As the world went remote over the past year, businesses like yours showed just how flexible and adaptable you are by turning your brick and mortar shop into an e-commerce gateway, offering your goods and services to your customers across the world.
Shopify has long been the leading e-commerce platform, but Zoho has also unveiled a user-friendly, flexible, and cloud-based e-commerce system. As with Zoho’s dozens of other applications, from Creator to Campaigns, Zoho Commerce makes building a digital marketplace easy with a drag-and-drop builder, professional templates, payment management, reporting, and much more.
As your Premier Zoho Partner, we’re here to break down the capabilities and benefits of Zoho Commerce and help you decide whether Commerce or Shopify is fit for your needs.
The Capabilities of Commerce
You can do more than just selling with Commerce. Using Zoho Commerce, you can build your entire e-commerce site from scratch, using a drag-and-drop builder and pre-made templates. You can own your own domain, build your custom storefront, create a blog, and add new landing pages for special products and sales, all within the platform.
Product management is easy thanks to categories, image uploads, and even serial tracking. Getting paid is even easier! You can integrate with payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, and authorize.net for online and offline payments.
But we know you won’t get shoppers unless you can market your store. Zoho Commerce features a built-in marketing platform that allows you to monitor shopper behavior, send coupons, and make personalized product recommendations via Zia, Zoho’s AI tool. Integrations with Zoho Campaigns, Zoho Social, and Zoho Survey allow you to engage even more users through emails, social media campaigns, and customer feedback.
Other features of Zoho Commerce include:
- Shipment tracking
- SEO and metadata
- Return management
- Customer profiles
- Role management for employees
- Abandoned cart emails
- Review management
- Sales tax
And one of the most important capabilities of any Zoho product is its ability to integrate with Zoho’s suite of applications for seamless data syncing and reporting. Commerce integrates with all of the Zoho marketing tools, as well as CRM, Analytics, Books, and Inventory.
(As always, if there is a custom integration you require, our Zoho development team can lend a hand.)
Zoho Commerce vs Shopify
Shopify has been a leading e-commerce tool for over 15 years, and it does have many advanced features that make it easy to run your online store. So when it comes to Zoho Commerce vs Shopify, what can you expect? Both tools allow you to start, sell, market, and manage your store. But does one have an advantage over the other?
Shopify offers hundreds of themes for online shops both small and large, as well as a library of stock photography for owners to choose from. To build landing pages, however, you’ll need to download a page builder from the Shopify store.
Zoho Commerce lacks the sheer amount of templates Shopify offers. However, it does allow for custom CSS landing pages, in addition to featuring a landing page builder in its platform. Pages are mobile-friendly, feature dynamic content and videos, and can be tracked using Zoho PageSense or SalesIQ.
Both Shopify and Zoho Commerce are very similar when it comes to store management. With both tools, you can manage payments, shipping, and capital. Inventory is tracked, shipping is tracked, and customers can set up their own profiles. Like Zoho Commerce, Shopify also has integrations with the web’s most popular payment gateways.
Shopify may have a slight advantage when it comes to marketing. Email capabilities are built right into the platform, in addition to Google and Facebook integrations that make advertising to targeted audiences a breeze.
However, Zoho’s reporting capabilities are highly advanced thanks in part to its integration with Zoho Analytics. Completely custom reports can be developed, merging data across your Zoho platforms to get insights not only on purchases, but inventory, invoices, engagement, and more.
What E-Commerce Platform is Fit for Me?
Shopify and Zoho Commerce are both very powerful e-commerce platforms. Shopify may have more branding and marketing capabilities perfect for large stores, but Zoho offers seamless data integrations and reporting.
If you own a large physical storefront and want to transfer your vast inventory online, Shopify may be a better fit. However, if you’ve already been using other Zoho products like CRM, Books, or Inventory, Commerce will help you make the most of all of the data already at your disposal.
If you’re looking to build an online experience that keeps your customers coming back, reach out to our Zoho development team today to get started. We’ll help you make the most of Zoho Commerce and the dozens of other tools in the Zoho Suite. If you’re looking for a solution that is a little more custom, we also have award-winning UI/UX designers and custom software developers on hand to help you build an e-commerce experience unique to your business, your products, and your customers. Contact us today!
Mike Dranginis is the AVP of Zoho Development at KDG. Mike is dedicated to continuous self-improvement and is constantly striving to do better than his best. This is evident in the dozens of applications he has built and the numerous clients in manufacturing, higher ed, and retail that continue to come back with new ideas and new goals.