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Shopify vs. Webflow

Shopify vs. Webflow - Which E-commerce Platform is Best?

E-commerce Platforms

Author: Preslav Nikov min read
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If you’re new to the e-commerce scene, you’re probably wondering which e-commerce platform is best for your business.

With so many choices available, finding the platform can feel overwhelming even for veteran merchants.

Online retailers often discuss whether Shopify or Webflow is the superior e-commerce solution. In short, Shopify is the older, more popular, and capable e-commerce platform of the two.

However, Webflow provides world-leading design capabilities.

In this article, we’ll compare the two platforms based on their ease of use, value for money, e-commerce features, transaction fees, customer support, and much more.

Read on to find out which platform is best for you.

Shopify: Pros and Cons Summed Up

As of early 2024, there are close to 5,000,000 stores worldwide that are supported by Shopify.

This makes it one of the most popular e-commerce solutions in the world. 

Out of the box, Shopify is one of the most feature-rich platforms.

Its defining characteristics are its ease of use, intuitive interface, managed hosting, extensive storefront customizability, massive app store, stellar customer support, and more. 

Some drawbacks of Shopify include limitations in backend customizability, mediocre SEO capabilities, somewhat high monthly costs, and extra transaction fees when not using Shopify Payments.

Here are Shopify’s pros at a glance:

Quick and Easy Store Setup

Setting up your online store takes just a few clicks because Shopify automatically takes care of your domain, hosting, and website security. Moreover, everything is a few clicks away in Shopify’s intuitive admin panel.

Easy to Use- Zero Coding Necessary

There is zero coding involved on Shopify, regardless of whether you’re uploading your products and customizing your e-commerce store’s look, adding an app, or managing your e-commerce operations.

Easily Customizable Storefronts

While not on the level of Webflow, Shopify has long been considered the gold standard for having an aesthetic and polished storefront.

Arsenal of E-commerce Features

From organizing sales campaigns and implementing marketing strategies to receiving advanced reports and managing your operations, Shopify has the tools you need to scale your store efficiently.

Huge App Store

There are over 8,000 apps on Shopify’s app store that allow you to extend your store’s functionality with plug-and-play solutions.

World-Renowned Customer Support

Shopify boasts a stellar support team that is available 24/7 through phone, chat, email, media, forums, and more.

In-house Payment Processor

Shopify Payments seamlessly integrates with all of Shopify’s systems and provides enhanced security, tracking, and competitive card processing rates.

Effective tools for international sales

Shopify has excellent solutions for managing inventory, international shipment costs, and hands-off fulfillment with the Shopify Fulfillment Network.

A quick overview of Shopify's cons:

Mediocre SEO Capability

Shopify has basic SEO functionalities built-in, which can be further extended with Apps. However, there are limitations with more technical SEO aspects. For example, your store pages have to follow a specific URL structure and can’t be fully customized.

Mediocre Backend Customizability

Shopify isn’t an open-source platform but a SaaS solution. Thus, parts of its base code are off-limits. While this brings stability and robustness, it comes at the expense of some customizability. However, there are workarounds if you work with professional Shopify developers.

Extra transaction fees when not using Shopify Payments

Not using Shopify payments results in an extra transaction fee that’s between 2% and 0.5% on their lower plans and between 0.30% and 0.15% on their enterprise plan.

Somewhat High Monthly Costs

While Shopify’s monthly plans are great value for your money, your store’s costs can quickly add up, especially if you end up using a lot of premium Apps.

Webflow: Pros and Cons Summed Up

As of early 2024, there are over 200,000 websites on Webflow. While the platform has gained wide recognition as an excellent website builder in recent years, its e-commerce wing is still maturing.

Thus, Webflow’s e-commerce functionalities are somewhat limited, although they can be expanded through its rapidly growing app store. Moreover, the platform has extensive CMS and SEO capability and world-leading design functionality without any coding.

Drawbacks of Webflow include a steeper learning curve, high monthly costs, limited native analytics, and a mediocre selection of e-commerce features.

Here are Webflow’s pros at a glance:

Over 2,000 Beautiful Design Templates

Webflow comes packed with a variety of design templates that help you create a custom-looking storefront easily.

Over 1,500 Apps in the Webflow App Store

There are over 1,500 apps on Webflow’s app store that allow you to extend your store’s functionality in various ways.

Included Hosting and SSL

Hosting and SSL are included on each of Webflow’s plans, ensuring your website is fast and secure.

World-Class Design Editor

Webflow’s design editor is intuitive and visual, allowing you to create bespoke designs without writing code. But you can still access the HTML and CSS to customize even more.

