Shopify vs Webflow eCommerce 2019

E-commerce

Authors

Mario Stipetic

At a glance

Shopify

Shopify is an eCommerce platform made for web shops and retail point of sale systems. It offers diverse applications and many integration abilities to boost its performance. It is a powerful tool for managing the entire online business even at distance with a smartphone. Skilled users can edit HTML and CSS of their websites. Because all of this, it is very popular among the users.

Webflow eCommerce

Webflow was primarily built for web design and later was eCommerce component also incorporated. Today, the quality of its main capabilities are close to Shopify's. The main advantage is the unprecedented speed of design changes with its visual editor, Something that Shopify wasn't designed for. It incorporates all the main features but it will need time to catch up with Shopify advanced features. Nevertheless, if you want a shop that would incorporate custom design and if only basic features are important to you then Webflow eCommerce is a great choice.

Shopify

Pros

  • The most comprehensive eCommerce platform
  • Variety of capabilities

Cons

  • Fees for using third-party  gateways
  • Using third-party apps can be expensive

Webflow eCommerce

Pros

  • The Editor provides a visual interface
  • Unparalleled speed of design changes to test different UX solutions                                                                

Cons

  • It doesn't support point of sale
  • It doesn't provide a native mobile app
  • New in the eCommerce field

Ease of use

Shopify

In today competition it's not enough to have a long set of features but the ease of use and simplicity is decisive. Shopify is currently the biggest eCommerce platform. It has the most advanced set of features and third-party apps. This allows native web and mobile selling. All those features are well integrated and with a small experience, you are able to set up and publish a store, without tech experience. Shopify interface is straightforward and clean with visual hints. Features are also well presented. A bit experienced users tend to value more the usage of keyboard shortcuts. It also offers its users full control over the HTML and CSS of their websites. Only Shopify Lite is excluded from this.

Webflow eCommerce

Webflow eCommerce also has a great intuitive interface. All the most important features like adding a product, selecting a template, adding info, static pages, payment, and publishing are very easy to use. The interface is very clean and modern and it has a great community and help section where everything is explained. Webflow also allows its users to edit HTML and CSS through a visual interface. There is no coding necessary.

The verdict

Both platforms have a simple and clean interface.

Ease of custom design

Shopify

With Shopify, you can edit HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) on the Shopify Admin page but you will need a hire a pricier senior professional and it will take more time to edit.

Webflow eCommerce

Shop owners can easily use any existing template but for template adjustments, a person with basic CSS and HTML coding knowledge should be hired. Other features like setting up and filling the shop with data are pretty straightforward and very easy to use.

The verdict

Webflow eCommerce is the winner because of its huge customizing abilities.

Cost

Shopify

Shopify offers five monthly plans:

  • Shopify Lite - $9 per month
  • Basic Shopify - $29 per month
  • Shopify - $79 per month
  • Advanced Shopify - $299 per month
  • Shopify Plus -around $2000 per month.

Discounts are for signing up a whole year in advance: 10% for 1 year, 20% for 2 years and 25% for 3 years.

Webflow eCommerce

Webflow offers three monthly plans:

  • Standard - $29 per month billed annually or $42 billed monthly
  • Plus - $74 per month billed annually or $84 billed monthly
  • Advanced - $212 per month billed annually or $235 billed monthly.

The verdict

Both platforms offer good value for money, so it is a draw.


Fees

Shopify

Fees will depend upon the usage of Shopify Payments. When this Shopify's own payment gateway is used, there are no fees on transaction processing. When external gateways (e.g. PayPal) are used, there are fees that depend on the subscription plan being used: Basic Shopify – 2% per transaction,
Shopify – 1% per transaction and Advanced Shopify – 0,5% per transaction.

There are also credit card fees that also depend on the subscription plan. In the USA, they are: Basic Shopify - 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction, Shopify - 2.6% + 30¢ and Advanced Shopify 2.4% + 30¢.

There are also fees for using a third-party gateway to process your credit card transactions: Shopify Lite and Basic Shopify -2% of the transaction, Shopify – 1%, Advanced Shopify – 0.5%.

These fees can differ a lot depending on a county.

