When it comes to selling items online, most people will claim that sites such as Shopify or even WooCommerce are the only platforms that can be used, and will state that a funnel builder like ClickFunnels simply cannot be compared. But, there are some surprising similarities between these two huge titans. As such, we decided to pit ClickFunnels vs Shopify, to understand them better.
It's worth noting and understanding that both of these platforms do actually integrate with each other, so can actually be used in unison to create the ultimate selling machine, but that's not why we are here. We will just be looking at their ability for a user to set up a 'way' of selling a product or item on each platform.
ClickFunnels - Quick Overview
Primarily, ClickFunnels is a funnel builder, it's designed to replace a conventional store or checkout process, aimed at simplifying and 'slimming down' the usual way someone would sell a product online.
ClickFunnels comes with a number of features that help store owners and entrepreneurs to achieve their goal, including;
- Quick and easy to create sales 'funnel' with a number of pages or steps
- Create each page as you wish, changing layouts, design, imagery and urgency indicators
- Upsell, downsell and cross-sell funnels, designed to increase the checkout
- Checkout capabilities
- Abandon cart & retarget capabilities
- Integrations with other platforms and services
- Email follow up
Shopify - Quick Overview
Shopify is known as one of the big, if not biggest Software as a Service platform for new store owners or eCom entrepreneurs, and grew in popularity with DropShippers due to it's integration with plugins such as Oberlo and how quickly a store could be set up.
Shopify boasts a number of features that helps it dominate it's chosen market including;
- Simply and easy to use shop management tools
- Professional, optimised layouts, with the ability to change out themes quickly and easily
- Easy to import products
- Large array of apps or plugins to improve areas of your business
- Integrations with other platforms
Page Builders - Which Is Better?
Both Shopify and ClickFunnels have a very different way with dealing with pages, how they look and to what level they can be changed or updated.
Shopify can be seen very much as a static page builder, with the majority of visual changes coming from the different themes that you can add, or even create yourself. There is very little in the way of really moving around say a sales page, such as changing where text or images sit.
There are hundreds of themes to choose from, so there are lots of variations that can be implemented, allowing you to update the whole look and feel of the entire store, without having to do much more than click a few buttons. This can save a lot of time, as every page from home to checkout will carry the same professional finish too it, without having to update and edit every single one.
Themes do also come with the ability to turn certain elements on, or off and there is some room for maneuverer, but you are limited unless you are willing to edit the code behind the pages.
Shopify does give you the option of single page stores, or multi page stores, so you have the added flexibility if required.
The flipside to Shopify is the pretty customisable page builder, designed to give you the ability to edit and change the look, layout or feel of every page that is being used.
You can of course get ready built eCommerce funnels, that have been professional created, which can then have the text, image and pricing etc updated to reflect the product you are selling.
Due to the nature of ClickFunnels, if you updated one of your product or sales pages, say a completely new layout or colour scheme, you will need to update other pages as well to be inline. Each page or step of the funnel is seen as separate and independent. If you have 10 or 20 product pages, each would need to be updated (or copied and the product added too it).
Using the ClickFunnels drag and drop page builder does allow you to set the page however you want, including adding timers, images, icons, text blocks or buttons. Giving you endless possibilities and variations on the page, testing and tweaking until your heart is content.
You can also choose if you want feedback widgets, or different headers and footers, plus you can keep each page separate and independent.
Overall Store Setup & Management
Behind every successful store, is a store management or product management system. It will come as no surprise that the way these two platforms deal with products, or overall store creation quite differently.
It's easy to say that Shopify will smash this section, especially as this is Shopify's bread and butter, it's designed to create large stores, quickly. Companies such as GymShark, Lindt and Heinz all have their online stores housed within the Shopify ecosystem.
To create a store, you simply need to sign up, come up with a store name (can be changed earlier) and pick a starting theme, or a premium theme if you are feeling fancy. You will of course need to update images, or wording (as per the page builder part), but then you just need to add some products.
Adding products is pretty easy, with the ability to mass import, export and individually add products, or even using a tool such as Oberlo to import them from sites such as AliExpress (if you are into DropShipping).
You can get a store setup, with a large number of products, in about 10 minutes, you can import them in a single go, or use something like Oberlo to import them from AliExpress in about the same amount of time.
On going, editing or updating the products is again pretty simple to do, with everything you need to edit, one one page.
If you wanted to change the look and feel of the store, you can do so by updating the theme, there is no need to create a whole new store, everything can be done using your main store (even switching domains) with relative ease.
Management of stock, sales and overall admin work with Shopify is pretty smooth, with reports and dashboards giving you up to date stats, such as best sellers, profit and loss and pretty much everything you would need to run your store.
Shipping and customer management is also fairly smooth, with a number of apps or tools that can be used to help automate the process. If you are Dropshipping, then once again Oberlo comes into it's element,
Actual store creation should be done via importing a ready made eCommerce funnel, ClickFunnels have one that can be grabbed by getting the eCommerce case study.
The funnel will then need to be edited to have your own wording and of course images. As soon as you have the funnel imported in, you can then go ahead and add the products you want to sell within that funnel.
ClickFunnels deal with their 'products' and management of sales on a per funnel basis, which is a bit like a single store for Shopify, though there is no easy way to transfer or mass update your products to a different funnel.
