The omnipresent capabilities of the internet have facilitated a revolution in commerce. With the ability to create, manage, and scale a million-dollar online store without leaving home, a huge crop of eCommerce platforms have developed — all promising to help power your legacy. Today, we’ll compare two of the largest SaaS contenders, Shopify vs. Salesforce Commerce Cloud, to help you decide which powerful platform truly is the best for you.

Which eCommerce Platform is Better: Shopify or Salesforce Commerce Cloud?

When it comes to selecting a platform to host your store, more is required than a simple pro/con list. Rather, entrepreneurs need to balance a comprehensive analysis of their company’s roadmap with that of the platforms’ capabilities.

So, let’s first discuss the positive aspects that both Shopify and Salesforce Commerce Cloud have in common. Then, we’ll delve into the differences between the platforms, and see how they compare.

Shopify vs. Salesforce Commerce Cloud — Platform Similarities

  • Both platforms are a SaaS solution, or software as a service. This means users pay a subscription fee to access software via the internet (rather than installing and maintaining complex soft- and hardwares on their own.)
  • Shopify and Salesforce Commerce Cloud offer promising product roadmaps for companies ranging in size from small to large, start-up to enterprise, and beyond.
  • The platforms in question both are designed with intuitive, simple UI for easy business-side handling of operations. Real-time dashboards and built-in reporting come standard on all plans.
  • SEO editing capabilities and modules are built-in to both Shopify and Salesforce Commerce Cloud for automatic optimization, with the option to edit further as you see fit.

Reasons to Choose Shopify as Your eCommerce Platform

Shopify is an exceptionally strong platform, hosting some of the largest names in eCommerce, such as FitBit, Hyatt Hotels, and Whole Foods Market. Let’s discuss some of the best features this platform has to offer.

Set-Up & Investment

As a self-proclaimed “all in one, out-of-the-box” solution, Shopify provides users with an extremely simple, fast set up process. Users with little to no coding knowledge select from a long list of optimized, appealing themes. Then, they choose various personalizations via drop-downs or prompts, and follow simple steps to completely set up and manage their store.

(In comparison, Salesforce Commerce Cloud requires full development — the platform doesn’t offer themes or templates. Since all store set up requires coding knowledge, not only does this result in hours more work than Shopify’s few-minute set-up, it also comes with a much higher price tag, as well. We will discuss this more, later on.)

Speaking of cost, Shopify is considerably more reasonable than the competitor. Since Salesforce Commerce Cloud charges include those based on a sales-percentage, users doing a lot of business quickly accrue hefty bills. On the other hand, Shopify offers pricing tiers according to subscription service levels, not based off of store profits. Plus, after taking into account other hosting, licensing, development, integration, and miscellaneous third-party fees, Shopify consistently proves to be much more cost-effective than Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

Features & Integrations

When it comes to extra features, Shopify has plenty. In fact, a large focus of the eCommerce giant is consistently updating integrations to bring users the best-in-class option for each feature. While Salesforce Commerce Cloud has proven to place an emphasis on enhancing the business-side of their platform, Shopify strives to enhance your abilities by providing the most efficient, powerful, and up-to-date integrations as possible.

Via their extensive, vetted app store, Shopify users can integrate with thousands of third-party apps to add valuable features and functionality. Some of our favorites include smart marketing, tax preparation, loyalty rewards programs, subscription-service management, and more.

Shopify also seamlessly integrates with thousands of popular payment gateways, and even digital payment options, like Apple and Google Pay. Plus, the platform prioritizes safety and compliance, so all sites are automatically Level 1 PCI DSS compliant — just another aspect of business that Shopify takes care of for you.

Growth & Scalability

Every business benefits from a well-strategized plan. Depending on your specific roadmap, Shopify has a variety of features that will help you facilitate growth for years to come. And, with major brands, like Gymshark and Kylie Cosmetics, flourishing on the platform, Shopify has definitely proven its scalability, resilience, and security.

