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Shopify vs Commerce Cloud: Which One is Right for Your eCommerce Business?

December 26, 2023 eye-glyph 78

Table of Contents

    Running an eCommerce business is a large feat these days. Every eCommerce business faces its own set of challenges, from dealing with intense competition to adapting to evolving customer needs. To navigate these challenges, they require a robust platform that provides unwavering support at each juncture of their journey.

    The selection of the best eCommerce platforms comes down to two options – Shopify and Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

    But which one is right for your business?

    This blog compares Shopify vs Commerce Cloud to make it an informative decision for you to choose the right one for your business.

    So, let’s get started.

    Overview of Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Shopify

    Salesforce Commerce Cloud

    Salesforce acquired an eCommerce industry leader in 2016. It was later rebranded as the Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Over time, it has expanded and become a key part of the Salesforce CRM.

    What does Salesforce Commerce Cloud do? How does the commerce cloud help eCommerce businesses?

    In simple terms, it’s a cloud-based platform packed with built-in features that support eCommerce businesses in their growth.

    Commerce Cloud has two product options: B2B Commerce Cloud and B2C Commerce Cloud. These tools present specific eCommerce solutions for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer models.

    Enlyft says over 8,005 companies worldwide use the Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform.

    salesforce sales cloud implementation guide

    Shopify

    Shopify is a SaaS-based eCommerce platform founded in 2006. It offers built-in features to help eCommerce businesses develop storefronts without starting from scratch.

    Shopify packages all your eCommerce business in one package making it an all-in-one platform to manage all their operations.

    Shopify has a user-friendly interface to help small businesses build their online presence with ease on a platform trusted by millions of businesses.

    Salesforce Commerce Cloud vs Shopify: A detailed comparison

    a detailed comparison  between commerce cloud vs Shopify

    I. Features

    Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Shopify are powerful eCommerce platforms that come with a wide range of features. Here we have given you an overview of Commerce Cloud and Shopify features;

    Shopify features

    1. Website builder: Shopify has a customizable website builder with pre-built themes that can be customized to sound just like they are meant for your business. It also offers drag-and-drop functionality to select colors, images, and fonts for your website with clicks.

    2. Shopify POS (Point of Sale): Shopify offers a comprehensive point of sale system that facilitates the in-person while maintaining their online storefront.

    3. Inventory management: Shopify allows eCommerce businesses to keep track of stock levels, history of inventory adjustments, and more to make it easy to ensure the fulfillment of every order.

    4. Analytics and reporting: Shopify offers a complete suite of analytics tools to gain valuable insights into the store’s performance. These insights facilitate data-driven decision-making to optimize the store to achieve goals.

    5. Shopify Shipping: Shopify Shipping simplifies the shipping process, allowing faster and more cost-effective order fulfillment. It offers a unified shipping solution integrated directly into the platform.

    6. Payment Options: Shopify offers support to multiple payment gateways allowing your customers to make payments using the method they prefer.

    7. AI-Powered Forecasting: Shopify integrates AI into supply chain management enabling inventory management with fewer errors. AI-driven forecasting can improve demand forecasts, potentially reducing lost sales and product unavailability.

    8. Shopify Magic: It is a suite of AI-enabled features that acts as a personalized eCommerce assistant helping you to manage eCommerce operations with ease.

    9. Boost AI Search & Filter: Leveraging the power of AI, Shopify’s advanced search app, “Boost AI Search & Filter,” delivers lightning-fast and highly relevant search results. Additionally, it provides AI-driven product recommendations, assisting customers in discovering their next favorite items.

    10. Headless commerce: Shopify lets you create multiple storefronts powered by a single backend. This makes it possible to build an omnichannel presence that is tailored to each platform all managed from a single backend.

    Salesforce Commerce Cloud features

    1. Order management: Commerce Cloud lets you manage the entire order management lifecycle from capturing, to fulfillment to delivery from a centralized place.

    2. AI-powered commerce: Commerce Cloud offers lead scoring and sales predictive analytics with the help of AI. It also enables you to strategically manage pricing, promotions, and merchandising, paving the way for successful business outcomes.

    3. Localization: You can optimize your eCommerce store for local markets by offering capabilities such as localized content, and currencies.

    4. Inventory management: Commerce Cloud offers businesses real-time inventory management across multiple channels.

    5. Auto-upgraded: The platform can be auto-upgraded to ascertain you have access to the latest features and functionality.

    6. Product recommendations: Generate relevant product recommendations for customers tailored according to their past purchases and preferences.

    7. Social media integration: Commerce Cloud can be easily integrated with the social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. You can sell your products on these platforms directly from Salesforce.

    8. AI-powered shopping experience: With Einstein AI, you can ensure a personalized shopping experience across all the channels.

    9. Analytics & reporting: Commerce Cloud provides detailed insights into sales, customer behavior, performance metrics, promotional analysis, and more. This information lets you optimize your eCommerce storefront.

    10. Headless commerce: Commerce Cloud allows you to decouple the front end from the backend system.

    11. Embedded commerce app for CRM: With Commerce Cloud, you can integrate your eCommerce business into sales, service, and marketing to ensure the efficient management of your business operations.

