Jun 19, 2024

Shopify vs Woocommerce Dropshipping (Full 2024 Comparison)


o, you've been thinking about dropshipping, hey? Well, there are a ton of eCommerce platforms you can build on, and picking the right one from the start can save you a ton of headaches later on.

In this guide, we're going to break down the differences between Shopify vs WooCommerce for dropshipping, so you can make an informed choice.

Overview of Dropshipping

Let’s make sure we’re on the same page about dropshipping. You sell products online without holding any inventory.

Instead, when you make a sale, your supplier ships the product directly to your customer.

Simple, right? But the platform you choose can significantly impact how smooth or bumpy your business journey will be.

Purpose of the Article

What’s in it for you? By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of the Shopify vs WooCommerce for dropshipping debate. We’ll cover functionality, theme selection, third-party apps, scaling, fees, and more. Whether you’re just starting or considering a switch, this guide has got you covered.

Grab a coffee, and let's figure out what's better for your store — Shopify vs WooCommerce!

Platform Overview


Shopify is a heavyweight in the eCommerce world, known for its streamlined, user-friendly interface and robust set of built-in features. Launched in 2006, Shopify has since become a go-to choice for over a million businesses looking to set up shop online quickly and efficiently.

  • Key Features:
    • User-Friendly Interface: Shopify’s interface is designed to be intuitive and straightforward, making it easy for beginners to set up and manage their stores without needing any technical expertise. The drag-and-drop functionality allows you to customize your store’s look and feel effortlessly.
    • All-In-One Solution: Shopify handles all your hosting needs, so you don’t have to worry about servers, security, or uptime. It’s a fully hosted platform, meaning you can focus on running your business while Shopify takes care of the technical stuff.
    • 24/7 Customer Support: Shopify offers round-the-clock support through live chat, email, and phone, ensuring that help is always available when you need it.
    • Extensive App Store: With over 6,000 apps in its marketplace, Shopify provides a vast array of third-party integrations to enhance your store’s functionality, from marketing tools to inventory management and beyond.
  • Famous Stores Built on Shopify:
    • Gymshark: A fitness apparel brand that scaled rapidly, thanks to Shopify’s robust infrastructure.
    • Kylie Cosmetics: Kylie Jenner’s beauty empire uses Shopify to handle massive traffic and sales volumes.
    • Allbirds: Known for their sustainable footwear, Allbirds uses Shopify to manage their global eCommerce operations.


WooCommerce's logo, which is a platform owned by WordPress.

WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce plugin for WordPress, giving users the flexibility to build highly customized online stores. Launched in 2011, WooCommerce quickly gained popularity for its deep integration with WordPress, allowing users to leverage the powerful content management capabilities of WordPress alongside their online store.

  • Key Features:
    • Highly Customizable: WooCommerce offers unparalleled customization options, allowing you to tweak every aspect of your store. Since it’s built on WordPress, you can use any WordPress theme and extend your store’s functionality with thousands of plugins.
    • Open Source: WooCommerce is free to use, with no monthly fees. You only pay for hosting, premium themes, and plugins if you choose to use them. This can be more cost-effective in the long run, especially for larger stores with complex needs.
    • SEO-Friendly: WooCommerce inherits WordPress’s strong SEO capabilities, helping your store rank better in search engines. This is crucial for driving organic traffic to your site.
    • Community and Support: WooCommerce benefits from a large community of developers and users. There are countless forums, tutorials, and resources available online. Additionally, many hosting providers offer specialized WooCommerce support.
  • Famous Stores Built on WooCommerce:
    • Porter and York: An online butcher shop that delivers fresh meat to your doorsteps, leveraging WooCommerce for a seamless shopping experience.
    • Barefoot Buttons: A niche store selling custom guitar pedal buttons, using WooCommerce to handle their unique product offerings.
    • Root Science: A global retailer of skincare products, utilizing WooCommerce’s flexibility to manage a wide collection of DTC products.


When it comes to functionality, both Shopify and WooCommerce offer powerful features, but they cater to different types of users and business needs. Let's break down the specifics:

Ease of Use

Shopify’s User Interface and User Experience

Shopify is renowned for its user-friendly interface. If you're new to eCommerce and tech isn’t your strong suit, Shopify is designed with you in mind. The setup process is incredibly straightforward. You sign up, choose a theme, and you can start adding products almost immediately.

The drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to customize your store's look and feel without any coding knowledge. The dashboard is clean and intuitive, providing a seamless experience for managing your orders, products, and customers.

WooCommerce’s User Interface and Integration with WordPress

On the flip side, WooCommerce integrates deeply with WordPress, which is great if you're already familiar with the WordPress ecosystem. The setup process is more involved compared to Shopify. You'll need to purchase hosting, install WordPress, and then add the WooCommerce plugin.

However, this initial effort pays off in the long run with increased flexibility and control. WooCommerce's interface is built to complement WordPress, so if you know your way around a WordPress site, you’ll find WooCommerce quite intuitive. The learning curve is steeper, but the potential for customization is far greater.

Comparison of Learning Curves for Beginners

  • Shopify: Ideal for beginners with its quick setup and minimal learning curve. Perfect for those who want to get their store up and running fast without diving into technical details.
  • WooCommerce: Better suited for those who are comfortable with WordPress and are willing to invest time in setting up and learning the ropes. Offers more control and customization options, which can be a big plus for the technically inclined.

Setup Process

Shopify Setup Process

  1. Sign Up: You start by creating an account on Shopify’s website.
  2. Choose a Theme: Select from free or premium themes to define your store’s look.
  3. Customize Your Store: Use the drag-and-drop editor to add your logo, adjust colors, and set up your homepage.
  4. Add Products: Enter product details, upload images, and set prices.
  5. Set Up Payments: Choose from Shopify Payments or other third-party payment processors.
  6. Launch: Once everything is set, you can launch your store and start selling.

WooCommerce Setup Process

  1. Purchase Hosting: First, you need a hosting provider that supports WordPress.
  2. Install WordPress: Many hosting providers offer one-click WordPress installations.
  3. Install WooCommerce: Add the WooCommerce plugin from the WordPress plugin repository.
  4. Choose a Theme: Pick a WooCommerce-compatible theme, which can be a WordPress theme or a dedicated WooCommerce theme.
  5. Customize Your Store: Use WordPress’s customizer to adjust your site’s appearance.
  6. Add Products: Enter product details and set up categories.
  7. Set Up Payments: Configure payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, or others.
  8. Launch: With your products added and settings configured, your store is ready to go live.


  • Shopify: Streamlined setup process that can be completed in a matter of hours. Ideal for those who prefer a guided, hassle-free setup.
  • WooCommerce: Requires more steps and technical knowledge but offers greater flexibility. Suitable for those who want a tailored eCommerce solution and are comfortable with a bit of setup work.

Theme Selection

Choosing the right theme is crucial for creating an appealing online store that resonates with your audience. Both Shopify and WooCommerce offer a range of themes, but they cater to different user needs and preferences.

Shopify Themes

Variety and Customization Options

Shopify boasts a diverse selection of themes, both free and paid, designed to cater to various industries and aesthetic preferences. Whether you're setting up a fashion store, a tech shop, or a home goods boutique, you'll find themes that fit your niche.

  • Customization: Shopify's themes are easily customizable. Using the theme editor, you can tweak colors, fonts, layouts, and other design elements without touching a single line of code. This is perfect for beginners who want a professional-looking store without hiring a developer.
    • Some things, however, cannot be changed, such as the URL structure of pages. All Shopify products will have a "/products/product-name" URL structure, and ordinary pages will show up as "/pages/page-name". This isn't something that can be changed.

Cost and Quality of Themes

  • Free Themes: Shopify offers several free themes that are great for starting out. These themes are clean, modern, and functional, but they might lack some advanced customization options found in premium themes.
  • Premium Themes: If you’re looking for more features and a unique look, premium themes are the way to go. These typically range from $140 to $400. Premium themes often come with enhanced features, better performance, and more customization options. For example, the “Impulse” theme is known for its speed and flexibility, making it a popular choice for larger stores looking to scale.