With native support for over 20 sales channels (like eBay and Amazon), Shopify can help you reach new customers. Another great growth feature is the extremely well-documented API. With it, you can provide to your shoppers an even more personalized UX. Plus, we cannot forget about Shopify Flow, an automation feature for merchandising and eCommerce. Use this intelligent helper to automate mundane tasks and actions, saving time and reducing human error.

Time after time, Shopify proves its commitment to growing strong online enterprises. For example, just a few years ago, Shopify unleashed some new features to help brands strengthen their existing architecture. The platform unveiled ground-breaking features, such as API expansions, multi-currency support, expanded 3D- and virtual-reality capabilities, and a nationwide fulfillment network rivaling Amazon’s. As a comparison, at the same time, Salesforce Commerce Cloud rolled out a new visual site editor — a feature Shopify had already boasted of for years.

Reasons to Choose Salesforce Commerce Cloud as Your eCommerce Platform

The Shopify vs. Salesforce Commerce Cloud comparison is a close one. However, depending on the goals and needs of your company, the latter option may prove to be the better one for your situation. Let’s now discuss some of Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s best features.

Customization and Compliance

As mentioned above, Salesforce Commerce Cloud doesn’t offer pre-built templates or easy “click and fill” options. However, requiring businesses to build their themes from scratch results in a completely unique, 100% customized appearance. Often, this lends to a more elevated design, helping your store better serve your customers’ needs. Though this personalized development can be more expensive, if you already have an in-house or outsourced development team with which you work, creating a personal store theme shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Plus, Salesforce Commerce Cloud helps businesses adhere to common compliances, such as ADA, CCPA, and GDPR. With a strong customer base of some extremely high level companies (like Adidas, The American Red Cross, and Ethan Allen) Salesforce Commerce Cloud also provides an SLA — something Shopify is likely not ever to have.

Marketing and Plugins

World-class marketing is another boasting point for Salesforce Commerce Cloud. With extremely personalized campaigns, hyper-segmented audiences, and a closely integrated CRM, Salesforce Commerce Cloud makes gaining new customers very easy. (With Shopify, this feature isn’t built-in, though they do offer some fabulous apps to meet this need.)

Though Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s plugin list is quite a bit smaller than the competitor, the platform initiates some rigorous certification rules to ensure you’re installing only the best of the best. For instance, one of these certifications stipulates speed requirements, preventing an app from slowing down your store.

Plus, in addition to the app store, the Salesforce suite of solutions helps you to offer a more focused customer experience. As long as you understand your target audience, Salesforce’s other apps can help your store increase conversions and customer loyalty.

Multi-Store Growth and AI

Salesforce Commerce Cloud ranks very highly in regards to international commerce. For example, their multi-store architecture is easier to use than Shopify’s singular product catalog. Plus, the Salesforce solutions offer a more complex omnichannel experience for large businesses really striving to grow beyond the borders of their home country.

This Shopify vs. Salesforce Commerce Cloud match-up wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention the latter’s Einstein AI. As one of the top machine-learning technologies on the market, this powerful one-on-one personalization machine is built into every app in the Salesforce suite. Even better, it doesn’t require any data prep or tech team analysis. It easily custom tailors advertising, marketing, and brand experience to each and every customer — again, something Shopify can rival only with a third-party plugin.

The Winner of Shopify vs. Salesforce Commerce Cloud is…

At the end of the day, both platforms are very strong contenders. By balancing functional requirements and the logistics of each platform with your business roadmap, you can feel confident in your decision — no matter which you choose. Shopify and Salesforce Commerce Cloud have both helped many businesses become established household brands. Will you be next?

If you’re ready to start your eCommerce journey, or you think a replatforming will help your business reach the next level, don’t go it alone: schedule a consultation with one of our eCommerce experts. Whether you just need someone to chat with, or you’re looking to begin a long-term project, we’re ready to help.

Feel free to check out some of our other eCommerce platforms comparisons: