Shopify and VTEX
Now 21 years old, VTEX is coming of age. In recent years it has been growing quickly in Latin America and the USA and is now expanding in the UK, Spain, Portugal, Romania, and Singapore. It covers retail, manufacturing, wholesale, grocery, consumer packaged goods and other verticals.
VTEX is a member of the MACH Alliance, and with its microservices-based architecture and powerful business and developer tools it is popular with medium-size companies that want to future-proof their ecommerce solution and manage their total cost of ownership (TCO).
In 2020, VTEX was named as a ‘Visionary’ in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce Providers.
Since its launch in 2006 by snowboarders who couldn’t find a platform to meet their needs for an online store, Shopify has gone from strength to strength. In 2014, it launched Shopify Plus for large businesses with ambitious ecommerce plans.
It is popular for ease and simplicity although this can come at the expense of flexibility. It has also featured in the Magic Quadrant as a ‘niche player’ and ‘challenger’.
VTEX vs Shopify
VTEX’s SmartCheckout supports one-click purchasing without a password. This helps increase sales because each repurchase uses the data stored from the first purchase. It is also Payment Card Industry (PCI) Certified for data security and payment transactions.
Shopify offers PCI solutions but doesn’t support customisation. If you aren’t a Shopify Plus user your checkout URL will be ‘shopifycheckout.com’ which can confuse customers.
Integrations – Effective system integration is the power behind streamlined and personalised customer experiences, so it will be an important consideration in your choice.
VTEX is an application programming interface (API) based ecommerce platform that supports integration with business systems like enterprise resource planning (ERP), warehouse management, online chat bots and marketing automation.
Shopify’s APIs have a different architecture which requires more skill, so you will probably need the support of a developer which will add to your costs.
Content and product management – Rich product information is important for customers. To manage your ecommerce operations effectively and to meet your customers’ expectations, you will need a single source of truth about your products and their availability.
VTEX has a flexible content management system (CMS) that allows you to oversee the structure of your site including headers, footers, main content, product lists, product details, and your digital resources. You can also build customisable templates. The catalog module allows you to manage all products, your stockkeeping unit (SKU) lists, and specifications.
Shopify provides free and fully customisable templates or you can use Shopify’s templating language, Liquid, to build your own. You can also easily add, edit, and list all your products with a drag and drop system.
Ordering – Effectively managing and fulfilling online orders is also essential to meet customer expectations. This includes everything from order routing and printing shipping labels to returns and subscription management. To be competitive, you will need flexible, scalable, and adaptable solutions.
The VTEX order management system (OMS) allows you to see and manage all orders filtered by date of delivery, invoice, channels, or status for example. It includes an order workflow which will help you manage the fulfilment process, along with a timeline that you can share with your customers.
Shopify’s order management allows you to track payments, orders, and shipping status. You can create customised filters and send real-time notifications.
Marketing – Your marketing strategy will need to be delivered consistently across multiple channels, ultimately bringing potential customers to the product pages on your site. You will be looking for tools to help optimise and streamline your processes to achieve the best results.
VTEX allows you to add coupons and pre-defined promotions, bundles and progressive discounts. The pricing module allows you to modify all product prices and establish pricing rules.
In the Shopify CMS you can create coupon codes for percentages or specific fixed discounts, or to offer free shipping, for example. You can also enter comparison prices to show savings during sales or promotions.
Both platforms offer powerful ecommerce tools to help you grow your business. Your choice will depend on your requirements. If you are looking for long-term scalability and customisation then VTEX is worth serious consideration. For fast and straightforward implementation, Shopify could be an attractive option although you will need to consider any customisations carefully.
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss how these outstanding ecommerce platforms could work for your business.