WooCommerce vs Shopify

Angry Creative has extensive experience with WooCommerce and have over several years gathered the smartest solutions into a comprehensive package, Qala. The Qala package gives you access to thousands of hours of development and optimization right from the start – Everything you might need to quickly launch or scale your current e-commerce store.

In this article, we compare Shopify Plus & Angry Creative’s Qala WooCommerce solution, the opportunities each option presents, and the aspects to consider when choosing which platform to use for your e-commerce business.

Qala WooCommerce vs Shopify Plus vs WooCommerce: Overview

Shopify Plus

WooCommerce

Qala WooCommerce

User-friendly

Shopify Plus: Easy to get started with, suited for small to medium-sized businesses. However, numerous third-party apps are required to access essential and basic functionalities.

WooCommerce: Requires technical knowledge. Yet, with a collaborative partner, WooCommerce presents no limitations.

Qala WooCommerce: Qala is a sophisticated solution offering ready-made modules for your site, allowing you to add and customize content just as you want.

Editorial content

Shopify Plus: Provides basic functionalities for content creation, limiting the scope of different types of content you can create on your site. Shopify’s editing capabilities are comparable to WordPress 3.9 from 2019, which means they’re about 5 years behind WordPress.

WooCommerce: Based on a custom management system (CMS) that facilitates advanced editorial work with pages, blogs, and all other content on your site, utilizing the Custom Page Types (CPT) feature. However, without experience, it becomes challenging to manage.

Qala WooCommerce: From the start, Qala includes enough modules to ensure your project’s success. You can create and customize content as you want, a crucial feature for all businesses, especially for B2B companies that rely on creating tailored and relationship-building content.

Costs & fees

Shopify Plus: £1,830/month + additional apps and add-ons. Shopify also charges a fee based on your sales volume. Adding extra sites is priced at £1,850 for 10 sites, so costs can quickly increase as your e-commerce grows and sales volume increases.

WooCommerce: Free to get started. However, a collaborative partner is needed to develop the site without prior knowledge.

Qala WooCommerce: Involves a slightly higher initial cost followed by a monthly cost of £1,355, covering everything needed to develop and scale your e-commerce. Additional sites cost £220 for 10 sites, making it a cost-effective choice when scaling.

Customization and flexibility

Shopify Plus: Offers apps and themes but quickly becomes limited when custom solutions are desired.

WooCommerce: Offers significant customization capabilities if you are experienced in working within an open-source environment. Access to tens of thousands of plugins and themes provides flexible solutions for your needs.

Qala WooCommerce: You get access to ready-made modules for a quick setup while allowing for full customization following your preferences.

SEO and marketing

Shopify Plus: Includes built-in SEO & marketing tools for beginners but requires premium add-ons for more advanced needs.

WooCommerce: Allows for the use of more advanced marketing tools, but requires additional add-ons.

Qala WooCommerce: Offers the possibility to make any configurations you can imagine around SEO.

Scalability

Shopify Plus: Scalability with Shopify is possible but comes with significant additional costs for more advanced apps, themes, and add-ons. This often leads to unexpected expenses as the total sum increases with each added cost.

WooCommerce: Provides the ability to tailor your e-commerce to your needs, though it may be challenging without experience.

Qala WooCommerce: Qala is designed to handle very high loads, containing unique components exclusive to us. We continuously strive to improve Qala’s performance, benefits that you as a customer constantly get access to.

Internationalizing

Shopify Plus: Selling internationally is possible for B2C companies but not for B2B. However, there are limitations regarding localization, currency conversions, and translations.

WooCommerce: With WooCommerce, you have the opportunity to sell internationally, but it’s a complicated process requiring many additional plugins and features.

Qala WooCommerce: With multisite capability, you can reach visitors worldwide, and our Geo-IP features guide them correctly, regardless if you are a B2B or B2C company.

Support

Shopify Plus: Offers 24/7 support through several channels.

WooCommerce: There is no direct support from WooCommerce.

Qala WooCommerce: Provides continuous support and a certain number of maintenance hours each month, depending on the package you choose.

Summary

Shopify Plus

Suitable for new and small businesses. Starting is affordable with their beginner plans, but operational costs quickly increase as the e-commerce business grows and requires an upgrade to Shopify Plus.