If I wanted to load a different funnel into my ClickFunnels account, because I didn't like how the other one was working, I would have to add in the product information again, such as pricing, images and going through the whole process.
As you can see, the products are put against 1 funnel, there is no way of having added to your full account, which would be so much easier.
You can probably get a single product funnel set up in about 10, or 15 minutes, if you want upsells or downsells, this may take a little longer, as you will need to get the products sorted for each different section.
Editing products can also be annoying, with 7 separate steps, and no way of doing it quicker, or in bulk. ClickFunnels is set up for single product sales, or a small number of items, and they usually see it as only being sold within a single funnel.
I also feel that ClickFunnels is focused on selling digital products, for example training, software, consultancy or membership options.
Managing the 'store' and the product can be tedious, and trying to send or get physical products to people is difficult, especially as you need to have something like ShipStation or SHOPIFY to actually deal with this, but more on that in a bit.
There are also a limited number of reports, especially on the standard level of ClickFunnels. You can see stats such as number of people or sales, but if you have lots of products or multi funnels etc, it just gets really messy trying to sort out which funnels are doing well or which version of a sales page etc is doing better.
Tools & Addons
Creating a store, or sales page will inevitably require some kind of plugin or additional tool, as because as much as these platforms feel they have everything you could ever want, they don't.
Being able to install, upload or use these tools easily, is crucial, as for many they are not tech savvy and are trying to use these platforms to make life easier.
Adding tools or addons to ClickFunnels isn't the easiest thing in the world, and usually requires some knowledge of adding code or copy and pasting code from another platform.
As most of it requires you adding code, it does mean that there are a large number of tools or addons that you could incorporate into your site. I have used programs such as ProveSource, which can be used to show social proof on checkout pages.
Though again the code does have to be installed yourself, there are no 'installable' tools or addons for ClickFunnels.
With shopify you actually have a whole eco system of apps and tools that can be uploaded, installed or added onto your store. This market place is a never ending release of new tools that store owners can play around with and install.
These addons are sometimes free, or freemium (free for a bit), but the majority of them are paid for tools, either as a subscription or a one off payment. There is even an app section that allows you to get started with some of the most common apps and tools that people use.
This huge marketplace, or 'app store' as Shopify like to call it, is massive. With hundreds, possibly thousands of apps ready to be installed at a click of the button.
You can find everything from reporting & payroll, to increasing shopper trust and store security. You can even connect other websites or brick and mortar stores to your online Shopify store.
It would be difficult to find a free, or paid app that doesn't do something that you need when setting up your store.
The final part of this complicated puzzle is the Integrations, these are other platforms that can be used in conjunction with either ClickFunnels, or Shopify.
These are slightly different than apps or tools, as the data or information is sent to a different place (for example an autoresponder)
As with the 'apps' or tools, it is probably not a huge surprise, that there isn't a huge number of 'integrations for ClickFunnels, well, around 40 to be fair to them, but they don't all work.
It won't come as a huge surprise, that a lot of the integrations that ClickFunnels has is for email and messaging (they do deal with lead generation), but they do also integrate with Shopify (to allow for a better checkout solution, and even some additional automation when it comes to fulfilment). There are also a number of integrations with training solutions such as Kajabi (for those who sell training) or CRM systems such as Salesforce.
So a variety of integrations and platforms that focus more on digital products and digital sales, with a small selection of integrations to deal with physical products.
Strangely, Shopify don't separate their integrations from their apps, they simply just have apps that can be installed that then connect with your platform of choice.
There are apps for pretty much all the big email platforms, such as ActiveCampaign, MailChimp and GetResponse (though through a 3rd party app).
Sites such as Facebook, SnapChat ads, Microsoft Ads, Digital Downloads and Printful can all be integrated and set up to work with your store on an app by app basis.
ClickFunnels vs Shopify Conclusion - Is There A Defined Winner?
So we have looked through some of the important sections and areas when it comes to online selling, and it does become quite clear there is a significant difference between these two platforms.
ClickFunnels does get marketed and promoted as an eCommerce funnel, something that can sell physical products easily, but the reality is, on it's own it is not a very good platform. It requires Shopify to be integrated with it to be able to really ship physical items. ClickFunnels is really set up as a digital selling store, it's great for online training, digital downloads or membership areas, with obvious integrations with sites such as Kajabi and email marketing platforms.
ClickFunnels focuses on increasing the overall checkout value and really ensuring customers don't get side tracked by different products or random ads and text.
On the flip side to this, Shopify is obviously and naturally set up heavily for physical products, large stores and increasing the checkout by being able to offer a number of additional products that compliment the original purchase.
Shopify doesn't work as well with digital products, and there is no obvious way to say sell some online training and be able to get that person added to the training quickly or seamlessly.
In conclusion, it's safe to say these platforms have got some similarities, and overlapping areas, but they have been perfected to promote and sell their respetive products, Shopify is great for physical products, and ClickFunnels is brilliant for digital downloads and online training products.
I started this blog around 2017, after realising that I wanted to let people know about all the different ways someone could make money online. From DropShipping, Affiliate Marketing, Network Marketing and more.
This blog has now grown to review and explain a variety of different tools and platforms, in the bid to help you.
This blog contains affiliate links, and I will get a commission for purchases made through these links. It doesn’t change anything for you and will on occasion save you money! Enjoy, James.