Ecommerce does not need to be hard. Blacknight has made it easy with our new shopBuilder product. You can have an online store up and running in minutes. It’s never been more important for a business to offer its goods online. Customers expect it now. They’re already online; you need to be there to get their business.

One of the biggest questions we’re getting asked is why anyone would choose shopBuilder over other platforms like Shopify. Here are a few reasons why our shopBuilder may work better for you than Shopify.

It Integrates Into Any Existing Website

Shopify is an all-encompassing platform, it’s optimised for commerce, and while you can use it for a website, it’s not designed for it. And many of you may already have a website – so why would you want to create an all-new one or a second website, confusing customers? shopBuilder integrates into your existing website – no need to move everything and start-up from scratch on a new platform.

Easier to Use Your Existing Design

Since you can use your existing website, you can use your existing design and branding. shopBuilder just drops in as a bit of code or a WordPress plugin. It will take the look and feel of your existing website. If you create a separate store on Shopify, you’ll have to customise it to look like your current website, which takes more time and coding. You don’t have time for that.

It’s More Affordable

Shopify is expensive. It starts at $29 (about €26) a month and doesn’t even come with its full feature set. And they have several upsells that add to the cost. They’d like you to use their shipping service and their payment processor. They want a cut of every transaction you make. shopBuilder starts at just €9.99, and it’s all most SME’s need, and it won’t be taking a cut of all your future business.

More Control

Shopify controlling all aspects of your online commerce is fine if you’re OK with that – but do you want to give one single company complete control of your success? It’s never a good idea to put all your business eggs in one basket.

Shopify requires you to use THEIR payment processor

While Shopify allows you to use third-party payment processors to process credit cards, they would like you to use theirs. They charge you per transaction – how much depends on your plan – to use your own CC processor on top of your monthly fee. Of course, if you use theirs, they charge less. But then you’re still paying them another cut. It’s a business model that works great for them but just costs you more money in the long run.

Extra features cost extra money

Moving online will quickly create a lot of new business for you, and it will require new processes and new ways of thinking. You will quickly run into the barriers of the feature set in your monthly package on Shopify. And there is a big price gap between their lowest tiered plan and the middle one (which is $79 a month). If you want extra features from Shopify, you’re going to have to pay for them.

You’re Locked In with Shopify

Setting up a new online store is a big deal, even if it’s easy with shopBuilder. If you do it with Shopify, a sort of lethargy sets in. You’re locked into it once it’s generating revenue. Stopping it and moving to somewhere else becomes risky and time-consuming. And as time goes on, you’ll be paying them more and more in added fees as your business grows. It’s better to set up your own store, on your own platform and website, from the beginning rather than have to do it all over again down the line.

Free Trial Lock-In

A free trial to give things a go sounds like a great idea when you’re being sold on the marketing. But you will put a lot of work setting up your ‘free’ trial. They’re counting on that so that once your trial is over, you’ve put too much work into it to cancel it. They’ve locked you in as soon as you click sign-up.

It’s Easier to Set up

When Shopify was the ‘new kid on the block’ their selling point was that they made e-commerce really easy. But as it’s grown, it’s become bloated with so many new features, that setting up your new store initially will be very challenging. Ecommerce needs to be easy, not a slog. With shopBuilder, it’s much easier to just start and get selling.

Difficult to setup other pages/blogs/etc

Shopify is designed to sell things. It’s not designed to be a website. But we see lots of stores trying to use it as their website. It has a blog function. It has the ability to make pages. But it was not designed to do this. You’re better off integrating a store into your existing website rather than putting your whole website in Shopify’s hand. And if you don’t have a website, Blacknight can help you with that too!

Support with an Irish Accent

Even with tech products, you can buy local, and with Blacknight you can shop local. When you’re dealing with Shopify, you’re dealing with an American company that bills you in US dollars. shopBuilder by Blacknight is in Ireland and is supported by us. You can always get one of us on the phone and experience our award-winning customer support for yourself. We’re here to help you succeed online.

Click To Start Building Your Store

Check out this handy chart that explains the key differences:

Have any more questions about shopBuilder? Let us know in the comments or contact our sales team today to get going on your new online store.