WooCommerce VS Shopify: Make The Right Choice For Your eCommerce

Selecting an appropriate eCommerce business platform for your desired e-store can be a challenging job. The average user does not have a clear conception about the many features and functionalities offered by eCommerce platforms. There are several different e-business solutions of all types available in the market. But here we will be comparing and discussing the two most popular and widely used eCommerce platforms for a modern marketplace, WooCommernce Vs Shopify.

Here is a statistical chart with some of the current competitors of WooCommerce and Shopify conducted by one of the most popular CMS detector plugin: wappalyzer. (April 2017).

Comparing WooCommerce & Shopify

Design & Templates

One of the biggest selling points of WooCommerce is that it can work with any theme that follows best practices and standard recommendations. You can make any WordPress theme of your choice work together with WooCommerce without any trouble. You can even turn your single store WooCommerce site into a full-fledged multi-vendor marketplace by being able to design it the way you like it! Currently, the best choice for a WooCommerce based multi-vendor marketplace plugin is DOKAN.

The best part is that WooCommerce designs and themes are all mobile responsive. They have a fashionably sleek and an artistic outlook, which makes it perfect for modern, cutting-edge websites.

The themes in Shopify are visually refreshing. They look quite nice in the eyes when you look at it. There are 10 built-in store templates that are absolutely free out of more than 54 different themes/templates. Moreover, the themes of Shopify brings quite a variation in its outlook offering its user more than 100 discrete designs. All the themes are mobile responsive with a number of coloring options. All its design and themes look fresh and lively which is somewhat suitable for most modern day websites.

Pricing, Software & Domain/Hosting Cost

Every eCommerce platform has its own and separate pricing style, so has WooCommerce and Shopify. Here is a brief comparison of both these platform’s pricing approach.

Here are the different pricing plans of WooCommerce and Shopify:

Interface & Usability

The plugins run very fast, smooth and responsibly when installing in a WordPress based website. A complete customizing ability of testing, updating or changing any options from the dashboard provides just the right amount of user-friendliness to its user. Keep adapting until you are satisfied!

WooCommerce makes it very easy for anyone to create an eCommerce. It only requires very basic knowledge about WordPress and WooCommerce to get on with your desired eCommerce store. In comparison to Shopify and other similar tools, WooCommerce’s user intuitiveness stands out more. And it's a function that empowers rookies and the average users.

Launching an eCommerce store with Shopify is very simple. Just simply create an account, select a free theme, customize your site design and you are all set to go. Just keep an eye on the left-hand side menu in the homepage. All the required items are already present in your finger tip there. Just add or customize products and other details selecting your preferred options from the side menu.

Operation of an online store is quite up front with Shopify and it does quite a better job in this department compared to some of its contemporary tools, such as Magento.


The WooCommerce SEO can be customized with a wide range of tools making it a very SEO friendly platform. It also gives access to your store source code.

WooCommerce gives some exceptionally SEO-specific options due to its advantage of being able to integrate it with WordPress content or through other available contents of third party plugins. The SEO potential of WooCoomerce is limitless mainly due to the fact that it is built on top of WordPress.

WooCommerce SEO score: 98 out of 100 (According to researched performed by ecommerce-platforms.com)

On the other hand SEO of Shopify is enhanced with needed features, such as editable tags, URL of pages, Image ALT tags, description of meta key, image file name customizations, and more.

Shopify SEO score: 98 out of 100 (According to research performed by ecommerce-platforms.com)

Customer Support Service

WooCommerce gives full emphasis on their user support facility. Because WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin, any user can get support regarding their various queries and issues through the WordPress forums anytime. WooCommerce also has a feature for registered users to obtain free and reliable support by generating support tickets from their accounts.

On the other hand, Shopify support team offers its user a 24/7 support with the facility to reach them via email, live chat, and phone. Thus allowing users to reach out for assistance at any time.

