Trying to start an online ecommerce business and feeling confused about all the options available and about what each one of these does?
No worries. In this Salehoo vs. Shopify comparison, I will show what each of the two programs can do for you, especially when starting out, and what is better for you if you want to build a scalable business.
Without further ado, let’s start:
What Is The Main Difference Between Salehoo and Shopify?
Salehoo and Shopify have some things in common, and each one of the two has some stuff that are unique to it.
Shopify is mainly a platform that allows you to build an online store with ease and without any technical skills or coding.
And there are many apps that you can add to your Shopify store in order to add different functionalities and ways to find more products to sell, do automations on some of the tasks, utilize different ecom models such as dropshipping and POD, sell different types of products, to increase your revenue, AOV, customer LTV, build an email list, do re-marketing, …etc.
While Salehoo was originally created as a directory to find suppliers for dropshipping and for wholesale, and they have added facilities that would help you research the market and do basic calculations, and they provided a platform that would help you build an online store without coding, and some other resources that I explained in detail in my Salehoo review.
Therefore, the main difference between Shopify and Salehoo is that Shopify is mainly a platform for building online stores that comes with tools to help you find products and suppliers, while Salehoo is a directory to find reliable suppliers and good products, with tools to build a store and calculate profits.
And you can use one of the two without the other, or you can use both as I will explain below.
And because there are many common services and tools between the two, I find it important to list here some of the main points and how each platform is different from the other.
Salehoo vs. Shopify – Detailed Comparison
1 – The Online Store Builder
Both Shopify and Salehoo offer the ability to build an online store for selling products and receiving payments, but Shopify beats Salehoo at this service in many points, including, but not limited to:
- Shopify offers hundreds of free and paid high converting themes and templates for your store developed either by Shopify itself or by third-party developers, while Salehoo offers only fifteen templates to choose from.
- Shopify has an app store that offers thousands of different apps that would help you add different functionalities such as: collecting emails and creating email marketing campaigns, offering upsells and cross-sells, offer bundles at discounted prices, add print on demand products, automate dropshipping with some market places, …etc., while Salehoo doesn’t have an app store like that.
- Without apps, Shopify’s normal plans, including the $29/month plan, give you more functionalities such as: creating discount codes, sending abandoned cart emails, sell digital downloads, …etc., while with Salehoo, they don’t provide abandoned checkout emails, the discount codes are not available with the lowest plan of $27/month and you have to get the $49/month plan to create them, and you can’t sell digital downloads unless you have the highest plan of $99/month.
- With Shopify, you can add unlimited products to your store regardless of the plan you choose, while with Salehoo, the $27/month plan allows for only 200 products.
- Shopify offers a 14-day free trial, Salehoo doesn’t.
- You can integrate different sales channels with your Shopify store in order to list your products on other places like Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Google Shopping Center, while with Salehoo, you can’t do that.
- Salehoo allows for few payment gateways to integrate with your store, while Shopify offers over a hundred options to choose from depending on your country.
- And there are many other differences that make Shopify the best option to build an online store.
Here is a breakdown for the major plans for both Shopify and Salehoo store building services:
2 – The Suppliers Directory
Salehoo offers two main directories for hand-picked suppliers that Salehoo recommends: wholesale suppliers directory and dropshipping suppliers directory, and you can find branded items from the wholesale suppliers.
And the suppliers they provide might exist in different countries, and they ship to different countries.
And you can research and filter products based on the suppliers that exist in a specific country, and based on the countries to which suppliers can ship products.
To access the Salehoo directories, you need to pay $67/year or $127 one-time for a lifetime access.
And mainly, Salehoo’s directory of suppliers focuses on finding reliable suppliers with relatively fast shipping times.
And you can use Salehoo directory to find products and suppliers even if you have your store built with Shopify.
While Shopify itself doesn’t provide a directory of specific suppliers, but thanks to the many FREE apps available, you can use them to find suppliers, mainly for dropshipping, from different countries and online marketplaces who offer a countless number of items and sell to almost all countries.
And the range of products and suppliers you can find through the dedicated Shopify apps is much wider than the one with Salehoo, and you can find lower prices and even fast shipping, which would give you bigger margins.
3 – Dropshipping Automation Options
As mentioned earlier, Salehoo offers a directory for reliable dropshipping suppliers that sell thousands of items and ship from different countries, however, once you find a product and a supplier through Salehoo’s dropshipping directory, you need to manually list the products to your store and add the title, description, images, …etc., and when you receive an order, you need to manually send the order to the supplier and pay them, and later, you need to retrieve the order tracking info and send it to your customer.
While with Shopify, there are many dropshipping automation apps such as Oberlo and Modalyst that would allow you to research and find products and suppliers, and to automatically import the products to your Shopify store along with the description, prices, images, …etc. and when you receive an order, you can forward the information of the customer to the supplier with few clicks and ask them to send the item to your customer.
4 – Print on Demand Options
There are many print on demand companies that have Shopify apps in order to allow you to easily add different products with custom designs to your store such as: t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, leggings, phone cases and more.
And once you receive an order, you can easily forward the order to the fulfillment company like Printful or WC fulfillment and ask them to fulfill it and send the product to the customer on your behalf.While with Salehoo store builder, there are no print on demand integrations available at the moment, and if you want to sell custom design items, then you need to manually do everything from adding the products to your store, uploading images, and fulfill the orders by sending the customer’s details to the fulfillment company.
