Webflow vs Shopify: what to use when

Webflow vs Shopify: what to use when


Shopify and Webflow are both platforms that help in building e-commerce websites and are strong contenders in the field. The world of e-commerce is constantly changing with more updates and people demanding more features that make their shopping seamless. It is this constantly changing scenario that prompts companies to build the most demanded and dynamic e-commerce platforms ever. While both have their strengths and weaknesses, it would help to know which platform to use under what circumstances. It is these circumstances that dictate the choice because both are head-to-head contenders. In this article, we can go a bit deeper into which platform would be ideal, and for what purpose. 

What is Webflow? A design-centric wizard platform

Webflow is a website builder with the power of CMS integrated into it and has incredible visual design tools that let developers build responsive websites without the need for code. On the other hand, the platform provides flexibility if and when developers want to use code. The platform is noted for its powerful design interface and library, so if you are looking for a store where you want to have superior control of creativity, then Webflow would be a good choice. 

The attractive features of Webflow

Let’s run through the multiple strengths of Webflow

Superior levels of design flexibility – The design flexibility that you get to enjoy with Webflow is amazing since you can customise every single aspect of the layout. You can make the store unique in this manner and aligned with your brand’s theme and goals. 

Amazing CMS integration – The platform has powerful CMS to help you manage dynamic content and gives you the freedom to manage product information, blog content, and other content-related information easily. The clean code generation feature of Webflow makes it quite popular.

Powerful SEO tools – The powerful SEO features make it possible for digital marketers to successfully perform content marketing and search engine optimization. You can also enjoy control over URL structures, meta descriptions,  alt texts, and so on. 

Create custom interactions – You don’t have to rely on third-party plugins to create animations and custom interactions because Webflow comes with all the work. 

Easy scalability – Every business grows with time, and when yours do, you need the website to handle the traffic and product offerings. Make sure to get a platform that offers increased storage and bandwidth. Webflow fits the bill. 

The not-so-attractive features of Webflow

Everything comes with its share of negative markings, and so does Webflow. 

The learning curve is steep – Webflow sure is user-friendly, but it does have a steeper learning curve when compared to Shopify. Developers seriously need to invest some time to master the platform before they can use it like a true pro. 

Fees for transactions – The transaction fees for paid plans can be a deterrent for businesses with high sales volume because the amounts add up. 

Not enough e-commerce features – Webflow has just the bare essentials when it comes to e-commerce features. If you want extensive functionalities and features like abandoned cart recovery, built-in marketing tools, and advanced analytics, you might have to choose Shopify. 

Not an extensive ecosystem – Webflow has a growing number of integrations, but the integrations are nothing home to write about. You can still integrate several tools and services through third-party services or create custom code, and this makes it a viable option for specialised integrations.

Getting familiar with Shopify, the e-commerce powerhouse 

Shopify is a dedicated e-commerce platform that helps businesses create and manage e-shops. It lets you run your e-commerce business from anywhere in the world, and manage payment processing, inventory management, and shipping with excellence. It is the comprehensive set of e-commerce features and the vast selection of themes and apps that make it the best choice, and of course the huge selection of themes and apps too. 

The strengths of Shopify

Ease of use – No prior coding experience? Not to worry because Shopify does not demand that developers need to have it. With its intuitive interface and drag-and-drop functionality, you can build your online store with great ease.

Scalability is far superior to Webflow – If you have scalability in mind and need to include more products as you do, then trust Shopify. It can accommodate your evolving needs, making it a reliable and trustworthy choice for enterprises and rapidly expanding companies.

Power-packed e-commerce features – Shopify boasts extensive e-commerce features that make it easy for businesses to serve their customers better. These features include product management, inventory control, abandoned cart recovery, built-in analytics, and so on. So, there is no need for extensive integrations. 

An extensive ecosystem of third-party apps and integrations – Shopify’s ecosystem is much stronger than Webflow since it covers a wide range of functionalities, right from marketing and analytics to customised shopping, better customer relationship management, and so on. 

Have a vast app marketplace – If you are looking to extend the store’s functionality with an impressive collection of third-party apps or to customise it according to your store’s specific needs, then you can easily do it with Shopify, with no restrictions. 

Built-in payment processing – Shopify has built-in payment processing with multiple payment gateways so there is no need for separate accounts or transaction fees for any of them. 

The shortcomings of Shopify

Level of design flexibility – Webflow wins hands down when it comes to design flexibility because Shopify falls short. Sure there are several themes for customisation, but it just isn’t enough. But Shopify scores points with its scalability feature. That is purely amazing because the platform can handle complex product catalogues, high-volume sales, and advanced fulfilment requirements. 

There are some transaction fees – Shopify does have built-in processing as we mentioned earlier, but the platform charges transaction fees for some plans. And that could eventually eat into your profits, over time. 

Subscription costs – There are monthly subscription fees and you can scale as you go. However, this could be quite significant for businesses with high sales volume and large product catalogues. 

Final verdict: What to choose when

So, between Webflow and Shopify making the ultimate choice between the two can make you pull your hair out. They are both powerful platforms, so you need to consider your business needs and priorities. If you need a platform that offers design flexibility, custom branding, etc. then Webflow would be a good choice. Shopify does have a few benefits more than Webflow, like it is having a simple learning curve, with no particular technical expertise needed, an extensive ecosystem of third-party apps and integrations, solid SEO capabilities, with features like customizable meta tags, sitemaps, and URL structures, then you can go for it. Shopify is likely the superior choice, if you are looking for these – a more comprehensive e-commerce platform with advanced features, excellent scalability, and a powerful ecosystem, then shoot for Shopify. It will take your online store just where you need it. 

Interesting Links:

What are the major differences between Webflow & Shopify

Webflow vs Shopify: Which is Better For Your e-Commerce Business

Pictures: Canva

The author: Sascha Thattil works at Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.

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