If you’re planning to launch an e-commerce store in the new year, there will be many factors for you to consider, and many decisions you’ll have to make. Your first decision in 2022 might be: which platform should I use?
You might have done some research on eCommerce platforms, and have a basic understanding of what they can do for you. However, the truth is that there’s just no such thing as the “best eCommerce platform”. Rather, there’s only the “best eCommerce platform for you”. The choice should ultimately come down to what your business needs, and which platform specializes in meeting those specific needs best. For instance, deciding what kind of marketing tools will benefit your business.
Choosing the right platform depends on a lot of factors, so we’ve done a detailed up to date comparison between two market leaders in the eCommerce space in 2022: Shopify and SHOPLINE.
1. Pricing Plans
Both SHOPLINE and Shopify offer free trials and upgrade to unlock more features. Shopify’sprice range from $29-$299 USD per month, while SHOPLINE starts from as low as $39 SGD per month – you may also reach out to a consultant to help determine the right plan for specific business requirements.
2. Language Support & Localization
SHOPLINE’s services are to its over 300,000 merchants across Asia, the platform supports English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Bahasa Melayu, and Thai. This also includes a suite of guides and tutorials through our YouTube, blog and relevant courses, as well as on-site seminars and workshops for merchants. Our cross-border eCommerce service also supports international shipping and payment gateways that are tailored to local markets.
Additionally, to provide a better shopping experience, merchants can display multiple currency options on both SHOPLINE and Shopify stores. SHOPLINE currencies rates are based on xe.com and are updated twice daily. The available currencies are, HKD, CNY, TWD, USD, SGD, EUR, AUD, GBP, PHP, MYR, THB, AED, JPY, MMK, BND, KRW, IDR and VND. Customers can then select and preview products in their local currency.
On the other hand, while Shopify allows merchants to set multiple language preferences for their stores, Shopify users are mostly from America and Canada. Thus, FAQs and tutorial articles are mostly in English.
Shopify also allows users to sell in multiple currencies. You are able to choose to have prices converted automatically using the current market exchange or manually convert the exchange rate that you choose. However, some multicurrency apps on Shopify’s app store may not be compatible with Shopify Payment.
3. Transaction Fees
SHOPLINE: Fixed transaction fee at 2.99%
Shopify: Transaction fees with Shopify are more complicated. Here’s a breakdown of each plan differing rates.
- Basic Shopify Plan: 3.2% and $0.50 SGD per transaction
- Shopify Plan: 3.1% and $0.50 SGD per transaction
- Advanced Shopify Plan: 3.0% and $0.50 SGD per transaction
4. Marketing and Analytics Tools
- Offers multiple promotional modules such as a coupon, bundle price, affiliate campaigns, product campaigns, member referral campaigns and more.
- Partnered with Google and Facebook to provide merchants with better services. For example, shops that are connected to Google Analytics will deliver ads accurately and can be tracked all on the platform.
- Provides merchants with easy installation of Google Tag Manager, Facebook pixels, and Facebook Business Extension (FBE) for managing their digital assets.
- Own Digital Marketing tool called Smart Ads and powered by our own AI – automatically detecting products to promote by popularity.
- Store SEO (Search Engine Optimization): store title, introduction, and descriptive URLs will display in search engine results and content on social media platforms. This helps customers can find your store and products easily through search engines.
- Marketing tools including shipping discounts, coupons, advertising tools and more.
- Shopify acquired a startup called Kit CRM, the company that helps businesses to interact with their customers over text messages. The software also supports the merchant to send out automated emails to its customers, make Facebook ads, summarize orders in the selected period, set up discounts, give advice on marketing strategies, and help with the 404 error page, and more. The Kit CRM is free to use.
- Shopify app store provides a variety of CRM plug-ins for users to download. Those apps on the Shopify app store are free to use but with limited functionality, and 3rd party plug-ins will cost $10-$100 SGD per month for advanced functionality.
5. Social & Conversational Commerce
Beyond a one-stop E-commerce solution, SHOPLINE also has a built-in Social Commerce feature, and have partnered Instagram and Facebook to bring you features such as Livestream automation, Chatbot checkouts, etc,. With livestream shopping becoming the next big thing, SHOPLINE’s Social Commerce solution integrates with your eCommerce store, allowing you to easily turn your followers into customers, all on the same platform. With this solution, you can exhibit your products, engage your followers, and increase sales by combining social media engagement with the user-friendly transaction procedure of an online store.
