Shopify or Salesforce Commerce Cloud: Which One Should You Choose?

When choosing the right eCommerce platform for your business, everyone involved in the process will have their preferences and reasons why one platform is better than the other. Though not everyone in your project team is involved in the platform implementation, is looking at the whole picture. You need input from different departments and users to make sure the platform you eventually select is the best bang for your buck. So, for example, when it comes to Shopify of Salesforce Commerce Cloud: which one should you choose? We’re giving you a heads up: there’s no one-size-fits-all.

What they have in common

Let’s start with what both solutions have in common. Both Shopify and Salesforce Commerce Cloud are fully managed SaaS solutions. Moreover, they are simple to use and have an intuitive UI or user interface. This means that users immediately know how to work with both platforms, positively impacting the user experience or UX. If you’re hesitating between SaaS or PaaS, you might want to read our blog on Platform Strategy of Satellite Systems.

Where they differ

Integration & Implementation

While Salesforce Commerce Cloud offers all its tools via the integrated product suite, Shopify offers only tools managed in third-party software. This means both platforms offer pick-and-mix solutions when it comes to extending your eCommerce. However, Shopify does not integrate these solutions on its platform. This hinders marketing automation and makes data less accessible to different users.

A second part of that integration is the advantage of Salesforce Solutions (e.g. Manufacturing or Sales Cloud) to offer an aligned customer experience throughout the buyer journey. Shopify operates only in the commerce part of your business.

Another plus for Salesforce Commerce Cloud is the mandatory staging environments you have to walk through to implement your storefront and back-end changes. This prevents errors, but it can also be a downside if you want to change the slightest thing. With Shopify, every change you make immediately goes live and can negatively impact your site’s performance when you did something wrong. For even more helpful information, head to the Salesforce article here.


While Shopify offers a universe of ready-to-use website templates for about €60, that’s it. Apart from adjusting your colours and branding, the back-end of your eCommerce platform is closed off and managed by Shopify. This means you need limited technical knowledge to manage your shop, which can be an advantage. On the other hand, forget adding in a few extra fields before checkout, based on the country your customer is shopping in. Shopify simply doesn’t allow it.

Additionally, while Shopify offers a wide variety of plug-ins, you cannot use multiple storefronts to sell multiple brands that require separate identities. Finally, Shopify makes international business a little more complex than Salesforce Commerce Cloud does, exactly because of the lack of customization.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud offers full customization to build your platform as you wish: from different storefronts to selling multiple brands, adding checkout fields for international shipping, and so on. The complex user experience that Salesforce offers will positively impact your customer conversion and retention. Oh, and by the way, Salesforce, too, provides plug-ins to extend your website. It’s a smaller offering to choose from, but the apps must be certified, in contrast to the Shopify plug-ins. This means with Salesforce Commerce Cloud, plug-ins will not slow down your site or bring risks to your site safety. Lastly, Salesforce offers extensive A/B testing. Shopify does not (yet) have any plug-in to provide the same.

When to use either

Based on their unique functionalities and shared similarities, you can opt for either Shopify or Salesforce Commerce Cloud in the following cases.

Shopify or Salesforce Commerce Cloud: Which One Should You Choose?

In short

So, when it comes to Shopify or Salesforce Commerce Cloud: which one should you choose? The decision really depends. In the end, you must keep the following in mind.

  • Think about the technical knowledge you have. Are you able to manage the platform yourself? Then Shopify is the way to go. Is hyper-personalization your only suitable option? Then make sure you have Salesforce experts in-house or a partner like cynqed on speed dial.

  • Think about the personalization you need: how many brands are you selling? How many storefronts do you need? Are you happy with ready-to-use templates? Then opt for Shopify. Is personalization key to attracting and retaining your audience and do you want advanced functionalities like A/B testing and AI under one roof? Think about Salesforce Cloud Commerce first.

  • Think about the professional scope of your business. Are you selling exclusively to B2C? Then Shopify would be your best option. Do you require sophisticated elements to meet the needs of B2B customers? Then we recommend using Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

  • Think about the international scope of your eCommerce. Are you selling internationally, requiring a more customized solution to adhere to regional laws, custom checkout fields, etc., …?

  • Think about the accessibility and reliability of your platform and data. Using Salesforce Commerce Cloud, data is kept safe in one place and can be accessed by authorized users from anywhere in the same interface. Shopify works only with third-party software plug-ins, which requires more extensive work to comply with standards like GDPR.

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