Coming to this blog, you are probably looking to find the best tool to launch your new site. It can be overwhelming to choose between Webflow vs. Shopify since they are both great tools with a wide array of features. Shopify is the number one ecommerce platform, while Webflow offers total creative website building freedom. Dive into this blog and make an informed choice on what to choose.
Webflow vs. Shopify: What’s the difference?
There's no Webflow vs. Shopify comparison without giving you some context. Let's see what both tools are all about before we fully jump in.
While Webflow puts focus on creative freedom, Shopify goes the other way. Shopify's key selling point is its superior ecommerce functionality. A short learning curve and a big library of templates enable users to create a business marketplace with ease. With more than 4.4 million active sites, Shopify is the #1 ecommerce platform on the internet today. It allows users to sell and ship their products to more than 175 countries globally.
But how do these two tools stack against each other? Dive in and find out. We'll help you answer this question once and for all.
Webflow vs. Shopify comparison
What's their pricing?
It doesn’t matter how good a tool is if you don’t have the resources to use it. Maybe you have the resources, but no experience in building a website. You don't want to be spending money before knowing what you even get. Starting with pricing is the obvious choice in this comparative analysis.
Starting with Webflow, you can build your whole site for free before publishing it. You can tweak your site as long as you want before launching and really take your time in making it perfect. When going live, you can choose between Site and Workspace plans. Since we are comparing Webflow and Shopify, we will look into their ecommerce plans.
Webflow offers three different pricing tiers (standard, plus and advanced) you can choose from. The Standard plan starts at $29/month (billed yearly) and adds a 2% transaction fee. The plan also includes all CMS plan features, enabling you to list 500 items, a customizable shopping cart and a shopping portal.
If you want to eliminate the 2% transaction fees, you have to upgrade to the Plus plan. The plan starts at $74/month (billed yearly). The plan also supports 5.000 items and enables you to use all business plan features.
The last and the most expensive Advanced plan starts at $212/month (billed yearly). You also get 0% transaction fees, all business plan features and room to list 15.000 ecommerce items.
Shopify doesn't offer a free plan to build your site, but a free trial that lasts 3 days. You can try all their plans without having to enter your credit card. Going forward Shopify offers three core plans: Basic, Shopify and Advanced.
The Basic plan starts at $26/month (billed yearly) and enables you to host an unlimited number of products. This plan already includes a wide array of features, 24/7 support and 2 staff accounts. You get abandoned cart recovery, marketing automation, customer segmentation, etc. If you opt to use the Shopify payment portal, there will also be no transaction fees.
Going forward to the Shopify program, it will cost you $75/month (billed yearly) and provide you with some more features. You get more promotions and more shipping discounts with DHL, Express, UPS or USPS.
For enterprise businesses, there are two plans you can choose from. The Advanced plan is one of their core programs and the Shopify Plus for high-volume businesses. The Advanced plan will cost you $313/month (billed yearly) and the Shopify Plus starts at $2000/month. These two programs are designed for large brands and provide you with more complex features. Here's a great comparison of both pricing options.
Customization and flexibility
Do you know one rule that stands in every situation, no matter what you are trying to do on the internet? You need to stand out. And you will need to stand out significantly.
There are currently over 4.4 million websites using Shopify across the world. This is an impressive statistic and shows the high quality of Shopify’s products and services. But how many of those 4+ million sites stand out from the pack? Almost none of them. Especially since most pages are more or less built with one of the limited templates.
Even though you can make a beautiful page with Shopify, their main focus is on helping you build a highly functional online store. If you don't know how to code, Shopify does not offer much flexibility when it comes to design. And even if you do know how to code, Shopify has created its coding language Liquid. Developers also do not have any control over third-party code and scripts.
You can opt for one of the free templates, buy a premium one in the Shopify store or get one from a third-party author. Once you choose a theme, you can customize its content and settings. Each theme comes with its editable elements and allows you to change the color, fonts, images and logos. You can also design sections of your selected theme.
As already stated in the intro, Webflow offers full creative freedom enabling you to customize every single element on your site. The visual editor transforms your design into a clean code so you never have to write a line of code. Webflow also offers a rich library of free and premium templates suitable for different use purposes. All sites you create are responsive and instantly ready to be displayed on every screen size.
What makes Webflow special is also the fact that your store does not have to be static. You can build complex and rich animations without coding knowledge. This brings your store to life and provides the visitor with a more interactive experience.
What features do they have?
We broke down the pricing and we explored the creative freedom both tools offer you. The other crucial factor to consider before deciding which tool you want to go with are the features. Let's jump straight in!