Webflow eCommerce

Webflow uses Stripe as a payment provider. This requires creating and connecting Stripe account to Webflow in order to collect payments, process refunds and get paid.

Webflow has 2% transaction fees for sites on the Standard plan. Higher plans have no transaction fees.

Stripe charges some fees and percentages each time a credit or debit card payment is accepted. The price is the same for all cards. There are: 1.4% + €0.25 for European cards, 2.9% + €0.25for non-European cards.

The verdict

Both platforms offer reasonable fees, so it is a draw.

Payment gateways

Shopify

Shopify Payments can be used only if you are selling from specific countries. These countries are: Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States. Shopify users in other countries have to use other payment gateways.
There are over 100 external payment gateways on their disposal.

Webflow eCommerce

Webflow uses Stripe which is available in: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, Brazil, Estonia, Greece, India, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico and Poland. Webflow eCommerce checkout supports credit/debit card payments and web payments.

The verdict

Shopify is the winner because it offers more payment gateways.

Interface

Shopify

In Shopify user can easily drag and drop content into pages, which makes it very user-friendly. It is particularly good for creating products because users can adjust many details. Responsiveness is also on a high level

Webflow eCommerce

Webflow Editor allows users to create and edit content right on their page. Coding is not necessary because of the visual interface. Creating and managing content is also simple and intuitive.

The verdict

This is a draw because both platforms offer a very user-friendly interface.

Templates

Shopify

Shopify provides 10 free templates and offers an enormous amount of templates for purchase on Shopify web store. Each of these free 10 templates offers variations in theme, which in reality means, there are more free options than specified. They look good and are also attractive when compared to paid templates. The store website is straightforward to use because of the filters. Here again, responsiveness is also very important because templates have the ability to automatically adjust themselves to fit the screen of the device on which they are viewed.

Webflow eCommerce

Webflow eCommerce is a new platform and it offers 22 templates for eCommerce available for purchase in Webflow template store. Prices are from $49 to $129 with 6 free templates. They look good and can be used for a variety of business. Webflow's design tools allow users to customize these templates. Developers can make use of its extensive CMS platform.

The verdict

Shopify is the winner because it offers more templates.

Inventory management

Shopify

Shopify was originally designed for managing online store so it is no surprise that it has a very good inventory management system. It offers unlimited products, order histories, in-house revenue reports and the ability to add single or bulk items. Users are alerted with email when stock gets low.

Webflow eCommerce

Webflow has an inventory management system. It keeps track of stock and automatically displays the appropriate „low quantity“ and „out of stock“ statuses when necessary. This option should be turned on manually because it is off by default.

The verdict

Shopify is the winner because it offers a very comprehensive inventory management system.

Shipping

Shopify

Shipping with Shopify is fluid. There is an NHL and UPS integration available. Shopify made deals with them so the users will save money on shipping costs. Dropshipping is also supported. Users can print shipping labels and process orders with no need for third-party integration. User can view real-time shipping rates, but customers cannot unless they decide to purchase an add-on or subscribe to Shopify's Advanced plan.

Webflow eCommerce

Webflow also allows shipping. Users can customize regions, rules and tax settings. They can also update business details. A store can be connected with hundreds of apps on Zapier. This creates automatization of shipping label creation, accounting, and other tasks. Users also get a message when the order comes in.

The verdict

Shopify winner Shopify offers more detailed shipping options, so it is a winner.

Importing products

Shopify

Shopify allows importing products from other eCommerce platforms from in CSV file.

Webflow eCommerce

Webflow allows importing products from any other eCommerce platform as long as they are in CSV file. Product import is automatic so the manual mapping of fields is not required.

The verdict

Both platforms offer basically the same importing capabilities, so it is a draw.

Exporting products

Shopify

Shopify allows export of products regardless of their type to a CSV file.

Webflow eCommerce

Webflow allows exporting products from any spreadsheet program to CSV file.

The verdict

Both platforms offer basically the same exporting capabilities, so it is a draw.

