WooCommerce vs. Shopify – Which one is better? Comparison View

WooCommerce vs. Shopify – Which one is better? Comparison View


Hey. Hey. Hey, y’all Welcome to another WordPress Wednesday. My name is Kori Ashton
[WebTegrity in San Antonio, Texas] And today we’re going to talk about WooCommerce vs. Shopify. A lot of you all have asked me in the past -Can you do a series on e-commerce websites. We really want to build a WooCommerce platform and sell our products online. -Using WordPress, the top of the line, as in my opinion, as of [July] 2015, is going to be the WooCommerce plugin for an ecommerce system inside of WordPress. Free open source. But…I have had a lot of issues with it, personally struggling with building e-commerce websites using WordPress. And so some of you have even heard me say don’t use WordPress for e-commerce. Eeeeeee! I know. But today I actually want to walk you through a comparison because I have now built an e-commerce site on Shopify as well as on WooCommerce. Now I feel like I can actually speak to this. We are going to get into it. I’m not gonna … These are our really cool sponsors and partners. They’re amazing. [WPEngine, WPElevation, and WP101] But I want to talk about WooCommerce vs. Shopify today. Hopefully I don’t make any enemies with all of this. We’re just going to get into it. Hopefully I can get through this in 10 minutes. There’s going to be a lot to deal with, so stick around with me. Hopefully I won’t go too far past it. Let’s get to talking about WooCommerce vs. Shopify. We’re going to talk about the good first. The good with WooCommerce. Free to use. We all know that. It’s open source ecommerce, but is it really free to use? You still have to have hosting for your website. And we’ll talk about other options as we go into here. Free? Eh. Maybe to get it set up but you still have to pay for hosting. There are also lots of great themes our there. There are free themes for ecommerce as well as paid versions. And there are even WooThemes which are specific themes created by the same creators or WooCommerce that already have everything plugged in for you. You have lots of different design options to choose and pick from. You can also have lots and lots of plugins. Because we’re on the WordPress platform, there are going to be a lot of free options for us but there are also going to be paid options there for plugins. And sometimes the features that you might want are going to require to be paid. One thing that you really have is really good SEO inside of WooCommerce because we can use the Yoast plugin. That’s a series that we’ve done here as well on WordPress Wednesday on our YouTube channel. If you don’t know what that is, be sure to check that out on our channel. Really great SEO which is search engine optimization for those of you that might not know what that term is. That’s really easily done inside of WordPress. You also have more control over the code over in our WooCommerce platform. If you know a little bit of nerd code, or if you’re comfortable with editing some CSS, you could certainly make a lot of manipulations. A lot of themes also come with an extensive amount of what I consider option overload. You really have the ability to get in there and change a lot of the colors, a lot of the font sizes, and how things are set up in your store. A lot of flexibility there. You also have some really good social media plugins. Let’s say your Facebook feeds, or maybe you wanted your boards from Pinterest to dynamically display on your website, you have the means to plug those in quickly and easily. Just a couple of clicks and you’re there. Plus, of course, out of the box, WooCommerce allows for a blog because it’s on WordPress. Shopify has a blog as well, you just don’t have as many options as you do with WooCommerce. There you go. Let’s talk about the good about Shopify. And why I’m even comparing the two of them. Shopify, to me, completely simple to set up. I mean, literally, in a couple of minutes … I didn’t even realize [dut dut dut] Done! And I had a store. I mean, I could have been selling within minutes. It was incredibly simple. They do have some nice themes that are free, however, you’ll see some of the negative here in a minute, you quickly have to get into paying if you want something a little more advanced. You do have a free trial if you want to start using them just totally for free. I think you have about 30 days to get over there and sample it out. Then the lowest amount that you’re running on is a $14/per month fee that you’re going to be paying, as well as, of course, the transaction fees on any purchases that are made in your store. They do have quite a few free plugins that were helping me with shipping and a couple … they had a customer review plugin that was totally free for me to drop in so that people couple give my products reviews. That was kind of cool. Totally for free. They also have really great tech support. I never even really had to use it though because, literally, I was just able to set everything up. It was a very intuitive system. Done. But I have heard and seen research done that they have really great, great technical support if you do need it. And you also have instant payments. In other words, with WooCommerce, I had to go in and set up a gateway and plug it into my PayPal account. And I really didn’t have anything out of the box that just would have worked. Of course, with Shopify, it already had that in place. What? It’s true. Let’s talk about the bad for both. Oh, I’m half way through it. WooCommerce. Bad. If there’s one thing I’ve told you all about WordPress in general is that it always requires updates. And you can imagine how many plugins you have to use with WooCommerce. Those, of course, require updates. When we talk about updates they’re kind of a domino effect, right? As soon as core (WordPress) requires an update, very typically WooCommerce comes out and says you’re going to need to update. And now all those plugins need updating. And if you’re