August 24, 2020

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E-commerce platforms like Shopify and EasyStore make it easy for even the least tech savvy of us to launch our own e-commerce website. Their powerful e-commerce features and affordable monthly pricing make them two of the most popular e-commerce solutions in Malaysia.

But which should you use to set up your e-commerce website? How do these platforms compare to one another in 2020?

In this review, we'll compare Shopify and EasyStore's key features to help you make an informed decision on which to go with.

Let's first start with a quick intro to both of these platforms:

Review updated: August 2020.

What's Shopify and EasyStore?

Shopify and EasyStore are e-commerce website builders that allows you to build your own e-commerce website quickly without any coding skills. Shopify is a Canada-based company whereas EasyStore is home-grown here in Malaysia.

Each platform offers individuals and businesses features that will help you to build an e-commerce website from A to Z by yourself. With Shopify or EasyStore, you get:

  • A platform to quickly set up your store - everything you need to list products, and start selling is available in a plug-and-play setting
  • Themes - set up your store without any web design skills
  • Blogging features - build your brand with content marketing
  • SEO features - optimise all your pages to get visitors from search engines
  • Secured hosting included with SSL - no separate hosting or SSL certificate needed
  • Local payment gateway integration - start accepting payments for transactions made on your store
  • PCI compliant website - your customers' payment information is secure when they make payments on your store
  • App store - extend your store features with apps

If you don't need a high level of customisation on your store, you can usually set up your store on either platform without hiring a web programmer, or designer.

Shopify Pricing vs EasyStore Pricing

Cost is unavoidably one of the first things individuals and businesses consider before pulling the trigger on a platform. So let's start by taking a look at Shopify and EasyStore's pricing, then comparing the two.

Shopify Pricing

Shopify offers five pricing tiers. The most common three are:

  • Basic Shopify - US$29/month
  • Shopify - US$79/month
  • Advanced Shopify - US$299/month

On top of these 3 plans, there's also Shopify Lite which goes for US$9/month for super light users and Shopify Plus which starts at US$2,000/month for high volume businesses with advanced customisation needs.

Shopify also charges a transaction fee between 0.5% (on the Advanced Shopify plan) to 2.0% (on the Basic Shopify plan) for every sale made through the platform.

If you don't want to get charged a transaction fee, however, you can opt to use Stripe payment gateway on your store.

14-days free trial

EasyStore Pricing

EasyStore, on the other hand, offers three pricing tiers:

  • Lite - RM59/month
  • Standard - RM199/month
  • Business - RM499/month

Unlike Shopify, EasyStore doesn't charge a transaction fee for sales made on the platform. This is a key pricing difference between EasyStore and Shopify.

14-days free trial

Basic Shopify vs EasyStore Lite

Basic Shopify and EasyStore Lite are both starter plans offer by each platform. They are usually the best fit for hobbyists as well as businesses who are just starting out, or testing e-commerce in general.

Comparing the prices, Basic Shopify is more expensive than EasyStore Lite. At US$29/month (~RM130), it comes in at more than twice the cost of EasyStore Lite at RM59/month.

For those on a smaller budget, EasyStore Lite can be a cost-effective solution to kickstart your e-commerce journey.

Features-wise, you get 2 staff accounts on both Basic Shopify and EasyStore Lite.

Where they differ quite significantly are in three areas:

  • POS and mobile app access
  • Number of product uploads
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Number of app integrations

Basic Shopify gives you POS and mobile app access, unlimited product uploads, unlimited app integrations and abandoned cart recovery feature.

On the EasyStore Lite plan, you'll be locked out of its abandoned cart recovery feature as well as POS and mobile app access. Your product uploads are capped at 1000 and integrations at 5.

While Basic Shopify does give more features compared to EasyStore Lite, you have to keep in mind that it comes at twice the cost.

If you don't need POS access and don't have more than 1,000 products and want to integrate with less than 5 apps though, EasyStore Lite's plan is a pretty affordable option.

