Shopline Malaysia vs Shopify Malaysia: Fees, Integrations & Basic Features Compared

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Shopline is the new kid on the block in Malaysia's slightly crowded space of e-commerce platforms. Officially launched in Malaysia in June 2019, Shopline was founded by Hong Kong-based Raymond Yip, Tony Wong and Fiona Lau in 2013.

Since Shopline is fairly new in Malaysia, I received a request from a reader to compare Shopline with Shopify. I thought she might not be the only one interested in this comparison and decided to sign up for a Shopline trial to explore what Shopline has to offer.

So if you've been looking at Shopline and considering if it's a good e-commerce solution for your needs, we will be stacking up Shopline's Basic Plan with Shopify Basic in this article to help you decide.

Let's get into it!

Shopline vs Shopify

Comparison Summary

Feature

Shopline
(Basic Plan)

Basic Shopify

Trial Period

30 days

14 days

Monthly Fee

RM99/month

US$29/month (~RM120/month)

Transaction Fee

0%

2.0%

No. of Products

50

Unlimited

Local Marketplace Integration

Not included

Can be added using apps

Supported Payments

PayPal and custom

iPay88, MOLPay, PayPal, Stripe and more

Abandoned Cart Recovery

Not included

Included

Manual Order Creation

Not included

Included

Staff accounts

0

2

Themes

Limited

Support

Within business hours only
(Mon - Fri, 10am - 7pm)

24/7 Support

Apps

In-house apps only

Large amount of apps in Shopify app marketplace

Cell

Shopline vs Shopify: Detailed Comparison

Trial Period

Shopline Basic Plan

Basic Shopify

Trial periods allow you to test run an e-commerce platform before locking yourself down to one. Shopify offers a standard 14 day trial period, whereas Shopline offers as much as 30 days. If you're someone who usually needs more than 2 weeks to test run a system, Shopline's trial period is one of the most generous around.

Pricing

Shopline Basic Plan

Basic Shopify

Shopline offers a very similar price to Shopify. With Shopline, you can get started for just RM99, about RM20+ less than Shopify's US$29 a month.

With prices in RM, you also don't have to worry about rising bills with costs.

Transaction Fees

Shopline Basic Plan

Basic Shopify

Shopify's transaction fees are a constant peeve among e-commerce entrepreneurs just starting out. This is why you'll be happy to find that Shopline charges zero transaction fees on all their plans. If you hate platform transaction fees, you'll love Shopline's 0%!

Number of Products

Shopline Basic Plan

Basic Shopify

This is an area I have to say that Shopline greatly underperforms. For the high price tag of RM99/month, you can only upload a maximum of 50 products whereas Shopify allows you to upload an unlimited number of products on any of its plans. 

Unless you have a very small number of products, it's going to be really easy to outgrow this basic plan. The next plan will cost you RM199/month and give you a product upload allowance of 1,000 products.

Local Marketplace Integrations

Shopline Basic Plan

Basic Shopify

While Shopline supports native marketplace integration, it isn't included in the Basic Plan. To get it, you'll need to sign up for Shopline's Premium Plan which starts at RM409/month.

In the case of Shopify, you can add marketplace integration using apps, but so far, there hasn't been any that has proven satisfactory.

Supported Payment Methods

Shopline Basic Plan

Basic Shopify

Shopline's basic plan includes only PayPal integration and an option called "Custom".

The PayPal setup is pretty straightforward. You only need to key in your PayPal info and you're good to go.

Initially I thought "Custom" was an external connection other than PayPal, but it seems to be an option to add in payment instructions.

So as far as accepting credit card payments is concerned, you'll have to do it using PayPal. And since you only have PayPal payment option for the basic plan, all other payments need to be accepted using manual bank transfer (no FPX payments).

To open up your store for FPX payments, you'll need to be on at least the Advanced Plan (RM199/month).

Compared to Basic Shopify which has native integrations for iPay88, MOLPay, PayPal and Stripe right out the box, Shopline Basic Plan payment options are highly limited.

