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The ecommerce platform for global brands.

Shopify vs Salesforce CC vs Centra

Ecommerce has advanced. Design freedom and agility have become the backbone of every successful ecommerce fashion and lifestyle brand strategy.

Brands Love Us

You don't have to take our word for it. Our scores on G2 say it all! The popular product reviews platform is a valuable source of honest customer feedback.

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Salesforce Commerce CloudShopifyCentra
Meets Requirements8.68.79.1
Ease of Use8.28.89.0
Ease of Setup7.38.88.3
Ease of Admin7.98.89.1
Quality of Support8.28.49.1
Ease of Doing Business With8.38.89.7
Product Direction8.28.79.5

The evolution of commerce platforms

The ability to express originality and the brand's unique character are now crucial to appeal to a new generation of customers. We’re providing you with a series of comparisons to raise an understanding of how different ecommerce technologies approach those challenges. We hope that they will help you pick the right solution for you.

In this comparison, we’re focusing on the key differences between Shopify, Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Centra, and how they address scaling fashion and lifestyle brands globally.

This comparison does not cover Shopify Plus. If you’re interested, check out our other comparisons.

Past
Legacy platforms
Salesforce Commerce Cloud
redEcommerce business logic coupled with CMS and frontend website
redBusiness logic and website customized by integrating directly with the platform’s source code
redVersion and vendor lock-in.
Present
Monolithic SaaS platforms
Shopify
yellowEcommerce business logic coupled with CMS and frontend on limited APIs
yellowLimited possibilities to extend the built-in business logic and functionality through apps
yellowVery easy to set up, impossible to extend outside the provided features and apps
Future
Composable SaaS platforms
greenPresentation layer fully decoupled from the ecommerce engine
greenOpen architecture, with data accessible through well-defined APIs
greenAPI “technical contract” between platform and implementation enables rapid low-cost development

Running a fashion brand? Pick the right platform!

The choice of the ecommerce platform can make or break your global ambitions. Partnering with the wrong vendor can impose unnecessary limitations in terms of design and development. With the right tool, however, you can unleash your brand’s full potential. When running a fashion and lifestyle brand, it’s best to choose a platform that understands the business logic and complexity of your niche and provides all the crucial features out of the box. 


Read along to learn how Shopify, Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Centra compare in this regard.

Brands Love Us

You don't have to take our word for it. Our scores on G2 Crowd say it all! The popular product reviews platform is a valuable source of honest customer feedback.

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CentraShopifySalesforce Commerce Cloud
Meets Requirements9.18.78.6
Ease of Use9.08.8.8.2
Ease of Setup8.38.87.3
Ease of Admin9.18.87.9
Quality of Support9.18.48.2
Ease of Doing Business With9.78.88.3
Product Direction9.58.78.2

At a glance

Salesforce and Shopify are well-known and respectable platforms. Salesforce Commerce Cloud (Salesforce CC) is an all-in-one enterprise ecommerce platform dedicated to big companies that can afford to spend the time and resources to take advantage of Salesforce's full potential. On the other hand, Shopify is a well-rounded solution for entry-level retailers that choose comfort over power. When you look at how both platforms were built, which industries they serve best, and how they support growth, their misfit with the fashion and lifestyle industry starts to emerge. 