5 – Company Size & Reputation
Shopify is a very big company and it powers hundreds of thousands (500,000+) of online stores worldwide, and these stores could be owned by individuals who sell through the dropshipping model or those who sell their own physical or digital products, or they might be owned by small, medium and huge companies like Tesla for example.
While Salehoo isn’t a big company when compared to Shopify, and its store builder isn’t popular even between individuals or solo entrepreneurs and hustlers.
Shopify is a much more established company when it comes to supporting your online stores.
6 – Training & Resources
Both Salehoo and Shopify offer training resources that would help you setup your store, research the market to find products and suppliers and market your business.
However, most of the free training from Salehoo is mainly in the form of written articles, and they offer a paid video training called “Online Selling Tactics” that costs $297.
Also, if you purcahse the Salehoo directory mentioned in point no. 2 above, you will get a tool that is called “Market Research Lab” which helps you find the up to 4,000 of the best selling products on Amazon & eBay.
But Shopify, in addition to the comprehensive and great written articles and resources, they have Shopify Academy that offer COMPLETELY FREE video training courses that were created by successful Shopify store owners who made millions with their stores through the different business models such as: dropshipping, selling their own products, print on demand, and they offer courses on marketing methods, designing your store, and many other topics.
Shopify is absolutely the best ecom platform that provides free resources and training material to help you build your business from scratch and scale it up to a full-time business.
7 – Affiliate Program, Partner Program & Other Ways For Making Money
Both Shopify and Salehoo have an affiliate program that you can join in order to promote their products as an affiliate and make a commission from every person you bring to buy their services through your unique affiliate link.
However, Shopify’s affiliate program also offers a partner program where you can have your own dashboard where you can create stores for others and get a recurring commission on every month that your client keeps using their platform.
And there are many other methods and opportunities to make money with Shopify.
8 – Shopify vs. Salehoo Support
Both Shopify and Salehoo offer a 24/7 support through email and phone calls when it comes to the store builder, but Shopify also offers a live chat, and in general, because Shopify is a much bigger company, they have overall better support.
And for the Saelhoo directory, the support provided is available mainly through email.
9 – Marketing & Sales Options
As I mentioned earlier, thanks to its huge app store, Shopify offers to expand your sales potential by integrating your store to different sales channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Amazon and list your whole store there as if it was built on those platforms, in order to acquire more reach and potential customers through organic reach without ads, and these are not available with Salehoo stores.
And when it comes to paid advertising, then with both, Salehoo and Shopify stores, you can use different advertising methods in order to show your products to a people in different places and on different advertising platforms, but the thing that makes Shopify better in this area is that you can easily integrate it with the advertising platforms such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads and others in order to place a tracking code that would optimize your ads over time and bring you more targeted people and potential customers, which doesn’t seem possible with Salehoo.
This is in addition to the many email marketing Shopify apps that you can choose from in order to set up email marketing automations and broadcast emails in order to advertise to your previous customers.
These were the main differences between Shopify and Salehoo.
Salehoo Shopify Integration
You can use Salehoo’s directory to find products to sell on your Shopify store, however, there’s no way to automate the whole operation like it is with Oberlo app that allows you to automatically import products from AliExpress to your Shopify store and automate order fulfillment.
Using Salehoo suppliers with a Shopify store means that you need to manually add the products to your store and upload their images, and then, you need to manually fulfill orders when they come in and you need to forward your customers’ addresses and details by yourself to the suppliers.
Conclusion – Salehoo vs. Shopify: Which One to Choose to Build Your Ecommerce Business?
Overall, from the previous nine points of this comparison between Shopify and Salehoo, you can see that Shopify is a more sophisticated platform to build your online store and manage it with all the functionalities that you can use in order to automate lots of tasks, find products and suppliers, add products to your store with ease, increase store revenue and profit, build a better brand, build your customer base and email list, scale your business and much more.
In other words, Shopify literally provides you with everything you need to start a complete e-commerce business from scratch and scale it up.
And you can benefit from the free training courses they provide to help you build, manage and scale your ecommerce business.
And there are many other training courses created by independent trainers about using Shopify to build and manage online stores, such as my top recommended dropshipping course, eCom Elites.
While Salehoo can primarily be used to find reliable suppliers with a relatively fast shipping times and with available stock in specific countries, and mainly, to find wholesale suppliers for branded items, and you can do that by purchasing their directory without using their store builder.
In my opinion, at the beginning, just start with a Shopify store and use one of their dropshipping apps if you want to find reliable suppliers, and if you want a comprehensive training, in addition to Shopify’s Academy free courses, you can check the eCom Elites dropshipping course that teaches you how to succeed with dropshipping with Shopify in a step-by-step detailed training course and it is very affordable compared to other courses that don’t even provide half of the value in this course, and you will learn how to find good products with reliable suppliers for free through free Shopify dropshipping apps.
And if you want, later on, you can use Salehoo’s directory to find dropshipping suppliers for other items other than the ones you can find for free with Shopify apps.
But for now, you only need to start with Shopify,
I hope you enjoyed my comparison between Shopify and Salehoo.
If you still have questions, or if you have a prior experience that you want to share about Shopify or/and Salehoo, then please, leave it in the comments’ section below and I will be coming back to you asap:)