Overall Similarities & Dissimilarities at a glance

Overall Advantages & Drawbacks

Pros of WooCommerce

  • WooCommerce comes with powerful features like built-in user reviews and ratings. This brings transparency and reliability among users by letting them vote/rate for any products they like or dislike.
  • WooCommerce reports are well-organized. Specific category filters, such as sales by date, product, category and coupons display in a much-systematized manner in WooCommerce reports.
  • The WooCommerce plugin is absolutely free. There's no opportunity for the hassle of payments. Simply download, install, and start adding your desired products from the WordPress dashboard.

Cons of WooCommerce

  • WordPress might be free but the hosting in WooCommerce isn’t. So the user will need to spend separately for hosting.
  • Setup of the WooCommerce plugin might look simple but needs a good amount of care when setting it up on the WordPress site.
  • To run and use WooCommerce, you need to have a WordPress powered website.

Pros of Shopify

  • Hosting in Shopify is totally free. This means setting up Shopify is easy and fast. The user simply requires to opening an account and can start using it right after adding the products.
  • Shopify comes with a number of SEO options and social links helping the user to promote their products and website.
  • The admin dashboard of Shopify is intuitive and up to date. The user gets a very user-friendly vibe from it.

Cons of Shopify

  • The default product attributes on Shopify are limited to just three. All products can be described by their size, color, and material. For each of these parameters, creating new ones isn’t possible.

Why users may prefer one over the other

Mostly all WordPress users prefer to use WooCommerce. The convenience of WooCommerce for people already using a WordPress website is that you will just have to install the WooCommerce plugin and you are good to go. Or else, you have to build a new site from scratch to integrate WooCommerce with it.

Shopify is most preferable and a good alternative for both beginners and professional eCommerce site users. It has a friendly design that caters to beginners. It also has a good range of advanced features and settings which the professional users will very much appreciate.

The Verdict

Both platforms boast having dynamic features and a powerful user interface. But different clients will prefer different platforms based on their preferences and business needs. So it won’t be fair to single out any one of these specific platforms right away without knowing about their eCommerce business requirements.

Final Comparison: Side by Side

The below table might help you to decide which platforms to go for based on what you expect from your eCommerce platform or on the type of  user you are:

 Choose WooCommerce If You Want To:

 Choose Shopify If You Want To:

  • Totally regulate your e-store by yourself.
  • Increase the functionality of your e-store by enabling full accessibility to thousands of site designs & plugins.
  • Have full control over your store and do everything on your own.
  • Set-up things slow and steady
  • Work with WordPress based website to maintain your eCommerce platforms.
  • Launch an eCommerce store right after signing up with the simple hand-off approach.
  • Take the hassle of setting the store for yourself and don’t mind hiring someone to set it up for you.
  • Have an extremely advanced eCommerce solution which is better than most other contemporary competition available in the market.
  • A fast and efficient customer support team response to any Shopify related issues or queries.

Why Building a Dokan Marketplace is a Better Idea than Launching a Shopify Store

The latter is lucrative, but you fear if you are ready for the big task. Owning a marketplace gives you a bigger earning scope and more control – a total level up of everything. On the other hand, Shopify seems to do most of the hard work, keeping it easy for you. But the cost may still bug you. Probably you will never have peace of mind until your business fly high, any way around.

Start Easy with Shopify Store or Try to Become Shopify itself – A Common Dilemma

But choosing the right platform for your business is the first great step toward your success. If you are stuck between Shopify and Dokan at this step, this is the right place for you. In this article, we will draw a comparison between Shopify and Dokan and decide which is more suitable for your business.

You have probably stumbled upon Dokan while considering WooCommerce as an alternate option for your store. But you are surprised – “Hey! I didn't know I could use WooCommerce to make a marketplace too!”. If you think it is out of your league and will become too costly, I can show you a better side to it if you follow my lead.

But first, let's dive into some quick facts. What are these solutions actually? We want to know the technical details.

What is Shopify?

It is a self-hosted store builder, an SAAS type ecommerce service to be precise. They have a reputation of beautiful designs. Check out this blog where they have sorted some of their best.

Shopify is probably the most popular eCommerce site builder with a giant number of subscribers. Other rivals are Bigcommerce, WooCommerce, Magento and the emerging Dokan Multivendor eCommerce site. Some sellers need just a site to appear in Google searches and some sellers want a site want to rule the internet.

Dokan Multivendor

Dokan is a WordPress plugin based on WooCommerce – also available as a free version. It comes with a broad spectrum of features and extensions developed by their team. Since it's based on WordPress, it is compatible with most of the stuff you can find on the WordPress market and almost readily launchable as a website.

Shopify vs Dokan – The Benefits

1. Single Store vs Multi Stores

The Major game-changing difference between Shopify and Dokan is that Shopify offers only a single shop, but Dokan lets you unlimited. So, it places you on a strategic advantage of controlling a market. Vendors will sign up to your marketplace and you will offer them individual stores with professional design. All the vendors will manage their own accounts, whereas you just earn through commissions.

2. Customization- Features

In Dokan, you can generate your invoices in a single click, review products, verify sellers and even give your sellers their individual store SEO. It is the most feature enriched plugin on the market. Dokan has a wide array of paid add-ons to smooth your management and sales or to add exclusive features. Powerful tools give your sellers unprecedented control of their stores. Shopify on the other hand, comes with few features. They have their app store, but who needs so many to choose from when a single plugin can give you all that you need.

3. Customization- Themes

Dokan is fully compatible with any WordPress and WooCommerce theme on the market. Dokan's free theme is beautiful and comes highly recommended from it's users. On the other hand, Shopify offers 100 site templates and several hundred themes at their theme store. You can create and use your own theme on Dokan too! Some 18+ themes are available at ThemeForest.

4. Operational Expenses

Dokan is a competitively priced application providing more features than its peers. Once you buy Dokan, it is forever yours. It has three subscription packages for updates. Products and sellers are unlimited on any package. It will only cost you 149$ for the first year of support and updates, 50% discount for renewal.

Shopify has a monthly subscription plan and a limited product limit. Even the basic package is very costly (29$ per month). So you are looking at a total annual cost of 348$. You havent started to buy integrations yet.

5. Hosting and Site Speed

Shopify is a self-hosted site. So, you can't do anything about it or you can not take shopify into your existing store. But Dokan can be installed in any WordPress based site. With this freedom, you can migrate your site anytime you want to your desired hosting services for better speed and stability. Moreover, you will have to buy the domain from them at an expensive rate and abandon your existing domain if you already have one.

6. Interface – Frontend and Backend

Dokan's greatest feature is that it has a customizable front end interface. The most important fact about this frontend is that the vendors get a dashboard from where they can manage everything they need for their store. So, all the features are easily accessible and security is ensured.

But Shopify has a backend interface which is not as rich as Dokan. So, not only the interface is better, your vendors will enjoy it too.

7. Vendor's Revenue

In Dokan, shop admins can configure the commission. But in Shopify, the rate is fixed by Shopify themselves. But on your Dokan marketplace, you have the freedom to choose the sales commission rate and create the market flexible to sales. Sellers are always attracted to markets which are more flexible to their business.

8. Customer Care

Both Dokan and Shopify have 24/7 customer care. But Dokan additionally allows you to give your stores their individual store support from where the sellers can provide support and answer pre-sales queries by their own.

9. Trial Features

Shopify is not free. They only have a 14 day trial period. But Dokan also has a free version and also a 14 day refund policy. You can also check the PRO version of Dokan from dokandemo.wedevs.com.

10. Platform

Dokan is based on WordPress, so you, your designer or developer have the full power and possibility of created a site based on HTML, php and make CSS modifications very easily. But, Shopify is based on their own language called Liquid, which is less popular, but it supports CSS and HTML.


There is no doubt that Dokan is a more flexible, customizable yet feature enriched platform than Shopify. Shopify may be a good platform for business, but it gives a lot of pressure on a starting one. Dokan is good for new or small business because it is inexpensive, better revenue earning chance, easy payment and tons of features which are inexistent in other solutions.