Examples of Popular Themes

  • Impulse: A premium theme designed for high-impact sales with customizable sections and advanced product filtering, perfect for showcasing a wide range of products.
  • Dawn: A free, minimalist theme optimized for speed and usability, offering a clean and modern design that highlights your products beautifully.
  • Craft: A free theme that features a clean, simple design with customizable sections, ideal for creating a visually appealing store that puts your products front and center.

WooCommerce Themes

Variety and Customization Options

WooCommerce, being a WordPress plugin, benefits from the vast WordPress theme ecosystem. This means you have virtually unlimited options when it comes to selecting a theme. Whether you prefer minimalist designs or feature-rich layouts, there’s a theme for every taste.

  • Customization: WooCommerce themes offer extensive customization options. With WordPress's built-in customizer, you can adjust your site’s appearance in real-time. For those who are comfortable with coding, the possibilities are endless.

Cost and Quality of Themes

  • Free Themes: WooCommerce itself provides a free theme called Storefront, which is a solid starting point. There are also countless other free themes available that are compatible with WooCommerce.
  • Premium Themes: Premium themes range widely in price, from $30 to $200 or more. These themes often include additional support, updates, and features that enhance your store’s functionality and appearance. For instance, “Flatsome” is a highly regarded premium theme known for its design flexibility and user-friendly page builder.

Examples of Popular Themes

  • Storefront: The official WooCommerce theme, designed to be a perfect base for any online store. It’s free, lightweight, and integrates seamlessly with WooCommerce.
  • Flatsome: A best-selling premium theme on ThemeForest, known for its responsive design, built-in page builder, and extensive customization options.
  • Astra: Another popular theme that’s lightweight and highly customizable. It’s a favorite among WooCommerce users for its speed and performance.


Flexibility and Customization

  • Shopify: Offers a user-friendly customization experience through its theme editor. It’s perfect for users who want a polished look without diving into code.
  • WooCommerce: Provides unmatched flexibility with the ability to use any WordPress theme and customize it extensively. Ideal for those who want total control over their store’s appearance and are comfortable with WordPress.


  • Shopify: While the themes are easy to set up and customize, premium themes can be pricey. However, the investment might be worth it for the ease of use and professional support.
  • WooCommerce: Generally more cost-effective due to the availability of numerous free themes and lower-cost premium options. Plus, the extensive customization potential can save you money in the long run if you’re willing to do some of the work yourself.

Choosing between Shopify vs WooCommerce for dropshipping often comes down to how much control and customization you need versus how easy you want the setup and management process to be. If you value a straightforward, guided setup with plenty of support, Shopify is an excellent choice. On the other hand, if you crave customization and are comfortable with WordPress, WooCommerce offers a flexible and powerful alternative.

Next, we'll dive into how third-party apps and integrations play a crucial role in enhancing your dropshipping business on both platforms.

Third-Party Apps and Integrations

When running a dropshipping business, the right third-party apps and integrations can significantly enhance your store’s functionality and streamline operations. Both Shopify and WooCommerce offer extensive app ecosystems, but they cater to different needs and preferences.

Shopify Apps

Overview of the Shopify App Store

Shopify's App Store is a treasure trove for eCommerce entrepreneurs. With over 6,000 apps available, you can find tools for everything from marketing and sales to inventory management and customer service. The beauty of Shopify’s app ecosystem is its seamless integration. Most apps can be installed and configured in just a few clicks, making it incredibly user-friendly.

The Shopify App Store in 2024 homepage.
The Shopify App Store in 2024

Examples of Essential Apps for Dropshipping

  • DropCommerce: This is the go-to app for finding and importing products directly into your Shopify store. DropCommerce connects you with suppliers from the US and Canada, which can lead to faster shipping times for your customers.
  • Privy: A powerful tool for email marketing and conversion optimization. Privy helps you capture leads, send targeted emails, and drive more sales.
  • Plug in SEO: Ensures your Shopify store is optimized for search engines. It scans your site for SEO issues and provides actionable recommendations to improve your rankings.

Cost and Ease of Integration

Shopify apps vary in cost. While many are free, premium apps often come with subscription fees ranging from a few dollars to several hundred dollars per month. However, the ease of integration is where Shopify shines. Most apps are designed to work seamlessly with Shopify, requiring minimal setup and configuration. This makes it an ideal choice for those who want to enhance their store’s functionality without dealing with technical hassles.

