Comparing Shopify

Shopify Plus vs. Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Shopify Plus vs. Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Seb Harris

12 minute read01 Aug 2023

In the world of ecommerce, choosing the right platform can make or break your ecommerce business's success. Today, we'll explore two major contenders: Shopify Plus and Salesforce Commerce Cloud. We’ll dive into both platforms, why you might want to go with Salesforce, and why Shopify Plus is covering more and more ground among enterprise level businesses. Besides their similarities and differences, our aim is to provide you with the information you need to choose the right ecommerce platform for your business.

But that's not all! We'll also share the fascinating story of Denham, a renowned denim brand that bravely switched from Salesforce to Shopify Plus. Discover their firsthand experience and the key factors that influenced their decision

The advantages of Shopify Plus

User friendly

Shopify has established itself as a trailblazer in the ecommerce world, thanks to its user-friendly interface and minimal technical complexities. You no longer need to grapple with intricate coding knowledge, as even those without a programming background can easily set up a basic Shopify store. Additionally, Shopify Plus offers a dedicated Launch Engineer to guide businesses through the onboarding process, providing personalized support and ensuring a smooth transition to the platform.


One of Shopify's standout features is its scalability. Its ability to automatically scale resources and handle peak demands ensures optimal performance even during peak sales seasons. Shopify Plus seamlessly accommodates your growth because it’s able to handle high traffic spikes and transaction volumes.

Omnichannel capabilities

With the platform's native integrations, businesses can effortlessly sell on social media platforms like Youtube, marketplaces, and other sales channels. You can also integrate Shopify POS, their own Point-of-Sale software and hardware. Additionally, Shopify Plus offers localized storefronts, allowing businesses to create region-specific experiences tailored to different markets. The platform's built-in multi-currency support and international payment gateways simplify cross-border transactions.


Shopify Plus allows creation of unique and tailored shopping experiences. The platform offers access to Shopify's robust Liquid templating language, enabling businesses to make deep customizations to their storefronts and checkout processes. The recent launch of the one-page checkout further solidifies Shopify Plus as one of the best ecommerce platforms. The one-page checkout has shown a four times faster checkout experience and a 91% increase in conversion rate. Recent releases like AI-generated storefront content, custom meta objects, and native product bundles show how much Shopify invests in innovation.

Enterprise opportunities

Shopify launched Commerce Components, which will provide more capabilities in the Shopify Plus platform that cater towards enterprise-level businesses. By acquiring the Remix framework, Shopify has taken some serious steps in growing Shopify Hydrogen, Shopify’s answer to headless ecommerce. Both show Shopify’s willingness to create a platform that ecommerce brands of any size can use.

Support and priority access

With Shopify Plus, you get access to dedicated support and priority access to new features and updates. The platform assigns a dedicated Merchant Success Manager to each business, offering personalized assistance and strategic guidance to maximize success. Shopify Plus merchants receive priority access to beta features, allowing them to stay ahead of the curve and leverage the latest innovations. Furthermore, businesses benefit from Shopify's robust partner ecosystem, providing access to top-tier Shopify Plus agencies and experts.`

Automatic Updates and Versioning

One of Shopify Plus's key unique selling points (USPs) is its simple and automatic update system. Unlike other platforms, with Shopify, you're always on the latest version without the need to manually install updates. This means that you can focus on growth without worrying about keeping up with constant version changes. By eliminating the complexities of manual updates, Shopify streamlines the operational process, making it an attractive choice for those seeking efficiency and ease of use.

Transparent and Competitive Pricing

In the competitive landscape of ecommerce platforms, Shopify Plus sets itself apart with transparent and attractive pricing. Although the monthly subscription fee for Shopify Plus is higher than standard Shopify subscriptions, it is significantly lower and more predictable than Salesforce's pricing. The straightforward nature of Shopify's pricing plan means that you know exactly what you will pay, without hidden fees or complexities. This makes Shopify Plus an attractive option for merchants looking to maintain control over their budget, without sacrificing enterprise-level functionality and support. If you're curious about how Shopify Plus compares to the standard Shopify plans, check this article for the main differences between Shopify and Shopify Plus.

The downsides of Shopify Plus

Developer Availability and Shopify Liquid

While Shopify offers significant flexibility on the frontend, intricate changes beyond theme editing often require understanding Shopify's unique coding language, Liquid. Being specific to Shopify, Liquid stands in contrast to more commonly known languages such as JavaScript, Python, or PHP. This might not be a roadblock for everyone, but it does mean that the pool of developers familiar with Liquid is relatively smaller compared to those versed in more widespread coding languages. Finding the right expertise could be a challenge, but connecting with a Shopify Plus agency that aligns with your goals and requirements can be a huge help in growing your platform.

Backend limitations

While Shopify Plus offers more flexibility than the standard Shopify plans, some businesses may still find it restrictive in terms of backend access. Certain advanced functionalities that require direct server access or custom server-side code are not available, limiting the extent of customization for highly complex projects. However, Shopify Hydrogen or a headless solution could be a viable alternative for companies looking for specific functionalities.


Shopify Plus comes with a significantly higher price tag compared to the more entry level Shopify subscriptions. The monthly subscription fee for Shopify Plus can be substantial, and there are additional transaction fees for using external payment gateways. This cost may be an issue for smaller ecommerce businesses. Check this article for the main differences between Shopify and Shopify Plus.

