There are many popular eCommerce options that you can use to open your own online coffee business. The two most popular options include Shopify and WooCommerce.
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that converts a WordPress website into an eCommerce store.
Shopify is its own eCommerce platform that is web-based. There is no software to install and anyone can create an online store within minutes.
If you are wondering which option would be ideal for you, keep reading as I break down some of the key differences between using WooCommerce and Shopify.
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Table of Contents
- 1 WooCommerce or Shopify for Selling Coffee Online?
- 1.1 The Price Difference Between Shopify and WooCommerce
- 1.2 The Pros and Cons of Using WooCommerce
- 1.3 Pros of WooCommerce
- 1.4 Cons of WooCommerce
- 1.5 The Pros and Cons of Using Shopify
- 1.6 Pros of Shopify
- 1.7 Cons of Shopify
- 1.8 Ease of Use for Beginners
- 1.9 SSL – Website Encryption
- 1.10 Example of Coffee Company Using WooCommerce
- 1.11 Example of Coffee Company Using Shopify
- 1.12 How To Make Your Coffee Store Look Great Regardless of Platform
- 2 Closing Thoughts On Selling Coffee Online with WooCommerce or Shopify
WooCommerce or Shopify for Selling Coffee Online?
The biggest difference between these two shopping cart platforms is that one uses WordPress and one is a web-based service.
I’ve used WordPress for years so I am quite comfortable with installing and using WooCommerce.
However, I do like the ease of use with Shopify. Shopify is simply easy for anyone to use without any prior technical knowledge.
The Price Difference Between Shopify and WooCommerce
One factor that may help your decision making process is price. Both WordPress and WooCommerce are free to use.
Shopify’s basic plan starts at $29 per month. If you do not want to incur monthly software fees, it may be worth it to you to use WooCommerce.
You’ll need to register a domain name for your store, set up a web hosting account (I recommend SiteGround), and install WordPress.
Most web hosting companies have one-click WordPress installation. Meaning, you don’t need to know any web developing to install it yourself.
You follow a few prompts and click install. In some cases, your web hosting provider may install WordPress for you automatically.
If you already understand how to install WordPress plugins, you’ll have no problem installing WooCommerce.
By using WooCommerce, you can essentially save $348 per year versus Shopify’s basic plan.
That doesn’t mean Shopify isn’t worth it. Here are some pros and cons with using WooCommerce or Shopify.
The Pros and Cons of Using WooCommerce
Pros of WooCommerce
- Free to use so it can save you money
- Awesome features and plenty of plugins you can use with it
- It is a WordPress plugin (great if you prefer using WordPress)
- You retain 100% ownership of your store
Cons of WooCommerce
- You’ll need some working knowledge of WordPress
- Possible troubleshooting issues when something doesn’t work
- No technical support readily available
The Pros and Cons of Using Shopify
Pros of Shopify
- User-friendly, open a store in minutes
- All software updates handled by the company
- Customer support is available
- Great features & payment processor already built-in
Cons of Shopify
- Risk of account closure since it is a third-party service
- Recurring monthly fees
Ease of Use for Beginners
In terms of ease of use, I would say that Shopify is probably a lot easier to get started with in comparison to WooCommerce.
You would need to have some understanding or at least learn a bit about using WordPress before using WooCommerce.
Shopify is user-friendly and makes it easy to have your own store up in a matter of minutes without installing any software.
WooCommerce and WordPress are also easy to learn but will take a bit more time compared to Shopify.
SSL – Website Encryption
Have you ever noticed the little lock that appears at the top of your web browser when visiting a website?
It means the website has SSL (secure sockets layer) which encrypts a user’s information when filling out forms and submitting them.
This is important for online stores as user’s are inputting credit card and other sensitive information.
If you are going to use WooCommerce, you’ll have to ensure SSL is set up on your domain. This is easily accomplished as most web hosting companies offer free SSL.
Shopify includes SSL automatically when you create a new store account.
Example of Coffee Company Using WooCommerce
There are a lot of online businesses that are using WooCommerce. I wanted to share an example of one coffee company that uses it to sell coffee beans online.
The name of the company is Coffee Beans Delivered and they are based in Australia. Below is a screen capture of the store but check out their website to get the full effect.
WooCommerce has tons of professional looking store themes just like Shopify does. They also have plenty of extensions that you can implement for added features.
What is great is that this company is not paying monthly fees to use either WordPress or WooCommerce.
There may be fees for additional plugins that you may want to add but you’ll still save hundreds per year just on the actual eCommerce platform.
Example of Coffee Company Using Shopify
There are a plethora of coffee stores that use Shopify. Shopify has many beautiful store themes. Some are free and some are premium.
The below coffee store is called Verve Coffee Roasters:
Many Shopify stores have a really beautiful look and feel. I recommend adding a product to the shopping cart and then clicking the checkout button.
That way you can see how product pages look as well as the checkout page. Do the same with the WooCommerce store above.
How To Make Your Coffee Store Look Great Regardless of Platform
You can help improve your store’s design by having high-quality product photos. This may begin by having your coffee bags or coffee labels professionally designed.
Another tip is to have a professionally designed logo created as well. These are things you can do down the line if you are on a budget.
Branding is a key element for creating a successful coffee business.
Closing Thoughts On Selling Coffee Online with WooCommerce or Shopify
Both WooCommerce and Shopify are excellent options for selling coffee online. If you are on a budget and want to save money on recurring software fees, WooCommerce is an excellent choice.
Keep in mind that you will be responsible for troubleshooting any issues and there is no immediate customer support included.
If you prefer an easy store set-up, plus customer technical support, then Shopify is a better option.
You can test out Shopify using their 14-day free trial.