Ecommerce Income puts great effort into making high quality ecommerce software reviews from all angles. Drawing upon the already established library of ecommerce reviews, it has now become so much easier for (starting) ecommerce entrepreneurs to compare and choose the best ecommerce software out there. In case you are in the last stages of choosing, but still doubting which of two software providers to pick, you will be happy with our new series of articles. In last week’s post I compared Bigcommerce and Shopify. This week’s turn is for Shopify vs SEOshop. In my view, this comparison may have some extra value for the internationally minded online entrepreneurs who (also) have an online store in Europe.
I give you 7 reasons to choose for Shopify or for SEOshop. See what you find more important, and choose the ecommerce platform that suits your needs!
Shopify beats SEOshop on design
SEOshop is good when it comes to design – but in its class. SEOshop is one of Europe’s bigger ecommerce software platforms and in this class it has good looking, responsive designs. Shopify, however, is in a class of its own. It is not only a much bigger company than SEOshop, and has likewise more resources to develop their design, but also way more third party designers working for them. Moreover, Shopify always put a huge emphasis on design – and that paid off! Check out my earlier posts on Shopify’s design and SEOshop’s design. To be able to write those posts I built an actual online store to see how user friendly the platforms are and how good they can look after investing an afternoon of your valuable time (see the links to check out the articles: Shopify, SEOshop)
SEOshop is ready for your international expansion
SEOshop has a number of features that will allow you to expand internationally. I will discuss only a few of them here (for the whole story, check out this and this article). First, SEOshop’s native multi-languages feature. What does that mean exactly? It involves two things: First, all the basic elements of the online store, such as the “order” button, “add to cart” button, and dozens of other standard elements, are already translated into 14 European languages by the SEOshop team. Additional languages can be provided on request. The multiple languages feature is fully native and integrated into the platform. This means that if you add another language for a product (this can be done in the admin of the online store at the product page), this product will appear on this language’s version of the online store. The same for categories. Look here for more information.
Shopify doesn’t offer a native multi-language solution at present. There is an app (called “Langify”, at 17.50 USD/month) that allows you to translate everything. The checkout will remain in your default language, however (as it is hosted on the Shopify domain).
Shopify makes online and offline sales integration easy with POS
Shopify does not believe in any boundaries between selling offline and online and makes it easy for people to sell on both channels while using the same (e)commerce software and stock management. As a first in the ecommerce industry, they offer their own point of sale system. You do need to use an iPad to be able to use the POS system, and the credit card reader is only available in the US. There are some workarounds possible if you operate your store outside of the US and need a card reader. It is a pity that these limitations remain, but still it is a great, affordable and sleek solution to sell online and offline with the same system. SEOshop doesn’t offer its own POS system yet.
SEOshop focuses on… SEO
While Shopify is always working to make their designs look better and their apps more fun, SEOshop is a bit more down-to-earth and seeks to get a lot of traffic, fast. One colleague of mine noted that he already got some sales in the first weeks after having launched a SEOshop online store, even though he still didn’t completely finish building it up.
Shopify makes online store owners organize their products in so-called collections, while SEOshop just uses traditional categories that can be added and removed at will. Shopify’s system may sound cool, but it seems it is not actually that good for SEO at all. And it lacks flexibility, too. See more in this article on this topic.
Shopify is the leader of documentation and support
Shopify is really good at documentation and education. Just perform a search in google or in the Shopify manual, and you will find an answer to over 99% of your Shopify-related questions. We actually discovered that SEOshop’s manual search feature is flawed. They do have a good FAQ and when you get in touch with the customer support, you right away get the feeling you speak to knowledgeable people that take your business seriously. In my case, although I was only trying out the software in a trial, I was already assigned a account manager. Shopify is quite unbeatable when it comes to support however, offering 24/7 support, including on the phone (only limited support hours for SEOshop).
SEOshop is a bit more flexible as a platform
I already mentioned site structure above, and there are more examples of areas in which SEOshop seems a bit more flexible than Shopify.
With SEOshop you can design your checkout however you like – as a one-step or multi-step checkout. A cool feature of SEOshop is the possibility to A/B test your checkouts to maximize revenue and limit abandoned shopping carts. Shopify only gives you one option – multiple steps in checkout.
Another plus of SEOshop is that you have the option to manage multiple stores from one admin (and thus have only one place to manage stock). This is an option that is only offered on SEOshop, Shopify doesn’t have it. This SEOshop feature is another aspect that ecommerce entrepreneurs seeking international expansion will like. (Everyone knows that people in different countries look, interact and buy from websites in a different way. Your online store should cater to those national needs. I, for example, operate online stores in the Netherlands and Germany, and in a few other European countries. Germany, although it is geographically so close to the Netherlands, has some other requirements than the Dutch market. I adapted my German hammocks store taking those specific requirements into account, and became the biggest in my niche – within a mere 3 years!)
Shopify beats SEOshop with apps, experts
The SEOshop platform itself may be a bit more flexible that Shopify’s (with the site structure, the checkout, and the multiple stores, for example), Shopify has a HUGE selection of apps in their app store. You can get pretty much any functionality you may need with these hundreds of apps. There are many dozens of third-party experts that work with Shopify, too. There is no way SEOshop can compete with this. So if you reckon you will need a lot more functionality than SEOshop can offer you out of the box, you may need to consider this.
I will partly restate the conclusion I made at the end of the Shopify vs. Bigcommerce comparison: both SEOshop and Shopify are great ecommerce solutions, and you cannot really go wrong by picking one of them. But do keep in mind that SEOshop and Shopify are quite different ecommerce solutions. Shopify is the global ecommerce behemoth, while SEOshop has more regional expertise. The above 7 reasons should give you a good grasp of some of the most important differences between the platforms and provide some of the most important reasons to choose one of both over the other. What would be best, however, is to test it out for yourself. Click on one or both of the links below to register for a totally free trial version (no strings attached) – and start your own online store!