Shopify vs EasyStore Standard

Shopify and EasyStore Standard are both standard plans offered by each platform. They are usually best for growing e-commerce stores which need a bit more in terms of limits and features.

Comparing the prices, Shopify's US$79/month (~RM330) is a little higher than EasyStore Standard's RM199/month. Again, EasyStore's plan is more affordable, almost 40% less than Shopify's.

Features wise, they both come with 5 staff accounts and allow unlimited product uploads. They differ, however, in the following areas:

  • Number of app integrations
  • Additional marketing features

While you can have an unlimited number of integrations with the Shopify plan, you are limited to just 25 on the EasyStore Standard plan.

However, the EasyStore Standard plan does include a few extra marketing features which you'll likely need to pay an additional fee for or entirely unavailable in Shopify. These include:

  • WhatsApp and Line Order Form - this feature allows your customers to make order using WhatsApp or Line (feature is not available in Shopify)
  • Referral marketing - this feature lets your customers earn a reward when they refer their friends to your store using their own unique link (require a paid app in Shopify)

Overall, EasyStore's Standard plan offers a well-balanced value for money ratio, offering you unique features on top of a lower rate.

Shopify vs EasyStore App Marketplace

Apps in both Shopify and EasyStore allow you to expand your store's features beyond the core features offered.

Shopify's app marketplace is mature - with over 3,700+ Shopify as well as third-party apps, you can customise your store features in just about any way you want.

On the other hand, EasyStore's app marketplace is pretty limited - with only 100+ apps, you'll soon hit a ceiling to how you can extend your store features.

Marketplace integration apps

Marketplace integrations allow you to sync your store on popular marketplaces like Shopee, Lazada, eBay and more. 

Shopify offers a wide variety of marketplace integrations including:

  • eBay
  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Wish
  • etsy
  • Lazada
  • Shopee

On the other hand, EasyStore's marketplace integration apps are limited to those in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, including:

  • Shopee
  • Lazada
  • PrestoMall
  • eRomman

If you want to sync your store with international marketplaces, you won't be able to do so with EasyStore.

Shipping apps

Shopify's marketplace offers a large selection of international as well as local courier companies like:

  • FedEx
  • DHL
  • USPS
  • SF Express
  • EasyParcel
  • SendParcel

... and more.

With EasyStore, on the other hand, you can integrate with popular local courier companies and shipping aggregators like:

  • EasyParcel
  • Lalamove
  • SendParcel
  • DHL eCommerce
  • Delyva
  • Ninjavan
  • J&T Express

If your store sells to both international and local customers, you'll be able to streamline your logistics quite easily with shipping apps available in Shopify.

However, you'll find the options for international shipping apps quite limited in EasyStore, making it more suited to serve the local or regional market instead.

Shopify vs EasyStore Themes

Themes can help you launch your e-commerce store quickly by using a pre-defined design.

Shopify's theme marketplaces offers you hundreds of high-quality paid and free themes to choose from.

You can find a theme for just about any industry you are in - whether you are selling clothes, food, furniture, art, you can probably find a suitable theme for your store.

EasyStore's themes are more limited, however. There are only 50+ themes available in EasyStore's template library. Most of the templates are geared towards the fashion or F&B industry. Though limited, all EasyStore's themes are available free to its users on any plan.

If you want a store design that's unique, you'll probably have more luck on Shopify than EasyStore. 

Shopify vs EasyStore Payment Gateway

Your store's payment gateway is possibly one of its most important features - it's how you'll receive payments for your customers' orders.

Both Shopify and EasyStore natively integrate with two of the most popular and reliable local payment gateways in Malaysia, iPay88 and MOLpay as well as GrabPay e-wallet and international payment gateways, PayPal and Stripe.

Whether you sell locally or internationally, you are pretty much covered whether you launch your store on Shopify or EasyStore.