If you are interested to learn more about the entire  process to create a marketplace with Dokan, Take this guided setup!

How To Make Your Own Shopify

Shopify is an eCommerce solution that has gained a great amount of popularity for its simplified store management and easy customization. It is a trendy way entrepreneurs now operate online stores individually. Shopify earns a huge amount from these sales and traffic no doubt!

So, since this is so happening, now you might think – what if I had my own Shopify like marketplace.

Well, my friend, you can earn like them too!

Let's find out how! 😉

What is a Multivendor Marketplace?

A multivendor marketplace that is just like Shopify. From there, you can allow other vendors to create stores, let them grow and in this process, you earn commissions from their sales.

You may ask- “How can I get a multivendor marketplace?”

If you think that you need custom development, developers, a chunk of investments, You Are Wrong!

You can get started for free & ready, thanks to Open Source WordPress platform. You can build a multivendor marketplace with only two plugins on WordPress.

You'll need –

  • WooCommerce (Free)
  • Dokan Multivendor (Free/Pro)

Then add a hosting + domain of your choice. You have to spend around $30 per year for a single domain, hosting and SSL. That's it, you are done. If you think shops on Shopify load fast, you can make your own marketplace with hosting even faster at less the cost.

Why use WordPress For a Marketplace?

WordPress is world's largest CMS and it is capable of providing cutting edge technology for eCommerce. Most importantly, the platform is free. WordPress powering more than 33% of the world's web and WooCommerce is the most used software for eCommerce, it creates single stores like Shopify. But this is when Dokan comes in.

Dokan Multivendor is a plugin that uses WooCommerce to create a marketplace just like Shopify, Amazon or eBay.

How am I Getting It For Free?

Dokan Multivendor offers a free version. The free version comes with core and essential functionalities of a multivendor marketplace. On the other hand, the pro version gives you enriched and professional features that can manage a huge marketplace.

More than 3,000 online businesses are running using Dokan on WordPress. You will be surprised to know how much they are making from their business!

What Do The Vendors Really Think?

When you have vendors lined up for opening their brands, they will compare what features they are getting and how easy it will be to manage their stores on the system. So, what do people really expect?

Here is What Vendors Will Get From Shopify

From the basic package, you get the following capabilities of an eCommerce store,

  • Personal Online Store (a sub-domain)
  • Storefront with customizeable store appearance
  • Product Management
  • Order Management
  • Payment System
  • Discount/ Coupon Management
  • Customer List
  • File Storage
  • Support
  • Manual Order
  • Blog

Pricing is a Big Factor

If we consider the starter or the Shopify basic package, it costs $29 per month. This means you will have to pay an amount of $348 a year just to run your store with these capabilities.

In comparison, you are getting it free with Dokan and Dokan PRO only costs $149, that's half the price – which you can use forever! However, to get the latest updates and support, you have to renew your license every year.

Let's Dig Deeper

Shopify gives you a sub-domain and hosting which contains your store. You can easily create your store without buying any domain and hosting. As a bonus, you get a free SSL with your store.

However, with Dokan, you have to buy your own Hosting. It will cost you around $2.95/month, which is not so costly. But you get to manage everything by yourself and all your data remains in your own care. If you think about privacy and security, it's all intact!

Shopify Dashboard

After creating your own store, you get a dashboard from where you can manage your store.

Creating Products with Shopify

Shopify allows you to create as many products you want. You can add important information about the product including title, price, description, images, inventory, shipping, variations and even SEO.

How a Shopify stores looks like

It's just like any other eCommerce store, but you can customize the appearance with Shopify themes (it costs).

Why Dokan for Building a Marketplace

Dokan creates an industry standard multivendor marketplace, where you can allow other entrepreneurs to create their own stores. They will be able to create products, manage orders and get other basic eCommerce functionalities. Besides that, Dokan provides a step by step wizard to setup your marketplace and also to your vendors.

