Shopify vs Pietra: Which tool should you be using to build your online store?
These days, it’s easier than ever for a would-be entrepreneur to start setting up their own presence online. You don’t necessarily need a lot of coding knowledge or initial capital to dive in, thanks to the presence of endless store-building tools, built for beginners.
Shopify currently stands as perhaps the most well-known store building tool on the market today. It’s flexible, versatile, easy to use, and brimming with an ever-evolving range of features. However, while countless organizations develop their stores with Shopify, it’s far from the only option.
Pietra, while perhaps slightly lesser-known, is designed for the next generation of store owners. Not only does it provide everything you need to build an incredible store in one place, but it supports multi-channel selling, dropshipping, and fulfilment too.
Let’s take a closer look at how the two options compare.
Shopify vs Pietra: Pros and Cons
For potential business owners, and existing sellers, both Shopify and Pietra have a lot to offer. Each of these platforms is brimming with amazing features.
With Shopify, you can build just about any store you like, with integrations for social media, Amazon, and a range of other channels.
The platform supports multiple payment processing and marketing solutions, as well as a host of fantastic tools for growth, such as SEO and blogging. There’s even a comprehensive app marketplace where you can connect your store to a variety of tools.
Pietra focuses heavily on tools for business leaders looking to generate profits through a straightforward approach to dropshipping. Within the platform, you can search for suppliers to help you branch into various product lines. There’s a state-of-the-art fulfilment center for easy logistics, storage support, and the option to connect to other channels like Shopify and Instagram.
Shopify Pros and Cons
- Huge range of features for all kinds of sellers
- Sell digital and physical products, with from-scratch manufacturing or dropshipping
- Easy-to-use and scalable back-end environment
- Wide community of developers and partners to work with
- Powerful app marketplace for add-ons and plugins
- Inventory management, order tracking and fulfilment tools
- Blogging and SEO capabilities already built-in
- Various payment options (though some have transaction fees)
- Great customer support and assistance
- Can be tricky (and expensive) to scale a large store
- Switching templates and themes can be complex
- Transaction fees for most payment providers
Pietra Pros and Cons
- Built-in dropshipping with support for leading manufacturers
- All-in-one fulfilment, storage, and shipping management
- Connections for existing stores and tools
- 1:1 workshops and assistance for beginners
- Support for multiple sales channels
- Lots of payment options without service fees
- Easier asset management with production in one place
- Expert support from the service team
- Great supplier management solution
- Mainly focused on the dropshipping model
- Limited analytics and reporting options
- Setting up prices can be a little complex
Shopify vs Pietra: An Introduction
On the surface, Pietra and Shopify have quite a few overlapping features. Both will allow you to set up a custom online store, with plenty of options for customization and branding. However, Shopify does offer a slightly more advanced store builder, whereas Pietra focuses primarily on helping creators to set up their own “merchandise” stores.
Both solutions also have access to discounted shipping rates for some suppliers, and the option to add-in connections to dropshipping manufacturers. There are fulfilment and logistics tools included in both platforms, so you can manage your product assets, and ship items worldwide. There’s even specialist support available from either Shopify Experts or Pietra Specialists to get you started.
Both tools will provide support for multiple payment processing options, with the option to tie in existing websites or online assets like social media accounts. There are integrations supported on both platforms, as well as built-in security, mobile functionality and more.
However, the focus areas of these tools are quite different. Shopify is designed to help companies build virtually any kind of online presence and store. You can even design a solution for headless ecommerce if you upgrade to Shopify Plus. Alternatively, Pietra concentrates primarily on managing the dropshipping landscape, with tools for fulfilment, logistics, and managing various manufacturers in one place.
Pietra vs Shopify: Pricing and Plans
Both Shopify and Pietra offer a range of pricing plans to suit different business needs. However, Pietra is the only tool offering a completely free plan.
For Shopify, you’ll need to pay a minimum of $5 per month to access any functionality, and the “Starter” plan only allows you to add a Shopify button to your existing online assets. There’s no builder functionality included.
Shopify offers a 3-day free trial to get you started, followed by the Starter plan at $5 per month for the option to add a button to your existing online presence and the Basic Shopify Plan ant $32 per month which is the first plan with builder functionality included. This plan includes a credit card fee of 5% plus 30 cents for online transactions.
Other Shopify plans include:
- Basic Shopify: $29 per month with transaction fees on everything but Shopify Payments. The Basic plan includes abandoned cart recovery, access to the website builder, discount codes, a free SSL, blogging tools, 4 locations, 2 staff accounts and Shopify POS.
- Shopify: $92 per month with slightly lower transaction fees, 5 staff accounts, 5 locations, and access to all the features of the Basic plan. You also get discount codes, and slightly more detailed reporting features (though they’re still relatively basic).
- Advanced: $399 per month for all the features of Shopify, plus lower transaction fees, 8 locations, and 15 staff accounts. This plan also includes gift cards, detailed reporting, and access to more flexible customization tools, as well as discount shipping.
- Shopify Plus: Custom pricing starting at around $2,000 per month. This enterprise-level plan comes with more advanced customization features, improved uptime, enhanced security, and more. You’ll also be able to build a headless commerce site, and support various delivery and in-store pickup options.