not consistently doing that, you’re going to run into the next problem which is security risks and breaks and breeches. And people stealing your customer list. You really have to be on top of things and be sure that you have high security set in place, as well as always consistently doing your backups. WooCommerce also does cost eventually. If you want any sort of bells and whistles or extra features or comparison plugins or auto shipping calculators or anything like that, you’re going to end up having to pay. This could be costly. It could run anywhere from $60 to $80. I’ve seen some $125 per year if want support on them and updates. You do want those things. Shake your head with me. You do want those things because ultimately those could be security risks if you’re not updating them. An SSL expense (a secure server license) is typically required on any ecommerce website, no matter what platform you’re using. If you’re over on Shopify, you’re able to use their system and it’s not required. It’s pretty darn phenomenal. Too many plugins conflict. Now, what we typically have happen with WooCommerce is, “Well, I want this option, so I’m going to throw in this plugin. And now I want this option, so I’m going to throw in this plugin.” And, all of a sudden, let’s say, you have two dozen plugins running, and they can very easily conflict with each other, causing breaks, causing damage to your website. You also don’t really have tech support when it comes down to WooCommerce. Because it’s free and opensource, you can plug it in yourself, figure out how to use it yourself, unless you purchase a WooTheme or maybe you purchased a theme from a specific author, maybe over on ThemeForest, and those individual authors could allow you to submit a support ticket. But it’s a little bit more cumbersome of a process to get that type of help. Whereas, with Shopify, you can typically either get on the phone with them or shoot them an email really quickly and get a very fast response. And it is more time consuming. That’s just the bad of WordPress is that option overload where you literally just spend so much time plugging in all your products, trying to get everything set up correctly because it has so many wonderful options. Let’s look at the bad for Shopify. One of the reasons why people tend to lean toward WooCommerce is because it’s free, right? And they don’t want to pay the monthly fee that Shopify charges. Out of the gate, their lowest dollar amount I believe is $14 or $14.95 or something like that, per month, for you to be paying. But very, very quickly, if you need unlimited products, you’re going to be headed, like, literally, if you have over 25 products, you’re going to be headed into the $30 range per month, plus the transaction fee, so it can be costly. You also have limited free design, so, if you want your theme to look a little bit nicer, their themes run around $80 to $150. It’s a one-time charge, but that has to be in your budget. It also doesn’t really have the best blogging capabilities. You really don’t have a whole lot of options for running tags and creating dynamic displays of your posts. You also are a little limited with your SEO capabilities, and editing your title tags on your page, as well as manipulating … They do have a plugin for you that I found to be comparable, in a sense, to Yoast, but it’s not just as robust. So that’s the good and the bad. You can see that there really quickly. The good and the bad. What I do want to talk about though, overall, the biggest issues with any ecommerce website no matter what is that typically you have bad pictures so you want to have really great photos. Your photos are what’s going to sell your product. Then you also have to figure out shipping. That has actually killed some of our customers. They don’t calculate the right amounts for shipping, so they’re not charging the right amount, so they have to eat the shipping cost, and ultimately that dives into your profit margin and that could ultimately really, really hurt your business. And then, of course, figuring out what payment gateway to use and how to be sure that it works with your server, your hosting company, as well as your transaction fees and how quickly you can get your money back from the payment gateway and get it into your account. All those different things are little things you need to consider whenever you’re setting up an ecommerce website. So, overall, I’m going to say to you that I think Shopify wins as a proof of concept. Let’s call it that. A proof of concept website. So, if you’re just getting started with an ecommerce website and you’re thinking I don’t know which one to use, I think it’s pretty phenomenal to go ahead and use Shopify. It’s literally set up in a few minutes and you’re off and running with a very simple, very basic website. Fantastic for that. But if you need something a little more advanced, and you really want to get technical and put in some really cool widgets and plugins and extra bells and whistles, you want to look at WooCommerce. I can’t believe I’m saying this because most of the time I tell people don’t do it. But WooCommerce is such a beast to tackle. But if you’ve already got your proof of concept, you know you’re able to sell, and you’re able to maybe hire a tech team or a developer team to help you set up WooCommerce, I highly recommend it. All right? I know that was a lot in 11 minutes. I’m one minute over. But I appreciate you taking time with me. I’m going to put the subscribe button right here because every single Wednesday I’m releasing great videos on WordPress. If you have questions about these two (which I’m not an affiliate of either one, by the way. I’m not getting money from this video from either one of these companies. I was just giving you my opinion. Completely my opinion on my user experience in both environments) you can put your comments in the description box below. And be kind, all right. You all have a great one. I’ll see you next WordPress Wednesday. Bye bye.

