Throughout the years, Shopify’s popularity has grown exponentially. Scores of online sellers have started their first online business with the platform, and often, with a lot of success.
However, lately, there has been a lot of talk about a serious competitor to Shopify: CommerceHQ.
This in-depth review will comprehensibly compare CommerceHQ vs Shopify and review everything about these e-shop builders:
- their best features (& pros/cons),
- App store,
- the themes for e-shops,
- how to build a store on each of the platforms,
- how well can they sell,
- and many other things.
After just skimming through this review, you will be able to decide which one of these powerful eCommerce platforms is the right one for you.
- Benefits of CommerceHQ (Pros and Cons)
- Benefits of Shopify (Pros and Cons)
- CommerceHQ & Shopify Pricing
- Security – CommerceHQ or Shopify
- App Store
- Built-in Features
- E-commerce Store Themes
- How to create the CommmerceHQ store
- How to create the Shopify store
- Which e-shop builder is better for sales?
- Other Aspects to Consider
- How do payouts work for CommerceHQ & Shopify?
- Currency Support
- Blogging on Shopify and CommerceHQ
- Conclusion – Which one should you choose?
Benefits of CommerceHQ (Pros and Cons)
- A large collection of apps that are built-in at no extra cost.
- Drag-and-drop store builder.
- Print-on-demand integration with Custom Cat.
- A decent number of free templates.
- No processing fees.
- Beginner friendly and intuitive interface.
- Accordion-style checkout which helps conversions.
- Steep starting price at $99.
- Outdated ticket-based support system.
- No mobile app.
Benefits of Shopify (Pros and Cons)
- High-conversion rate for most of their themes
- Simple to use and set up.
- Large choice of shop designs and templates.
- Great flexibility through coding your own templates.
- Good entry price that allows for better scaling from smaller to large stores.
- The incredible app store, filled with useful apps that help with sales.
- The 24/7 support is reachable by phone, live chat, or email.
- Key functionalities often require the installation of an app.
- Most apps and plug-ins are not free.
- Processing fees that quickly add up.
- Shopify Payments only allows you to sell from certain countries.
- Professional reports aren’t included in the basic plan.
So, now you know at which of the things these two tools excel.
When comparing CommerceHQ vs Shopify they are great at many things – so, see what benefits are more important to you and pick one of the tools.
Nonetheless, if you need more info – we have reviewed every bit of these 2 tools 😉
CommerceHQ & Shopify Pricing
Shopify has a pretty flexible payment plan starting at $29/months for the most basic version of the platform. By purchasing the yearly plan, you can even get the price down to $26/month which is quite cheap for the number of features Shopify offers.
Furthermore, if you opt for the monthly payment system, you can upgrade and downgrade your account any time as you see fit.
On top of that, Shopify also offers Shopify Lite payment option just in case you are on a budget.
CommerceHQ’s starting plan costs $99/month, which is considerably more expensive than Shopify. But what you need to take into consideration is that this entry price grants you FREE access to all of the apps in the AppStore. Whereas with Shopify, you will have to pay “a la carte” for most of the necessary apps to optimize your shop.
CommereHQ’s plan also limits your sales to $30.000/month. If you plan on going over that number, you will have have to opt for a more expensive payment plan.
However, there’s one more thing to discuss when we are talking about pricing: the processing fees.
Shopify relies on third-party gateways for processing payments. This means that you will be charged for each of your transactions.
Additionally, there’s a credit card rate that will add 2.9% to the costs as well as a $0.30 fee per transaction. And that is if you activate the Shopify Payments option, otherwise, an additional 2% will be deducted from your sales.
CommerceHQ doesn’t charge any additional fees for transactions. As long as you are able to choose a payment processor with low fees, those will be the only surcharge you will be paying.
In short, CommerceHQ might look more expensive than Shopify at first glance, but things aren’t quite that black and white.
While you pay a larger entry fee with CommerceHQ, you get the full package with no extra fees. On the other hand, Shopify will charge you for additional apps and the processing fees can quickly pile up which might result in a larger bill in the end.
This calculator will show you approximately how much your Shopify plan will cost you depending on your monthly revenue.
Security – CommerceHQ or Shopify
Shopify is certified according to the Level 1 PCI DSS standard. It means that the stores are equipped with data encryption tools. There’s the protection of Shopify payment transfers, prevention of viruses at the servers, as well as constant security monitoring.
CommerceHQ stores your credit card data only as long as is necessary to complete your purchase transaction. It is encrypted through the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS).
In conclusion, both platforms use the same encryption methods and have shown to be quite difficult to hack. They are safe from a technical point of view. However, you should always take special care of your credentials and access the stores through trusted computers only.