Abandoned Cart Recovery

Shopline Basic Plan

Basic Shopify

Shopline's Basic Plan doesn't include abandoned cart recovery, but Basic Shopify does. Since you can improve your sales by recovering  abandoned carts, without this crucial feature, you'll likely be losing out on a large number of sales.

Manual Order Creation

Shopline Basic Plan

Basic Shopify

Manual order creation is a useful feature for you to take offline orders, or assist a customer with checkout.

Unfortunately, if you are on Shopline's Basic Plan, this feature isn't available to you. Instead, you'll need to be on Shopline's Premium Plan (RM409/month) to unlock this feature.

On the other hand, Shopify offers manual order creation feature on all their plans.

If this feature is something you find useful, you'll find Shopline's Basic Plan rather lacking compared to Basic Shopify.

Staff Accounts

Shopline Basic Plan

Basic Shopify

Staff accounts are a nice way to organise roles within your store. If your store gets a lot of sales, you'll likely find yourself needing to hire people to help you with it.

Unfortunately, for Shopline's Basic Plan users, you get 0 staff accounts. So if you do have staff, you'll have to share your access with them.

Shopify, on the other hand, provides an extra 2 staff accounts on its Basic plan.

Themes

Shopline Basic Plan

Basic Shopify

While Shopline offers  ~22 theme options overall, if you're on their Basic Plan, you'll get access to just 6. Compared to Shopify's open theme marketplace and third party themes, Shopline's theme selection is pretty small.

It's highly likely that you'll end up with a site that looks similar to another site built on Shopline.

Support

Shopline Basic Plan

Basic Shopify

Even though Shopline is based in Asia, it offers only business hours support which is from Monday - Friday, 10am - 7pm.

Shopify, on the other hand, offers 24/7 support. If you need handholding when creating your e-commerce business, this will give you the opportunity to learn quickly.

Apps

Shopline Basic Plan

Basic Shopify

Shopify has undeniably the most apps for any e-commerce platform. It achieves this by opening itself up to developers.

Shopline doesn't use app. Unless this changes in the future, for now, what you see is what you get.

Shopline User Interface Review

Shopline's backend design is pretty good and simple. I find myself being able to successfully set up a basic store inside Shopline within a few hours.

Most of the options are pretty intuitive. The only gripe I have about it is that the UI design could be more modern.

On the front-end, Shopline displays products in a clean, uncluttered and modern product page. 

The checkout process is pretty straightforward and clean too.

There's no doubt that Shopline designed their stores with e-commerce conversions in mind.

Shopline Verdict: My Honest Opinion

Shopline's e-commerce platform is well designed and robust. It is designed to take care of every part of your e-commerce business needs.

However, to unlock all of its powerful features, you'll need to be on Shopline's Premium Plan (RM409/month). Its cheaper Basic Plan feels like a super basic, stripped-off plan which most e-commerce business owners will find themselves growing out of fairly quickly.

At RM99/month, Shopline's Basic Plan allows for just 50 products, one native payment gateway (PayPal) and no FPX payment option. Just these 2 features will leave a lot of e-commerce business owners hanging.

With zero staff accounts included, it is best fit for the solopreneur.

With these limitations, it might be better to consider topping up another ~RM20 and going for Shopify which doesn't have any product upload limit and already integrates with iPay88 and MOLPay on its cheapest plan.

Even EasyStore's Lite plan at RM59/month might be a good option since it allows 100 products and all types of payment gateway integrations at almost half of Shopline's Basic Plan price point.

Nonetheless, if you're willing to fork out RM400+ a month, Shopline's Premium Plan is a pretty complete solution for most e-commerce business owners.

Over to you now! Are you a Shopline user? What do you like about it and what are some things you'd like to see improve?

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One Response

  1. thank you for the article! Appreciate it very much. By the way, most of the time Shopify allows for one to extend their trial of 14 days to 30 days. Just ask via emaila and they will give.

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