If you want to do business these days, you need a web presence. An ecommerce website presents a potentially lucrative way to become a successful entrepreneur in this new normal. With many people opting to order items online rather than visiting a physical store, you’ll never really run out of customers when you go by the ecommerce route. Fortunately, you don’t need to learn code or web development to set up your online store. Website builders such as Strikingly allow you to create full-featured web stores in minutes and with no coding required.
When it comes to ecommerce solutions, Shopify and Strikingly are two of the biggest names in the industry. Targeted at aspiring entrepreneurs and online retailers, both platforms provide an easier way of setting up responsive online shops. Everything you need to build your web store is under one platform - website templates, ecommerce tools, payment gateway integration, etc. Both offer different pricing plans suited to various business needs.
Here at Strikingly, we recognize the fact that every website building tool serves a specific need and our team is always looking for ways to scale up to provide a wide range of services to our growing community of users. In this post, we will look into Shopify and how it compares to our ecommerce platform for small businesses.
Strikingly’s Simple Store is targeted towards small businesses and startups looking to start selling online at a minimal entry cost. With this platform, you can try your hand at online retail for free. Start a single-product business and grow into a multi-category online store as your company starts scaling up. It features everything you need to start your online venture - payment integration, inventory management and content marketing tools. Secure payment gateways including Paypal, Stripe, AliPay and WeChat Pay are also supported.
Shopify is a great scaled up platform for managing multi-category stores. It specializes specifically in ecommerce websites so if you may find it limiting if you’re looking to create a full-featured website with blogging and portfolio management capabilities. It’s a good choice if you have the budget to invest in online infrastructure for your business because Shopify pricing plans, while varied, do not have free accounts. It does have a 14-day trial that you can use to see if the platform is a good fit for your needs.
Ease of Use
One of the key strengths of Strikingly is its ability to cater to beginners and new entrepreneurs. Its user-friendly interface and intuitive website editor lets you set up your online store in minutes and with virtually no coding needed. To create an ecommerce store, all you need to do is add the Simple Store section to your website template and start uploading your inventory and connecting your selected payment gateway.
Meanwhile, Shopify features a more sophisticated platform for building web stores. There’s a steeper learning curve for this platform because of the wealth of features that it offers. Many users on Shopify usually hire designers and developers to put up their online storefront because it takes a bit of time to get the site together. Some coding may also be required for tweaking the CSS stylesheet for the templates. Overall, if you can spend a bit of time learning how Shopify works, you might actually find it worth the effort.
Strikingly offers value for money with its free accounts. Simple Store is available on a free plan so you don’t have to feel compelled to upgrade to get started. Once your business takes off and you start adding new products to your store, you might want to check out our Pro plans and scale up as you go. Subscriptions start at $8 per month.
On the other hand, Shopify requires a paid subscription for you to be able to use the platform. If you’re on the fence about committing to Shopify plans, however, there’s a 14-day free trial that you can take advantage of. Plans start at $9 and this allows you access to basic ecommerce features and turn your current website from other builders such as Squarespace, Tumblr or Wordpress into an online shop with the Buy button. If you already have an operational website, you can use this as a home for your store and integrate Shopify Lite to be able to sell on that site. Technically, you will not be able to build a home for your store on Shopify but you can take advantage of the infrastructure.
Overall, Strikingly provides a more competitively priced subscription structure. Even if you check out Wix pricing plans or Weebly pricing plans, Shopify can still be a tad expensive compared to these platforms that offer ecommerce capabilities.
Reach customers shopping through mobile devices with a mobile responsive website. Strikingly’s templates are all guaranteed to render well on smaller screens to ensure a consistent user experience. You don’t need to write additional code to make your images and design adapt to various screen sizes and browsing environments. The best part of all is that all templates are available on free accounts and you can switch to different themes if you find that the design is not working for you.
With a Shopify account, you can access a handful of free templates that you can use to start off your online store. Design-wise, they will work well for modern websites and for most product types. However, if you need a more customizable website, you will probably want to spend money on the paid themes.
Both provide reliable customer service over various channels so no one is really better than the other on this point. With Shopify, however, you can pay a premium for a dedicated account manager who will assist you for any concern about your web store. This might be good to have for bigger brands and businesses.