SEO (Search engine optimization)

Shopify

A big advantage of Shopify is that it creates page title and meta description automatically, which is always a good start for SEO. It is also important that Shopify refers to the basic elements of SEO by their appropriate names. This terminology avoids mixing of the technical with terms used for other purposes. One useful feature is also URL redirection. In the case of the changed URL of the page, the user will be prompted to create 301 redirect, which is done automatically by ticking a checkbox. Users often tend to forget to this, when they have to do it manually. Creation of clean URLs is not provided, because some content identifiers cannot be removed from some URLs. This makes these webpages less user-friendly for non-expert users.

Webflow eCommerce

Webflow plans include advanced SEO controls. Sites created using it are SEO friendly.

Webflow provides dynamic embeds. This allows users to automatically generate search-friendly meta titles and descriptions from product page names, blog post titles, case studies, etc.

Users will have to crawl their existing website and set up 301 redirects in order to prevent customers from opening missing pages. This is managed natively by using rules to direct groups of URLs.

The verdict

Shopify is the winner because it offers more sophisticated SEO.

 

POS (Point of sale)

Shopify

Shopify POS kit is a fundamental part of this platform. It consists of a card reader, barcode scanner, cash drawer, and receipt printer. They are often bought as a complete kit but they can also be bought individually. They are suitable for iOS and Android mobile devices, not just for online selling but also for selling in physical stores, which can be of huge importance in many situations. There are many applications that can be used for this purpose.

Webflow eCommerce

Webflow doesn't support POS.

The verdict

Shopify is the obvious winner because Webflow doesn't even support POS.

 

Dropshipping

Shopify

Dropshipping is very popular among online retailers because they don't have to have the goods in stock.

Shopify provides many applications for this purpose. The most popular among them is Oberlo.

Webflow eCommerce

Oberlo is also often used by the Webflow users, among the other applications.

The verdict

Shopify is the winner because it has a more sophisticated dropshipping ability.

Third-party integrations

Shopify

Shopify has a wide-ranging app store. Users can there purchase integrations with other apps. Thousands of integrations with other platforms are at their disposal. This is a big advantage for the majority of users because they don't have to programme these solutions themselves.

Webflow eCommerce

Webflow provides a considerable amount of third-party apps. They are easy to integrate into the existing Webflow projects.

The verdict

Both platforms offer many third-party integrations, so it is a draw.

 

Mobile Apps

Shopify

Although there are a few apps provided by Shopify, most of the users use two of them. They are main Shopify app and Shopify POS app. They are sufficient for running Shopify mobile store and for accepting payments in a physical location. Among other popular apps is Ping. It is good for
communicating with customers.

Webflow eCommerce

There are no native mobile apps for Webflow eCommerce.

The verdict

Shopify is the winner because Webflow doesn't support native mobile apps.

 

Selling digital products in the EU

Shopify

It is important to keep in mind that when a company sells products to customers in the EU, value-added tax (VAT) must be charged at the rate due in the consumer's country. A big advantage of Shopify is that it calculates these rates automatically and therefore saves companies a lot of time.

Webflow eCommerce

Users, who want to automatically calculate VAT in Webflow, have to use paid TaxJar integration. This automation is done by clicking on the country name in the list and switching the auto tax calculation option „on“.

The verdict

Shopify is the winner because it calculates VAT automatically and for free.

 

SSL (Standard security technology)

Shopify

Shopify provides a free SSL certificate. This technology not only establishes an encrypted link between web servers and browser but also makes Google rank the website with this technology better.

Webflow eCommerce

Webflow provides its own free SSL certificate. To set it up, users have to turn it on in the Webflow dashboard. Users cannot use a certificate purchased from another SSL certificate provider.

The verdict

Both platforms have a good integrated SSL, so it is a draw.

Domains

Shopify

The user can obtain a custom domain at Shopify starting at $11 per year. In that case, the user will be provided pre-configured DNS settings. The downside can be situations when users, for whatever reason, lose access to their Shopify account because they lose access to both CMS and domain. Users can sort this problem out by buying a domain from an external provider and adjusting the DNS settings to map the domain to the Shopify website.

Webflow eCommerce

Webflow doesn't have its own custom domain. The user can purchase it from any domain name provider or can buy a Google Domain or a GoDaddy domain from the Hosting tab in the Project Settings.

The verdict

Shopify is the winner because it offers a custom domain.