A quick overview of Webflow's cons:

Steep Learning Curve

Since the platform is a hybrid between a CMS and a website builder that’s typically made for professionals, it makes for a difficult learning experience.

That's where a webflow agency comes in handy.

Limited Native Analytics

Webflow’s built-in analytics are quite lackluster and are limited to merely tracking the amount of visitors you get on each page. However, these can be expanded by integrating Google Analytics.

Somewhat Lacking E-commerce Features

Considering that Webflow only recently moved into the e-commerce space, it's understandable that the number and depth of their features are yet to catch up to those of more established players like Shopify.

High Monthly Costs

Webflow’s pricing is on par with Shopify, but it doesn’t bring the same amount of utility. Thus, you get less value for your money.

Shopify vs. Webflow- The Definitive Comparison

In this section, we compare Shopify and Webflow based on their:

  • Ease of use

  • Costs

  • Themes and customization options

  • Sales & marketing features

  • Apps & addons

  • Payment processors and transaction fees

  • Shipping & Logistics integrations

  • Paid advertising capabilities

  • SEO capabilities

  • Customer support

Which one is easier to use? - Shopify wins

Ease of use is one of Shopify’s biggest selling points for small and mid-sized businesses.

As such, it’s no surprise that its intuitive admin panel and simple drag-and-drop website builder are easier to use than Webflow.

All the changes you need to make are a few clicks away.

In contrast, Webflow is built for professional designers and will feel overwhelming for beginners. It can streamline the front-end development process if you know what you’re doing.

However, the platform takes a while to master, due to the sheer amount of options it presents you with at the start.

Neither of the platforms requires any serious coding knowledge to get started with.

However, knowing how to code will make you more effective at using both of them.

Which one costs less? - it depends

Both platforms have various monthly pricing plans, premium templates that require a one-time purchase, and an extensive selection of apps that are either free or subscription-based.

However, Shopify’s pricing is more flexible than Webflow’s.

Shopify Pricing

Shopify vs Webflow - Which one costs less? - Shopify's pricing plans

Official Shopify pricing as of February 2024

In particular, Shopify offers 5 monthly subscription plans. These are:

01. Shopify Starter - allows you to add a buy button to your website or media channel without the ability to create a standalone website.

02. Shopify Basic - offers basic e-commerce features and website functionality for small businesses.

03. Shopify - provides more features and tools for scaling and managing a larger volume of sales, ideal for growing businesses.

04. Shopify Advanced - unlocks powerful features for international sales like duty and import tax calculation and collection, perfect for large businesses.

05. Shopify Plus - Shopify’s enterprise solution for high-volume merchants. It unlocks the full arsenal of Shopify features and its ecosystem of products.

Here are Shopify’s plans at a glance:

Shopify Plan
Shopify Starter
Shopify Basic
Shopify Advanced
Shopify Plus
Paid monthly
Paid annually (25% off)

Other costs on Shopify aren’t mandatory, but you might choose to pay for a premium theme and apps from the Shopify App Store.

Premium themes require a one-time purchase and are in the range of $100 to $350, while Shopify Apps on average cost about $10-$20 per month.

If you aren’t sure whether Shopify is for you, you can explore the platform on the inside risk-free.

Shopify offers a free three-day trial, followed by a one-time offer of $1 for your first three months.

Read more about Shopify pricing in 2024.

Webflow Pricing

Shopify vs Webflow - Which one costs less? - Webflow's pricing plans

Webflow e-commerce pricing as of February 2024

In comparison, Webflow offers three e-commerce plans:

01. Webflow Standard - offers basic e-commerce features and website functionality for small businesses. Has a transaction fee.

02. Webflow Plus - provides enhanced eCommerce features, higher transaction limits, additional customization options, and branded emails. Doesn’t have a transaction fee.

03. Webflow Advanced - offers advanced eCommerce capabilities, extensive integrations, and priority support, and allows for a higher volume of products and CMS items.

Here are Webflow’s plans at a glance:

Webflow Plan
Paid monthly
Paid annually (up to 30% off)

Webflow also offers premium themes and apps.

Their themes are in the $50 to $170 price range, while their apps are either free or cost around $20 per month.

Until recently, Webflow had annual sales limits on its Standard and Plus plans, which would bump up users to a more expensive plan when they reached the limit.

Moreover, all Webflow plans come with limits to the number of your store products, whereas Shopify has none.

Also, Webflow’s Standard plan has a transaction fee of 2% which incentivizes you to switch to their more expensive plans.

Overall, Shopify and Webflow come in a similar price range, but Shopify is more flexible and offers you more built-in features, streamlined operations, and a network of partners and integrations.

