Published on

SuiteCommerce vs Shopify: The Definitive Guide for 2021

SuiteCommerce vs Shopify: The Definitive Guide for 2021

If your company is considering launching its first e-commerce store, or planning on changing its current website, you probably will have noticed that there are a lot of platform options available.

However, SuiteCommerce Advanced and Shopify Plus are two of the best solutions for your business.

Both of them are consolidated services; however, it can be a bit difficult to realize, at first glance, which one is the best for your company

That’s why we’ve made this quick and easy comparison guide, to help you understand which one of these options would be a better fit for your business; because we know very well that making the right decision today can ensure a better tomorrow.

So, to save you from keep searching here’s the SuiteCommerce vs Shopify definitive guide for 2021. 

What is Shopify Plus?

Shopify Plus vs Suitecommerce

Shopify Plus is a cloud-based enterprise e-commerce platform, designed to power high-growth, high-volume enterprise businesses that generate $1 million+ in revenue. 

Shopify Plus is the most complete and advanced option from Shopify, created for the biggest businesses to provide them with an e-commerce solution with enterprise-grade selling capabilities at a lower price point.

Also, Shopify currently powers over 160,000 retailers in 100 different countries, making it the most popular option out there. 

What is SuiteCommerce Advanced?

Suitecommerce Advanced Dashboard

First of all, we need to clarify what NetSuite is.

NetSuite is an online solution based on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, designed to manage the main tasks at the core of your business.

Don’t forget to read this article if you want to know every detail about NetSuite and what it is used for.

SuiteCommerce is NetSuite’s e-commerce platform, which allows companies to set up a fully integrated eCommerce website into their NetSuite ERP. 

Launched in 2012, SuiteCommerce Advanced is NetSuite’s fully integrated ecommerce solution for quick growing businesses, unified with order and inventory management, ERP, and CRM.

It’s a complete e-commerce solution with a lot of advantages and functionalities.

SuiteCommerce enables businesses to seamlessly connect every step of a multi-channel, multi-location business, from e-commerce and in-store POS to order management, inventory, merchandising, marketing, financials, and customer service.

SuiteCommerce vs Shopify: Deployment and implementation

First of all, it’s very important to consider the implementation and ease of customization of the platform for your business to work. To make your website to function properly and to look nice, you will probably need to work on it for a long time.

SuiteCommerce has a professional services team to help you implement and customize SuiteCommerce for your unique requirements, guiding your team with the best strategies for developing and implementing your web store.

Moreover, SuiteCommerce Advanced is built using standard HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which means that any developer will be able to make customizations easily, using a common coding language. There is no limit here!

Unlike SuiteCommerce Advanced, to use and customize Shopify Plus you require to know about Liquid, a special language that was created by and is specific to Shopify, so implementing and changing the platform for it to better fit the needs of your company will require training, to hire an additional employee, or to work with a Shopify developer.  

SuiteCommerce vs Shopify: User Experience

User experience is vital when it comes to an e-commerce platform.

If customers find it too difficult to understand, or it takes them a little too long to find what they’re looking for, chances are that they will abandon the site and never come back.

SuiteCommerce Advanced is a platform focused on a high level of performance, and this is mostly because it offers more robust features and capabilities.

It offers a deep control over how your products display, allowing for the promotion of things like featured products, best sellers, etc, by integrating data from NetSuite.

Also, it manages larger product SKU batches and product variants than Shopify does. 

Shopify Plus displays products on your site in a standardized way, which could be easier to set up, but only if your store carries a limited number of SKUs.

Besides, NetSuite SuiteCommerce Advanced solutions come with faceted navigation features to help customers in product research. In the Shopify Plus platform, however, users are forced to use third-party apps for effective product search.

SuiteCommerce Advanced, then, offers more control over the display, showcasing products in a variety of ways, and other product-specific options, allowing a more effective customer engagement and driving up sales.

SuiteCommerce vs Shopify: Design possibilities

To be able to have a good online store in terms of design is key not only to look professional but ultimately, to make shopping a satisfactory experience for your customers, which means real profit for your company. 

Both Shopify Plus and SuiteCommerce Advanced have pre-designed themes that you can choose between when creating your website.

Both of them offer really good free theme options, as well as paid options if you are looking to stand out from the crowd by having a more unique look.

Shopify Plus has a larger number of themes available at the moment, although NetSuite recently announced that they are working on a Theme Marketplace with hundreds of website themes and templates, which will be ready soon.

Shopify Plus intuitively displays products on your live site in a standardized way due to the nature of Shopify themes. This means that the themes can be easier to set up than the ones of SuiteCommerce Advanced. 

However, SuiteCommerce Advanced themes tend to be more advanced and a little bit more versatile, meaning that you will have more freedom and flexibility designing your website, and your company will be able to have a bigger and better impact on their customers.

SuiteCommerce vs Shopify: Scalability

As your company starts to grow, its e-commerce platform should be able to handle a bigger customer base, website traffic, larger volume of incoming orders, inventory management transactions, and different payment processing needs. 

This means more challenges for your business and more advanced needs. The platform that supports your company has to be flexible enough to accommodate new business scenarios, and this can be a real challenging factor for most sites.

NetSuite is very responsive in this aspect, as it integrates various divisions like ERP, CRM, inventory, and supply chain that supports scalability.

