An eCommerce platform is a crucial part of your business operations to get right if your organization makes the choice to sell goods or services online.
There is a lot of competition in the mid-range and enterprise eCommerce businesses, and , Shopify Plus, in particular, has seen a huge rise in adoption rates, with B2C retailers of varied sizes migrating over to the platform to aiming to cut down on costs and improve profitability, amongst other reasons. At the higher end of the spectrum, Salesforce Commerce Cloud continues to also dominate and pick up enterprise companies with huge sales.
Magento arguably remains the leader in this mid-market space, however the shift towards SaaS-based platforms has seen both Shopify Plus and Salesforce Commerce Cloud surge. In this article, we look at the relative strengths and weaknesses of Shopify Plus and Salesforce Commerce Cloud, particularly it’s B2C commerce offering, to provide insights into how merchants might choose between the two platforms.
Impact of Shopify Flow on Shopify Plus
Shopify Flow is one feature that can make a big difference to merchandising and eCommerce teams. Flow is essentially an automation suite, allowing users to build workflows to automate specific tasks and actions.
Shopify also now integrates with technology partners, which is really exciting and will likely lead to a lot more useful. A number of email marketing providers, loyalty programs. And Shopify platform has a lot of built-in integrations and there are lots more coming out all the time. Notably, HappyFox Workflows for Shopify is a powerful integration that helps store owners automate their purchase, refunds, or other order related workflows.
Shopify Plus vs Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud – Feature Comparison
- Shopify Payments allows for seamless integration with a wide range of payment options, including various Asian payment options, Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Klarna (which has been announced very recently)
- Countless quality moderated third-party apps available through Shopify’s app store
- Level 1 PCI DSS compliant
- Native support for 20+ sales channels, including eBay, Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram
- Native support for gift cards
- Native support for store credit
- Built-in reporting
- 24/7 support
- Dedicated account management
- Built-in address validation
- Support for complex campaign management, through Launchpad
- Comprehensive and easy-to-use dashboards and reports
- Open APIs and ready-made SDKs
- A huge number of pre-existing integrations with technology partners
Salesforce Commerce Cloud
- Visual merchandising tools
- Native support for gift cards and gift certificates
- Native support for product bundling
- Strong search management features
- Staging and test environments
- Support for ‘attribute sets’
- Quick order and reorder templates
- Native support for store credit
- Strong promotions engine
- Advanced order management capabilities
- Advanced international capabilities
- Social integrations
- Customer segmentation
- Content scheduling
- Multiple customer segmentation & personalization features
- Advanced native search
- A/B Testing
- Real-time dashboards and reporting
- REST API
- Flexible SEO module which can be extended
Shopify Plus vs Salesforce B2C Commerce – Customization
Since both platforms are offered on a SaaS basis, full client control of the codebase is, of course, not possible. Functional extensions and amendments are achieved via third-party apps, or customization, within the limits of what is permitted by each platform.
It’s worth noting that Salesforce Commerce Cloud is far more flexible than Shopify Plus in terms of heavy customization – however, this does come at a monetary cost with Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Salesforce Commerce Cloud is also a lot stronger when it comes to product attribution and catalog management.
Shopify Plus apps are available via Shopify’s App Store, and the choice of apps and range of functionality offered is impressive. Monthly licensing costs for apps vary from just a few dollars to more standard apps, to well over $1,000 for more specialist services (e.g. search or merchandising).
Salesforce Commerce Cloud also has its LINK marketplace, which offers a much smaller range of modules and integrations with third parties. Advanced customization and integrations are likely to cost much more on Salesforce Commerce Cloud than on Shopify Plus as a result of the smaller eco-system and restrictions around integrations in places.
Shopify Plus vs Salesforce B2C Commerce – Platform Costs
Pricing for Shopify Plus starts at $2,000 per month for retailers with revenues less than $800,000 per month and goes up from there based on GMV. Retailers typically need to factor in an additional $1,000 in monthly fees, on average, for third-party apps. Shopify Plus is a very attractive proposition from a cost perspective
It’s not possible to get accurate pricing figures for Salesforce Commerce Cloud, as costs are calculated on a per-client basis. However, a retailer with sales of around $20 million could expect to pay around $350,000 – $600,000 in licensing fees per year, and at least as much again in fees for additional services. Larger clients with high turnover could go well into the millions in terms of annual licensing fees. There are also additional charges for launching new stores.
Overall, Shopify Plus is going to be considerably lower cost – Agility has been the other big consideration.
Both Shopify Plus and Salesforce Commerce Cloud offer a compelling product to the enterprise eCommerce market, with scalability, ease of use, and flexibility all key factors in the platform selection process. For some retailers, Salesforce’s truly enterprise SaaS offering means they can trust that their operations are in safe hands and they are assured that they can achieve heavy customization if they need to longer term. For others, the rapid launch timeframes of Shopify Plus, coupled with the unrivaled cost of ownership, make Plus a stronger candidate.
On any eCommerce development project or re-platforming exercise, the decision on which platform to choose has to be based on a comprehensive analysis of functional requirements and platform capabilities.. What is clear, though, is that both of these platforms are set to continue growing as demand around SaaS platforms continues to surge.