Dokan is extremely popular for creating marketplaces with advanced features and they have great features.

Lets Begin, How to create your own Shopify →

At first, you have to install WordPress

Installing WordPress on your website is very easy. You can read the following tutorial to get detail instruction about the installation process.

How to Install WordPress – Complete WordPress Installation Tutorial

Create your own online store with WooCommerce

After installing WordPress on your site, you need to enter the world of eCommerce. WooCommerce is the plugin that can turn your simple WordPress website into an eCommerce solution.

Watch the video from WooCommerce to get in-depth information.

Install & Activate Dokan Multivendor Marketplace

At first, navigate to WP-Dashboard → Plugins → Add New and type “Dokan” in the search box. You will find Dokan Multivendor Marketplace, click on the Install Now button and then activate it.

Or, download Dokan from this link. 

Configure Dokan Basic Settings

After installing and activating Dokan, you will be redirected to easy step by step setup wizard and it will help you to configure required basic settings. Watch the following video to view how it works.

You can also read the full documentation of Dokan Multivendor Marketplace.

The Next Step

Now that you have configured Dokan and enabled vendor selling options, you have created your own marketplace. Now, vendors can create and set up their own stores just like Shopify. This enables them to add products and start selling. From each of their sales, you can earn commissions.

You can launch a DEMO of Dokan from here.

Here is how the Dokan dashboard and the store page looks like- 

dokan multivendor free vendor dashboard
Dokan Dashboard with Features better than Shopify
Interactive Dokan Vendor Store

Capabilities of Dokan Multivendor Free

Using Dokan Multivendor free version, you get the following features. This will help you to get a brief idea about Dokan and how it can help you to create your own Shopify. Of Course, if you are serious about a marketplace, you can get a much more enriched marketplace with the paid version of Dokan, it is discussed at the end of this article.

  • Individual and customizable stores for each vendor
  • Better frontend dashboard for vendors
  • Detailed order management with reports
  • A free marketplace theme
  • Unlimited product creation and management
  • Vendor order management directly from frontend
  • Easily manageable coupons
  • Detailed customer list with email facility
  • Store support feature for each vendor
  • Website and blog management using WordPress

With the Pro Version, You Can Level It Up

As you can see, you are getting almost every basic feature that Shopify provides for free using Dokan Multivendor. The Pro version of Dokan has more capabilities that can help you to run a huge marketplace. When you are allowing a lot of people to create their own Shopify, you will need many unique features including –

  • Advanced shipping & Tax options
  • Variable products
  • Bookable products
  • Professional earning reports and statements
  • Different payment gateways
  • More than one commission system
  • Order email notifications
  • Vendor announcement system
  • Store SEO
  • Store support
  • Back-ordering and many more

Final Thoughts

Well, the Pro version of Dokan Multivendor Marketplace costs you $149 per year. You can create your own advanced Shopify by spending only $230 if you add a domain and hosting cost. On the other hand, the basic Shopify package costs you around $348. Please note, you are getting only basic features with this amount. Not to mention, you are also getting free support and updates for one year.

Now, let us conclude with some key points.

Staff Management

Shopify allows only two admin account for this price, whereas you are getting an unlimited number of admins or staffs with Dokan Multivendor.

Payment Gateways

You have to pay extra for each transaction if you are using extra payment gateways. But you can use more than 100 payment gateways and you don't have to pay anything extra.

Earning From Each Sale

Using Dokan Multivendor, you can create a shared marketplace with other people. Most importantly, all of you will get individual stores from where you will be able to operate your own sales.

You can also earn from your vendor. Each sale they process earns you commission and this is one of the most notable features of a marketplace.

Feel the Freedom & Be a Part of Something Bigger

There is an endless opportunity on the web and you have to grab the best one that suits you. WordPress gives you the freedom of taking big opportunities. While you are using Shopify, you are limited to a simple sub-domain and cannot customize your website on a large scale. Dokan along with WordPress gives you the ability to customize your store independently the way you like!

Learn More About Dokan Multivendor Pro →