Shopify comes with a huge app store that should cover anyone’s needs to optimize their online shop. From store design to billing, there’s something helpful for every user. Some are free to use, although most apps cost a monthly fee that adds up on top of your subscription model.
CommerceHQ doesn’t have as an extensive app store like Shopify. However, they are quite useful and there’s no fluff here. Reviews, product customizing, abandoned cart, upsales hacks like timers and promo bars, etc. Everything one might need to set up a successful eCommerce business.
And of course, all of these are part of your subscription plan, so you won’t have to pay extra fees to use them within your store.
Shopify has different payment plans that include different features for the price. In order to use the full extent of the built-in features of Shopify, you will have to opt in for a more expensive plan. The basic plan has only a limited number of useful features.
Here’s what’s included in all of the Shopify plans:
- Unlimited online storage
- Unlimited products
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Staff accounts
- Customer support
- Online sales channels
- Shopify point of sale
- Discount codes
- Manual order creation
- Finance reports
- Fraud analysis
- Overview dashboard
The two more expensive plans add some analytical features that any serious shop owner should use on a regular basis:
- Professional Reports that gather valuable customer data like:
- customers over time
- first-time vs returning customer sales
- customers by country
- returning customers
- one-time customers.
- A custom report builder
- Advanced customer reports
- Calculated carrier shipping
CommerceHQ plays the all-in-one card again when it comes to features, as all of the built-ins are available with the basic plan. Here’s a list of the most interesting features you will gain access to:
- Automated Gift Cards
- Advanced Reporting
- Abandoned Cart Recovery
- CVS Export Builder
- Unlimited File Storage
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Unlimited Products
- Unlimited Staff Accounts
- Inventory Management
- 1-Click Upsells
- 99% Uptime
- Upsell Campaign Builder
- Native Apps
- Related Products
- Visual Store Builder
- Currency Converter App
- Coupon Codes
- SSL Secure Checkout
- Checkout Page
E-commerce Store Themes
Which tool has better themes you ask?
Well, let’s compare CommerceHQ vs Shopify to find out more.
Shopify proposes around 10 free themes for starting out your first eCommerce. While they are pretty basic, they will get the job done.
Their styles range from vintage to modern, so there should be something to everyone’s liking. If you are a developer, you have access to the code and are allowed to build your template from scratch.
Premium themes on Shopify are very well made and quite beautiful but might be a bit expensive for someone just starting out. However, if you are looking for a visual upgrade to your online shop, worth noting is that their prices range between $100 to $180.
There are also third-party platforms like Envato that sell premium and compatible Shopify themes which are less expensive.
CommerceHQ has its own theme store, with both free and premium themes. If you are a developer, you can use Twig to create a theme to your liking and set it up the way you want. But more importantly, there’s the drag-and-drop creation tool that allows anyone to quickly set up a great-looking store.
How to create the CommmerceHQ store
For anyone that has used an online email or graphic content builder, they will be right at home with CommerceHQ’s drag and drop software. Once you have chosen your theme, you will be able to move, add, and remove different elements of your shop just by using the visual store builder.
This short and thorough video explains how to personalize your theme using the builder in a few minutes.
How to create the Shopify store
Creating a Shopify store is pretty straightforward. Begin by filling in your product database and choose a theme for your store.
You will be able to customize this theme, but your options will be quite limited compared to what we’ve seen with CommerceHQ. You can change the texts, fonts and images but that’s about it. If you are a developer, you do have access to the code and can modify it that way.
Here’s a short video on how to build your Shopify store from scratch.
Shopify provides three types of customer support – phone, live chat, and email, 24/7. In addition, they propose an exhaustive FAQ section that covers everything from pricing, features to third-party apps.
The live chat and phone contact are in English only. However, there are multiple languages supported when contacting support through email: Spanish, German, Chinese, Japanese, Swedish, French, Italian, Dutch, and Portuguese.
A major disadvantage for CommerceHQ is that they use an email-based support system. For an eCommerce platform, a ticket support system is far from ideal, as time is money. If your shop is experiencing problems, you would like to have someone on the line as soon as possible to deal with the issue. In case of an issue, you will have to wait in line just like everyone else.
Which e-shop builder is better for sales?
The million dollar question!
So, which e-shop builder can sell more?
Let’s put these two under the spotlight and compare CommerceHQ vs Shopify sales stats.
Unfortunately, Shopify’s basic plan doesn’t include conversion and upsell apps. To be able to access these, you will have to browse through thousands of apps in the store to find what you need.
If you aren’t bothered to waste some time in finding what helps you increase your sales, Shopify will certainly have what you need. But as we previously mentioned, these apps can be quite costly and will add up to your monthly bill.
CommerceHQ has some integrated conversion aids that are included in your basic subscription plan. 1-click upsells, upsell campaign builders, shipping offer apps, lead generation, countdown timers, everything you might need to enhance your store experience is present.
