Choosing the right technology is one of the most important decisions you make when starting a business. After talking to thousands of founders, we know that depending on their background they are inclined to chose certain tools over the others. Since we work with both I wanted to write about why we chose to use Webflow and when we should use it for Ecommerce versus Shopify.
Why people choose Webflow
It is important to understand how the tools position themselves, their mission and long term goals. In Webflow’s case, their main focus is design and flexibility with their content management system. Everything they do is geared towards a goal where people can create amazing experiences with little to no code, which is something I enjoy.
Why people choose Shopify
Our clients choose Shopify because it is easy to use and it has everything needed for D2C Ecommerce. While Webflow is geared towards creating amazing experiences with design and interactions in mind, Shopify’s focus is business. They invest heavily in their partner ecosystem in order to make complex business logic easy.
Webflow and Ecommerce
While it is amazing that Webflow has a shop capability, I rarely recommend it to clients starting an Ecommerce business. Simply put, there is almost no Ecommerce ecosystem for Webflow, making every business decision very hard to implement.
An exemple would be adding a subscription to a product. While it is possible to do it, Webflow would require a complex integration that most developers working with Webflow are not familiar with, making it too complex compared to Shopify.
Other examples of complex things in Webflow that are easy with Shopify:
- Gift cards
- Loyalty Systems
- Bundles, Cross Sells, Upsells
- Customer Reviews
- A lot more…
Honestly almost everything is harder or impossible in Ecommerce if you are using Webflow! At the end of the day, Webflow is not built for Ecommerce at scale. Shopify makes it so easy to implement complex functionalities that it is almost not even fair to compare them both.
When to use Webflow Ecommerce
Does that mean you should never use Webflow for Ecommerce? No, of course not! You can still use it for simple stores or if you only offer digital downloads but know that you would be losing on a lot of functionality, and at scale that could cost your business a lot of money.
What about tools that export Webflow pages to Shopify?
Tools like Udesly are very cool and I keep my eye on them, but as far as the writing of this article they can only export the full site as a single Shopify theme. This means everything you need to fix a bug in your store you will need to fix it on Webflow, export it and add it and set it on Shopify again. This process takes a lot of time and It is definitely not recommended at scale as it would be a tech nightmare. If we could export single sections from Webflow then there would be a better use case for it and Colored Byte would be all over it!
I’m very excited to see how Webflow Ecommerce progresses over the next years but given that Ecommerce is not their goal it is highly unlikely they will be even close to Shopify in terms of functionality. For now let’s use the right tools for the job and focus on what matters: giving our customers/users the best experience.