6. Ease of Use
Shopify and SHOPLINE each provide a full-featured platform and web structure, which may make changes or modifications harder to implement. However, on SHOPLINE, you are still able to decide how you want your store to look with drag and drop functionality with no coding skills be required. SHOPLINE offers more than 20 theme store and premium professionally designed e-commerce website template that you can use for your own store and with zero maintenance fees.
On the other hand, Shopify does also provide theme store templates, some of those templates are published by individuals and agencies. As a result, if you wish to make any modification on Shopify, it will require more development protocols to follow, and if you do not have any experience in front end development, making changes can be difficult and expensive.
7. Customer Support
SHOPLINE provides consultations and customer services to all its merchants. Instead of relying on external call centres, SHOPLINE ensures that each region has its own local support team that understands the markets their merchants are in. This allows each region’s support team to provide timely and contextual support, troubleshooting, and tips. Once onboard, our customer support team will guide merchants through their store set up to ensure logistics and payment gateways are successfully integrated.
Both SHOPLINE’s and Shopify’s customer support teams may be reached through Email, online chat, and call.
8. Logistics methods and payment gateways
Many of Shopify’s merchants are based in North America and Europe, and are also expanding across Asia. Their logistic company it works with are FedEx, UPS, USPS, and more. It also partners with Shipwire, Rakuten, Amazon to provide fulfilment alternatives.
SHOPLINE’s more than 300,000 merchants are found across Asia. We are work with local logistics and payment gateway partners to integrate solutions and allow them to optimize on their business operations. For example, in Singapore, customers can track and receive their packages from Janio, Ninjavan and J&T Express. We also recently launched OneShip, an all-in-one web-based solution for E-commerce merchants to manage shipments, book couriers, track parcels and collect cash on delivery payments.
Additionally, SHOPLINE also offers payment gateway solutions such as SHOPLINE payment, PayPal, Stripe and Bank Transfer. SHOPLINE payment also helps you save transaction fees and track your money in real-time with our own payment gateway, which is powered by Adyen.
9. Promotion Types
Both of these platforms offer a lot of types of discounts and promotions, such as dollar value discount, a percentage discount, free shipping discount, or set sale prices for individual products.
Also, both platforms allow merchants to set expiration dates and generate bulk coupon codes.
10. Free-Trial and Consultancy
SHOPLINE and Shopify both offers a 14-days free trial. Your store won’t vanish after the free-trial ended on both platforms.
If you’re new to e-Commerce and need more assistance to get familiar with the admin-panel to plan and execute your business, with the help of SHOPLINE’s local consultants here in Singapore, you get to have a thorough product demo and a better understanding of SHOPLINE’s platform.
E-commerce has changed the entire business scenario, with sellers showcasing their products online rather than brick and mortar stores. As a result, there is a need to develop e-commerce stores that reflect a perfect blend between aesthetics and functionality. SHOPLINE as a platform suits sellers who want quality and efficiency along with simplicity and rich features.
From the above features, we compared SHOPLINE and Shopify. These two solutions allow you to set up an online store quickly while maintaining great customer service and tools to help your business succeed.
As noted above, this depends largely on the type of market you wish to serve. Compared to other platforms, SHOPLINE offers users a full suite of solutions (eCommerce, Social Commerce, POS / O2O and Marketplace Integration) while still being able to cater to their individual needs. Our platform is a multilingual platform that allows users to operate in key Southeast Asian languages.
As a result, SHOPLINE’s merchants are mostly based in Asia, which makes it a great platform for individual sellers or franchisees looking to expand into this region. Moreover, SHOPLINE is gradually opening offices in different cities in Asia, and our team aims to provide support for our merchants locally. Notably, no other platform has been able to do this yet.
On the other hand, Shopify is considered one of the most popular platforms for any business, it may be inexpensive to start and has a wide range of free features, but if you want a proper functioning website, it comes with a hefty price tag. This could result in you paying higher if you include the subscription you have to pay for using certain apps and these apps do not belong to Shopify itself and any underlying issues, Shopify is not responsible for it. As a result, it could cost quite an amount but it is necessary to look into it deeper and make a decision on which E-commerce platform to choose.
Here’s a chart below for easy comparison:
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Smmile is a Digital Marketing Agency in Singapore with over 10 years of experience in the industry.