Some Webflow Ecommerce features are:
- The visual editor that syncs web design and development.
- The customizability of every single element on the page.
- Branded checkout page.
- Customizable shopping cart and emails.
- Zapier store extensions.
- Integrations with third-party analytics tools.
- Its own content management system.
- Advanced SEO features.
- Fully custom product pages.
Shopify includes features like:
- 73 themes created by professional designers.
- Shipping fulfillments.
- No transaction fees on every plan.
- Automate shipping and tax rate calculation.
- Social media integration and direct selling via Facebook.
- Abandoned cart recovery.
- Sell and ship in more than 175 countries.
- A wide array of payment options.
- App store to help you extend your online store.
Looking at these two lists you can already grasp what the ideal tool for you would be. Webflow offers full creative freedom and will make you stand out from the crowd. But Shopify is the best in the game when it comes solely to ecommerce. Both are no-code tools that you can master on your own and both can help you make money on the internet. It's just a matter of functionalities that you are looking for.
Building a website can be quite overwhelming, especially when your business is built around it. And if you are building a site for the first time, there is a high chance you will get stuck at some point. When this happens you want to have the support that can assist you fast. You don't want to seek the solution on different forums and YouTube channels. Especially since you are paying to use this service.
Shopify has excellent customer service that is available 24/7 via email, phone or even live chat. It splits its customer support into three pillars:
- Community Forum where you can interact with other users.
- Help center where you can access self-help resources.
- Themes and API documentation for developers.
Webflow does not offer 24/7 customer service. Users can contact the company via email, but will usually have to wait up to 2 days before getting a response. Webflow also has a community forum where you can connect with other users.
Where Webflow excels is its free university. It offers a huge library of step-by-step guides and tutorials that help you go from beginner to confident Webflow designer.
Let's compare: Pros and cons
Before getting to the conclusion, here's a summary of the pros and cons of both tools.
- Full creative control without coding knowledge required.
- The visual editor translates your design into code.
- Build complex and rich animation to make your site stand out.
- Completely free until going live.
- Clean and semantic code for a high-performing site.
- Webflow university with a rich library of resources.
- Advanced SEO tools.
- The steep learning curve to master the platform.
- Limited help and support options when you get stuck.
- Basic analytics to track your ecommerce performance.
- No mobile app is available.
- The user interface can be intimidating for someone without a web design background.
- 24/7 customer support via email, phone or live chat.
- A short learning curve enables you to set up your site fast.
- Add unlimited products to your store and avoid transaction fees.
- Get shipping fulfillments.
- It has the biggest set of ecommerce features to drive your business.
- Automate shipping and tax rate calculation.
- It charges fees for using third-party gateways.
- It can get expensive if you are using a lot of third-party apps.
- Lack of customization options for your site.
- Developers have no control over tweaking custom code.
- It's hard to stand out from the crowd.
Finally, we come to an end of this extensive Webflow vs. Shopify head-to-head comparison. When comparing the tools we can see how powerful both are. If you want to launch your new site, and don't have any specific requirements, you can't go wrong with either of them. Yet, it is still important to distinguish what sets them apart.
So how does Webflow stack up against the leading ecommerce platform Shopify? Shopify is the best ecommerce platform by far, powering more than 4.4 million live sites today. A big number of ecommerce features and ease of use are making this tool extremely powerful among users around the world. Shopify is also highly scalable and can support your business in reaching every growth milestone.
If setting up an ecommerce store is not your only concern, Webflow might be a good alternative. While Webflow's focus is not solely on ecommerce, it offers more creative freedom and flexibility. With Webflow, you can build sites from scratch and customize every single element on it. You can create animations and complex interactions that make every visit to your site an interactive experience. Webflow is especially popular among brands that need a unique site with custom solutions.
When it comes to ecommerce, Shopify is still superior to Webflow. If your goal is to sell online, Shopify will be the best in the game. But if you are not looking to build just an online store, Webflow takes the edge. In the end, it all boils down to your needs, resources and assets.
If you are still unsure about what to pick, just try out both. Sign up for Shopify's free 3-day trial or get a Webflow's free plan to get to know both of the platforms. But if you want to consider even more tools to build websites, check out how Webflow compares to WordPress or Wix.
Frequently asked questions
Who is Shopify’s direct competition?
Shopify’s direct competition are platforms like BigCommerce, Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, Intershop and more.
Can Webflow accept payments?
Yes, Webflow can accept payments through Paypal, Stripe, Amazon Payments, Authorize.net, Komoju and Donately.
Can you embed videos in Shopify?
Yes, you can embed videos in Shopify. In your product gallery you have to go to Media section, click Add media from URL and embed your video.