Shopify versus Salesforce Doona Shopify versus Salesforce Doona

The advantages of Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Enterprise focus

Salesforce Commerce Cloud is designed to cater to the needs of large-scale enterprises and established businesses. It offers a wide range of advanced enterprise features, including complex pricing and discount structures, multi-store capabilities, and support for multiple languages and currencies. This level of sophistication makes it an attractive choice for businesses with extensive and intricate requirements.

Salesforce Suite

Besides Commerce Cloud, Salesforce provides a suite of marketing, sales, service, and data features that as a whole, creates a one-stop-shop for managing your online business. Customer data can seamlessly flow from one feature to another, which is great for streamlined operations.

Business to business

While Shopify Plus is geared more towards B2C businesses, Salesforce Commerce Cloud excels in supporting B2B ecommerce requirements. It offers specialized B2B functionalities like personalized catalogs, account hierarchies, and buyer-specific pricing. For businesses primarily engaged in wholesale or B2B sales, Commerce Cloud's B2B capabilities can be a significant advantage. However, Shopify has not been quiet about its latest B2B functionalities, which are on a great level compared to Salesforce.

The downsides of Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Customization challenges

Salesforce Commerce Cloud's rich set of features might not seamlessly cater to your exact needs. The platform follows a structured framework, making extensive customizations more complex and requiring specialized skills. If your business demands highly specific requirements, you may need to explore external solutions or utilize third-party apps to achieve the level of customization you seek.

Integration complexity

Both Salesforce and Shopify Plus may require custom APIs for specific integrations, but they handle this necessity differently. Integrating Salesforce can be a complex process, often leading to compatibility issues or data migration challenges. The quality and documentation of Salesforce's APIs are sometimes viewed as less accessible, which may necessitate specialized connectors or additional planning.

In contrast, Shopify Plus emphasizes high-quality APIs and offers extensive, up-to-date developer documentation. This not only simplifies the custom integration process but also enhances overall compatibility with various systems and applications. Proper planning and expertise are still essential, but Shopify's clear and comprehensive resources provide valuable support. 

Technical learning curve

One aspect to consider with Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a steeper learning curve and higher technical complexity. Implementing changes to the platform often demands a team of developers with in-depth knowledge of both frontend and backend development. This reliance on technical expertise can lead to increased costs and extended development cycles, factors that ecommerce businesses should keep in mind during their decision-making process.

Additional costs

It's important to note that Salesforce Commerce Cloud operates on a Platform as a Service (PaaS) model. While the platform provides a solid foundation, businesses are responsible for sourcing their own hosting, security, and maintenance services. Managing an online store under this model can add complexity and high costs.

Data security and privacy

When it comes to using cloud services, data security and privacy are extremely important. Salesforce Commerce Cloud has good security measures in place, but you still need to be proactive about keeping your data safe. Make sure to follow best practices and add extra layers of security to protect your customers' information and your business secrets.

Shopify versus Salesforce Denham Shopify versus Salesforce Denham

Denham’s journey from Salesforce to Shopify Plus

Let's take a look at the transformative journey of Denham, a renowned fashion brand that made a significant transition from Salesforce Commerce Cloud to Shopify, and one of the first brands in Europe to do so.

The brand has taken the industry by storm with its unique and alluring style, elevating denim to an art form. Founded by Jason Denham, a visual designer with a passion for crafting high-quality garments, Denham has become synonymous with innovation and contemporary fashion.

A key driving force behind Denham's choice was the pursuit of greater agility and control over their online store. Shopify's user-friendly interface provided Denham with a high level of flexibility and ease in managing their store. From day-to-day updates to larger modifications, the brand was able to take full ownership of their storefront, empowering them to easily adapt to ever-changing market trends and consumer demands.

Moreover, the cost-effectiveness of Shopify was a big reason for Denham to embrace the platform. The recurring fees associated with Salesforce, coupled with the necessity of skilled developers for even minor adjustments, proved to be a considerable financial burden for the brand. Shopify's all-inclusive Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, encompassing hosting, security, and maintenance, presented a more economical solution for Denham, allowing them to allocate resources more strategically and invest in other areas of their business.

Scalability played a pivotal role in Denham's transition as well. Shopify's seamless and hassle-free transition between payment plans eliminated the need for disruptive rebuilds or major overhauls, providing Denham with a smooth pathway to expand their operations as their business continued to thrive. This scalability feature ensured that Denham's growth journey was uninterrupted, allowing them to focus on their core objectives without facing unnecessary hurdles.

In the end, the combination of Shopify's user-friendly interface, cost-effectiveness, and scalability proved to be a winning formula for Denham. By embracing Shopify's innovative e-commerce platform, Denham elevated their online presence, enhanced customer experiences, and positioned themselves for even greater success in the competitive fashion industry.


In the realm of e-commerce platforms, Shopify and Salesforce each have their own trade-offs. Denham's transition from Salesforce to Shopify serves as a valuable testament, shedding light on the importance of user-friendliness, scalability, cost-effectiveness, and the ability to make seamless day-to-day changes. Eventually, the decision between Shopify and Salesforce depends on your business's unique needs and priorities. Carefully assess business goals, consider scalability, flexibility, and costs, and weigh the pros and cons of each platform. Whether you follow in Denham's footsteps or forge your own path, selecting the right e-commerce platform is a pivotal step toward achieving your online business goals.

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