy paid extensions.
2. Ease of Use: Shopify vs. WooCommerce
Shopify When you sign up on Shopify, a design for your store is selected automatically. After that, you’ll be guided through customization, and then products will be added to your inventory.
With Shopify, managing your sales, products and inventory is simple, because of its easy drag and drop interface.
However, the downside to this highly optimized user experience is that your control over your store is limited to Shopify’s design, web development tools, and the add-ons only available in their marketplace.
Even though the vast selection of themes and extensions available on Shopify is enough to get you started with your business, customizing is difficult.
WooCommerce When it comes to customization, WooCommerce is super flexible. You have full control over the whole platform and can introduce any functionality to your store with access to over 50,000 WordPress plugins.
All you need is a WordPress hosting account. The downside here is that there is no inbuilt drag and drop feature. You can only use one of the WordPress page builders which will add to your cost.
However, many eCommerce entrepreneurs still choose WooCommerce for many other advantages.
Final Verdict Because of its drag and drop feature, Shopify seems to offer ease of use. However, when it comes to having full control over your store a Ecommerce Website by WooCommerce provides more.
3. Payment Gateway: Shopify vs. WooCommerce
Shopify Shopify comes with lots of payment gateways, including its option, Shopify Payments, that can be used to receive payment from your customers.
The downside is that Shopify will charge an extra 2% on every transaction made through third-party gateways. This is plus the fee charged by the payment gateway itself.
However, you can reduce the charges by up to 0.5% if you pay for Advanced Shopify.
WooCommerce By default, WooCommerce comes with Stripe and PayPal as payment options. It also supports every other payment service which can be installed as add-ons. Because WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform, you are only charged by your preferred payment gateway or bank.
WooCommerce doesn’t charge you any fee for transactions in your store.
Final Verdict You will be saving a lot of money by using WooCommerce if you’ll be using your merchant account and other third-party gateways.
4. Integration: Shopify vs. WooCommerce
Shopify Shopify offers a powerful API and an App Store where you’ll find both free and paid third-party add-ons for your store. In the store, you’ll find hundreds of apps with features you may want to add to your store.
If it’s lead generation, they have OptinMonster. You’ll also find apps for SEO, product reviews, discounts, and more.
WooCommerce WooCommerce gives users access to over 50,000 free WordPress plugins and many more paid ones. With these add-ons, you can add payment gateways, lead generation, SEO, etc.
Because of its low barrier of entry, there’s a lot more integrations and add-ons available for WooCommerce than Shopify. Most third-party tools and service providers make their plugins to integrate with WooCommerce easily.
Final Verdict WooCommerce offers more with regard to the integration of third-party apps, services, and add-ons.
5. Dropshipping: Shopify vs. WooCommerce
Shopify When you build your dropshipping business with Shopify, the front-end of your website should look like any other eCommerce store. Customers or visitors should be able to browse products and add products to the cart.
Now, depending on the vendor you choose to work with, you will have to place your customers’ orders for shipping. Shopify offers integration apps for popular dropshipping marketplaces like Aliexpress, Oberlo, etc.
However, keep in mind that these product marketplaces require membership fees, shipping, and other charges when building your dropshipping business with Shopify.
WooCommerce WooCommerce is a popular platform among dropshipping businesses. It is because WooCommerce allows users to install extensions that make business operations a smooth process.
With WooCommerce, you can get extensions that allow you to improve products, fulfill orders from your website, and more. Using WooCommerce, you can also create your eCommerce marketplace that enables users to sell on your site.
Keep in mind that suppliers and vendors may have minimum order requirements, membership fees and other charges.
Final Verdict If you are into dropshipping, WooCommerce is the better platform to carry out your business.
There are many other parameters with which we can use to compare both platforms, including Blog and Content features. If you’re going to blog about your products or other information, then WooCommerce is the best option. Because it integrates with the CMS giant, WordPress.
You just need to get a WordPress Web Design in Malaysia and a plugin for metadata to get started. Shopify, on the other hand, doesn’t make provision for blogging. Here are some information about WooCommerce and Shopify. Get in touch with us to learn more.