Shopify vs SHOPLINE: 10 Feature Comparisons to Help You Pick the One That’s Right for You

If your planning to launch an e-commerce store, you’ll soon have to face a lot of decisions and the first one might be: which platform should I use? Shopify vs SHOPLINE. 

You might have done your research or comparison on some eCommerce platforms already, and have a basic understanding of what they can do for you. The truth is, there’s no such thing as the “best eCommerce platform,” but the “eCommerce platform best for you.” 

 

Choosing a platform depends on a lot of factors, we’ve done a detailed comparison between these two for you in the latter half of this article. But before we get into that, ask yourself these five questions below, to get a clearer idea of which platform works best for you and your business.

Question #1 What are your business objectives?

Do you want to run your business long-term and develop a brand? If so, having your own brand website is great for you to strengthen brand image and create the tone and ambiance for your brand. In addition, to avoid competitors in the marketplace such as Amazon, or eBay. 

However, If you are looking to sell products online for just a short period, and not investing too much, then the online marketplace might be enough.

Question #2 How much time could you invest in your online business?

Before getting an online store, make sure you have prepared yourself to deal with customer complaints because it going to be time-consuming, and one of the perks of using marketplace is they have in-house customer services to address your buyers question so you don’t. However, there’s a chance that the customer service is not familiar with your product and could cause confusion to your buyers. However, with an online marketplace, you still have to plan all the marketing, website design, and promotion. All of these could cost you a lot of time. With a website built from SHOPLINE or IT design companies could save you a lot of time from storefront designing and web structure planning, but you will have to spend time on doing customer service on your own. 

Question #3 Do you know how to build or design a website?

If you have no experience in web design and don’t have time to learn, then open source free eCommerce platform is not for you, because it requires a lot of manual works such as storefront design, domain setup, online shop building system, and more. There are a lot of things to be considered if you want to build your website from scratch, like hackers, information leaks, online fraud. If you’re incapable of handling these, then the marketplace, subscription-based platform and IT design companies might suits you better.

Question #4 How much is your budget?

This is a very important question to ask yourself. If you don’t have enough budget to start your business, there are economic choices like free web builders and online marketplace, these options allow you to start your business fast and inexpensive. Although some online marketplaces are free to post products but require you to pay transaction fees, monthly maintenance fees, and additional advertising costs. Once you add up these costs, it could be an impressive amount as well. So, instead of going after annual-based subscription platforms or IT design companies that charge you a lot of fee upfront, you can consider monthly-based subscription platforms, which doesn’t require a lot in the beginning and allows merchants to upgrade for advanced features.

Question #5 Who is your target audience?

Identify your target audience could also help you decide better which platform is best for you to build your business. For example, if your target audience is teen schoolgirls, starting from the Instagram shop might be a good idea. If you have a wider audience or selling a niche product, having a brand website might be a better choice to start your business. To get to know more about your customers, review your order and look for patterns of your customers. 

After asking yourself these questions. If you think annual and monthly online store builders is a good choice to kick start your business, but still debating which platform to use? Check out this comparison between SHOPLINE and Shopify. 

 

Pricing Plans

Both SHOPLINE and Shopify offer free trials and upgrade to unlock more features. Shopify’s price range from $29-$299 USD per month, while SHOPLINE started from as low as $109 SGD per month. Check out their pricing pages and see what features you needed the most and pick your platform and plan accordingly.

Language Support

SHOPLINE’s service is more tailored to merchants in Asia, so our platform supports 2 languages (Chinese and English), include pages like FAQ, admin-panel, and blog articles. However, Shopify users are mostly from America and Canada. Thus, their backstage and tutorial articles are all in English. 

Transaction Fees

SHOPLINE: Fix transaction fee at 0.5%

Shopify: Transaction fees with Shopify are more complicated and here’s a breakdown of each plan.

Basic Shopify Plan: 2.9% and 30¢ per transaction

Shopify Plan: 2.6% and 30¢ per transaction

Advanced Shopify Plan: 2.4% and 30¢ per transaction

Marketing and Analytics Tools

SHOPLINE offers multiple promotional modules such as a coupon, limited time offer, free shipping and more. SHOPLINE has also partnered with Google & Facebook to provide better services for merchants. Shops are connected to Google Analytics for precise ad delivering. In addition, SHOPLINE supports easy installation of Google Tag Manager, Facebook pixels and Facebook Business Extension (FBE) for merchants to manage their digital assets easily. 

