Along the commercial roads that we walk, there’s constant chatter about which new eCommerce platform ought to be king. The two princes that vie for that title — among other noble platforms — are Shopify and Salesforce Commerce Cloud. But how does a director of eCommerce, charged with finding the right platform for their eCommerce store, choose between them?
Spoiler Alert: the crown doesn’t only fit one head. There are some situations where Shopify is better, and other situations where Salesforce Commerce Cloud best performs.
Shopify Vs Salesforce Commerce Cloud
Let’s weight up these two heavyweights:
Shopify has two advantages over Salesforce Commerce Cloud: for medium-to-large scale companies with a less liberal budget, Shopify is cheaper. For a handful of dollars each month, you’re able to run your business on Shopify, deepening your pockets up to a couple of hundred dollars.
Shopify is fundamentally subscription-based, while SFCC takes a commission (usually around 2-4%. So if your store is tiny, or makes few sales, then SFCC will be cheaper. But imagine the little store flourishes into a big player. Shopify is going to be much less expensive as their subscription charge remains the same, while the value of the percentage that SFCC takes will be larger.
The second huge advantage is that Shopify comes loaded with an army of plugins so that you don’t need to dig into your pockets for new plugins.
The third advantage is that it lives in a universe of templates, meaning you can save time and choose a ready-made design. Compare this to Salesforce Commerce Cloud, which doesn’t offer a function for built-in templates.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud Advantages
In the other corner is Salesforce Commerce Cloud, whose significant advantage is its marketing functionality, which is top class. You’re able to make hyper-personalized marketing campaigns, such as getting people who have purchased black products to see sales on all other black products. Or you can make a campaign specifically for people living in Dallas who have spent more than $100 within the last month. A Dallas discount! The specificity of SFCC is unparalleled, primarily when implemented by a first-class Salesforce Commerce Cloud integrator.
A second advantage is that all of SFCC’s plugins — or cartridges as they call them — must be certified. A constant complaint of Shopify clients is that with each plugin, the site becomes slower. This doesn’t occur on SFCC, because one requirement for every plugin (cartridge) includes speed.
Thirdly, SFCC gives you the ability to create complex user experiences, providing different experiences for various groups of users.
Then there is the function of A/B testing, providing valuable information for future changes. Let’s say you have a problematic 4-step payment process but want to experiment with a streamlined 1-step process. You can roll this out to 50% of customers and see if it impacts sales. A/B testing is not available on Shopify.
Fifthly, Salesforce Commerce Cloud comes equipped with mandatory staging environments, meaning that any changes are first checked, rechecked, and re-rechecked, before going live. Any changes made on Shopify automatically go live, along with any bugs or errors.
The sixth advantage of Salesforce Commerce Cloud is the multistore functionality, meaning you can power all of your different stores and brands from the same back-end database, making things much more manageable. No such function exists on Shopify.
Final Choice Salesforce Commerce Cloud VS Shopify
These strengths of both eCommerce platforms make it a difficult call to make. And it depends on your budget, your planning, and long-term strategy. Will you even need the complex functionalities of SFCC? Or want to take the pressure off by allowing SFCC to manage things for a few thousand dollars each year?
Ultimately, neither we nor any other Salesforce Commerce Cloud integrator can’t tell you which prince of eCommerce platforms to back because you’ll know better, which can help you more than the other.