Comments

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    InspiredBlush

    This was reassuring! Thank you! Most of my shop friends use shopify but I went with woocommerce! I set it up in a few hours thanks to Greg Narayans videos! Cheaper to run monthly even with paid plugins for me (:

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    IgnisKipa

    if you only had 1 product and its bundle is it still better to use shopify of wordpress?
    I also sell on platform like Amazon and Ebay so that mean it require to redirect it to that platform and i dont really actually hold the product, because i did not merchant fulfill.

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    tech n gadgets review

    woocommerce is way better than shopify. You can literally sell whatever the hell you want on woocommerce and its FREE!

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    SparQ Corporate Training

    Perfect explanation of both and now I feel prepared to make my decision. Also, I love how you edited the video!

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    Skylightatdusk

    I have 2 questions:

    1) What would be a fair maintenance fee for a WooCommerce store? Should it be done monthly on specific days of the month, continually, etc ?

    2) Is it easy to get WooCommerce set up by one person but maintained by another person?

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    Nava Skolnik

    Glad I found you, I am not selling online but need something that would work like a catalog. No prices. Is any of these options suitable for that concept? At the moment I use zen card for my catalog, but it's a bit clanky.
    Thanks,

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    MatMat

    Thank you so much for this great tutorial. Since I am just starting out, I will definitely give Shopify a shot and see where this goes ! xxx

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    Jim Smith

    i think its only fair that you update the video to say that you are an affiliate, you have a shopify affiliate link in the description.

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    betiiinaaa92

    Hi!
    Thank you so much for your video, it really helped me a lot.
    I just have one question. Do either of them have like policies? Like for example, I'm on Etsy right now and I want to move out of it because they've been trying to close my shop for SO MANY STUPID STUFF. So I was wondering, are wooComerce or Shopify able to do this too?

    Thank you!

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    Marco da Cruz

    forgot to add the fact that Shopify charges 2% on ALL TRANSACTIONS that dont use shopify pay. Which for those poor little guys in the remote parts of the earth is a huge chunk especially if we have to live with 5% profit margins and they take 2% of total…ouch..ouch..ouch

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    Kristoffer Nord

    A quick question. How does Shopify handle webshops that has thousands upon thousands of articles? I've just finished a Woocommerce site with around 3000 items, all tagged and searchable. Several more thousands is on the way. It sure wasn't easy and I'm curious how Shopify handles that. Thank you for your video.

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    Case White

    you have more freedom of what items you want to sell with woocommerce and shopify you can not do lots of different items

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    Sergio Ortíz

    Hello WebTegrity. Your presentation was very nice and helpfully. By the way, may ask what presentation system you used to do your video? it´s great! Thank you.

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    Nirutt Sibutda

    In my opinion, if you go with Woocommerce you learn way more as most of the time you'll be doing everything yourself. It tought me how to SEO, Coding and gives you many more skills

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    Chef Haynes

    Thank you for the useful info. I needed it because woo is a headache for newbies on a budget on the other hand Shopify, I had an issue with them months ago about uploading products via csv and no one was eager to walk me through which lead to me canceling my online biz mentality but I am going to give them one more shot again because I am so so tired of these modern days plantation blood suckers. thank you

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    Krystal Hooper

    DON'T EVER USE SHOPIFY! THEY HAVE 0 CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!! 0 KNOWLEDGE OF TEC SUPPORT KNOWLEDGE YOU WILL BE PAYING SO MUCH MONEY JUST IN PLUG INS ALONE.

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    Krystal Hooper

    Yes I had a horrible experience with them. I was with them for 2 years and they did nothing to help me when I found out about all these extra charges. So if you want a website that drives traffic use Yoast from WordPress it is free, and you can set up with google ad words for free to crawl your website. When you use wordpress all you do is upload a plug ins. WordPress Visual Composer is a one time fee of 40.00. Where you can create drop down menus, they look amazing, and you can add elements as you need them. With shopify as well you have to buy zoom, carosel etc. Plug ins alone are very expensive there.They purposely make you buy all these plug ins. So if you want a drop down menu you have to buy with that hamburger plug ins every month at 30.00. I bought two different responsive theme, at 200.00 each. Atlantic and Pacific. Which can't be transferred either. Shopify's customer service actually offers no customer support they actually know nothing about tec support. I had to find out the hard way, you're on hold and they create ticket after ticket, with no call backs. They claim their themes are customizable but then they say they don't offer css, and you're forced to buy more plug ins again. Its not PHP compatible, SEO you have to purchase a plug in which is free with WordPress. Plus when you do decide to leave they only provide a CSV file that only can be imported to them, they do not do export their file is only compatible to their platform, so when I asked them for my file of 6,000 products it is useless to me without having to pay a developer over 1,000. All hosts like IPage, Bluehost, etc which are sister companies, not offer any support they just host the site. They claim they have WordPress support you pay 150.00 a month and they know nothing about shotcodes, theme developement, css etc. My suggestion is spend the 150.00 a month get a Mojo Marketplace they help with any problem you have and stick to them.Pick a theme that is Responsive on WordPress which is and purchase Visual Composer with Mega Menu. Get a Host such as Blue Host and get a VPN for 20.00 a month, you're not sharing you're space with a bunch of other people on a shared host.

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    All sapphires

    For an e-commerce that sells many products and wants to grow, the cost of maintenance is not an issue, you will need one person (probably more) full-time job working on your website.
    Shopify is not an option, too weak and too expensive for big e-commerce, your option is WooCommerce or something similar

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    Ferkesh

    (WooCommerce) is the way to go
    if you are selling online and doing very well then why do you need paypal and your money and business under paypal`s control and stupid policies plus the high transaction fees ?? you better off having a merchant account linked to your site
    and dont forget the fact about shopify being owned by amazon and their rules and stupid policies
    also there is alot of big hosting companies offer free hosting plans.
    so stay away from anything has to do with paypal, ebay and amazon

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    Ярослав Евгеньевич

    Hello! Who knows woocommerce? I have a problem in the store kladproraba.com is not displayed the unit for external/affiliate products, reviews block works only when the setting indicated that it is the external product and the reviews block no. Third-party plugins did not solve the problem, only plug diskus works, but it's not what you need. Have experience how to solve the problem? Share with me Your experience, I would be very grateful!

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    Fwaka Silva

    Hi, i really like your videos,im ready to start a onlin business, and im ready to create a website/online shopping, wich one shuld i start no matter what i need to pay, i just want one secure, easy, to create and funcionable, with payments method. please get it tuch with me by email. [email protected]

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    Alluring Media

    Awesome run down Kori, really appreciate the inside info. Don't worry, I still love WP too. May Matt forgive us.

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    Airborne Roasting

    Kori – Awesome video, nice job on 11 minutes of great information, and fair comparisons. You hit the nail on the head with your final point and it is what I was thinking as I've been exploring WooCommerce and Shopify…. Shopify is quick, it is easy, and it is extremely secure out of the box! Thus, to get a store up and running quickly, Shopify can be the proof of concept. We can take the profits and invest in IT personnel and WooCommerce later, especially if we need to implement more sophisticated extensions. Thanks again for a great assessment video!

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    Baha Queen

    Thanks so much you are adorable! I'm with WooCommerce as I am a home baker & fiber artist and have both websites there. I love the the freedom in the end with basic bells/whistles. I was looking for a Product Builder and Shopify has a fantastic one. Was formerly with Shopify and they do have a fantastic user interface/support and I was up in less than 2 hours (quicker if you already have your images/text/blurb etc already). The comments here were delightful while sipping my tea LOL. Thank you so much again, subscribed of course!!!!!! Oh and yes…the Ellen comment was the best EVERRRRRRR

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    Mike Nazarian

    Thank you for your amazing video, now i have a question! which platform do you think is ideal for blogging and affiliate marketing?

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    Direct Mail Plus

    I agree Woo Commerce is better….your going to spend all that money with shopify and you don't even know if your store is going to generate a profit…got alot of videos on how to set up Woo Commerce site and WordPress got some great templates ….Greg Narayans videos are great!

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    Alpha SQUAD official

    i have used prestashop, magento, oepncart, shopify, wordpress and istacart…. i love wordpress, magento and prestashop! I personally think shopify is for kids.

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    Galileo

    Thank you for the detailed video.
    .I've done my research about booth of the platforms and I'm thinking quite the same.

  79. Post
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    Rajveer Kushwah

    Hi Kori, I am a newbie and am looking at bringing up my e-commerce store for mobile covers – which means 50k SKUs a minimum in next few months. Which platform would you suggest for such large no of SKUs. And that I would like a fast loading website for good customer experience, they can ask me questions on products and leave reviews post sales. As a seller, I should be able to do bulk upload of new products, bulk changes/deletion of SKUs frequently. SEO has to be easy and good. Look forward to your reply.

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    Dewayne David

    Waste of money. Why not just get it done free. Im using the Import.Ninja platform. It supports many more websites, does epacket recognition, support alibaba, taobao, rakuten, tmall, amazon, ebay and it imports directly into your shopify, magento and woocommerce in 1 click! I love it!

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    Marisa Watts

    Thank you for this video. It was a very thorough comparison that evaluated both options both short and long term, as well as costs in money vs. time. Exactly what I needed.

  86. Post
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    Brad Flaherty

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Great review! Tough to wade through all the information… with your video here, it saved me hours. Great concise summary!

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    Jenal Davis Harris

    Hi I am so glad I ran into your videos. You are incredible. I am learning how to promote
    my blog and I have Yoast and didn't know how to use it until I saw on your YouTube channel, thanks so much. http://journeywithjenal.com

  88. Post
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    Ali Moslemi

    Thanks for putting this video. You mentioned that shopify charges per transaction? is it in addition of transaction charges by the financial institution (say paypal or credit cards)? If so, what is the percentages?

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    Nathan Morehouse

    Wow, I was on the edge thinking Kori was going one way, then she'd J-hook back and we'd cheer for another side.  In the end, I am glad to see the end opinion to slap the table in going forward.  Thank you Kori- great VOD!

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    MiddleEasternMall.com

    As a Shopify customer for 1.5 years I do not recommend them. Many customers myself included have severe traffic drops. I have called Shopify numerous times to get help with the issue. My business has dropped in half since moving from a dedicated server using oscommerce to Bigcommerce and then Shopify. I thought my store would be more secure and more modern using a service like Bigcommerce or Shopify. Bigcommerce was even worse than Shopify for traffic drops. I am now going back to a dedicated server with WooCommerce before we go bankrupt from loss of business. Additionally, our Internationals orders have almost completely stopped. I don't think Bigcommerce and Shopify work well across all web browsers and devices. These issues are not obvious with short-term use.

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    Rob-karen Kennedy-parker

    Being a wp genius woo appeals to me. security is huge with wp. Shopify probably best for most people. Oh yeah great review.

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    pierrecai

    Thank you for your great video. i have been planning to go into E-commerce selling online and there are so many platform on this as such I dont really know which to use and the confidence. Your review is certainly a great help for beginner like me if anything as I will go with Shopify to start off. That is what I want the Proof of Concept and move into something more advance once i can take off. Once again thank you.

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    A Cookie

    I personally like using ecommerce because you can fully customize it. Adding security markups, custom navbar, responsive, sidebar, etc.. For more trafic and profits

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    Eric Wamburu

    Wow Kori, this was a great breakdown of the two. I opted for woocomerce. However i was wondering is there a way for the customer to get the a statement like the way you for a bank statment? The statement gives a breakdown of the complete purchases within the given period of time. There was this plugin WooCustomer which was nice but not supporting the current version. Any advice you can offer?

    Thank you.

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    NOVA UK

    We had a Shopify website for about 3 months. Useless. The apps don't work, and you end up speaking to the developers direct. It's database/spreadsheet management (uploading new items in bulk) is problematic too. Also didn't flag fraudulent transactions, and we ended up losing money.
    We have had an EKM website for 6 months and even though it works well, there are some big issues with is ebay Application, which works well, until you notice that all of the data has been transferred, apart from the most important item — the SKU's, thus manually inputting them into ebay, defeating the whole reason for having the app in the first place.
    We are just about to embark on a Woocommerce/Wordpress website – and fingers crossed it works. Will keep you all posted.

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    maximiliano gimenez

    Hello, thank you very much 🙂 the video was very useful to me. 👍. I'll ask you a question, I should migrate from Shopify to WordPress …. can you tell me how I can do it? Thanks in advance. Max

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    Benjamin Fink

    I would be interested in hearing an updated opinion on this topic. Its been a few years now and I'm sure both products have changed significantly. I would also be interested in hearing your opinion on other options in the e-eCommerce space.

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