Shopify also provides a great number of marketing tools include shipping discounts, coupons, advertising tools and more. It’s important to mention that Shopify acquired a startup called Kit CRM, the company helps businesses to interact with their customers over text messages. The software also supports the merchant to send out automated emails to its customers, make Facebook ads, summarize orders in the selected period, set up discounts, give advice on marketing strategies, and help with the 404 error page, and more. The Kit CRM is priced for an additional $10 USD per month. 

Ease of operation of admin-panel

Both Shopify and SHOPLINE offer a full-fledged platform and web structure, which means it’s harder to make changes and modifications. However, SHOPLINE allows merchants to write CSS on their own to create a fully customized storefront design. 

Shopify allows merchants to write their own CSS. However, modifications on Shopify requires more development protocols to follow, if merchants don’t have experience in front-end design, making adjustments on Shopify can be challenging. 

Customer service

SHOPLINE provides unlimited consultations and customer services to all merchants. Our customer success team will address your questions if you have one. Before merchants upgrade to a paid subscription, they can consult with the customer success team to ensure the logistics and payment gateways are successfully integrated.

Both SHOPLINE’s and Shopify’s customer services can be reached through Email, online chat, and call.

Logistics methods and payment gateways

Shopify’s merchants are mostly based in North America, Europe. Their logistic company it works with are FedEx, UPS, USPS, and more. It also partners with Shipwire, Rakuten, Amazon to provide fulfillment alternatives.

SHOPLINE’s merchants are scattered across Asia, we offer local logistics and payment gateways accordingly. For example, in Singapore, customers can track and receive their packages from Janio and Ninjavan, many more logistics providers are on the way. In addition, SHOPLINE offers a lot of options for third-party payment gateways to integrate such as PayPal and local banks. These logistics methods and payment gateways could save your customers a lot of international transaction and shipping fees. Of course, these payment methods also allow credit cards from foreign countries.

Types of promotion

Both of these platforms offer a lot of types of discounts and promotions, such as dollar value discount, a percentage discount, free shipping discount, or set sale prices for individual products. 

Also, both platforms allow merchants to set expiration dates and generate bulk coupon codes.

Product upload limit

All of Shopify’s plan offers unlimited product uploads. 

SHOPLINE’s basic plan offers 50 product uploads; an advanced plan offered 1,000 product uploads; with the premium plan, you get unlimited product uploads. 

Free-Trial and Consultancy

SHOPLINE and Shopify both offers a 14-days free trial. Your store won’t vanish after the free-trial ended on both platforms. If you’re new to e-Commerce and need more assistance to get familiar with the admin-panel to plan and execute your business, with the help of SHOPLINE’s local consultants here in Singapore, you get to have a thorough product demo and a better understanding of SHOPLINE’s platform.

Localization

SHOPLINE is widely used in Asia with over 250,000 brands using it. We are specialized in providing services to merchants in Asia, and our cross-border eCommerce service also supports in international shipping and payment gateways that are tailored to local markets, which made us stand out from the competition. At SHOPLINE, we also hold on-site seminars and workshops for merchants to learn and grow as a community.

Conclusion: 

From the 10 features we compared above, both allow you to build an online store with a breeze, yet offers great customer services and tools to make your business going. 

However, it really depends on which market do you want to serve. SHOPLINE is a multilingual platform that allows users to operate in key South-east Asian languages. SHOPLINE’s merchants are mostly based in Asia, it would be great for individual sellers or national companies to consider SHOPLINE if their brands are looking to expand into South-east Asian markets. With SHOPLINE’s offices gradually growing in different cities in Asia, our team aims to offer local support to our merchants, while no other platform has been able to do this yet. On the other hand, Shopify might work for brands that want to grow and in North America and Europe markets.


Here’s a chart below for easy comparison:

 

SHOPLINE

Shopify

Language

Supports English, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese

English only

Transaction Fees

Free-0.5% based on packages

2.4-2.9% based on the selected plan

Marketing

Suitable for merchants with basic digital marketing knowledge

Requires extensive resources and digital marketing experience to operate

Logistics & Payments

Paypal/Stripe/Bank Transfer/Cash on Delivery/Ninjavan/Janio

FedEx/UPS/USPS/PayPal/Stripe

Web Design

Allows customized CSS

Limited CSS customization

Customer Services

Email/phone/online chat/customer success consultation appointment

Email/phone/online chat

Discount & Promotions

12+ discount & promotion modules

Well-rounded discount options

Product Upload Limit

Based on the selected plan

Unlimited

Free-Trial Length

14-Days

14-Days

Localization

Singaporean local team

Support online markets in North America and Europe

By the end of this comparison, hopefully, you’ll know which of these two platforms represents the best e-Commerce platform for your particular business!


Read more: How to choose between Wix & SHOPLINE? Check out here!