A quick search on the best sales tools on the Internet will reveal two names that routinely make it to the top of the lists: ClickFunnels and Shopify.
Comparing the two effectively can be difficult for someone without a lot of e-commerce expertise. Before we dive into detailed comparison, there is a big question to tackle—what is the importance of e-commerce for the average business?
Retail sales still make up the majority of all product-related transactions on a global scale. Judging by most relevant sources, however, the market share of online sales is steadily rising. According to NASDAQ, 95% of all sales will happen online by 2040. The key to becoming (and remaining) a successful business is the ability to adapt—and this is the next big change in the global consumer economy.
Forward-thinking businesses have already begun embracing the new frontiers of online shopping. From small mom-and-pop stores to huge corporate conglomerates, everyone is developing online marketing strategies. The race is on to see who will concoct the most streamlined and efficient digital marketing plan, regardless of the industry or niche.
This can be surmised from rapid developments in the field of digital marketing as well. The humble beginnings of hand-written emails and small-scale newsletters seem like ancient history. That level of simplicity has been shattered by cutting-edge lead generation software, automatization software, pay-per-click campaigns, and similar contemporary tools.
The demand for a more simplified online marketing option has appeared—albeit one that does not sacrifice efficiency and quality. Software platforms like Shopify and ClickFunnels are a result of this—which is why they deserve a thorough examination.
Shopify is an online platform for the creation of web stores. Entrepreneurs and owners of small businesses focused on e-commerce have experienced huge success in building their online presence through this software.
ClickFunnels is a different kind of software suite—one that’s focused solely on creating professional sales funnels. This platform provides people with all the tools required to design and execute an envisioned sales funnel.
Their primary difference is their intended scope. A sales funnel is an online marketing roadmap for a specific product—and an e-commerce store is almost always a part of that roadmap. ClickFunnels helps people build these funnels for particular products; Shopify aids in constructing the online stores for vendors that sell them.
Image source: moz
The platform is designed to allow anyone to make a fully functional web store with a diverse range of products. You don’t need any experience with web design or complicated coding. The basic highlights of Shopify’s platform are:
E-commerce website building
Inventory management for all kinds of products
Integration with major payment services
Affordable shipping rates
We will shortly get into Shopify’s features in more detail, but suffice it to say that this software suite gives you everything required to build and maintain an online store from scratch. You won’t have to learn how to create a single block of code.
More experienced users are always eager to help through the Shopify community, where developers gather online and exchange ideas and advice. If you have any sort of issue with the platform, chances are it has already been solved there.
The Shopify ecosystem also contains its own App Store, with plenty of integration capabilities and plugins that increase the functionality of your online store.
The most prominent Shopify features are:
Web store builder
Customer relations management
Diverse sales channels
Shopify mobile app
Anyone with entry-level e-commerce knowledge will notice that these are all the basic features required to set up and continuously operate an online storefront. We will examine each of these features in detail below.
Shopify makes building online stores easy through an extensive offering of themes—some of which are available for free, while others require an additional purchase. The website builder, similarly to ClickFunnels, offers a simple but powerful drag and drop functionality. You can implement a premade theme with any degree of change you want.
You can use a suitable theme right away if you don’t want to fiddle around with the details. Users that want more customization can change any element found in the Shopify themes—image, color, and text customizations will result in a unique online store. Those with more tech-savviness can make changes in HTML and CSS.
Shopify also has a robust content management system, along with an impressive degree of design responsiveness. All online stores created on the platform work seamlessly when accessed from mobile devices.
Image source: icecubedigital
This platform doesn’t just aid you in managing the digital part of your online storefront. It also offers options for inventory management. You can keep track of different product variants, as well as the numbers related to each type of product. When someone makes a purchase on your Shopify store, the platform will automatically notify you if you need to order a bigger volume of products. This makes the platform perfect for dropshippers who have to manage restocking constantly.
Running an online store means juggling lots of different data sets. Shopify understands the need for streamlined visualization, so you can keep track of sales, orders, and website traffic easily. All of the stats a webmaster would need are there, amplified in detail due to the integration options for Google Analytics. You can also use Shopify to view how each product fares individually and make inventory changes accordingly.
Fine-tuning your online store for a particular target audience is quite easy using Shopify. You can see the purchasing information for each one of your customers. The software suite allows you to construct and manage all basic parts of a classic sales funnel—from membership sites to email marketing and upsell offers. For easy categorization, you can organize customer information based on:
The amount of money they’ve spent
Countries of origin
Shopify realizes the most crucial aspect of Internet marketing—interconnectivity. That’s why the online stores created on this platform are compatible with social networks like Pinterest, Facebook, etc., as well as related retail stores.
The Shopify experience entails an in-house App Store, with a number of useful plugins that give you additional options for building an online store. These are used to plan out email campaigns, gain access to additional data, construct landing pages, and other handy features.
The variety of payment options can make or break any online store. Shopify is there to dispel user concerns with major card compatibility, as well as integration options with more than 50 online payment processors.
All major delivery couriers have a partnership with Shopify. This allows for exceptionally low shipping rates for customers who buy at online stores created on the platform. That kind of functionality is something no funnel builder like ClickFunnels can offer—showcasing the technical advantage of Shopify when it comes to logistics.
The list of Shopify features is certainly impressive—but what does it mean for your business’ bottom line? How useful is this platform compared to funnel builders like ClickFunnels?
