Salesforce vs Shopify Plus eCommerce Platform

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Both the Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Shopify Plus solutions have grown in the last few years. Both are viable eCommerce platform options. Some Salesforce users have even migrated over to Shopify Plus in that time period.

A direct comparison between the two options is not exactly possible. They are quite different in terms of how they approach eCommerce. Nevertheless, we’ll try to outline for you here what you get with each option.

Salesforce vs Shopify Plus at a Glance

In brief, Salesforce comes with many built-in features, but within a limited ecosystem. If you want additional functionality, you need to have it built out. This will entail quite heavy customisation work, which the typical eCommerce seller will not know how to execute.

Shopify Plus, on the other hand, represents a basic core eCommerce platform with a wide network of third-party app options. This eco-system allows users to get top-quality add-on features. Done through apps, expanding on the basic website functionality is very quickly executed. Furthermore, because these additional features are fairly easy to implement, most anyone can get them up and running without much of a hassle at all. Moreover, other very simple customisation work is also possible, mostly within the available Shopify themes themselves.

Shopify’s Plus plan has been around since 2014, quickly gaining popularity among household name businesses and hyper growth brands. It has also become more popular among mid-level retailers in the last few years.

eCommerce Platform Key Points

Salesforce

Salesforce Commerce Cloud used to be known as Demandware. Most of its users were enterprise-level eCommerce brands in the fashion and lifestyle arena. Now, they also have many mid-market and some smaller sellers. Its allure is mainly the robust set of features and the fact that this platform meets most eCommerce store needs. Shopify, however, would rely on up to 20 third parties to build a comparable store.

Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus is unquestionably the most flexible option when it comes to adding and removing features and even optimising on the front end. It boasts an impressive ecosystem of both native integrations like Launchpad and Shopify Flow and third-party apps and extensions. Shopify also maintains a robust network of integration partners.

This option is a lot more affordable at the end of the day. The average eCommerce seller would pay less in overhead as well as technical and maintenance costs. Shopify Plus users are relatively happy, despite the limitations it puts on particular retailer types.

Scalability Comparison

Salesforce

The engineers behind Salesforce Commerce Cloud designed it for functional scalability and peaks in demand. This is a huge selling point for larger businesses from the beginning. Salesforce focuses on quality assurance through their fully managed software-as-a-service (SaaS) system. This is not the usual eCommerce platform offering and is attractive to complex businesses. The downside to this was giving up easy customisation, which is the opposite of Shopify Plus. However, Salesforce still allows heavy customisation as long as quality standards are met and the coding does not negatively affect core platform functioning.

Shopify Plus

Shopify developed its fully-hosted SaaS platform over time, building up the infrastructure. This means that it can provide users with strong scalability, even for sellers who deal in large volumes. Retailers can grow in traffic and order volume from $0 to over $500 million without running into any problems from the change in demand. However, we do see issues when feature functionality reaches its limits. You will find yourself simply unable to do some things on this eCommerce platform. These include:

  1. a lack of multi-store management options, although the fairly new Shopify Markets helps with bringing brands to the international scene. Still, it does not compare to true multi-store architecture in terms of local management (e.g. catalogues, warehouses, bank accounts, currencies, and payouts).
  2. a related issue with multiple catalogues and advanced visual merchandising because of limited customisation options for how the platform manages core data. However, Shopify now has metafields available, and we hope that they will continue to develop in this area.
  3. Shopify Payments does not make it easy to use third-party payment options. Even when you can get it pushed through, you won’t be able to use multi-currency options. Eligibility can also be tricky.
  4. Shopify Plus does allow for some complex implementations, but notable limitations can still hinder scalability. Many users still find checkout cumbersome, especially when dealing with multi- type orders (e.g. different channels, shipments, pricing) and mixed baskets.

Still, at the end of the day, we think that Shopify Plus is a great option for larger sellers. Giving up these conveniences is usually worth it when you think about the time and money that you can save with this option, and how easy it is to implement multiple feature changes. We also can see how Shopify has been working to better support larger businesses with new features and APIs.

eCommerce Platform Costs

The lowest tier for Shopify Plus pricing is $2,000 per month. This serves sellers who bring in revenues up to $800,000 a month. Retailers with higher revenues month to month will pay an additional 0.25% of their gross merchandise volume (GMV) each month. The average seller will also pay from $1,000 to $5,000 a month for third-party apps and extensions. This does not include design and development costs.

Salesforce pricing is more complex to explain. There is no base pricing since each client pays based on a GMV system. Salesforce B2C Commerce Pricing, for example, is the launch package. Pricing starts at 1% GMV for one site with two price books and 750,000 credits for the on-demand sandbox. The Salesforce Order Management Starter package is $0.30 per order for up to twenty locations. You would have to contact them to get an idea of what you would be spending monthly for Salesforce, which, by the way, is billed annually. A rough estimate we can give you is from $100,000 to $300,000 in licensing fees per year, for sales amounting to $10 million. Then you can expect to pay the same or more for additional services. The yearly average could be $500,000 up to $1.5 million.

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