It is not easy to start and maintain an eCommerce business. One of the most difficult decisions when it comes to an online business is on which platform to host it on. You want a platform that will uphold your business while also enabling you to make sales. Two of the best platforms for eCommerce businesses are ClickFunnels and Shopify. But how do you choose one over the other? It can be confusing, especially for beginners. This article will do a comparison of the two so that you can make an informed decision.
ClickFunnels is ideal for beginners who just need a simple yet powerful platform where they can set up their store and marketing funnel on the go. Here are some of the features available on ClickFunnels:
- Ready-made sales funnels: ClickFunnels gives you a ready-made sales funnel for all kinds of products, from physical products to online services. Templates for different pages (such as opt-in, sales, checkout, and thank you pages) are readily available. All you have to do is customize them to your taste.
- Website building tool: If you don’t want to use the ready-made sales funnel templates, you can use the website building tool to build your own sales funnel from scratch. You will be able to add pretty much anything you’d need for a sales funnel: opt-in forms, checkout carts, and payment integration among others. This is for experts, though. It is advisable to stick to the readily available templates if you are just starting out.
- Payment integrations: ClickFunnels is integrated with Paypal, EasyPayDirect, Stripe and other industry standard payment processors. This enables you to collect your payments at a single point for easy revenue management.
- Customer Relation Management (CRM) System: eCommerce businesses are data-driven. The more detailed information you have about your customers, the better you can tailor your products to their needs. The CRM tool gives you access to customer data that enables you to customize your marketing campaigns to the different categories of customers. You can have access to their social profiles, their spending patterns and habits, and their geographical location—among other important information.
- Action Funnels: You can use the action funnels to combine your sales funnels with your email campaigns to create an automated marketing strategy. You can set up an If This Then That (IFTTT) function so that certain actions are triggered by consumer behavior on your site. For example, automatically add a customer to the return customer mailing list and send a thank you email if they make a purchase.
- An Affiliate Marketing System: The platform allows you to create affiliate marketing programs for your products. Other people will be able to earn commissions from any converted lead for your products through the link provided to them. This enables you to increase your sales by making everyone a potential champion for your brand.
- Email Marketing Tool: Marketing is an important aspect of any business. Email marketing is a proven digital marketing strategy that is bound to get you results. ClickFunnels comes with an email marketing tool that enables you to send customized email marketing campaigns to the different categories of customers.
Shopify is more suitable to expert business people with advanced knowledge on how to integrate various marketing software into the store, create funnels, and turn leads into sales. Here are some of the best features of Shopify:
- Online Store Builder: You will have access to a wide array of themes for building your store. You have also have the freedom to customize every element of the themes. Develop the website to your tastes. The website is guaranteed to be mobile-responsive and you can even use their content management system to create blog posts on your website.
- Analytics Dashboard: Shopify provides Google Analytics integration so you can monitor the performance of different aspects of the business. This can be useful in making business decisions. You can also see how each product is performing so that it is a lot easier to manage inventory.
- Customer Management System: Just like ClickFunnels, Shopify lets you have detailed information about your customers so that you can tailor the products to their needs. It gives you the option of allowing your customers to shop as a guest or create an account to become a repeat customer. Additionally, you can group the customers into different categories, and easily process refunds.
- Inventory Management System: As a business, you need to have tack of new and current inventories. Shopify’s Inventory Management System makes this easy. After adding a product and creating different variants of it, Shopify will automatically track the sales so that you can know when to restock.
- Payment Integration: Shopify is integrated with Visa, Mastercard, Paypal and many other payment options. It also handles the taxation aspect of your business. You can give offers such as free shipping and coupon codes to clients. They have even partnered with the major couriers that offer low shipping rates. And Shopify works with Orbelo for businesses that want to dropship without stocking their own inventory.
- Social Media Sales Channels: When you use Shopify, your customers can make use of social media platforms to make purchases. They don’t have to leave those sites and visit yours to make a purchase. All you have to do is integrate your store with these platforms. Set up a store inside Facebook, Pinterest, eBay, Amazon among others and you are ready to go.
- App Store: You can access amazing integrations and plugins from the Shopify app store. Create landing pages and opt-in forms with the numerous apps available in the store. You can also use them to get additional analytics and come up with engaging email marketing campaigns among other functionalities.
- Mobile App: The platform has a mobile app on both Android and iPhone devices so that you can run your business even when on the move.
ClickFunnels has two plans with the starter plan costing $97 per month. The more enhanced Etison suite plan goes for $297 per month.
The starter plan gets you limited features such as 20,000 visitors, 20 funnels, 100 pages, 1 SMTP integration, 3 custom domains, and A/B split testing among others. However, you won’t enjoy additional features such as the ability to send emails based on location or social media, 1-click easy setup, unlimited affiliates and commission plans. ClickFunnels offers a 14-day free trial for both plans.
Just like ClickFunnels, Shopify also gives a 14-day trial window. It, however, has three main plans, with two extra plans also available. The three main plans are Basic Shopify, Shopify and Advanced Shopify. They come in at $29, $79, and $299 per month respectively. The number of staff accounts allowed on the different plans are 2, 5 and 15 respectively. You can only enjoy third-party calculated shipping rates on the Advanced Shopify plan. The two extra plans are Shopify Plus (for large businesses) and Shopify Lite.
The Pros And Cons
- Building a funnel is easy and doesn’t take long.
- You’ll have access to prebuilt funnels that are designed for maximum conversions. You don’t need prior marketing experience to be able to sell.
- You’ll have all the tools you need for your business with ClickFunnels so you won’t have to pay for external services.
- Their plans are more expensive compared to Shopify.
- It’s primarily designed for single or small batches of products. Not a full ecommerce store.
- You have to be on a desktop as it doesn’t have a mobile app.
- You can sell several products at a go.
- Their delivery partners ensure that your clients enjoy low shipping rates.
- Their mobile app allows you to run your business on the go.
- Shopify is mostly for payment processing. The marketing bit is on you.
- Integration with other services drives up business costs.
- It takes a lot of time and effort to set up a store. You also need to be knowledgeable about the technical aspects of marketing.
Shopify provides excellent product management and delivery features. However, it needs a high level of expertise to be able to hack. It is more suitable for marketing professionals who are planning to run their online stores full-time. ClickFunnels, on the other hand, is best for small product launches, especially if you are just starting out as a marketer. It is made with the beginner in mind.
ClickFunnels vs Shopify: What You Need To Know About The Two eCommerce Platforms - Tomoson Blog