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ShopifySalesforceCentra
Built for...
  • Built for starting brands.
  • For a starting brand that wants an easy-to-get-started online store. That means that apps are needed to get the core fashion commerce features like variant handling, campaign features and international sales.
  • Built for retailers.
  • Advanced retailer-focused ecommerce product. Industry-specific
  • adaptation must be added through dedicated development, driving cost and complexity.
  • Built for fashion and lifestyle brands.
  • Geared for established or aspiring brands that need a platform to achieve their global ambitions.
Powerful vs. ease of use
  • Built to be easy to learn.
  • Shopify’s ambition is to enable aspiring online retailers to open up a simple
  • online store with a few easy clicks.
  • Powerful but complex.
  • Requires specific programming skills to customize, handle and maintain. Salesforce is known for its complexity. It has a difficult admin UI. Someone experienced is needed to administer and maintain the platform.
  • Centra is an advanced ecommerce system built for power users.
Wholesale vs. direct-to-
consumer
  • Shopify doesn’t enable wholesale. The wholesale sales channel is available only to stores on Shopify Plus.
  • B2B and B2C ecommerce for
  • business customers and wholesale.
  • Centra serves both wholesale and direct-to-consumer sales. It enables brands to handle all channels from one platform - both Wholesale B2B and Direct-to-Consumer B2C.
Single vs. multi-market
  • Separate storefronts are needed per each market. Shopify Markets helps with basic internationalization, however this does not allow for proper local catalog management, assigning of multiple warehouses per market, local bank accounts, base currencies, payouts etc.
  • Salesforce supports multiple markets.
  • Centra enables multiple markets, multiple currencies, multiple languages and prices and size charts depending on the location. You can have multiple storefronts with advanced internalization.
Custom design/dev vs. closed templates
  • Template-based design system with one hundred themes available.
  • A good choice for businesses that don’t want to invest in on-brand
  • design.
  • Integrated solution.
  • Salesforce is a monolithic legacy platform.
  • Centra's headless architecture ensures complete freedom of design and enables the use of any CMS. Front end is fully separated from the back end, which allows agile development and choice of any technology.
Payment options
  • Few fixed payment options with a focus on Shopify payments, which are tailored for the North American market. Extra fees when using other PSPs.
  • Multiple payment options.
  • Centra supports over 200+ local payment methods through off-the-shelf integrations with PSPs such as Adyen, Stripe, PayPal, Klarna and Qliro.
Hosting
  • SaaS platform. Hands-off setup that’s perfect for any business that doesn’t want to manage a self-hosted platform.
  • Self-hosted product. Hosting is integrated. A hosting provider needs to be contracted separately from the platform.
  • Centra is a SaaS platform running in the cloud, with a 99.9% availability guarantee covering sales periods such as Black Friday.
Automatic updates vs versions
  • Automatic platform updates.
  • Upgrades happen automatically on specific dates that are published up to a year in advance on the Salesforce Trust website.
  • Always up-to-date
  • Centra is always running on the best and latest version with automatic
  • updates fortnightly.
Licensing fees
  • Monthly subscriptions start from $29/month. Any subscription requires an additional transaction-based fee. Transaction-based fee percentage depends on the chosen pricing plan.
  • Fees for licenses, customization, hosting, updates and upgrades come on top of website development, creating a difficult to forecast total cost of ownership.
  • Centra’s license fee covers everything needed, including support. The only cost on top is the design and development of a custom-built, on-brand website.

The 12 challenges of fashion commerce

Fashion and lifestyle brands with global ambitions require a specific set of features and agile approach from their platforms. They need ecommerce technology that will help them achieve their goals and expand their reach instead of imposing limitations. Modern, dynamic fashion brands face a variety of challenges when it comes to scalability, complexity, design freedom, internationalization, and suitability for their specific products. Our comparison visualizes how different technology solves them. 

Challenge #1

Ease of use

Setting up a headless store and customizing it to your liking is a nuanced, costly and time-consuming project. Going with a platform that makes the whole process easier may initially sound like a great choice, but may negatively impact the customization and scalability going forward. 

Why brands migrate to Centra

Centra’s intuitive, easy-to-use backend is constantly improved. The admin interface is created by a dedicated team of UI/UX experts to make the daily work of managing a brand as efficient as possible while keeping up to date with changing conditions and trends.

The main principle in Centra’s user interface design is to enable administrators to do as much as possible, as fast as possible.

Challenge #2

Design freedom and flexibility

The fashion industry has unique needs in terms of design. Brands in this niche need the agility and design freedom to express their identity and character – without compromises or limitations. They need a platform that empowers their editors with a full-scale modular CMS mixing content marketing and shop capabilities. 

Why brands migrate to Centra

Centra is built with MACH architecture: it’s microservices-based, API-first, cloud-native, and headless (MACH). It offers some performance and growth benefits that are impossible to achieve otherwise. This software development approach ensures freedom in shaping the store, both feature-wise and design-wise, without compromising on performance or scalability.  

Centra’s API coverage allows brands to elevate their front-end experiences without having to worry about the restrictions commonly associated with popular monolithic ecommerce platforms. 


Challenge #3

Multi‑store and internationalization

Localization is key to driving sales internationally. Different markets accept different price points, prefer different languages, and prefer different currencies, delivery options, and payment methods. Because many traditional monolithic commerce platforms require one storefront per localized market, it’s harder to deploy a sensible SEO strategy. 

You can increase conversion rates by over 20% by offering localized services, local payment methods, and the best local shipping options.

Why brands migrate to Centra?

Centra’s native multi-store architecture allows for full management of core data locally and globally across different stores, supporting brands with global reach or aspirations to enter new markets. 

Centra allows admin users to manage product management at a store level, a language level, or globally. Ple platform allows you to use different product descriptions for each store based on languages, and use the same images globally. The same principle applies to things like category management, promotions, customer management, etc.

Challenge #4

Wholesale

B2B commerce is evolving and is no longer the domain of wholesalers. To stay successful, fashion brands require a solution that supports the business logic of B2C and B2B sales. They need a platform that supports this need.  

Why brands migrate to Centra?