WooCommerce

Starting with WooCommerce is cost-effective, but as the e-commerce site grows and needs more advanced features, the assistance of an experienced partner becomes necessary.

Qala WooCommerce

With Qala WooCommerce, you avoid spending a lot of money on learning curves and growth challenges. You receive a complete framework with all the smartest solutions you could need for your e-commerce business.

Usability & content

Shopify Plus

Shopify is known for its simplicity, making it a popular choice among new users. However, this simplicity also translates to poorer customization options, limiting businesses that desire full control over their website’s appearance and functionalities.

Shopify offers a basic “pages” feature, allowing the creation of simple pages for information that rarely needs updating, such as “About Us” or “Contact Us” pages. The only way to update customers is by posting articles.

With Shopify, you find yourself in a constrained space when it comes to creating content smoothly.

Qala WooCommerce

The Qala solution offers ready-made modules that not only allow you to get started quickly but also provide the opportunity to customize the site exactly as you want. Even in the smallest Qala package, there are enough modules to make your project a great success. With Qala WooCommerce, you also gain access to the Custom Post Types (CPT) function. This crucial feature significantly eases the creation and structuring of content on your site. Here are the major advantages of CPT:

Organize and structure: The CPT function gives you the ability to structure your content, whether it’s a product catalog, calendar, or some specialized content, and present it in a simple and user-friendly way.

Custom fields: Custom posts allow you to define fields that are specific to your content. This enables you to capture and display additional information relevant to each post, for example, a table of reviews.

Flexible content management: Custom posts offer flexibility in managing your content. You can create templates and archive pages tailored to each post, giving you more control over how your content is displayed and organized on your website.

Higher rankings: With more customized and user-friendly content, your site has a better chance of ranking higher in search engines.

Improved structure: It becomes easier for you to create and structure content on your site, especially if multiple people are publishing content at different times.

Crucial for B2B

The Custom Post Types (CPT) function is important for all types of businesses, but it is crucial for B2B companies where building strong and lasting customer relationships is key.

Even if you’re not selling products directly from your website, it’s essential to optimize it with relationship-building content such as helpful product information, self-service options, insights, and automations. This type of content is easy to create with the CPT function, a crucial function that Shopify doesn’t have.

Internationalizing

Shopify Plus

Shopify’s Market Pro is a feature designed to make the process of setting up your e-commerce for international sales easy. Although it’s a good option for some, it has several significant disadvantages.

To start with, the translation features are limited. You can translate your texts and product descriptions but not the “slugs” in all URLs.

When setting prices in the new currency, you must use Shopify’s conversion tool, which means Shopify charges a conversion fee of 2.5%. In addition to this fee, Shopify also charges 6.5% on every international payment.

Market Pro also does not support B2B orders. As a B2B company, you must act as your own trade agent, which means you need to register and pay taxes, arrange to accept local payment methods, and organize shipping and fulfillment of orders.

Qala WooCommerce

With Qala, you gain access to multisite capabilities that allow you to reach visitors from all around the world, while Geo-IP features guide them correctly.

Unlike several other platforms that can limit users with fixed fees and limited functionality, Qala WooCommerce offers an open and customizable platform designed for global expansion.

Here are the major advantages of Qala when it comes to international sales:

Multiple domains, languages & currencies: Access to multisite enables you to create a large WordPress-based network of individual websites, each tailored to the country in which you are selling.

Support for B2C & B2B sales: Qala WooCommerce is equipped to support both B2C and B2B sales, offering the ability to customize the purchasing experience for business customers. This includes custom pricing, volume discounts, and private stores.

Full control over your website: As an open-source platform, WooCommerce gives you complete control over the appearance and functionality of your site. This means you can tailor your site to meet specific international requirements, including shipping, taxes, and payment methods.

Costs

Shopify Plus

Monthly plan: £1,830/month

Cost for 10 extra sites: £1,850

Fees: Depending on your sales volume, the monthly cost can escalate. If you sell for more than £673.300/month, you will be required to pay a portion of that through a revenue share model.

Costs for apps and themes: Although Shopify offers a selection of free themes and apps, most businesses need to move on to premium themes and apps to customize their store and expand its functionality. These costs can quickly add up, making it challenging for businesses with smaller budgets to make the necessary customizations as their e-commerce grows.

Qala WooCommerce

Although Qala WooCommerce has a higher initial cost, it offers a reasonable operating cost. As you scale your e-commerce, you encounter predictable costs that are also cost-effective compared to competitors.