However, if you want to be able to choose a wider variety of local payments in-store, EasyStore offers a much better selection. You can even integrate with emerging payment gateways and e-wallets like:

  • eGHL
  • Billplz
  • senangpay
  • Boost (e-wallet)
  • FavePay (e-wallet)
  • kipleBiz

Shopify vs EasyStore Drop shipping

Drop shipping is an increasingly popular way to make money online in Malaysia and around the world.

In this regard, both Shopify and EasyStore offer their own ways to get started with a drop shipping business.

Shopify offers integration with Oberlo to help merchants ship from AliExpress to their customers, whereas a Kumoten Dropship integration is available for EasyStore merchants who want to take advantage of Kumoten's service to drop ship in Malaysia.

Shopify vs EasyStore E-commerce Learning Materials

For beginners in e-commerce, having some guidance in their journey can be pretty useful. For this purpose, Shopify offers a massive library of articles, guides, forums, tools, podcasts and more to support e-commerce entrepreneurs of any size and in any industry.

EasyStore's e-commerce resources, on the other hand, are limited to its blog.

Shopify vs EasyStore Support

Shopify offers 24/7 support, whereas EasyStore offers Malaysia-based support during office hours on weekdays.

If you are someone who prefers having support available any time and day of the week, Shopify's is far superior. On the hand, if support by fellow Malaysians is what you're most keen about, EasyStore's is hard to beat.

Decision Time - Shopify or EasyStore?

Pick Shopify if...

  • You're selling internationally and want to integrate with courier companies around the world
  • You want a large selection of themes and apps to customise your store with
  • You want to drop ship with Oberlo and sell to customers outside Malaysia
  • You want access to support 24/7
  • You want to have a huge library of resources to learn from

14-days free trial

Pick Easystore if...

  • You're selling to customers based in Malaysia or in the Southeast Asian region
  • You want to pay less to get started
  • You want more native integration with locally accepted payment gateways and e-wallets
  • You prefer local support

14-days free trial

About the author 

Lu Wee Tang

Lu Wee is the founder and writer of Entrepreneur Campfire. She started her journey in e-commerce and SEO after leaving her engineering career behind. Now, she consults small and medium businesses in Malaysia and Singapore on how to digitise and grow their business.

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  1. Testing
  2. Hi Lu Wee,

    This is first time we come across drop shipping, which market is good for drop shipping US or Euro? (consider about tax, shipping cost and time, buyer habit "always like to return" and etc)

    Intend to find supplier from China, maybe vie 1688, any suggest about fulfilment centre?

    I get some idea from preview class in FB, some guru is provide training class to teach the strategies, like J??S Academy etc, cost about RM3k, Is it worth taking these courses? some of their caption is "don't miss
    Q4 sales, make 100K in 30 days" , what do you think?

    thanks
    BQ Zhang

    1. Hi BQ,

      Regarding the market – it really depends on the products you sell. But I would think the US market is more accessible for Malaysians because once you enter Europe, there’s a lot of laws and regulations that are not immediately obvious for us. I’ve never tried Europe market before either.

      Regarding fulfilment centre – again, depends what you are selling. If you are selling some common products, may even consider just getting local suppliers in the US to avoid all the hassles.

      Personally, I think the RM3k courses are pretty expensive for newbies. Maybe spend some time exploring using some free material on YouTube first, then go for a more advanced class. Making RM100k in 30 days… is a pipe dream if you are new in this. Realistically you will lose money in your first 30 days because you are still learning.

      Hope this helps.

      Best,
      Lu Wee

  3. Hi Lu Wee,

    Thank you for the article – I find it still very relevant in 2020! I know you’ve talked about FB marketing a lot in the comments but what do you think of Instagram-based selling and ads? I’m considering selling my handmade craft items and from what people have experienced, Etsy seems to be a bad idea for those based in Malaysia (hidden fees, promotions for US stores etc.) although it is a marketplace for handcrafted items.