To conclude, both platforms will help you sell your products, although CommerceHQ has the advantage here. Mainly because the upsell features are already included with your subscription, and you won’t need a third-party plugin to increase sales.
Other Aspects to Consider
To give you a comprehensive review of CommerceHQ and Shopify – there are few more things you should know about.
And here it goes.
Page Load Time
Both platforms offer top-of-the-line web hosting. Page load times are near-instant, even for larger shops. CommerceHQ even states 99% uptime for their platform, which is close to ideal.
The proposed themes on both Shopify and CommerceHQ are created with a mobile-first mindset. They are optimized for conversion and work perfectly on all mobile devices.
Where you might encounter a problem with Shopify, is if you purchase a theme from a third-party developer that hasn’t optimized the website correctly. The same goes for Twiggy created or modified templates on CommerceHQ.
There are no extra fees for SSL certificates on either of these eCommerce platforms. They are offered for free to all e-shop owners.
Shopify offers flat, price-based, and weight-based shipping rates.
You can also add calculated shipping rates by upgrading your account or through different apps in the store. These will help carriers calculate the shipping price based on different parameters like:
- shipping origin
- shipping destination
- weight of the shipment
- value of the shipment
- dimensions of the shipment box
- dimensional weight
- requested speed of delivery
CommerceHQ has a more complex system, where you can create different shipping zones and assign them different rates. Additionally, you can add exceptions like weights, size, or region that will automatically impact shipping pricing.
How do payouts work for CommerceHQ & Shopify?
For Shopify, the simplest way to getting paid is through Shopify Payments. It’s also the cheapest way to get payments, as you won’t be paying extra commissions for those transactions.
However, if Shopify Payments isn’t available in your region, you might have to choose of these supported third-party payment providers:
- Apple Pay
- Amazon Pay
- Google Pay
Funds will be transferred within 2 to 5 working days, depending on the region.
CommerceHQ supports credit card payments through Stripe and accepts PayPal payments. As there are no processing fees to be calculated, payouts are nearly instant and go directly to your Stripe or PayPal account.
On Shopify, there’s a possibility to have two different currencies:
- The Store Currency – this is the price that will be listed on your website for your products. It can be anything from the drop-down menu when setting up your products in your e-shop.
- The Payout Currency – this is the unique currency your shop is bound to due to the region where your store is located. It is the only currency your customers will be able to use to complete a transaction. Below is the list of the payout currencies by region.
If you wish to change your store currency at some point, you will have to contact Shopify support beforehand.
When a customer is paying for an article in a different currency than your payout currency, a currency exchange rate will be applied to the transaction.
CommerceHQ only allows you to set up your store currency once at the creation of your store. Once Stripe and PayPal are successfully connected to your account, your store currency will be locked in.
Blogging on Shopify and CommerceHQ
Between both platforms, only Shopify offers a blogging module. This might be quite an advantage as you can write SEO oriented articles about your products and rank your e-shop higher on Google.
So, if article creation is important – Shopify excels here.
Nonetheless, you can simply use WordPress for your blogging needs under a sub-domai – blog.yourshop.com and CommerceHQ issue is solved.
Conclusion – Which one should you choose?
Shopify is a well-established company that has enabled thousands of eCommerce owners to open up shop and start making profits. The platform has been polished out throughout the years and offers an incredible amount of add-ons to personalize your shop.
CommerceHQ is a newer player on the market but does most of the things very well. Everything is included in the subscription, and there are no extra processing fees. Additionally, its interactive shop builder is very intuitive and easy to use, allowing for more flexibility on how you set up your store.
Both platforms offer a great service, there’s no doubt about that. If you are looking for a recognized brand with a proven track record, you can’t go wrong with Shopify. On the other hand, if you are looking for a beginner-friendly platform, that has an all-inclusive transparent pricing, you should choose CommerceHQ.
Need more answers?
Well, here you go.
How long is the free trial for CommerceHQ vs Shopify?
Both Shopify and CommerceHQ offer a 14-day free trial.
Which website builder is the best for dropshipping?
Choosing either Shopify or CommerceHQ is a great idea to start a dropshipping business. To answer the question, it comes down to personal preference on pricing, features and region availability.
What’s the average monthly subscription Shopify vs CommerceHQ?
The average monthly subscription for Shopify is $79 while CommerceHQ will cost you $99 per month.
Do note that CommerceHQ offers an all-inclusive plan for this price and no extra processing fees. Conversely, Shopify charges processing and credit card fees, and plug-ins aren’t included in the price. In the end, Shopify might come out much more expensive.
Which website builder is better Shopify or CommerceHQ?
CommerceHQ wins this battle, hands down. It offers a flexible and intuitive builder, whereas Shopify doesn’t allow you to modify existing templates other than through coding.