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 The debate around Shopify vs WooCommerce continues. We hear about clients considering to move from WooCommerce to Shopify and of some Shopify customers considering moving to WooCommerce.

This is an emotional topic and there are a million different opinions. In many instances, the opinions are highly emotive. Analogies like Shopify is like Apple and WooCommerce is like Android are loosely thrown around, and it boils down to personal preference blah, blah, blah. But what happens when you look at this argument from a cost perspective.

For the purposes of this Woocommerce vs Shopify comparison, we will consider the running costs of an actual store built on Shopify. Since we will be sharing some really private numbers, this stores identity shall remain anonymous. Replicating the same store on WooCommerce should then give us an accurate indication of the monthly running cost associated with the two stores.

I am biased towards WooCommerce, will state that outright, but will strive to maintain an objective opinion and let the numbers speak for itself, after all, numbers don’t lie.

The Shopify store we will be reproducing on WooCommerce

Herewith the details of the Shopify store we are seeking to replicate these figures were obtained for the month of April 2019:

  • Unique visits: 5100
  • Sessions:  6300
  • Revenue : $ 12500
  • Shopify Plan: $79 /month + 1% of sales revenue
  • 150 carts created
  • 87 carts reached checkout
  • 56 carts completed
  • Avg cart size is therefore $ 223
  • Total of 90 products on the store

Plugins used on this particular Shopify store:

  • Shipping bar : Free
  • Edit order: Free
  • Facebook product feed: Free
  • Google shopping feed: Free
  • Shopsync (since Shopify decided to  part ways with Mailchimp, for reasons only known to them): Free
  • One SaaS: $20 per month
  • Smartmenu: $10 per month
  • Gift coupon app different to the standard Shopify functionality: $10 per month

I feel it is important to explain two of the above apps here:

  • One Saas: This store uses this application to manage their Inventory and Invoicing
  • Smartmenus was used to build specific menus that were not included in the standard Shopify plan.

What’s Included and What’s Not

We will now investigate the standard Shopify plan and compare that with WooCommerce. 

Therefore:

It is important to analyze the functionality that is not included / or offered by WooCommerce and establish the cost of the plugins, services and functionality to get the WooCommerce store to the same offering as the mid tier Shopify plan.

With the hosting at WPengine and the free plugins installed the WooCommerce store now has the same functionality and capability as a mid-tier Shopify store.

Side by Side Cost Comparison

Translating the above in a side by side cost comparison results in the following.

NOTES:

Hosting and SSL: Modeled on WP engine Startup pricing. This is good enough for the store stated above as it covers up to 25000 sessions per month and with enough bandwidth and local storage for this store to work well.

** Technical Resource on Shopify: Modeled on 1 day per month therefore 8 hours at $30 per hour (which is on the cheap side).

** Technical Resource on WooCommerce: Modeled according to WooCrew working Crew plan.

I would like to stress that the above cost comparison is only applicable to costs directly associated with the different platforms and does not include cost factors such as initial setup of the store, marketing costs and inventory costs.

The Conclusion

For this store, in the battle of  WooCommerce vs Shopify, Woo would be $230 cheaper to run on a monthly basis. It also brings some peace of mind in the sense that you are not bound by decisions Shopify make regarding their ecosystem (as demonstrated with their abrupt severing from Mailchimp)

You might argue that on Shopify the hassles and risk of apps breaking when updated is not a concern. I would counter argue that since you have the WooCrew working crew package factored in at the WooCommerce store, you have expert technical resources to your disposal who will take care of the updates, backups and store uptime. In fact, this option will free your time to such an extent that you will be able to focus on driving sales. You can check out the different WooCrew packages here.

Even in the event that you are technically pro-efficient enough to support a WooCommerce or Shopify store yourself, WooCommerce is still $189 per month more cost effective to run when compared to Shopify. We arrived to this by nullifying the technical resource cost on both Shopify and WooCommerce as per below: 

Final Word

From the numbers when comparing WooCommerce vs Shopify it can be seen that Woo is cheaper than Shopify for a store of this size. If $190 -$230  a month extra means that you could purchase the right inventory to drive more sales, it is likely that your business on WooCommerce would grow faster than on Shopify.

From a cost perspective, it is clear that WooCommerce is cheaper than Shopify for a store of this size.

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