    Ideally I’d like to sell worldwide too (so I am considering setting up Shopify/Easyplace) but it seems like it’s rather impossible to direct customers outside Malaysia to your shop through FB marketing or Instagram. Any advice would be appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Shan

    1. Hi Shan,

      Thanks for reading! You’ve reminded me that I really need to refresh this comparison piece for 2020 and 2021 πŸ™‚

      Imho, it’s best to grow your IG account organically before running any ads on the platform. You can do this using growth hacking strategies (following all your competitor’s followers, using strategic hashtags etc) as well as working with influencers (you may consider starting off with micro-influencers first if that fits your budget better). Once you have grown a following, you can then run targeted ads towards your followers as well as IG users like your followers.

      Regarding Etsy, sorry to say that I don’t have any personal experience with it so can’t offer much counsel.

      I’m not sure what you mean by Easyplace. Did you mean EasyStore? For selling worldwide, I’d highly recommend using Shopify as they have a lot of apps that sync with international services.

      It is definitely possible to bring customers outside Malaysia to your shop using targeted ads on Facebook and influencers on IG. But you’ll need to set up your store to make sure you can handle their requests accordingly with regards to pricing, payment and shipping.

      Hope this helps!

      Best,
      Lu Wee

  4. Thank for insightful information.

    How about Shopify marketplace synic with shopee, lazada and others? Can Shopify has the same inteegration features?

    Thanks
    Mike

    1. You’re welcome.

      Yes, you can use integration apps like Zetpy to sync with Shopee, Lazada and others.

      Best,
      Lu Wee

  5. Hi, Lu Wee,

    I would like to have your advise. I’m planning to start-up my e-commerce to sell my beauty care physical products. I do have reliable supplier. Must I need to register a company under SSM? I notice Facebook marketing ads are quite effective too. Kindly advise the reliable platform and necessary steps for my new start-up.

    Thank you very much.

    1. Hi Allow,

      Yes, regardless of the type of business, you are legally required to register under SSM. For the platform, Shopify or EasyStore are two popular choices for Malaysians. Facebook marketing is effective, but you need to take time to learn and how to use it to get to your sales goals.

      Regarding the steps to take, it’s a bit lengthy to explain in one comment. Will try to come up with a post on this for everyone’s benefit.

      – Lu Wee

  6. Hi Lu, thank you so much for this article, indeed a great one. Am so glad.
    I got 2 questions;
    1) I am in the midst of starting up my store, but still considering whether to go for niche or general store. any advice?
    2) i’m thinking of resourcing my products from AliExpress thru Oberlo dropshipping services. Is this a good idea or should i go with local SMEs product manufacturer and help them to sell thru my e-com portal?

    1. Hi Faris,

      Thanks for your message. I’m glad you found this useful. To answer your questions:
      1) Both can work well. It’s worth testing to see for yourself as I think this really depends on personal interest. The more you are interested in something, the more you’ll work on it before giving up. I’ve tried general and niche stores with success.

      2) This really depends on what your target market is. If you are targetting US market, you can use either one. On the other hand, if you are targeting the Malaysian market, I’d recommend going for local manufacturers or suppliers as the shipping time is shorter.

      Hope this helps!

      Best,
      Lu Wee

  7. 1. I assume just like any other businesses you have little followings to begin with when you first started out? So how do you grow your followings on your platforms (like Instagram/Fb pages and made your first hundred sales without much help of family and friends, assuming that I have 0 followers to begin? As I have noticed from forums that most people who lost money on the front end are mainly due spending too much money on FB & Google ads and have yet made a single sale or have generated enough to cover startup costs.

    2. How did you find your current suppliers, especially on the reliable ones? Because I noticed that if I use AliExpress the shipping time would be way too long and there are cases where people got scammed by Alibaba sellers, and also Alibaba requires us to buy in a bulk which is really risky if I was to try it. Besides, I assume that you don’t use these platforms to find supplier that you currently do business with? So how did you found and contacted your current supplier in the first place?