This means that SuiteCommerce Advanced removes all these complications as no connectors are needed.

Besides, SuiteCommerce Advanced supports more language, currencies, and payment options than Shopify, which allows your business to reach more customers. 

In the case of Shopify Plus, you need to opt for third-party applications, which increases the probability of having difficulties or things not functioning properly.

SuiteCommerce vs Shopify: Integrations and addons

To build a successful e-commerce website, the use of an ERP platform will become necessary to track inventory, sales, order fulfillment, and customer relationships. 

SuiteCommerce Advanced was made by NetSuite for NetSuite, so SuiteCommerce Advanced seamlessly integrates with NetSuite – a leading ERP software- to manage all backend operations. 

In the case of Shopify Plus, it requires additional integration with a third party ERP platform to effectively manage backend options.

This means that it can be integrated into a variety of ERP alternatives; however, since none of this ERP comes from the same brain as Shopify, this process will not lack difficulties.

There’s really no doubt that SuiteCommerce Advanced has better ERP integration, and not just compared to Shopify, as it works as a unified business management platform

When it comes to integrating with other apps, or having add- ons, it’s certainly something that you will end up doing no matter what platform you choose, as add-ons can save you time and effort in complex customizations. 

Both Shopify Plus and SuiteCommerce Advanced can be connected with other apps to increase functionality; however, in the case of Shopify, as it already needs to work with third-party apps, it can lead to difficult integrations that don’t work quite right.

SuiteCommerce vs Shopify: Website performance

Related to the website performance, both Shopify Plus and NetSuite SuiteCommerce Advanced offer a cloud-based Content Delivery Network (CDN) at no extra cost.

This ensures faster page loading and better web performance across the globe. NetSuite CDN is powered by Cloudflare, while Shopify Plus CDN is powered by Fastly.

Also, if your business focuses on B2B e-commerce, SuiteCommerce Advanced is a great option, including a much larger number of native B2B features, since it was built with B2B in mind while Shopify was originally built as a B2C e-commerce platform

SuiteCommerce Advanced includes a large number of native customizations for B2B e-commerce such as tracking sales through additional channels outside of your web store, estimates and quotes, custom prices, terms, credit limits, as well as stock visibility for users.

Shopify Plus does offer a Wholesale Channel, but it only includes limited native functionality, and most features needed from a B2B e-commerce platform must be purchased separately in third-party plugins.

SuiteCommerce Advanced solutions have, for example, advanced merchandising zones to help promote specific products based on their popularity, fast selling, brand, and profitability.

Shopify Plus, being an e-commerce platform only, doesn’t have online merchandise zones, and it’s practically impossible to display and promote products based on a few attributes.

SuiteCommerce vs Shopify: Pricing

Price is always a relevant topic when it comes to making a business move. So, what are the differences in the costs of both platforms? 

It’s no easy to compare prices since the pricing structures of SuiteCommerce Advanced and Shopify Plus vary based on the size and specific needs of your company.

There’s no way to know how much SuiteCommerce Advanced or Shopify Plus will be for your particular requirements

However, we can estimate some costs based on general information:

Shopify Plus development/integration costs are estimated at around $60.000 – $200.000, while SuiteCommerce Advanced costs around $40.000 – $80.000, considering a customized theme to deliver a unique look and feel to your company. 

In regards to the license, Shopify Plus has $2.000 m/o value, with no kind of discounts, while SuiteCommerce Advanced has $5.000 m/o value with often about 30% of discounts.

Finally, the cost of the 1st year of Shopify Plus starts at $89.000 and the cost of 3 years starts at $147.000; for SuiteCommerce Advanced, these prices are about $65.000 and $145.000 respectively.

Since SuiteCommerce Advanced is seamlessly integrated into NetSuite, there is no need to purchase a connector or pay for the implementation it would require. Also, unlike other solutions, there are no extra charges, such as revenue charges. 

Shopify Plus costs are a bit more confusing; you should find out what plugins you may need and how much they would cost, so you won’t end spending more than expected to get the features you need, which is usually the case within this platform.

Conclusions: Which e-commerce platform is the best?

Before you choose an e-commerce platform for your site, you should consider all relevant aspects to your business.

As we have explained throughout this guide, while both SuiteCommerce Advanced and Shopify provide powerful e-commerce solutions, NetSuite SuiteCommerce Advanced is a better choice in most cases, providing a complete e-commerce solution in every aspect. 

NetSuite SuiteCommerce was built with the idea that e-commerce isn’t an isolated part of a business, offering a solution that seamlessly connects e-commerce and in-store POS to order management, inventory, merchandising, marketing, financials, and customer service.

Shopify Plus, on the other hand, lacks many of the native functionalities and the design flexibility that NetSuite SuiteCommerce Advanced has, and that most businesses require to keep growing.

This also means that companies using Shopify Plus will be dependent on third-party apps and developers, which not only makes your platform less autonomous and difficult to expand but also implies higher costs that are constantly added. 

Why move from Shopify to SuiteCommerce?

If your company is considering choosing an e-commerce platform, or if you already have one but are trying to improve your business, you should move to SuiteCommerce Advanced today.

NetSuite allows you to focus on business strategies instead of having to be solving third-party app integrations or other functionality problems.

If scaling and efficiency are key parts of your company’s strategic plan, NetSuite SuiteCommerce Advanced is, for sure, the way to go.