In eCommerce, when your organization chooses to sell goods or services online, a platform is a crucial role to play for your business operations to get right. While it’s fair to say that there’s a lot of competition in the eCommerce market to reduce costs and improve agility, B2C retailers of all sizes are migrating over. In particular, Salesforce Commerce Cloud has seen a huge surge in popularity. At the higher end of the market, Shopify Plus also continues to grow.
We will compare Shopify Plus and Salesforce Commerce Cloud and hope that retailers might get some insights to choose the best for them in today’s piece.
How To Choose the best platform for your eCommerce business?
You’re unsure about who to go with, so you need to start with understanding your commerce needs, both now and in the future. Picking the right solution requires a clear idea about your targeted gain from the eCommerce platform. Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Shopify Plus are both great options for specific needs. Let’s see where they fit best.
Key Strengths of Shopify Plus
Over the last couple of years, Shopify Plus has attracted plenty of big-brand names, and the level of demand around Shopify Plus amongst mid-level retailers has increased dramatically.
Few features of Shopify are
- Marketplace Integrations,
- Built-In Basic Wholesale Capabilities,
- Broad Use Of Tagging
- Social Channel Integrations,
- Address Validation,
- Android Pay Support Etc.
Key Selling Points of Shopify are:
- Reduced TCO
- Unrivaled agility
- Reduced technical and maintenance overhead
- A huge number of pre-existing integrations and third-party extensions
- Strong ecosystem of integration partners
Features keeping Shopify ahead of the other competitors
To provide an impressively scalable solution, Shopify’s hosting infrastructure has been developed over time. Using the Shopify Plus platform, some retailers are going from $0 to well over $100m in trade in terms of growth in traffic and order volume, without issues in scaling.
Shopify Plus is compensated for by the availability of third-party apps as it lacks some of the expansive core functionality of other platforms. To deliver extended functionalities like – loyalty (e.g., Loyalty Lion or Smile), search (e.g., Klevu or Algolia), reviews (e.g., Yotpo or Okendo) or payments (e.g., Sagepay or Klarna), etc., Shopify’s app store contains thousands of pre-built integrations and apps.
Particularly when it comes to the front-end, it pretty flexible, but often Shopify Plus is scrutinized by other platforms and rival integration partners when it comes to the extensive core functionality. But in terms of being able to utilize core features and apps to introduce complex features, Shopify is unrivaled. It is highly flexible in introducing standard functionality without the risk of impacting platform stability or maintainability.
Time to MarketIn terms of launching a store and on-going customizations, Shopify is a real leader when it comes to time-to-market. Compared to other platforms and the frameworks and tooling used, Shopify’s APIs are extremely well documented, and themes are allowed to be built out quickly and easily.
Key strengths of Salesforce Commerce Cloud
If you’re looking for a platform that can support complex order management, in-store POS, and inventory allocation, Salesforce Commerce Cloud is suitable. It is still better known as Demandware. It is specially designed for complex omni-channel retail, which is not quite available with Shopify.
Key selling points of Salesforce Commerce Cloud:
- Technical and management support
- Fully managed platform-as-a-service
- Platform-level QA around code that’s deployed to production and any integrations
- Heavy customization
- Server architecture is built on AWS
- Server architecture has its own set of tools around a CDN, server reporting, etc.
Out-of-the-box features of Salesforce Commerce Cloud
From a merchandising perspective, Salesforce Commerce Cloud are far more capable of handling large, complex catalogs. To support machine learning and 1:1 personalization, it introduces Einstein AI, supporting its strong visual merchandising functionality. To support broader customer-level reporting, automated merchandising, seamless product recommendations, and key selling points are around 1:1 personalization. Einstein, Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s AI engine, also integrates with Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
This is perhaps one of its biggest attractions for its major brand retail clients. This is one area where Salesforce gets an upper hand over Shopify. This feature allows merging the online experience and convenience into the high street presence, inventory checking to customers in the physical store, and in-store staff to offer online merchandising.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud vs Shopify
In terms of heavy customization, Salesforce Commerce Cloud is far more flexible than Shopify Plus– however, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud, this feature does come at a monetary cost. When it comes to product attribution and catalog management, Salesforce Commerce Cloud is also a lot stronger.