    3. Once you have an order, how do you handle the logistics from shipments from suppliers warehouse all the way till the customers’ door? Is there a way to track it? Assume that I don’t use Oberlo which is only available for AliExpress. And also how do you handle faulty products returns, and return it back to supplier.

    1. Thanks for your questions. I’ll try my best to answer:

      1. This is a tricky question. The first few months or years will be quite difficult. What I did was focus on low-cost opportunities such as selling freelance services, learning to build my own websites, doing cold outreach, networking, selling in FB groups and bazaars and events offline. This helped me to build up the necessary experience, capital and skills. If you don’t have these 3, it’s easy to lose money. Start where it’s affordable, and where you can grow. If you don’t have RM5 – 10k in spare cash, or sales experience… there’s a high risk of failure.

      2. For Alibaba, the only way is trial and error. Don’t buy in bulk first. Ask for a sample order first, before committing to a bulk order. This will give you an idea of the quality. I do use Alibaba, but as you said, it’s not my only supplier source. I am always on the lookout for new suppliers. For local suppliers, I do a lot of cold outreach and research. You may even find suppliers on Shopee as a lot of wholesalers have started selling there too. But this really depends on what you want to sell.

      3. If you don’t use Oberlo, you can always do the tracking manually. Oberlo only helps to make things easier. So what you do is keep a master sheet of your orders for each supplier. Once they ship the item, get them to key in the tracking number into the master sheet. You then take this tracking number and update your customer. Assuming you use Shopify, your customer will get an update on the tracking number. For faulty product returns – it really depends on what products. If it’s cheap, it won’t be worth returning. Just refund them the money to keep your ratings high. For high ticket items, make sure to discuss this with your supplier first on a process. The exact method will largely depend on your product type and weight.

      Hope this helps!

  8. Hi…
    I wanted to ask what shopify payment provider do you use? I tried Stripe but they disable my account after first order then I tried 2checkout but got declined. πŸ™

    1. Stirpe & PayPal usually. No problem so far for me. Was there any mismatch of information between your Stripe account and your verifiable documents?

  9. Firstly, great article and thanks for sharing. Currently, I’m using shopify as my main platform to sell my physical product. But then, I having a problem to find FPX (online banking) payment provider that integrated with shopify. Much appreciated if you know any. Thanks Lu!

    1. Thanks Donney! Shopify integrates nicely with iPay88, MOLPay and Stripe, which all offer FPX payments. Have you tried these?

      – Lu Wee

  10. Hi, thanks for sharing such valuable information to everyone of us. 1 question tho, I’m wondering if there will be complication migrating from easystore to shopify at a later stage once business started (say total number of products is actually less than 10)? hope you can share if you have any experience. I was planning if I could start with cheaper option then migrate to shopify if I ever need to. Thanks.

    1. Hi Jayson,

      Glad you found it useful.

      Hmm… there is no straightforward migration. Everything has to be done manually (importing CSVs, copy pasting page content, URL redirects etc). But if you have less than 10 products it should be too big of an issue. But if you have a few hundred, will require some time to set everything up properly.

      Hope this helps!

      – Lu Wee

  11. hey Lu Wee

    I have come across a few online fb marketing courses which might help me but i am not sure which are reliable. Is there any recommendation source from you?

    1. Hey Ken, the one which I recommend is ecomelites. It has a lot more than FB marketing, but the FB marketing part is very comprehensive. You can read more about it at my blog post: https://entrepreneurcampfire.com/shopify-dropshipping-malaysia/

      It’s currently still priced at just US$197 (RM800+), but within a day or so, may increase price to $497, so you should get in quickly at the low price!

      It’s definitely been one of my best buys of 2018. I’ve made all my investment back + more.

      For now ecomelites is the best course — eventhough it is geared towards Shopify dropshipping, you can get a full FB marketing guidance inside too. Worth so much more than $197. But do get in before they increase price! Once it is $497 I’ll have to do another review of all the courses at that pricing instead.