WooCommerce Plugins

Overview of WooCommerce Plugins

WooCommerce, being an open-source platform, offers a vast array of plugins through the WordPress plugin repository and third-party marketplaces like CodeCanyon. The flexibility of WooCommerce means you can find plugins for virtually any functionality you can imagine, but the integration process might require a bit more hands-on effort compared to Shopify.

Examples of Essential Plugins for Dropshipping

  • Syncee: A comprehensive plugin that transforms your WooCommerce store into a full-fledged dropshipping business. It offers product importing, automated order processing, and pricing automation.
  • WooCommerce Dropshipping: Another solid choice for automating your dropshipping business. It sends order notifications to suppliers, generates packing slips, and manages inventory levels.
  • Yoast SEO: One of the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress, Yoast helps you optimize your product pages and blog content for search engines, driving more organic traffic to your store.
  • Mailchimp for WooCommerce: Integrates your store with Mailchimp, allowing you to manage your email marketing campaigns, track sales, and grow your audience.

Cost and Ease of Integration

Like Shopify, WooCommerce plugins come with a range of pricing options. Many plugins are free, but premium versions with advanced features are available for a one-time fee or an annual subscription. The integration process with WooCommerce plugins can be a bit more involved. While some plugins offer one-click installations, others may require configuration and compatibility checks. This added complexity can be a drawback for beginners but offers advanced users the flexibility to tailor their store precisely to their needs.


Variety and Availability of Third-Party Solutions

  • Shopify: Offers a vast and well-curated app store with solutions for almost every need. The apps are designed to integrate seamlessly, providing a smooth and hassle-free experience.
  • WooCommerce: Provides unparalleled flexibility with a massive selection of plugins, both free and paid. The open-source nature of WooCommerce means there are endless possibilities, but it might require more effort to find and configure the right plugins.

Impact on Site Performance and Scalability

  • Shopify: Since Shopify handles the hosting and performance optimization, adding multiple apps usually doesn't affect your site’s speed or performance significantly. However, relying too heavily on third-party apps can still introduce complexity and potential conflicts.
  • WooCommerce: Performance can vary depending on your hosting provider and the number of plugins you install. It’s crucial to choose high-quality plugins and monitor their impact on your site’s speed and performance. Proper optimization and regular maintenance are key to ensuring your store runs smoothly as you scale.

Choosing between Shopify vs WooCommerce for dropshipping often boils down to how much customization you need versus how much ease of use you desire. Shopify’s app ecosystem is perfect for those who want a hassle-free experience, while WooCommerce’s plugin flexibility caters to those who crave full control and customization.

Next, we'll explore how both platforms handle scalability, helping you decide which one will grow with your business as you scale up your dropshipping operations.

Fees and Costs

Understanding the fees associated with each platform is crucial when deciding between Shopify vs WooCommerce for dropshipping. Let’s break down the costs involved with each, so you can get a clear picture of what to expect.

Shopify Pricing

Monthly Subscription Plans

Shopify operates on a subscription model with three main pricing tiers:

  1. Basic Shopify: $39 per month – Best for new eCommerce businesses with occasional in-person sales.
  2. Shopify: $105 per month – Ideal for growing businesses that need more features and analytics.
  3. Advanced Shopify: $399 per month – Designed for larger businesses requiring advanced reporting and additional staff accounts.

Each plan comes with a set of features that scales with the price, including more detailed reports, lower credit card rates, and additional staff accounts. It's also cheaper when you pay annually instead of monthly.

Shopify Annual Pricing

Transaction Fees and Payment Processing

Shopify charges transaction fees on sales made using third-party payment gateways (e.g., PayPal, Stripe). These fees range from 2% for the Basic plan to 0.5% for the Advanced plan.

However, if you use Shopify Payments, the platform's built-in payment processor, you can avoid these transaction fees, paying only the credit card rates, which also decrease as you move up the pricing tiers.

Additional Costs

  • Themes: Free themes are available, but premium themes cost between $140 and $400.
  • Apps: Many essential apps are free, but premium apps with advanced features come with subscription fees ranging from $5 to $100+ per month.
  • Domain Name: Buying a domain through Shopify typically costs around $14 per year.

WooCommerce Pricing

Hosting and Domain Costs

Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce is a free plugin for WordPress, but you’ll need to cover hosting and domain costs. Hosting prices vary widely depending on the provider and plan you choose:

  1. Shared Hosting: Starting at around $3 to $10 per month, suitable for small stores.
  2. VPS Hosting: Ranges from $20 to $100 per month, offering better performance for growing stores.
  3. Dedicated Hosting: Costs $100+ per month, ideal for large, high-traffic stores.

Domain names typically cost around $10 to $15 per year.

Plugin and Extension Costs

While WooCommerce itself is free, you might need paid extensions to add specific features to your store. These costs can add up depending on your needs:

  • Essential Plugins: SEO tools, payment gateways, and marketing integrations can cost anywhere from $30 to $200+ each.
  • Premium Themes: Prices range from $30 to $200+, with some including additional features and support.

Additional Costs

  • SSL Certificate: Some hosting providers include SSL certificates for free, but others may charge $10 to $100 per year.
  • Developer Fees: If you require custom development, hiring a developer can be an additional cost, typically charged by the hour.


Total Cost of Ownership

  • Shopify: Offers a clear, predictable pricing structure with all-in-one plans. While the monthly fees and transaction costs can add up, the simplicity and ease of use may justify the expense, especially for beginners.
  • WooCommerce: More cost-effective if you’re willing to handle some technical setup and maintenance. You have control over your expenses, but costs can vary widely based on the plugins and themes you choose.

Hidden Fees and Potential Cost Savings

  • Shopify: While straightforward, the need for premium themes and apps can increase costs. However, the potential to save on transaction fees by using Shopify Payments can offset some expenses.
  • WooCommerce: Offers more flexibility to manage costs, with many free plugins available. Hosting costs can be minimized by starting with shared hosting and upgrading as your store grows.

Choosing between Shopify vs WooCommerce for dropshipping involves considering your budget, technical skills, and business needs. Shopify provides an all-inclusive package with predictable costs, whereas WooCommerce offers more flexibility and potential cost savings for those willing to invest a bit more effort into setup and maintenance.

Shopify Vs WooCommerce Dropshipping: Final Thoughts

Choosing between Shopify vs WooCommerce for dropshipping ultimately depends on your specific needs, technical skills, and long-term business goals. Both platforms offer robust features and flexibility, but they cater to different types of users.

Shopify is perfect if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution that’s easy to set up and manage. It’s ideal for beginners or those who prefer a guided approach without the need to handle technical details.

Shopify's extensive app ecosystem and 24/7 customer support make it a solid choice for those who want to get their store up and running quickly. Plus, with built-in hosting and security, you can focus more on growing your business and less on maintaining your site.

WooCommerce, on the other hand, is best suited for those who crave complete control over their online store. If you’re comfortable with WordPress and don’t mind a bit of a learning curve, WooCommerce offers unparalleled customization and scalability.

It's a cost-effective option that can grow with your business, provided you're willing to invest some time in setup and maintenance. The flexibility to choose your hosting provider and plugins means you can tailor your store to meet specific needs, making it a great choice for technically inclined entrepreneurs.

Both platforms have their pros and cons, but with the insights from this article, you should be well-equipped to make the best choice for your dropshipping venture. Remember, your choice of platform will significantly impact your business's success, so weigh your options carefully.

Try DropCommerce for Shopify

Try DropCommerce for free!

If you decide to use Shopify, be sure to check out DropCommerce for your product sourcing needs – it's a game-changer for dropshipping.

Whichever platform you choose, the key to a successful dropshipping business lies in continuously optimizing your store, providing excellent customer service, and staying updated with industry trends.

Happy dropshipping!

Profile Picture Author
Try Shopify for only $1/month
Join us on facebook
Follow Us On Instagram
Start your free Trial
Get our shopify app for free
Pandemic Supplies Prebuilt Store
Home Decor Prebuilt Store
Women's Fashion Prebuilt Store
Beauty Shop Prebuilt Store
Wellness Products Prebuilt Store
Outdoor Goods Prebuilt Store
Pet Products Prebuilt Store
Jewelry Prebuilt Store