Which one has better themes and customization options? - Webflow wins

shopify's themes catalog screenshot

Shopify’s theme customization options: As of Feb 2024, there are over 180 themes ( both free & paid )

Beautiful themes and an extensive array of customization options are Webflow’s main selling points.

While Shopify’s themes are also excellent in terms of design and functionality, they are second-best compared to Webflow’s.

When it comes to the number of supported themes, Webflow has over 2,000, out of which about 100 are specifically designed for e-commerce.

In contrast, Shopify has close to 200 themes exclusively focused on e-commerce.

Shopify vs Webflow - Which one has better themes and customization options? - Webflow's official themes catalog February 2024

Webflow's themes catalog as of Feb 2024

The themes on both platforms are polished, responsive, and optimized for performance.

Moreover, they both offer extensive storefront customization options, but Webflow has a definite edge over Shopify in terms of customization. 

Which one has better Sales & Marketing Features? - Shopify Wins

Shopify has a definite edge over Webflow when it comes to the number and depth of its built-in sales and marketing features.

Out of the box, Shopify equips you, among other features, with:

  • Abandoned cart recovery

  • Gift cards and coupons

  • Automatic discounts

  • Personalized AI-driven product recommendations

  • Personalized store offerings based on geolocation

  • Product bundles

  • Flash sales

  • Shop Pay - the best-performing 1-click checkout in the world

  • Shopify Audiences (available to Plus Users)

It’s true that Webflow also gives you some of these features like personalized discounts, coupons, gift cards, and more.

However, more advanced features will require developer work to successfully integrate them through 3-rd party software in Webflow.

Overall, Shopify has a larger amount of features built-in and is the more comfortable solution for streamlining your sales and marketing operations.

Which one has better Apps and Add-Ons? - Shopify wins

the shopify app store screenshot

The Shopify App Store

Both Shopify and Webflow have an extensive App Store with free and premium apps.

Both stores work in a similar fashion and all the apps there are centrally vetted by Shopify and Webflow respectively to ensure quality, optimization, and responsiveness.

However, Shopify has more than 8,000 available, while Webflow’s are just over 1,500.

Consider also, that Shopify’s apps are exclusively built for the e-commerce business, while many of Webflow’s are designed for other types of websites.

Thus, Shopify has a distinct edge over Webflow when it comes to extending your store’s e-commerce functionalities through third-party apps.

Which one has better payment processors and transaction fees? - It depends

shopify payments landing page screenshot

Shopify’s in-house payment processor

Transaction fees and payment processors of Shopify and Webflow:

Shopify Plan
Number of payment processor
Over 100
Currently supports Stripe and PayPal
In-house Payment Processor
Shopify Payments
Transaction fees
0% when using Shopify Payments

Between 2% and 0.5% for the regular Shopify Plans, if using different payment gateway.

Between 0.30% and 0.15% for Shopify Plus users, if using different payment gateway.
2% on Standard Plan.

0% on Plus and Advanced plans.

Shopify is the clear winner when it comes to the variety of payment gateways it supports, having over 100 compared to Webflow’s two.

These gateways are important in international commerce, where working with a local payment processor can lower payment friction and increase your conversion rates.

Moreover, Shopify boats Shopify Payments - an in-house payment processor. In comparison, Webflow relies on Stripe and Paypal.

Shopify Payments seamlessly integrates with the entire ecosystem of Shopify and streamlines the tracking of all of your offline and online sales in one place.

It comes with built-in fraud detection and other security features.

Moreover, Shopify Payments allows you to use other powerful Shopify products such as Shopify Markets which supports your international commerce and Shop Pay, the world’s best performing one-click checkout.

Lastly, as a payment processor, Shopify Payments brings very competitive card processing rates.

Unfortunately, failing to use Shopify Payments will result in extra transaction fees.

Here’s an example of card processing fees for the US market:

Shopify Plan
Shopify Basic
Shopify Advanced
Shopify Payments Online Card Processing FeeShopify Payments Online Card Processing Fee
2.9% + 30 cents
2.6% + 30 cents
2.4% + 30 cents

Vs. some of the most popular payment gateways in the US:

Payment Processor
Card Processing Fee In the US
2.9% + 30 cents
3.49% + 49 cents
3.5$ + 15 cents

Now, let’s see the transaction fees on Shopify, which are only applicable when you don’t use Shopify Payments.

Keep in mind, Webflow also has a 2% transaction fee on its Starter plan.

Shopify Plan
Shopify Basic
Shopify Advanced
Shopify Plus
Transaction fee when using Shopify Payments
Transaction fee when not using Shopify Payments
0.30% - 0.15%

Overall, Shopify has a clear advantage over Webflow in terms of supported payment processors and competitive transaction fees.