  12. Hi Lu Wee,

    First off, I greatly appreciate the information shared to newbies like us. Your write up is very helpful indeed! πŸ™‚

    I’m planning to set up a Shopify store, however, how is it like in terms of integration with local payment gateways? I’ve got my eye on SenangPay & eGHL. However, SenangPay informed me that they aren’t able to integrate with Shopify at the moment. Still awaiting reply from eGHL’s side.

    Besides that, for start-ups just beginning into venturing into the online space, would you recommend setting up (registering) a brand new company as it’s a mandatory requirement if you’d like to sign-up for local payment gateways.

    Looking forward in hearing from you soon!

    Cheers,
    Derrick

    1. Hey Derrick,

      Thanks for dropping by! It’s my pleasure πŸ™‚

      For local payment gateway, the only ones which can integrate with Shopify are iPay88 and MOLPay unfortunately. So if you’re looking to use newer gateways like Senangpay, Billplz, eGHL etc, they won’t work. You can get the full list of payment gateways that can integrate with Shopify here: https://www.shopify.my/payment-gateways/malaysia

      Yes, I would recommend setting up a new company to set up the payment gateway if you don’t have one yet as this is a requirement. But let’s say you already have another retail company, you can use that no problem. Whether to set up two separate companies to handle your businesses will be based on how you want to structure your business. Personally, I have both setups – some of my companies are for both while others are online only.

      Hope that helps!

      – Lu Wee

      1. Hi Lu Wee,

        I’ve successfully registered a company & have set up a company bank account. However, as I’m now contemplating if I should go ahead in registering for Shopify first (will definitely be using your referral link above & taking up on your offer!) whilst applying for payment gateway (I’d be going for eGHL as they now can integrate with Shopify!), or wait till my products arrive (another 2 weeks) as I’ll be needing them to take product photos for content on my website. What would be your advice?

        Much appreciated once again Lu Wee!

        Cheers,
        Derrick

        1. Hey Derrick,

          Thanks for dropping by!

          I’d say go for it first – you’ll need the lead time before your products arrived to set up your entire site first. Then once the products arrive, you can just upload the products in. The other option is to have the products arrive first and build your site and do all the photos concurrently, or do it after.

          So comparing these options, I would say if you want a faster launch date, with less hassle, set up the site ahead of time. This is a personal philosophy I practice for all sites I build.

          Shopify gives you a 14-day trial so you won’t be ‘wasting’ money anyway, so not to worry there.

          If this is your first site and you don’t yet have a logo, selected a theme and so on, the process will take some time to understand as well. If you manage to set up the entire site before the products arrive, you can even start working on other aspects of your store like SEO.

          Hope this helps and let me know if there are any other questions πŸ™‚

          Best,
          Lu Wee

          1. Hi Lu Wee,

            Thanks once again for your advice! I’ve already registered for Shopify basic under your referral link. Started experimenting in designing my store layout, although still kinda blur haha.

            I’d love to take up on your offer (NP:RM199) alongside the support group. Do you do classes, or I could buy you a meal and you could teach me the basics of Shopify. Would love to learn from you =P

            Cheers,
            Derrick

          2. Hi Lu Wee,

            Awesome! Thanks for the advise once again! I’ve went ahead and have successfully registered using your referral link & signed up for a Shopify basic plan. Did some research and selected a free theme from Shopify which suits my product. However, I’m still kinda lost in terms of the whole design mechanics of it lol.

            I’d love to take up on your RM199 offer to set up & design a Shopify store alongside the support group. Do you have classes, or do meet ups where I can buy you a meal & learn from you =P

            Regards,
            Derrick

          3. Hey Derrick,

            Good to know that! Sorry I wasn’t able to get back with you yesterday, but rest assured, all comments on the blog are seen and moderated by myself.

            I will send you an email to get things going. Thanks again for using the referral link!

            – Lu Wee

  13. Hi Lu wee

    Your post definitely gave us a better understanding on the difference in the website!