Shopify Plus apps are available via Shopify’s App Store, and Salesforce Commerce Cloud also has its LINK marketplace. Shopify offers a wide array of apps and a range of functionality. For more specialist services, monthly licensing costs for apps vary from just a few dollars to more standard apps.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud offers modules and integrations with third parties in a much smaller range. As a result of the smaller ecosystem and restrictions around integrations in places, advanced customization and integrations are likely to cost more on Salesforce Commerce Cloud than Shopify Plus.
The starting price for Shopify Plus is $2000/month. From a cost perspective, Shopify Plus is a very desirable plan as retailers typically need to pay an additional $1,000 in monthly fees, on average, for third-party apps.
However, in the case of Salesforce Commerce Cloud, costs are calculated on a per-client basis, so it’s impossible to get accurate pricing figures. Retailers could expect to pay around $350,000 – $600,000 in licensing fees per year if they have sales of around $20 million.
Note: The prices mentioned here are taken from Online Reports.
Who are the Renowned Brands using Shopify or Salesforce Commerce Platforms?
Examples of Shopify Plus Retailers
Brands using Shopify Plus include Emma Bridgewater, Pure Cycles, Kylie Cosmetics, MVMT, Rebecca Minkoff, Urban Planet, Morphe, Good American, Radio Shack, The Hundreds, Herschel, and The New York Times.
Examples of Salesforce Commerce Cloud Retailers
Brands using Salesforce Commerce Cloud include Adidas, American Golf, Charles Tyrwhitt, Acne Studios, Brooks Brothers, GoPro, Clarins, Boohoo, Converse, Kate Spade, Ugg, Lacoste, Godiva, LUSH, New Balance and L’Oreal, etc.
How to Determine the Best Fit?
Pick Shopify if you are looking for:
- With a reasonable amount of SKU’s, you have a relatively straightforward product catalog
- Have no technical knowledge
- No international growth plan, or else you have to use workarounds such as ERP or PIM to handle product management
- Relatively straightforward design
- Limited level of customization required
- Not looking for any extensive personalization or AI
- No B2B, Only B2C
Pick Salesforce commerce cloud if you are looking for:
- Unique design across all channels.
- Full control over the back end of your website – build on to get whatever you need
- An incredibly personalized selling experience
- Custom-tailored advertising, marketing, and the brand experience
- Omnichannel marketing platforms
Apart from the points mentioned above, when compared to Shopify, Salesforce is way ahead of the CCPA compliance curve. You will also see issues managing ADA compliance over time while using Shopify as your data is integrated with so many third-party tools. Given their size and the size of their customers, Salesforce brings an extra level of maturity. So, better choose tactfully.
In a nutshell
With scalability, ease of use, and flexibility all key factors in the platform selection process, Both Shopify Plus and Salesforce Commerce Cloud offer a compelling product market.
Selecting an eCommerce solution is a significant decision that has to be based on a comprehensive analysis of functional requirements and platform capabilities. To save you substantially in the long run, you need an expert understanding of the solutions you consider and consideration of your roadmap.
For some retailers, the unrivaled cost of ownership makes Shopify a stronger candidate. On the other hand, Salesforce truly offers enterprise SaaS and assured heavy customization if they need to longer term.
With decades-long experience, ETG can help you determine what product is best for you to get started. Reach us to accelerate the Go Digital mission.
About ETG Digital
ETG is a Crest Level Salesforce Partner headquartered in Plano, Texas. We are ISO 9001:2015 certified company with a global delivery center in Hyderabad, India. We have dedicated teams of professionals spanning continents located in US, Canada, UAE, UK, Australia and India. Our ability to maintain talent hubs in multiple locations and working on projects for clients from various domains gives us a very unique advantage. An advantage to leverage proven technologies like Salesforce Commerce, Sales, Service, Partner and Marketing Clouds and using them to deliver tailor made solutions for clients to suit their business requirements.
If you are looking to take your business into the next league, you are at the right place. Connect with us at email@example.com or call us at +1 469 666 1119