Product images

Shopify

Shopify has problems with dealing with product images. Users must unify aspect ratio of every image otherwise they will be presented to customers in different sizes. Users can fix this problem by editing every image manually in the editing software. Another approach is to use an external
Shopify app like Pixc that does the resizing job automatically.

Webflow eCommerce

Webflow automatically scales images for every device size and resolution. This can greatly speed up the mobile loading speeds.

The verdict

Webflow is the winner because of its image scaling automatization.

Reporting

Shopify

Shopify has comprehensive analytics integrated into it. It provides detailed statistics in its reports, that are:

  • Finance report
  • Sales reports
  • Customers reports
  • Acquisition reports
  • Behavior reports.

More than that, Shopify enables users to create their own custom reports. Shopify Lite and Basic Shopify don't have these abilities. Shopify plan for $79 and higher offer pre-defined reports. Advanced Shopify and Shopify Plus are required for custom reports. A simple version of the report is available for Shopify Lite and Basic Shopify.

Webflow eCommerce

Webflow allows users to directly integrate Google Analytics into their Webflow project. These settings are located on the Project settings → Integrations page.

The verdict

Shopify is the winner because of its own integrated analytics.

Blogging

Shopify

Shopify provides a blogging component. It can be very important for marketing activities. It is fundamental and allows tags.

Webflow eCommerce

Webflow also provides a blogging component. This is made simple with a CMS.

The verdict

Both blogging components are sufficient, so it is a draw.

Email support

Shopify

Shopify provides an official app for collecting email addresses and it isn't very complicated to use. Users are allowed to use third-party integrations for other leading email marketing apps (e.g. MailChimp). This aspect of a website can be very important because of the need to communicate adequately with leads.

Webflow eCommerce

Webflow forms allow users to capture user-submitted data including email addresses. Although it offers this option it is more focused on third-party integrations like MailChimp (gathering and segmenting contacts), ActiveCampaign (sending messages and designing email campaigns) and FormtoEmail (connecting Webflow form with email).

The verdict

Both platforms have this ability satisfactory done, so it is a draw.

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliance

Companies have an obligation for EU visitors to inform them about non-essential third-party cookies and to give them the option to switch them off. Users must also have the option to revoke their consent. This is also necessary when the company is located outside of the EU. Companies must also get explicit consent from people signing up to a mailing list that they agree to receive e-newsletters. All this data must be handled and stored securely. Fines for mishandling these requirements can be pretty big so it is very important to integrate these solutions to the company's website as soon as possible.

Shopify

This option is not provided in Shopify, so the users will have to programme that themselves or they can use the paid solution. Shopify's app store offers a lot of apps for this purpose.

Webflow eCommerce

Webflow provides GDPR support through third-party integrations.

The verdict

Both platforms have this issue covered, so it is a draw.

Support

Shopify

Shopify provides email, live chat, and phone support. Support is not always equally very extensive but depends on the template being used. The best support is for the free templates created by Shopify. For paid templates, it can be required to contact the designers of that template. Contact details are revealed only after searching for a solution to a problem on the Shopify website.

Webflow eCommerce

Webflow provides Quick find option and contact form. It also has many other resources like blogs, video tutorials, and FAQ section.

The verdict

Shopify is the winner because it offers more support options.

Conclusion

Which platform should a user choose will depend upon the user's demands in the field of eCommerce. Many users will probably choose Shopify for creating online store because it is longer on the market and has many capabilities like a lot of gateway options, big inventory of products, automated VAT capability, fraud detection, professional reporting (although with a costlier plan) and exporting of product data. There are also many third-party solutions if the user, for some reason, is not satisfied with the integrated solutions.

Webflow eCommerce, on the other hand, is new to the eCommerce field. That is visible from the smaller amount of capabilities compared to Shopify. When we compare the key elements of these two platforms, Shopify wins most of the time. Again, this is no surprise having in mind the presence on the market of each one. But, there is one huge advantage for Webflow; it is way better for experimenting with design. It is very adjustable so it can save thousands of dollars on conversion rate optimization. Small changes made as soon as possible can mean a big amount of money in the long run. It is reasonable to expect that in the future contrast between these two platforms will be even smaller because Webflow eCommerce staff is very accessible for suggestions and progress is already visible.


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