As mentioned above, Pietra has a free plan, which allows you to create a made-to-order merchandise shop without paying anything.
You’ll have access to workshops, downloadable resources, and business plans, but you won’t be able to source manufacturers directly from the platform. Paid plans for Pietra include:
- Beginner: $49 per month for the features of the free plan, plus access to 1000+ custom product and packaging suppliers, secure invoicing, discounted shipping, and communication management. You also get all the fulfilment and logistics support you need, the ability to connect an existing site, and email support.
- Premium: $199 per month for all the features of Beginner, plus access to more educational resources and tools, and premium support. You’ll be able to leverage a team of specialists for assistance with production, fulfilment, and sales.
- Enterprise: Custom pricing for all the features of Premium, plus access to advanced support and customized storage, shipping, and freight rates. There are also special discounts available on the Enterprise plan to help reduce sourcing costs.
Further reading 📚
Shopify vs Pietra: Ecommerce and Store Building
Perhaps the biggest difference between Shopify and Pietra is their scale and versatility. While Shopify allows companies and business owners to create virtually any kind of store, Pietra focuses primarily on the dropshipping landscape.
Shopify provides access to a convenient, comprehensive website builder, with numerous tools to help you enhance the look and performance of your store.
You can get started with a range of professional, customizable templates, and make changes with a drag-and-drop tool. There are options for selling everything from subscriptions to courses (With add-ons), and physical products. Plus, you can connect a range of dropshipping solutions to your website too, so you can source resources from a range of manufacturers.
Alternatively, Pietra is intended to assist new and existing brands with growing their business through sourcing and managing fulfilment providers and dropshippers. While you can build your own merch store, the solutions provided are somewhat limited for customization.
On the plus side, you can access thousands of custom product and packaging suppliers, and access built-in invoicing and discount rates for your fulfilment management. Plus, you can invite your own suppliers into the ecosystem to manage communications and payments in one place. In other words, if you’re looking for an all-in-one dropshipping solution, Pietra might be the ideal choice.
However, if you’re looking for something a little more versatile, so you can sell digital products as well as physical items, and implement subscriptions and memberships, Shopify might be a better tool. It offers a wider range of store building options, as well as dropshipping through add-ons.
Both tools will allow you to connect pre-existing online solutions to your environment, through integrations. However, you can only access this functionality on paid plans for both services.
Shopify vs Pietra: Fulfillment and Logistics
Another area where Shopify and Pietra overlap is in the delivery of fulfilment and logistics tools. Both services come with a back-end environment where you can track communications with your suppliers, keep an eye on inventory levels, and manage stock according to your specific needs.
Shopify’s app marketplace once again comes in handy here, by allowing you to integrate connections with third-party vendors, and even implement tools for order tracking. Pietra has a range of fulfilment solutions already built into the platform. There’s a convenient fulfilment center where you can handle everything from storage, photography, kitting, packaging and shipping in one place.
One area where Pietra really shines in this regard is with access to specialists who can help you organize your freight shipments from end to end. However, Shopify does have a few more tools over all, including VAT and tax calculation options, financial reports, and analytics, to help you grow your business over time. You may need to use third-party tools to get the same service from Pietra.
Both tools will allow you to track your orders and inventory, as well as access discount shipping options with calculators to plan your budget. Pietra offers special, custom rates for companies selling more than 2,000 units per month, which includes logistics, freight, storage, and fulfilment services.
Similarly, Shopify has a built in “shipping” experience which assists with all aspects of your logistics process, including helping you find discount shipping and logistics providers.
Shopify vs Pietra: Customer Support and Guidance
One great thing about both Shopify and Pietra, is they’ll both ensure you get the support you need to build an effective store, regardless of whether you’re scaling your existing venture, or starting from scratch. Both platforms come with various educational resources and tools, including classes, tutorials, FAQs, and workshops for beginners.
Shopify has a comprehensive help center packed with articles about how you can start, manage, and expand your store. There are various documents to guide you through editing your website. Plus, there are Shopify Experts available if you need extra, specialist support.
Once you’re logged into your account, you can connect with Shopify through email and chat. There’s even phone support for some plans.
With Pietra, all plans come with basic email support, as well as access to some basic resources. However, you’ll need a paid plan to access various other tools. For instance, if you want Premium support from a team of specialists to assist with production, fulfilment, freight, and logistics, you’ll need one of the two more expensive plans from Pietra.
Pietra vs Shopify: Which is Best?
Comparing Pietra and Shopify can be difficult. While both of these tools will allow you to design a relatively effective online store, the focus is different for both tools. Pietra concentrates primarily on the dropshipping landscape, allowing companies to manage their communications with manufacturers, and handle logistics solutions in one place.
Shopify, on the other hand, will allow you to build virtually any kind of online store you can think of, with added blogging and SEO tools, as well as analytics you don’t get with Pietra. There are a host of extra features you can add to Shopify too, through the app marketplace.
If you’re looking for a convenient way to set up a merchandise store, or scale your existing solution, then Pietra may be the tool for you. However, if you’re looking for something more versatile, where you can sell just about anything online or offline, Shopify definitely offers more options.
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