    12. Product variations: Commerce Cloud enables your customers to select the different products of a product. For example, a customer looking for shoes may select different sizes, and colors improving customer experience.

    13. Drag-and-drop content management system: With the Page Designer tool, you can visually manage the eCommerce storefront. Drag-and-drop components save time and effort in designing personalized eCommerce experiences.

    II. Ease of use

    Salesforce Commerce Cloud vs Shopify both platforms put the ease of usability first. They both offer great user experience to make it easy to manage your eCommerce store to ensure success.

    Shopify ease of use

    Shopify is acknowledged for making the experience of running an eCommerce business a smooth journey. With drag-and-drop builder, and user-friendly any eCommerce business owner with no technical knowledge can leverage the platform to grow the business.

    Here are some of the points that contribute to the user-friendly features of Shopify;

    • It has a clean and simple dashboard to walk through the different functionalities of an eCommerce store with ease.
    • The wide selection of templates and themes makes it easy to build a user experience captivating to your target audiences.

    Salesforce Commerce Cloud ease of use

    Simple, scalable, and flexible, Salesforce Commerce Cloud makes it easy to customize an interface that suits the specific needs of businesses. With Page Designer, you can build an eCommerce experience with customizable pre=built components to make sure your customers also have user-friendly and personalized content delivered.

    Here are some of the benefits of Commerce Cloud for eCommerce businesses that make it an easy-to-use platform;

    • Simple to use dashboard to ensure the easy tracking of eCommerce stores and features offered by the platform.
    • Commerce Cloud also has merchandise tools to help eCommerce business owners with sorting, filtering, and image zooming.
    • Multi eCommerce website management makes it easy to manage the different websites from a single dashboard.
    • The responsive mobile design ensures smooth usability on mobile devices.

    III. Customization

    When choosing Commerce Cloud vs Shopify, it is important to consider customization capabilities. Each eCommerce business has different needs and approaches to target its customers. Customization allows these businesses to tailor their platform to align with these specific needs and strategies.

    Here we have a quick overview of customization capabilities coupled with Commerce Cloud and Shopify;

    Customization options for Shopify

    Shopify offers the following customization options;

    • Shopify has a range of pre-built themes that are customizable to match your brand’s look and feel.
    • You can customize text, images, colors, and fonts to ensure that your products are appealing to your shoppers.
    • You can set custom product attributes for each product to make it easy for shoppers to find the right product that gratifies their choice. For example, an online cloth-selling store will enable shoppers to find the product according to size, color, gender, and more.
    • Shopify app store offers third-party apps that provide functionalities such as text fields, drop-down menus, checkboxes, and more.
    • Shopify also allows you to build custom themes to meet your requirements. However, it requires technical understanding.
    • The checkout process can also be customized to make sure the customers have a seamless experience reducing cart abandonment rate.
    • You can create discount codes that can be added manually by the customer at the time of checkout to avail of discounts.
    • You can create custom scripts to offer special discounts to customers like ‘buy one get one free’, ‘free shipping above the certain order amount’, and more.

    Customization options for Salesforce Commerce Cloud

    Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a highly customizable robust platform that knows no limitations when it comes to customization. Here is the overview of the customization options available in Salesforce Commerce Cloud;

    • Commerce Cloud can be configured either by modifying the existing Salesforce setup or by programming the platform to meet your needs.
    • Salesforce B2B Commerce Cloud enables you to specify product options, allocate global options to customers, and set local options for individual products.
    • 3D Commerce Cloud configurator allows you to customize the product experience by defining spatial, geometric, and parametric changes in product images.
    • Custom storefront themes are offered by Commerce Cloud making it easier to create a unique look and feel for your storefront.
    • It has a single-page checkout user experience that enables the customers to complete the purchase efficiently.
    • You can set the product variations to make sure your customers have the product tailored to their preferences.
    • Salesforce AppExchange offers a wide range of pre-built applications that can be integrated with your eCommerce storefront to extend its capabilities.
    • You can customize the checkout process by adding or removing the steps allowing shoppers to conveniently make the payment.
    • Customize the product catalog to offer the right product to the right customers.
    • You can customize the search filters by modifying the search algorithms to make it easy for shoppers to search for products.
    • You can customize the promotion to improve engagement on your eCommerce store. Commerce Cloud lets you create custom promotion types and modify promotion templates.
    • Order management can be customized to create custom order attributes and modify the order volume.

    IV. Integrations

    Integration is one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing the right eCommerce platforms to create end-to-end eCommerce capabilities. Let’s discuss the integration capabilities of Salesforce Commerce Cloud vs Shopify;

    Integration options for Shopify

    Shopify has been recognized for its simplicity, and it maintains the same with the integration process. It easily integrates social media channels, review systems and more.

    You can download third-party apps and plugins from Shopify’s app store that can be integrated with your eCommerce store to extend its functionality. However, the excessive use of the plugins might affect the speed of your eCommerce store and lead to potential security issues.

    Shopify also has an offering of APIs and SDK to allow developers to access several functionalities of the platform. It also allows you to develop custom integration using programming languages specific to your needs.