With Centra, you gain a flexible digital wholesale platform out of the box that allows you to deliver the best customer experience. The built-in B2B portal for buyers, sales reps and agents supports the full wholesale business logic for preorders and at-once orders. It allows personalization and full control of customers’ experience. 

Challenge #5

Native features vs plugins

Plugins and extensions are the easiest way of expanding the functionality of your ecommerce platform, but native integrations are cheaper in the long run and significantly more trustworthy.

Apps are often an additional cost – often overlooked in the TCO calculations – and require additional maintenance hours to make them work to your specific needs. Also, too many plugins can destabilize your platform. 

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ShopifySalesforce CCCentra
Features for fashionApps/extensions bought and downloaded from Shopify App Store. Additional features available through Salesforce AppExchange Apps and other integrations developed and maintained by third-party Salesforce partners.Native.

Why brands migrate to Centra?

Brands that trusted Centra get all the features they need, integrated in a tight package.

Challenge #6

SEO, performance, scalability and stability

Fast, SEO-friendly stores are generating the most income. Most SEO is happening on the front end so ambitious ecommerce brands choose headless architecture to gain fuller control of the SEO aspects of the website.

Your store’s speed impacts the entire digital strategy, from visibility (SEO and SEM), traffic, user experience, conversions, and revenue. Stores running on customized themes and lots of extensions lack the speed you need to rank high in SERP. 

Nowadays, most sales in fashion commerce happen on mobile devices, which makes mobile SEO and performance even more important for brands.

Why brands migrate to Centra

Centra is a modern headless ecommerce platform built for speed and scalability. 

Challenge #7

Support

Fast and responsive support is a significant factor impacting store’s time-to-market, overall performance and spendings. 

Challenge #8

Cost of ownership

The total cost of ownership (TCO) evaluations helps you build an understanding of the financial impact of the investment, by combining the initial spend with operational costs over 3-5 years. Depending on different ecommerce technologies, operational expenses can make about 40%-60% of the TCO. That shows how important it is to consider them from the start to avoid strain on the budget.

Why brands migrate to Centra

With all the key fashion-centric functionalities offered out of the box, Centra significantly reduces the long-term cost of maintaining the platform and ensuring its good performance in peak sale periods. Since there are no hidden costs and no third-party integrations needed, Centra is the most cost efficient platform for fashion and lifestyle brands. 

Challenge #9

Analytics and reporting

The process of discovering, interpreting, and communicating data patterns related to business often determines the store's success. Ecommerce platforms offer analytics to measure user activity, performance, return of investment and discover customer behavior patterns.

Why brands migrate to Centra

Centra has an intuitive dashboard, giving an instant overview of sales with a possibility to analyze through numerous different dimensions and over any user-selectable time. The dashboard is powered by a high-speed database, making it fast and intuitive.

Centra offers extensive report generation capabilities. Different generation methods exist to analyze virtually any part of the business data stored in Centra. Reports can be exported as csv or xlsx files and can be set to be automatically generated at set times or intervals and emails can be automatically sent once a report is generated.

Centra is your complete digital control room, giving you analytics and reporting modules for a detailed overview of your business performance.

Challenge #10

Bundling, promotions and upselling features

In ecommerce, product bundling, promotions and upselling are significant sales drivers. The more freedom you have when it comes to marketing - the higher revenue can be expected.

Challenge #11

Suitability for fashion and lifestyle products

Implementing industry-specific business logic during ecommerce platform development allowed Centra to create a complex fashion dedicated solution that’s has all the key features out-of-the-box.

Why brands migrate to Centra?

Centra is built to support growth of complex lifestyle products. Centra makes handling styles, colors and sizes, different product displays, collections and drops easy for any fashion brand. 

Supported by Centra, fashion brands can focus on growing their customer base and international expansion rather than on maintaining ecommerce technology. The features and roadmap are 100% designed for the needs of brands with global ambitions and no retailers influence the prioritization of features. 

Challenge #12

Omnichannel capabilities

Brands need to sell to consumers and retailers across channels, countries and marketplaces to be able to scale globally. Here is how the platforms address omnichannel capabilities enabling a boost to a brand’s growth.

Why brands migrate to Centra?

With Centra, you can sell through distributors, agents, resellers, marketplaces, and their direct-to-consumer websites – all from a single platform.

You’re in good company

International fashion brands choose Centra as the only platform that fully understands the needs and complex business logic of fashion commerce.

Join the vanguard of original brands that scale fast and expand on new markets without the limitations imposed by their legacy ecommerce platforms. Centra have a very impressive portfolio of brands using their platform, including Nudie Jeans, Sandqvist, ETON, iDeal of Sweden, Nudient and Norse Projects – with some of these being on the platform right from the start.