Shopify wants to be the platform that fully brings your business into the world of online commerce. If you were to build an online store on your own, there are myriad resources you would need. Significant funds would be required for a team of web programmers and marketing experts tasked with building a dedicated e-commerce store.
Shopify is there to take care of all of that for you—leaving small business owners and entrepreneurs with only superficial issues like branding and content. All of the technicalities and logistics are dealt with by Shopify’s all-encompassing platform. Shopify boils down online sales to one simple question: whether your product has a target audience somewhere in the world.
Shopify’s list of compatible apps trumps anything else that the market can offer. The integrated App Store has options for:
Trust and security
Places to sell
Sales and conversion
Orders and shipping
Shopify is the biggest e-commerce logistics software suite on the global market, and WordPress is the most popular content management system. They were bound to intersect somewhere, considering the number of people using WordPress blogs to promote products or services.
For instance, content marketing blogs are the main advertising avenue for budding digital marketers. Most of these blogs are constructed with WordPress, considering its ease of use and variety of templates. Once these blogs start attracting enough traffic, marketers look for different ways to monetize their popularity.
Online ad revenue is an obvious choice—but many also use rebranded white-label products for digital marketing to earn more money. That’s one of the reasons why Shopify offers immense capabilities for integrating its code with WordPress.
ClickFunnels isn’t about creating a sprawling online store where users will be able to browse a variety of items. The point of this platform is to give businesses all the software tools they need to market a specific product. You can use ClickFunnels without having prerequisite knowledge in graphic and web design or digital marketing.
The purpose of your product’s sales funnel is to plan out how your visitors will interact with a product-driven website. You can use a funnel to curate the customer experience to absolute perfection. From the first line of copywriting that they encounter to the final page that will process their transaction—your vision will be executed precisely.
Image source: chatbotnewsdaily
How a sales funnel looks in terms of style and substance is up to you. The funnel categorizes the pages of your website according to their function in the customer’s purchase process:
Sales Funnel Pages
General content pages
ClickFunnels lets users explore a variety of ways to build the most effective sales funnel for their product. Some marketers love tinkering with the drag and drop interface and visually designing each aspect of the sales experience from scratch. ClickFunnels’ advantage is that it offers the same content variety to people not prone to graphic design.
The platform is home to a bustling marketplace of pages, themes, and entire sales funnels. Those who design a universally useful funnel can offer it to others for free or for a price. The number of community-produced templates is growing by the day, already offering a sizable selection for any type of product or service.
There are two different pricing options for ClickFunnels users: a basic $97 option, and a $297 package with all platform capabilities. The full list of ClickFunnels features includes:
Full Suite Features
Available in Basic Package
SEO data analytics
Paywalls for content
Sales funnels templates
Email response automatization
Visual design interface
Web domains and hosting
These features have more detailed explanations below:
SEO data analytics—clear overview of all crucial website metrics for lead generation and conversion
Content paywalls—the possibility of more revenue through membership sites
Sales funnel templates—community and developer templates for all kinds of sales
Website themes—premade visual design for any sales website
Email automatization—platform for streamlined email campaigns
Visual design interface—excellent design capabilities without intricate coding
Page designer—premade content for all sales funnel pages
Split testing—individual testing for all page elements
Web domains and hosting—technical solutions for webmasters
This list of features may seem extensive, but many of them are a niche staple—plenty of other funnel builders contain them as well.
The quality of ClickFunnels’ visual editor is what makes it unique. It may not have the chops needed to construct an entire e-commerce storefront, but the intuitiveness of ClickFunnels’ visual interface makes the design of individual pages effortless.
The ClickFunnels template sharing platform is another head-turner. The platform’s designers have made sharing complete funnels, separate pages, and website themes incredibly easy. Factoring in the option to buy and sell this content leads us to another useful revenue source for online marketing professionals. Content from the ClickFunnels marketplace can be a nice bonus on anyone’s upsell page. This goes double for people selling white label marketing software under their own brand—having bonuses like these will illustrate your level of professionalism more concretely.
How useful is ClickFunnels for a small business, when we consider everything the platform offers?
The best testament of how valuable ClickFunnels can be for online marketing is that even industry professionals use it often. When marketers create and strengthen personal brands through products resold from providers akin to Sell SaaS, a convincing sales funnel is an absolute must. The quality of your pitch would not just affect your sales of one particular product in this case—but your merit as a marketer. After all, whose products could you sell without the ingenuity to successfully pitch your own?
All of that takes a lot of resources and effort. ClickFunnels is there to shrink the entire process and make it a formality instead of a months-long chore.
ClickFunnels does not offer integrated apps via its marketplace as Shopify does. The platform is, however, compatible with a number of important digital marketing web tools such as:
Keeping all this information in mind, who prevails between Shopify and ClickFunnels?
The short answer would be: no-one. They’re not really comparable.
ClickFunnels is meant to help marketing newbies and professionals alike in coming up with creative sales funnels—in other words, an online sales pitch in the form of a website intended for a single product.
Shopify intends to be the platform that brings brick-and-mortar vendors who sell these products into the realm of e-commerce. A sales funnel usually entails cross-linking with some sort of online store. The overlapping goes both ways, as Shopify also provides some wider online marketing capabilities like email marketing.
Shopify and ClickFunnels are rarely direct competitors for the same target audience. If you’re wondering which platform is better for you, examine your end goals when establishing an online presence. Entrepreneurs who sell their own products would be better off with Shopify. Online sellers who are tasked with building an online campaign for something specific like reseller marketing would probably find their jobs easier with a funnel builder like ClickFunnels.
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