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