Shopify Malaysia or EasyStore Malaysia: Which E-commerce Website Builder Should You Use?


Deciding on how to build your e-commerce website can be one of the toughest decisions to make when you start an e-commerce business.

If you have skills to do build your own website, you don’t have to worry.

But if you are not a technical person, it can cost you a few thousand RM to hire someone to do it for you.

What if you don’t have a big budget to do so?

The good news is that even if you are not a technical person or you have a small budget, you can still build a professional looking e-commerce website.

How?

By using website builders.

With website builders, you can easily set up a professional looking e-commerce website with a small budget even if you have zero technical skills.

Website builders can be a great option for people who want to get started right away.

If you type ‘e-commerce website builder’ into Google, you will see hundreds of solutions offering to help you set up your e-commerce website quickly. But which should you pick?

The best way to decide is by looking at the pros and cons of each website builder, and then asking yourself:

Do the pros include everything I need to get started?

Are the cons acceptable to me?

In this post and a few other posts, I hope to help you with your decision by looking at the pros and cons of some of the most popular web builders in Malaysia.

In my last post, we looked at Malaysian made e-commerce website builder, EasyStore. In this post, we will be looking at another website builder, but this time, from the US: Shopify.

Shopify_Logo

I will be putting Shopify side by side with our own EasyStore.

In the end, you will be able to decide which is a better option for you.

Are you ready?

Let’s start.

Summary

Easy Store

Shopify

Price for most basic plan

RM32.5/month

US$29/month (or ~RM120/month)

Website Templates available

Less than 30 templates

More than 100 templates

Website Customisation

Not customisable

Customisable, using Liquid language

Simplicity of setting up

Simple to set up as few modules need configuration

Harder to set up as there are more modules that need to be configured

Payment Gateway

Malaysian gateways such as MOLpay and iPay88 available; Regional gateways also available

Malaysian gateways such as MOLpay and iPay88 available; Regional gateways also available

Summary: EasyStore’s biggest advantage compared to Shopify is its price. At RM32.5 per month for its most basic plan, this is affordable by most people. However, the biggest disadvantage is that you can only do limited customizations on your EasyStore website. In this area, Shopify is the clear winner as it allows almost unlimited customizations. But at US$29/month (~RM120/month), the price can be steep for someone who is just starting out.

I have written this post to help you decide on which website builder to use to create your e-commerce website.

Click here to Start Your Shopify Trial

Pros of Using Shopify Malaysia vs EasyStore Malaysia

First, let’s have a look at some of the advantages that Shopify has over EasyStore.

But before that, I would recommend you look at my review of EasyStore first. This will give you a better idea of EasyStore’s features. To read my EasyStore Review, click on the link below:

EasyStore Review: Is it Worth Setting Up Your E-commerce Website with EasyStore?

Alright, now let’s dive into the pros of Shopify over EasyStore:

You can choose from a wider template selection in Shopify

Shopify offers over 100 website templates to choose from. These include both free and paid templates:

shopifythemesEasyStore, on the other hand, offers less than 30 templates. All templates in EasyStore are currently free:

easystorethemes

This means that you are likely to find a template that suits may suit you better using Shopify compared to EasyStore. Other than that, you have more options to choose from if you decide to change from one template to another.

If having many website designs to choose from is important to you, Shopify has a big advantage over EasyStore.

You can do more web design customizations on Shopify

As I mentioned in my EasyStore review, the amount of customization you can do for your EasyStore website is highly limited.

Most often, you can only pick from the options given to you by EasyStore. This means that your store features will likely resemble most other stores built using EasyStore.

With Shopify, on the other hand, you have more flexibility when it comes to web design. Though, to do web customizations, you will need to be skilled in the programming language Shopify uses: Liquid.

shopifyliquid

But even if you do not know the language, you can hire a certified Shopify Expert to help you customize your designs.

If you are someone who wants a lot of control over your web design, Shopify would be a better choice for you compared to EasyStore.

You can buy third-party themes for Shopify

With EasyStore, your website design is limited to the templates provided within the platform. So even if you don’t find a design you like, you still have to pick a website template from EasyStore’s library.

When you use Shopify, on the other hand, your website template options are not limited to the ones built by Shopify. Even if you don’t find anything you like on Shopify, you can buy templates from third-party design marketplaces like ThemeForest:

shopifythemeforest

If your website design is important to you, I recommend you check the templates available on EasyStore first. If you are able to pick a template you like then go for it. If not, then Shopify could be a better choice for you.

You can do content marketing using Shopify

As I mentioned in my EasyStore review, it is not currently possible for you to add a blog to your EasyStore. This means that if you want to use content marketing as part of your customer outreach, you will need to host your blog separately. This can add to your costs.

But with Shopify, it is possible for you to add a blog to your store:

shopifyblogIf you intend to use content marketing as a way of reaching your customers, Shopify may be a better all-in-one solution compared to EasyStore.

You have more resources to learn from in Shopify

The resource section is the second most important aspect of a website builder to consider. This is because when you are just starting out with your e-commerce business, you will need a lot of help to become successful.

In this area, Shopify provides a more comprehensive resource portal for their e-commerce entrepreneurs than Exabytes.

Under the ‘Resources’ tab on Shopify’s site, you can find guides, videos, podcasts, success stories and many more resources to help you with your e-commerce journey:

shopifyresources

Exabyte’s resources, on the other hand, is limited to its Help Center and articles on its blog.