Monthly plan: £1,355/month

Cost for 10 extra sites: £220

Fees: 1.1% transaction fee, following examples from our customers.

Scalability: As your business grows, Qala WooCommerce grows with you. Even though the costs for hosting, additional sites, and premium features increase as you scale up, these expenses tend to be more predictable and manageable.


Predictable cost with Qala

The graph shows a cost comparison between Angry Creative’s WooCommerce solution, Qala Premium, and Shopify Plus.

The cost for the first 10 sites is quite comparable across both platforms. However, as you scale up and require more sites, the cost with Shopify increases significantly. An increase of 10 sites costs £1,850 with Shopify, while with Qala WooCommerce, it costs £220.

Even though the initial costs are comparable, prices quickly increase with Shopify, and it can be challenging to predict expenses as you begin to grow and scale your e-commerce.

Comparing Qala to a standard WooCommerce solution also reveals that many hours are required to create a well-functioning and optimized e-commerce, which means that costs can rapidly increase if you start working in WooCommerce from scratch. Qala comes at a fixed price, which includes everything you will need.


Sales features and add-ons

Shopify Plus

While Shopify provides an intuitive setup and easy management for e-commerce stores. Businesses requiring the implementation of advanced features or specific integrations may find themselves constrained.

The platform’s marketplace offers a wide range of apps for extended functionalities, such as advanced reporting tools, marketing tools, and specialized checkout processes.

Qala WooCommerce


Qala WooCommerce equips your website with advanced sales features and flexible add-ons. It offers innovative filtering and intelligent search functionality that makes it easier for customers to find products.

Qala also provides customized modules that tailors your website after your unique needs, along with a wide range of payment options to make smooth transactions.

Support

Shopify Plus

Support: Shopify offers 24/7 support through multiple channels, including phone, email, and live chat, ensuring that help is available whenever you need it.

Community: An online community of both users and developers who share tips and advice. Shopify also has an extensive help center and forum.

Shopify academy: Free educational resources and courses designed to help entrepreneurs grow their online presence and sales.

Qala WooCommerce

Support: We are always on the lookout for potential issues and optimization opportunities. We will also handle the maintenance of your site every month to make sure everything is running smoothly. As a customer, you are encouraged to provide ongoing suggestions for improvements or issues to be addressed.

Constant innovation: We are continuously innovating to make Qala better. As a Qala customer, you will regularly benefit from the innovation that has become our hallmark.

Scalability

Shopify Plus


Shopify offers a scalable platform, but in some cases, it can become limiting depending on needs and budget. The platform provides quick updates and easy addition of new functionalities through a comprehensive system of apps and integrations.

A significant obstacle to scaling with Shopify is the lack of a multisite architecture, which limits the ability to efficiently manage multiple brands or international stores under the same platform. This limitation can make it time-consuming and difficult to manage assortments and campaigns across several stores, which is a disadvantage for companies aiming to grow and expand globally.

Qala WooCommerce

Qala offers a range of features that enable expansion and efficiency, including multisite architecture.

Since the release of WooCommerce 8.2 in 2023, you now also have access to HPOS (High-Performance Order Storage). This feature offers a more efficient database structure optimized for e-commerce needs, making it easier for stores of all sizes to handle an increased volume of customer orders without compromising on performance.

For businesses planning to expand by either increasing their product range, entering new markets, or offering more complex customer experiences, the scalability of Qala WooCommerce is a key factor.

If you’re interested in learning more about Qala and how we can help your business, book a meeting with our expert, Amy Slade!

FAQ


What’s the difference between WooCommerce and Shopify?

The major difference is that WooCommerce is an open-source platform, and Shopify is closed. This means that you have significantly more flexibility and customization with WooCommerce when building and designing your e-commerce site.

It’s possible to tailor solutions based on your specific needs.

What’s the difference between Qala WooCommerce and WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce platform for WordPress. Angry Creative’s solution, Qala, is a framework that includes all the smartest solutions for WooCommerce.

Which solution is better, Qala WooCommerce or Shopify Plus?

Both platforms have their advantages, but WooCommerce, combined with Qala, is undoubtedly the winner.

Qala WooCommerce offers a lot of freedom in developing your e-commerce, while also providing a reasonable operating cost as you begin to scale.