    Integration options for Salesforce Commerce Cloud

    It is a highly flexible and scalable platform with a range of integration capabilities to connect the eCommerce store with the system you need.

    It can be integrated with Salesforce CRM allowing you to gain insights into the customer data across all touchpoints. Furthermore, it has a large ecosystem of enterprise-ready solutions available for integration through the Salesforce AppExchange marketplace. These solutions are rigorously tested eliminating the security issues that may arise after integration.

    Commerce Cloud offers REST APIs and SDK for facilitating smooth integration. You can also perform the custom integration with Salesforce Commerce Cloud. It allows custom integration in the following ways;

    • Salesforce LINK Cartridges: These containers are filled with code, configurations, and technical documentation. They allow the integration of services like payments and tax calculations.
    • MuleSoft AnyPoint Platform: It offers a toolset for integration to ensure successful integration eliminating the security hurdles.
    • Third-party plugins: These plugins can be used to connect Commerce Cloud with other eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, Magento, etc.

    Read here in detail about the essential eCommerce integrations for your storefronts.

    V. Pricing

    Pricing plays an essential part when making a choice of an eCommerce platform. However, it should not be the assertive factor. Think about how your business will develop and transform over time. What features do you require now and in the future? How easy is it to scale up or down? These factors are more important than the cost in the long run.

    Shopify pricing

    It has the following different pricing plans;

    • Basic: It’s priced at $29/month. Ideal for small businesses, it offers 2 staff accounts and allows up to 1,000 inventory locations.
    • Shopify: With cost standing at $79/month makes it the right choice for small businesses. This plan offers 5 staff accounts, and up to 1,000 inventory locations.
    • Advanced: It costs $299/month making it an apt choice for medium to large businesses. This plan includes up to 1,000 inventory locations and 15 staff accounts.
    • Shopify Plus: It costs $2,000/month, or you can opt for the variable fee most suitable for larger businesses.

    Salesforce Commerce Cloud pricing

    It has different editions to meet different business needs. Here is the pricing for the different solutions offered by Commerce Cloud;

    • B2B Commerce: Its costs start at 1% of gross merchandise value.
    • B2C Commerce: Its cost also starts at 1% of gross merchandise value.
    • D2C Commerce: It costs 1% of gross merchandise value.
    • Order management: 1% of gross merchandise value.
    • Connected Commerce: 1% of gross merchandise value.

    Salesforce Commerce Cloud vs Shopify: which one you should choose? Here we have given you the understanding of when to choose which platform;

    Shopify vs sfcc

    1. Business Size

    Shopify is an excellent eCommerce platform for small to medium-sized businesses thanks to its cost-effective pricing. It is well-suited for businesses that require limited technical expertise and resources.

    Salesforce Commerce Cloud is the right choice for larger businesses with complex requirements.

    2. Scalability

    Shopify and Salesforce Commerce Cloud are both highly scalable platforms. Shopify lets you start with the basic plan and you can upgrade as your business grows. However, it may not be the best choice for rapidly scaling businesses or those dealing with extremely high traffic.

    Commerce Cloud, on the other hand, is primarily designed for large-scale businesses, therefore scalability is affordable with it. Furthermore, it offers advanced integration capabilities and scalability making it the right choice for large enterprises.

    3. Architecture

    Shopify is a user-friendly multi-channel commerce platform that doesn’t require heavy tech proficiency.

    The platform was built using Ruby on Rails with MySQL. It offers a selection of themes and templates to design the layout of your eCommerce store. It also offers integration capabilities with third-party applications. However, the challenge is that these integrations are administered by third-party software threatening your control over the integration.

    Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a development-heavy eCommerce platform that offers greater customization flexibility. Its architecture supports businesses in more advanced and complex integrations. Furthermore, it is backed by open architecture and an API-first approach enabling businesses to develop custom features and integrations.

    The final verdict between Shopify vs Salesforce is subject to business requirements. For example, if you need greater customization, Commerce Cloud might be a better choice. However, if your business demands a more user-friendly platform with capabilities for third-party integrations, Shopify serves the right purpose for you.

    4. Integration

    Shopify has a larger plugin market, allowing your eCommerce store to be integrated with the functionality you need. It has REST, and GraphQL APIs enabling you to integrate your eCommerce store with an ERP or CRM system.

    Shopify also offers support for third-party integrations like social media platforms, analytics tools, and more. However, the challenge with the integration is that it may slow down the performance of your eCommerce storefront.

    Salesforce Commerce Cloud has more robust, and efficient integration capabilities. It can be easily integrated with the Salesforce products or third-party systems as well ensuring optimal performance.

    If your organization is not very focused on integration and can afford a slight performance downgrade, then Shopify is the right platform. However, if you need vast integration while ensuring performance supremacy, Commerce Cloud might be the right choice.

    Final take

    Salesforce Commerce and Shopify both have their pros and cons. The selection of the best eCommerce platform is subject to your business needs.

    We hope this detailed comparison helped you shape your decision in the right way. Now we’d love to hear from you, about which platform wins the race for you. If it’s Commerce Cloud, then Cyntexa with its rich expertise in Salesforce is here to help you leverage this platform.

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