Which one has better Shipping & Logistics Integrations? - Shopify wins

Shopify offers an unlimited number of products on each of its plans, whereas Webflow has a limit on each plan.

Currently, these limits are 500 for the Starter, 5,000 for the Plus, and 15,000 for the Advanced plans.

  • Overall, Shopify is world-renowned for its inventory management software, effectively organizing and tracking your product storage, fulfillment, and shipping.

  • Moreover, Shopify brings tools like Shopify Locations and Shopify Markets which allow you to set custom rules for inventory and shipping.

  • Shopify’s tools also help you present your products in the local language and currency with all fees and tariffs automatically calculated within the product prices.

  • Shopify also offers Shop Promise which shows the live delivery times on all of your products while visitors are browsing them.

  • Webflow also offers customization options for inventory and shipping, as well as the opportunity to select your preferred delivery method. Another staple of Webflow is that it offers automated tax and VAT calculation for some countries in the West.

  • While some of Shopify’s and Webflow’s individual features can go toe-to-toe, Shopify is by far the superior option due to its vast amount of integrations and network of partners for warehousing and delivery.

Moreover, Shopify also offers you the option to completely handle your order fulfillment for you through the Shopify Fulfillment Network. Webflow has no answer to this comprehensive service.

Which one is better for paid advertising? - Shopify wins

Shopify has readily available features like order attribution, server-side tracking, and ready integrations with paid channels like Meta, TikTok, Google ( Ads + Shopping ), and more.

Both platforms have integrations with the most popular social media platforms and allow you to run paid ad campaigns from your store’s admin panel.

However, Shopify’s list of integrations is longer, which is important, if you’re looking to advertise away from the mainstream media.

Out of the box, Webflow tracking is rather limited, telling you only about the number of visitors and where they go.

In comparison, Shopify issues financial, behavioral, conversion-based, cart-specific, and many more reports on all of its plans.

Shopify also offers Shopify Audiences for Plus its users which makes their campaigns more precise and has reportedly reduced CAC costs by up to 50%.

Which one has better SEO options? - Webflow wins

Webflow has more advanced SEO capabilities especially when it comes to customizing product page URLs.

Both Shopify and Webflow allow you to:

  • Customize your store’s metadata (Titles, Descriptions, Alt Tags, etc.)

  • Create a blog

  • Set up redirects

  • Improve your store speed and security

  • Add a schema markup to your pages

  • Customize your blog URLs (somewhat limited on Shopify)

However, due to its CMS origins, Webflow comes on top with regard to SEO.

It simply gives more options to customize aspects of your technical SEO, which is something that Shopify struggles with.

In particular, on Shopify, URLs on product and category pages must follow specific structures and can’t be customized.

In comparison, all URLs are fully customizable on Webflow.

Which one has better customer support? - Shopify wins

  • Shopify’s customer support is world-renowned. Not only are they excellently trained and capable of quickly resolving your issues, they are available 24/7 through various channels. You can reach them by phone, chat, email, and social media, or even request a call.

  • Shopify also has extensive community resources like a blog, forum, and video explanation. Moreover, Shopify Plus users get access to priority support and to internal Shopify courses.

In comparison, Webflow also has a support team, but they can only be reached through chat and email.

Furthermore, Webflow boasts its own community learning forum called the Webflow University.

Overall, Shopify’s support capacity overshadows Webflow due to the amount resources that Shopify has invested in their support team.

However, it is possible that as Webflow expands they will also extend their support team’s capacity.

Conclusion: Shopify vs. Webflow

Shopify and Webflow are both excellent in their own regard.

Shopify excels as the better e-commerce platform, while Webflow is the website builder with better design functionalities.

However, as of early 2024, most merchants of all sizes simply get more bang for their buck by using Shopify.

Perhaps, there is a case to be made that Webflow is better for some design-led brands that just need that wow factor on their storefront.

But in general, Shopify has better solutions at every step with the exception of design and SEO.

While individual features in Shopify and Webflow can feel closely matched, the combined effect of Shopify’s functionality, vast app ecosystem, and network of partners and integrations simply blows Webflow out of the water in terms of merchant utility.

If you’re looking to get started with Shopify or would like to shift your business into higher gear with Shopify Plus, you can reach out to our team and leverage our professional Shopify services.

See also: Shopify vs. WooCommerce comparison

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Preslav Nikov

With a decade of of e-commerce experience, Preslav, CEO of Craftberry, produces informative content. His writing focuses on practical insights and strategies in the e - commerce, aimed at helping professionals and businesses in the industry.

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