If you are someone who prefers to have a large collection of resources to learn from as you build your e-commerce business, Shopify would be a better choice for you compared with EasyStore.

Cons of using Shopify

After doing the comparison between Shopify and EasyStore, the only noteworthy con I could find was the price. So let’s look at that:

You have to pay a high monthly fee

The biggest turn-off with Shopify is the high price (US$29 or ~RM120/month) compared to EasyStore (RM32.5/month).

easystorevsshopifyprice

For most people who are unsure if their e-commerce business would even take off, US$29/month can be a high price to pay month after month.

In this area, EasyStore is the clear winner as you can get started for almost RM1/day.

The Verdict: EasyStore or Shopify?

As I mentioned in my previous article on EasyStore, there is no perfect solution when it comes to choosing how to set up your e-commerce website.

The best way to decide which solution is best for you is by knowing what your current needs are, what you can reasonably afford and what you can do without.

Pick Shopify if:

  • You want a high variety of website templates to choose from
  • You want to one day make customizations to your e-commerce website
  • You can afford to pay at least US$29/month for Shopify’s services

Click here to Start Your Shopify Trial

Pick EasyStore if:

  • You are fine with using basic website templates for your e-commerce store
  • You can afford to pay at least RM32.5/month for EasyStore’s services
  • You do not have more than 1,000 products for sale

Click here to Start Your EasyStore Trial

If you still can’t decide, why not give both website builders a test run first? Both EasyStore and Shopify come with a 14-day free trial.

Conclusion

Deciding between website builders can be one of the toughest decisions you make when you start an e-commerce business.

Shopify and EasyStore are two of the most popular website builders in Malaysia. With Shopify, you can have better control over your web design. You can also add a blog to your e-commerce website to help you reach your customers by content marketing.

Shopify’s comprehensive resource section can also help you in your journey as an e-commerce entrepreneur.

Though Shopify comes with attractive features, at US$29/month (~RM120), the price can be quite steep compared to EasyStore’s RM32.5/month.

If you are still unsure which website builder to pick, you can start by checking the trial version of both platforms. This way you will be able to experience each builder before having to pay for it in the long term.

Note: I will be doing tutorials on how you can set up your e-commerce store using EasyStore, Shopify, and many other platforms. Subscribe to Entrepreneur Campfire and receive updates:

Lu Wee is the Founder of The Entrepreneur Campfire. The Entrepreneur Campfire (TEC) is where smart entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia gather. You can find practical articles on how to grow, market and scale your business on TEC.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi there, agreed with the article, but a few more points to add. I have built my ecommerce website with WIX, Shopify, and now trying out EasyStore.

    As far as basic plans go, WIX is more suitable for casual sellers, not for anyone going full on into ecommerce. Their themes look somewhat amateurish, and lack so much in most other things. For examlple there are no user account for your customer, and only provide one payment gateway via Braintree (admittedly the transaction fee is lower than PayPal and other international gateways but you will not be able to offer online banking of FPX).

    Shopify is arguably best of them all (out of only this 3 of course), everything you need is there, the app store has so many apps for you to choose, even with all the free ones will already make your store look very professional. And yes customization galore. I’m no programmer but it’s not even that hard. Starting late July, all checkout are processed on your own domain, your customers won’t be wary of the site going to third party (i.e. Shopify) site. But there’s another fee that is not mentioned in the article, and it’s a big one. Shopify charges you 2.0% transaction fee for every purchase. Can you imagine if you use PayPal, that means 3.9+2=5.9% plus RM2 will be deducted, your profit margin will be very tight. Even with local gateways such as iPay88, their Startup Plan still charge you 3.2%.

    So last night EasyStore caught my eye when I saw an ad at the iPay88 page. Now with the 50% off offer, it’s even crazier not to consider. The options for payment gateways are wonderful. Just a handful of apps but at least the critical ones are available. The theme customizer is sluggish, and
    a bit buggy but what can you expect. I can’t help it but their interface is like a Shopify wannabe, but they’re in the right direction. Your article is right on point on the themes, and even with the few available, they’re just like using the same template for each of them with slight modifications. Which is minor issue if your goal is to quickly start your business. The biggest issue that is making me pause, they appear to not support dropshipping. I love the app Oberlo on Shopify so much, I can import porducts to my store and Oberlo will monitor and update the price change and inventory real-time. I’m still waiting their confirmation on this, it could be the reason I have to go back to Shopify if they don’t support it. And by the way, live chat takes a few hours to reply.

    • Hi Iswardi,

      Thanks for dropping by.

      Yeah, I would not recommend Wix as an e-commerce website builder. It lacks most of the components for basic e-commerce. But as a non e-commerce website builder for blogs or corporate pages Wix is sufficient.

      Hands down, Shopify wins the race in having all features. What I love about it is how much customization it allows with Liquid. Of course, such features don’t come cheap. US$29/month can be a bit steep for most beginner sellers in Malaysia.

      Thanks for the mention on the Shopify fee. An additional 2.0% can be steep if your margins are average, but for some businesses this can be a highly justified fee for the features that Shopify offers.

      Yeah, they definitely do look like they are paying close attention to what Shopify is doing 🙂 The limited themes can be an advantage for somebody who normally has a hard time deciding what they want. With only a few to choose from, they can definitely get started quickly. This applies to beginners in e-commerce.

      Live chat replies have varied for me, but generally, I get a reply within 24 hours.

      All the best, hope you can find the best plan for your e-commerce goals.

      – Lu Wee

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