    Anyway i would like to ask can we manage multiple shop under one account in shopify?

    1. You’re welcome Ken.

      No, you can’t. One admin = one store. If you need multiple stores, you need multiple accounts.

      Hope that helps!

      1. alright thanks for the tip !

        I have been working for half year after graduate and i would like to actually start an online business while i have zero experience in it do you recommend me to start by utilizing shopify first?

        as i saw online this platform combine with oberlo and aliexpress would makes things much easier as all the stocks are being delivered automatically

        1. You’re welcome Ken!

          If you want to do ecom, what I would recommend is keep some money (RM3,000 – RM5,000) and start learning how to sell using fb ads. The faster you master this skill, the sooner you will be able to generate a good income for yourself.

          Shopify is a very convenient tool for ecom, but in the end, it’s just a store. Without marketing, no one will come to your store.

          So get Shopify + learn FB marketing skills.

          Warning though: be ready to lose money to learn at first.

          Hope this helps!

          – Lu Wee

  14. Hi Lu Wee

    Thanks for the article. It helps a lot for beginners like me.
    I would like seek an advise from you. I’d like to start my e commerce business using Easy Store due to low budget and uncertain sales volume.
    However I can forsee that it will be lacking for me if my business were to grow. By then, I would like to switch to Shopify instead of upgrading my Easy store package from Lite to Standard.
    Will that works? Or is it discouraged to do so?

    Thanks.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    1. Hi Joey,

      You’re welcome.

      It depends on what kind of e-commmerce business you are looking to start.

      1. Are you selling your own products (i.e. keeping inventory) or dropshipping?
      2. Which market are you selling into? Malaysia? US? Australia?

      So let’s say you are selling your own products in Malaysia — you can definitely use EasyStore as you won’t need the more powerful dropshipping apps in Shopify (like Oberlo). EasyStore has all the features you need to run a basic e-commmerce store in Malaysia.

      But let’s say you are looking specifically to grow a dropshipping to US business, you have to go with Shopify as EasyStore is not equipped for this.

      Hope this helps!

      – Lu Wee

  15. Hi Lu Wee,

    I have several questions that needed to be answered and hope you will try to solve most of them if possible.

    1. Which has a low-risk tolerance business model? dropshipping or affiliate marketing
    2. Which business types are more beginner friendly
    3. How affiliate marketers build a huge mail list using paid traffic sources (squeeze page), and still be engaged with the subscribers if the marketers do not present themselves as an authority
    (having a personal blog with specific niche) or a brand (not having an e-commerce store)?

    Hoping to hear from you very soon,

    – Fadhil Nur

    1. Hi Fadhil,

      Thanks for your message. My comments below:

      1. Both are low-risk, low-barriers. You can start either one for less than RM1,000. But with low-risk, anyone can do it, so you need to put in a lot of effort to learn and practice in order to stand out and make a sustainable income from it. If you are hardworking, you can easily make a few thousand RM from this kind of business. Hardworking means putting in at least 5 hours a day. Neither are passive income sources.
      2. For me, I believe all online businesses are beginner friendly since most people have internet and a laptop. The other part is just to do. If you are willing to spend at least 5-6 hours a day to learn and practice, you can make money with either one.
      3. Normally they will use Facebook advertising to get leads. But the materials they use are usually quite interesting to attract the audience.

      Hope this helps!

      – Lu Wee

  16. Hi Lu Wee,

    Would like to get some advise from you. We are 3 year old company..We import home decor items such as candle holder, platters, etc from India and currently we are selling in bazaars at malls every weekend. We would like to start venturing into e-commerce but none of us are 1. IT Savvy 2. went through so many commerce platforms but not sure which to pick 3. we are still taking baby steps hence cost needs to be mindful. Since it’s a home decor stuff, ideally the site has to be catchy and appealing (I guess it applies to all…:)) ..What would be your advise to us..We definitely want to be presence in the online space as I guess thats how the retail market works in this day and age.

