Are you thinking of starting your own online store? Or perhaps you're looking to change up what you have any want to explore the options? Well you've come to the right place. I've run several stores (in all platforms) and we here at Reputate have quite the experience helping E-Commerce merchants succeed.

There's a couple of topics I'd like to break this review apart into a few pieces and explain how they all perform.

Payment Options

75% of merchants will be able to find what they're looking for as a payment gateway, the fees are reasonable and depending on your success you can lower them with an upfront monthly payment. For the 25% who have their own merchant account value using a third party gateway, Shopify will be exorbitantly more expensive than WooCommerce

WooCommerce and Magento
Both provide every option you can think of. Magento with over 250 payment gateways and WooCommerce coming in at well over 500. That said if simplicity and "taken care of for you" is your thing, you may find that both WooCommerce and Magento can get to be complicated. Especially when you start to evaluate third party plugins.

I would give the edge to WooCommerce and Magento here, there's simply too much value in the flexibility.

Ease of Use

The engineers and designers at Shopify have done a simply wonderful job of making life easy for merchants using their platform. There is no un-necessary bloat, everything is where you expect it to be and you can do just about everything in their platform. The UX on this platform is as good as it'll get for E-Commerce Platforms

WooCommerce and Magento
I'm lumping WooCommerce and Magento in here as they're similar in this aspect. It's not that they have a particularly bad UX but what I will say is that even as an experienced software developer I have trouble finding what I need when first coming to these platforms.

I would certainly give the edge to Shopify here


It starts out relatively cheap, especially when you consider what you get for it. $30 for the functionality Shopify provides is a steal. That said as you grow, you have the ability to move up their packages which also provides some additional shipping and payment discounts (and if you have enough volume, it evens out)

WooCommerce and Magento
Both of these platforms are open source. They offer hosted solutions and there's a wealth of cloud hosting companies online who will host it for you. You can also set up your own VMs and do it yourself. Generally, you'll get it for 2-3x cheaper than it would cost if you were to get it hosted for you and you're looking at around half of what Shopify would cost you per month.

I'll give the, very slight, edge to WooCommerce and Magento.

Overall Feature-set
Now this is a big bucket. I don't want to dive into specifics as the needs of each merchant will vary wildly. What I can say on this subject is with the open source solutions (WooCommerce and Magento) you'll always have more flexibility even if it means you need to develop it yourself. With Shopify you don't really have that option, the best you can do is create a plugin and even then, they can only do so much.

Overall I don't think there's a stand-out winner. By and large I'd say it depends. Shopify is great for those who want it taken care of, always. They're okay paying a little more, taking more of a haircut on each transaction in exchange for this. WooCommerce and Magento are better for those who want to optimize their cost and don't mind getting their hands dirty.