    1. Hi Fazlina,

      From what you have shared, I understand your situation but I’m not exactly sure in what respect would you want advice on? Is it in regards to which e-commerce platform to use?

      If so, I would really recommend using EasyStore. Mainly because it is very cheap compared to the other e-commerce platforms out there, has modern looking templates and easiest integration with payment gateways, logistic apps, marketing apps and so on.

      But whether or not you should venture into starting an e-commerce website itself very much depends on how much sales you are doing now in the bazaars as well as what kind of marketing you are doing today. How aggressive is your marketing? How much are willing to spend on marketing? If you are not IT-savvy, do you have the funds to get help with it? What are your goals for the e-commerce site?

      Hope this is helpful. Without more details, I will only be able to give you more general advice.

      If you would like some personal advice, please send me a message using my contact form.

      – Lu Wee

  17. Hi there, agreed with the article, but a few more points to add. I have built my ecommerce website with WIX, Shopify, and now trying out EasyStore.

    As far as basic plans go, WIX is more suitable for casual sellers, not for anyone going full on into ecommerce. Their themes look somewhat amateurish, and lack so much in most other things. For examlple there are no user account for your customer, and only provide one payment gateway via Braintree (admittedly the transaction fee is lower than PayPal and other international gateways but you will not be able to offer online banking of FPX).

    Shopify is arguably best of them all (out of only this 3 of course), everything you need is there, the app store has so many apps for you to choose, even with all the free ones will already make your store look very professional. And yes customization galore. I’m no programmer but it’s not even that hard. Starting late July, all checkout are processed on your own domain, your customers won’t be wary of the site going to third party (i.e. Shopify) site. But there’s another fee that is not mentioned in the article, and it’s a big one. Shopify charges you 2.0% transaction fee for every purchase. Can you imagine if you use PayPal, that means 3.9+2=5.9% plus RM2 will be deducted, your profit margin will be very tight. Even with local gateways such as iPay88, their Startup Plan still charge you 3.2%.

    So last night EasyStore caught my eye when I saw an ad at the iPay88 page. Now with the 50% off offer, it’s even crazier not to consider. The options for payment gateways are wonderful. Just a handful of apps but at least the critical ones are available. The theme customizer is sluggish, and
    a bit buggy but what can you expect. I can’t help it but their interface is like a Shopify wannabe, but they’re in the right direction. Your article is right on point on the themes, and even with the few available, they’re just like using the same template for each of them with slight modifications. Which is minor issue if your goal is to quickly start your business. The biggest issue that is making me pause, they appear to not support dropshipping. I love the app Oberlo on Shopify so much, I can import porducts to my store and Oberlo will monitor and update the price change and inventory real-time. I’m still waiting their confirmation on this, it could be the reason I have to go back to Shopify if they don’t support it. And by the way, live chat takes a few hours to reply.

    1. Hi Iswardi,

      Thanks for dropping by.

      Yeah, I would not recommend Wix as an e-commerce website builder. It lacks most of the components for basic e-commerce. But as a non e-commerce website builder for blogs or corporate pages Wix is sufficient.

      Hands down, Shopify wins the race in having all features. What I love about it is how much customization it allows with Liquid. Of course, such features don’t come cheap. US$29/month can be a bit steep for most beginner sellers in Malaysia.

      Thanks for the mention on the Shopify fee. An additional 2.0% can be steep if your margins are average, but for some businesses this can be a highly justified fee for the features that Shopify offers.

      Yeah, they definitely do look like they are paying close attention to what Shopify is doing πŸ™‚ The limited themes can be an advantage for somebody who normally has a hard time deciding what they want. With only a few to choose from, they can definitely get started quickly. This applies to beginners in e-commerce.

      Live chat replies have varied for me, but generally, I get a reply within 24 hours.

      All the best, hope you can find the best plan for your e-commerce goals.

      – Lu Wee

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